|Scene Title||Defense and Detentions|
|Synopsis||Siobhan covers a detention for Snape. Students wander in and students wander out. An interesting discussion and a new assignment follows.|
|Date||October 24, 1995|
|Watch For||A relieved Pie, a nervous Cianan, Rene in a cauldron and a worried Siobhan|
|Logger||I am the Bad Wolf|
Usually a Siobhan who has food in her stomach is a happy, bouncing, pleasant one. So most of the time, the few students who do end up in her detentions don't get such a bad time of it. Tonight, however, she is not dealing with her detentions and she is not in a good mood. Down in the dungeon Potions classroom, she paces back and forth across the front of the room, her crimson-and-gold teaching robes swishing behind her with every one-eighty she turns.
Usually, no Gryffindor in his or her right mind would ever seek out Severus Snape for additional help in schoolwork. So Pierrick's appearance in the doorway of the Potions classroom begs the question of whether he just doesn't know that, or is completely oblivious to it, or perhaps is just that desperate — spotting Professor Noble instead of Professor Snape, and in Gryffindor colors besides, is just enough to leave him utterly, completely thrown for a loop. "Ahh, professeure?" he asks hesitantly, still in the doorway, oblivious — still! — to those poor fools who are actually suffering through detention.
So in to this mess of a situation wanders Cianan. /He/ is desperate. "Professor Noble." He says the words before realizing she is possibly in quite a bad mood. And so he pauses, and glances around the room at those suffering through detention. "Oh, sorry." He came in just long enough after Pierrick not to have heard him speak first.
Maybe she did it on purpose, or maybe she didn't. Rene didn't want to ask why he is the one in detention that had to end up cleaning what is possibly the largest cauldron in the potions room. To be quite literal, he could fit into it. Three times. And there he is, with a long wooden scrub-brush and a footstool, hair knotted at the back of his neck and soap on his cheek. His black robes are hanging on a sitting stool, as he is up to his elbows in- well- grease. No magic, it's detention. It was supposed to be Snape- he wasn't bidding on Siobhan. The numerous women in his life seem to hold more ideas for his suffering. That's what he tells himself, regardless of truth.
He glances up when a couple of students come in the dungeon door, pursing his lips and pretending to scrub so he can try and recognize the older boys.
Siobhan is scared - even though many, many levels of her own conscious mind are telling her that she is being stupid and to stop - and when Siobhan is scared, she gets mouthy. The Ministry goons last year learned that lesson very, very well. Pierrick's interruption is not only unexpected, it's just a bit unwelcome. "What?" she snaps, turning to face him with her hands on her hips. Only the sight of the quiet Ravenclaw boy behind him softens her Expression of Doom. One hand is run down her face and she gives Rene a hard look out of the corner of one eye. Quieter, this time, more in control of herself - though there's still an edge of reined-in energy to her. "How can I help you, boys?"
Cianan nearly jumps out of his /skin/ when Siobhan snaps at… them? Pierrick? He fumbles the books and papers that are in his hands, sending it all clattering to the floor. And then he has to scramble to pick it all up. "S… sorry." he mumbles. "C-cianan Tyler ma'am. I just. This paper…. and I can't find the final ingredient for the potion I'm writing about and… I'll come back." Squeak. That was totally almost a squeak. He eyes Rene with sheer pity right now.
Pierrick does, in fact, flinch — almost imperceptibly, true, but probably Cianan at least is close enough to notice — at Siobhan's snapped question, and doesn't look particularly less daunted as he notices that it isn't him but rather the one next to him who gets her to soften. "I was — hoping for an assistance, plis," he murmurs, at just about the same moment as Cianan, although at least he manages not to drop anything. "I will return later, I think."
Rene slowly leeeans back into his scrubbing, eyes narrowed and his shoulders tensed. He wasn't quite ready for her snapping at Pierrick, or Cianan's fluttery cloud of potions homework. Oh, my. The little Slytherin meets the Ravenclaw's look, but just for a moment- long enough to ignore the piteous expressions. He's back to scrubbing again, full tilt. For a little guy, he seems pretty good with grunt work. Must be something he picked up at home.
