1995-12-09: Chiroptera et Melinae

Participants:

Snape_icon.gif Gaius_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title Chiroptera et Melinae
Synopsis Gaius meets with Snape to further examine the curse poisoning his mind. Siobhan tags along - presumably to prevent bloodshed.
Location Empty Classroom
Date December 09, 1995
Watch For Snake-Darmok and KO Look #1
Logger I am the Bad Wolf

Severus Snape sits in a conjured chair in the empty classroom, awaiting the other attendee to this meeting. He flicks his wand impatiently, casting a tempus to determine the time. Muttering under his breath about impertinent young professors who assume too much and take too much of his already precious marking time, he taps his foot, eyes on the door.

And as if the muttering summons her, said 'impertinent young professor' pops her head in the door. "Oh, good! I'm not late, then." Which is to say that she is, but since she's here before Gaius, it's alright. Slipping in the rest of the way, she hops up to sit on the edge of one of the tables facing Snape's chair, jean-clad legs swinging back and forth lazily.

Gaius isn't far behind. He looks like he trotted at least part of the way. "Forgotten how big this place is. Sorry, sorry. And just the regular kind of forgetting, not the magical sort." Despite all that's happened to him, he's grinning. "Afternoon, then."

With a quick roll of the eyes toward Siobhan, Severus stands, banishing the chair back to wherever conjured objects go, and strides toward the other man. "Peate. Discovered that your head was not indeed as elastic as you had previously thought?" He snorts, as though he can't help but make the stupid joke. "Although it may indeed be softer." He tilts his head as he examines the younger man. "I have heard the particulars of your situation from Miss Noble, however, I wish to hear your version of events. It will help me to determine the nature of the curse cast upon you." He gazes over at Siobhan for a long moment, something crossing his expression for the briefest of moments. He flicks his wand, conjuring a chair that looks a little more comfortable than the one he just banished. "Sit, Peate, and recount from your earliest current memory." He'll stand and pace while he listens.

Siobhan is - for once in her life - quiet. Gaius gets a flash of welcoming grin, but before she can open her mouth, Snape has launched. She catches his gaze and holds it for but a moment before she seems to realize what he's doing. There's a flash of sharp emotion across her face, but it passes too quickly for recognition. "Sev, that was rude," she offers lightly. It's not nearly enough to be venomous, but it might be enough to shift some of that ire on to her. "We don't need your life's story or anything, Gaius. Just from the last thing you remember about being attacked." Siobhan is good at being reassuring. She flicks a glance back to Snape, almost as if she's watching for something.

"I see you're just as cheerful and full of sunshine as you used to be, Snape," Gaius draws out his name with his accent. Snay-up. "And yes, I do remember you." He shakes a finger at the other man, then sits in the chair. He looks between them both. "I don't remember anything about that day. So either a whole lot of magic happened that day, or they've blanked me on it on purpose. My last clear memory is the night before. I was at home, making a stew." His brows furrow and he looks a little lost. "…at least I think it was a stew. Something cooking in a pot, anyway. I've got a flash or two of a dark alleyway, then I was in the hospital with people standing over me with wands."

Snape flashes Siobhan a quick look that somehow says both, 'Your point?' and 'See? Something normal!' to the young professor, and nods his head. "So you have no recollection of the attack itself at all." It's more of a restatement of what Gaius has already said than anything else. To the fact that he remembers him, Snape strokes his chin thoughtfully. "So, you can recall people and places, perhaps, just not anything to do with one of the most important parts of your life," ie, his magic. "Have you remembered anything on your own, or has it mostly been from things that others have said?" He continues to pace as he listens.

Siobhan waits until Snape's pacing puts his body between her and Gaius and only then does she let herself indulge in an eye-roll. His reputation is secure - for who would believe Snape would let someone get away with that! - and she gets to tell him (silently!) just what she thinks of his perception of 'normal'. Message delivered, she picks at a bit of lint attached to the bottom of her emerald jumper and merely listens, mouthing 'Snay-up' to herself and trying so very hard not to laugh. When it comes to questions of memories, though, her head jerks up and a bit of caution creeps into her voice. "Careful. Last time something pissed off the curse, it hurt him something awful and he lost more memory to boot."

