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Where There's a Chill, There's a Way

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O~O~O

Draco hadn’t been in the shower long before chaos descended on the bathroom in the form of his anxiety-ridden fiancée.

“Draco, do you know where my grandmother’s silver tea service is? I can’t find it anywhere. We’ve got to have it for tea tonight, or this Christmas Eve dinner will be ruined!” Hermione’s shrill voice cut through the air like Gryffindor’s sword slicing off Nagini’s head. Draco winced at the memory and rinsed the vanilla-scented shampoo from his hair.

In what he hoped was a calm, soothing voice he said, “Isn’t it where you put it originally, sweetness? On the top shelf of the china cabinet in the dining room?”

“I didn’t… oh, wait. Maybe it is.” He heard the door slam shut as Hermione scurried away. A moment later he heard a faint, “Found it!” over the sound of the water. He smiled. There. Crisis averted.

He’d just applied conditioner when Hermione burst into the bathroom again. He scowled. Honestly, couldn’t a fellow deep-condition his hair in peace?

Apparently not, because Hermione was babbling. “Now I can’t find the Christmas table linens! Our parents are going to be here in less than two hours and nothing is ready! I know we had them earlier in the week, where could they be? What did you do with them, Malfoy?”

“I didn’t do anything with them!” Draco exclaimed indignantly. Salazar’s goatee, it was bad enough that she was running around in such a panic. Did he really have to put up with these false accusations, to boot?

Draco pulled aside the shower curtain enough to grab his wand from where it was lying on the vanity counter.

Accio Christmas tablecloth and napkins!” he called out with a flick of his wrist, and he couldn’t help smirking as two seconds later the aforementioned table linens whizzed through the doorway and smacked Hermione in the back of the head. The linens then fell to the floor in a heap. Draco tossed his wand back onto the counter and lifted one arrogant eyebrow at his sheepish fiancée.

“That’s how it’s done, Granger,” he drawled. “Magic. No need for all this running around in a frenzy.” Draco yanked the shower curtain closed, after first admiring Hermione’s bum in her too-small yoga pants as she bent over to pick up the tablecloth.

He heard her mutter what he chose to interpret as a “thank you” before the door shut once more. Ah, blissful quiet again. His conditioner needed to stay in his hair for at least ten minutes for maximum lustre. He’d already scrubbed his body clean. What could he do while he waited? Oh yeah, he could do that.

He’d just taken himself in hand, as it were, and was enjoying the hot water and the sensation of rubbing creamy conditioner over his semi-stiffie when the door burst open a third time.

“What is it now?” he bellowed, cutting off Hermione’s rant before it could start. He poked his head around the curtain and glared at her, one hand still fondling his tumescence. He’d been enjoying himself and he was damned if he was going to let a good hard-on go to waste. “What’s got your knickers in a knot?”

Momentarily startled out of her panic by his outburst, she glared back at him, hands on her hips, looking undeniably tasty. He loved watching her when she was riled up. Over the tight yoga pants she was wearing one of his old t-shirts, which Draco found extremely appealing. He also suspected, from watching her bend over earlier, that she wasn’t actually wearing knickers. Her feet were bare and her hair resembled a lion’s mane. Rowr. What a sexy, feisty, infuriating fiancée he had. Hmm. Some deep conditioning would do her good.

“Why are you so calm, Draco?” his lioness almost yelled, waving one hand in the air. “Our parents are coming to our flat for Christmas Eve dinner in just a couple of hours. They’ve never met before! We’ve never had any of them to dinner before! Merlin’s beard, how can you be relaxed?” Her eyes snapped with barely-contained panic and anger.

“Years of practice schooling my emotions,” he said, still stroking himself slowly, behind the curtain. “You worry too much, Granger. You need to take a Chill Pill.”

To his surprise, Hermione began to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” he asked.

“Where did you learn a Muggle expression like that?”

“Really? It’s a Muggle expression? What’s it mean?” he asked, genuinely curious.

Hermione gave him a confused look. “Um, Muggles say ‘take a chill pill’ to someone when that person needs to calm down. That’s what you meant for me to do, isn’t it?”

“Well, yes, but I didn’t know it was an expression, though.” Draco pointed with his pointy chin at the medicine cabinet. “I’m talking about real Chill Pills, Granger.”

