Nobody ever asked my birthday

Not for him

On the heels of that thought - nearly tripping it, Harry had another - Malfoy knew Pansy. he did. He wasn't surprised to see her, well, being her.

The act wasn't for him.

Perhaps the infatuation shtick had been ordered by her parents? To make their obeisance clear?

Or perhaps, simply, that Parkinson's parents had swung such a spiffy deal. Perhaps they'd just wanted her to rub it in people's faces?

But no, that didn't make sense. Perhaps they hadn't gotten such a good deal, or their arms had been twisted? Harry wouldn't trust Lucius Malfoy with the man's own grandmother...

To know more than Harry did, he'd have to ask someone. And that, that was a poor idea. Even asking Snape, a concept that his younger self would have run screaming from. Too much interest in something that only affected Harry as it impinged on his mistake. It was really none of Harry's business, and it wasn't like he should care. He just did. Well, stuff caring, and all that rot. He could care with his own ears and eyes, and not his mouth.

Speaking of...

Hermione was shaking her head, "All of this is well and good, but it doesn't give me a jot of insight into why Draco Malfoy kissed me, and what the hell he was playing at!"

Ordinarily, Snape would have said something about language, or temper, or not addressing him with a modicum of respect. Ordinarily.

Instead, Snape simply blinked. Completely expressionless. He then said simply, "I begin to see the reason for the secrecy. Perhaps you'd better explain exactly what happened, in as much detail as you are able. Leave one detail out, and my understanding may vary radically from the actual situation."

Now it was Harry's turn to blink. That... was actually good advice. And Hermione hated to lie to teachers. But... she was also tremendously loyal, and... and the only person allowed to break that bloody contract was Draco Malfoy.

Shite, Snape was going to pick up on this. If, that is, he didn't know it already. That slimy salamander of a human being! Harry had never been one to think of adults as being omniscent, but he somehow suspected that Snape knew about this. Perhaps it was that moment of stunned silence. Somehow, it rang... false.

Harry wanted to speak up, to say something - but Snape had asked Hermione, and she knew the situation - and she was better at lying than he was.

Harry really should stop trying to jump in front of other people, when their wands were out and his wasn't. Playing the hero didn't end when the battles did, Harry blinked to realize.

[a/n: What do you think comes next? Do you think Snape knew? Can Hermione say anything about the class?

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