Nobody ever asked my birthday

Right in front of me

Harry hurried from breakfast to Defense, aware that Snape had probably found the letter Harry had given him.

Harry felt reasonably sure that if Snape was feeling spiteful (not to mention impractical) enough to just burn the damn thing, he'd do it in front of Harry. Yanno, to emphasize the futility of conversation with someone who isn't listening.

He hadn't wanted to have that happen in front of the rest of his year. Particularly the Slytherins, with his luck, someone (hopefully not Malfoy, his rumors tended to last longer than others. it was a loathsome gift) would decide that Harry was sending Snape a love letter, or something else equally ridiculous.

No one would guess the truth, so there was some cold comfort in that.

Of course, now that Harry had arrived at the seemingly empty Defense classroom (Snape was using red ink at his lectern), he was thinking better of his life decisions. Snape hadn't burnt the letter, no. Nor did he seem interested in discussing that third year and the mysterious potions book.

No.

Snape was simply grading. As if Harry wasn't even there.

Now, Harry Potter had grown up being ignored - no, that wasn't right. He'd grown up wanting to be ignored, considering being ignored to be a good thing. Harry stood there, watching Snape - he let his eyes defocus, practicing his breathing and meditation. He was not going to be upset. Snape had every right to not pay attention to a student there early (though heaven help someone who arrived late to Snape's class).

Pansy Parkinson arrived to class next, stalking in like a panther, her hips swaying softly. Her everything was soft, smooth - and dangerous. Like a poisoned rose.

Any opportunity for Snape to talk with Harry, as Harry and not Potter the Talented Defense Student (or Potter the Hopeless Fool, his mind sardonically supplied), had vanished.

Harry Potter started a quick kalisthenics routine, stretching and bouncing and throwing in a few kicks and punches for good measure.

"That looks well," Pansy said, "Care to teach?"

Harry looked up, not at Pansy, exactly, but at Snape, whose eyes were still marking the paper... except his pen had stopped. In the twenty minutes Harry'd watched him, the pen hadn't stopped once.

"You wouldn't want to learn," Harry said, lying through his teeth. "But, I suppose. Class is about to start, so maybe ask me later." Harry'd said the last three words in a tone that implied he meant their Defense Study sessions. He hoped she got the point, but knew that any point she got, other than Talk In the Middle of Defense Class, was likely to be okay.

[a/n: and break. Up next: Snape's ever changing defense course. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. I love reviews too!]