1996-03-17B: Flights of Fancy


Snape_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title Flights of Fancy
Synopsis Siobhan goes flying. Severus searches her out. They fly, then he takes her into the castle a new way.
Location Hogwarts: Quidditch Pitch and Empty Classroom 6th Floor
Date Mar 17, 1996
Watch For Flips between quirky and deep. Also, there are scenes of an adult nature. They are hidden behind a cut.
Logger Snape

Late Sunday night - only an hour before midnight at most - Siobhan Noble stands on the damp grass of the Quidditch Pitch. The sky is surprisingly clear for this season; the only lights are the thousands of stars and a single curved sliver of moon. It's cool, but not unseasonably so for a Scottish March. It's a nice night to be out. Wearing a set of black robes she hasn't touched - and holding a broom she hasn't ridden - in over a year, the young professor takes a moment to simply soak up the quiet stillness, inhaling deeply of the crisp night air. A long silvery shape is lifted from around her shoulders and held wrap-draped around her free arm. That shape becomes just a little more distinct when it unfolds large, downy-soft white wings. "Alright, love. I should have done this with you ages ago, I know." But until Siobhan's disappearance, her serpentine familiar had shown no real inclination toward flight of any kind, save a startled leap here and there. "There's nothing out here but you and me, so you won't have much to get hurt on. Hagrid says you should be able to 'see' with your nose and tongue, even without your eyes…" Most people would probably think her mad, talking to a snake like this, but the hyper-observant may notice the subtle glowing of the emerald and diamond on her right ring finger. "You ready?"

Following the trail of sunshine magic that is noticeable to pretty much only him, Severus steps out the front gates and strides across the grounds to the Quidditch Pitch. He arrives quietly, arms crossed across his chest in less of an expression of upset than an effort to keep the warmth of his body where it belongs: inside. He remains silent, smirking to himself as he watches Siobhan prepare to teach her familiar to fly.

The arrival of familiar saltwater magic makes Siobhan's eyes slide closed and her mouth twist up in an involuntary smile. The inevitable meeting of seaspray and sunshine feels good in a way she hasn't been able to figure out. It brings out the same reaction in her every time without fail and for once she's a little grateful for the cover of darkness. Being so affected by - so malleable to - another human being is embarrassing for this snake, even when said person is so intrinsically beloved. It implies a lack of independence she's been bred to regard with disdain. Lifting her arm, she holds it steady while her familiar takes off, beating wings and slowly uncoiling from her mistress' arm and shoulders. Once Q is aloft, Siobhan takes a few steps back and off to the right. "I'm going to move to different places on the pitch, Q. When I stop, come find me and then we'll move to a different place." A soft and distinctly feline-sounding noise of agreement leaves the Seraph's throat and Siobhan nods sharply before running a few steps to pick up momentum and leaping onto her broom to take to the air. Kicking off into an aerial backflip, she whips her broom around - keeping low enough to the ground to leave a wind-trail in the stalks of grass below - only to spin into a stop close enough for the hem of her robes to brush against her mate. One hand is held out to him in invitation, accompanied by a slightly dangerous grin. "You coming?"

Severus watches and listens to Siobhan explain things to her familar, and hears Q's reply. He smirks, feeling her come closer, relishing in the touch of her magic as much as she. When she lands, he quirks a brow, remaining silent for a moment as he considers. "May I sit behind you? You may continue to steer." He knows how to fly; in fact, he knows how to fly without the use of a broom. However, it isn't something he enjoys, usually. Spending time with his mate is something else entirely.

Siobhan laughs, nudging her broom with one knee and making the thing shift sideways. It brings her close enough to lean over and kiss him hard, both hands twisted in the front of his robes. Not like she needs those to steer, or anything - years of classical horseback-riding lessons affected her style astride a broom as well. Pulling back, she releases him - perhaps a little embarrassed by her own momentary loss of control - and smoothes the fabric she'd grabbed. "Be my guest, but fair warning - you've seen me fly." Her acrobatic tendencies are what cinched the first Quad Cup game for Slytherin, after all. She shifts forward, making the broom front-heavy until he can even things out behind her. A questioning creel follows, a smooth white snout bumping against the side of Siobhan's face before getting praised with a quick scritch. "Well done, little one. Stay here a moment and come after us when we stop."

Severus leans into the kiss, meeting her intensity. It's a risk, but it's minimal, especially under the light of a waning moon. "I have indeed," he replies, climbing on to the broom behind her. "Well done, foolish creature," he murmurs, just loud enough for his mate and her seraph to hear. "If you are too eager with your flying acrobatics, I shall merely have to hold on tighter." He's not sure whether that's an enticement or a deterrent, nor is he sure which he'd prefer it to be.

