Carte du Jour

PG-13 / 594 words / romance, humor / published 03/28/09

Summary: Now in his mid-20s, Harry Potter takes the job of DADA professor, working alongside his former teacher, Severus Snape. But what's on the menu this time around?
Disclaimer: The brilliant characters belong solely to J.K. Rowling. The plot and typos are my own. No profit is being made.
A/N: Written for a drabble challenge from lexywrites; the prompt was the first three lines of the story below.

"Did I just hear you correctly, Professor Potter?" Severus said incredulously.

The newly-hired professor colored slightly. He hoped so. "Ummm, yes?"

"Then I accept your invitation to dinner."

Harry tried to erase the look of boyish excitement from his face but it was too late – Severus had already seen it. Thankfully, Severus was reserved enough to pretend he hadn't, although the twinkle Severus' eyes proffered was a small betrayal on his otherwise stoic face. Harry's stomach fluttered and he cast his eyes downward nervously. He was not good at this, he realized.

"Harry?" Severus prompted.

Harry's eyes snapped back up to Severus' at the sound of his name. "Yes?" he inquired timidly, almost afraid for what was to come next. He didn't want to push his luck by saying the wrong thing.

Severus' expression softened almost imperceptibly as he prepared to answer. "Will we be dining in the Great Hall this evening, or did you want to—" but Severus cut himself off abruptly, his mind already rallying against him for even considering the invitation was anything more than a professional courtesy on Harry's part. It would not do to dwell on other possibilities, nor bolster a false hope.


Suddenly uncomfortable and at a loss for words, he remained silent, hoping Harry would speak.

He didn't.

But as Severus took in the look of shocked awe that crossed Harry's face, he felt himself shrink a little. Severus loathed looking vulnerable and needy, and he reflected painfully on the fact that he never did manage to handle himself well around the impossibly handsome young man that stood before him. Dammit, dammit, dammit! he seethed to himself.

Suddenly a warm smile split across Harry's face, along with an understanding about something Severus could only guess at. Harry reached out and placed one of his hands firmly on Severus' forearm and, with a renewed confidence, searched Severus' eyes eagerly as he spoke.

"The Great Hall would be perfect. Seven o'clock?"

Severus straightened his back in order to draw himself up to his full height, trying hard not to react to Harry's touch. "Yes, that will be acceptable."

Harry let out a small laugh, making Severus blanch slightly, and then squeezed Severus' forearm affirmatively before turning to leave. "See you then, Professor..." Harry called over his shoulder as he walked off, his smile now curling into a grin.

Severus felt his pallid features go flush but thanked Merlin that Harry had already rounded the corner and would not see. Glancing down, he ghosted his hand over his forearm, feeling it still prickling warmly from Harry's now-absent touch. He felt a smile twitch at the corners of his mouth and made no attempt to hide his satisfaction from himself.

Turning quickly on his heel, his black robes billowing behind him, he swept off purposefully in the direction of his labs, the faintest spring now evident in his step.