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Irresistible Chemistry by Snapegirl
Chapter 8 : The New Assistant
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4


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When Severus tapped on the window of Evans’ Pharmacy at seven o’clock Monday morning, the streets of High Bentham were quiet, only an occasional car drove by and most people were just waking up and heading off to work.  There were a few cars by the petrol station filling up and some more by Mae Emmalene’s Breakfast Nook, the only decent place to get breakfast at this time of day.  Severus had eaten a few slices of toast, coffee, and some bacon before leaving the house, at Eileen’s insistence, even though his stomach felt like a dozen fairies had taken up residence in it.   He was dressed in his best set of slacks, they were a dark charcoal gray, and wearing a soft button down light blue collared shirt.  He had a tie stuffed in a pocket, but he hated them and would only wear it if Mr. Evans said he must. He was wearing his trainers, because he didn’t have any dress shoes, but he’d scrubbed them good with soap and a brush the night before so they were decently clean and shiny.  He had pulled his hair back, reluctantly, because Eileen told him it wasn’t professional to have his hair in his face.

“Sev, people want to see who they’re talking to when they deal with someone.  They like to look you in the eye.  And you have beautiful eyes, son, as I’m sure Lily has told you,” Eileen had murmured just before giving him a quick hug.

“Mum, please.” He blushed.  But he hugged her back.  He was wary of an adult man touching him, but his mother had always represented comfort to him, and he loved her, even though she could barely protect him from his father. 

“Okay, Sev.  I won’t embarrass you anymore,” she chuckled.  “Have a good day at work.  You’ll do fine.”

I hope so, Severus thought agitatedly, then bid his mother goodbye and began the ten minute walk to the main street of town where Evans’ Pharmacy was located.

He tapped on the window again, wondering where Petunia was.  Mr. Evans had told him that Petunia would be there to let him in and show him around before they opened for business.  He wondered if perhaps she had overslept, for he had been waiting five minutes. 

Then she appeared, unlocking the door and ushering him inside and locking it again.  She eyed him up and down critically.  “You’ll do, Snape.”

He lofted an eyebrow and said sarcastically, “Glad I meet with your approval, my lady.”

Petunia snorted.  “As well you ought to, Snape.  You’re lucky Annie Lestblader wanted to go to university, otherwise you’d never have been offered a job here.  You better do your job and no slacking, Snape.”

Severus gritted his teeth, for the older girl outranked him and she could tell him what to do and he would have to obey her.  “Don’t worry, Tuney.  I know how to work hard.”

“Unlike your father,” she remarked.  She turned to go further inside the shop.

He stiffened, then caught her shoulder and pulled her around to face him.

“Hey! What are you doing?” she demanded, smoothing the creases in her sensible gray skirt and pale pink top angrily. 

“Listen to me.  I’m not my father, Petunia, so stop judging me by him.  I’m sick and tired of people throwing what he does back at me, as if I’m to blame somehow.  Or that it’s something I’ve inherited, like a disease.  I haven’t.  My name’s Severus, not Tobias.  All right?”

She looked faintly ashamed.  “All right, Sn-Severus,” she corrected.  “Come on, I need to show you how to run the register and where all the slips are for orders and everything.  It’s not hard once you get the hang of it, but sometimes when it gets busy, it’s easy to get confused.  But if you need something or don’t understand something, just ask me or Dad or Paul, who helps him in the storeroom, we all know where everything is.”

Severus nodded, though he didn’t think he would need to ask for too much help, he was good at memorizing things.

 

* * * * * *

For the first hour, Petunia had him running the register, making sure he knew how to count money and give back change correctly.  As she had said, the register wasn’t hard once you knew how to enter all the codes for the different medicines and other items into it, and everything in the pharmacy was tagged with a specific four to six number barcode.  Groups of items in the same category-like antacids, cold medicines, and so forth—all started with the same three digits, so you could figure out where it came from.  Not that there were too many people stopping by the pharmacy this early in the morning.  Severus only had to ring up three customers that first hour, leaving Petunia time to show him the prescription storage rack, where all the filled prescriptions for customers were kept, waiting to be picked up.