He watched as Hermione opened the cabinet. “Middle shelf, on the right. Small blue pouch.” She pulled out the little bag and opened it. Inside were some small, paper-wrapped cubes.

“What is this?” she asked, taking one out and sniffing it. “It feels… cool.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “I just told you. It’s a Chill Pill. Read the bag.”

Hermione squinted at the tiny print and read aloud, “Nerves wracked? Temper flaring? Take one of Grandma Jill’s Chill Pills and relax! Chew one cube every 4 hours for maximum mellow mood. I’ve never heard of these before. Where did you get them? Do they really work?” she asked, looking over at him.

In truth, Draco had never used them. He’d purchased them when he’d decided to propose to Hermione, in case he lost his nerve, but he was proud to say he hadn’t needed them. He didn’t want to tell her where he’d bought them. She’d never take one if he did. He decided to give a vague answer to the last question. “Would I buy a faulty product?”

She dropped the bag back onto the counter and sighed. “Draco, I don’t have time for this—“

“Hermione! Is the roast roasting? Are the vegetables cooking?”

“Well, yes.”

“Is the table set?”

“Yes.”

"By magic?”

“Yes…”

“Is the flat decorated to the nines for Christmas by your pleasingly tasteful eye?”

Hermione blushed. “Yes.”

“That’s dinner and décor sorted then. Now, are you dressed for the evening?”

“No!” Having shown signs of calm, Hermione began to panic anew. Her eyes grew wide and her breathing sped up. “Oh God, Draco, hurry up and finish! I still need to shower and do my hair and get dressed and…”

“Actually, I’m conditioning my hair at the moment, so instead why don’t you—”

“Now?! Oh Merlin, we’ll never be ready—“

“Love of my life, listen to me! Take a damned Chill Pill and get in the shower with me!”

“Oh,” Hermione said, eyeing her husband-to-be.

Draco smoothed his still-conditioning hair into a mohawk and wiggled his eyebrows at her. “Oh, indeed. I’ll make it worth your while, baby.” He drew the curtain aside just enough to show her that he was quite pleased to see her.

Hermione shook her head, but she was smiling. She looked at the little clock on the counter, looked again at Draco, licked her lips, and then unwrapped the Chill Pill and popped it into her mouth, chewing it quickly.

“Mm. Minty fresh,” she said. Another moment later, she let out a contented sigh. “Oh, I do feel better! Much calmer.” She gave Draco a naughty smile. “I do believe I’ll join you, love.” She stripped off her t-shirt and yoga pants.

Just as he'd suspected, she was knickerless. And braless. As she climbed into the tub and knelt in front of him, Draco’s semi-erection roared to full attention. Rowr, indeed!

O~O~O

Fred and George were at the Burrow with the rest of the Weasley clan, preparing for some pleasant Christmas Eve family time. They were in the middle of their second glasses of Firewhisky when Hermione's face appeared in the fire grate.

"Fred! George! What the bloody hell did you put in these stupid Chill Pills?" she shrieked.

The twins exchanged glances. Fred put down his glass and knelt in front of the fireplace.

"Hi, Hermione! What's up?" he asked, hiccupping slightly.

"You made these Chill Pills. You can't deny it. It says so right on the bag in teeny script." Hermione was shaking something in her hand, but the green flames didn't let Fred see what it was.

"Maybe," he hedged. "We've made something called Chill Pills.”

George joined him on the hearth. "Depending on what's happened," he said, "It may not be our product you're talking about."

Hermione reached through the flames and grabbed them by their collars. "Get over here right now, you ginger humbugs! You've frozen my fiancé!"

So saying, she pulled, and Fred and George were whisked into the green flames.

They landed in a sooty heap in the middle of Hermione's hearth rug. They untangled from each other, coughing and sneezing, and then proceeded to smack each other silly while brushing the soot off of their red and green matching robes.

"Honey, we're home!" called George, grinning, and he turned around looking for Hermione.

He came face to face with a livid, wet-haired, half-naked Hermione Granger. She was barely wearing a fuzzy red bathrobe and was glaring at him fiercely. Not an easily ruffled person, George nevertheless recoiled. He patted his robe pocket, assuring himself that his wand was there.

Fred stood behind his brother. "What, seems to be the problem, Hermione?" he asked brightly.

