Till A’ the Seas Gang Dry , Chapter 3: First Night in Venice


Chapter Three of Till A’ the Seas Gang Dry (December 1957) on Fanfiction.net, The Petulant Poetess, and An Archive of One’s Own.

This chapter brings Minerva and Albus to Venice, where they take a stroll to view two places that house some of the city’s many artistic treasures: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco, with its upper salon lined (literally) with Tintorettos, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, which is home to one of Titian’s most famous works, Assumption of the Virgin. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a map of the route they take.)

They enjoy a dinner of traditional Venetian fare, then back to the hotel for a bit of . . . conjugal fun.

As with most of the “travelogue” elements of this story, this chapter reflects a trip Mr. Squib and I took, and Minerva’s reactions to some of the sights–the Scuola, Titian’s painting–mirror my own.  There are (Creative Commons-licensed) photos of the various sights they see on the trip in my Springpad notebook for this story. (I’ve also made a page for the story here.)


They walked back to their hotel and got a recommendation from the desk clerk, whose girth, Albus later declared, was a hint that she knew where the neighbourhood’s best food was to be had.

The restaurant was homey and small, but they were early, and the waiter gave them a prime seat near the blazing fireplace. Minerva was hungry, so they had a hearty risotto of Borlotti beans to start, and a bottle of Amarone. That was followed by a rabbit stew in rich broth for Minerva and a fritti mista for Albus. They polished off the red wine with dinner, so he ordered two glasses of sweet Torcolato to go with their pudding, warm chocolate cake drizzled with hazelnut cream.

As they stepped out onto the cobblestones of the tiny street, Minerva put a hand to her head.

“I think I’ve had too much wine,” she said.

“Minerva McGonagall? Drunk? Impossible,” said Albus, and she batted him on the elbow he offered to steady her.

“There was a lot of wine in that risotto. And I think there was some in the broth with my rabbit. Then you ordered wine with the pudding.”

“All part of my dastardly plan to get you pissed and have my wicked way with you.”

“You brute,” she said, smiling, and he pulled her into his arms.

She was just tight enough to feel no shame as they kissed in the middle of the street with evening strollers looking at them as they passed. His lips were warm and sweet, and she felt positively wanton as she pressed her tongue into his mouth.

Here’s the route they take on their sightseeing walk, starting at the Rialto Bridge and finishing at the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in the San Polo district. The walk would be about 1.5 km each way.


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