Heavenly Angel Chapter 10
After the events of our first meeting I can’t help but be convinced your intentions to my daughter are noble.
(Snape quirked an eyebrow. It wasn’t as if the girl was a virgin.)
April 30th we’re having a get together in honor of Ron and Luna Weasley and expectant child.
(He was being invited to a baby shower?)
Since they already have all the normal things they need, they have requested everyone bring an educational book for the baby to read when he gets older, or to make a donation to his educational account, set up at Gringott’s Wizarding Bank.
(Snape relaxed a little. At least it didn’t involve screeching women tugging on frilly, lacy things that were doomed to be destroyed the first time used.)
Guests are expected at 6:PM. Dinner is at 7: PM.
(Gah! He was expected to socialize.)
Hermione will fill you in on any more details.
Looking forward to seeing you,
‘Well, he’s made it clear he expects me to be conversing with Hermione,’ Severus thought as he folded the letter. ‘However it seems that he’s in the opinion that I have anything to do with the rest of that rabble.’
A few weeks ago Snape was a normal man adjusting to life after war. A former spy, now a strict teacher at a prestigious school, he had a second chance at leading a simple, uncomplicated life.
Snape had no idea one letter could cause so much mayhem.
He had made a fool of himself numerous times, seemingly commanding a larger audience with each event. The pinnacle was fainting in front a muggle couple and waking in a shrine to femininity to a room full of former students.
It had been humiliating.
However, he had ‘gotten the girl.’
He had at least gotten his foot in the door and no one had tried to shove him back out. They hadn’t joyously received him, but at least Ginny seemed to be willing to help things along.
Snape vaguely remembered her being involved in a few unconventional relationships at school and thanked any Gods that looked over the open-minded.
He had come this far, there was no backing out now.
Your father assures me you will provide me with the details of the get-together scheduled for the 30th of April.
(Hermione winced. She was sure there were a number of ways he would rather spend his evening.)
It sounds like a delightful way to spend an evening.
(Hermione blinked in shock. She rubbed her eyes and peered cautiously at the page. It still hadn’t burst into flame. This was a good sign.)
I would like your assistance in selecting a gift for the future Weasley. Of course, this should be at your leisure.
(He wants to go shopping?)
Hermione stood in front of Flourish and Blotts’s bookstore in Diagon Alley, waiting. This day was chilly and she had chosen dark blue wool robes. A small pop sounded behind her and she jumped. Severus Snape stood behind her.
“You aren’t just allowed to apperate in crowds of people!” Hermione squeaked. “You could have hurt someone!”
“I was running late and I didn’t,” Severus said, absently brushing a bit of dust from one of his sleeves. “Lunch first?”
“I was thinking of something else,” Severus said somewhat casually.
“Oh really,” Hermione said, a single eyebrow arched.
Hermione practically clung to Severus’ arm as they maneuvered the twists and turns of Knockturn Alley.
“Where are we going?” she hissed through clenched teeth. “Are you mad?”
He looked at her sternly. He was mildly annoyed when she continued to glare at him.
“This is where we are going,” Severus said and gestured.
It looked as if had grown out of the cobblestones, and perhaps it had, a dark gothic-style house loomed in front of them.
It was painted completely black and it was unsuited for the single color. Hermione suspected the details in the architecture were quite involved, but the color blotted them out.
A single sign swung over the double doors: Chelsea’s Landing.
Hermione was pleasantly surprised when the doors swung open and they were greeted by a strict looking gentleman with a French accent.
The interior was mostly red velvet, which Hermione thought both luxurious and horribly tacky. White tablecloths graced small tables, barely large enough to fit two at. In the center of the room, a blue fire blazed within a small round enclosure. A grate was over the fire and a pot of something red was bubbling on it. A roast on a spit near the pot turned by itself and sizzled as it filled the air with a rich aroma. Near the enclosure, a small bronze plaque stood. As they were led by the fire Hermione stopped to read the plaque.