This late at night - way past student curfew - and as far from the castle as the Pitch, Siobhan isn't bothered so much by the risk of getting caught. His praise of Q isn't missed, and she can't resist teasing him about it over her shoulder while he mounts the broom. "Careful, Sev. Keep that up and Q might start to think you actually like her." What a horrifying possibility. Nevermind that the adolescent reptile already responds to him as if one of her own - and has for quite some time - it's the principle of the thing. The broom evens out some as he settles in behind her and Siobhan finds that she can scoot back just a touch and bring the broom back into the alignment that feels right. His 'threat' makes her laugh into the wind as she kicks off hard, leaning against the handle to increase their speed rather like a motorist 'flooring it'. "You think that's going to stop me?" she asks, pulling into a sharp left and whipping them over the stands before slowing to hover over the rings on the far side. The sudden stillness is almost a shock after such a rapid take-off and she leans back against him while they wait on the winged creature below. "Since when have I ever complained about being held?" It's a deliberate misinterpretation and she knows it, but it's fun.

Severus inhales sharply when she makes the sharp turn, and leans forward, fulfilling his threat of hanging on to her much more closely. Even in this situation, being near her feeds something within him, and he's able to relax a little more than he expected to up so high. Leaned forward so far, it isn't but the work of a moment to shift himself to whisper in her ear. "That would be a horrible thing, would it not?" He huffs a silent burst amusement that breathes hot on her neck. "I did not expect that it would deter you, no."

Hot breath on the back of her neck has the expected reaction on Siobhan's teenage hormones. Thankfully, she has a far greater deal of self-control than the general eighteen year old - else there might have really been something for him to fear this high up. Even so, her body temperature spikes a couple degrees - even in this chill - and she clears her throat to cover the catch in her breathing. Q bumps her nose against Severus' shoulder this time, purring quietly. A few more starts and stops later, Siobhan reaches out to rub two fingertips on her familiar's head. "Alright, that doesn't seem too hard for you. How about we try you flying with us?" A happy sort of purling noise is the answer - apparently it means something to Siobhan, because she grins and nudges the broom forward. Starting out slow and simple, she increases the speed and complexity of her movements, finally pulling to a stop high above even the stands when she can't shake her familiar. Catching her breath, she shoots a wry look toward her familiar. "You're kind of scary, you know that?" Q just purrs.

When Siobhan reacts to his proximity and whispers, he smirks. However as she moves, increasing her complexity, he tightens his grip a little more. It may border on painful. He is silent for a moment, and then as she speaks to Q, he shifts the grip of his hand slightly, and tilts his head, making his grip less provocative and more merely proprietary. "Are you interacting with her in a general way, or does she actually respond to your words?" Because he spent all that time with her while Siobhan was away, and he never got an understandable response, except for that embarrassing moment with Salmalin and Julian. "I have not flown on a broom for years. At least not in this manner." He's had reason to go up into the air to show his charges a thing or two in Quidditch, or general flying form, but he's always had to steel himself beforehand and deal with it afterward. This was unexpected. There may be more fallout.

Siobhan has never shied away from something because it hurts - especially since their (frequently rather intense) assignations have blurred the line a little more between pain and pleasure. She doesn't flinch away from his grip now, though she may have a fingertip bruise or two on her hips in the morning. Lifting her right hand and wiggling the fingers, she draws attention to the glowing gems on her ring - and, though unintentionally, might also draw attention to the oddly-colored blood-vessels in the band's immediate vicinity. "She responds, all right." It's not the actual blood-ability, but it approximates the effect well enough. "Apparently Seraphs can understand a fair bit of what we say already - enough to respond to surprisingly complex commands - and they recognize voices very well, but I have to say this makes it much easier to work with her." His unexpected confession surprises her, but coupled with the tension she can feel with his body so close to hers, it worries her some too. Letting her right hand fall to rub soothing circles on the outside of his knee and thigh where it overlaps hers, she twists her torso to try and get a look at his face. "I'm a bit mental in the air," she prefaces with a confession of her own. "Makes Pete sick to watch me, he says." So it's not a big deal if her flying is unsettling to him - because he's not the only one. "You want to help from the ground, instead?"