“They only get put here after they’ve been called up, see this little slip here?” she indicated a small pink slip stapled to the side of each prescription bag.  “You put that on after you’ve called the customer and told them their order’s here.  But I’ll show you how to do that a bit later.  You making out okay?”

“Fine,” he answered cautiously, pleased that she was at least willing to be civil to him.  He hated working with snippy co-workers, it irked him to no end, which was why he often preferred mowing lawns and weeding flowerbeds, because then he didn’t have to deal with any attitudes from people. 

“Good.  I’m going in the back office to call up a few more customers.  Yell if you need me,” Petunia said, then went through a door marked EMPLOYEES ONLYHmm.  Maybe Lily was right, and he really isn’t such a bad kid after all.

The next customer Severus had to deal with, however, was the crochety half-deaf Mrs. James.  Ida James was pushing eighty-five, had outlived two husbands and one son, and had decided that her age entitled her to be grouchy.  She had come to pick up a prescription for her arthritis, a new medication, and it was expensive, and she was none too thrilled about it.

“Hello, how may I help you?” asked Severus politely.

Ida squinted at him through her exceptionally thick bifocals.  “Eh? Speak up, laddie. My ears ain’t what they used t’be.  You new ‘round here? Never seen you here before.”

“Uh, yes.  I just started this morning,” Severus admitted, then could have bitten his tongue.

“Eh? Newbie, are ya? Hope you’re better than that last gel Henry hired.  All she wanted t’do was moon over boys.  Girls these days! Playin’ round before they get married, if they ever marry at all.” She stabbed a crooked finger at him.  “And you young boys ain’t much better!  Takin’ advantage of some young starry-eyed thing! D’ye got a girl . . .what’s your name, laddie?”

“Severus,” he replied, backing away slightly.  What was up with this batty old lady?

“Good Roman name,” Ida said approvingly.  “There was a Roman Emperor named Severus and a saint too.  D’ye know that, lad?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Humph! Guess they don’t teach history these  days, now do they? So, d’ye got a girl?”

“I . . .yes, I do,” he managed to get out, wondering if she had come here to gossip or to pick up a prescription. Not that it’s any business of yours, you old busybody.

“Ah, figgered so.  You mind you treat her right, boy, else I’ll whack you one with my cane,” she threatened, waving her pink cane at him pointedly.

Severus fought to keep from laughing.  Ida was a frail thing who looked like a stiff wind would blow her over.  But he said respectfully, “Yes, ma’am.  Have you come to pick up a prescription, err . . .Mrs. . . ?”

“James.  Ida James.  Been a customer here for over forty years, since before Henry took over the business from his da.   My arthritis has been acting up summat, and the doctor he tells me to try this new fangled medicine.  Cost me a mint and my pension ain’t what it used to be.”

Severus turned and found the prescription marked James, Ida, on the rack and took it down and began to ring it up.  “Will there be anything else, Mrs. James?”

“No, that’ll do this time, lad.” She pulled out her purse and paid him, muttering again about how expensive the pills were.  “Y’know, you remind of my son, Sammy.  He were a likely lad, went off to fight Hitler back in 41, an’ he never came home again.”  She shook her head sadly.  “It was a long time ago, yet I still remember it.  But you have his look about you, Severus, aye, that ye do.” She gave a nod and began walking towards the door, leaning heavily on her pink cane.

Just then Mr. Evans arrived for work, and she greeted him.  “Good morning, Henry.”

“Good morning, Ida!” Henry said, smiling at the old woman, who was one of his regulars.  “How are your joints? Any better today?”

“A bit, considering the weather.  Just picked up my new medicine.”

“Good.  Tuney ring you up?”

“No, that new boy of yours did.”

“Mr. Snape.”

“Aye, and I think ye hired a good one, for once, Henry,” Ida told him firmly. Then she swept past him, continuing on home.