"Follow. Me." She hissed between her teeth and marched down the flat's hallway to the master bedroom. Fred and George followed, looking around with interest.

“Nice decorations, Hermione,” said George. “Very festive.”

Hermione grunted.

"You have a lot of books," Fred noted.

"Like to read, do you?" George asked. Hermione shot him a dark look and turned the knob to her bedroom door, shoving the two of them inside.

It was quite dark, with only the early evening moonlight shining in the window. They could just make out the shape of a large canopy bed, two dressers, and more bookcases. They could also just make out a strange shape standing in the middle of the room, but had no idea what it was.

"Stand near the bed, you two," Hermione said, poking them with her wand.

"Oooh, Hermione, is this our Christmas gift?" asked Fred, eagerly rubbing his hands together.

"We don't mind threesomes, but is Draco okay with this?" George asked. "Ow!" he added, stumbling forward. Hermione’s wand had jabbed him right in the kidney.

"No, it bloody well isn't your Christmas gift!" Hermione exclaimed. "If you two don’t get serious, some heads are going to roll."

"All right, all right," said George. "But if you’d tell us what's wrong, that would help us help you."

"I will. But before I turn on the lights, you have to promise me one thing," she said.

"What is it?" Fred and George asked together.

"Don't laugh," she warned.

"Are you kidding?" George asked.

"We could never promise that," said Fred.

"Well, just… just don't tell anyone what you are about to see!" Hermione's voice had taken on a note of hysteria.

"We can do that."

"Yes. We promise not to say a word."

"Good." Hermione cast a spell to light the room's lamps. George and Fred blinked in the sudden brightness, saw what was standing in the middle of the room, and started to guffaw. Loudly.

They hugged each other in their mirth, trying not to fall over.

"Stop it!" Hermione snarled.

But they couldn't help themselves, for there stood Draco Malfoy, stiff as a tree in more ways than one. He was naked, for starters, but as he was a fit bloke in the prime of his 20-something years, he wasn’t bad to look at. He was so pale he looked rather like a marble statue of ancient Greece.

His pose was strange. His face was frozen in an expression of great bliss, as if he'd been doing something enjoyable. His hair was sort of shaped into a mohawk, but it had started to sag and it was frozen into sharp spikes that stuck out haphazardly in all directions. He was holding his hands out and down in front of him and looked as though he could hold a Quaffle between them. They were empty right now, however.

He also had an enormous, purplish erection, which was standing proudly to attention and pointing directly at the invisible Quaffle.

And, he was covered in icicles. Icicles hung from his outstretched arms and hands. Ice hung from his chin, his ears, and his hair. Long ones hung from his elbows and his feet looked like they were wearing ice slippers. The overall effect made him look like a horny Jack Frost from an old book of fairy tales.

To complete this mesmerizing image, there was a loofah sponge stuck to the back of one shoulder and there was a tattoo of a fuzzy teddy bear on his right buttock. It was wearing a little red vest and a matching fez. The name Barry was written beneath it in flowery script.

Fred, gasping for breath, pointed incredulously. "Oh my God, what is that? Is that a teddy bear tattoo? What's he got that for?" he asked, laughing.

Hermione, standing there with her arms folded, scowled. "Never you mind that," she said. She threw a small blue bag at him and hit him squarely in the chest. "These creations of yours turned him into a snowman!" she shouted.

Fred looked at the bag and showed it to George. George took it from him and opened it, removed one of the Chill Pills, and sniffed it. He unwrapped it. He licked it. Then he wrapped it back up carefully and put it back into the bag. He shook the bag hard and then smiled at Hermione.

"Yep. These are our Chill Pills, all right. No question," he said.

"Did you try them?" Fred asked. Hermione scoffed.

"Draco suggested I take one. I was… freaking out about our Christmas Eve dinner tonight—"

"Yes, dinner smells brilliant by the way," George interrupted.

Ignoring him, Hermione continued. "Because our parents are coming here and meeting for the first time in—" Looking at the clock on the bedside table, she began to wring her hands. "Oh no, only forty-five minutes! Draco was taking a shower and he was… um… tired of me interrupting him with my panicky questions so he told me to 'take a Chill Pill'. I did – damn it, this is his fault!" She gave her ice man a smack on the shoulder.

"So, wait. You took a Chill Pill – but you didn't calm down? You’re certainly not calm right now," George said.

