Nobody ever asked my birthday

Only the good die young

Snape sat across from Draco - it was that intimate of a Christmas Eve. Draco's parents sat facing each other, as always. He supposed, at some point, whilst they were courting, they sat beside each other. He'd never seen it, not in a formal situation.

Snape asked, in that bold way of his, "How goes your work at the Ministry, Lucius?"

Lucius smiled, slightly, "I have half the Department of Magical Transportation suborned."

Snape snorted, "And what good will that do the Dark Lord?" Snape sneered.

"Transportation is the key to a content populace," Lucius said, "-all the Dark Lord needs to do is throw the Mudbloods out."

Snape smirked, "Do you think he should let them go so easily?"

Lucius said, sternly, "You sully yourself with too many of these baser creatures."

Snape drawled, "As a teacher, I rather think my job is to elevate the pearls above the swine." Which was an apt metaphor, when you thought about it.

"My son tells me that you've offered extra credit to that Gryffindor Mudblood bitch." Lucius said, leaning forward.

Riposte. "Your son has the ears of a starling - they're all in his head and only listen to what he wants to hear." Snape said. It was offensive, but it was also pointed. "How have you raised him so poorly?"

Lucius shrugged, unmoved by Snape's accusation. "Certain qualities are inborn, others can be instilled. Perspicacity is an inborn trait."

Snape leaned forward, "Not in my experience." He then leaned back, affecting an air of nonchalance. "Never is the day when a Gryffindor can outwit a scheming Slytherin. Fear not, dear Lucius, I will get the better end of the bargain."

Lucius nodded, slowly, "Still, I fear your standards are slipping..."

Snape smiled, and it was an ugly, smug thing. "Purebloods are allowed standards. We half-bloods will take what we may."

Lucius asked, "How was she then?"

It had taken about this long for Draco's mind to catch up to the conversation. That priggish, prudish Snape, of all people, was intimating that he'd- with Granger, for extra credit!

"An exceptionally quick learner - there's a reason I prefer brains to beauty, you realize?" Snape said, affecting the air of an epicurean.

Lucius simply raised an eyebrow, while Narcissa looked blackly down at her plate. Draco recognized the look - the Black Temper was beginning to surface.

"She's learnt exactly where a Mudblood's place is - kneeling, with her lips wrapped around my cock." Snape said with a fond leer.

"And so all this business about extra credit?" Lucius asked, leaning forward again.

Snape leaned back, "Just an element in a larger plan. It does me no good for Dumbledore to think that I am entirely unsympathetic to the Muggleborn Charity Cases."

Draco leaned forward, "And how is it that Dumbledore lets you...with students!" Draco's eyes sparkled with malice that wasn't entirely directed against the Dotty Headmaster.

Snape sprawled over his straightbacked chair, "Why, he doesn't even know. But if he did, he would only say to me how disappointed he was in me."

Draco widened his eyes, "Really?"

"There's a dozen students who lost their magic or died during his tenure as Headmaster," Snape said, leaning backward, "Compared to that, some extra credit in my quarters is practically a just dessert - particularly for an uppity know-it-all." Snape looked at Lucius, "You know that I always leave my lovers satisfied."

Lucius wrinkled his nose in a bit of a sneer, "Even the Mudbloods?"

Smugly, Snape opened his mouth -

Narcissa Black Malfoy cut him off, "Lucius Malfoy, Severus Snape, you should be ashamed of yourselves! What madness has lodged in your brains, that you think this is appropriate dinner conversation? There are minors and ladies present!"

Both Snape and Draco's father apologized.

"Now, how about this lovely weather we're having?" Narcissa Malfoy said, as if she was going to continue as though nothing had happened.

The conversation stuck to tamer topics, leaving Draco Malfoy to wonder how well he knew his godfather at all. Prior to today, he'd have sworn... Draco realized that they both couldn't be true, so one or the other must be the act. But which one?

[a/n: Have you seen all the fanfics that think that when Draco falls 'in love' with Granger, he stops being a Slytherin? Starts just blindly reacting?

Yeah. Snape had actually tested him for this, even if Potter intervened.

What do you think Snape's doing? What are his plans for Hermione?

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The title is a reminder "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints"]