1995-10-18B: A Shattered Pack


Snape_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title A Shattered Pack
Synopsis Snape stops Siobhan
Location Empty Dungeon Classroom
Date Oct 18, 1995
Watch For Flying glass, revelations and shocked Severus
Logger Snape, Snape, Sev-er-us Snape

Hell hath no fury like a woman. Forget the 'scorned' completely, that just makes it worse. Having left the last of her 'guests' in her classroom, Siobhan made quick work of the distance between herself and the dark safety of her dungeons. Yes, her dungeons. Moving through dark passages and dodging traps she knows as well as her own hand, she slams into a long-disused classroom and slams the door behind her. The wood, however, is old. The impact against the frame sends it bouncing back just a little bit. Just enough. Slamming half-rotted desks and chairs to either side of the room with strangely satisfying sweeps of her tiny willow wand, she ignites the fireplace at the back of the room with the same. The room is slightly warmer now - a good thing since she left her robes in her rush and even though the tight-fitting jeans are sturdy, the lacy pink tank-top is not - but the flames cast eerie shadows on the walls and wreckage. Using a simple spell she changes only the substance of the wreckage, not the shape. Then, wand away, she lifts a heavy, clear chair leg and hefts it into the fireplace. And then another one and another one, finding almost a rhythm of cursing visciously and violently amid the backdrop of her violence. Shattering glass makes such a satisfying sound.

Snape is patrolling the halls, not on a regular patrol, but on an extra 'prowl.' He stops, tilting his head, hearing a dangerous sound. He follows the sound to the classroom, opening the door, hand on his wand. When he sees the young professor throwing things, he opens the door farther, letting the creak of the old hinge speak for him, then stands there, arms across his chest, waiting for her to acknowledge him.

This is why Snape is left unharmed standing there, instead of ending up with a nasty-looking bruise on his chest. There's a twisted joke in there somewhere, Siobhan is sure. For now, however, she's too far gone inside her own violent anger to do any more than snarl at him before picking up a small alarm clock of heavy solid glass and flinging it into the fire. The solid, brittle glass shatters with enough force to send several shards to imbed themselves into the bare flesh of her arms, but she doesn't even seem to notice. Funny, she never seemed to have this much trouble with her temper before that Battle at Hogsmeade. Such things as have hapened this year do, however, tend to change people. "Have you met the Yank?" she growls, flinging a few glass jars into the flames in quick succession. "The new Auror on the guard patrol. Have you met him?"

"I have not. Has he insulted you? If the offense is great enough, I shall speak to the Headmaster and see to it that he is — reassigned." Snape is protective of his Snakes, whether they are still students or not. He keeps his expression and tone impassive, appreciating the need to fling a few things around. "I believe I know the particular Auror of which you speak. I have not had the pleasure of his acquaintance yet." He rolls one shoulder in approximation of a shrug, then flicks his wand, transfiguring some small piece of dust into a glass figurine for her. Her ammunition is running low.

That does spark a laugh from Siobhan, though it's a hollow one and still seethes with anger. "I doubt he has any insult at his disposal that could even touch me, now." She does give him a look, then, that manages to communicate that after casual conversation with people such as himself - and his mother and the Headmaster - insults from other people just didn't … do much anymore. "No, he told me his orders." And she'll take that figurine and hurl it hard into the fire. Too hard, it seems, for it hits the corner and three more spots of blood dot her arms. "I figured he might be here to work on something specific. An expert of some kind that we didn't have. It happens." Holly Maplewood comes to mind and for a moment there's a flash of sick, irrational fear in her expression, quickly replaced by frustration and then a return of her fury. There are two chalkboard erasers - now made of glossy black glass - that soon join the figurine. "That's not why he's here."

"Ah. So this is an idealogical difference with a foreign government as opposed to a personal insult or failure." Severus' tone remains dry. "Ah, youth." He isn't mocking, though it sounds like he could be. There is a thin layer of empathy that he tries to downplay, or ignore completely. He flicks his wand, transfiguring things into different shapes. One looks remarkably like the American Auror, and one looks like Dumbledore. Others are more oddly shaped, though, for some reason, one looks like a big black dog. That one seems to have appeared without much conscious thought.

