Nobody ever asked my birthday

Through the looking glass

Harry woke with a scream that seemed far louder in his head than aloud. He was relieved about that, Ron might have woken and wanted to know what was up.

Harry looked out the window. It was still dark in the fall falsedawn, though Harry swore he'd seen glints of rising sun... when he was there.

Had he really just inhabited the Dark Lord's Mind? body? Harry wasn't sure there was much difference.

He shook in his bed like a leaf

I don't think he noticed me... But, if he did, how would I tell? Who would I tell?

And that last question was the hard one.

This hadn't been a planning meeting, nothing of material interest.

Except for Harry's unwilling participation.

That, that was very noteworthy.

Harry stood, dressing in his jogger's pants before tossing on a heavy-duty robe and cloak.

He knew he was supposed to tell someone.

That wasn't the problem.

Harry didn't have problems with telling someone.

Not any more, at any rate.

The problem was a little simpler and a lot more difficult.

Harry pounded down the stairs of Gryffindor tower, still thinking.

Who to tell?

Snape wasn't talking to him (and might not have even made it back yet - this seemed like something that could wait, but... how was Harry to tell, truly?). If Harry knocked on his door (nevermind the time of night), he'd have it slammed in his face. Hell, even during office hours.

Harry had the sudden inspiration of having Hermione tell Snape.

That was both ridiculous and entirely un-Gryffindor.

Plus, Snape would murder him.

Harry started to circle the castle, thinking in the dim light, taking the circuit slower so he didn't fall and break something. No one would be out for hours (excepting Snape returning, if he wasn't back already.)

Harry paused, running in place. I don't want to see Snape returning home. I'd get detention just for existing. Again.

Harry continued thinking about whototell, as he turned around and started jogging back. It's really too early to be awake.

Last year, there would have been no question - Harry'd just tell Dumbledore. But, this year, Harry had a sneaking suspicion that Dumbledore would order Snape to teach Harry Occulumency. That hadn't worked the first time, and Harry rather thought that a pissed-as-hell Snape was likely to be an extraordinarily poor teacher at the Mind Arts.

No, Harry couldn't tell Dumbledore.

He'd have to write a letter. And make two copies. He'd slide one letter under Snape's office door (no one but him would find it, as no one else entered his office, even for office hours). And he'd leave the other with Hermione, with explicit instructions to open it if he disappeared without notice.

By the time Harry, sweaty and bedraggled, had made it back to Gryffindor Tower, he was badly in need of a shower.

And so it was, that Ron woke to Harry, in a bathrobe, writing a letter. "Oi! Whatcha writing?" he asked.

"A letter" Harry responded, trying to think of how to explain this to Ron.

"To who?" Ron said.

"Hermione. Just as a failsafe." Harry said, missing the calculating look in Ron's eye.

[a/n: The fox is in the chickencoop! Leave a review.]