Letting her shoulders slump forwards, Siobhan steps to one side and gestures for both students to enter the classroom. "Believe me, Mister Remi, you'll have better luck with me at my worst than you will with Professor Snape." There's a certain dryness to her tone, but not a trace of malice. She does like the 'great greasy bat' as the students say, but that doesn't mean she's blind to his Gryffindor prejudice. Cianan even manages to draw a small smile from her, encouraging the obviously shy kid. "Tyler, huh?" That and the Irish accent make her regard him a little sharper, but whatever it is that trips her memory is lost behind the rush of worry and aggravation currently swirling about in her head. "What is it you need help with?" She lets her eyes sweep them both into that question before turning to regard the scrubbing froglet with a sigh. "What'd you do to land in here anyway, Rene?"
Happily not subject to that Gryffindor prejudice, Cianan is marginally less afraid of Snape then Pierrick should be. But then, he is such a quiet little thing. Always paying attention and taking notes and trying not to draw attention to himself. He considers it more likely that Snape has no clue what his name is, and he *likes* it that way. "Yes'm. From Kildare." he offers, having seen the sharper look but also not making anything of it. "Just help with the last ingredient for this potion." Flipping through his now mismatched papers he is finally able to pull out a neatly written list of ingredients for a specific spell, except… the line three spots down is black and underlined in red. "Historical use of the potion also requires knowledge of historical use of the /ingredients./." One can see how he might alienate other students by being so precise. But once he discusses his needs, he withdraws back into himself and moves to sit. And wait. And likely not say another peep until everyone else is done talking.
"It is the Black Fire potion," says Pierrick, sounding just a wee bit helpless as he spreads his hands, which are suspiciously empty. "I practice several times, and yet — no, it is not working, and the last one, it made the flames instead of making them not burn. I am lucky," he adds, "that Madame Sprout, she is not angry with me, but I do not have the ingredients again, and I cannot make the potion yet!"
Rene looks coolly at the other boys a moment, passing some silent judgment before letting the expression go. He has a scouring pad in the other, and incidentally she has already seen him switch hands once. Not right-handed- not left, either.
"I hexed a first year." He pauses, and wets his lips with the edge of his tongue, blowing a strand of blond from his cheekbone. "But he deserved it, the great brute." Honest to goodness, he swears. "Nobody goes calling me a cowardly runt. Then he called me a fop. So I turned his tongue to stone." As if to accentuate his point, Rene wags the foamy brush in the air.
Cianan is such a non-stressful kid that Siobhan feels inordinately guilty when he pulls out a theory question instead of something that she can actually … help with. "What potion is it?" she asks cautiously. The way he says 'historical' makes her really concerned. If she's brewed it before she can help, but if it's something so old the 'Claw can't find it … Whoever would have thought that Pierrick would be a welcome distraction? There's an alien look of relief on Siobhan's face when he asks for help she actually can offer. "If it's for class, we can use the school's supply of stores, but I can help you brew it, yes." She doesn't actively remember that one on the curriculum, but hey! It's been a while since she was a fifth year. Or a sixth year. Whatever Pierrick is.
Pierrick brightens so much at Siobhan's answer that the sun might as well have entered the dungeon. "Wonderful!" he exclaims, and looks — almost — like he's about to swoop in and give her a hug. "But you are busy now — I will find you in the morning, yes, before breakfast?" Because everyone's a morning person, right? He's apparently too delighted for logic, at this point, because he barely gives her a chance to respond before he's flitting back out of the dungeons. When he gets back to the Gryffindor common room, he probably won't be doing cartwheels of relief. (Probably.)
So, of course, Cianan rattles off the name of some obscure potion that was used during the inquisition by witches who'd been somehow caught; the added benefit of both dulling pain and eventually killing you off, all rolled into one tidy package. Of course, he says it with awe in his voice at how bloody cheerful Pierrick suddenly is. And, the way Rene handled his bully. "Did it work?" he wonders, with maybe a bit too much curiosity. "Er, I mean… I should go. I'll just… check the library again." he decides, suddenly becoming either exceedingly nervous or feeling one of his 'episodes' coming on. Because he leaves so fast there's no room for response.
"Of course it worked." Rene slaps his brush back into the cauldron with a wet slop of soap suds and grime, one of his rolled sleeves sinking down below a wiry elbow. He only gives the other boys a courtesy look as they go, not wishing to accidentally earn some other sort of punishment through not paying enough attention to what he is-
"Hggah-" Is the sound he makes as he falls into the bulbous iron pot, quite like a seesaw that was tipped down to its other end. The boy lands with a muffled noise of contorted limbs and the click-clack of his little black shoes on the lip of the bowl. "It was worth the detention." He means the hex. Rene's high voice echoes out of his pitfall, bouncing about off of the black iron.
