Author: whippy PM
Apothecary clerk gets lippy.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Severus S. & Draco M. - Words: 1,544 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Published: 01-17-03 - id: 1183401
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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters. This was written for fun and no copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Apothecary shop clerk gets overly lippy.
Notes: Part of the Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest (Response to Second Wave Original Scenario #18: Someone watches choosy Snape buying some Potions ingredients).
Archiving: The Severus Snape Fuh-Q Fest and, afterward, fanfiction.net.
This particular apothecary shop wasn't Severus Snape's first choice for potions supplies, nor his second, nor even his third. It was, however, open before school hours and it had the supplies he needed in stock.
The sign read SLEW'S BREW'S. A few weeks ago some well-meaning vandal had erased the erroneous second apostrophe, but now it was back shiny and new.
"Pathetic," muttered Snape, as he pushed his way inside.
With him was Draco Malfoy, ostensibly to help him carry his purchases. Actually the junior Malfoy was a completely impractical choice for the task, being neither built for hard labor nor inclined to do any. Snape would most likely end up having to carry everything himself, but it was worth it because he enjoyed having Draco around. The boy was a natural suck-up.
Bones on a string clattered cheerfully as they entered.
"Ah, Professor Snape," oozed Sleena Slewworthy, proprietor of the shop. "So good to see you again." Sleena was a rather large witch who wore brightly colored robes in exotic foreign prints. However, it was hard to notice this when confronted by her most riveting feature: her lips, which more than anything resembled two thick, pink, juicy, earthworms.
"Slewworthy," said Snape, distaste making the name come out like an insult.
"And who is your little friend, Professor?" she asked, her vermicular mouth curling in a decidedly lustful smile.
Snape put a hand on Malfoy's skinny shoulder and pushed the boy protectively back behind him.
"Draco Malfoy," said Snape crisply, hoping the name would be warning enough. "Lucius Malfoy's son."
"Malfoy." Slewworthy tasted the name speculatively, her eyes taking on an alarmingly possessive glint.
Snape cleared his throat. "My list." He thrust his shopping list onto the counter.
"Ah yes," said Slewworthy, gathering the list to her bosom with her pudgy hands. She read the top item. "Pink mice, Grade A, hand picked, one jar." She reached under the counter and handed Snape a large pickling jar containing several thousand newborn mice, tiny and hairless. "Only the best for you, Professor, eh?" Her eyes slid slyly over to Malfoy, who was examining a display of raven feathers. Snape's eyes unwillingly followed. The special light set above the feathers to bring out their nacreous luster lit up the boy's white-blond hair like a nova. Draco looked up and, seeing Severus scowling at him, smiled back - a sweet, genuine smile that made him look painfully cute. He still looked far younger than his 16 years, particularly when wearing the innocent hopeful expression he used for trying to weasel out of trouble, trying to get other kids into trouble, and of course for sucking-up.
Snape slapped the jar of mice back down on the counter with a bang.
"Too young," he growled.
"Pardon me sir?" inquired Slewworthy.
"These mice are too young. I won't use them."
Slewworthy pouted, her rubbery pink lips thrusting together like two worms in heat. "True, sometimes the... specimens... that have just begin to show fuzz are far preferable. Wouldn't you say?"
She had scarcely produced a new bottle of mice from under the counter when Snape snatched it out of her hands and set it down in front of him.
"Yes, yes, these will do," he said hastily, not even looking at the contents of the jar.
She smiled a very wide and lubricious smile, and Snape found himself staring at her lips in horrified fascination. They really did look like worms stretching themselves into obscene shapes.
"Narwhale Horn," said Slewworthy thoughtfully, reading the next item on the list. Her eyes traveled up to meet Snape's. "You don't need any Unicorn Horn this month?"
"No," said Snape shortly.
