Nobody ever asked my birthday

Chapter 99

Draco Malfoy was petrified. Well, everything except for his eyes.

This had to be the strangest way to be taught ever.

Though, Draco idly supposed, it did keep his mouth shut - so at least someone was benefiting.

He'd been surprised by the Gryffindor reaction to petrifying Potter - they didn't seem to have much sense of unity in the first place, but actively wanting to hurt Potter? Now, Draco was a realist, and he wouldn't have been surprised if any Slytherin (even Pansy) would take a potshot at himself. He knew he had a sharp tongue and a nasty temper. Potter was sunshine and roses in comparison.

Draco listened as Hannah jumped onto the small dais (her small height making it crucial for being seen). "Attention, class, your teacher calls for silence!"

Surprisingly, most of the room quieted down, and even the whisperers were quiet enough to let her be heard.

Hannah continued, "We will be learning the Patronus spell this week. There will be three meetings, and by the end, I expect every one of you to be proficient." Draco wanted to frown, but realized that wasn't going to work. Man, this petrification was horrid.

Did Abbot not realize what the Patronus charm entailed? How was she teaching it, if so?

No, this was just stupid Hufflepuff optimism. Optimism that 'everyone's gotta have a good memory! a happy memory!"

Malfoy wondered if Potter was rolling his eyes half as hard as Malfoy was rolling his at this maudlin sentiment. Malfoy glanced over at Potter, and had the strangest intuition - that Potter was hating being petrified more than he was. Odd, that.

Hermione and the Ravenclaws took turns answering Abbot's questions, and Malfoy had to admit that it seemed like they'd already learned all about this. Hannah Abbot took several minutes explaining the incantation, and then called select people up to explain what their happy memory was. Granger's was "when I learned about Hogwarts", which was sadly typical and predictable (Imagine if she'd said "the time I slapped Malfoy across the face" - at least that wouldn't be boring!). At least with Potter petrified he couldn't be called on.

"Finite Incantem," Zach said, and Draco flexed his muscles, freeing them from the paralysis. Across the room, he noticed Harry Potter doing the same - except the look on his face was more like euphoria. Definitely strange, that.

Draco had a thousand different happy memories, and he started trying them one by one. And so he was rather upset when Susan Bones showed up, and tried to be helpful, "You're getting the incantation perfect. I think it's just the wrong memory." Draco shut her out of his skull, and continued, having moved on from 'times I tortured Potter' to childhood memories. Nothing really seemed to be working. Looking around, most Slytherins appeared to be having some deal of trouble.

"Why isn't anyone else having trouble?" Draco Malfoy asked

Luna breezed by, saying, "They learned it last year, of course. Neville's still practicing, because he never wants to screw up that spell."

[a/n: Review? Malfoy is so much more fun to write than Harry. Harry has a limited vocabulary, and it drives me stark raving nutters]