Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 42

Harry Potter made as if to leave, for once feeling slightly unsatisfied. For once, he'd had more to talk to Ruddy Snape* about, than time seemed to allow. He found himself wondering what Snape would do, if he indeed decided to do anything at all. But Harry - he realized, suddenly, that he knew that look - it bore a striking resemblance to the one Hermione often got, when she had half a dozen plans and nothing yet to say.

Harry was almost at the door, when Snape rapped out, "Potter." Harry whirled, forcing himself to turn more slowly - if nothing else, he'd look the fool if he wound up on his bum.

"Yes?" Harry said calmly, forcing his breathing slow. If there had been one thing he'd learned in those hated lessons last year, it was how to focus. Sands! It was difficult to concentrate on nothing. But being aware, listening - that came to him as naturally as breathing. Or maybe flying.

"Please convey this to Miss Granger at your earliest opportunity." Snape said, as he gestured over Hermione's wand, creating a duplicate and then handing it to Harry. Harry thought wryly that Snape's earliest opportunity meant "else have a damn fine reason" - like a compulsive urge to vomit, or something.

"Thank you." Harry said, seeing the ramifications of Hermione without a wand. And Gryffindors said Snape never gave a damn.
Was it Harry's imagination, or did Snape almost look embarrassed? Harry stared at him a moment, hearing something softer than words, "Hate to spoil a fine exit..." Silently, Harry nodded, before making his way out the door and up out of the dungeons. He never did understand how Snape could possibly stand to live in a manmade cave all day. Surrounded by stone.

*oxymoron, yes, I know. Harry's just cussin', deal wi' it.

[a/n: Yes, I really did have 'and Snape will give Hermione a not-wand'... and then she strode out. And then Snape got so preoccupied that he needed to be reined in to Follow the Plot (yes, I know, it's his plot, but he just got a new and shiny plot and got distracted).

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