Disclaimer: The characters here and the world they inhabit are the creation and property of JK Rowling and her assigns.
Septima couldn't stop looking at him. She had never before thought Severus Snape was good looking, quite the opposite, actually. Yet tonight, as she watched him describe his work and its difficulties, he seemed alive and alight in a way she would not have expected.
He was an artist, a Newton, a Monet, a Picasso... a Descartes. She blushed at that thought. Until now in her life, any romantic bone in her body had yearned after an ideal presented by the French mathematician René Descartes. She stared at the man in front of her and realized that her ideal existed in the flesh. He even looked similar.
“So do you think we could start with these elements?” His intent stare turned curious as he looked at her.
She started and blushed. “I'm sorry. I was thinking about something that Leon Oiler said. Would you mind repeating what you were telling me?”
He started again, describing the particular materials he was working with. She now became amazed with his mind. His grasp of the topic was amazing. Truly he was worthy of his mentor. Only Flammel could possibly delve within that mind and refine the brilliance of it. Only Flammel could have found a way to challenge the magnificence that was Severus Snape.
“I hope I can offer any useful help to it.”
“What do you think about those elements?”
“Let me think for a second.” She closed her eyes and imagined the question at hand. She pictured the elements he wanted to start with, but they sat, lifeless, at the edges of her mind. Two others came to the middle of her mind and began to dance. After a moment the other three joined in and she suddenly felt like dancing herself.
She opened her eyes and smiled. Then she turned her place mat over and pulled a pencil out of her pocket. “It's your project of course, but I think you might start here.” Under her hands, diagrams of the elements and equations started to appear. She added the arithmantic terms, and they began to dance and move. She took out her wand and nudged the place mat until they suddenly settled into place.
Septima put both pencil and wand back into her pocket and stared at it for a minute. “Well, it's a start.” He got up and came around the table to sit beside her. Barely breathing, she glanced at his face from time to time, feeling as uncertain as she had in fourth year when Billy Lawrence had sat too close during lunch. He looked so serious, and then he frowned. What must he be thinking? She thought she might have been too presumptuous. Maybe she should backtrack.
“It's just an off-the-cuff impression, of course, and after looking at it, it may be that your idea was better...”
Suddenly he shook his head. “No, this is just right to start with, just as you say.” Now he was nodding. “It's a good way to start. In fact, I think with very little work, we might be able to send this in to the correspondence section of a publication right now.”
She shook her head. “It's not that much.”
“It's good work.”
“You started to speak, and I saw all of this in my head.”
“We should work together a great deal, I think.”
She blushed and put her spoon in her coffee. It had almost reached her lips that he could say anything to her and she knew she would see beautiful things in her head, but that didn't seem quite appropriate. She didn't understand why she felt this way about someone she hardly knew, but his presence came upon her in waves, just as his work had caused the numbers to dance in her mind.
Suddenly he put his hand over hers, causing the spoon to stop. “You didn't add anything to your coffee, Septima. You don't need to stir it.”
She giggled foolishly. “Nervous habit, I suppose. It's exciting to think of all we might discover together, isn't it?”
He smiled. “I had my doubts, but I think our work together will be brilliant.” He returned to his side of the table and flagged the waiter.
“I'm sorry, René,” she said to herself as she admired the flow of his fingers.
A/N: Thank you to hexgirl for a bit of brit-picking on the previous chapter, and to Trickie Woo for beta reading!