Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 92

The defense classroom exploded into stinging hexes, with half the time people zapping friends rather than anyone else. Harry Potter dove for cover, more out of instinct than any real strategy. From there, he stuck his head up to throw a few token hexes - one of them at Pansy, who shrieked and turned towards him as he ducked down again. I hope she didn't see me...

Snape was at the front of the classroom, holding the only shield in class. He very clearly had a parchment and was recording notes on it (more like tick marks, Harry realized).

Oww! Harry felt the sting of a hex, and turned to find Susan Bones readying another. He went into a roll, trying to work his magic into a hex without needing to target it with his wand. Instead of doing what he wanted, he felt the static sting explode out of him.

Shite! Get back here! Harry thought, and, wonder of all wonders, when he pulled his magic back into himself, the stinging came back too. Just in time for him to get another hex in the tush.

"Rolling on the floor doesn't work well if you stop out of cover." Malfoy drawled, seeming not to notice the hexes coming at him (Hermione's were glowing a lovely blue, which meant that she wasn't strictly casting the right spell, even.) Maybe he was just numb?

Harry rolled himself to his feet, finding a grace that he'd practiced brutally over the summer, and then threw a hex at Malfoy. He then ducked to avoid a misaimed hex from Hermione, who was drawing close - Ron was paired with her, and they seemed to be making an effective team.

"Halt." Snape's voice cut through the din. "Take your ten worst shots and describe how you'll improve their effectivity." Snape purred.

Well, there's one homework assignment that I'm not going to be able to complete. Better not lie, either.

"Class dismissed." Snape said. Seconds later, the room erupted in a series of groans, whimpers, and even a few tears. Harry's eyes met Malfoy's - and for a wonder Malfoy wasn't exaggerating his injuries. In fact, he was acting as if he hadn't been the target for half the Gryffindors.


Harry was out of the classroom, and he thought he'd cleared enough of the scrum to make it to Transfiguration on time, when he saw the Slytherins, who were heading towards Charms... Shite.

Pansy Parkinson sashayed towards him, and Harry gulped, thinking, What if she thinks I really do like her? How do I go about letting her down gently?

"Harry, dear, if we're going to go out, you're going to have to do something about your friends. I really won't be seen with someone who's friends with blood traitors and... mudbloods." Pansy was talking as if they were actually already... Harry's mind boggled, and then bobbled, and then he saw red.

"No, thanks, Pansy dear." He responded firmly, "My friends are more important to me than you are."

"Pity." Pansy said, seeming unaffected as she flicked her hair over her shoulder and swayed back towards the Slytherins. One couldn't say a nice thing about her face, but she sure did have a nice figure.

And, of course, now that Harry was looking towards the Slytherins, he could see Malfoy smirking at him, his silver eyes wide, as if to say, "Well, how about that?" But Harry wasn't about to make the mistake of thinking that he knew what any Slytherin meant with a look.

[a/n: There's always another shoe to fall, around Harry Potter.]