A Cooking Lesson
Harry reached for another cauldron and pulled it towards him. He'd been in detention an hour, and was only halfway through the dirty cauldrons.
The fire roared green causing Snape to look up from his marking.
"Severus, I need your help, may I step through?" Came the unmistakable voice of Lucius Malfoy.
Snape looked at Harry, who scrubbed the cauldron harder deliberately not looking up. "Very well, if you must Malfoy." Snape said in a weary voice.
"What's with the Malfoy business? You usually call me Luc." Lucius said stepping through the fire. His eyes fell on Harry and he blushed. "Ah, sorry, I'll just, um." The man stammered.
Harry had to bite the inside of his cheek to stop from grinning.
"Good god man, what's wrong with you?" Asked Snape his voice laced with amusement.
"I'm taking a Muggle cooking class. I'm meant to make something with pastry, but how the bloody hell do I rub flower? And next week I have to cream butter!" said the poor man in obvious distress.
Harry couldn't help it, he sniggered quietly. Lucius didn't hear him but Snape sent him a warning glance.
"How would I know and what in the name of Merlin are you doing taking a cooking class?" Snape asked without any disgust in his voice, only interest.
"Cissy wants me to 'get in touch with my feminine side'," Lucius shuddered. "Are you sure you don't know?" He asked hopefully.
Snape shook his head.
"Bugger, Cissy was quite adamant after the last class where I'd be sleeping if I fuck up again." Lucius sat on a desk looking mournful.
Harry stopped cleaning and giggled, stopping after a moment when both men looked at him.
"I'm glad my life amuses you Potter." Lucius said angrily.
"It's not that sir. It's just that I've never known Professor Snape to admit not knowing something," Harry said not daring to look up at Snape.
Lucius laughed. "He has a point, Sev."
Snape sneered at them. "Indeed. I suppose you know the answer then, Mr Potter." Snape glared at Harry.
Harry ignored him. "What kind of pastry are you making, Mr Malfoy?"
Lucius looked horror struck. "There's more than one kind?" he ran his hand over his face. "Merlin, I'm never going to get laid again."
Harry laughed softly. "We can't have that sir. What do you want to use the pastry for? I'll see what I can do to help."
"Can you cook, Potter?" asked Lucius, obviously shocked.
Harry grinned, "You'd be amazed at the things I can do that people would never expect." To Harry's amusement Lucius blushed.
"Well we're meant to make a pie, any kind of pie and if you're helping me you have to call me Luc. Can I call you Harry? Or do you have another name you'd rather be called?" Lucius asked eagerly.
"Harry's fine, Luc. The closet thing I have to a nickname or a pet name is when Professor Snape calls me Brat."
"Wonderful," Snape said sardonically.
"Be quite, Sev. The boy is going to teach me." Lucius quickly interrupted.
Harry grimaced. "Just don't call me 'boy' please." Harry washed his hands. "Well, we can do this here, if you like."
Both Harry and Lucius looked at Snape for approval. "Very well. I must say I'm intrigued." The man said joining Lucius in washing his hands.
Harry was surprised. He didn't expect Snape to join in too. Shaking off the thoughts, Harry stood on one side of a desk; the two older men standing the other side. "Dobby!" Harry called to the open room.
"Master Harry Potter, sir, is calling his Dobby."
"Hi Dobby, could you bring me a few things, please? We need three mixing bowls, a large bag of plain flower, three packs of butter, some sugar salt, a little milk and measuring scales. Oh and a large basket of cleaned blackberries, please."
Dobby started pulling his ears. "Is Master Harry Potter not liking our food? Master Harry Potter needs only ask and we will..."
Harry cut him off, going down on one knee. "Don't worry, Dobby. I love the food you all make or I wouldn't sneak down to the kitchens so often. I'm just helping out by showing Luc and Professor Snape how to make blackberry pie," Harry explained to the sobbing house elf, while the other men looked on in utter confusion.