"Anything magical, anything that couldn't be explained away by Muggle means, I've forgotten. Or more like, I've lost access to. This…" Gaius draws out his wand. "…it feels familiar. I feel like I should know what to do with it." He puts it away again though, before he makes a mistake with it. "Even if I don't remember why, people and places feel familiar." He lifts a shoulder and exhales. "It's the oddest thing. It's like half my life is deja vu. I remember portraits, but I don't remember that they move. I remember classes, but I don't remember what I learned in them. The emotions are still there, the physical sensations. I remember the panic writing an examination, but not what the questions were. I remember falling from the sky, but not that it was from a bloody flying broomstick." He rubs a hand over his face. He shudders as Siobhan brings up the curse-breaking attempts. "Oi. Yeah. Wasn't pretty. They tried poking at it a few times, but it only made things worse."

Siobhan's comment makes Snape stop his pacing and gaze at the woman silently for a moment as he parses her words. "So it is a curse with particularly malicious intent." He frowns. "And it responds negatively to regular legilimency." These are facts that have been stated already. "Perhaps a less magical form of Healing may be useful." He crosses his arms and drums his fingers on his arm. "I will not attempt legilimency until I am certain it will not injure you further. You cannot afford to lose more memories." There is a slight hint of insult there, but it's mild, even for him. Severus Snape, intrigued and a little worried. "The curse appears to have targeted specific memories. It is much like a summoning spell, in that it seems specificity counts." He's lecturing again. "Magical forms of retrieval activate the curse, worsening it." So, they'll have to think outside the box. "Do not attempt to regain magical memories yet. You may attend classes and relearn the information, but do not attempt to associate the information with its counterpart within your brain." He's uncertain about this, but it's his best guess at the moment.

When Gaius draws his wand, Siobhan's reaction is knee-jerk. From Gaius' perspective, the air around Snape and herself would look almost shimmery - like the effect from extremely hot desert air. Severus may recognize the warmth and slightly ginger tang to the invisible but very tangible barrier between him and Gaius. Even if he doesn't, one look over his shoulder would show Siobhan tense and with both hands out and down in front of her, fingers splayed and so straight that they look almost to bend backwards. Even though it looks like Gaius only means to use it as a conversational aide, Siobhan does not lower her conjured shield. "The last time he had that out, he shot lightning out of it," is her only - dry - attempt at explaining her caution. At least it'll explain to Severus; hopefully Gaius won't think her too rude for use of their twisted Darmok. As her friend speaks, however, a frown creases Siobhan's brow. "I don't think my Legilimency hurt him any. Did it, Gaius?" Maybe she misunderstood. It's been known to happen.

"Hey, hey now, easy. I know better than to go waving this about." Gaius pats the wand on his hip now that it's back and away. "If you promise to take that thing down and make me stop feeling like some rampaging rhino in a sea of fine china, I won't pull it again." He puffs up his cheeks. "The people at the hospital, yeah? They had a theory that this thing was buggered up. That they only meant to block out parts of an investigation I was working on. But things wen't wrong. Which might explain why it's not acting proper-like." He stands. He doesn't much like being hovered over. "Everyone I've met is focused on trying to fix whatever is wrong with me. But I think we have to figure out what they're trying to cover up. And who they are, and why they've done this to me." He might have swiss cheese for memory, but he's still a cop. "It isn't the mind-reading bit that buggers things up, yeah." He nods to Siobhan, then looks her in the eye. "It's poking at the curse itself. I've seen that spooked look on more than a few places. It's a mess inside my head, innit?"

Snape feels familiar magic wash over him, and he tenses up, just for a second before he realizes the source and intent. It's not because of mistrust or anything else, but merely habit. "My eternal thanks," he drawls, looking over at Siobhan. "He has returned his wand to its sheath; you may cease your overprotective worrying." Though the words are sharp, the tone carries just the slightest hint of fond amusement. "So, taking a general look inside your head does not harm you?" He must have misunderstood. "If that is the case, I shall attempt it." He resumes pacing, or at least until he nears the other man. "That is a particularly astute observation, Peate." He doesn't specify which one is 'astute', though. He conjures himself another chair, and settles into it. "I shall not prod at the curse, merely examine it. You should not feel much at all. If you do feel something, please inform me immediately."

