toodleoo: (Toodleoo)
[personal profile] toodleoo
#49-55, for [livejournal.com profile] toblass!

Hey, all! [livejournal.com profile] mywitch graciously sketched some killer art for this. I'm feeling a little lazy this morning, but for the next update of "The Continuing Adventures of Severus Snape, Barista Extraordinaire," I'll gather all the art from Toby and MyWitch to share with you all. In the meanwhile, I'll backtrack one drabble just to make sure you don't lose the thread of their date together.


She sighed, disappointed. Clearly, Harry was wrong and this wasn't a date. 'Do I need to show you my investment portfolio and retirement plan to prove that I'm an adult?'

Severus had the decency to look flustered. 'Of course not.'

'Well, that's a relief,' she replied, slumping in her chair. 'My Plan B to prove that I'm not a child any longer was to parade around in a low-cut dress. Or take you to a beach somewhere in Mallorca where you'd be forced to spend time with me while I'm wearing a bikini.'

*

His jaw dropped.

Quite literally falling right open, completely lost for words.

Hermione smiled, pleased as punch at his startled response. 'I'm glad you take my word for it, although I do have well-balanced assets if I do say so myself.'

His eyes dropped to her lips and the column of her throat before retreating northwards once more.

She coughed, moving the stew around her plate with her fork. Flirting wasn't her strong suit. 'Er... I sought some really solid investing advice after the war, what with the money we were given with the Order of Merlin.'

*

Severus shook himself out of it. 'They gave you an award prize with your Order?'

'Of course.' Her nostrils flared as she realised the implication of his question. 'Are you telling me that the Ministry did not give you some Galleons with yours?'

He shook his head. 'The gift of being cleared of all criminal charges was supposed to suffice. The Wizengamot expected my fucking gratitude for their leniency.'

Indignant, Hermione threw her napkin on the table, nearly overturning it as she stood. 'What?'

Gently grabbing her wrist, he pulled her down to her chair. 'Are you really surprised, Hermione?'

*

Surprised? No, when Hermione considered her low opinion of the Wizengamot, she wasn't surprised to hear that they had withheld Ministry gold from the man across the table. Sighing, she said, 'I'm... I'm just disappointed.'

His fingers were still wrapped loosely around her wrist, the warmth of him seeping into her bones. Something about his touch electrified her skin, and yet his steady presence calmed her.

It was disconcerting.

Before she had time to reflect on it any longer, he withdrew his hand, picked up his utensils, and took another bite. 'I am no stranger to disappointment.'

*

'No,' Hermione said, her gaze holding his. His eyes were weary, and yet there was such life in them. 'No, I suppose not.'

A few moments of silence passed between them.

After a while, the waiter returned with the dessert they ordered, a luscious tarte Tatin with caramelised apples. 'Coffee, madame?' he asked.

Hermione glanced at the smirk on Severus's face before replying. 'Yes, please. I'd like a cup of decaf, though.'

The waiter turned to her dining partner. 'And for you, sir?'

Severus looked up. 'No, thank you. I'll have a cup of tea instead, please.'

*

Having finished the last bite of her apple tarte, Hermione now looked at him over the rim of her coffee cup. 'Do you refuse coffee because of the late hour, or is it out of principle?'

He stirred a spot of milk into his tisane. 'It's difficult to ruin a cup of tea, particularly in England. The lowest simpleton can brew tea.'

'Do you like coffee?' she asked.

'When properly made, it's a gift to mankind. When brewed poorly? The most unpalatable dreck on the planet. I trust its preparation to very few people, especially in this country.'

*

Hermione took a sip of her coffee. 'It's true that coffee is infinitely better in, say, Italy, than in England. I spent two weeks in Milan on a work project last year, and I was dumbfounded by how beautiful a cup of espresso could be.'

'Italy, yes,' Severus agreed, 'but the French also brew a decent cup of coffee, as do the Portuguese and the Spanish.'

Spain.

Something flashed in Hermione's brain about Fiona Bones and Snape and a torrid affair. What had Pip said about it? Steeling herself, Hermione asked, 'Er... Do you travel to Spain often?'
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