Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 97

Harry Potter found himself looking forward to DA (or whatever it was that Zach wanted to call it). At least there, he could be assured that people wouldn't be ogling him.

Arriving a few minutes before the appointed time, Harry Potter closed his eyes, and took several deep, calming breaths. Unbidden, some of Snape's words from one of their 'night lessons' leaped into his mind, "Every step you take disturbs the ground, the moss, even the rocks. Take care where you step, and bend only what needs bending."

There would be many people here, Harry hoped. He was going to have to keep his patience, to trust, in so far as he could, that other people could sway the populace.

Every word he spoke would carry more weight than needed, Harry Potter thought. People don't listen to what I say, after all, just that I'm speaking. Harry hadn't exactly gone out of his way to advertise that he wasn't The Chosen One.

Zach opened the door and beckoned Harry and a slim, slight Slytherin in. Harry took a moment to study the younger student, eventually remembering his name - Gils.

Harry Potter, remembering his lessons, tried to slip into the room with as little fuss as possible. It didn't work, but luckily, it was Parvati who was there, ready to pepper him with questions about Pansy, his broken heart and all that. Harry Potter regaled her quietly with the true story, knowing that Parvati was enough of a gossip that the whole thing might die down before the end of the day tomorrow.

Harry was actually surprised that the Slytherins came in singly. They stuck to the edges of the room, unsurprisingly, and didn't really clump together. All in all, they didn't look like they ever did around Hogwarts. They were silent, attentive, and watching. And many of them had looks on their faces that reminded Harry Potter quite vividly of Snape's "you are a bug" look. You know, the one where he inspects you, while looking down his nose.

The Hufflepuffs formed a big group near the center, except for Hannah and Zach, who were busy talking. Harry started to move towards them, only to be stopped by Luna, "Give them a moment. Hannah knows Zach well enough to handle him."

Harry was just considering introducing himself to someone new, when Hermione and Ron showed up. They were nearly the last people there (having apparently lost several shoes in the process of getting here.)

It was one minute early when Draco Malfoy stepped through the door, his face pinked and his hair slightly askew.

Everyone in the room (except the Slytherins and Harry) pulled their wands on him.

"Sorry I'm late," Draco Malfoy deadpan drawled with more aplomb than anyone deserved to have when there were so many angry wands pointed at him.

[a/n: Second one for today. Leave a review?

Snape had Harry practicing stealth in the nighttime - that's what the recollections are about.]