Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 90

Wednesday dawned with lead gray clouds, and Harry suppressed a sigh. Apparently this wasn't going to be one of those wonderful Scottish autumn mornings. Ron was already awake - dressed, even, and Harry knew he was supposed to be doing... something.

Ah! Breakfast! His stomach demanded it, and so its needs must be satisfied. Harry sprung into action, rinsing hurriedly before shucking on his robes (he was glad that they had uniforms, and that he didn't need to iron them. Mental Note: Thank Dobby later.).

Harry flung himself down the stairs towards the Great Hall, his friends hurrying after him. His arms were outflung, and he laughed with the sheer joy of running, of plummeting as quickly as he could towards the Great Hall.

As he rounded the stairs onto the proper floor, he saw Snape and McGonagall staring at him with identical expressions of surprise. Halting his pell-mell run, he chortled at their expressions, continuing on at a more sedate pace towards the Great Hall. Hermione, he was sure, looked quite apologetic right behind him.

It took him till he was sitting down, munching happily on a bagel, before he started to worry about what Snape and McGonagall had been talking about. That, in of itself, was unusual. They usually fought like cats and dogs - generally about Quiddich, though occasionally about detentions and house points and even teaching styles. Harry mentally winced away from the time he had caught them arguing about that last one - it'd been over Christmas, and you'd think that teachers would stop caring about class then...

Harry happened to look up just as Ginny was sitting down, grinning a messy greeting at her. Behind her, he saw Pansy Parkinson pointedly looking at him. Was she going to try something in the Great Hall? That'd be just lovely.

In his pocket, he started to feel a sudden warmth. Sticking his hand down into it in alarm, he focused his eyes on the plate of tarts in front of him. Feeling around, he felt the warm of that galleon Hermione'd charmed. Oh, maybe she just wanted to talk about... Mentally, he shook his head. That was overly optimistic, even for him.

A glance of his eyes up at the High Table put Snape directly in his vision. Snape! Harry thought with a good deal of alarm. Crap! I've got his class today, and I haven't done the assignment!

Taking his most hopeful puppy dog expression, Harry Potter turned it on Hermione. "Hermione, could I borrow your homework for Defense?"

Hermione leveled a glare at him, and Harry tried to look more woebegone. "You might be better off if you tried it yourself, first, honestly." Hermione said crossly.

"Hermione-" Harry whined.

"No, I'm serious. I can't tell you if a single one of my theories has any semblance of truth." Hermione said.

As Harry frantically began to copy her homework, he saw what she meant. It had been clear to everyone that the Slytherins had won the crosshouse match by stacking their moderate to good students in the lower ranks. Sure, he'd beat Malfoy, and Parkinson had gone down like a wet balloon. But the others had been at least decent, even if Goyle and Crabbe hadn't won so much by magic as by sheer strength.

"Maybe you should have asked Dra-co," Parvati giggled, and Harry glared at her. Malfoy and I aren't on speaking terms, even in the best of times.

"Or your own true love, Pansy-flower." Lavender said, batting her eyelashes at Harry Potter.

Harry wanted to go storming off, wanted... to punch the girls in the face, though of course he wouldn't...

[a/n: Sigh. Yes, there's drama. Yes, it's developing. Yes, I'm a little sick of it too.

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