This Has Been Deemed a Place of Historical Merit: MOM 1974
Underneath in smaller letters it read:
Chelsea Whyte, feared to be a witch by her muggle neighbors was executed and ‘purified’ with fire, 27 August 1152. Whyte managed to succeed throwing an unknown curse moments before her death, resulting in an explosion that leveled everything in a 2 kilometer radius. The blue flame, found at the epicenter of the destruction, is thought to be what remains of her pyre.
Hermione’s jaw dropped. She was appalled. They turned it into a restaurant? There was food roasting on it? Was that even sanitary? She felt Severus’ hand on her arm. He was steering her to a secluded booth near the back of the dining room.
Their waiter brought them out a bottle of wine and some bread. It seemed there was no menu, just a meal of the day. Hermione thought this odd, but it all looked good. She watched as the roast turned itself over the fire.
Hermione sipped at the wine tentatively. To her surprise she liked it.
“Do you know what we will be looking for?” Severus asked abruptly as their soup was served. “What do they require?”
“One of these,” Hermione unwravelled a piece of parchment that she had tucked into one of her sleeves. She passed it to Severus.
Severus goggled at the parchment. Hermione delicately sipped at her soup. It was quite nice.
“We’re buying them a broom?” Severus asked, aghast.
Normal brooms were pricy, but this looked very expensive. In an effort to solve Ali Bashir’s desire to corner a market in a family vehicle in Britain, a developer had finally come up with a family broom.
The picture showed a young couple sitting on a broom with an extra long handle. Perched atop the bristles at the tail of the broom was a glass pod with a gurgling baby reaching a hand up merrily.
“We’re donating. With their family being so large there was nothing else they really needed,” Hermione shrugged.
“That certainly makes things easy,” Severus said, practically looking cheered. Their waiter returned with a small basket piled high with steaming rolls.
“Listen,” Severus said in a tone Hermione had never heard before. “I know you don’t know much about the old wizarding ways.” He was fishing around in the pockets of his robes. He produced a small green wooden box and handed it to Hermione. “But I should give you this.”
She undid the tiny latch in one side and opened the box. Sitting on a small pillow of black velvet was a small ring. The band was polished and silver in color, although Hermione had no idea what it was made of. An opal seemed to crackle with inner light at her. Two small diamonds flanked the stone.
“It’s beautiful,” Hermione breathed.
“It is not an engagement ring,” Severus insisted. “More like –“
“A promise ring?” Hermione offered when he stumbled.
“That would be a sufficient definition,” Severus sniffed. Hermione slid the ring on her finger and she watched as it shrank down to fit her. She pocketed the box.
“Thank you,” she said demurely.
Severus felt a bit of pride swell in his chest. She was wearing his ring. Then he felt a mental thump. For goodness sakes, he wasn’t a teenager.
They made light conversation while they ate. As always, the meal was perfect. Hermione need not know this was the pureblood equivalent of a roadside diner. Severus had always liked the food here.
It was during the dessert course that he felt something peculiar.
His peach crumble had just been set in front of him. The waiter had changed their goblets to a light dessert wine. The crust was perfect and sweet. Then he felt something suspiciously like a bare foot touching him just under the hem of his robes. He nearly choked on the bite he had taken.
He looked at Hermione who was eating her dessert, but was avoiding eye contact. Her cheeks were flushed. Perhaps she had had too much wine.
He felt the same toe begin exploring upwards. He was thankful the tablecloths were so long.
A stroke along his calf. Perhaps more wine was what she needed.
He mentally slapped himself. This wasn’t the way he intended the afternoon to turn out. He took a deep breath.
To his surprise, Hermione glanced up at him and of all the possible things she could do: she giggled. Then she withdrew her foot.
“Is torture part of a muggle courtship?” Severus asked, scooping up the last of his crumble.
“Occasionally,” Hermione said cheekily.
“I shall have to keep that in mind,” he said silkily.