Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 397

Harry Potter wanted to bury his head in his hands. How was it that someone else's glee could make him want to murder them?

Draco Malfoy sniped back, "Crosswise, not lengthwise. Didn't your daddy ever teach you anything?"

Harry adjusted, muttering back, "no" in a dark voice that promised dark things.

Malfoy just smirked, and said, "New flobberworms. It won't work if they're diced."

Wait. Was that what was meant by diced? Crosswise and then lengthwise? Harry'd just kept cutting until they were the approximate size.

And on it went. Malfoy was just pretending to be a complete and utter asshole, smirking the whole damn way. That, actually, didn't help, Harry thought with a good deal of aggravation. Malfoy was just enjoying himself too much.

What had Harry done to deserve this?

Snape's dark visage paced alternately between Goyle and Crabbe, and Hermione and Neville. Through some strange alchemical conglomeration that Harry didn't understand in the slightest, Snape was managing to correct Goyle and Crabbe's potion without actually saying a word. Was he using sign language? Or simple, sheer intimidation. "No, don't add that now," translated to "I loom closer. I recede when it's actually time." Although this sounded hilarious, Harry didn't actually think it was what Snape was doing. It was more probable that Goyle and Crabbe had simple had real remedial potions at some point.

Ow. Bringing up remedial potions brought up other things Harry didn't want to think about. Like headaches. Or the Pensieve Incident.

Harry Potter decided to give up, mostly, on doing the potion right. Malfoy was just going to correct him anyway, and Harry could follow instructions without really paying attention. That was an Important Life Skill (still, imagine telling that to Hermione!).

Harry started looking around the classroom, noting all the different colors of cauldrons. Surprisingly, Hermione and Malfoy's cauldrons looked pretty damn similar, even with Neville and Harry helping. Unfortunately, all of it was nearly indecipherable to him. It would have helped if he'd actually listened to the blackboard, but Malfoy and his fucking quips were being very distracting. Still, he was fairly certain that Seamus and Dean were two steps behind them, and somehow Parkinson's potion had chunks floating in it - surely that wasn't right? Harry'd have noticed chunks, right? Even if he was just chopping? Brown and Parvati were giggling, and their potion seemed four shades lighter than Hermione's. Still, Harry wondered if it might actually do something useful.

That was the moment Harry realized that he probably should know more about Potions. He had confidence that Snape could fix Brown's potion, and he wondered if Malfoy could do the same? He didn't think that Hermione would be able to, at least not without thinking about it for a while. Sure, she knew the interactions, but you really had to read, and analyze, with the assumption of failure, before you'd know how to fix all the various things students could get up to.

And, Harry should stop that thought right now, before he found himself sympathizing with Snape, bane of students everywhere. Or maybe that was just Gryffindors.

[a/n: Harry's got a plan. Ask someone!

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