Nobody ever asked my birthday

Presents as Punishments

Dumbledore said, gravely, "Yes, I did." His eyes turned toward Malfoy (who was trying to look nonchalant, and almost managing), and Harry, who sat on the edge of his seat, just barely restraining his legs from kicking Dumbledore's desk.

"It is no ancient secret of Hogwarts that Potter and Malfoy do not get along, have not gotten along, and will not get along." Dumbledore started.

Harry had to restrain himself from squirming. They were... mostly, getting along. It was a work in progress, at any rate, and when they drew wands, they did proper duels. None of which Dumbledore knew (or McGonagall for that matter). And Snape was walling off his own knowledge of the subject.

"However, in the past month, you two have gone too far." Dumbledore said gravely.

Harry sent a questioning glance, first at Malfoy, then at Dumbledore, "Too far?" He really didn't understand. The 'accident' on the Quiddich pitch wasn't any more spectacular than normal (and, actually, a great deal less than disrupting Snape's class with fireworks in a cauldron).

"Every other time you have been at odds, it has been in a place where Severus was the sole arbiter of discipline." Dumbledore said, "Few indeed would contest his ability to manage his own classroom."

Snape snorted at this.

Harry briefly tried to imagine Snape's face if Augusta Longbottom accused him of being unable to cow a classroom.

"Now, though, you have seen fit to tilt at each other - literally - on the Quiddich Pitch." Dumbledore said. "This has been reported to entirely too many parents, who are asking that some way be found to separate you two."

"What are we supposed to do?" Snape snarled, "Sit on them?"

Draco's mouth twitched at that, and McGonagal took a quick sip of tea to hide the pursed lips of a hidden smile.

Albus, oddly, smiled warmly, "Why Severus, what a lovely idea!"

Snape's eyes seemed to roll, sending a chagrined, and slightly doubtful look at Malfoy. Apparently the best way to defuse Snape's sarcasm was to completely ignore it. And do something extremely unpleasant to him to compensate.

Minerva McGonagall cleared her throat, at the grandfatherly grin on Albus Dumbledore's face. She looked slightly doubtful too.

Dumbledore responded, "Of course, the dignity of Hogwarts would not last long under such a regimen. Still! Troublesome students are in need of watching."

"More detentions?" Snape drawled.

"I have a better plan in mind," said Albus Dumbledore, leaning forward in his large seat. "Neither of you have taken on an apprentice in ages! Wouldn't it be a wonderful way to supervise wayward and stroppish youths?"

Snape snapped, "Albus, I have never taken an apprentice."

McGonagall said in a granite tone, "Is this really the time for giving wayward children unearned rewards?"

Dumbledore's mouth twitched, "I'm certain that you both will create rigorous study schedules. Enough so that these two will not have time to get involved in petty squabbles with each other."

Snape hissed, "Albus..."

Dumbledore said, "Besides, haven't you often said how talented Mr. Malfoy is in Potions?"

At that, Snape fell rather suspiciously silent, his hands flexing into fists, one after the other.

"I can see that nothing we can say will sway you," Minerva McGonagal said sternly.

"Potter, your increased training regimen will not cancel any detentions you have or will earn." Snape said sternly.

"Wouldn't dream of it!" Harry Potter said, a wide grin crossing his face.

[a/n: Review? Unheard by Harry, Malfoy says, "Granger's going to be a right terror about all this, isn't she?"

One reviewer called bullshite about Harry being allowed to zone out in Snape's class. He's relying on muscle memory and is learning via muscle memory. Ask him to perform later, and he can do it, even if he doesn't remember how he learned it.

Also, there may be an element of mercy (however slight) in Snape not calling on Harry. Why is left to the reader as an exercise.]