the pearl

Tea And Scones

Shortly after Voldemort was defeated and the Death Eaters were captured and all was perfect and shining in wizarding Britain, Hermione Granger decided that the next big goal in her life would be to become fat.

Not massively nastily fat like Harry's cousin, who she saw once when she went with Ron to rescue Harry from his relatives, and who had leered at her even as he was hiding from everyone else, nor even cheerfully rotund like Professor Sprout, all comfort and softness for a homesick first-year to rest on.

No, Hermione, in-between re-visiting her NEWT answers, comforting Harry over the constant nightmares in which Voldemort lived, and preparing for all possible employment outcomes, from Hogwarts Express snack cart lady to lead researcher in the esteemed Ministry of Magic Alchemy Division, had very specifically decided to become plump. Curvy. Tender. Hips and cleavage and an arse that had a bit of weight to it.



Maybe even Reubenesque.

So, really, with that plan in mind, it should have been no surprise that, while everyone was attempting to recuperate in the empty rooms of 12 Grimmauld Place, Hermione could often be found in the kitchen, peering at Mrs. Weasley's much-stained and abused cookbook, several spoons spinning simultaneously in several pots.

It didn't surprise most people. But it did surprise one.


So it happened that one balmy spring evening, Hermione was buried up to her elbows in raw dough, her hair piled haphazardly on her head with a number of small tendrils trailing down her neck and a smudge of flour along her left cheek. It was just then that Professor Severus Snape, formerly Death Eater, formerly Order of the Phoenix spy, and now simply Potions Master, walked into the kitchen and, for once in the many years he had spent teaching, was surprised by something one of his students was doing.

He recovered quickly, however, and, luckily, managed to do so before Miss Granger was even aware of his presence. Because of this, he was able to startle her into jumping and spilling yet more flour by simply moving closer, and saying, in a particularly cutting tone, "Precisely what are you doing, Miss Granger?"

When she recovered, the flour sifting slowly down onto her already dishevelled hair, she looked at him for a few seconds, sighed softly, and resumed pounding the dough into some vague shape known only to her. "I'm baking," she said matter-of-factly, as if he had asked her if fire was hot or if she was a girl or if Dumbledore liked to wear Christmas-themed socks in the middle of July.

He paused, just long enough to emphasise that he did not automatically respond viciously, then said, his voice still as sharp as before, "I can see that. I was inquiring as to how you came to be..." He paused again, looking around at the dirty pans and spilled ingredients — the kind of mess he never saw in her potions work. "Baking."

She raised an eyebrow, and lifted the dough from the flour-covered table before responding. "Because," she said as she slammed it onto the table. "I have decided..." She reached for a rolling pin and began to batter the dough into shape. "To gain weight." She paused, took a deep breath, then reached for a glass, pressing it into the dough to make thick circles of dough. She smiled and gently lifted them from the table onto a sheet, stopping only to look at Snape before she moved to the oven. "Was there was a reason you came in here?" she asked, her eyes wide and innocent even as she smiled viciously.

He frowned, staring at her. "Pardon me?" he finally said.

She slid the baking sheet into the oven, whispering a few heating charms to the large wood-burning stove as she did so, and then turned back to him, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear and, in the process, getting more flour on her face. "I was asking what you were doing in here? Was there something you wanted?"

He continued to stare at her, his eyes unwavering. "Gain weight?"

She frowned slightly. "Yes," she said, distractedly, as she moved back to the table, mashing together the scraps of dough. "Did you want some tea, or dinner, or something? Because I'm going to be using the stove for most of the evening, but I think Mrs. Weasley left something in the pantry for latecomers, and the kettle's been on a simmering charm since Monday..."

He continued to stand there, folding his arms together as he stared at her. "Gain weight," he repeated.

She stopped folding the dough and looked up at him. "I believe I said that, didn't I?"

He looked at her — really looking at her for once, far more closely than he ever bothered with any of his other students — and raised a single eyebrow. "I thought it was the priority of teenage girls to obsess over losing weight," he muttered. "What, pray tell," he said slightly louder. "Makes you so different?"

She cocked her head slightly, studying him, then nodded. "Of course. I can see how it would be quite confusing..." She trailed off as she set the last of the dough circles onto another baking sheet. "Being from a wizarding background and all..." She trailed off again, putting the baking sheet into the oven, checking on the sheet already in there as she chanted the necessary charms. "You never really had to think about calories, expended energy, and the traditional food of the wizarding community." She straightened, rubbed her back for a few seconds, then gestured towards the kettle, which was steaming merrily on the sideboard. "Tea?"


The tea was poured, steam rising up from the thin bone china cups with the Black family crest painted over, as Granger and Snape sat there, occasionally glancing at each other, then looking away.

Finally, after a few sips, Snape looked towards the oven. "What exactly are you baking?"

She looked up at him with surprise. "Scones. With sultanas." She paused to take a sip of tea. "There's strawberry jam and clotted cream in the coldroom as well."

He tilted his head slightly. "And am I to believe that you made those as well?"

Hermione blushed slightly, looking downwards. "No," she said softly. "I'm not that good."

He raised his eyebrows. "The Mighty Hermione Granger admits to being imperfect. I am astounded."

She coloured deeper, her cheeks pink with embarrassment. "And if you did that," she muttered. "It'd be a miracle."

"5 points from Gryffindor," he said, offhandedly, as if discussing the weather or the tea. "Do try to remember that you are still a student."