Henry raised an eyebrow.  Then he continued on into the pharmacy.  “Good morning, Mr. Snape. Getting on all right?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Fine.  I’m impressed, you actually made Ida James say something complimentary about a person under twenty that isn’t a member of my family.” Henry chuckled.  “How did you manage that?”

Severus shrugged.  “I don’t know.  She thought I looked like her son that died.”

“Ah.  Yes, Sammy, who was shot down over Normandy.” Henry nodded in understanding.  “Terrible thing, that, to lose a child.  Old girl’s never really gotten over it, in spite of it been over thirty years ago.  Well, good job, Mr. Snape.  Where’s Petunia?”

“In the office, sir, making some phone calls.”

“Right.  Well, I’m sure I have several dozen prescriptions to fill.  Has Petunia shown you how to work the labeler machine yet?”

“No, sir.”

“Oh.  Well, when she’s done with her calls, I’ll put her up front for a bit and show you what we do in the back here.” Henry said, then he removed his coat and went into the back portion of the pharmacy where the office was and the stock room and the place where they filled all the prescription bottles and labeled them.

Severus allowed himself a faint smile as Mr. Evans disappeared through the employee door.  So far, things seemed to be working out well.

* * * * *

 

But things changed a half-an-hour later, when Severus went back to help Henry label the new prescriptions with the label machine.  The machine itself wasn’t hard to work, though getting the label stuck on straight was a bit of a pain in the arse, but Severus would have been fine if Mr. Evans wasn’t hovering over him so much.

It made him nervous, to have his boss looming over him, it reminded him uncomfortably of Tobias, who used to tell Severus to do something and then wait nearby to see if he screwed up, so he could rant and smack him afterwards.  Being in close proximity to an adult man made him clumsy, so instead of picking up the empty prescription bottle and affixing the label to it, he knocked over a whole row of bottles instead. 

They fell off the counter with several loud pings and Severus cringed and wished he could just shrivel up and die.  Stupid clumsy idiot!  Now look what you did.  He’s gonna sack you for sure now.  He knelt to pick up the bottles, feeling heat flush his skin like a bad sunburn.  “Sorry, sir.  I’m not usually this clumsy.  Sorry,” he babbled, waiting for the familiar scream and the cuff to the back of the head.

Henry Evans looked momentarily annoyed, then he saw the way the boy was kneeling on the floor . . .almost cringing . . .and he frowned.  “It’s all right, Severus.  Accidents happen.  But it’s a good thing there were no pills in them.”

“Yes, sir,” Severus said, and he relaxed a bit at the quiet tone, relieved Henry wasn’t going to jump on him for such a stupid mistake. 

Henry eyed the youngster, not liking what he saw of the boy’s reactions.  The tight stiff shoulders, almost as if he feared Henry were going to strike him . . .Unknown to Severus, Henry had been a school counselor before he was a pharmacist, back in the early days of his marriage, before he completed his pharmacology degree.  And he knew the invisible cues Severus was displaying were signs that not everything was well in the Snape household.  I’d bet my last golf club that rotter Tobias takes the back of his hand to him, at the least.  I didn’t even raise my voice and he was already drawing away from me. 

Severus stood up, the empty containers in his hands, and began to line them up on the counter again, not looking at his employer. 

“All right, Mr. Snape,” Henry said in a calm tone, trying to put the boy at ease.  “Let’s try that again, shall we?  If you can do it well, I’ll leave you alone here for two hours, to make labels for all these prescriptions here,” he indicated a piece of paper.   “Then we’ll break for lunch.”

“Yes, Mr. Evans.”  Severus mumbled, keeping his head down.  He wished his hair were not pulled back, then he could hide behind it. 

“Good.” Henry reached out to give the boy a light pat on the shoulder.

Severus flinched, it was a small flinch, but nevertheless it told Henry more than he wanted to know.  Clearly the boy was used to being cuffed, not touched gently, he thought grimly.  Bastard Tobias!  Henry scowled. 

