1996-02-15: Fallen Hard

Participants:

Snape_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title Fallen Hard
Synopsis Severus returns to Riddle House to check on his latest - and most personal - patient.
Location Riddle House - Dungeons
Date February 15, 1996
Watch For Sweetness wrapped up in multiple layers of Snake Speak. Also carrots.
Logger Bright One

Three days. For three days solid, Siobhan Noble has been dead to the world, the only sign of life that of her chest slowly rising and falling. It's too deep, too still to be good sleep, to be natural sleep; it's something deeper, something instinctive. It lets her body process some of the shock it's been put through. Having slept right through the holiday for Saint Valentine, she is nevertheless free from the deep grips of slumber. Curled into a tight ball on her side, she is completely dwarfed by the black robe she's managed to cocoon herself in, dozing lightly in the quiet hours of the early morning.

For the first time since he was a teenager, Severus Snape has found he prefers being in the Riddle House to anywhere else. Teaching his classes filled with inane brats and malcontented miscreants has been a drudgery instead of just a chore. He's snapped and snarled at the poor little things, his razor-sharp tongue in full effect. Severus has even seen a satisfied look on the face of the Headmaster when he did so. It lasted only a moment and then the old man scolded him for lambasting the students, but he saw the expression. It sickened him, making him wish he could be back at his darker master's side. Without the influence of his bondmate, Severus might well just stay here in this old man's graces, at least for a while. He strides down to the dungeon after bowing to Tom and asking leave to check on his patient. Entering the room, he pauses in the doorway, merely watching her sleep. It's a sight he has enjoyed before, but now, it carries with it a bittersweet reality. They will get to take her out of here, but it's going to be hard on all concerned.

So much of Siobhan's natural sunshine has been sunk into her own body, maintaining life and mind by only a fraction some days. Without the biological impetus of sinking into the magic of her mate to die peacefully, it has dimmed to little more than candle-light, the deep brown-red of a very late sunset, so very close to twilight and total darkness. Even so, with Severus so very close, that depleted magic extends toward him, twining with his like it's the most natural thing in the world to do, though the woman curled beneath his robe is still dangling in the realm between sleeping and awake. Shifting, her limbs start to loosen from the tight fetal position in which she'd slept. Slow, disoriented wakefulness begins to seep into her torn and tattered mind, though she does not yet dare to open her eyes.

Her movement stirs Severus into action. He steps toward her, sending out his own magic to meet hers, to insulate it on three sides, like a peninsula of light surrounded by the wild, untamed sea. The automatic reaching tells him she recognizes him and still cares for him, which is relieving, but the dusky flavor to the light worries him some. "Siobhan," he calls, hopefully coaxing her awake a little more. "I need to check your injuries." She appears much improved from distant observation, but both the clinician and the lover in him carry a need to examine, to check, to see for sure that she will be physically okay.

The water is cool; it is calming and soothing and does wonders for the ragged fragility of Siobhan's mind and magic. Eyelashes flutter as she struggles to follow that familiar voice into wakefulness. It takes a moment for her to process the sounds as words and the words' meaning. It takes a few more for her to realize that he means for her to do something. So used to being moved and used and manipulated without any say so in the matter, she is surprised but not unhelpful. Struggling to use a body that's still not entirely ready to be used, she grits her teeth against the remaining pain and discomfort and manages to sit up with her knees to her chest. The over-large black robe is still clung to tightly, held around herself like a shield between her and the world. Part of her mind recognizes that an examination probably requires that she let go of the robe and another far-flung place points out that she has no dignity left to save. Besides, it isn't like he hasn't seen her exposed already. Nevertheless, she can't quite make herself let go of the black robes that smell like her lover. Her pupils are still too dilated to be considered 'normal' and there's a blankness, an emptiness to her eyes that is unsettling. There is no recognition when she looks at the person who must examine her, but there is a tight, almost desperate clinging of her magic to his; seeking to hold tight to the small breath of life in her tiny, one-room world.

