1996-08-20: Difficult. Very Difficult


Snape_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title Difficult. Very Difficult.
Synopsis Siobhan gets an offer and discusses it with her bondmate.
Location Hogwarts' Headmaster's Office
Date Aug 20, 1996
Watch For Nickname? also, repetition of words. Fades to black at the end.
Logger Severus Snape

Short and curvy, Siobhan presents an image of feminine softness. Her skin is fair and smooth, marked by a light dusting of freckles across her face and a myriad of subtle, faded scars across the rest of her. Large, almond-shaped eyes are framed by soft, full lashes - their color the same warm reddish brown of fresh cinnamon. Hair that is kept meticulously bottle blonde falls in soft curls down past her shoulders, always just this side of wild. Well and truly an adult now, she's grown into the pretty promise of her youth; hers is a subtle beauty, rising as much from her charm and sheer force of personality as from her physical features.

Muggle fashion is often a more practical option than elaborate wizards' robes - whether anyone wants to admit it or not. For such occasions, Siobhan makes the minimum possible compromise. Black leather pants - tight to her legs - are tucked into calf-covering black leather boots in a combination that by all the rules of fashion should not work… but does. Pulled over her torso is a long, clingy, sinfully soft turtleneck sweater dress of a deep green. Her mane of hair is swept back from her face with two combs of copper wound into butterfly wings, set with black opals and prismatic crystals both emerald and peridot in hue.

The Headmaster's Office has changed with its new occupant. Gone are all the whizzing and whirring pieces of magical machinery, and gone are the colorful bits here and there. Gone also is Fawkes and his perch. Instead, dark wooden shelves are lined with books of various sizes, colors, and interests, along with empty phials here and there. The Headmaster hasn't gone so far to put ingredients on the shelves… yet.

The desk is still present and covered in parchment, though those parchments are stacked in neat stacks: one labeled "In," one labeled "out," and one named "In progress." Behind the dark wooden desk and soft chair, the portraits of former Headmistresses and Headmasters remain, watching over all.

Behind that desk sits the newly instated Headmaster Severus Snape. He sits poring over parchment, making notations with a long, feathered quill, and muttering under his breath about incompetents, bureaucracy, and idiocy in the highest places. His hair is pulled back into a ponytail and his ever-present black robes are wrinkled and rolled up at the sleeves. "No." He crosses out a line. "There is no way in any kind of society that I would allow such a thing…." He writes something in its place and sighs. "If that will not serve, I shall have to expend many serious words…"

"First sign of senility, you know." The statement is entirely - unbelievably - cheeky, but there's a warmth to the tone that softens those sharp edges into something entirely besotted. "Don't let Lord Malfoy hear you, he'll jump on your job and then where will we be?" Nevermind that the castle wouldn't let Lucius Malfoy get anywhere as quickly and quietly as Siobhan does. The facts would ruin the joke. She's in the doorway, one shoulder braced against the frame and arms folded over her chest - grinning, but there's a mix of excitement and nervousness in her bright sunshine magic that's well beyond her baseline.

Severus feels her before he sees her. His magic reaches out to her, a tendril of water washing and waves reaching toward the sunlight of her magic and her smile. He rolls his eyes at the new arrival and shakes his head. "He could very well try," Severus is well aware that Lucius wouldn't get very far magically or socially if he tried to take the job. However, bantering with Sio is one of his favorite things to do, so he does so. "What brings you to the office, Madame Morgan?" His eyes twinkle, though underlying his words, a hint of annoyance at having to perform for the portraits behind him. Sio is his wife. He holds up the parchment for her to see. "You would be going senile too if you had to deal with such idiocy. These numbers do not even add up. It's like they learned their mathematics from a Chocolate Frog Card." Because the Wizarding World doesn't have Cracker Jack Boxes, of course.

The greeting earns Severus a slight furrowing of Siobhan's brow and a quizzical tilt of her head. She trusts the portraits, so it doesn't occur to her that they might be the audience Severus is obviously playing to - but she can't see anyone else in the room (even with a subtle glance around), and formality would necessitate 'Professor', not 'Madame'. It's a whole lot of variables that don't add up for Siobhan, and so they leave her with a significant increase in physical tension. Doesn't stop her magic from reaching for his, though. That, at least, feels normal; that, at least, makes sense. "I didn't think wizards learned math," she shoots back, though does not breeze in as is her usual way - choosing instead to linger against the doorframe. "I came to speak to you about a personal matter, but I can come back another time?" It's the best out she can think of when she's this unsure of the reason for his charade.

Severus gives a soft snort of humor at her comment. "I am not certain that they do." It would explain so many explosions in his classroom. If they can't split things equaLly…. He pushes the thought to the back of my mind for further reference. "Indeed."

