1995-10-15: And A Short Reprieve

Participants:

Ron_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title And a Short Reprieve
Synopsis Taking time to go sit up on the Astronomy Tower after her meeting with the Headmaster - hoping to clear her head - Siobhan runs into Ron. She gives him hints - on homework and other things
Location Astronomy Tower Observatory
Date October 15, 1995
Watch For Ron sticking his foot in his mouth, Sio's Hint
Logger BAD WOLF

A lazy Sunday afternoon led into a sleepy Sunday evening at the castle of Hogwarts, a hush you don't hear very often settling over the castle. The majority of students reside in their Common Rooms with friends, aside from the occasional person you'll find hear and about. Up on the highest tower, the youngest boy of the Weasley clan sticks his eye to his telescope and peers out at the night sky, the stars just slowly becoming visible. A chart is due in the morning, and he may have intentionally forgotten to get it done earlier. Opening his free eye, Ron spots some dirt on the hand-me-down telescope and pulls out his wand to try and get it off.

With the results of her meeting with the Headmaster giving Siobhan a slightly more legitimate claim to wandering these familiar halls again, she makes the decision to climb the Grand Staircase again - it shouldn't feel like lifetimes since she did that last, but it does - and to make her way up to the Astronomy Tower, to the observatory level that has been her night-time refuge for as long as she can remember. If there ever was a night to sit alone and think beneath the stars, tonight is that time. Pushing the trapdoor up with a creak of hinges, she clambers out the last few steps and jumps. She didn't expect to see anyone else up here, although as she thinks about it, she probably should have. "Bit of a last minute scramble, Ron?" It's dry humor, but there's no malice in it. "I'd have thought you would have learned how to sweet-talk the answers out of your bookish friend by now."

At the sound of the trapdoor hinges, Ron jumps slightly, his wand letting off a small bang — and he stands up, soot on his face. Seamus would be proud. Wiping it off quickly with his face, he turns around to see who it is — and jumps himself, startled to see Siobhan out of the painting. "Been there and tried that." And of course he has, why wouldn't he? Besides, there's a more important subject. "How did you get out of the picture? Is that barmy old codger out too?"

It's been a long night for Siobhan already. Technically she's won both battles she's fought, but while she can feel some satisfaction about the latter, the first of them feels so very much like a loss. Seeing Ron jump and his wand go off in his face - and isn't that some awkward phrasing - really shouldn't make her smile, but it's such a refreshing breath of a normality that she hasn't had in so long that she can't help herself. Hauling herself the last few rungs out of the trapdoor, Siobhan walks over to flop down next to him. "It'll be made public knowledge soon enough anyway, I guess." And then looking at him sideways, knowing his reaction will be priceless. "Snape found the counter-curse." She mouths 'barmy old codger' to herself, then, shaking her head. "I highly doubt Salazar would appreciate the nickname, but no. He's meant to be there." And she wasn't.

A soft psh noise escapes Ron. It's evident that he doesn't care for the old man — but then he was the head of Slytherins. "Whole lot of his house turns out bad, don't they? Head of the house can't be much better." As soon as the words are out of his mouth, Ron realizes his slight faux pas, considering the woman before him is a Slytherin. "I mean— well—" The next words are mumbled, and even in the night sky the red tinge on his face can be seen. "Not all of them, I guess."

Siobhan merely sits and listens, turning to regard the youngest male Weasley with a single raised brow, she waits for the realization to sink in on its own. Aha! There it goes. Open mouth, insert foot. Sio lets him squirm for a little bit, allowing the embarrassment to be its own form of negative reinforcement - don't say bad things about a whole group of people like that unless you really mean it! - but bumps his shoulder with her own and grins. "There you go, starting to use your brain." It's a light tease and she leaves it there, choosing instead to nod down at his work. "I just took the NEWT on this, today. What are you working on?" It might just be an offer to help.

"Just a chart, but it's pretty much finished," Ron says, rolling up the parchment. He wipes down the side of the telescope with his robe, getting rid of the rest of the soot from when his wand went off on accident. Truth be told, his assignment is so pitifully /not/ close to finish he doesn't want her to find out. He'll just have to beg Hermione to help him out one more time.

Reaching her arm over his while he cleans the telescope, Siobhan snatches the roll of parchment from his other hand and unrolls it to reveal … not even close. "Pretty much finished, huh?" But she's not here to make him suffer - much - and helping him name the constellations in their proper arrangement for tonight will keep her mind off of Things She'd Rather Not Think About. "There's a trick to these three," she explains, spreading the chart out in front of her and pointing to Polaris and the two stars below it on the chart. "If you can find those three stars, you've unlocked the whole night sky."

"The other page is.. ah… in my trunk." Duh. That way no one can steal it, since everyone wants to copy off of him. Which wouldn't be bad for them really since his would probably be copied from Hermione (but carefully reworded so it doesn't look that way, obviously!) "What three?" he says despite himself, leaning over and looking down at the parchment.

"Polaris - that's what Muggles call the North Star - Sirius and Arcturus." She points to each one on the chart and then lifts her eyes to the heavens. "There," she raises her arm to point to a star just a little off to the left. "Find Polaris and the other two. Turn until they're a triangle with Polaris at the point. That's north." And once north is established, everything else becomes easy. "It's how sailors used to find their way even when there was nothing but ocean for miles and miles." She sounds a little bit wistful with that statement, shadows creeping back into her eyes. "It's been our north star for almost two thousand years. S'nice to have a constant like that." Especially in times like these.

Trying to take all of this in mentally and store it for later (and ask Hermione about when he forgets), Ron tilts his head to the side a little bit. "I suppose so," he says, not really sure how to react to her wistfulness. "Something to hold onto, I guess," he adds, with a slight shrug. He lifts the telescope up, tapping it with his wand so that it begins to fold and put itself away in the rickety case he carries it in. "A bt too many clouds for stars anyway," he says, motioning to the night sky.

Handing back the scroll with a shrug of her own, Siobhan watches Ron put away the telescope and stands herself. "Yeah." Not even with the usually entertaining Ron Weasley can she escape her demons tonight. Still, he gets a tired smile. Not his fault. Turning towards the trapdoor and the journey down the castle that awaits her - not even a quarter of the total distance she has to travel tonight, still - she takes a deep breath and squares her shoulders as if for a fight. Just before she disappears down the trap-door, however, a thought occurs to her and she turns back to look at the younger Gryffindor with a wickedly playful smile. "Better shape up on your homework for Potions and Defense, Ron." She lets that sink in a moment. "Just a bit of friendly advice, mind you. I hear the new professors are tough." And then she's gone, grinning to herself as she climbs down the ladder.


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