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Black coffee, with sugar

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Daphne woke up to the smell of coffee, which was unusual, all things considered. Mostly because she didn't drink coffee - she had always been the diligent tea drinker.

She scrunched her nose up in disgust, throwing her covers off her bed; it’s burnt coffee, to top it off, and she knows exactly one person who can burn coffee. When she ends her march to the kitchen, Daphne finds Harry, trying to work out her coffee machine.

“Unless I’m sorely mistaken, Harry, your house isn’t here.”, she said, crossing her arms. Harry simply looked up, green eyes looking at her like he worshiped her at a temple. Of course.

They had dated - after the war, between debris cleaning and classes for their eighth year, they had been able to know each other very well - and had broken up as soon as Harry had gotten a job as an Auror, as soon as Daphne had started working for the Unspeakables, as soon as Daphne became pregnant and never told him because... She didn’t have a good reason. Maybe she was afraid he’d break up with her, maybe she was afraid he’d think she was trying to get her hands on the Potter fortune. In a way, she still loved him, but Daphne knew, in her heart, he didn’t love her back. Not anymore, at least, not with the gold ring glinting on his finger.

Harry, however, appeared like a ghost on her flat early mornings, to drink her coffee, claiming that only Daphne knew how to make coffee the way he liked. She always wanted to ask what his wife thought of that opinion of his.

“The coffee machine is, although,”, he said, a smile playing on his lips. He was sitting on her counter, the bitter smell of coffee pungent, and by Merlin, how she wished she could wipe that smile out of his face. She hated when he did that, because it made Daphne’s frozen heart and facade melt. “Can you do it? Yours is always the best, you know.”

Daphne sighed, but she moved over, angrily cleaning the machine with a spell.

“Did you burn it to wake me up?”, she asked, in a hiss, and the lazy smile in Harry’s face makes her blood boil. The spell took a while to work thoroughly in the muggle machine, to fully get rid of the remnants of burnt coffee, and how Daphne wished it worked similarly on her heart. “We both know how much of a pain in the ass it is to clean this.”

“I’m still not sure why you bought it,”, he said, and she sent a mild stinging hex to him. “Ouch.”

“Shut up.”, Daphne turned to the now clean machine, angrily levitating the coffee grounds off its place, a carefully made aguamenti providing the water.  “I bought it to see if you could make your own goddamn coffee for once.”

Harry smiled, and Daphne glared at him. He had a family - a wife, two kids and a third to come - and yet, here he was, an hour before his shift, sitting on her marble countertop, looking like a model in a muggle magazine in his white well pressed shirt and slacks, black hair messy and green eyes shining under those thin-rimmed glasses of his. Daphne, way too conscious of her terribly old pajamas, curly dark hair in a bun and bags under her eyes stepped a bit far from him.

“Instead, I burnt coffee. Every day.”, he seemed way too smug about this.”But I always made pancakes to compensate.”

Daphne laughed - yes, he did. She always had woken up with the smell of burnt coffee and fresh pancakes - and looked at him, the memories flooding her mind. Daphne missed him, in the same way one missed their want on their hand, comforting and familiar. They had broken up for a reason, however.

“Instead, now you just break and enter into my house to burn my coffee. What an upstanding Auror,”, she said, picking up his mug - he had brought it once, during these odd encounters, and it had never left her house since then - and pouring some to him. “You know where the sugar is.”

“I sure do,”, he hummed, going through her cabinets for a moment. Daphne eyes him carefully, watching Harry as carefully as she did one of her test subjects. He still moved nimbly, like he was afraid every step would be the one who’d give away his location to the Dark Lord. Daphne watched him, bringing her own mug over and deciding to drink coffee for once. Tea could always wait until tomorrow.

It’d be nice to have Harry back into her life, to relive what they used to be. To give her daughter a father. She sipped at her coffee, casting a time spell quietly, glad her daughter wasn’t an early bird.

“I miss you,”, he said, over the rim of his mug, and Daphne stared at him, incredulous. “I’m serious.”

“I’m sure your wife - Ginevra Weasley, isn’t she? - would love to hear about this.”, she told him. Harry’s face became sour, and Daphne set the mug on the counter. “Don’t you have work to do?”

Harry finished his coffee, leaving his mug behind.

“Sure.”, he answered, getting off his place on her counter and passing by her, stopping for one moment to grab her hand. He kissed her, and Daphne allowed it, passing a hand through his ever-messy black hair, closing her eyes. When it was over, Daphne kept her eyes closed until she heard the all too familiar sound of the door closing behind him, the smell of burnt coffee overpowering her senses as Daphne slid down to the cold tile floor, breathing slowly while staring at the spot Harry had been, where he always was. She wasn’t sure how he had never caught on to the fact he had a daughter, but Harry had always been clueless, and it worked in her favour.

Daphne only moved when she heard her daughter stirred on her room, moving things as silently as possible, and when she arrived in the kitchen, black hair messy and untamable and familiar green eyes filled with sleep, breakfast was ready, and the smell of burnt coffee was gone, just like Harry’s presence, for now.

“Mom?”, her daughter asked, sleepily. She was six, and her coloring would raise some eyebrows when she went to Hogwarts, but Daphne could always buy people’s silence. “I heard someone talking…?”

Daphne smiled, putting a pile of pancakes on a plate. Hers were never as good as Harry’s.

“It was just a dream, Lilian. No one was here,”, she said, humming. Daphne wasn’t sure who she was speaking with - her daughter, or herself -, as she picked up another mug of coffee for herself.