1996-01-31B: A Little Family Business

Participants:

Brennan_icon.gif Jake_icon.gif Jack_icon.gif Jethro_icon.gif Snape_icon.gif

Special NPC Spoofed Appearance by: Aberforth_icon.gif

Scene Title A Little Family Business
Synopsis Snape, Jethro and Jake meet in a bar. No, it's not a joke. Brennan and Jack appear. Conversations get interesting.
Location Hogsmeade: The Hogshead Tavern
Date Jan 31, 1996
Watch For Brennan sharing information again. A brother / mate conversation with no blood. The beginnings of plans to destroy Shadow.
Logger Snape, et. al.

After the communication via mirror, Severus Snape needs a drink. And of course, he needs to explain a few things to several people, it seems from the look on Gardener's face. He strides out of Hogwarts, not stopping until he's reached the dusty tavern that is the Hogshead. He finds a seat quickly enough, waving to the bartender to get him a drink. Scotch, fire-whiskey, he really doesn't give a damn tonight. As he waits, he spends his time checking the corners, scanning to see who's visible, who's present, and from that, how he should let this conversation play out. When Abeforth returns with a whiskey, Snape tells him, "there may be several other people joining me shortly." Old Abe nods, and sets to finding a couple more glasses. To him, 'several' usually means 'two or three.' Well, unless the Potter kid's involved. Then, who knows.

Jake isn't actually all that far behind. And in the short time between his door-slamming and now, the normally unruffle-able man looks as if he's aged a few years. "I'll take a double!" he calls out after Abeforth, scrubbing a hand through his hair mutely before he'll nod a greeting to Severus.

Jethro follows Jake. He knows the way, so it's more like making sure the man gets there. "Got any bourbon?" He sits down beside Severus, gesturing for Morgan to sit, looking between them, especially at Snape. "We can talk here?" He knows shady places pretty well, and they're not always the most secure. Also, hey, he deals with Normals a lot more often, and sometimes forgets 'there's a spell for that.'

Brennan followed Snape. No, she didn't do it very subtly, but out of all those present, she's the only one who can see the signs of a bond under stress. Too much can cause a tear, a fissure and a complete severing - no pun intended. She'll have firewhiskey, Abe. Thanks. Sliding into a seat on Snape's other side, she doesn't say anything - for once - and just watches, sipping at her drink.

Oh sure, Jethro couldn't tell him when he walked down two wrong streets before finding the right one. Nice! Jake would glare, if he knew. Instead, he nods at Garnder as well. And this time, he actually takes a seat. Stress really isn't all that good for a guy in his condition. Even with the potions and the glamours and everything else he does to appear normal. Which would be why he slams back the first order of whiskey and then just slides the glass over where it can be refilled. And, cirlcles his hand towards the others before puttinw down a very generous sum of 'money'. "Talk later, get them out first." Grunt. Caveman.

Severus nods. "At this point, yes it is safe. Should it become less than safe, I have the means to prevent others from hearing. However, I hesitate to use them before I need to, for they make us more visible." The presence of active magics is often difficult to hide, and would make them stand out even more. Too, Severus is on edge, and his magic slightly unpredictable. He's not sure what a secrecy spell would do at the moment. Maybe hide them all from view for days. That would not be beneficial.

Jethro nods, satisfied. "Don't want ya too far gone to answer." The questions on the investigator's mind are myriad, including, "So, what th' hell's goin' on between the three of you?" He's picked up on enough that he knows, yeah, Jake's upset, but he's not — distraught. That's Snape. "Mind tellin' me? And don't feed me the horseshit you're sellin the rest of 'em."

"I'm making sure mmy fortune goes to people who will use it properly. And, that my nephew is in good hands when I die." Jake replies bluntly, knowing Jethro will 'get' that. "This is the best way I could think of to do it, and the person I respected the most to do it, based on what my research turned up. This was… it was unexpected. But we're working with it. And it has to be believable. Without anyone saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and blowing our cover." He points gis glass at Brennan. "Got it?"

