Harry had forgotten that his next class was Snape's. So, when he left the Great Hall (homework only half done), he was nearly first there. Davis was there, as were a few Ravenclaws - but that wasn't the point. The point was Davis could solve his homework dilemma! Harry blinked for a moment, before deciding that he might as well try channeling Lockhart. It wasn't like Tracy'd know the difference - she'd never spoken to him before.
"Hey, Davis, could you clue me in on our homework assignment?" Potter asked, smiling a wide and cheery grin.
"I'm. Not. Telling. Anyone." Davis grit out between her teeth, giving a glare that Snape would be proud of. "And that goes doubly for you, Harry Potter."
Harry reared back, a little stung and a little hurt. Then he quickly grounded himself, turning away with a dark scowl.
"Oh, look, it's Perfect Potter, perfectly scowling. Something not go your way, pretty boy?" Draco Malfoy drawled. However, the words seemed to bleed from Harry Potter's mind, the instant he saw who Malfoy had walked in with - Pansy Parkinson. Who was looking at him. Studying him, really, but Harry didn't have time to keep staring. Instead, he turned his face towards the lectern, thinking furiously: Shite. Not in Defense. Please, for the love of god, leave me alone, Harry thought, wishing that he'd learnt telepathy rather than failing at learning how to occlude.
And then a miracle happened - Dean and Seamus were in class early. Harry nearly flung himself over towards them, trying his best to disappear into a Gryffindor Group, that would hopefully be too intimidating for Pansy to brave by her lonesome. Harry slid into and through groups as more people piled in (avoiding the Gryffindor girls, of course, as Parvati would probably fling him at Pansy, just to see the piranha eat him alive).
Ron arrived with Hermione, his face still... dreamy and smiling. What in the world was wrong with him? Harry thought crossly. I've told him everything that's ever been in my head, practically. It's gotta be something important, right? You don't check out of an entire day's worth of classes (including Hagrid's) without it being something... important, right?
"Turn in your homework." Snape said as he arrived in class. There were smirks from the Slytherins, and the rest of the class turned in ... what looked to be disgraceful work. At least, Harry judged that from people's expressions. Ron's, and Dean's, and a few other people who had never cared for Defense's expressions looked decent, but other people (Hermione especially) looked guilty. Susan Bones looked actively ashamed. Harry almost wanted to stop class just to ask Snape why he'd assigned something that clearly no one had been able to answer. His sense of self-preservation (yes, it exists!) kicked in, and held his tongue captive.
Snape paged through the entire stack, and then scowled, "Did no one think to ask a member of Slytherin House?" Behind him, Malfoy smirked. Hermione looked ruddy embarrassed, but there were plenty of Hufflepuffs nodding - and scowling darkly.
Zach spoke up, saying stoutly, "I asked. I asked everyone - except Malfoy, who wouldn't have answered anyway." Malfoy smirked, again, and gave a little bow. And then hopped, as apparently someone had decided a stinging hex to the foot was a good way to manage the stage.
Snape turned his dark gaze to the Slytherins, "Do you have anything to say for yourselves?"
Goyle spoke up, his voice turning like gravel under hooves, "Slytherin business is for Slytherins only."
"Then you should have thought about that, before displaying it in front of your entire year." Snape said acidly. "I would have thought that you might have shown some judgement, some shred of intelligent thought, and asked yourself Why I would assign a homework assignment that I didn't expect to be completed?"
The Slytherins shuffled back and forth, and Snape looked at the rest of the class, saying in that silken soft voice, "You might have asked me, you know?"
Snape's inky black eyes looked over the entire room, and he said crisply, "As payment for your lack of creativity or intelligent thought - don't ask me which is worse - You'll be targets today. The spell is the stinging hex, and you may begin at my word. No shields, class. Dodging's the game."
Was Snape mad? Harry had to think. Giving them such an assignment, when everyone was likely to already be ticked at the Slytherins? Perhaps he simply, truly believed that students wouldn't dare make trouble with Snape in the room. Harry risked a glance at Snape, and rapidly concluded that getting on his bad side today was not a pleasant prospect.
[a/n: Yes, Snape's house is occasionally just as idiotic as Gryffindors. Exasperation is Snape's one true friend. Leave a review!
Also, second chapter today.]