Between the pulse-pounding music and the spotlights weaving over the dance floor, Snape was sure he would come away from this disco with a pounding headache. He looked to Hermione, but she was still deep in conversation with the elderly witch they had come here to meet.
The blowsy blonde, introduced as Carrie, reached over the table and delicately touched Snape’s cravat. “Dolce and Gabbana, right? Wasn't 2003 a seminal year for menswear, Severus?”
Her gaze was direct, her smile alluring, yet her two inebriated friends, Charlotte and Miranda, were sharing a private smirk. It was not to be borne.
Hermione and the witch did not look up as Snape coldly made his excuses and left the table. He would not be made the butt of a fashion joke on top of everything else.
He stepped into the crowded alleyway for a cigarette. Carrie joined him as he was reaching for his lighter, and he reluctantly lit one for her as well.
“I’m sorry,” she declared. “I’m not myself tonight. My boyfriend dumped me on a Post-it Note.”
“What’s a Post-it Note?” asked Snape.
“Exactly! Thank you!” Carrie gesticulated wildly. How many of those little cranberry drinks had she consumed?
Eventually, Miranda and Charlotte came looking for her, but not before Snape had endured an earful of woes concerning the sex games that were constantly played among New York’s glitterati.
He gently disentangled himself from Carrie’s arms and draped them around her friends’ shoulders. “Please take good care of her. She’s quite drunk. I think I understand why her intended broke off their engagement in writing,” he added sourly. “It’s because one cannot get a word in edgewise.”
Miranda glared. “You’ve got a lot to learn about women, Mister,” she snapped.
“And you, Madam, will soon learn first-hand about Obliviates.”
As I watched memory fade from the eyes of the three companions, I thought about the opposite sex. In school, I was a decent student, accomplished at Potions, among other things. But when it came to girls, I never had a clue.
If there was a class in sexual politics, no one told me.
And Granger had been traveling with me, hunting wand cores for months now. But I hadn’t the first idea if she wanted our acquaintance to become something ... special.
And I wondered: How are we to build relationships if we don’t know where the bricks are kept?
Hermione found Snape. “Those girls--did you remember ...?” She waggled her fingers.
“Good.” She held up a parchment. “We’re set. Samantha finally gave me the address of her wampus distributor. Don’t know why she acted so cagey about it; she gets a percentage.” She looked at him closely. “Alright, Severus?”
He feigned nonchalance. “That redheaded prostitute said I have a lot to learn about women.”
“Well,” said Hermione, a little shyly, “if you want, I could always be your professor... What’s that look? Did I say something funny?”
“No,” he replied seriously. “I’d be delighted to enroll in class.”