"It's actually a fascinating series of events, Auror Gardener." After all, Brennan could only stay quiet for so long. "Professors Snape and Noble are the fortunate victims of Britain's first fully-immersive magical bond in … probably three-hundred years. They would make a fascinating case study." And she might very well be angling to do that study, eventually. The first publication of this kind of bond in modern Western society would be a challenge, indeed. "You see, cultures from the Inuits of Alaska to the Mongolian nomads to the Bedouin tribesmen to the South American empires have traditions of intense magical binding as part of their mating rituals. Those cultures - not coincidentally, might I add - are ones where the practice of magic does not include such crutches as the wand and staff. These people are very in-tune with their magic in a way that we in modern society have forgotten how to be, but even our modern mating rituals still hold traces of that old magic. It's why married people live longer than - " Huff. With a sour expression at having her incredibly interesting explanation cut so short, Brennan falls silent, nursing her whiskey and totally sulking.

Severus Snape is all set to begin to say, 'it's none of your damn business, sir,' but he realizes two things. Firstly, this man is Morgan's mentor, and can probably understand the man's choices better than anyone else — and has a right to know, and secondly, the man is a very good investigator. Should he discover the news on his own, he will have no compunctions sharing it with the wider world. So, when Morgan and then Brennan fill him in, Severus merely sits, drinking his booze and considering what he has to add to the conversation. "It is not — none of us are unaware of the difficulties of our roles in this scenario, Gardener. Miss Noble and I have apparently been headed toward something that appears blithely inevitable since I assisted in her recovery from within the painting, if not before." He drinks more of his booze, continuing to speak. "And, should we not be able to retrieve her from that madman's clutches, I do not know what I shall do."

It's like when someone said the word 'Noble,' one of them appears. Jack wanders into the bar, moving to a seat near Brennan and the men. He's not there in time to hear much, except for the pertinent bits. "Helped her out of the painting," and "retreive her from that madman's clutches" being plenty in and of themselves. "Rosie's gone?" The again remains unspoken, but still heard. "And he hasn't yet seen fit to tell any of us. How many months has it been this time?" He directs his question to all the men at the table — sorry, Brennan, he doesn't know her yet — but especially Snape.

Jethro listens to the explanation coming from several different mouths, each with a different take on the situation. He leans toward Brennan, and shrugs. "Not that he doesn't want the information, just maybe not the place for it. Maybe give it to us later where there'r fewer ears." Proving his point, there's an ElderBrother!Noble. "Damn." Jethro flicks his wand, pushing a chair out for Jack. "Sit yer ass down, Noble." We'll talk.

"It's only been a few days, Jack. I'm sorry I didn't call you right away. I've been pulling in my crew from the 'States to assist and they didn't know to contact you until I told them today." Jake will man up for that and take the lumps on this one. He should have pulled in the big brother from the beginning. "We've got the beginnings of a plan. But as usual, your sister's taking the brunt of it on her own shoulders." He looks at all the man gathered, just waiting for the nods of agreement there. "I think we need to work on a backup plan, in case something doesn't go as planned. You always have a Plan B. I want Shadow's head on a fucking pike for what he's doing to those people in that dungeon. I'll keep my intel specialists working that angle while we pull off this op. The next few weeks, I may need to work from the bullpen anyhow." That was also addressed to everyone.

Brennan is silent. This is Plan of Attack. And she's still smarting a bit from being smacked down. It's been a long time since she was on a case with anyone but squints or squint-hybrids like Snape. Their attitudes take some … re-adjustment.

"Plan B, Plan C, several others, contingencies, stipulations…" Yes. Severus Snape is a Slytherin. Tactician. "Icarus," Snape greets, nodding to him once, sharply. He'll probably never call him Jack. "I also bear partial blame for that myself. I have been attempting to keep at least a visible separation between myself and your sister's disappearance." He drinks the rest of the whisky and signals for another. Abe just brings another round of the same, including Jack in on the number this time. He scoops up the money and goes back to his 'scrubbing'. "At …" He pauses, knowing this will have an effect. "the Headmaster's behest." He gazes around at all the men and Brennan. "Variables." He's in 'lecture-mode' now. Brennan may find this fascinating. "Time, the pack mentioned, the state of the captives, the specific number of captives, and Siobhan's … plan." Jack is given a narrow-eyed look, like it's all his fault his bondmate inherited some of their family's leonine tendencies. "Am I missing any?" Well on his way to becoming inebriated, as well as dealing with his magic straining its bonds like a horse ready to take off, he may have actually missed something. He's not too proud in this situation to ask two military men, an expert, and the man who may know Siobhan as well as he.