She looked up at him, a flash of anger in her eyes. "For three more days, Professor. And being that we're not in Hogwarts, do you think you could possibly be a tad more polite to someone you're sharing a kitchen with?"

Snape's eyebrows rose again, and he studied the girl in front of him for a few seconds, sipping his tea as he thought, then, slowly, put the cup down, looked at her again, and said, in all seriousness, "No."

She just stared at him, her mouth open in surprise.

He reached for the teapot again and refilled his cup, swirling the tea in his cup in a counter clockwise motion, then swirling it clockwise with ease. "You said you wished to gain weight. Being that it is the common desire of teenage girls to lose weight, I was curious as to why you have decided otherwise."

She fiddled with a few sultanas left on the table. "Did you ever notice how many students from wizarding homes would come back in September heavier than they were when they left?"

"The adolescent body changes rather rapidly."

She nodded. "Yes, but they often then lost weight over the year."

"The change in diet —"

"No," she interrupted. "It's not that. If that was the case, then the students from Muggle homes would gain weight, being that the typical Muggle meal is much less than the typical Hogwarts meal — and both students from wizard backgrounds and Muggle backgrounds lose weight over the term." She paused. "It's only when they're at home, not practicing magic, that any student gains weight."

He paused, looking at her. "Interesting," he said, in an intensely bored tone.

She gave him a quick glare, then continued. "It explains quite a bit, actually. Like how Professor Lupin is always on the verge of starvation no matter how much he eats, why Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall are as slim as they are and why Professor Sprout isn't, and why Harry can eat enough for four and yet be nearly skin and bones while Neville eats even less than Lavender and is still comfortably soft —"

"Miss Granger, as delightful as it is to hear of the various body types of your fellow Gryffindors...I fail to see how baking scones while reciting heating charms will cause you to gain weight." He paused. "Unless, of course, this is just a precursor to you spending the rest of your life doing nothing but baking and adding to the Weasley brood." He took a sip of his tea. "After your work at Hogwarts, it would be a disgrace," he added, in an extremely nonchalant tone.

Hermione bristled. "Being a housewife is nothing to be ashamed of," she retorted.

He raised an eyebrow and set down his tea cup. "So you are planning on being Mrs. Ronald Weasley?"

She stared at him for a few seconds, then snorted and turned away. "No." She quickly looked around, checking for any redheaded family member to suddenly appear, then relaxed back into her chair. "They've all been so nice, treating Harry and I like part of the'd be like...incest. Or something..."

Snape closed his eyes. "Thank you for that image, Miss Granger. I am certain to carry it to my deathbed."

She straightened again and glared at him. "You asked, Professor," she snapped. She looked down at her hands, sitting in silence for a few seconds, then spoke again. "Besides," she said softly. "Ron's type, really. None of the boys are." She blushed slightly, and began to fuss with an errant tea towel on the table.

Snape raised an eyebrow and suddenly felt the need to take a large gulp of his tea.

After a few more seconds, she looked back up at him. "Back to the idea of weight and magic," she said, still nervous and faintly blushing. "I discovered, especially in the past year, that no matter what I was eating, I was still losing weight." She paused, trying to sort out the words. "And now that Voldemort's dead and the Death Eaters," she surreptitiously glanced at his arm, "are gone...I've reached a point where I don't have to perform all those heavy magics." She paused, and smiled. "I can gain weight. And why shouldn't I?" Her eyes grew wide and she leaned forward slightly. "Why shouldn't I, finally, get to do whatever I want?"

He frowned. "How absurd," he finally said, in a tone that was verging on perhaps wondrous, perhaps amazed, perhaps, even, possibly delighted.

She nodded distractedly. "I mean, just because — " She was interrupted by Snape forcibly grabbing her and pressing his lips against hers.

As kisses went, it wasn't a particularly bad one — no excess drool, no bad breath, and he wasn't too forceful, allowing her to open her mouth slowly, then tenderly, gently, even perhaps shyly, stroking his tongue against hers.

She let the kiss continue for a few seconds, then, with just a touch of regret, pulled away. "Oh," she said, her voice low.

"Oh?" he replied, his face completely still and devoid of emotion — except for the faint lines of tension along his eyes, torn between rejection and adoration and desperately fearing both.

She looked up at him, smiling resignedly. "I'm sorry, Severus..." She coloured slightly at using his first name. "But you're too..." she trailed off, biting her lip nervously.

There was the briefest moment of pain in his eyes before they hardened over, glaring at the girl in front of him. "Too what, Miss Granger?" he snarled. "Too greasy? Too ugly? Too old? Too cruel? What is it about me that makes you pull away in disgust?"

Her mouth hung open in surprise for a few seconds, before she closed it tightly, her eyes narrowing. "I was going to say 'too male'," she finished, glaring back at him.

He blinked.

She glared.

"Oh," he said, finally.

She nodded. "Precisely," she replied, her voice as acerbic as his had been.

He straightened, his shoulders pushing back, and began to rise from the table. "I...apologise, Miss Granger," he said, his voice unused to the words.

She waved a wooden spoon at him. "Sit," she said, pointing at the chair he just rose from. "They're almost done." She paused, looking at him. "It's a shame," she said, her voice soft. "If this had happened a couple of years ago, you would've had to use every known repelling charm just to keep my hands off of you."

He looked at her, not wanting to speak, but unable to prevent himself. "But now...?"

She smiled, a bit sadly, and gestured to the chair again. "Now...well..." She shrugged. "There are scones."

He stared at her, shook his head slightly in disbelief, then sat back down.

This Harry Potter story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at