A sheepish expression falls across Siobhan's face; she didn't mean to make him feel bad. Nevertheless, she looks to Severus for confirmation before dropping the shield - confirmation she gets vocally. That 'slightest hint' isn't missed, but she grins cheekily even as she drops the spell. "Hey, if you end up fried, I'd probably end up having to babysit brats in a classroom full of poisons until they could haul Moldavia back in and then she'd probably poison them, which would make the week of babysitting hardly worthwhile." And then suddenly that grin turns just a little bit wicked. "On second thought…" She lets that trail off into silence - sometimes the best way to tease a snake is to give them just enough that their own mind runs wild. Hopping off her table, Siobhan comes to stand behind the chair Snape's conjured for himself, bracing her hands against the back. She'll watch Gaius this way - any sign of Trouble and she can pull Snape out of the spell. As for the mess … "It's not pretty in there right now, no." There's a sympathetic sort of smile aimed towards the unfortunate Hitwizard there, but it's marred by the shudder brought on by memories of the toxins polluting his head.

"Most people who've looked inside my brain can't resist poking at it, seeing if they can unravel it, or see past the fog. That's where the trouble starts. People are too damned curious. The legil…whatever people didn't keep their hands in their pockets when they looked inside my brain. Siobhan here was the first one to look at not touch." Gaius looks to her, then back to Snape. "If you want to see for yourself, go ahead. But I'll bop you in that nose of yours if you make me lose any of what I've got left. Fair?" A brow arches.

"I doubt you would get that far, not with my personal protector here, Peate, but you are most certainly welcome to try. As I said, my intent is to discover, not mitigate. Not until we figure out the true nature of the curse." Severus turns his head, unable to see Sio from that angle, but still speaking to her. "Was it as difficult to navigate as your own mental pathways the last time I walked them?" The double meaning is Darmok of its own. He looks toward Gaius, settles himself in the chair, and casts the spell with a quiet hiss…

Siobhan does, indeed, stiffen when the threat is made - however idle it may be - but forces herself to relax when Snape's dry rebuttal reaches her ears. The grin that stretches her face at his words is lopsided and distinctly wolfish. She is incredibly protective of her small pack. "No matter what some people might tell you, Gaius," she quips brightly. "I am very good at looking without touching." Her light, teasing mood chills with frightning swiftness, settling somewhere between hatred and nausea as the color drains from her face. "I had him think of the school memories he did have so that I could see the 'holes' without doing more than skimming the surface," she offers the qualifier to her experience softly, a slight growl in her voice. It's not meant for either of the two men, but who could know that? "If you think more of an oil spill and less of a hurricane, you'll be close."

"What do you want me to think of this time?" asks Gaius. His brows furrow. He looks slightly perplexed as the pair speak of things he doesn't understand and Siobhan's mood shifts. Barring any focus on his part, Gaius' thoughts are all over the place. There are flashes mostly of recent memories, which are clean and free. But go back further than a few weeks, and a choking, toxic fog seems to form. The worst of it surrounds that sidestreet in Diagon Alley. That day is so deeply entrenched in the thick smog of the curse as to almost feel infected by just perceiving it.

It doesn't rightly matter what Gaius is thinking of, because Snape has cast the spell. "I would rather not focus on any one thing yet, Peate," he hisses, the sound not malevolent, merely intent. "I would like to see … aha. There it is. I see what you mean, Miss Noble. Directed thinking would …" His sentence is lost to the ether as he peers more closely at the mass that is the curse. Siobhan's jab, which was probably directed at him, is ignored for the moment in favor of the mess in front of him. "Now, if you would, Mister Peate, please think of the day of the attack." He wants to see how it changes.

Aside from her fingers clenching against the back of the chair tight enough to turn them white, Siobhan remains a silent watcher; she is ready - should something go wrong - but she is still.

Gaius's eyes are open through everything. They're unfocused though, as he tries to dig up memories. The thick fog starts to overtake everything Snape is reading. He tries to fight through it, but all that's visible through it are vague shapes of people with wands, and the vague impression of the sidestreet in Diagon Alley where he was found, unconscious. The smog is so palatble, it almost brings up the desire to cough. "Not much there, is there?"

"An effective means of protection." Snape gazes around the foggy atmosphere, looking for the 'core' of the curse. He finds it, and examines it, 'walking' around it carefully, but not touching. He pulls himself out of Gaius' mind and sits back with a wry, "Your words, not my own," It is his reply to the comment, though he probably misunderstood it intentionally. "I shall have to do some research and discover if I can find this particular curse in any of my books." He rubs at his temple, pulling a Headache Remedy from his robes and downing it quickly.

