Nobody ever asked my birthday

Aces up my sleeve

It was during his third class of the day (they were all doubles), that a messenger Prefect showed her face. "Note for you, sir." she said, her round face looking rather odd on top of that Ravenclaw tie, but Snape well knew that students came in all shapes and sizes, and this one's intellect had won her the prefectship, just as much as her scrupulous fairness.

"Thank you," Snape said, striding to the back of the room and taking the 'note.'

Notes, at Hogwarts, were used for disciplinary purposes.

Snape had been in trouble enough as a callow youth to know.

This one informed him that he was to report to the Headmaster's office after supper.

It was a level of cruelty only a Gryffindor could truly imagine, Snape thought wryly. Give someone time enough to think of all the bad they've done, and summon up their excuses aforetimes. Often, the perpetrator would fling them at Dumbledore's feet, without even being goaded. Snape always took a peculiar sort of delight in such confessionals.

Unfortunately for Master Dumbledore, Snape thought, I already know why I'm in trouble. This note will not send me spiraling into despair or self-recrimination.

I am in the right, and you are in the wrong.

Besides, thought Snape with a smirk that would have terrified the fourth years, had they but seen, I have stars in my pocket and aces up my sleeve.

Which didn't altogether stop Snape from wanting to set the bloody note aflame. Still, he hadn't gotten where he stood by caving in to his baser desires. He carefully folded the note and stowed it in a book he was reading, before returning to supervise the students.

The Gryffindors were still glaring murder at him - and he truly did count himself lucky that none of them had tried to murder him in his own classroom.

Yet.

What the hell had Potter told them? Snape snarled within the confines of his mind. If he exaggerated one iota, I will take the tales out of his bloody hide.

[a/n: Snape, for all that he's a bastard, hasn't actually told Potter to STFU about this. Potter intuited that alll on his lonesome. Snape perhaps underestimates the level of Gryffindor fellowship - or hatred for his own person. Sometimes it only takes a spark to set off a powder keg, after all.

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