"Settle down," Severus speaks gently, running a hand along the skin of her back, attempting, if possible to avoid the worst of the injuries. "I am here. I will check your back, and then we'll drape the robe around you." He keeps his voice pitched low and gentle, a sound only she and Q usually hear. "I have your irrepressible familiar. She was extremely distraught when you did not return. The young Gryffindor from Australia seemed to think Q told her that you were off laying eggs." He chuckles, remembering with the haze that even a little time brings to an embarrassing situation. "I have secured a means by which you may be able to return to a life somewhat more normal." Having finished examining the wounds on her back, he finds a free edge of the robe and swiftly and gently pulls until he can wrap it around her. "I will not insist you let it go, Siobhan, but I must move where it covers." At least for the moment.

The figure does not spark recognition - it was a hard lesson to learn, but it is indeed a good idea to never trust appearances when in Shadow's domain. The voice is achingly familiar, but even that can be replicated. It's only when his bare hand makes contact with her bare back and an easy conduit for their magic is established that reality finally pierces her haze. With the deep, gulping breath of someone who has been held under water beyond their capacity to bear, Siobhan is left shaking and trying to catch her breath against the sudden rush of adrenaline. Leaning forward, she rests her forehead against his shoulder while he finishes the examination of her back, trying to keep a hold on the tremors that probably aren't making his job easier. "Severus," she breathes, finally beginning to believe that this isn't another cruel mind trick. Tilting her head back, she looks up into his face with bloodshot eyes. The connection is established with the ease of sliding into a warm bath. The door, please. Him, she'll let close enough to check what he needs to, but the thought pressed into his mind - charred and ragged and brittle as it is - speaks of a deeper fear that needs to be allayed, first. Him, she trusts; this room she does not.

She recognizes him; Severus sighs in relief. Into her mind directly, he sends his reply. Of course. He tilts his head, not even moving from where he stands, and the door seems to disappear entirely, the whole door, lintel, and space becoming part of the wall. It's not how he would have done it, but their magic knows how to make things happen sometimes even better than their conscious minds. "It is I." With the door … gone, Severus allows himself to wrap one arm around her, ever so carefully, and draw her close. "My dear." He breathes in the scent of her skin, the warmth of her magic, the nearness of her "I have missed you so." He still needs to look over her, but with the privacy they can steal, he will embrace her for a moment or so, first.

There is a fragility to Siobhan, the slight shaking in her body is just the most easily observed outward sign. When the door simply vanishes, she releases her grip on the robe, wrapping both arms around his middle - neither limb is as strong as it should be, but there's a desperation to the embrace that makes it just as strong as her magic's grip on his. "It was you I felt, wasn't it?" Her voice is hoarse and broken, vocal cords still not recovered from hours of screaming. "I thought I was finally dying. I thought - " The shaking gets worse, her whole body shivering against him. "I thought I'd never see you again," she breathes. It hurts to be so close, to have raw skin and healing wounds touching the rough fabric of his robes, but she doesn't care. It's worth it to be right here - even if it's just for a moment. Especially if it's only for a moment.

"Yes." Of all Severus has heard, that is the part he will respond to first. "Yes. I was there. Someone suggested that I make the snivelling coward who did this to you prove that all of his 'subjects' were of less prestigious heritage. Of course, he was not as careful as he ought to have been on that matter." He doesn't think any of it was in any sense good, but Shadow's flaw was his arrogance. "I feared I would not make it in time. With Miss Zehavi and her cohort escaping, that removed all his … 'subjects'. You remained, so you gained his sole focus." He was afraid that focus would kill her before he could get her out. "I thought I would not see you again before my goals were accomplished." He isn't sure this is the time to mention the bond, or he would explain that statement. "I am thankful to Merlin and our merry band of miscreants that I am able to hold you again." Notably missing in that recitation is anything to do with the Order, or the myth-man himself.

And that simple act of holding and being held does more for Siobhan's peace of mind than any potion or spell ever could. "I knew if anyone could save me, it would be you." She just wasn't sure anyone could. "And you did." Beat. "Again." Which tips the scales between them so far out of balance that it makes Siobhan wince. Things don't tend to go well between them - at least historically speaking - when their ties lean too heavily toward one of them or the other. Unwilling to give in to that problem just yet, she turns her face into the side of his neck, inhaling deeply of his scent and breathing something against his skin that sounds suspiciously like 'Mine'. A soft kiss is brushed against the skin, there, some instinct she doesn't recognize pushing her to nurture a bond she doesn't even know exists. After the last few weeks, this is the closest thing to Heaven that she can imagine, but the ever-pragmatic Siobhan knows better than to pretend this is the end. "So, Tom knows now?" Her voice is soft and her breath is warm against his skin. "How does he think he'll clean up this mess?"

