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Draco likes watching Severus cook. At first it seemed wrong, because cooking is meant to go unwatched, food is meant to be akin to magic: sudden and delicious. But watching Severus--who didn't grow up with house elves, and who believes that process is every bit as important as result--Draco begins to understand why the parts that make up magic might be as, well, magical as the whole itself.

His favorite times are when Severus will bring fresh herbs home: basil and dill and mint, and slice into them with the same deliberation that he has for everything. Everything. The green, leafy ingredients will release smells that Draco will later recognize when Severus cups a hand to his face, in the aftermath of dinner.


His second favorite thing about watching Severus is the impeccable nature of Severus' timing, the way each fire burns to just the right heat, each liquid simmers to just the right level. Severus is precise, knowing, aware. He flows from pot to pot with an instinct for which one needs his attention most urgently. Occasionally, he will look over at Draco and say, "Twenty minutes," but not in a tone that suggests Draco go off and do something else. No, Severus likes to put on a show.

In a tone that suggests the waiting will be worth it.

(Draco already knows this. He doesn't mind that Severus still thinks he needs reminding. Severus shouldn't get to know everything, no matter how sexy that would be.)

Twenty minutes is never as long as Draco knows it must actually be.

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Skin by egelantier, photo by microbophile