There are two things going on simultaneously, here. On the one hand, he's transfiguring things for her to throw, rather than letting her run out of ammunition or telling her to stop. On the other hand, he's … well, actually, that was pretty mild for him. Taking only a moment to assess that situation, Siobhan takes first the glass Headmaster and smashes him into the fire with a level of feral satisfaction that she can't keep out of her face. It's mildly frightening. "They sent him here to make sure Voldemort stays our problem and not theirs." She spits those words with a Mamba's venom, violence and hatred and shock and disbelief and disgust all combining to make her tone truly nasty. "Don't they realize he won't stop?" It comes out more plaintive than she means it to, but she's not a bitter enough person to hold onto that level of vitriol for long. "Don't they care what happens here?" Silence falls, then; Siobhan takes the time to try and regain some small measure of control over herself. She is … marginally successful. The dog is grabbed and tossed up and down one-handed a few times before she spins it in her fingers to hold it up with a dry expression. "Sure you don't want to throw this one?" The smile she attempts to use to show that 'really, she's fine' comes out as a grimace. "He was pretty awful to you." Oh yes, she's heard those stories before. Several times.

Snape answers her last comment first, after taking a long moment to consider his words. "No thank you. I have learned to take my simple pleasures vicariously." As long as the creature is thrown, he's alright with not being the thrower. He continues to transfigure things, these more simple shapes: spheres, prisms, cones… "Professor Noble, consider our own ministry of magic. Are you aware that in Eastern Europe, it is legal and common for witches and wizards to seek out certain other magical creatures and kill them just because they exist?" He doesn't specify what kind of creatures. "Our own ministry has not only not spoken out about this, but has allowed some of our Aurors to go assist." He flicks his wand again, levitating the glass pieces into a row she can easily reach. "Every government has only one thing on their mind: their own safety and security. They care about us in a very detached, intellectual fashion. But their focus is their own children. Their own wizards. Their own power." It's a lot for the man to say, but it's all true, albeit from a jaded perspective.

There is a small, wicked part of Siobhan's brain that really wants to take the unfortunate wording and run with it. A vague, sleep-muddled memory of her former professor leaving the lounge room to the sound of Eileen's hearty laughter eggs her on, but before she can even open her mouth, he has her spun off-balance again. She expects the 'Professor Noble' around the students for the same reason that she is always careful to refer to him as 'Professor Snape' around them. When it's just the two of them, she'd completely expected him to revert to 'Miss Noble' even as she reverts to his given name. That he doesn't - and, moreover, chooses her title instead of her name - shocks her enough that she listens to the rest of what he has to say without interruption. Which was probably the point, come to think of it. "I didn't know that, no…" Her voice is quiet at this admission - horrified, even. "I mean … " And her mouth just runs away with her completely. "I'll probably never feel safe around a werewolf again, but I don't want them dead. They can't help being what they are any more than you or I can." She forgets, in her contemplation, that he doesn't know about that particular incident. Maybe he'll miss it. … Yeah, right. Going from being still to flinging the little black-glass dog into the fire in an explosive motion may be a little startling, but it does seem to be the last of Siobhan's violent anger. Too bad this spray cuts her too. "Huh, he does bite." More of a personal observation than anything. Still. Her shoulders slump and she looks down at the bloody rivulets making patterns on her skin with a sort of detached fascination. "I hate people." It's not true and she knows it, but it feels that way right now.

Snape's only concession to their shared fear is a quiet exhalation, a kind of a 'hmmph.' It's an agreement, understanding and a lead in to his question. No, he did not miss the meta layer. "Again? You've had difficulties with a lycanthrope as well?" He looks away, over at the little glass creations on the table. "May I?" With no more warning than that, he flicks his wand, a silent episkey staunching the flow of the wounds on her arms. "With the company he keeps, it is no wonder that he isn't rabid." Or is he? He allows his own demons rein for a very slight moment before walking over to pick up one of the rectangular prisms and turning it over in his hands. "I see that attitude closer to home, as well." As in here. "It is sickening. It is merely a tolerable coating over a poison pill that tastes like the swill served at the Dark Lord's table." He says a lot in his few words, but she may be one of the few who will catch more than just a pretty metaphor.