"I am certain there will be plenty of time for us to even things out." Severus and she are making it through this situation; there are certain to be others, unfortunately. Her kiss makes him shiver with pleasure. It satisfies something deep within him. He does know about the bond, and it makes more sense now. Things begin clicking into place, and he snarls in return. "Mine." It's not a nasty, dark, snarl, but a possessive, claiming one. This one belongs to him. He kisses her on the temple, his lips remaining there to create a conduit between her kiss and his, their magic replenishing and refreshing each other's. "It was my idea, and therefore my execution." Severus is a little proud about that. It helps all around for him to heep the pair of Mad Old Bastards happy. "Instead of being captured by him and his minions, a rogue wolf pack had you. It means I must leave the scars for now, but it allows them to exchange you for ransom at the Ministry. And it gives him a victory in the wider world against Dumbledore, which I am all too willing to grant at this moment.." Though neither of them have kowtowed or been 'yes-men' for the Headmaster, actual moments of disgust and pure dislike have been rare. Something has changed for Severus, because his voice drips with it.

That cyclic conduit between her mouth and his throat, his mouth and her temple … it is reassuring, strengthening. It makes Siobhan feel more like herself than she has in far too long. With her mouth pressed against his skin, she's sure he can feel the smile - wan as it is - tugging at the corners of her mouth at his well-deserved pride. "At least someone's finally paying attention to your brilliance." Someone besides her, anyway. "But obviously I know just whose cells I've been … studied in." Squeezing her eyes shut, she fights the rising nausea that accompanies that thought. "What incentive is he offering that would make me lie simply to protect him?" The snake brain hasn't died, it would seem. In fact, it's almost been sharpened, honed by cruelty into a razor-fine point. But all thought of bargains and machinations flees her mind at the venom dripping from her lover's lips. It startles her into bypassing the 'boundaries' that have always surrounded his particular relationship with the Headmaster. "Sev…" Drawing back shakily - just enough to search his face with worried brown eyes - Siobhan ventures carefully. "What did he do to you, love?"

"I am to offer you a carrot. I was uncertain what it would take." Severus relaxes a little, feeling the safety and the connection with his bondmate. He feels a little sheepish. "The alternative is the denial of your freedom." He kisses her again, drawing strength from her. "It is something we can discuss. He knows you are a Snake. I told him I was polluting you with my evil ways and luring you away from your inflexible family." He snorts. "I specified to his side, though it is more the other way around." She's drawn him to something entirely new. "I am certain that between the two of us, we can come up with something that the man can give that will benefit us rather than the Light proper." It's a challenge for them. When she asks, the memory engenders its own shudders. He shifts them gently, moving to pull her on to his lap as he sits on the bed, if he can. "He would not even consider you in danger. I did not mention Ed, for I did not want him to know how intimate we have become." That seems to make sense. "However, he had the temerity to tell me that I may not be involved in the search for you in any way. I ignored that stricture. When he became aware that I had ignored his specific instructions to do as I knew I must, he was extremely displeased. I was sent to inquire how much help the Order members would give in your plan. Because it was me, he decided it would be 'none', and listed all my faults for me down to my elongated, crooked nose." The nose was not actually mentioned, but Severus makes a point. "I decided that I would no longer sit idly by and watch him play the pieces on the board, moving as he placed me and a little more. I am completely finished with my obeisance to him, and will only do just as much as I need to keep him believing I am his loyal knight." Dumbledore now sits in a similar, though polar opposite, camp to Voldemort. He is now just a madman to be pacified. The object of his true loyalty has shifted again: she sits on his lap.

"No carrots, please." And Siobhan wrinkles her nose in distaste. Even weeks of near-starvation won't make her like those particular veg. "I'm more of a … pomegranate kind of girl." Being both of a literary bent, he might just get the reference, especially since she's ducked her head to hide the faint tinge of pink on her cheeks, the color twisting funny around the tiny teardrop scar across her cheekbone. The mention of Severus 'polluting' her only makes the flush deepen and she's really glad when he pulls her into his lap and out of the line of sight - if him 'corrupting' her sounds this … appealing, maybe her mind hasn't escaped as intact as she hopes it did. Curling into his chest, she shifts the robe to cover her bare back and exposed side, letting the skin closest to Severus' chest rest against skin and fabric and warmth. She listens patiently to the tale of the many misadventures with Dumbledore, her hold on her lover tightening with every anecdote. Reaching her left hand up to lay it against the side of his face tenderly - a motion that unfortunately dislodges the robe from her shoulder to fall across his lap - she turns his face gently toward hers, lifting her face to press a soft, slow, meaningful kiss to his mouth. "He still doesn't recognize your true value, Severus. He can't understand it, so he doesn't see it." She'll lean forward to brush a kiss once more against his lips. "You deserve better."