For the most part, Severus trusts the portraits. However, they have been making comments lately about propriety. Especially one doddering old man. He flicks his wand, freezing all of them in frame and silencing the room. "Forgive me, My Own." He can see the frown and headtilt. "My present predecessor has taken to lecturing me in riddles … and of them, after I have spoken to you before." Hence the emphasis on her married name. He stands, moving to embrace her quickly if she'll allow, and lead her to a chair. "What is on your mind?"

"Oh." That… certainly explains the odd behavior, and Siobhan leans into that embrace for a moment longer than 'propriety' allows. "If he doesn't lay off, I'll ask Cadogan to come 'keep him company' a while." It's a threat muffled in the fabric of the wrinkled black robes at his shoulder, but a threat all the same. Allowing herself to be lead to a chair, Sio flops into it sideways - forever incapable of using furniture properly unless she absolutely has to - and sighs. "Sorry, threw me for a loop, there." And she needs a minute to gather scattered marbles. "I've had a… an unexpected offer."

Severus' arms move around her, squeezing her tightly, then releasing her as she talks. He chuckles again. "I shall inform him of the offer should I need." He pauses as she speaks again, watching her flop onto the furniture with fond exasperation. His own brows lift as he hears her words, and he huffs. "I certainly hope it is not a marriage proposal. Your marital station is becoming rather crowded." He gets Morgan, but someone else might be a bit much.

The fond exasperation is met with a (slightly dimmer) grin, but it's not until Severus quips about her marriage that he gets a bit of sunshine magic in his direction. It's not harsh by any stretch - the magical equivalent of having a throw pillow lobbed at his head - but it gets her point across. "Ha, ha. Very funny." She braces an elbow on the arm of the chair and rests her cheek on that hand, a juvenile pose that makes her look just about her actual age for once. "No, this came from Moody - and if I ever get a marriage proposal from old Mad-Eye, I'm dragging him in to St. Mungo's by his ear." A long breath is blown out as she thinks, her free hand twirling a bit of golden smoke between the fingers. "I didn't take a Charms NEWT, because I didn't realize I'd want to go into a field that'd need it until it was too late." It's a childish oversight that's bothered her for years, it feels like. "But with everything that's happened, he's vouched for me with the Department, and…" Deep breath. "If I agree to take on extra training one-on-one to catch me up with everyone else, they'll let me join this year's crop of trainee Aurors."

Severus blinks. He takes a long moment to even process her words. He leans against his desk in a pose that looks more like something Sio would do as he purses his lips. "An Auror. A dark wizard catcher." Textbook verbatim, Sev. She has floored him, and he's hesitant to say more than hide behind his big words until he knows even how he feels about this.

The first question he asks is of her personally. "Is this something you want to do, Siobhan?" She is legally married to the head of a security team, trained by an American and English Auror, and has other siblings who rush into danger for fun. "I do not doubt that you would excel. However, I need to know. Do you want this?"

His second question has to do with their roles. "As well. Do I need to find a Defence Professor?" He knows there are one or two adults, or they may be able to eliminate the curse by doing something ridiculous around the name of the class or a rotating team of teachers, but he needs to start thinking about this if he needs to find a replacement before next month. "I … I am uncertain how I feel about this as your mate, but I cannot fail to support you if it is your wish."

"More than anything." Siobhan's answers comes almost before the question has left his mouth. His hesitation isn't missed - she knows him too well for that - and Siobhan rolls from her odd chair-perch to her feet, crossing the distance between them and reaching for both his hands. "I came here to teach last year because it was necessary to protect the people I love." Both his hands get a squeeze at that one - he was first and foremost in her mind when that decision had been made. "But your position is secure here, and I can bat my lashes at Jake to give us one of the M-Sec trainers until we figure out a more permanent staff solution." If she's real good, the kids might even end up with Jethro. "And this might be the only chance I get at this." There's the tiniest bit of desperation in her voice - too small for her to be self-aware of, but present all the same. The chance to put her life back on track after twenty months of feeling like she was spining out of control is one she's clinging to like her life depends on it… even if she doesn't realize that, yet.

"I know it will make things harder on… on several fronts. And I might not even make it through training, I don't know. I just…" She pauses, chewing on her lower lip and lifting her gaze to his. "I want to try, if there's a way we can make it work."

Severus hears the excitement in her voice. He looks at her, straight in the eye, and expresses, mind to mind, how worried he is for her safety. It comes out in a tumble of words and images, roiling in the deep, water-dappled cove. He holds the pose to wait for a response, then pulls away, sighing. "It adds another layer of danger and difficulty, my Bright One. But, if it is what you wish…"

He pauses, a thought striking him. "Would Gardener or Brennan be willing to teach? Brennan already teaches as she speaks…" Much as he does. "Gardener, we'd have to warn that we do not usually allow corporal punishment, but otherwise, he might serve." He's already starting to plan.