Then he turned back to watching his employee make labels.

 

* * * * * * *

 

Severus tried to skip lunch, claiming he wasn’t hungry, but Henry refused to hear of it.  “You need to eat, boy, you’re a sapling.  Here, have some of this chicken, my wife packed enough to feed an army, don’t know what she thinks Tuney and I eat.”

Before Severus could protest, Henry had given him a plate with roasted chicken, some potato salad and pickles and crisps, plus a bottle of spring water.  “Sir, I . . .” he began awkwardly, embarrassed yet again.  Merlin, what does he think I am, a charity case? Or is he just being nice? He wished he could refuse the food, but the fact was, he was starving, he was perpetually hungry nowadays, and there was never enough food at home to satisfy him.  “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Henry said, filling his own plate and then Petunia’s as well.

Petunia hadn’t said much to him beyond a few more instructions, but at least she wasn’t being snotty to him, which was a relief, since he was still smarting from that mistake with the prescription bottles. 

He began to eat hungrily.

 

* * * * * *

After that, Severus had only an hour left to work, since he was under eighteen and not allowed to work a full day by law.  He finished by stocking some shelves with shampoo and conditioner, waiting for some comment from Petunia about how greasy his hair was, but it never came.  He wondered why she was being so nice, then shrugged and figured perhaps it was because her father was there.

Actually, Petunia was starting to rethink her opinion of Snape as a deadbeat after seeing how competent he was on register and handling old lady James.  Petunia thought Ida was a grumpy babbling old woman, though she was always polite to the woman.  Yet Severus had won her over, and she rarely took to many people.  Perhaps, just perhaps, there was more to Snape that met the eye.

When Roger Kent came in for his shift, he was a hefty seventeen-year-old that mostly helped Paul with the daily shipment in the stockroom, he took one look at Severus and sneered, “What are you doing here, Snape?”

Severus looked up from an order he was packaging and said angrily, “I work here. Why?”

“Just wonderin’ is all, how a thief like you came to be hired?” laughed the older boy. “The boss will regret that for sure.”

Severus flushed hotly, he knew Roger from primary school days, when the other boy used to take delight in tattling on other students, including Severus, getting them in trouble with teachers.  “Shove off, Kent.  I’m surprised you even finished school.  Learn how to write your name yet or are you still paying your friend Mosby to do your assignments?”

“Real funny, Snape.  Better watch that mouth though, because I can still pound the daylights out of you.”

Severus sneered, then finished with the order, walked back into the office to tell Henry he was done with work today.  Once he had leave to go, he went quickly, not wanting to linger while Kent was in the store.

Still, it hadn’t been a complete disaster for a first day, he mused as he returned home.  And at least he was making good money.

* * * * * *

 

 

On Saturday, he met Lily downtown at the ice cream shoppe, she worked nearly the same schedule as he did—Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  They were off on Wednesdays and the weekend.  She was waiting for him in front of the ice cream parlor, wearing a light turquoise sundress and sandals.  Her hair was swept back by a flowered headband and she was smiling.

He felt his breath catch.  She was so lovely, like a breath of spring air, and he still found it hard to believe she had chosen him.  Yet here she was, waiting for him.  He brushed at an invisible stain on his new pale green T-shirt, that and his new jeans were one of the first things he had purchased when he received his paycheck.  But he had enough in his pocket for an ice cream float for each of them.

“Hi, Sev! How was your first week working with Tuney and my dad?” Lily inquired, her eyes dancing like a mischievous kitten’s.  “Did they make you want to pull out all your hair yet?”

“Uh, not yet,” he responded with a smirk.  “They can be demanding, but they’re nothing compared to my father.  He could make a drill sergeant look like a teddy bear.”

Lily cast him a sympathetic glance.  “Well, at least you can get out of the house more now.  And you don’t have to get heat stroke doing yard work in this heat either.”  That summer was one of the hottest anyone in town could recall. 