"The choice between fighting for the side of sugar-coated intolerance and the side that serves it raw." Sio's words are bitter. To have that kind of a choice… "There's really no choice at all. Except … " Which Master to follow. "Choosing which method you can live with longest." And she hates it so much… Choice is so …

It may be a shared fear, but it's not a shared wound. There is a real hesitation in Siobhan for the first time with him since coming out of her two-dimensional prison. She accepts the silent healing without question, but when he asks after her 'difficulties' she gives him a long, weighing look. There is an openness and a vulnerability in her eyes and expression then that says so much better than words ever could how much it costs her to share this - even with him. Lifting her leg up to brace her foot against the desk, she bends over the thigh and slowly rolls the cuff of her jeans until it sits in a neat fold just under her knee. Five lines of angry, twisted red sweep across the back of her calf from the upper right to the bottom left. Four long and one short on the end. Claws. A hand. It doesn't look very old at all, but Siobhan corrects assumptions before they can even be made. "The week before the Hogsmeade attack," she offers quietly, unable to look at him or even look up from her contemplation of her knee. "She hadn't learned to control her … nature, yet. It was close to the full moon and I made her angry."

"And he let her … " Severus Snape flings the glass into the wall, flicking his wand lazily to conjure a shield to protect them from the shards. Another couple flicks, and the row of glass is so much dust on the ground. "He let her in my classroom after…" He turns sharply, robes billowing around him. "The old bastard never learns. I will not condone their deaths, but neither do I wish them to repoplulate their dens with our students." He shudders, the fear causing him to draw inward, crossing his arms across his chest again. "You were very lucky. As was I. If Potter's sainted father had not been present, I would have been mauled or turned myself." He shudders again, retelling enough of the tale that the memory plays vividly across the screen of his mind. "At least you had gained your majority. My concern is more for the youngest." The first years. So very little. "I cannot believe…" He mutters a few imprecations quietly to himself.

That first unfinished sentence feels so good to Sio. For the first time, someone else besides her is outraged at the men who let Holly do this to her without so much as a smack on the wrist - as if she deserved it, somehow. There is a look of immense gratitude and something akin to relief sent his way. It feels good to be defended. And then reality catches up with her sharply and she pushes the leg of her jeans down roughly - a little angry at herself for being so naive.

"Wait." She stops and turns to stare at him in confusion. "What? Holly never came into anyone's classroom, not after - " Realizing with a punch to her gut both that she'd just told the secret she'd promised not to and also just who he must mean, Siobhan staggers back. "You mean she … " Color drains from her face and she sits down on the edge of the desk rather hard. "Professor Moldavia was …? And she … And he? … Oh sweet Circe…" She buries her head in her hands and takes deep breaths and very firmly does not shake. Irrational fears - even when they have a valid basis - can be very intense.

She listens in this way to what he says, her head snapping up sharply. "Lupin," she growls out the name. Given that he was one of her favorite professors while he taught, she anticipates confusion and explains. "He's changed." Since he taught. "He accused me of lying - " or as good as done " - and then dared to send me off with a 'pat on the head' when I told him making copies of that damn map was the stupidest idea I'd ever heard. As if I was the idiot for saying that more copies would make it more likely for one to fall into the wrong hands." There's open bitterness there. "I said Alumni Weekend was a dumb idea, too. You know, since most of the Death Eaters went here." She flicks a bit of that dust off her arm. "They said I was just a kid and that everything would be taken care of and we both saw how well that went." So yes, she's bitter when it comes to Lupin, too.

"Professor Moldavia's condition is even less known than Lupin's." Snape turns to face her, a silent plea in his eyes. It wasn't an intentional disclosure. "You were referring to Ms. Maplewood." Of course. If Severus were less refined, he'd slap his forehead. "I do not recall this incident." He watches the expressions change on her face. "He has not changed that much, at least from my parallax. If he hid his true nature and attitude for a few months, it merely made it worse when it was exposed. He was always very good at explanations. I am certain that is how the other three managed to pass several of their classes." If their brainy friend was teaching them. "Much the way Granger covers for Potter and Weasley now." She may see this now that she's on that side of the desk.