With the … awkwardly sudden disappearance of both boys - Pierrick's a bit … strange in and of itself - Siobhan has a moment of simply standing there blinking at the doorway. It's only the clutter-clutter-thunk of Rene falling into his cauldron that startles her out of it. A few quick steps carry her close enough to reach in and haul the small Slytherin out of the cauldron. She holds him aloft for just as long as it takes to check him over for obvious injuries and then sets him gently on the floor. "And just what did they do to deserve this blatant flaunting of school rules?" Siobhan raises one eyebrow and gives young Rene a sharp stare. Seems like it's more an issue of why he got caught than why he sent the hex.
It's slightly more embarassing to be picked up out of the cauldron, suddenly grimed on the edges, than it was to fall in. Rene's cheeks flush when Siobhan hoists him up and sets him on his feet. It's all he can do, without actually swatting her hands off. He makes do by immediately setting about dashing the muck from his pants and shoulders, picking something out of the woolen vest as he goes. "I said, I don't think you were listening. Called me a coward, and a runt, and a fop. Now, some of it may be true, but he would have kept going at it…" The heel of one hand wipes his cheek, and he peers up at her, still a bit red.
"And I did it at the breakfast table, so, there is that…" A fault in foresight! That is all. "I should have waited. Rene scowls a little, only to remember that she's not a student anymore. "Oh- I mean- I should have- ignored it."
Siobhan may not be a student anymore, but she is still - and will always be - a snake. Tapping her wrist against her knee as she crouches down to his level, she taps her tiny willow wand against the small blond boy and only smiles tightly at the sensation of the magic leaving her arm and washing over Rene in a swift cleaning spell. "I will tell you something, Rene, that most professors can't tell you." Some because they are too staunch in their own ideals, others because they cannot bring themselves to form the words young minds need to hear. "You know - or you should, by now - that I have friends in all Houses. Just because they're different doesn't make them bad. Just like it doesn't make us bad. However." She keeps her voice quiet and calm, but now levels a firm stare into the younger snake's eyes. "I never want you - or anyone else - to feel like they can't stand up for themselves. Neither Professor Snape or myself would ever tell you to simply shut up and take it." Though she can say it more bluntly in her position than their Head of House could in his. "However, there are rules in place that bind us just as much as they bind you." There, she pauses, watching his face - waiting to see if he can make the rest of the logical leap on his own.
The barest of flutters catches his hair as the magic fizzles over him, and he seems to relish the moment of basking in a spell, if the tiny smile he makes is any notation. A little bird in the breeze. He watches her as intently as one, too, blue eyes clear when she crouches to more his level. The boy remains quiet when she speaks, trying his best to keep from interrupting any of it.
"It would have been less complicated, I think, if it had been just a house thing. But it was personal. You know I have friends in the others." Rene nods once, half to himself, half for her. "So, if he does it again, should I just not hex him?" He squints, uncertain of if she means to remind him of rules against violence, or if she was trying for something else. Wouldn't be the first trick question, would it? "He was almost as big as Goyle. It is not like I would have a chance otherwise." By the way he tells it, perhaps name-calling wasn't the only thing going on.
Siobhan does know. It's one of the reasons she singled Bean - and by extension, Rene - out of the snakes to help her with things. She doesn't interrupt him as he works through the problem on his own, though she does give him a dry sort of Look when he jumps to the wrong conclusion. "If that's the only way to stand up for yourself…" Which she just said she'd never tell him not to do. "It's your choice whether or not to retaliate, just like it's your choice how to do so." She pushes herself to her feet, brushing off a hint of dust from her Gryffindor-colored robes. "But you also have to understand that if you choose to break rules in ways that are so … blatant - " like hexing another student at breakfast with lots of witnesses of both the student and staff variety " - then my hands are tied by the rules that bind me, so I don't have the ability to choose whether or not I think you deserve a punishment." And Snape is similarly bound - perhaps to an even worse degree. She collapses back into one of the chairs behind her and waves her wand at the large cauldron to have it clean as a whistle - though she leaves the smaller, less hazardous ones still filthy. "If I have a choice, I will always be as fair as I can be." But if a student commits an offense in an un-subtle way, she doesn't have a choice.