"I took it and it did help me feel less panicky. I felt physically cooler, too, not so heated and sweaty." She glared at the two of them. "I know your magic always works, I've told you that before. However," she went on, holding up a hand to fend off any comments. "Draco invited me to join him in the shower and I did. Things led to other things, and I… well, when I … um…" here she seemed to be searching for the right word to use and she was blushing red as a sunset. "I kissed him and suddenly he froze solid. Now look at him!” She knocked her knuckles against his chest. "He's hard as marble!"

"Yes, we can see that." Hermione followed Fred’s downward gaze and blushed even harder.

"Yes. Well, he's never had a problem in that area." She sniffed. "Never mind that. What the bloody hell were you thinking when you made those Chill Pills?"

"Look, Hermione, they aren't a prank. They are truly only meant to cool someone's temper," George said.

"Yes, or to calm someone down when they were particularly anxious or stressed," added Fred. "We thought of them when Mum was in such a tizzy over Harry and Ginny's wedding last summer."

"She was worse with Ginny than she was when Bill got married, remember?"

All three of them shuddered.

"So we thought, 'Hold on, let's come up with a product that will calm people's nerves so they don’t end up bursting a blood vessel all over the place'," George said, smugly.

"What are they made of? Ice from Jupiter’s moons?"

"Don’t be silly. Think of the shipping costs. There are just various things that would make or keep you cool. Some snowdrop flower pollen, Siberian permafrost, Yeti fur, hemp…. what else, Fred?"

"Mint leaves, for that fresh breath feeling," said Fred.

"Oh yes, mint. And a few other items, of course." George winked at Hermione. "Trade secrets."

"It all worked really well, once we'd ironed the kinks out. We got Mum to try one and she was much calmer. Each Pill lasts for about four hours," Fred added.

George said, "We solemnly swear that we never meant for people to freeze."

"Well, obviously you should have done more beta testing!" she cried. "You're lucky your mum didn't kiss your father while under its influence! How did you get her to agree to take it, anyway?"

The twins looked shifty. "We just told her it was a sort of breath mint," Fred said quietly.

"You what? You deceived your own mother?"

“Like we've never pulled one over on Mum before? Give over. Anyway, we tested it on ourselves first, like we always do. What sort of wizards do you think we are?"

Chastened, but curious in spite of her anger and worry, Hermione asked, "Well, what happened when you tested your first batch?"

"We ended up so laid back we didn't get anything done in the shop for a week. All we wanted to do was eat Muggle crisps and brownies."

"It was very odd," noted George.

"So we cut the recipe’s strength down a little and gave one to Mum. We figured if she calmed down even half that much, it would be a big improvement. And she was fine."

"Well, I took it and I felt fine, too. But when I, um, kissed Draco, I froze him solid!" A tear ran down her cheek and she grimaced. "Now what? I’ve tried every warming charm I can think of. Nothing works! How can I fix him?"

"Does he really need fixing? He can be your new statuary or something," said George.

"He's less annoying this way, you have to admit," added Fred. He walked around Draco, poking at the loofah and chortling. George peered closely at Malfoy’s mohawk. He touched it and a piece broke off in his fingers. He hurriedly Vanished the frozen lock of hair.

"Just look at him. I'd never have thought Malfoy could be quite so… so…"

"Non-stuffy?"

"Risque?"

"Fun?!" the two men chorused.

George waved a hand in front of Draco's frozen, unseeing eyes. Not surprisingly, there was no reaction.

"Do you think he can hear us?" he mused.

"I dunno. Good question. Hey, Malfoy! Cute tatt you've got here!" Fred said, spanking Draco's frozen arse. He winced in pain and shook his fingers.

"He's got a butt like granite," he noted. George laughed and the two of them looked at Hermione with identical grins on their faces. Her scowl dampened their humor, but not for long. They conferred briefly in low murmurs and then turned to face her again.

"All right, if you really don't want to be betrothed to a statue," sighed George.

"We have a product that might thaw Malfoy," Fred said.

"You do? What is it?!" Hermione asked, grabbing George's arm and shaking it.

"It's from our WonderWitch line. Let go and I'll go get some from the shop. Won't be a tic," he added. Hermione released his arm and he Disapparated with a loud CRACK.

