Professor Severus Snape read and re-read the letter that he had pulled from underneath the napkin holder. He was sitting in his usual seat, in his favorite bustling café, but his demeanor wasn't one of a person who was relaxed. On the contrary, his hands were shaking, and his face had taken on a much paler shade than usual as he read over and over, "I am quite certain that if I were to meet you, I would barely be able to form one negative opinion about you, let alone enough to loathe you so adamantly."
It was then that Professor Snape did something that he had never done before. In fact, had he been in a more clear state of mind, it's unlikely he would have even thought of doing it.
He quickly scrawled on the paper, "Meet me here Monday, at 8pm. I wish very much to meet you." And then, without another thought, he stuffed it back under the napkin holder and left the café.
Hermione, the next day, was letting her cup of coffee go cold as she pondered the new, brief message that had been left for her. Monday would give her a couple of days to prepare, to think about it. She wasn't sure she wanted to meet this person. There was something to be said for mystery.
She hastily scrawled, "I will see you on Monday at 8pm." If she changed her mind, and if she didn't show up, it would be a loss, definitely, but losing someone she never met before would be easy to overcome. Or at least, that was her reasoning.
When she got back to her flat later that evening, she called the one person she could count on for good advice. She hastily dialed Terry's number, and he assured her that he would be over as soon as he could.
When the doorbell rang, she opened her door to reveal Terry Boot. A twenty something, blond haired, blue eyed young man, he was any girl's dream. The thing that deterred most women was his missing leg, which had been taken from him when he was still a baby by a large polar bear.
"Hi, Hermione," he grinned, as he used his crutches to maneuver his way into her apartment.
"New crutches, Terry?" Hermione asked. "Very stylish."
"I thought so when I laid down a hundred and fifty pounds for them," he smiled ruefully. "But I know you didn't invite me over here to swoon over my fashionable crutches."
Hermione laughed. "It's true. I have other things on my mind." Hermione lead Terry into her sitting area, and he sat down with a sigh. "Can I get you anything, Terry?" Hermione asked him on the way to the kitchen. "Tea? Coffee?"
"Do you have any pumpkin juice?" Terry called back to her. With satisfaction he heard her laugh.
"A coke then," she said, reappearing.
"You know me too well," Terry replied. He took a sip from the can, and then said, "So tell me, what is it? What's eating away at the great Hermione Granger?"
And with that, Hermione launched into the whole story, as well as she knew it, and Terry listened carefully, every now and then making a small noise in acknowledgement.
"I just don't know what to do," Hermione concluded. "Do I meet him, or do I just wrap this up here and now."
"Hermione," Terry began. "What else would you be doing at eight o'clock on Monday?"
"Well, probably studying or doing some more work," Hermione trailed off.
"See? You need this kind of adventure. An adventure just for you. The days of gallivanting around with Harry Potter are over. It's time for you to spice up your own life."
"You have a point, Terry," Hermione admitted. Terry's cell phone rang.
"Do you mind?" he asked, gesturing to his phone.
"Go ahead," Hermione told him, and she took his empty can and hers into the kitchen.
"That was Lisa," he said. "She wants my good advice and company like a certain someone I know."
"Well, thanks for coming over at the drop of a hat," Hermione told him, as he got up.
"Anytime, Hermione," Terry said, as Hermione opened the door
for him. "Just tell me one thing."
"What would that be?" Hermione asked him.
"Is it my sexy body that really attracts you girls?"
"Good-bye, Terry," Hermione laughed, as he headed down the hall.
"'Bye, Mione," Terry called back, and disappeared down the stairs.
Hermione waited in her open doorway until she heard Terry's crutches fade into the distance. Then she headed back inside, made herself a cup of tea, and thought about what she should wear at eight o'clock on Monday.