"You know where she is?" Jack wants to know right off. When Severus mentions the Headmaster, Jack drains his glass and throws it. Abeforth complains, but Jack hastily repairs it and sets it back in it's place. "That fucking. Rat. Bastard." Cue angry big brother. The second drink is drained as quickly as the first. "I haven't always been so accepting of my Rosie being green, but she's still my Rosie."

"Settle down," Jethro intones, whether to Severus, or Jack, no one is sure. Probably both. "Need to know layout. If we do end up goin' in, that's gonna make a hell of a difference. Even with magic." Walls are still walls, even if they can disappear with a bombarda. "Need to know about this asshole, too. Need at least some sorta baseline of what he'll do." He knows that Shadow is a psychopath, completely uncaring about most of the human race, but there has to be something. "Everybody's got a weakness. Rule sixteen."

"Hubris." Jake decides, nodding to Jethro. "Rule 16. I'm going to bet that his weakness is hubris. He's got nearly 20 people down there in that dungeon. Means he's sure of what he's doing. And to go after Siobhan? It wasn't in a public place per se, but close enough. He thinks he will never get caught. Trademark sociopath. It means he fits in just about anywhere and nobody is any the wiser." Pausing in his ramblings, he gives both Snape and Jack asn assurance. "We -will- find him. He will pay for what he's done, and doing."

That makes Brennan perk up. "Rule 16?" She looks from Jethro to Jake several times. "Rules of what? There are rules to kidnapping people?" This is the first she's heard of it. She pauses, then, derailed by a thought. "I don't know if it's arrogance," she ventures quietly. "Admittedly this is far more your area than mine, I don't tell stories for the living." Boy, is that ever true. "But if his methods are similar to the ones Professor Snape's bondmate described, he seems like a scientist to me." There's a pause. "Admittedly a twisted and insane scientist, but at the root, he's trying to find something in his torment."

Severus nods, taking in the information that everyone adds. "Indeed. He seems to be scientific in his endeavors, focusing more on a goal than the specificity of the individuals under his care." Snape would say that it sounds like one house at the school, but Dumbledore was a Gryffindor. When Brennan mentions Siobhan as his bondmate, Severus freezes. He pastes a completely blank look on his face, avoiding the temptation to look over at her or Icarus.

Jack is a cursebreaker. That involves solving mysteries. So, when the lady mentions the bond, Jack looks closely at Severus, wondering if he can see the remnants of the magics that form the bond. He does this partially for curiosity, and partially because, hell, the English wizarding world is small, and he wants to know which witch, or wizard, honestly, is off the market for the foreseeable future, if not forever. What he does not expect when he gazes at the potions professor is to feel the familiar hints of sunshine just barely there. He would not have recognized it at all had it not been his own baby sister. He looks between Morgan and Snape confusedly. "And you're not decking him?" It's really not certain who's supposed to slug whom. Unfortunately, that sentence is loud enough for Abeforth to hear. "No fights in my bar." Jack reassures the old man. "Nossir, just trying to iron out a bit of family business." It's not an unheard of practice for there to be 'special arrangements' in marriages, but usually the couple

"Good point." Jake agrees, nodding at Brennan before he even realizes what she's let slip. Unfortunately, it's also at that moment that his earlier visit to the muggle medical facility seems to be catching up with him. Pepper-Up only lasts so long afterall. And it's been an obviously shitty day. "One of you… explain, please." This time there is no slamming or kicking of doors. Just a somewhat woozy and queasy rise from his chair and green-tinged glassy expression on his face when he heads for the exit.

Jethro remains in his seat, bourbon nearly untouched, gazing at the brewing situation. He slides his hand to his wand, ready to immobilize anyone who starts to throw a punch. "Not rules for kidnapping, Brennan, my rules. Rule sixteen says that if someone thinks he has the upper hand, break it. Means that there's always a way in." He's had to explain the rules once or twice before. "Night, Morgan," Jethro calls after the man, probably too late for him to hear it. As to explaining, he holds up his hands. "Not my goat rope."