Severus is unsure that he does deserve better, but here, in this moment, with those words spoken by his bondmate, the idea that she just might be right starts to really take root. It was his plan that got them here, and his pushing that helped get the others out. He'll take a little credit. It may be far less than he actually does deserve, but it's a beginning. "Pomegranates?" The question is whispered into her ear. "I have no wish to lose you for half the year, my Bright One." He does indeed know the story. "Though if any place could be considered to relate to Hades' domain." It's surely been Hell for them both. "I am … flattered, though I do not feel as though I am to that point yet." He pushes himself constantly. He accepts the kiss, reveling in the touch, the connection. Their magics swirl together happily.

Putting that spin on the story does, in fact, make the allusion less appealing, though it's his whisper against her ear that makes her shiver. "You'll just have to come with me, then." Because after this, she's not keen on lengthy separations either. At all. It's the admission of flattery and strange refusal that stops her, though. "Flattered by what?" Because Siobhan is about as good at flattery as Jack is at chastity. "What point are you not a - what?" Totally blaming it on her befuddled brain-state - and the nauseating clenching of her still-empty stomach - Siobhan Noble is entirely confused. There's a long moment where she debates kissing him again - because it feels good and that part she understands, this nebulous and twisting set of feelings makes her nervous, precisely because of misunderstandings like this - but thinks better of it. With how deep and hard a hold her magic is staking in him, things have a greater potential to spiral out of control. Trying to put a stop to that, she grits her teeth and attempts to exert some control over her own magic, trying to shove it back down into her too-dim sun where it belongs.

"Flattered… that you see my worth as so much more than …" Severus does not say, 'than it is,', because even wounded Sio will whack him silly. "I will follow you to even that dark and dangerous locale." I'll go to hell and back with you. "There is something I must tell you, but I am uncertain how to explain it." Not because he has the words, but because he wants to make sure she understands the matter logically. He watches her face, and when the debate about the kiss seems to cross her face, he solves it, leaning in for his own kiss, light, careful, but still feeding them both. "It has to do with the strength of emotion we feel toward each other. There is not a causality, but a mitigating factor." Maybe that'll be enough to begin the process of explanation.

Damn skippy. Even wounded Sio gives him a sharp look for that trailed off sentence. Protective instincts don't ever go away, even if it's just protecting him from … him. The affirmation - though nearly drowned in Snape-Speak - makes her heart do funny things in her chest, though what follows makes it sink down into the pit of her stomach. Drawing away - into herself and further from him - almost imperceptibly, Siobhan's face pales. "It all goes back to our magic being weird, doesn't it?" Words like 'causality' and 'mitigating factor' mean nothing to her, but the general gist makes it a little bit hard to breathe.

"Indeed." Severus looks slightly abashed for speaking in 'lecture mode' to her when she's still in a post-torture, post-surgery haze. He takes a leaf from Gardener's book. He tells her the story. "When I was looking for you, Gardener's associate had an expert called in. I think you will find her amusing. She gives out information as easily as our boss hands out confections." He snorts. "We knew you had said you were in Knockturn Alley, so we began our search there. I was her liaison at first. Her first words to me when I sensed you had been there were, 'Vampire, werewolf, or bondmate.' You can imagine my surprise." He snorts again, and rests his head against her. "Do you remember that first night?" He's sure she does. "How we could not even stop to enjoy ourselves because magic demanded…" His cheeks flush remembering. "Doctor Brennan, for that is her name, seems to think we have bonded."