"It is not the air I mind." Severus sounds embarrassed, though the embarrassment and the actual fear is lessened considerably by her soothing touch on his leg, and her understanding words. He smirks, and leans forward again. "I fly, however I do not usually use the broom." This might seem strange to her, but he is perfectly willing to demonstrate, or he would not have brought it up at all. HHe leans a little forward and looks at the ring, considering it again. "I had forgotten that it granted you the ability." He brings the memory of their conversation about it to mind. "I enjoy watching you…" In all ways, whether she's flying crazily or doing much of anything else. "I prefer if you'd keep your safety in mind, but as long as you do that, I have no qualms with your aerial acrobatics." He's watched enough Quidditch players over the years to know that she can do some interesting things on a broom and not fall or injure herself in any way. It's a reassuring thought. He inhales, giving himself the time to compose his words before he admits, "your eldest brother's roommates hexed a broom I used once. It was jinxed to react in the opposite way I intended it to." Even though they were fifth form, it unsettled him enough that he's not been comfortable on a broom since. "I enjoyed the air before that time, so I eventually found a way to do so without the broom." And without turning into an animal.

"Yeah, yeah, safety first," Siobhan parrots it back at him the same as she would - and has done - to any of her brothers. Despite being confronted with her own mortality in several unsettling ways, Sio has enough of the sense of immortality that comes with youth to act as a buffer between her psyche and that knowledge. It's a blessed distance that keeps her more whole than she has any right to expect after what she's been through, but it also means her general lack of caution hasn't been lessened much - at least not where things like brooms and spells and Thestrals are concerned. His first comment puzzles her, but she is distracted by two more admissions - one that doesn't help those hormones any (because 'watching you' just sounds so sinful coming from that silky baritone) and another that riles her protective instincts, nevermind that they're coming a good twenty years too late to be useful. "I get the prank thing, I do." And she does - he's the only one who has a good idea of the various tricks she used to keep a rein on her overzealous classmates over her seven years of study. "But some of the shit they pulled makes me wish I'd done worse than hex Sirius' pants green." Despite her friend's legendary hatred of all things Slytherin, snake-colored under-roos doesn't really seem an accurate penance for some of his school-days cruelty. Before she can get too far down her over-protective tangent, he's reeling her back in with this broom-less-flight thing again. Surprised, she releases the one-handed grip she still has on the broom and twists her torso around to get a proper look at him, the hand on his leg stills but doesn't leave. "I didn't know you were an Animagus." It should be noted that she resists - for his sake - the urge to spin around to sit backwards on the broom handle and face him fully. "But if you turn into a bat, I owe a lot of Gryffindors an apology." She's only half-joking.

"Your safety is extremely important to me, Siobhan." Severus comments, his tone a little more earnest than most ever hear. He does catch the response to his comment about 'watching', but merely holds tight to her, waiting for her to finish speaking. As she does, his first response is to laugh. "No, my nature is still more serpentine than vespertillian." He shakes his head, then moves his hands a little bit on the front of her body as he replies to her words about the Marauders. "I returned in kind many times." And not all of them were simple 'harmless pranks', either. "However, I have learned that line between prank and malicious attack." He's used those lessons to monitor his house, and the students in the other houses. "I am uncertain any of that room learned the difference." His tone is musing. It is a bit of a novel thing to have someone in his life again to discuss the everyday things with. However, he's learning to enjoy it. "Would you like to see me fly? It may surprise you, the means by which I accomplish it."

There's something raw in that first statement that - though on some level she's recognized the truth of it before now - really brings it home to Siobhan. Like a punch to the gut, it hits her that she is vital to someone else in an irreplaceable way. It rocks her, leaving her scrambling for the edges of her control and taking a moment to gather herself again. The hands on her stomach are soothing and familiar; they help her regain her self-control even as they incite the desire to lose it. "Good," she answers him, startled by the breathy sound of her own voice. "Give as good as you get." There, that's a little more stable. There is a vulnerability in his final question that causes her chest to tighten and as she glances back at him, a sliver of a whispered, half-formed thought slithers against his mind. -mineperfectcan'tbelieve- "Of course, mo chridhe. It's not often I get to be the watcher." She tries to put a light-hearted spin on it, but there's something about proximity to him that erodes her ability to put on a good show the way she normally does.

Before she gets a chance to look away, her words seem to echo inside his mind, returning with his own sentiments. brightone-mine-iloveyou He chuckles softly at her support of his actions, though there is a bit of a rueful tone to it. "I was once again caught between, but I enjoyed it more than perhaps I ought to have." When she responds to his comment about watching, he huffs a laugh again. "Indeed, it is usually I who is watching, and you on display." If he were a slightly different man, this would be where he would wink or waggle his brows. However, being the controlled man he is, he merely moves his hand on her abdomen again and requests. "I'd prefer to land and show you from the ground. I do not know exactly how long I can maintain it." Long enough to get up somewhere, for sure, because it has saved him several times.

