Author's Note: This was written for Rose of the West as a response to a challenge in the Teachers' Lounge. Please enjoy.
An Evening, A Morning, A Beverage.
The sun broke in through the curtains on a perfect, lazy, early-Autumn Saturday morning. Hermione Granger, tousle-headed and smiling, woke up and stretched. The aching in her hamstrings reminded her precisely why the bed she woke up in - luxuriously appointed as it may have been - was unfamiliar. She smiled more broadly and wickedly as she traced her finger along the indentation next to her - what a night.
It had all been such a whirlwind. Seated next to each other at an off-site conference on the logistics of Merpeople enfranchisement, she and Lars hit it off immediately, each one cracking wise at the presenter's expense using escalatingly erudite references, then talking for hours over lunch about literature and theater and art, and whether Harold Bloom was really the one to tell the public how to bloody read, and whether Muggle Glastonbury was an intended simulacrum of Magical Glastonbury... They talked so long they wound up completely skiving off the last half of the conference, instead taking a walk around Magical Inverness, highlighted, of course, by 45 minutes in the local bookstore. And then, somehow, he suggested take-away at his flat in Falkirk, which was well within apparition distance, and they never did quite get around to supper, but oh, what he could do with his hands...
She found her knickers and blouse from the previous day on the floor, and forgoing any other clothing (as she reckoned it would only be a hindrance in another half-hour's time), she began to walk around Lars's bedroom. There was Derrida lying dog-eared on his nightstand underneath a pair of reading glasses, an annotated Complete Chaucer and Complete Shakespeare highlighted his bookshelf, the spines of which suggesting they'd been thoroughly poured through, and even in the loo he had three issues of the Economist, along with the two most recent editions of the Cambridge Literature Review. Lips slightly parted, she shuddered, and absentmindedly ran a lazy finger down the side of her neck. Here, at last, was a true intellectual equal in the Wizarding world.
Hermione heard the tell-tale sound of a metal whisk against a mixing bowl coming from outside the door, along with the smell of butter melting on a stovetop. Pancakes. He was actually making her breakfast; something she thought only happened in those loathsome romantic comedies. In the movies it was beyond cliché, but to actually be presented with pancakes after (and hopefully before) sex? A girl could get used to this.
She sauntered out of the bedroom, past the beautifully stylish wood and leather sitting room ensemble that she'd failed to notice the night before, and into the kitchen, where Lars, all 6 foot 2 inches of hand-sculpted marble, was cooking pancakes in a pair of black silk shorts and nothing else. She walked up behind him, put her arms around his torso and kissed the back of his shoulder blade.
"Mmm, looks delicious," she said. "But you didn't have to go through all of this trouble for me."
"Of course I did," Lars answered. "Now, sit down and let me serve you."
Hermione did as she was told, and a stack of three pancakes was placed in front of her, along with clotted cream from Devonshire and maple syrup imported from Vermont. They were heavenly, as was the tea he poured, and Hermione made little humming noises as she ate.
Lars, for his part, put a stack of pancakes in front of his seat, but then also found a large glass in the cupboard, and a blender carafe in the refrigerator. A white, thick milk-shake-like beverage was poured into the glass, and Hermione looked at it quizzically.
"Is that a protein shake, then, for your workout?" she asked.
"Oh, goodness no," Lars replied. "I don't work out. But yes, it's a protein shake. I find I can simply not get enough calories into my body - it's like I'm always hungry if I don't have two or three of these a day."
Suddenly, the feather-light pancakes began to taste like wallpaper paste, and the tea like turpentine. She washed the taste out of her mouth with a glass of orange juice, and then looked at the stylishly modernist clock Lars had hung over the breakfast nook.
"My goodness," she said. "Is it 10:30 already? Wow, this has been lovely, but I have this thing, you see, back in London. Really must run. You'll call me, though, right?"
Dashing to the bedroom to grab her remaining clothes off of the floor and apparate into her own flat, she sighed. "Another one! Why, lord? Why?"