Nobody ever asked my birthday

Consider if you will

After Defense class had ended, Harry braced himself for The Onslaught.

It was how he'd always termed it, in that part of him that... didn't necessarily dislike it, but found it to be overdone.

Ron and Hermione, no matter how much they quarreled, he could have handled.

No, it was how the Entirety of Gryffindor House pummeled their way into the hospital wing. Seriously, the stampede shoved beds to the side, and all so some Firstie could be that much closer to Harry Potter. If he had his way, he'd have responded, "I feel like an idiot."

But he didn't even have time to be that reflective. There were cards, and gifts, and candy. Lots and lots of candy. Well, Harry thought with a calm grin, at least there was one thing that was good about all the attention.

"How are you doing?"

"We heard you were hurt!"

"What were you thinking?!" Ah, now that was Hermione. When she shrilled, her voice could be heard over a tumult of elephants. Or in this case, lions.

Ron was quieter - but it wasn't Ron beside his bed. It was Neville. "Rotten luck, finding a poacher's trap, wasn't it?"

Harry smiled weakly, "Hadn't realized Muggles could get that close." Well, yes, and the minor fact that he hadn't been in the Forbidden Forest at all. That had been a trap set by Snape, after all.

"How soon before you're getting out of that bed?" Ginny asked, her broad smile warming the room.

Harry shrugged, his eyes catching a glimpse of dark hair beyond the pileup of Gryffindors, "They haven't said yet," Harry shrugged. "Suppose it won't be too long, though. It's not like it's some sort of Dark Curse or something." Beyond his control, his eyes flicked to Hermione. She'd been hit by a dark curse, when Sirius...

Harry weakly smiled at a lot of people, before lunch was over. He wasn't paying much attention though - too lost in grief and fear. People didn't need Harry's help to have a conversation. All he had to do was smile and nod. Smile more when it was Colin, of course.

When Madame Pomphrey came bustling by, Harry finally got up the nerve to ask, "How long am I in for?"

"Oh!" She said, jumping a little, "Two days." Her professional manner was back, "And you're lucky it's that short. Severus had some potions to hand that he doesn't always keep ready - said something about a Tonks being a disaster in the making." Madame Pomphrey sniffed audibly. "It's like some people don't know how to go a bleedin' day without insulting someone." Harry could sympathize, he'd been on the sharp end of Snape's tongue often enough. Deserved or not, it still stung.

Before dinner, there was an insistent pounding on the infirmary's window. Harry couldn't open it, so he resigned himself to a mounting headache. Madame Pomphrey had gone to settle some accounts, and Harry was there by his lonesome. Snape glided in, carrying a case that Harry recognized was probably full of potions. Snape gave Harry a sidelong look that clearly said, "What have you done now?" before opening the window. A formal owl (barded in the Parkinson colors, Harry supposed) flew up to him. He carefully took the letter off the owl, petting it for a moment. It looked like it wanted to bite him - and why shouldn't it, when he hadn't anything to feed it. Snape stalked by, not looking twice at the owl or Harry.

Harry had enough time after the owl had left to realize that Snape not looking at Harry as he passed by was passing strange in of itself. and probably indicated that Snape was directing far more of his attention to Harry than it seemed.

Dinnertime was spent sharing stories with Ron and Hermione - well, mostly with Hermione, as Ron was face deep in food. Harry hadn't realized how little time he was spending alone with his friends, until this enforced bedrest. Hermione had stories that Harry wasn't in, for god's sake! He felt a small pain at not even knowing about them, but reassured himself - it wasn't like they were supposed to be joined at the hip. Dudley and his friends weren't - neither were Ginny and her friends.

After Dinner, Pansy Parkinson stumbled into the infirmary nursing a hangnail. Harry'd never really thought those counted as medical issues, but from the sheer assault on his ears, apparently Pansy thought differently. It wasn't until Harry saw Malfoy enter that he realized what Pansy was up to. She wasn't really there for the hangnail, but to see him. And Malfoy had followed - or was it the other way around? Malfoy didn't want to pretend to be injured 'to a manly extent' (broken arm again? shattered wrist?), but Pansy could get away with a girlishly flouncy injury.

[a/n: Want the full malfoy treatment? Give me a review! Otherwise I might very well skip it.]