Nobody ever asked my birthday


Harry woke in the morning, dressed blearily (the icy Scottish air would wake him fully), and stared at the ointment, for a moment, before putting it down on his dressing-table.

He high-stepped down for his morning run, fighting off the chill of the castle trying to invade his bones.

It was treacherous - that was normal.

What wasn't so normal was the level of danger.

Snape usual aimed for a nice maiming, or perhaps boiling your skin half off.

That was to say, if you missed.

This... this was a bit more - intense.

After the third near-beheading, Harry just wanted to get this over with.

It was nervewracking, after all - knowing that a misstep, a misspoke word, a dodge that he slid on the frosted grass for, could end his life.

Sod it, this was training.

If Snape had taken the gloves off, Snape would be nearby.

Now, Harry thought like a fox, was it wise to poke the Snape?

Probably not.

And then he did it anyway.

A turn, and then another. The first was pretense, barely - dodging a stake heading for his groin.

The second could be nothing but a deviation, so Harry dove through it into a sprint.

Snape sent three spells from three different locations at him - which meant he was deflecting them.

Harry duked left, a quick dodge that deflected two of the spells, he took the third on his arm, shielding only his arm.

Harry took a right turn and turned it into a dive. It'd be harder to deflect something into Harry, if he was down on the ground.

Snape used the Castle itself, and Harry vindictively hoped he'd woken Dumbledore.

Harry snarled, his sense of scent expanding, like a wolf's.

Snape hadn't blocked that, Harry learned, though Snape's presence seemed ghostly, as if little particles came flying off him all the time.

Harry stumble-dodged, something he'd learnt long ago, when Dudley had never been quick enough, agile enough to catch him. Then Harry bolted straight at Snape.

Instead of striking Snape, Harry rose - his feet landing as if on a plank leading from the ground to Snape's head. It didn't continue on the other side, meaning that Harry could have gotten a spell off, if he hadn't been running for all he was worth.

The world spun, and when Harry came to, he was bound from head to toe.

"Suspect every weakness. Some of them are deliberate." Snape said, dismissing the binds. "Eight inches on the subtle art of tricking the senses, with truth or with lies."

Harry stood, "Yes sir." he responded, and continued with his run around the Castle. It felt... wrongly peaceful without Snape trying to murder or maim him.

[a/n: Snape wouldn't have faulted Harry for sleeping in. Snape does his run in the morning as well, whether Potter is there or not.

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