Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 70

Harry Potter spent Thursday in a blur, his mind resting more on the morrow and yesterday than the day itself. Charms, yes, and Transfiguration, and even Divination - which claimed to look forward, but didn't have absolutely anything to say about Friday, Or Saturday, or even Sunday. Hence worthless. He really needed to ask himself why he'd signed up for the course in the first place. It wasn't as if he needed the bespectacled bat to give him any more prophecies. Perhaps over the weekend he'd talk to McGonagall. Either he could quit, or he could take something else, right?

Harry spent his mealtimes staring at the Slytherin table, and, more circumspectly, looking at Draco Malfoy. The want to know was burning a hole in his brain, and he seriously wanted to stomp over there and ask. All in good time, he thought, schooling himself to a patience he surely didn't feel. Hermione and Ron tried to pull him onto other topics, but even Quiddich paled in comparison to what he'd been working on. Had Smith done it? Did Harry need to intervene? Would Luna know?

The same thoughts were running through his mind, as he ate breakfast shortly before Potions class. Hermione, as usual, was studying frantically. She seemed to think that if she only read over everything a little more she'd avoid being called out in class for not knowing something. Harry, having listened a little more closely to the Professor, realized that knowing everything just got her called a know-it-all, which, while true, was hardly fair for Snape to go on about, as he'd been actively encouraging the behavior!

Everyone filed into the Potions classroom, finding their accustomed seats. The room was quiet as a pin until the Gryffindor girls came in, and their lively gossip made the rest of the room relax, slightly.

Well, until Snape strode in at any rate.

"Homework, please." Snape said, and people began to dig in their satchels. Harry, who'd anticipated this, simply pulled out the parchment, and waited to pass it in. "Ah, Potter, so good of you to come prepared. That will be the first time." Snape looked down his long nose at Potter, "Make sure it's not the last." Snape's eyes gleamed malevolently, as he said sardonically, "Dashing my hopes will be dealt with harshly."

Harry had to think about that for a bit - he was busy parsing both that he'd gotten a compliment - and Snape's subtle warning that he's not supposed to look eager, or really be anything more than a slapdash Gryffindor. Harry Potter wondered how he was supposed to learn if he wasn't prepared - and abruptly remembered the twins, whose skills at potionneering were top notch. They'd know, if no one else did.

Snape saved Hermione Granger's parchment for last. As he did so, he unrolled it across his desk. "That will be four feet, Miss Granger, not four fingers. Have you lost the ability to distinguish the difference?" Snape's mouth smirked with his peculiar brand of grim humor. "Perhaps if we were to shift them around, you'd count on your feet instead?"

"No, sir," Hermione said stiffly, her body straightening as she said, "Sorry sir, but there was just too much to summarize!" In the background, Harry was aware of Draco Malfoy smirking.

"Miss Granger, time and again you have asked me if there was anything possible that you might do to earn some extra credit." Snape paused, paced three steps away before whirling to face Granger again. "If you can possibly abridge and circumcise your homework to the allotted length for the rest of the year, I believe you will find you've earned some extra credit."

You could hear a pin drop. Snape, giving, dangling, the possibility of giving Granger extra credit? To the Gryffindors, it was astounding. To the Slytherins (particularly Malfoy) it was appalling. As usual, Snape pretended not to take heed, writing his notes on the board with a swipe of his wand and saying, "What are you waiting for?" Students scurried into work, and the entire class was as silent as a tomb, with various cracks of glassware but no audible conversation.

Harry Potter, was, in some sense, relieved. Snape was stil acting like the grim Potion Master Snape - he hadn't been switched with a suddenly chatterboxy, hyperactive Snape. No, apparently Snape just taught the two classes differently. Which, when harry considered, made a very great deal of sense.

[a/n: fixed the last chapter a bit. Leave a review. What's snape up o? What's going on with Draco?"]