Stories are good. Memory works best when attached to some kind of emotion, even empathy. Stories work well. Siobhan listens quietly but does not relax back from her withdrawn posture. Her brow creases and she takes her sweet time to process this information, though mention of the first night she stayed in his bed makes her close her eyes and shiver. When she opens them again, it is with a sad expression battling to get past her shreds of self-control. "I'm no expert," she begins. "But the rituals to bond at all are long and intricate. They require full, informed consent. They've been tied into pureblood marriages for hundreds of years." Which is why she had worked so hard to try and find a set of vows without it for the wedding with Jake. "I would remember participating in one of those rituals. I would not forget taking those vows. And even if I somehow had, those bonds take … they take years to have a profound impact on the people involved. No," she shakes her head, biting her tongue hard to keep from completely embarrassing herself. "If it comes from some weird magic thing, then I understand and … I'm sorry." She hangs her head, well aware of the gross loss of choice that would represent. "But it can't be a bond. It doesn't fit anything." And if this is just because of weird magic and not his choice. Ugh, there comes the nausea again.

"According to her, it is not a normal British Wizarding Bond. It is more like other cultures of the world. It does not require a long, convoluted ritual, nor does it happen beyond our consent. Apparently, when one is … connected to another, and both are users of the free magic, as we have become, it is a simple thing to touch and twine our magics. If they are not compliant, I would imagine there would be no connection. However, I chose to stay near enough to you, to reach out to you with my magic. It was a choice for me. Perhaps not a completely conscious choice at first, but I could have pulled back, or stepped away." He understands his lover all too well. "It can be broken, but the consequences add a layer of … " He pauses, remembering the state of her mind. "It would make things worse. Not completely impossible. However, that is the furthest thought from my mind… I have fallen hard for you, Siobhan Noble, and intended or not, I choose to keep this connection. Whether it is a bond or merely a very strong connection, I shall not debate. Not now. However, if you look at our behavior objectively, without the trappings we tend to put on ritual, it may fit."

Siobhan Noble is … stunned. The information soaks in and leaves her speechless, disbelief making her head balk where her heart leaps. "I … " was not expecting that, at all. Nervous, now, she licks her lips and shifts a bit, taking several deep breaths before having the courage to actually look at his face. There, she searches for … something, anything, some small sign to prove that this is real and not the construct of a madman's torment or her own mind's escape. Locking her eyes onto his, she slips into that deeper contact with deceptive ease. Shaking again, there's an element of fear to her mind that she's not proud of and it echoes in her silent plea. Show me. Unbidden, memories flash across that connection - memories of a younger Siobhan getting shoved to one side by a grungy Muggle rocker and of a slightly older Siobhan watching the hatred and disgust form in the eyes of a shaggy-haired Auror before he turns and walks away. Show me… Please. And somewhere in the back of her tormented mind, there is an echo of a smaller, frightened voice. Make me believe in it.

As she pushes deeper into his mind, there are hints of current events. Scathing words spoken to Severus by the Headmaster. Whiskey and commiseration with Jethro. Storming into the bullpen and completely taking charge. However, finally, the right memory is there, and he allows her to see, unvarnished, what he saw and heard that day. "The sun and the ocean, that's absolutely fascinating. The statistical improbability of that kind of a bond sits at about 0.025. In fact, in some of the South American native cultures, pairings like that are taboo, forbidden." Standing straight, the young woman pulls open the broken door to step inside. "They believe that the sun should stay in the sky where it belongs and that the ocean should be content to move below it." Her 'lecture mode' may remind Sio of his. "It's not a terrible metaphor. There's archaeological evidence that matings like that produced some of the most powerful conquerors they ever knew. Mind you, the Inuit peoples disagree entirely. Their leaders can only ever come from a child of sun and sea or earth and moon or star and stone." There are other wisps… "Your bondmate…." The Hogshead, Jack, Jake, Jethro and Brennan, "the wife …. " Jethro…. There's plenty of evidence if she's will see it. He sits in 'his' chair, reading a book about bonds around the world, written by the same woman. He writes notes, correlates and connects, matching theory to their experience. He seals it all away behind his shield, swirling deeper in to the vortex, the core of his persona.

