Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 38

Hermione was turning into a great fuming, fire-breathing ragebeast, as she tried, time and again, to master what was considered by many wizards to be flat out impossible. Of course, there was the rather instructive notion that "Harry Did It", which was undoubtedly driving her crazy.

Harry Potter enjoyed watching this. It helped that he was perfectly honest (as it wasn't only Slytherins who could spot lies, women were worse, and Hermione was fast developing into a witchy one) when he told her that Snape hadn't told him a thing.

Hermione let loose a scream (luckily they were outside, otherwise Harry might have been deafened), as she tried to cast a stunner at a poor garden gnome. It didn't work. This was her third day of trying, and nothing worked. Harry was convinced, from the increasingly frequent displays of her temper, that this was the first time in her recorded memory that she'd managed to not get something academic to work (brooms didn't count).

The Weasleys had taken one look at Hermione, likened her face to Molly on a rampage, and were indoors. Well, the twins were sticking their heads out occasionally, undoubtedly plotting a prank (Harry hoped it was a Cheering Solution, as Hermione was likely to overpower it, and being both cheerful and rageful at once would be hilariously funny).

It was late, and Harry was thinking. Again. He was trying to work out something that Snape had asked him to do - and he had more than half of it unraveled. But that was the trick, and the tease at once. He was stuck. Harry Hated being stuck, but this time it was worse. Because, well, it had to do with Slytherins, and though Harry hated to admit it, he always felt like a bull in a china shop around them. Snape had been right, when he'd said that Slytherins crafted intricate plans. Well, Harry - for once - wanted to do something with them, and you couldn't very well recruit people if you just went blundering straight through their preexisting plans, now could you? Well, maybe a Ravenclaw, for sheer curiosity alone...

Harry Potter shook his head. It was Hogwarts tommorrow, and school the day after that. There was no shame in admitting defeat - so long as you were also as hard in the head as Harry was, and well willing to go through the wall if that's what it took. Harry figured that Snape would have some clever way around, though - and getting more information was always a good plan.

[a/n: See? I haven't forgotten the plot points I dropped thousands of words ago! Leave a review if you want more story! Nothing's hed hostage, but I'm writing rather a few.]