Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 78

Snape strode into the room with a bang, entering from the back (although there was clearly a door near the dais upfront - had that been there last time?), and the students melted away as he strode forward. Harry, alongside Hermione, fought through the slushy students towards the front of the class. Snape hopped lightly onto the foot-high dais, and stared at the class. Harry Potter could feel his hairs stiffening on the back of his neck - Snape looked far from amused.

"It would appear that we have a band of miscreants, rapscallions, and scofflaws of all sorts present in Hogwarts." Snape began lowly, his soft, melodious voice ringing out in the sudden silence. Harry idly found himself amused at Snape's vocabulary - and how the bastard seemed to think that most of the students would know the difference between miscreants and scofflaws. "They appear to have decided that this is not a school, where students will be taught, but instead, an anarchic School of Hard Knocks."

Snape spun on the platform, his eyes piercing someone else's skull as his robes continued swishing in the direction of the spin. "Such an attitude is anathema to proper discipline, and its adherents will be dealt with most harshly."

Snape clapped his hands once, and in stepped - what looked strangely like ... shite, Snape was doing THAT?!

Snape continued, "These are trustworthy students, whom I have imbued with the authority to give aid in finding these hoodlums. Should you hear even a scrap of a rumor... I expect to be notified." A dozen Ravenclaws stood there, looking owlish in their robes - and there was Draco Malfoy, smirking like the day he was born.

Potter felt, more than saw, Ron and Hermione stiffen on both sides of him. He grabbed both of their arms and hissed quietly, "Wait." His eyes darted around the room, more than ever aware that Malfoy'd made more enemies than was strictly good for the soul. Or the boy's body, which Harry figured Malfoy'd care more about, with that pretty porcelain skin of his.* Luckily, most of the Gryffindors - by far the most hot-headed - seemed to be looking at him. Harry Potter, who had named Malfoy his sworn enemy at the ickle age of eleven.

Silence had fallen on the entire room, as Snape smirked. Harry Potter spoke up, shaking his head in bafflement, "Why would someone want to - now that you're teaching? Umbridge, it could be said, didn't know how to teach, let alone what to teach... But you?"

"Potter, why don't you tell me? You're the mastermind of most rulebreaking, as I recall. Perhaps you might have some insight..." Snape said, his eyes gleaming, and Harry couldn't tell if that was anger or amusement. Possibly both.

"I haven't the foggiest." Harry Potter said, in a genuine state of confusion, that made the Slytherins (grouped towards the back of the class) giggle. Actually, it was well more than that which was confusing Harry. What/Why had Snape let him and hermione eavesdrop? Was he trying to give them a warning? Was it just to assign them detention? And speaking of detention...

"That will be two detentions for you, Mister Potter." Snape said sternly, "I expect to be addressed as sir, or as Professor Snape."

"That ends the announcements for the day. On to the lesson," Snape said, spinning and looking at another student with those piercing black eyes of his. "Everyone form up by house. I expect you to order yourselves from most talented to least, according to how well you'll do in a simple one-on-one fight." Snape turned to his... claws, and said, sternly, "Join your house."

Harry Potter was quickly at the head of his house, as was Draco Malfoy - leaving Harry plenty of time to drill his green eyes into Draco's silver, eyes burning with mute accusation, demanding answers that were certainly not going to be forthcoming until after class. Surely it would have been simpler just to give up the whole 'secret club' when Snape was forming his Inquisition, rather than wait... What in the world was Draco's game? For that matter, what was Snape's?

*no, that's not a compliment.

[a/n: No, class still isn't over. Yes, there will be another chapter.

This is the second chapter I'm posting today, and there may be a third, just to finish off the class.

Leave a review. Got any guesses? Theories? What is Snape up to? What is Malfoy up to?]