“True.  At least the pharmacy is air conditioned, and this job is more to my liking than mowing lawns,” he gave her a smile.  “Your dad, he thinks I don’t eat enough, so he ends up bringing me lunch, even though I can buy my own.”

“Really? He must like you then, Sev, because that’s the first time I ever heard of him doing that to anyone except Tuney.  He certainly wouldn't do it for that prat Kent.” Lily grimaced, for she disliked Roger as much as Severus did, he was always eyeing her rudely every time she came into the pharmacy, and she tried to avoid him as much as possible.  She smiled at her boyfriend and said, “See? Didn’t I tell you it would work out?”

“Yes, and I’m sorry I doubted you, little oracle,” he murmured, taking her into his arms and kissing her gently.  Then he reluctantly drew away.  “I missed you.”

“I missed you too.”

“You look pretty in that dress, Lil.”

“Thanks.  Tuney helped me pick it out.” Lily said, blushing at that, yet secretly delighted that he had noticed.  “I like that color shirt on you.  It suits you.”

He chuckled, amazed that she had complimented him.  “Well, I am a Slytherin.  So green looks good on us.”

“I look good in green too.”

“Oh? Then maybe you can wear something green next time and let me see,” he suggested, his lips curving up into a suggestive smile.  “Evergreen, like your eyes.”

“We’ll see,” she teased.

“Come on, let’s get some ice cream before we melt,” he said then, wiping sweat off his forehead.  His jeans were a bit too heavy for this weather, but he refused to wear shorts, because then everyone could see the scars Tobias left on his legs from previous whippings.

They entered the shoppe, which was crowded with teens and parents with whiny screeching children. 

The noise broke over Severus like a thunderous wave, and for one instant he was tempted to turn tail and run.  But then Lily took his hand and suddenly he couldn’t bear to disappoint her, they had been looking forward to this outing for days. 

He winced as a toddler began shrieking “I W-A-A-A-NT IT!” on the top of her lungs.

That wail caused him to wince and cringe, for he had always had sensitive hearing. “Lord, someone give that kid codeine,” he muttered, fighting the temptation to cover his ears.

“Either that or a good spanking,” remarked another patron, as the child continue to throw a fit. 

But at last the spoiled child was dragged away from the display of ice cream cakes by her exasperated parent and the shoppe quieted.  Lily turned to Severus and breathed a sigh of relief.  “Phew! I never knew a kid could scream that much and still have a voice left.  So, what would you like, Sev?”

Severus studied the menu on the wall.  “How about a chocolate malt shake with whipped cream and a banana on top?”

“Mmm.  Sounds delicious.” Lily licked her lips.

“We could share,” he offered shyly. 

“Double Dutch?” she inquired.

“Yes.  D’you mind?”

“No, of course not.  But . . .you’ve got to let me feed you a banana piece.”

“Lily, we’re in public,” he hissed.

She giggled.  “Not with your head in my lap, silly! Off a spoon!” She mock swatted him on the back of the head.  “What were you thinking, Snape?”

“Something very bad,” he admitted, grinning naughtily.

“I’ll bet.  Well?”

“Deal.”

He placed the order, telling the server behind the counter that it was a shake for two and they would need two of everything. 

“Coming right up,” said the gangly freckled youth.  He turned to get the large glass and muttered to his co-worker, “Lucky bastard.”

Severus found himself wanting to preen.  You don’t know how right you are, mate.  But when he reached into his pocket to pay, Lily stopped him.

“Sev, no, let me.”

He shook his head stubbornly.  “Lily, I’m not broke.  My treat.”

“Sev . . .”

He locked eyes with her.  “Lily.  Let me do this.”

She nodded, understanding his pride would be hurt if she insisted.  “All right. Thanks.” Then she hugged him.

Severus had the satisfaction of seeing every guy in the place shooting him envious looks. 

They took their shake over to a secluded table in the corner, along with the two long handled spoons and straws and napkins and proceeded to playfully feed each other bananas and whipped cream and sip from the shake together, their noses almost touching, sending each other soulful messages with their eyes.