"I understand that, Professor. I would not ask you to pull strings for me, unless I thought it my only venue. It is not the first time I have been punished. Not here, but- at home." Rene all but sticks his chin up, but he does straighten his back with some semblance of pride. He seems somewhat disappointed when she finishes the large cauldron, though he does have the others to do, still. "I can be a pain." Rene smiles, keeping it there just long enough to see it. "Animal dung is always bigger than you expect it to be. Sometimes bigger than your shovel." The boy has an understanding of actions that may be odd for his age, but Vivien and Adele seem to know what they're doing, if he takes his punishment like a man.
"I did strike first. I deserve to be here." He wanders to the bucket of soapy water that he had set up, dipping his brush in to rinse it. "It will also give me time to formulate how to get them to stop. Je m'gare, children are cruel." Them, this time. The plural slips in without him noticing.
Perhaps it's the memory of her own rough start at this school that has Siobhan turning a sharp eye on him for that unintentional plural. "Yes, they are." Her wand hand twitches at the French before she can remember that this isn't actually her classroom. Said realization makes her pull a sour face, but she does tuck her wand back up into its holster on her forearm. "Well get moving, then," she chides, unable to hide the grin that comes with his staunch belief in his right to be here. One hand gestures toward the other cauldrons lined up to be scrubbed and then she leans back in her chair. After a little while, she chooses once again to break the silence. "How many people do you know in the other Houses?" There's a pause again and she clarifies. "How many do you know well, I mean. On good terms."
He knew that it wasn't her class- that is why he let it slide. Rene sets to cleaning his utensils and finding the first of many cauldrons- much smaller, student-size ones- to begin cleaning. That is, after rolling his sleeves back up, and knotting his hair more tightly at the back of his head. The sound of hard earned work is disturbed in a few minutes by Siobhan, and Rene only looks up to show that he hears her.
"I have tried to meet most of the students from Beauxbatons." He begins, pausing to think. "Ah- But as for the others. Know well? A dozen or so. Perhaps more. Depending on your definition of 'well'. I am on friendly terms with more." Unless Rene is purposefully being a terrible boy, he comes off as difficult to dislike. Natural French Charms, surely.
Is there a class for French children called 'Charm: The Magic of Charisma'? Because if so, someone should migrate the program over to Britain. More hearts would probably get broken, but the day would go by so much quicker. At least until Siobhan remembers Pierrick. Then she shudders and wishes that thought altogether out of existence. In a casual tone of voice, as if to give them both something with which to while away the hours of detention, Siobhan poses a question. "What do they think of the rising Dark Lord? In general." So much for light conversation, no?
Rene rigidly goes about his duties now, uncertain of his words where he was not before. "What do they think?" He stalls, trying not to look over again until he finds a better answer. "They know that these are dangerous times, Professor, but- much of Hogwarts remains as children." Kids can understand, but putting it into practice is more difficult for most of them. Mainly the younger ones. "To understand as children understand."
"Some of us understand better." Rene meets her gaze for now, lips tightening. "But there is always one thing to tie out understanding together, and that is our communal fear."
And in meeting her gaze, Rene might see the guilt that claws at Siobhan - reflected momentarily in her expression. "I wish…" There was a way to seal off this castle and make it safe for Hogwarts' children to have their rightful years of youth without the too-soon growth that comes from constant fear. "I hope that they can stay that way longer, now." A cryptic comment, but one she doesn't seem inclined to explain, drawing back into herself as if realizing that already she's said too much. "Bean's told you what I asked his help with?" The sudden change of gears and the even more sudden sharpening of her expression may be enough of a distraction to cover her slip.
Watchful blue eyes remain on her for a time, avian in their stillness. He frowns, only just. Did he pick up? Hard to tell, right now. If he did, he is not saying anything on the matter. "He has, yes." Rene finally looks back to his hands, eyelids fluttering along with a sigh. "I think he and I agree, we have been doing much like it already. I did not quite realize until he came to me, after he had seen you. Last year, I was not quite as aware of the- divides."
"Is there something else you would have me do?"
When Siobhan makes a decision, when she commits to something, she does it with the entirety of her being. It is that nebulous time before a decision is made, however, that causes her the most distress. "There's a lot we're not aware of when we're young." She buys herself a little more time to think. "I think that's really what growing up is, when you break it down that simply. Becoming more aware of the world outside yourself." From the time as a baby when the world is only yourself and your parents all the way out to the time you die, when your world expands so much that you become a part of it, losing yourself to the absolute enormity of Time itself. Finally, her decision seems to make itself - as they so often do with her. "I do, actually." And though her shoulders slump forward, her jaw sets stubbornly. "You and Bean move through the students you know well enough to trust their judgement. If they want to learn how to fight - no matter which side of this they believe in - I will teach them how to fight. I'll want a small group, at first." Since it's not like she's going to actually go up to the Headmaster and get permission for this, first. "And I only want those who really want to learn." She turns intense cinnamon regard on the young, cauldron-cleaning student. "Do it discreetly or don't do it at all. I'll need a list of names in two weeks."
