AN: Elinor, Marianne and Margaret are the Misses Dashwood from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Elinor is sensible, practical and good at hiding her emotions; Marianne is wild, romantic and wears her heart on her sleeve; and Margaret, at twelve, is planning expeditions and trying to learn fencing. Their neighbour Colonel Brandon is, at first, shunned and dubbed infirm by Marianne because of his age – he is eighteen years older than she – and his habit of wearing flannel waistcoats when the weather calls for it.
I do hope your joints are better now. Have fun with your books. I envy you your free time, as our project is nearly finished, and I have virtually no spare moments.
Draco would like to meet you; he is a bit obsessed with learning everything about Headmaster Snape.
I have attached an article I found while doing some research plus my comments, which you might find interesting.
Severus felt guilty. He had missed Draco a lot during the last fourteen years, and Lucius had hinted that his son could have used another father-figure during his twenties when their relationship had been severely strained.
Re: Subject: Age
I was joking. Do not picture me in a flannel waistcoat. In reality, I am as dashing as they come. Taking the different climate into account, I gather that English joints in their early thirties are as good as Slovenian joints in their fifties.
The author you quoted is a complete moron, in my not so humble opinion, but as I am sure you will not agree with my arguments without some proofs, I’ll send you a research paper from a Master in Armenia that will bring you around to my line of reasoning.
Subject: New Potions-line
If you‘re still interested (I know you are!), Draco Malfoy will be visiting his parents in Miramare. His decision was a bit sudden and very inconvenient, as we are nearly finished with our project. I tried to provide him with your name and address, but he was gone before I was able to do so. I do not doubt that you will find him if you wish.
Flannel waistcoats? I am aware that you have read widely, but this reference is unexpected! If you did it on purpose, I will have to change my perception of you yet again. And warn you that I am more of a mixture between Elinor and Margaret and as different from Marianne’s mindset as possible. If you really mean what I think you did, this is the point where I should enquire about your lost loves and possible secret engagements.
On another note, you (and Master Dshendorkian) make a very plausible argument; I bow my head humbly. Yet, I have another bone to throw: Nadja brought along a thesis of one of her Potions buddies that might revolutionise how one has to look at Marmeladinger’s Paradoxon.
The attached detailed discussion of a highly controversial topic in modern potions brewing left Severus surprised about Hermione being able to grasp all its intricacies.
He gladly wrote back an answer, consisting of roughly four pages, mainly to distract her from flannel waistcoats and possible engagements, but also to avoid fretting about the inevitable confrontation with Draco.
The Malfoys had not told their son the reason for their urgent summons, and Lucius planned to Apparate him to Severus’ cottage upon his arrival in Miramare.
The following morning Severus decided to forego coffee for herbal tea during his wait for Draco, turning over arguments in his head, though he knew fully well that they held no sway for an abandoned child.
To distract himself, Severus tried to find out more about flannel waistcoats. By simply googling “Elinor, Marianne, Margaret” and “flannel waistcoats”, he soon discovered that the wearer of said garments was considered one of the great romantic heroes in English literature. He had a vague recollection of Heathcliff and Mr Darcy, but Colonel Brandon had so far eluded him. Severus also watched a YouTube clip of a BBC version of Sense and Sensibility in which Colonel Brandon looked like a fairer-haired and slightly heavier version of himself.
Well, the ball was in his court, it seemed. What should he do about it? He had already acknowledged that he enjoyed exchanging letters with Hermione very much. She had been his pupil nearly fifteen years ago, but that would not be a problem after such a long time, should their relationship become more substantial.
The main obstacle was his deception about his true identity. While she would undoubtedly understand his initial need for subterfuge, she would not look kindly on his courting her as Zelko Princip, even per email.
Yet, he was not prepared to travel to England and meet her. Severus felt that his revelations would be easier if made in person and, therefore, was at an impasse. He decided to act manly and ignore the problem for the moment.
He had to smirk despite himself when an almost elegant pop heralded the arrival of father and son Malfoy. Lucius had to do everything in style.