But the idyllic moment was ruined by a rather nasal voice sneering, “Hey, Lily, does your da know you’re swapping spit with the town reject’s son?”

Severus and Lily both turned to see Roger Kent standing a few feet from their table, glaring nastily at Severus. 

“Mind your own business, Kent,” Lily ordered, her eyes flashing. 

The sandy-haired boy shrugged, he was half a head bigger than Severus and built like a rugby player.  “Awright, Evans, but your da won’t be too happy once he learns Greasy Snape is making out with you.”  He guffawed, and looked at Severus. “Snape, why don’t you leave the decent girls alone and go find yourself a piece of tail elsewhere? Making out with the boss’s daughter . . .your arse will be out on the sidewalk if her old man ever finds out, y’know.  But I won’t tell if you leave now.”

Severus shot him a look that should have made him burst into flames where he stood.  “Sod off, Kent.  For your information, her father gave me permission to date her.  Now get away from me.”

“Liar.  As if old man Evans would let gutter trash like you date his daughter.” Kent growled. 

“It’s true, you dumb git!” Lily snapped.  “Go and ask my dad if you don’t believe me.”

Kent laughed.  “I think I will.” Then his eyes narrowed.  “After I kick the gutter trash’s arse for putting his hands on you.”

Severus was about to snarl a reply to that when another voice spoke up from the table behind Kent.  “Hey, laddie, ye get your nosy backside outta here and quit bothering them that never did ye no harm.”

It was Ida James, the elderly lady that had come in to buy arthritis pills. 

Kent whirled around.  “Shut your gob, Grandma! Nobody asked you to put your two pence in!”

Ida looked as if she were about to asphyxiate, she was so furious.  “How dare you! I have never been so insulted in my life!”

“Then maybe you ought to just do everyone a favor and die,” Kent snarled nastily, turning back to his original targets.

“Wicked insolent brat!  You need a good lesson in manners!” Ida bristled.  “If I was ten years younger, I’d give you one.”

“Oh, blow it out your arse!”

Then he yelped as Ida’s cane connected solidly with his backside.

Before anyone could move, Kent spun back around and shoved Ida so hard that he knocked her and her chair over onto the floor.

Several of the teens watching gasped.

 

“You’re freaking crazy, Kent.  Attacking an old lady that way!”

“Man, what’s he been smoking?”

“Brute!” Lily cried, getting up to help the poor old woman off the floor.  She knelt down next to her.  “Are you okay, Mrs. James?”

“I . . .I think so.  Just a bit bruised, miss.”

“Forget that old bag, Lily.” Kent ordered, going to grab Lily’s arm.

She jerked away.  “Don’t touch me!” she spat.  “Go home, before I call the police and have you arrested for assault, you bloody bounder!”

“The hag deserved it, she belted me with her damn cane!”

He went to grab Lily’s wrist again.

Until another hand fastened tightly upon his shoulder and a soft voice growled, “She said don’t touch her.  Are you a total imbecile, Kent? Leave her alone!”

“Or what? You going to hit me?” Kent began to laugh, turning around to jab a finger into Severus’s chest.  “I’d love to see it, Snape, you pansy-arsed scummy piece of—”

He never finished his sentence.

Because his jaw was snapped shut by the force of Severus’s punch.

Severus knew the other was bigger and stronger than he was, and that he would get only one chance to do any real damage, and so he made his first punch count.

Kent reeled, staggering backwards, crashing into a table and overturning it, spilling ice cream and dessert cups all over. 

Girls screamed and some boys even started to cheer.  “Nice right hook, mate!”

But Kent, while woozy and whimpering, was not down.

He started to get to his feet, his eyes promising a world of hurt.

Until the owner of the ice cream shoppe came out and yelled, “Break it up, you hoodlums! I just called the constables, you bloody destructive kids! Maybe a night in jail will teach you!  Who started this? You?”

Kent shook his head.  “No, sir.  He did.” He pointed his hand at Severus.

