Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 60

Snape's eyes, that missed nothing, large or small, certainly saw Potter's renewed scribbling at lunch. They also saw Hermione saying primly, "That's what you get for not finishing your homework the night before." Harry Potter, still scribbling, forebore to tell her that he had finished his work, and had only found a new idea when he hadn't been expecting one.

Snape laid a soft and silent bet that Potter'd still have fewer items than Granger, despite clearly putting more effort in. At least, from the sight of things, he hadn't done so in Transfiguration class. If that'd been the case, Minerva herself would have put a claw or two in Snape's leg, and nevermind that he needed to be in fighting condition.

His eyes narrowed, as he looked at a Ravenclaw, fidgeting in his seat, stealing sidelong glances at one of Snape's Slytherins. Fool boy, with even more foolish goals, if he'd set his eye on that particular serpentine temptress. She liked to play with her food, and insecure boys like him made a tantalizing treat. Snape made a mental note to deal with her, if she didn't show signs of growing up soon. She was in seventh year, after all, and would soon be out of his grasp. Snape smiled slowly, a plan forming in his head. People had often wondered why he liked Potions so much - the truth was? Potions fixed everything. Eventually.

His sharp eyes found Draco Malfoy, who for once was behaving like a snake and not a boar - quiet enough to not get into trouble with Potter, at least, and Snape privately held that was some sort of Miracle that could be laid at the Dark Lord's feet. Snape idly wondered if Draco would join... Wild horses wouldn't have stopped Snape himself from joining - an adolescent part of him had fervently craved acceptance. The adult he had become had simply accepted that he'd never fit in, and damn anyone for trying to make him.

Weasley was still mooning over all the surfeit of feminine attributes at Table Gryffindor. Snape hoped he could pawn off that particular issue on Minerva, but she was always so tricky to maneuver... And she seemed to think that letting young fools 'get what they deserve' was an excellent plan, even when it meant their comeuppance. Gryffindors always did pride their independence - a luxury Snape beat out of his Slytherins within their first term. Slytherins save each other, Slytherins watch out for each other, repeating the words until even the shiftiest, slyest first year knew that to disobey meant a fate worse than death. Not that Severus Snape had to lift a hand... oh, no. His house would follow his will, and without him saying a damn thing.

[a/n: Got a bit sick of Harry's POV, so now you're getting Snape's. In this alternate universe, Snape's pretty much always had a quite considerable number of plans running - it's just they tended to involve settling disputes within his House, so Harry'd not really had reason to notice.]