When Zacharias said he was going to fine Isolde for causing a nuisance in a public place, he meant it sincerely. The slip was already attached to a mayoral owl before he thought better of posting. She could always claim she hadn’t received it, and then he’d have to pester her about it, she’d deny again, and the whole thing would drag on an unacceptably long time. No, better to get it over with now. She must be in her shop and he’d hand it to her directly. No excuses then.
Zacharias walked in and walked straight into a faceful of giant, colourful petals, heavily scented. Of course they must have been put there to annoy him. Of course they were. He scowled and pushed them aside, and they revealed the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.
All thought died.
He rushed to the counter. “What time do you close? Because I am taking you out tonight. No, this afternoon. No, right now.”
Issy looked up from her lunch to eye Zacharias as if he had grown three heads. She had absolutely no intention of going out with him right now or at any other time. Especially not if this was some kind of weird Hufflepuff revenge for pushing him in the fountain.
“I am not,” she informed him, picking up her water glass and waving it around. “I’m working.”
Zacharias looked impatient. “Work? What is work when there is love to be had and a whole life to live together?”
“Love?” Issy sputtered. “A life to be lived together? Zacharias, are you on something right now??”
Picking up her glass of water, she took a large sip and wished it was liquor.
“Yes I’m high. High on love.” He leant across the counter.
Isolde suddenly realized that the most beautiful, intelligent, funny, charming, brilliant, perfect man in the universe was leaning over the counter toward her.
So she did what any rational red-blooded woman would do and kissed him!
Zacharias knew she'd come round. They always did. Immediate kissing was always on his agenda, he only thought they should step out together first to, you know, be polite. Well, sod that. He kissed her with hunger. Now where was the path around the counter? Trying to kiss her and put his hands on her, arms around her, all at once was putting him off balance. "You are too far away," he murmured. "Can I jump over?"
“Sure,” Issy said breathlessly, gazing at him with hooded eyes. She reached for her wand and with a few flicks closed the shutters and flipped the ‘Open’ sign on the door to ‘Closed’. How had she ever thought even for a moment that Zacharias Smith wasn’t absolutely the man for her, the love of her life?
“I’m taking the rest of the day off,” she giggled before throwing herself back into his arms and kissing him fiercely, feeling no need to take this elsewhere.
She’d always wanted to properly christen the shop’s counter, after all.