HP ficlet: Pros, Cons, and Consequences [Minerva/Severus, general]
Title: Pros, Cons, and Consequences Author: celandineb Fandom: HP Pairing: Minerva/Severus Rating: general Length: 740 words Summary: Severus screws up his courage. Note: For psyfic, who requested Snape/McGonagall, longing and a kiss. I'm sorry that the muse could not come up with any smut!
Scrawled on a scrap of parchment in a locked drawer in Severus Snape's desk:
For: 1. She's never once turned against me since Dumbledore vouched for me 2. She obviously cares for her students… and I used to be one 3. She has a wicked sense of humour even if it doesn't often show—think of that staff meeting shortly after Lockhart was hired 4. She's unattached 5. She can keep her mouth shut
Against: 1. She's old enough to be my mother—35 years, I think 2. She's taught at Hogwarts since before I was born 3. She taught ME Transfiguration 4. She's a Gryffindor, Merlin take it
You might as well TRY, Severus. What do you have to lose?
The hesitant tap on her door caused Minerva to look up, startled. It was after the students' curfew, and while if there was an emergency in the Gryffindor quarters one of the prefects would come to her, they would be much louder in trying to get her attention.
"Come in." She flicked her wand at the door to unlock it.
If she had had no particular expectation as to who might enter, nevertheless Severus Snape was perhaps one of the least likely prospects. Yet it was he who stepped through the doorway, looking even more awkward than the scrawny, gawky eleven-year-old she had first met.
"Good evening, Minerva. I apologise if I am disturbing you." His voice, as ever, belied his appearance. It was the voice of a film star, she had long thought, the sort who always seduces the heroine—if then most likely leaving her in the lurch afterward.
"Not at all," she said. She had finished the evening's marking, and was sipping her favourite Laphroaig whisky while re-reading Sir Walter Scott's Waverly for the sixth time. While Severus's appearance was an interruption, it did not follow that he was unwelcome. "May I help you with something?"
Severus looked uncomfortable. "Not precisely."
"Would you care for a drink?" she offered then, and without waiting for his reply, poured him a generous dram and floated the glass over to him. She knew he drank whisky at least on occasion, having seen him do so at the staff Christmas parties. "Please sit down. I don't care to crane my neck to see you."
He sank into the battered red velvet armchair she indicated and lifted the glass to his lips. If Minerva wasn't mistaken, his hand was trembling. What on earth could be troubling Severus, and why had he come to her instead of to—for instance—Albus?
"I wondered if you would care to join me to see Celestina Warbeck perform next Saturday, in Exmoor?" he said at last.
Minerva blinked. She took a rather larger gulp from her glass than she had intended, coughed, and blinked again. "Pardon me?" Had Severus just asked her on a date?
His sallow face flushing red, Severus began to repeat, "Would you care to join…"
"Yes, I heard you," Minerva interrupted, and he stopped. She glared at Severus, who was now looking into his glass as intently as if the Philosopher's Stone might be down at the bottom. "What on earth? I mean, it's very kind of you to think of me, but…"
This time he interrupted her. "I'm not asking you to be kind." He raised his head and glared back. "I would enjoy your company very much, Minerva."
"Would you." She cocked her head to one side, rehearsing in her mind all the things she knew about Severus. He had always seemed so self-contained that she had never thought to wonder what, if anything, he might do in his private life. "Well, then, I accept, if you will permit me to take you to dinner beforehand."
She had rather been longing to see that concert, but her usual companion for such outings, Aurora, had scheduled an evening meeting for her advanced Astronomy students to observe the Orionid meteor shower that day.
"Agreed." Severus stood, less awkwardly now, and held out his hand. When she extended hers in return, he kissed it, greatly to her surprise. "See you tomorrow, Minerva."
With that he left, closing the door behind him with a gentle snick.
Minerva sat unmoving for several minutes before she tossed down the rest of her whisky and locked her door once again. Next Saturday might well prove to be the most interesting evening she had had in years.