She began to pace the length of the room, muttering under her breath the entire time. Fred watched her.

“So, Hermione,” he said, trying to ease the tension. “Want to tell me about the teddy bear on Malfoy’s arse?”

She glared, but before she could reply George reappeared in the room with another CRACK. With a flourish, he held up a small cylindrical object. Hermione snatched it from his hand.

“What is this?” she asked, frantically scanning the label. “Lusty Lucinda’s Lava Lips Lip Gloss?” She punched George in the arm. “Are you taking the piss?”

“Ow! No, really, that lip gloss should solve your problem. And you’d better stop hitting us, Hermione, or Father Christmas’ll bring you nothing but coal,” he grumbled.

Hermione looked from George to Fred. “You’re serious.”

“Yep,” he said. “Dead serious. That product heats up your lips and warms you all over, inside and out. It’s meant to make you feel extra-frisky, if you know what I mean.” He leered.

“Put it on and kiss your Draco-cicle.” George gestured at the tube. “We think its heating properties will counteract the, um, unforeseen freezing—“

“Cooling.”

“Cooling, yes, erm, side effect—“

“Feature.”

“Feature of the Chill Pills,” he finished. The twins beamed.

Hermione hesitated, but then said, “Oh, what the hell. What can it hurt to try,” almost to herself. She quickly unscrewed the cap of the gloss and applied a heavy coat to her lips. Immediately she felt them heating up and the warmth quickly spread through her body.

“Gosh. I feel all tingly,” she noted. She smacked her lips. “It’s quite cinnamon-y. I hope you are right about this.”

She stood on tiptoe, holding onto Draco’s shoulder for balance, and kissed him on the cheek. She stepped back. Nothing happened.

“Lame,” yawned George.

“Jeepers, Hermione,” Fred added. “Don’t you have more passion in you than that? That lip gloss should have you panting for it by now!”

Hermione glared at them. “Of course I’m a passionate person,” she said heatedly. “I’m just… not used to an audience.” She blushed and then fanned herself. “Wow, it’s hot.”

“Look, give him a real kiss this time. We’ll turn around if you need your privacy,” said Fred, and the two of them did an abrupt about-face.

Assuring herself that they were not peeking, Hermione angled herself differently and planted a hot, wet kiss on Draco’s lips. She licked them too, for good measure.

“Atta girl, Hermione!” cheered George. Hermione whipped around, eyes snapping angrily. The twins waved at her in the mirror, where they’d seen the entire show.

As for Draco, he remained frozen, except one of his elbow icicles fell to the floor with a dull thud, narrowly missing Hermione’s foot.

“It’s not working!” she wailed. She began to kiss Draco all over his frozen face. George and Fred looked at each other. Fred pointed at the space where Draco appeared to be trying to spear a Quaffle with Little Draco. George measured Fred’s head with his own hands and held them out. The two of them nodded and broken into huge grins.

“Um, Hermione,” George began. She grunted, but didn’t stop desperately kissing her stone-cold fiancé.

Fred said, “Hermione, we have an idea. We think you should kiss Draco exactly the same way you were kissing him when he froze.”

Hermione stilled, her lips pressed to Draco’s. Fred and George watched with great interest as the heat rose in her cheeks. A moment later she pulled away and frowned at them, but they didn’t miss her quick downward glance at Draco’s nether regions.

“Exactly the same?” she echoed.

“Exactly. The. Same,” the twins intoned.

Just then the flat’s doorbell rang.

“Oh no! My parents are here!”

Hermione ran to the kitchen, checked that her warming spells on the meal were still in place, scurried to the front door, and buzzed her parents in with a harried, “Happy Christmas, Mum and Dad, come on up, we’re on the third floor.” Then she sped back to the bedroom.

“They’re coming up the stairs. They’ll be here any moment!”

Fred said, "Don't worry! You take care of Statue Boy. We'll go run interference for you."

"You just concentrate on kissing Draco where it counts," said George with a wink.

Ignoring the withering glance that comment earned him, he ushered Fred out of the bedroom, shutting the door behind them. A moment later she heard her parents speaking, then the twins, and then lots of laughter. There was a tinkle of broken glass – but then even more laughter. They were infuriating as hell, but Hermione had to admit that Fred and George were also extremely charming.