Brennan tosses back the rest of her drink, reaching for a second from the round brought by Aberforth. Jake gets a nod as he leaves, but when he and Jethro both abandon the explanation part, she turns to look between Jack and Snape, finally resting on the latter. "Nuh-uh, I tried once already." And got the smack down. "This one's all yours." Because Brennan just might be one to hold a grudge. Just a little bit. Besides - and her expression doesn't hide this one bit - she has a drink and a front row seat to a fascinating piece of living anthropology (brother and mate conflicts are always entertaining) and she is so not gonna miss this.

Severus sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Icarus," he starts to explain, then leans forward. "This cannot be spread abroad. It is of vital importance to your sister's life and health that you keep this secret to yourself. At Jack's nod, Severus continues. "Mister Morgan came to your sister with a plan to secure a home for his nephew who is in a less-than-ideal situation. The most convenient means by which this could be accomplished was a marriage. They were discussing means to avoid the bonding rituals altogether because of Mister Morgan's declining health. Your sister and I have been working on various kinds of magics together, and when we did, certain things came to light that we were both leaving buried." Possibly because they were just totally unaware of the way things were going, but still. Buried. "Mister Morgan is fully aware of the nature of our relationship, and indeed supports it." Well, looks the other way, at least. "It presents us — especially your sister — with many more challenges, and for that I am…" He purses his lips, withholding the actual apology. "I did not wish this to happen in this manner. However, now that it has occured, I cannot change it without affecting us both immesurably." In this, he looks over to Brennan. This is something she may actually be able to answer. He quirks a brow at her, to get her input.

Jack's response, after he nods, is to look to where Morgan left. "Damn. She never did know how to do the easy thing." He takes a gulp of firewhiskey, and nods. "And I can see how this would go over. Not only would it look like you're cuckolding him," a nod toward where Jake left, "but it would endanger a whole bunch of other things, too." Jack's in the order, he's smart. Sometimes.

Jethro really isn't needed here for much. He drains his bourbon, nods to the men and Brennan — who gets a 'Doc' — and steps out of the tavern to head back up to the school. He'd better check on Morgan before he goes to bed.

Brennan simply listens, taking in all of the presented information at an unholy speed. Most of it isn't novel, but she's figured out pretty quickly that you learn something new every time you get Professor Snape to open his mouth and talk about things. "You've met those old couples who've been together for 40, 50 years? The ones who seem to just … know where the other one is going to be or what they're going to say?" The ones who tend to die within days of each other. "There is magic in any bond; in every bond. It's the only form of magic Muggles have left, weak as it is, and in us it's … the most powerful magic there is." Which is her current pet theory on this whole 'surviving the Killing Curse' mystery surrounding Mister Potter. "Western society is so incredibly isolated - from each other and from our own selves - that we've forgotten not only about the strength of the bonds we should, as healthy human beings, be forming, but also about the magic that is innate. We are born able to do wandless magic, gentlemen. Our children do it before they can walk. It's just like eating or breathing, but we learn to depend on a stick with some goop in it and then we're stuck, stagnant." Realizing she's gone a fair bit off-topic on yet another tangent, she clears her throat and returns to the question at hand. "Professors Snape and Noble," she forces herself to use the name once more, a reminder that this victim isn't dead. Yet. "Became aware of that part of themselves and consciously worked with it enough that it has become a very active part of their selves. It didn't create the bond - that was very likely something that had been built over many years of association - but it did rapidly accelerate a process that takes most of Western society years and decades to accomplish. To destroy it now would … " For once in her life, Brennan pauses to choose her words carefully. "There are records of the surviving mate continuing to exist, but almost always only when there are children present or a singular goal necessary to accomplish. They exist long enough to see their children grown or their goal achieved and then they release their hold."