"It does not matter who the attacker was," Severus comments. "You neither deserved the attack itself, nor the downplay of your suffering." Bitter empathy is clear in his tone. "It has occurred before that the life of one is paid for in the suffering of another. We who pay for their unwise choices will grow weary of it in time." He's so tired of it.

"It was indeed an ill-conceived plan. And that piece of parchment is a menace. Laying aside its potential usefulness, the possibility for ill-use far outweighs any positive effect it may have." He's not saying this because of the insults, but they do play a part.

"I was on my way back up to the castle to see you about it when the Death Eaters attacked Hogsmeade." There's no anger in her voice, just a little bit of self-defense. It's not like she lied to him about it or anything. "It wasn't healing on its own and magic did nothing, but there's something about Cruciatus that makes everything else take a back seat." At least for her. It's a dry bit of humor, but humor nonetheless. Sort of. She acknowledges his silent plea for secrecy by not even mentioning that professor further. Secret? What secret? She didn't hear anything.

"I like them alright, but she needs to grow up." That's all she'll comment on the Trio, however; they're not important just now. She didn't expect to hear that kind of blatant - for them, at least - comfort from Snape, but it is very much welcome, soothing some of the raw ache that she's carried from having been blamed - however tacitly - for her own attack. "Neither did you," she responds quietly, understanding and empathy fighting a protective growl for control of those words. Protective 'pack instinct' wins. She's aware that her fiercely independent, prickly friend will probably have kittens when he works it out, but she doesn't care; he's as much hers as Eileen is or Jack or Bean. And what is hers, she protects.

"I'm already weary of it," she answers back with a hint of challenge in her tone and posture. "It's why I maneuvered into this job." Or at least part of it. "I'm tired of having my choices taken away and I'm tired of watching it happen to other people. I don't care if it means I have to stand up and shout down the Headmaster and the Dark Lord - " and she'll do it, too " - but I will make sure these children are able to make their own choices." She pauses as if listening to a voice that isn't there. "Even if it means they choose to fight me." A smart person never lets someone else choose to become an enemy, but to Siobhan it means that they had the freedom to make that choice and that is so very, very vital.

Severus Snape stops what he's doing — which incidentally is pacing the room — and turns to face her, shock flashing across his face for the briefest of moments. He attempts to hide his deep pleasure at some of her comments. "Thank you, Siobhan." He turns away from her, completely shaken. He inhales sharply, bypassing the rest of it, though he does hear it and let it sink deeply into his psyche (and memory). "They are immature at times." It's a bland agreement with her assessment. He won't push beyond that — he can't right now. "I may have an unguent that may help. It is an experiment of mine and I am uncertain whether it will have any effect, but it may be worth the attempt." It would be a fair trade for the balm she has intentionally — or unintentionally — offered him.

Manners drilled into her head since she was a child - though she often chooses to ignore them - are hard things to get rid of entirely. She hadn't chosen her words for his benefit, but it's obvious that she's struck something deep. At least, it's obvious to her. With that eerie sense for people that Siobhan has, she doesn't follow either the urge of manners or the urge of lion-like friendship. Neither would be appreciated, she knows; not here and not now. She watches him closely, from the shock and pleasure and even, she thinks, some guilt… to the sharp inhalation and the offer of a balm for her physical wounds. "That's - " She starts to argue, to make the point that not everything has to be quid-pro-quo between friends, but she stops herself. Something tells her not to push and she listens, inclining her head and letting a warm, soft smile spread across her face. "Thank you, Severus." It's a strange echo of his earlier thanks, but it means she's letting him put things back on his own terms, even as she stands and stretches lazily. "Unfortunately, I have third year Gryffindors and Slytherins in a few minutes. I'll need to ward the windows." It's a dry attempt at humor, but as she grabs her wand from the desk and twirls it between her fingers, she seems so much more at peace than when she arrived. "I'll see you at dinner." And with that simple farewell and a flick of her wand to douse the fire, Siobhan is gone, jogging easily through the dungeons and teasing the group of Slytherins she falls in with on the way back up to the castle and the world of light beyond.

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