Now to tend to the elephant in the room, as it were. Despite her already heated lips, Hermione quickly smeared on some more of Lusty Lucinda’s Lava Lips Lip Gloss, stripped off her bathrobe, and knelt before Draco. She’d had a devil of a time extricating herself from his enthusiastic grip and she wasn’t relishing having to force herself back into his icy embrace. She comforted herself with the thought that soon (Please, Merlin, let it be soon!) his hands — and body — would no longer be frozen solid.

She cast a quick Lubrication Charm on her head and managed to wedge herself back between Draco’s hands. Now she was face to face with Not-so-Little Draco once more. She could smack herself. Sure, she’d only been kissing Draco. Of all the stupid things she could have said. Of course Fred and George had figured out exactly what she’d been up to.

Wankers.

With that second application of gloss, her lips truly were burning now and she’d begun to drool a bit. It felt like she’d been licking the Yule log itself. When she looked at what was in front of her, she snorted a laugh. Yule log, indeed. Without wasting any more time, she opened her mouth, engulfed Draco’s big, purple erection, and sucked. Hard.

Nothing happened for a moment. Trying not to panic, Hermione quickly began to bob her head, taking in more of his quiescently frozen treat with each pass. She wrapped one hand around his thickness and reached up with the other hand to cup his bollocks.

Suddenly a great crackling noise filled the room, like the sound ice cubes make when warm liquid is poured over them, magnified by ten. With a great groan, Draco thawed all at once. The loofah fell to the floor, his hair fell over his eyes, and he came ferociously, shouting her name as he did so.

When his orgasm finally ebbed, Hermione released his softening member and stood up, shakily.

“That was bloody brilliant, Hermione,” Draco said, panting. “You're fantastic." He looked around, blinking in confusion. "How the hell did we end up in the middle of our bedroom?”

Hermione started to answer, but then the Floo chime went off in the living room, signaling the arrival of Draco's parents. Brow wrinkled and his hair resembling that of an anime character, Draco looked toward the closed bedroom door when he heard the sounds of greetings and merriment.

"What… who's here? Hermione, what's going on?"

She threw her arms around him, laughing with relief, and whispered in his ear, “I’ll explain later. Our parents are all here now. We need to get dressed. Just keep this in mind: you owe me.” She drew back and patted him on the cheek. “Big time.”

O~O~O

Draco and Hermione entered their living room fifteen minutes later, fully clean and dressed. It would have been even sooner had Draco not spent extra time glaring at his hair in the mirror. No matter what he tried, it kept sticking up in the back. It was too short in just one little area. How had that happened? Hermione was of no help whatsoever, merely rolling her eyes at him and urging him to hurry the hell up.

They found both sets of parents holding large glasses of wine. Hermione and Draco hugged all of the parents present and learned that introductions had already been made.

Almost weak with relief, Hermione announced that dinner was ready to be served. Fred and George said they had one last trick to show everyone before they left. The Grangers and Malfoys all watched with great interest as the Weasley twins extracted two Christmas crackers from their robes and pulled them. The crackers exploded into swirls of color and released a shower of small gifts. A stream of fireworks burst forth as well, forming eight tiny reindeer pulling a laden sleigh. A sparkling teddy bear, dressed up like Father Christmas, rode in the sleigh. Instead of a red hat with a bobble on it, he wore a red fez. He waved merrily at the room's occupants before whisking away with the reindeer up the chimney.

Everyone clapped. George and Fred bowed and then George grabbed a handful of Floo powder and tossed it into the flames. Just before stepping into the Floo, they called out, "Happy Christmas, Hermione! Bye bye, Barry!" Then, in a flash of green flame, the twins disappeared back to The Burrow.

Draco frowned, looking puzzled. To distract everyone, Hermione quickly Summoned a plate of hors d'oeuvres from the kitchen. She handed it around, smiling brightly. Lucius looked dubious but politely took one of the chicken and leek vol-au-vents. After eating it, he eagerly came back for several more. When asked, Hermione's mother Charlotte happily told Narcissa about the old family recipe.

Draco took his cue and topped up everyone's drink. Hermione's father, Kevin, accepted his refilled wine glass. He shook his head, smiling, and said, "That was a lovely start to the evening, you two. Those Weasley twins really know how to break the ice."

"They certainly do," agreed Draco.

Hermione almost choked on a vol-au-vent.

FIN