Snape has goals. There are several. One of which has to do with that Potter kid. However, even the encapsulated version makes him sit back, inhale sharply and fall completely silent. That's exactly how he would feel were she to die in captivity. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Jack's become enough of a student of faces that when Brennan speaks, he's focused on Snape's reaction. The complete and utter terror he sees briefly is enough for him. He's seen a couple bonds that were fairly strong. He's also seen a little bit of wandless magic here and there, especially in Egypt and other points East. "Yeah," he tries to lighten the conversation somewhat, turning back to the issue of magics instead of even thinking of his sister and a broken bond. "I've seen a bit of that here and there in other parts of the world. It's extremely fascinating. I'm Jack Noble. My mum hung the name 'Icarus' on me, but only Snape and Janet use it much anymore." Well they and Dumbledore, but he doesn't get a look-in into this conversation. He's pissed at him. "For what it's worth, Snape," he holds out a hand, expressing his understanding. "Congratulations." There's a wry smile, as though he knows that it means little to nothing at the moment. Not until Rosie's safe, and they can all form a wall of protection around her and keep her safe from baddies for at least a little while.

"Dr Charity Brennan." The introduction is offered with a slight wave of her glass. "I've heard of you. Stirred up some old history the Bedouins would rather you'd left alone." But there's no censure in the tone, more a sense of mild amusement. "I had to explain that the British don't cherish the conversational game the way they do, considering it rude if one does not get directly to the point. With some notable exceptions." She'll nod toward Snape, there. Because, seriously, he's like a bulletproof safe when it comes to prying anything. "You'd like the desert, I think." This she addresses to the Slytherin Head. "You should go. There are some rare ingredients and those of your pairing are always welcomed in any of the tribes. The desertmen appreciate power in all its forms." Especially subtle power.

Snape considers it. Especially if what he knows of their protection of women is true. However, he realizes that Siobhan would not be comfortable at all. "We may visit at some point, however, they may have to make allowances for our very British manner of relating." In other words, his wife will be able to talk to whoever she damn well pleases. "I have met wizards from that part of the world." He does enjoy the banter with them. It's like coming home, in some ways. He shakes Jack's hand, rolling his eyes at the necessity of doing so. They know each other. However, the congratulations are received with an inclined head and silence.

Jack just laughs. "Yeah, I suppose I was a bit blunt. Kinda how I am." He splays his arms, the severity of the current situation seeming to slide into the background the more he drinks. "Good man." It's slightly meaningless, but it's a reactionary phrase for him. He drinks more of his firewhiskey, gazing at Dr. Brennan. "So, what brings you out to ice-cold Scotland?" He colors the tone with home-grown accent. It's not flirting, it's really not! He promises.

"That's not a problem for a magic wielder. In case it had eluded you, I am also female." And she related to them just fine, thanks. Still, it's not said with sarcasm, but with plain up-front-ness, like it's actually possible he could have mistaken her gender. "For whatever reason, women of the desert almost never inherit the magic of their fathers. Those who do come once a generation - if that - and are considered to be the guiding hand of all the tribes. They call her the Voice and she speaks for them all. If your bondmate shows her magic and can defeat a man of the tribe in unarmed combat, she will be treated with the utmost respect." She smiles then, lost in a fond memory. "I went back once with my former partner. His ego was bruised when the tribesmen - in his words 'acted like they just met the damn Queen' - and took my advice over his." Jack's question is considered, but the flirting is completely missed. Her distinctly North-American accent makes his line of questioning a valid one. "I work for your Ministry, contracted to the MLEIA Division. I identify bodies and murderers when no one else can."

Severus puffs a little with pride at the thought of Siobhan besting someone and becoming considered a wise woman. She deserves that. In that situation, he'll be perfectly content to play second fiddle to Sio. He drinks a little more, then sets his glass down. "I must return, for I have essays to grade, and I cannot be away for long, or certain nosy birds — and their wizards — get curious." He cannot allow that to happen; it would ruin everything. "Thank you again, Doctor Brennan. And thank you for the gift of your books. They are proving to be very helpful." An expression of gratitude from Severus Snape? Well. He must like her.

"That sounds interesting." To Jack, it does. "I can't handle the fresher ones, but I do like the ones that are old enough not to stink so much." He grins. "It was nice meetin' ya." He may amble off himself, especially if he's got to go to Torchwood Manor and speak to Da… again.. about their Rosie being in harm's way. To Snape, he nods a farewell, including a request. "Let one of us know… or if not you, make Morgan or the other guy," he means Jethro, "tell us if you find something." She's their girl. True, she belongs to others more now, but she's still their Rosie.


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