Dobby threw himself at Harry and knocked him backwards with the force of the hug. "Master Harry Potter is so good to his friends. I will bring everything, and pie tins too." Dobby vanished leaving Harry sprawled on the floor.
Lucius pulled Harry back to his feet. "I've never seen him that happy," he commented.
Harry gave a small smile. "At least this attempt to help me hasn't almost gotten me killed."
Lucius raised an eyebrow and waited for Harry to explain, but he didn't.
Moments later the table was filled with all the things Harry asked for.
Harry gave each of the men a mixing bowl then took off his outer robe not wanting to get it dirty, leaving him in a green shirt.
"Green, Potter?" Snape asked with a smirk.
"I like green. 'Mione says I'm a lion with a snake's heart." Harry caught the quizzical look the men shared. "I was almost sorted into Slytherin."
Both men gaped at him. Harry giggled. "Wow what a night, I've seen a Malfoy blush, heard Professor Snape say he didn't know something, and now, you're both speechless. Whatever next."
"Mind your cheek, Mr Potter." Snape said furiously.
"He's got a point though, Sev." Lucius said, hiding a smile.
"Um professor, just for tonight, sir, could you call me Harry." Harry asked tentatively.
Lucius answered for him. "Of course he will Harry, and you must call him Severus. Just for tonight though."
Harry nodded. "Alright, well, if you're ready, Luc, Severus. Let's get started. First, you will need 8 oz of flour in your bowl, so measure it out. Don't worry about being spot on in your measurements as long as you don't go too far over you'll be fine."
Both men copied Harry measuring out the flour. Snape dumped the flour in the bowl too quickly and it blew back covering Snape's black robes in the fine white powder. Lucius couldn't suppress a chuckle and Harry smiled widely.
"You'd best take your outer robes off; this might get a little messy." Snape did so reluctantly. Underneath he was wearing black form fitting trousers and a white shirt.
Lucius grinned at him. "It could have been worse Sev, you could have been wearing the leather trousers and red silk shirt Cissy and I got you for Christmas."
Harry blushed trying not to think what Snape would look like in that outfit. Harry grabbed a spoon and put a spoonful of flour into Snape's bowl. "There you go Severus. You'll be right now. Now we need 4 oz of butter. The butter should be room temperature as it makes it more pliable."
"So you even know what that means Pot... Harry?" Snape asked.
"Pliable means easy to manipulate. Now cut your butter into chunks, the size and shape don't matter; just don't make them too big. Now add them to the flour. You should also add a pinch of salt."
Harry waited for the men to carry out the instructions. They looked at him expectantly, they had been given no stirring implements, how did he expect them to mix the ingredients?
"Luc, take your ring off; it will get dirty. Now you need to get your hands in the bowl pick up some of the four and butter mix and rub it threw your thumbs and forefingers. Pretend you're snapping your fingers, that's the kind of action you want just not so hard."
The three men rubbed their mixture for a few minutes in silence. "If you give it a stir around with your hands just to make sure you haven't missed any butter chunks. The mix will start to look like breadcrumbs soon."
After a few more minutes, Harry finished his and watched Luc and Severus. Luc was doing alright. Severus on the other hand hadn't quite grasped it.
Harry moved to stand next to him to see what he was doing wrong. Snape stiffened but otherwise ignored him. "You need to apply a little more pressure Severus. You're not going to break it. Think of it as trying to work the knots out of someone's back, a little pressure in the right place is a good thing."
Snape said nothing but did as instructed; soon his mix looked just like Harry's.
Harry went back to his own bowl. "This is where things get messy. You need to add water, a very little at a time, and knead it all together until it's all in one ball. Don't add too much water in one go, you can always add more."
Harry worked his pastry, not noticing what the others were doing. Severus was watching his hands, a tell tale blush in his cheeks as he watched Harry's fingers work the mixture. Lucius was watching Severus and fighting a laugh.
Soon all three had a ball of pastry dough. Harry looked up and smiled. "Ok, this is where I would normally put this in the fridge for half an hour. But thanks to the magic of... magic." Harry cast a cooling charm on the dough balls in front of him. "Now break it into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Good, now put the bowl to one side and grab a pie dish." Harry and Snape's fingers brushed as they reached for the same dish.