"How small is small?" Rene asks this first. Not Why, or if she's doing this officially. He knows when to ask things like that, and right now it feels as if Siobhan is making attempts to see what he can do. He doesn't want to disappoint her, certainly, but who wants to listen to the word of a second year, besides other second years, maybe firsts? Somehow he doubts she actually wants a gaggle of prepubescent boys and girls.
"Like Professor Moody?" Except, you know, less likely to turn people into rodents. Possibly. There's no way to know that yet, is there? "I can see what I can do. You know my name will be on it…" This sort of teaching is what he hoped for when he was little. Practical application. It doesn't help that he needs it often. Lest he starts to set off accidental magic as he did before his Hogwarts letter.
"I admit, I miss his methods, sometimes. Even if he did see me as more of a pest. Frog. Tadpole?" That's about right.
Siobhan considers the size of the student body and how quickly absolute secrets tend to get around in this place. "Aside from you and Bean? No more than ten." For now, anyway. The comparison to Moody draws a crooked sort of smile from the young professor. She likes the old bear. "In a way, yes. Moody has his own prejudices, though. He'd never train someone he thought he might have to fight one day." It's not censure, exactly, because she understands the caution that would make someone choose that path, but she obviously disagrees.
"But even though there's a part of me that'd like nothing more to wrap you all in cotton wool and hide you away somewhere, I know firsthand that a war like this comes to you more often than you go to it." Or, to clarify, sometimes the choice is forced on you much too soon. "And since I know the choice is going to be forced on you from all sides, I'd much rather those who are going to fight to know how to do so." So that they can make the choice out of something besides fear. "You don't have to convince anyone of anything, Rene. Just listen to what gets said around you. Make the offer. It's their choice whether or not to accept." Or take it seriously.
"So you will train us knowing that someone could turn on you?" Rene can't quite vet for that idea, but if Siobhan finds wisdom in it, it is her own choice to make. She answers his mutterings, incidentally, with her follow-up, and he hushes.
"I can do that much. I cannot promise anything, other than that." He sloshes some of the water into the cauldron he has been scraping out, and totes it over to the washbasin to rinse it. "I'm young, but I want to learn." He scans across the room, before he looks to her. "It is practice, right? Not age, that makes the difference?" Or height, or any other number of things.
"I grew up the only Slytherin in a house full of lions, Rene." And the occasional badger and eagle. "I am very familiar with the idea that someone I care about could turn on me." There is no self-pity in those words, merely a statement of fact. "If someone I have taught turns their wand on me, it will either be because I have given them a reason to or because the things they believe compel them to do so. Either way, it's their choice to make."
As for his last question, she gives it careful consideration before replying. It's a habit she's only come into in recent months. "Age makes some difference. It takes time to master each lesson and some lessons can only be learned when built on others. The body gets stronger as you get older and grow into more muscle. Your magic grows as you grow, you gain more controll over it." She tilts her head to one side and qualifies that statement. "Practice is the big thing in that two people exactly the same will perform differently based on which one practiced more, but there are also things we are naturally better at. Just like there are things we can't seem to master no matter how hard we try."
Things like that make Rene glad that his family did not start out here. The Houses are a good system, but sometimes a faulted one. Beauxbatons had no houses, simply class levels. "I see the houses in my family too, now, it is strange. Father seems a lion." Rene seems to grow sad at the prospect that control should grow some as he does. Being a teenage boy the size of a ten year old girl does not inspire confidence on that account. "I wish I knew what I was good at." Dirty water slops back into the sink drain. "Hogwarts does not even start creature care until third year. But spells, goodness. I like to think myself well-rounded."
"Moody had us sputtering smoky-shields for a time, do you remember?" Rene chuckles, finally smiling again, teeth flashing white in his face. "He taught us many things he probably should not have. I practice, a little, but it is too different, and I can't manage on my own." Sounds like her idea is a prime one for him, as it was before. Needing to point his aggression- and his magic flux, if you will.