Siobhan moves through the swirl of memory, absorbing it but giving off the sense that she's shaking her head - though her physical body remains eerily still. All I see is that they believe it. Grabbing hold of his mind, she falls backwards into her own head, dragging him with her. It's not pretty here. It looks like a forest fire has ripped through the normally rich, green maze of Siobhan's mind. Like snapshots her life flies by, from a loving family unit to the Hat declaring her a Snake and ruining the happiness and security she'd always depended on to the Christmas Liam ruined everything, to the disastrous summer full of offered love and trust that only got abused and thrown back, to the thrill of victory, the agony of battle, the terror of being thrust into a world of torture and dark magic she wasn't prepared for. Through everything, he is the only constant; the only one on whom she could depend - even when she thought she couldn't. I kissed you because it felt like the most natural thing in the world to do. The images slow, letting him get a taste of the safety and enjoyment she's always felt in his company. Magic or no, this is my choice. I've looked to you for everything else throughout each stage of my life for the last nine years. Who else would I look to for this? It doesn't occur to her that the effects of such magic could be so far-reaching, this is her decision. I know what I get from this. Safety, understanding, companionship, belonging, affection, loyalty, respect, devotion and even something deeper. These things she does not hide. What do you get from it? Because even in this, Siobhan is a serpent child. There is never an action without motivation. Never.

Water swirls in the fire-scorched forest, standing in a tall tower like a sea squall gone bad. What do I get from this? Severus will return the favor. Snatches of Tobias Snape's words, telling him he's a no good freak who will never amount to anything… calling him a sissy and an invert when he tries on his Hogwarts robes for the first time. The ostracism and annoyance from being repeatedly targeted by the Marauders and the shame and dishonor from the members of his own house if he didn't retaliate, upping the ante. The whispers of 'Go away, Sev,' from Lily when he called her that name. The comments of the other young men as they assembled, waiting for their ceremony. 'What's he doing here?' 'Well, the Dark Lord does need potions, I assume.' The images keep coming. 'You disgust me, Severus.' Nevermind that he's just begged for, not his own life, but another's. 'Snivellus Snape.' 'Greasy Bat of the Dungeon' 'Ugly.' 'Dark' 'Knew more dark curses than anyone else I knew.' 'Didn't seem to know any dark curses. We had to teach him everything.' When I met you, when I started spending time with you, I found a Slytherin student who could be cunning without being cruel, who could be sage without being snide. It surprised me. Glimpses of him watching her at school. Not particularly, not as a stalker, but as an overseeing authority. She is not singled out, merely noticed. Then, when we began working together, your character became clear. I admired that, among other things… The last phrase comes in from a lower layer, and expressed nearly unwillingly. He sees her as a gorgeous woman, intelligent, but still honest, careful, connected. You are the only person who has spoken up for me and asked me what I wished to do in at least ten years. I am told to do a thing, and I do it, adapting it as I can or must. You …. Even his thought cannot finish. admiration. affirmation. connection. freedom. choice. I find it nowhere else. And beauty and sunshine as an additional bonus …. You affirm and light my very dark world.

Slytherins - as a general rule - are very protective of their own. To see the things she sees, it makes Siobhan ache. It is at its most acute when one of the voices sounds terrifyingly like Liam. There's a split second spared on a wistful thought - her mind playing through a 'what if' scenario. If it had been her and not Liam born first, how much good she could have done at a time where it seems too few Snakes followed the basic rule of survival - watch out for each other because no one else will. It's a useless train of thought and she knows it, but the mind will travel down such paths; it's part of what makes us human. Gently withdrawing from the forest-fire, she finds herself kneeling on either side of his lap, her forehead resting against his and her forearms resting on his shoulders. Letting her eyes slide closed, she nods slowly. "Never doubt." She whispers the words against his lips. "I understand, now." And, in understanding, she finally accepts it. There's a 'click' in her mind, followed by the kind of relief that only ever comes once a joint has been popped into its rightful place. Her body begins to take what it needs from the abundant energy in the waters intertwined with the sun. It is the most subtle of changes - from late sunset to early sunrise - but it is there, if one looks closely. Her whole body seems to relax, tension she wasn't even aware of easing from her muscles. It makes her thinking sharper, and the ghost of her wicked smile begins to tug at the corners of her mouth. "I think technically I get two carrots. One for telling the story the makes him look good and one for not telling the one that makes him look bad." Figuratively speaking. "What do you think?" She's going somewhere with this. It's just more fun if she plays the game with him first.

As she begins to take the magic she needs, Severus too relaxes. It is as it should be. He sighs, lifting her chin, kissing her gently. It's a long slow kiss, and he uses it to feed even a little more magic into her to assist, to bolster, to share. As he releases her, he chuckles. "Bright One, I do like the way you think." He cradles her close and considers. "Perhaps two smaller favors, or one great one." It always does do to have options.