"Rub a little butter in the dish, coat the base and side thoroughly to stop it sticking. Now you can put that to one side too but keep it in reach, we'll need it in a moment. Now we need to roll out the larger of the two balls to fill the base and sides of the pie dish. Don't worry if there is an excess, we'll sort that out later."
Harry watched as they carried out his instructions. "How did you learn this Harry?" Lucius asked curiously.
"I've been cooking since I was old enough to hold a frying pan. I even learned to read from the cookbooks my aunt left everywhere. She only had them for appearances sake but I loved them. I was so proud the first time I used one of the books and made something for everyone. It was a simple meal really. Roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings. My uncle said it wasn't fit to be eaten; the three of them then eat every bit. I was told to do the dishes and if I did them properly, they would let me eat the next day. I cooked every meal after that." Harry kept his voice even but both trained spies could hear the sadness in his voice.
"Now you need to put the blackberries into the tin. Fill it almost all the way but not quite. Sprinkle some sugar on the top. That's great, now take the second ball of pastry and we can roll it out for the top."
The three men started to roll the pastry.
"Harry if this works," Lucius said seriously, "I will be forever in your debt. You'll have saved my sex life."
Harry blushed deeply. "That's ok; at least some of us are getting some."
"I take offence to that, Mr Potter." Snape hissed angrily.
"Actually, Sir, I was talking about me," Harry's blush deepened if that were possible.
Lucius smirked. "No young lady taken your eye yet, Harry?"
"No sir, I mean, Luc. Nor is there ever likely to be," Harry replied not wanting to look up and see the looks of disgust on their faces. To Harry's surprise it was Snape who spoke next.
"A young man then Potter, um, Harry. Surely you have someone?" Snape's voice sounded a mixture of worried and hopeful.
"No Severus. No one bothers to see past the Boy-Who-Lived crap to see Harry. I don't want to be with someone who only wants me because of what my name is." Harry looked up now; the disgust he had been expecting wasn't there. "It doesn't bother you I prefer men? I would have thought you'd take the piss."
Severus rolled his eyes. "I am many things, Harry, but a hypocrite isn't one of them."
Harry nodded not quite understanding. "Right, now that's rolled out, we need to..." Severus's words finally sunk in, causing Harry to falter and Luc to snigger.
Severus did blush now, realising his admission. "Oh shut up, Luc!"
Now Harry sniggered but made no comment. "Now we need to lift this rolled out piece and place it on top of the pie. Press your thumbs around the outside of the dish pinching the two edges together. Then with a knife cut off the excess. Brush the top with a little milk and pierce it several times with a fork. And you're done. Now all you have to do now is put it in the oven for twenty minutes to half an hour."
"Oven?" asked Lucius, curiously. "I've seen those in my classes... they're hot cupboards aren't they?" Harry nodded and smiled.
"I have one in my kitchen." Severus said looking at his pie. He saw the others looking at him. "What, I was Muggle raised too. Just because I don't cook more than scrambled eggs doesn't mean I don't have the means."
Severus and Lucius looked pleased with themselves. "Well I'm going home to get this in the oven." Severus choked. "Oh Sev, you have a filthy mind," Lucius said grinning. "Harry, could you get a detention Friday and tell me what on earth creaming butter is?"
"Mr Potter has a talent for getting detention. I'm sure he'll be here," Severus smirked
Harry just grinned and nodded.
"Good, see you both then," Lucius stepped gracefully into the Floo.
"He's very...." Harry stumbled.
"Flamboyant? Yes, he definitely is Harry. Do you want to cook this? It should be tested after all just to make sure we made it right."
Harry flashed a bright smile. "Yes sir!"
"It's still Severus for now, Harry." Severus led the way to his kitchen.
An hour later, Harry was back in the dorms. Both pies had been nice. Now Harry was thinking about Friday and looking forward to it immensely.