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Chapter 2: The Appointment
Meet me in the common room at seven. Bring your textbook.
Lucy glanced down at the note in her hand again. Lily had successfully halted Severus on his way out of Potions the other day and convinced him to take Lucy on as a pupil. He had passed her the piece of parchment on their way into Charms the next period. She wondered what Lily had said to persuade him into spending his Saturday evening over a bubbling cauldron with her.
She’s very pretty, Severus… she’s a nice girl, Severus… I think she puts out, Severus.
Yes, likely that last one. Damn.
She was now seated in the common room as requested. The clock read five minutes to seven. She pulled her lavender tank top down and her black sweatpants up, adjusting her position on the overstuffed green couch as she waited for him to appear. Most men would have arrived early for a chance to spend time with her, but this wasn’t a date, and Severus didn’t strike her as being much like ‘most men’. Thus, she attempted to look patient as she waited.
A door opened upstairs where the boys slept and she heard footsteps on the stairs. He stepped out of the shadows at the bottom and took a seat next to her, still wearing his school uniform. “Good, you remembered.” He commented, arranging his set of ingredients around his cauldron.
“Of course I did.” She murmured, a little offended that he was surprised to see her at the appointed place and time. When he didn’t respond, she looked down at her lap, where her textbook lay, barely ever opened except for when she was actually in class. “Oh.”
He began cutting up caterpillars, dropping them into the cauldron.
Lucy consulted her textbook. “There are no caterpillars in the Delirium Draught.” She frowned.
“Good observation.” He remarked, not looking up. “This is for a Forgetfulness Potion.”
Lucy looked back at the text. “We aren’t supposed to attempt that for three weeks.”
“I know.” He finally looked at her. “I’m a bit ahead of the class. Not that it concerns you.” He finished adding the caterpillars and turned to her as they simmered softly. “Let me see the book.”
As she handed it over, Lucy noticed for the first time that he hadn’t brought his own. He can’t possibly be able to do all of these from memory – can he?
Severus pulled a quill out of his pocket, turned to the Delirium Draught, and began to cross things off and write in new instructions.
“Wait, what are you doing?” Lucy grabbed for the book, but he held it out of her reach.
“A favor for you.” He replied, moving to the next potion. “Trust me, just follow these instructions and you won’t ever have any trouble with Slughorn again.”
Lucy bit her lip, allowing him to work his way through the rest of the text. When he was finished, he handed it back to her. She opened it up, looking over the changes. I see. He doesn’t need the book. Bit useless with all these changes, really. He should just write his own.
“Thanks.” She said softly, glancing over at the cauldron. “So, since you’re using yours for the Forgetfulness Potion, should I go get mine, or—?”
He met her eyes. “No, we’re done here. You’ve got everything you need in there.”
“Oh.” She stood up, feeling rather foolish and at the same time wondering why she cared how she looked in front of someone as unimportant as Severus Snape. She crossed the room to head up to her dormitory, but as she stepped onto the first stair, she paused, looking back at him.
If I’m really going to show Slughorn a thing or two, I need more help than that, don’t I?
He looked up at her, surprised she was still there.
“It’s not the instructions.” She tried not to blush. “I mean, it is, but… it’s more than that. No offense, but Potions completely grosses me out. I just don’t get how people can do it.” She tried to read his expression, but he maintained a straight face. “You sort of seem to understand it, though, and I was wondering if maybe you could… I don’t know, walk me through a recipe or two, just to help me on my way a bit.” She leaned against the stair railing. “Are you free tomorrow night as well?”
He leaned back slightly against the sofa. “Erm, yes, I suppose.”
She nodded. “Excellent.” She turned to go up the stairs, but then he spoke again.
“You want to meet here, then?”
She glanced back at him. “Sure.” Then she turned and headed into her dorm, afraid that if she walked too slowly, he might change his mind and cancel their… appointment.