A/N This is a series of drabbles written for grangersnape100's Dinner Conversation Challenge. I have loads of drabbles and drabble series, and I don't usually bother uploading them to FFN—if you're curious about others, you can find them on my LJ or the KIA Repository (linked to on my profile page). But this one seemed particularly apropos for the holiday, even if it's a quintessential American one not referenced in the drabbles themselves. Happy Thanksgiving—I hope you'll enjoy it.
And yes, I am still working on Book of Shadows—promise!
Hermione lifted the lid. Savoury herbal scents wafted over to her nose even before she tasted the soup. Bland, but for Snape—only just ready for solid foods…
Winky flapped her ears. "Miss approves?"
"It's good but…" Hermione had taken on the role of cook to the boys in the forest for a reason. She'd been studying wizarding cookery, and its relationship to potions. There were traditions suggesting you could weave in protections and healing right into food if you prepared it yourself.
But you had to love who you fed. Was caring enough? "I want to try something different."
Propped up against the pillows of his infirmary bed, Snape looked as white as the sheets. With a flick of her wand, Hermione levitated the tray floating behind her to Snape and sat at his side.
He sniffed. "Poison?"
She felt a pang hearing his raspy croak.
"Maybe upon contact with you…" She lifted a spoon, and he tried to snatch it from her, but his movements were feeble at best. "You want to stay a pitiable burden? Keep refusing my help, you stubborn dunderhead." He opened his mouth, and she took the opportunity to shove in a mouthful. "Swallow."
He grimaced, maybe to hide his pleasure at the taste, maybe in pain—his throat still hadn't completely healed. He hadn't. Pomfrey thought it might be some effect of Nagini's venom, except Arthur and Harry hadn't suffered any such symptoms.
But then, they hadn't had the fangs sink in quite so deep. Nor, she thought guiltily, left without aid so long.
As she fed Snape, she saw colour coming into his cheeks—actually more than she could ever remember in that sallow face. He shocked her by—quite firmly—removing the spoon from her hand and beginning to feed himself.
Snape sniffed at the soup, a puzzled look on his face. He took sips, seemed to hold it in his mouth to swish around before swallowing. When he spoke, his voice for the first time had regained its sinuous silky line, no longer a frayed hemp rope. "Chicken, rosemary—I can't detect any magical ingredients. Yet it's a potion."
"Don't tell me my business, girl."
"It's not, exactly." Her face flushed. "Just added TLC."
He quirked an eyebrow.
Some perverse impulse made her lay her palm against his stubbled cheek. "Tender, loving care. Magic even Muggles know."