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He'd been walking down the hall of one of the Ministry buildings when he had run into a old friend of his.

Literally.

He'd been looking over some of the latest figures from some of his Magical holdings when he'd run smack into a short black-haired, brown-eyed woman. Looking past the papers, he immediately had apologized (sort of) and helped her stand up with her papers in order. Looking at her for a second, it finally registered who she was. "Andromeda!" He exclaimed, surprised to see her there, "Oh excuse me, I mean Lady Penthalion." He gave her a short bow. She'd merely quirked an eyebrow at him, "Hello, Lord Zabini, how is business?" she replied in a sweet low tone as she fell into step with him. He'd answered and then inquired after her family and business, all falling into the sweet intricate dance of Civilized Society.

He'd asked her out for dinner. She'd accepted and paid for their coffee at the restaurant the next afternoon. Falling into their same old routine from years ago, a perfectly matched pair, both driven and ambitious, looking for an equal, someone to keep up. They'd been business partners, comrades, occasional lovers when it suited them. She knew how he took his coffee and he knew how she preferred her hot chocolate (warm and lightly spiked with Bailey's). They knew the small details, the little touches that made it all worthwhile. Time passed, they drifted away again, she was married and then so was he. Every third Saturday of the month, they met at an outdoor cafe in Paris to catch up. Sometimes it was dinner, sometimes breakfast. Neither of them cared, just enjoying the presence of a like soul.

When either of them toasted at parties, they always toasted to "the old acquaintances and the new."

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Blaise Zabini

February 2010

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