Yes, this is how it should be. Siobhan melts into that kiss, returning it with enough feeling to make up for the passion her body simply isn't capable of. His second use of Bright One makes her smile widen and soften into something almost shy. With both arms on his shoulders, it's no stretch to play idly with his hair as she thinks, fingers combing through the strands without any regard to the sheen left by his work. "Would it be a great favor or a smaller one to rid himself of the rotting disease that is his Shadow?" Before now, it would have been a huge one, but with the psychopath's recent fall from grace, she isn't sure.

"It may well be," Severus speaks softly, his words considered. "Shadow is, or indeed was, his right hand. He may have misstepped, but one mistake does not an outcast make — not always." Severus leans back, fingers tapping gently on his lover's bare skin. "Perhaps if we present it to him thusly: both as the need to get rid of the person who did this, and as the double gift for you speaking your lie and not speaking the truth." That may be enough to persuade the man, even if he does harbor some … lingering respect for him. He gazes directly into her eyes. I love the way your mind works. Cue a very smug smirk.

"Playing this game, you cannot afford to make mistakes like he did. I don't care if you're the bloody Queen." Because all she has to do now is spin the right story and a huge crack in the very foundation of Voldemort's power would weaken him - perhaps fatally. "By taking me, Shadow very well may have handed Albus his victory on a silver platter." The glimmer of the diamonds in the ring on her right hand catches the torchlight and draws her eye. It makes her frown, but it's a fleeting thought. "He snapped my wand, Sev." Her tiny, whippy bit of willow with the dragon's heart. "He'd meant for me to die here, eventually. There is not a Pureblooded family in all of Britain who would have supported that." The old families have their own faults - and she knows them - but so brutally and pointlessly attacking one of their own is something for which they will not stand. "If I can point that out, he may listen all on his own." Because coming from Severus it would look too much like a ploy for power. Distracted by his dark gaze catching hers, Siobhan flushes under the praise. Yeah, well, Remember that the next time you don't like one of my plans. Sometimes putting oneself in danger is a calculated risk with lots of reward! See? Sneaky.

Severus nods, listening to her reasoning. It makes a lot of sense. "I am sorry, Siobhan." He cannot even consider someone snapping his wand, though he can do much without it. It's an ingrained part of the British wizard. "Most would not support information gained from the state you were in, even from the worst-behaved Mudblood." He winces at the use of the word, but again, it's a point. Directly into her mind, he sends a laugh and a teasing, I shall endeavor to remember. He doesn't like the idea of her speaking to Lord Voldemort herself, but logic bears out, and he nods his acquiescence. "I shall have him come down here and discuss it with us, if you like. When you are more yourself." For now, he wants to spend the time reintegrating the bond and enjoying the fact that his mate is alive.

Siobhan can't help but chuckle at that. "You'll have him come down, will you?" she teases, a little high on the light-headed euphoria that comes from the influx of her mate's magic. Reaching down to grab the robe strewn across his lap, she drapes it back over her shoulders and pushes his torso back, gently. "I'll need to rest again first, but I'll go find him myself." Because she will not be having that kind of meeting in this room. It's really only Severus' presence that makes this place tolerable at all. Shifting her body to stretch out beside him, Siobhan wriggles her body close enough to still feel the heat from his. "You need to hold on to your position of power with him - at least for now." She's not meeting his eyes, but he might get a flash of To keep you safe, anyway. Yeah, she's not anywhere near ready to be separated from her lo - her bond, she reminds herself - anytime soon. "Stay with me?" she asks quietly. "Just until I fall asleep?" Because without the sanity he offers, this place is one huge nightmare just waiting to happen.

Maybe it's the euphoria that makes him just a little stupid, because she's right. "You're correct, my dear." He has a feeling he's going to be saying that often, or finding a way to say it without others knowing so. "I am pleased that you have my own rank here as a factor in your thoughts, but my sole thought is getting you away from here soon." Not just because he wants her with him for always. "I shall stay." He lowers his head to kiss her tenderly, then holds her close for a long moment. He'll help her arrange herself on the makeshift bed if she wishes, and will stay, whispering sweet nothings, and bits of random news or information to her until she falls asleep.


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