Nobody ever asked my birthday

Puzzles and Problem Solving

Hermione Granger liked to study a problem. She'd approach it from all angles, and then, like a gemer with a rock hammer, would hit it. Hard. She'd break it into the pieces she liked, and wind up with a lovely result.

Harry didn't like those sorts of problems. He liked the ones where he had to respond quickly, where there was a limited time, and a limited space.

That was, actually, what he'd run into this morning. Snape's traps (which were either set to hurt only Harry, or set to disappear after sunrise, and Harry wasn't sure which was more likely or disturbing. Not that Harry truly contemplated Snape devising elaborate revenge schemes for him. No, those likely belonged to Harry's father.)

It wasn't as if these traps were fair, or anything. They were realistic, though, and Harry thought if he were Hermione, he'd probably have figured out how to hide from them, or how to sense them back when they were trying to sense him.

That wasn't him, though. Harry danced through a scattered shower of knives, bounced over a hole that tried to form under him, tucked himself into a ball and rolled under some spears... These were really violent, weren't they?

Drip, drip drip.

Harry's ears pricked. His eyes were drawn to the sizzle of dry autumn leaves dissolving in acid. His eyes opened wide as he saw a gila monster (or the magical equivalent) right in front of him.

Time to make like a bird and get up a tree. Harry thought, his quick scramble leaving the gila monster to walk back to its post. Harry hopped off the other side (turning his fall into a roll), landed with a rolling thudding bounce, and then unrolled himself as quickly as he could (don't leave yourself vulnerable too long, was a lesson he'd learned the hard way, from Dudley Dursley).

It was fun to surpass all the traps - or at least so Harry was thinking. Until he heard a sickening crunch. He looked down, and saw the steel jaws biting deep into his leg. From the feel of it, they'd struck bone.

Harry took a deep breath, knowing that he had to scream, that he was going to scream.

He sucked in a deep breath of air, and bellowed, "Help!" It was better than screaming. Screaming was the loss of control.

Asking for help was just practical.

Harry didn't have time to feel stupid, as he drew in more air. "Help!" he called, knowing that most people were sleeping now (certainly no one had ever asked him about these runs.)

His vision was starting to gray around the edges, as he opened his mouth again. Before he could as much as croak, a black sleeve covered his mouth, muffling his depleated voice. Harry didn't have time to panic, before the darkness surrounded him.

[a/n: someone wanted a timeskip. Someone's getting a timeskip.

reviews welcome! I know you're gonna!]