The thing Lucius Malfoy missed most from his previous existence was not the money, or the big house, or the power and position. The thing he really missed was his hair. He had got used to muggle clothes and food, and television and even having a job. But he had never quite got used to having his formerly flowing locks cropped short against his head. He ran his fingers through what was left of his now white hair and smiled at the waitress who had brought him his coffee and a toasted ham and cheese Panini. She smiled back at him and blushed slightly. Even with his butchered hair he was still very attractive.
The University bookstore was his favourite place to eat. There was a lively mix of students, lecturers and academics all enjoying conversation, books and coffee. In some ways it reminded him of the Leaky Cauldron. Not that he'd ever spent much time there. But now he was no longer Lucius Malfoy. He was Luke Balfour, Dr. Balfour. Lecturer in Art and Architecture at St. Bartholomew's University in the Home Counties. And he was very good. Surprisingly good in fact.
When he looked up again from his book on Cathedral Architecture the lunch time crowd had thinned out a little. A few students were sat at the table behind his, comparing notes and discussing their classes and whether a girl called Amanda had actually got off with someone called Martin or not. And the relevant merits of the aforementioned Martin. A man he recognised as one of the professors in the English department was busily marking essays and surreptitiously adding whisky to his coffee when he thought no one was looking. And then in the corner a man Lucius had never seen in the bookstore before.
The man was sat quietly, his head bowed over a book, plain wire rimmed glasses perched on his nose. When he stood up he would be tall, and he looked broad and well built, his hair was light brown and although it was cut short, flopped forward across his face. He was drinking a large cup of something frothy and there was a half eaten piece of sticky chocolate cake on the table as well. Lucius thought there was something very familiar about the man. Something about his aura that made what was left of his hair stand on end.
The man stood, Lucius watched from behind his book. Yes he was tall, and as he pulled his leather jacket on over his black sweater there was the distinct outline of large arm muscles and a bit of a belly. He switched his reading glasses to a pair of the same but with tinted lenses and packed the book on Organic chemistry he had been reading into a leather messenger bag. It was the walk that gave him away. That upright, shoulders back stride, that made no noise. He paused at the counter to pay his bill and smiled at the girl on the till.
"See you next week Alex." He smiled again and said something in a low voice barely more than a whisper, before exiting into the cold world outside. Lucius was convinced it was him. But that was impossible. Without thinking he stood and followed, the icy blast of winter hitting him as soon as he opened the door. He looked into the crowd outside. But Severus Snape had disappeared, like the ghost he should have been.
"Are you all right Luke?" Sophie, his waitress, looked concerned.
"Yes. Sorry. That man who just left?"
"Alex? I'm surprised you've not seen him in here before. He's one of the Chemistry research fellows. He's quite a dish isn't he?" Lucius realised he must be being terribly obvious.
"He reminds me of someone I used to know. Someone I haven't seen for a very long time. A whole lifetime ago in fact."
"Well Alex has been here for a couple of years I think. He was very ill before he came here, something to do with his throat, might have been some type of throat cancer? He's got a really horrible scar." Yes he would have. If it was him "He's usually in on Wednesdays. That's when we get the new cake delivered."
Lucius smiled. The thought of Severus Snape making a special trip to get cake was just ridiculous. Severus didn't even like cake. But Lucius made a mental note to make sure he was around next Wednesday.