"Dreadfully rare these days," said the alchemist. "Difficult to collect, even in an academic setting. It seems that it is simply impossible to find a virgin student in today's schools." Her eyes floated speculatively over to Malfoy again. "A pity. Virginity being so valuable as a component of certain spells. Why, in the old days, the Dark families would require their children to remain virgin until an heir was needed, just to be assured of always having someone on hand to manage the rituals. Those Arts are all but lost now, of course." There was a pause. "No trouble collecting Unicorn Horn on the premises, then?"
Snape realized that he, too, was staring at Malfoy and wrenched his eyes back to the shopkeeper. "Just get me the Narwhale Horn," he snarled at her.
"Right," said Slewworthy with a leer. As the blasted woman disappeared through a curtain into a back room, Snape glanced surreptitiously back at Malfoy. He wondered if the boy had any idea that the horrible perverted witch was making all sorts of eyes at him.
Like his father before him, Malfoy was vain, shallow, petty, prone to deliberately provoking the wrath of others, and generally speaking not thought of by most people as being particularly intelligent. However, he was probably actually quite bright. He would have to be, to get the grades he did - particularly given the prejudice against Slytherins most of the professors displayed. Snape thought Draco seemed oblivious to their conversation, but what actually went on in that sleek blond head was impossible to tell. Draco had been raised a liar by a father who was a master of lies.
"You did know the price on this has gone up?" said Slewworthy as she returned with a small wooden case of obvious weight. "It's ten sickles per ounce." She clumped it down on the counter.
Snape sucked in a breath at the cost.
"No? Well, perhaps a... trade can be arranged." Slewworthy's eyes stole over in Draco's direction, and the tip of the alchemist's tongue sneaked out to moisten her fat shiny worms. Fat shiny lips. "Your... unused... reserve stock."
"I hardly think Dumbledore would appreciate me bartering away his 'unused reserve stock' at any price," said Snape tartly. He raised his voice slightly. "Draco!"
Malfoy looked up, distracted from picking through a bin of cat's eye agates and pearl bezoars.
"Go wait outside please," said Snape.
"Oh, but Professor Snape," he whined, in obvious disappointment.
"Don't argue, just do it," said Snape sternly.
Thankfully, Draco said nothing more, just raised his chin and flounced out the door with a rattle of bones and a clash of wood on wood.
Slewworthy smirked. "Nightcrawlers," she read next.
"I think that's quite enough for now," said Snape, grabbing the list back out of her hands and folding it several times too many. "I'll find the other items elsewhere."
He shuddered and looked away from her face as she grinned in anticipating of the haggling.
When Snape finally emerged from SLEW'S BREW'S, Draco Malfoy pushed himself away from the wall where he'd been waiting and came up to him.
Snape had half expected to see sullen resentment from the boy for sending him out of the shop. But no, none of that in those earnest grey eyes. Only the same intense, intimate hope that said that said look at me, listen to me, believe me that Draco wore every day. That kind of desperate need for attention was going to drive Draco straight into the arms of the Dark Lord some day.
And Merlin help me, Snape thought to himself, that look draws me like a moth to flames. He groaned internally, then stepped forward before he could lose his resolve and dumped the heavy bag containing the mice and Narwhale Horn into Malfoy's arms. "Here... carry this boy. That's what you're here for isn't it?"
Malfoy staggered back a few steps and nearly fell. "But it's heavy!" he squeaked in astonishment.
"Of course," barked Snape. "Why do you think I asked for a helper?"
He turned and swept away down the street. He heard reluctant footsteps as Malfoy began to follow, and then more rapid ones as the boy scurried to not be left behind. By the time he reached the edge of town and entered the forest, the footsteps were accompanied by heavy panting interspersed with moans and groans. He glanced back and discovered the once angelic child now red faced, sweaty, and grimacing in misery. It was quite a pathetic sight. Damn Slewworthy and her meddling anyway.
"My father's going to hear about this," Malfoy whined in a thoroughly unattractive manner.
"Probably more than he ever wanted to, knowing you," said Snape dryly. "Well, come on, then." He turned and continued down the path toward Hogwarts, leaving his pupil to struggle after as he could.
It was really for the best.
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