That quick downing of a potion - whose color and scent she's come to be achingly familiar with since teaching - catches Siobhan's attention. Moving around so that she can lean on the side of her fellow professor's chair, she folds her arms over her chest, glancing over to Gaius and then back - watchful, now. Suspicious. "I thought Obliviate was kind of … it as far as memory curses go, but I've seen Obliviated memories and … " They don't look like that. She chews on her lower lip, torn between concern and discretion - she remembers only too well how hard she took exposure to that curse, and she didn't go anywhere near as deep.

"Oi. Aren't you a snarky one? You think people they don't notice because you say it all flat and such. There's no need for that." Gaius squares his shoulders. "Don't exactly build trust when you're taking shots at me. And anyway, I've had the dumb brute insults hurled at me as long as you've had the raven or vulture or whatever stuff hurled at you. So let's just promise not to sink to that. If we're going to insult each other, let's be more clever about it." His nostrils flare and he calms himself. "I'm sorry. It's just…having people in my head puts me on-edge. I can't count how many have looked by now. And that's just with my permission."

"Hippogryffs cannot change their wings." Snape comments, in a wizarding parody of lepoards and spots. He is referring to himself, though Gaius may take that the wrong way. "I can certainly be clever." It's drolly spoken, but there is the merest hint of empathy in his tone. He pulls another phial like the first one out of his pocket and hands it over to the man. "Here." He says no more, standing, banishing his chair, and then striding toward the door. However, a stray thought gives him pause, and he voices it, turning back quickly enough to make his robes swirl in their stereotypical manner. "How does your mind react when someone else casts magic around you?" It's a pertinent question, and may be the answer, or at least part of it.

"Vespertillian," Siobhan offers dryly to Gaius, shooting a sharp look at Severus. Yes, she remembered. (And looked it up later, but that's hardly the point, now is it?) She stumbles a little when he banishes the chair - she wasn't quite ready for that! - but manages to not faceplant like an idiot. Grumbling something about potions masters becoming ingredients for future brews, she makes to follow the older professor out the door - determined to find out just what that kind of exposure did to him. And then he does the whirling-on-a-Sickle thing. Jumping back like a startled animal, Siobhan flings her hands in the air. "A bit of warning would have been nice," she snaps, but at least she managed not to smack into him.

"There's been nothing that I've noticed. No memory problems since I woke up. So the curse seems to only be working on my past, not affecting me going forward. Even when the curse is poked at, I lose more of my older memories rather than anything new." Gaius looks down at the supposed remedy. But he doesn't take it. His memories of trusting potions and the like are missing. So from his perspective, the man in the dark robes just gave him a mysterious liquid to drink that could do god-knows-what. "Which to me says that they were trying to cover their tracks rather than trying to put me out of commission permanently. I think I was on to something. Or I saw something that they wanted to cover up badly enough to curse me, but not enough to kill me." He frowns, though Siobhan's stumbling makes him quirk a grin. He's too nice to comment on it, though.

"That is my conclusion as well," Severus agrees, fully turning to gaze solemnly at Siobhan. "A llittle space may be more preferred, then the warning would be unnecessary." He's not angry, just annoyed at her protectiveness. He understands it. Too well. "Drink that, Peate. It is a Headache Remedy. Children as young as three years old take those when their gums are inflamed." Y'know. Teething. "You will not be harmed. I have just consued one exactly like it." He pauses again, making sure he has all the information he needs, and then strides out the door, not really paying much attention to whether Siobhan is behind him.

"I can't keep up with you as it is, forget giving you a head-start," Siobhan quips right back, gesturing to her short legs - poor girl at five-foot-five - and then to his long ones - towering over her at six-foot-one. It's almost comical, really. "He's not lying Gaius. It really does help." And then he's out the door again. "Keeps me from killing brats and bastards alike. If you'll excuse me." And she's out the door, jogging to make up the ground eaten away by much longer-strides. "I'll make sure you get an owl when he finds something!" she calls back over her shoulder. A nice owl, with a nice note. No insults.

"Well uh, right then. I'll just keep on as I have been, shall I?" Gaius lingers back in the classroom for a few moments, then heads out again, on to some lesson or back to Hogsmeade for the evening. Before he goes too far though, he does give the potion a try. Hmm. That's handy.


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