“That’s a lie!” cried Lily.  “Sir, Kent came over to our table and started insulting me and then when we asked him to leave he wouldn’t.” She carefully helped Mrs. James  to her feet.

“She’ll say anything to protect him, sir.  She’s his girlfriend.”

“That true?”

Lily nodded curtly. 

“Teddy, young Lily is telling the truth,” spoke up Ida.  “That insolent pup swore at me and then knocked me down when I told him to leave young Severus and Lily alone.”

Now Teddy Curtis looked very put out.  “I don’t believe this.  A brawl in my shoppe. I’m sorry, Ida, are you hurt?”

“No, just a little shocked is all.  And that rowdy brute caused it all, Teddy.  Let the constables arrest him, not the other two, they did nothing save defend themselves.”

Mr. Curtis looked torn.  He glanced around at the other customers.  “Is that what you saw?”

At all the nods and confirmations, he waved his hand.  “All right, you two.  Get outta here.”

Severus took Lily’s hand, heaving a huge sigh of relief.  He had been certain he was going to be arrested.  Then he turned to Ida, and murmured, “Thank you, Mrs. James.  Do you need help getting home?”

“No, laddie, I can still walk.  And think nothing of it, boy.  That young scalawag got what he deserved.” She patted Severus’s arm, then the three walked out of the shoppe just as the police cars drew up.

The three hurried down the sidewalk, ignoring the policemen who headed into the ice cream shoppe.

“Best ye be getting on home, you two,” Ida called, waving at them from the corner.

Lily waved back, then watched as the old lady limped the few steps to her small house.  Then she turned to Severus and said, “Well, that was some first date.”

“Sorry.  That wasn’t what I had planned.”

“Oh, Sev! I’m not blaming you.” She stroked his cheek.  “It was ruddy Kent’s fault.  But you were brilliant, Mr. Snape.”

He blushed.  “It was just one punch, Lily.”

“It was a great one,” she laughed, then she kissed him soundly. 

When he could speak again, he said, “Next time we’re going to the cinema or the park.  Early, before all the idiots are awake, Miss Evans.  So we won’t be disturbed.”

“Fine with me, Sev.  I wonder if he got arrested?”

“Look,” Severus pointed down the street, and they saw Kent being dragged into the patrol car.

“Good.  He won’t be coming back to work for Dad anytime soon.” Lily said, satisfaction in her tone.  “C’mon, Sev.  Let’s go to the park and sit on the swings.”

He agreed and they walked the five blocks to the old play park, where they had first met as children, and swung on the swings together, holding hands and laughing like idiots.

And for the first time ever, Severus Snape felt like a hero.

* * * * *

 

 

Some two days later, Ida received a small package.  Inside it was a small glass vial of a brown liquid, and a note that said: Mix two tablespoons in strong tea and drink before bedtime.  It should help your arthritis and aches and pains better than those expensive pills.  It’s a natural remedy.

SS & LE

Ida James smiled.  “Aye, I’ll do that.  Tonight.”

She followed the directions and drank the tea infused with a Bone Repair Elixir and in the morning she felt as if she were ten years younger.  She giggled like a schoolgirl, danced a little across her kitchen floor, then threw the bottle of pills into the rubbish bin.  “Humph! Knew those new-fangled things wouldn’t work.”

Hidden behind a hedge next to the kitchen window, Lily and Severus exchanged identical grins.  It appeared the potion had worked beautifully, even though it was the first time either of them had tried such a complex healing elixir.

“Are we good or what?” Lily whispered as they slipped away and back onto the sidewalk.

“The best.  Slughorn would give us Outstandings if he knew.”

“Definitely.” She checked her watch.  “Better hurry, Sev, before you're late for work.”

“Right.  See you on Saturday, Lil.” He kissed her goodbye, then made his way back down the street to Evans’ Pharmacy.

Next: A letter from Regulus spells trouble for Severus


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Irresistible Chemistry: The New Assistant

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