Siobhan laughs at that. "The patronus charms or Protego?" The fondness evident in her tone continues even when the conversation shifts back to Moody. "He taught us things we should have been learning from the start." She is firm in that belief. "And it will be easier when there's a group to work with. Sometimes the way I learn isn't the same as the standard approach, so it helps to have fresh perspective." And though CoMC was a class she loved, Siobhan hasn't had nearly the first-hand hands on experience that she'd like. "What kinds of creatures do you care for? I know about the snidgets, but they're really … small." And Rene had mentioned large dung.
"Protego." Rene says it with a sort of hushed tone, fond of at least memories of learning the basics. Still, he can't manage an arch as he used to- its just smoke, anymore. "Quite small. Did you know, the chicks are like cottonballs? They use their down to cushion falls when they are babies." Siobhan might have found that babble button. Rene sounds slightly more excited as he goes on.
"We live on the preservation land, there is a farmstead." So, farm animals, firstly. "Father studies birds and part-birds, so the forest is filled. And there are some nicer things lurking about.. no giant spiders, or werewolves, as far as I know. It is not like the Hogwarts forest, but even we have not explored all of it." He sounds excited about that, too. Don't let him near the Forbidden Forest, he may not want to leave. "We have Castor and Pollux, Abraxans. They are not as temperamental as others. That is how my family came to have them- I do not know why a mercurial temperament is desired in a horse that size. I really do not. Nor why breeders wish to constantly feed them single malt whisky." A drunk, angry giant horse is bad, but put wings on it? Rene's brows knit and un-knit, and he swivels his head to look at her. "Oh- am I running on?"
Siobhan does laugh, but this time it's softer, indulgent. "Not at all, we had pets as kids, but nothing ever really exciting." And boy wasn't that a sticking point between the Noble children and their mum. "Mum keeps color changing swans and geese, but they're … " Not that nice to play with. Or get too close to. "Actually any animal being that drunk sounds like a bad idea to me. But I've seen drunk people do some dumb stuff, too." The memory of drunk!Jack springs to mind and she hides a snicker behind one hand. "What kind of stuff qualifies as 'part bird'? I always thought something either was or wasn't."
"Griffins, hippogriffs, winged horses, technically. Sometimes they are bird-brains. Persia has some interesting flying mammals…" Rene ticks a few off while he sets about rinsing another table cauldron. "If it has avian attributes or physiology. We do keep far more birds than otherwise. Not a tree without a nest in it." He beams, this time.
"Even the wild birds seem to like it there more. Lots of wild crows, ravens. Mother raises messenger owls. She does not have many as of late, because of the baby, but they live in the barn aviary."
Siobhan seems actively interested in this information. "What about Thestrals?" She got the shock of her life when she walked out of the castle the other morning and saw some. Since then, it's been kind of nagging at her brain. "I mean, that's what pulls the school carriages and things, so I'd assume that someone somewhere has to breed and train them, right?"
"I have not seen them…" Because of obvious reasons, maybe. Rene hasn't seen anyone die lately. "I thought that the gait of the carriages seemed equine." It explains a lot, actually. "I have never heard of trained thestrals before now." He wipes his cheek with the edge of his arm, watching Siobhan. "Perhaps it is Hagrid's doing. He is very wise, as far as creatures are concerned." Rene has some fondness for the groundskeeper, despite the house difference, the size difference, and the whole matter of Hagrid forgetting he is a boy. It has to be the hair- it is the first thing one would see upon glancing down, right?
"I do not know if my father has worked with thestrals, though. Possibly. I never thought to ask."
"Hagrid might know, yeah…" Siobhan makes a mental note to track down the groundskeeper the next spare time she gets. Said spare time is getting more and more rare as things progress, but maybe a few minutes can be stolen at some point. "Would you mind very much asking him the next time you write home? I don't know anything about them really, aside from what's in the CoMC books." And there's not much. "I'd like to get a closer look, but I don't know if they have anything like the bowing hippogriff stuff and I'd rather not offend them." And consequently get her throat ripped out or something equally as unpleasant. "They're really very beautiful to watch." Well, apparently Siobhan's got some twisted idea of beauty. Or something. Because she seems genuine in her praise. In such delightful conversation, she's managed to forget her earlier worry, but a look at the hourglass on the professor's desk shocks her back into her earlier fear. "Hmm, it's later than I thought it was… Finish that cauldron and you can go, Rene." She'll wait around long enough to see that he does so, but at that point she's off. If Rene's paying any sort of attention, he'll see her duck down the corridor towards the portrait of Circe, rather than north to the narrow hallway that holds her own panther guardian.
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