"Difficult indeed, My Own." He sighs, resigning himself to missing her thoroughly on those nights she works late, or even across the staff table. "I cannot speak to one whose eyes I cannot see." They've made it a habit to try to communicate often, even just by brush of magic or exchanging thoughts. The more he thinks about it, the more he knows. It will be tough, but she can. "I may caution you on acting like your leonine siblings." Or, even her mentor. "Rushing into danger is not our way." Let's keep it that way.

It's become habit to fall into Legilimency nearly every time Severus catches her eye. Siobhan re-arranges her own thoughts, pushing soft reassurances and promises to be careful to the forefront of her mind where they'll be easily skimmed if he dips in. This is the only person for whom she willingly lowers the shields that became walls of iron to keep her alive during her stay in Shadow's 'care'. She's so distracted by the thought of Brennan turned loose on her students that she doesn't realize she can still 'hear' him when he looks away.

It's enough to make her pull a face. "Please don't torture them with her. And honestly, don't torture her with them. How long do you really think she'll be able to control a classroom of teenagers once they realize she's a Squib?" She shakes her head. "Jethro would be ideal." She says nothing about a ban on corporal punishment - they both know what kind of detentions he gave, after all.

I'll come as often as I can, I promise. The thought is front and center when she seeks his gaze again, giving him the window he needs to draw it from her. More often still if you don't mind having me crawl into bed at two in the morning. But aloud, all she offers is a quiet laugh. "Rushing into danger isn't the place we differ, mo chridhe. It's that we plan first." And that makes all the difference.

"If we're planning, Bright One," Severus will begin with her last statement. "It is hardly rushing." Pedantic? Maybe. However, he's got a point. To Brennan, he nods. "You are right. Completely unsuitable. They would deride her. Much like Argus." Filch may not have begun so bitter, but his cranky demeanor has protected him from much. To the promises and connection, he nods. Sio, I do not mind you near me in any situation. He is even acknowledging that having her nearby in times of crisis has made those crises more bearable. Or even survivable.

I'd prefer to go to bed with you, the images on the top of the lake are telling, but consistent as he continues. However, I would not mind if it was moments before I woke up. The snatches of conversation and images have to do with making sure she's okay, protecting her, keeping her cared for and healthy.

"Moody usually does not choose for politics sake," Severus says, the thought heartening him. "If he thinks that you are able, there is a good chance that you indeed are. In my admittedly biased opinion, you are better at the necessary skills than many of the current offering." Biased, but probably honest. "You have a better chance of survival than many." I just wish you didn't have to prove that skill. However…. His mind is considering how well she would actually do as an Auror. I would be proud to stand by your side through this, the secondary and tertiary thoughts below are clear. Even though it may be difficult.

"Oh, so the Death Eaters casually strolled in and out of their raids, hmm?" It's a dry tease - perhaps his sense of humor is rubbing off on her some - but softened by the brief nuzzle against his collarbone. She pulls back and opens her mouth to say more on the subject of a suitable replacement, but the whisper of his thoughts stop her dead. He's never used that diminutive for her before. And she knows it's a silly thing - a nickname born from the childhood struggle of her whole name being consistently mispronounced - but it is a startling intimacy that leaves her breathless and smiling softly up at him as though he's hung the moon just for her.

The images that follow send shivers up her spine and leave goosebumps along her arms and neck, but these sensations add to her delight, rather than distract from it. "I don't think we get to go home at all during the first month of training." The phrase 'boot camp' (spoken in Moody's loud voice) drifts across the forefront of her mind where it can easily be overheard. "But after that, I will make every effort." And probably a few 'unauthorized' efforts before then, too. A month feels like an awfully long time to sleep alone. "Thank you." It's a simple statement, but the two words contain a world of weight and meaning. "I won't disappoint you, I promise."

"I am finding," Severus replies to his bride. "That it is a major challenge for you to disappoint me in any manner." And, yes, he means any manner. "We shall have to make the most of the time we do have." One thing they have gotten from their path to bonding is an awareness of how short life can be. It makes those moments they are together even more intense.

When Siobhan leans in and nuzzles his neck, Severus glances over to his stack of parchement and makes a snap decision. There is a decision and there is a plan. Therefore, it's not technically rushing into anything when he lowers his head to kiss his beloved. I am all for making the most of the time we have together. In a myriad of ways.

The praise brings a flush of bright pink rapidly to the surface of the skin along Siobhan's cheekbones, but it also puts life and light into her smile until it looks almost like her old thousand-watt grin. Not many people know her well enough to notice the little things, but this man in particular has years of exposure and months of more intimate experience - for him, it's likely to fall into his awareness as the first time that smile has made an appearance since before the Battle of Hogsmeade.

Not technically rushing in… whatever lets you sleep at night, Snape. There's a spark of bright amusement on the surface, easily read, but if he's going to kiss her like that, Siobhan has absolutely no desire to distract him from doing so. "I will quite happily second that notion," she purrs, winding both arms around his neck. "Can't start the year without christening your desk, after all." And she will quite enthusiastically coax her well-mannered lover into shocking all the portraits at least twice before dinner.

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