Holding still for another moment, Siobhan lets her familiar wind up her arm and shoulder before tipping the broom into a (relatively!) gentle descent. She listens to his voice at her ear, but holds her response until her broom hovers at mounting distance from the pitch grass. Only then does she finally give in to her desires, spinning her body to sit backwards on the broom handle. Knees hooked over his thighs now, she slides both hands up the sides of his neck to tangle fingers in thick black hair as she kisses him, only pulling back when it becomes obvious that both of them need air. "But I like your vindictive streak," she whispers, her playful protest a breath against his lips. "Properly directed, it's actually kind of hot." She's got a vindictive nature too, okay? She nips at his jawline and growls softly. "You'd best fly away now, or we'll both be on display." Teenage self-control - even her remarkably developed one - can only go so far before snapping, and he is hard for her to resist anyway.

What a wonder. She even loves him for things others consider faults. Leaning into the kiss, he wraps his arms tightly around her, holding her close. When they release for air, he smirks, his breath catching as she starts to whisper against him and nip at his skin. "Hold on," he directs her. When he is sure she is anchored enough to him, he lets the broom drop, and begins lifting them into the air by pure magic alone. Once they are higher up in the air, he leans back a bit, pulling more of her weight on top of him. "It is a matter of perception and trusting your magic to do the work. In many ways," here, he attempts a cheesy line that may actually work. "It is much easier to soar since you became mine." He smirks at his own pun, but it's the wandless magic that makes it much easier. He pulls her over for a long kiss, lifting just a little higher to clear the area that even Hagrid would be able to see without looking straight up. It's a fairly intense kiss; she's affecting him nearly as much as he affects her. One of the hands holding her in place moves down a little farther, to rest in the small of her back. "How high do you want to go?"

Siobhan is surprised - she'd expected him to release her and display this magic with her as simply a passive (if appreciative) audience. When he instead directs her to hold on, she wraps both arms around his neck before she even properly thinks about it. The sensation of being airborne without the reassuring solidity of a broom or a Thestral beneath her is as unsettling as it is breathtaking and she buries her face in his neck, gripping his hips with her knees and holding on tight. When he leans back and she can feel her torso resting against his, she relaxes a little, lifting her face to look at him and around them in a kind of stunned wonder. "Wow…" she whispers, her lips tugging up into a bright and contagious grin. That line actually does work - in the right place and time, even cheesy puns can manage to fit right. "Guess now we know you got some of my 'oomph' when you gave me some control." Which is a completely fair exchange in her mind. Humming contentedly against his mouth, she returns that kiss in kind, digging her fingernails into his shoulders - and not only for the grip. The hand sliding to the small of her back is warm and makes her spine light up with sensation, feeding that deep part of her that needs to be possessed. "You shouldn't ask me that," she murmurs against the shell of his ear, nuzzling into the soft skin just below. "I am the sun. Icarus only wanted to touch it." And everyone knows how that ended up.

Nearly completely content with his mate in his arms and hidden in the air, Severus sighs his pleasure into the kiss. Her exclamations of surprise and wonder only add to his enjoyment, making him drift a little higher as he continues to kiss her. When they break for air, he chuckles. "I do not know that I can rise that high, but certainly, we can go as high as the trees." It makes him feel young, free and alive to take her up in the air like this. The grip on his shoulders feels good, and he squeezes her lightly, once to express what his words can't. In the back of his mind, the possibility of sharing power and control begin to really sink in; the evidence is right here. He falls silent for a while, continuing to kiss her off and on. Then, he comments, realizing something about himself. "I appreciate the raw power and brightness of your magic." She is the sun to him, he merely the ocean below, being drawn toward the heat and brightness.

Siobhan laughs with him, the sound muffled by his skin. "This is surreal," she murmurs, luxuriating in the decadence of simply sprawling over her mate, indulging in lazy kisses and free from everything save each other - even the earth cannot touch them up here. Wingbeats and a scolding chitter make her look up in surprise. "Oops." She'd forgotten her familiar in the unexpected flight and the Seraph must have gotten fed up with human foolishness and decided to follow them under her own steam. "Sorry, Q," she offers, though her tone isn't close to apologetic. It's hard to feel sorry about anything while being held and kissed and caressed and flown across the night sky like some ancient goddess. Sliding down his body just a bit, she lets her hips rest against his, denim-clad legs wrapping around his waist for a little bit of added stability. His admission makes her smile against his mouth. "I'd be lost without your depth and control anchoring me, soothing me." A quiet admission of her own is offered in return. "So I'm pretty sure we're even." She needs him just as much - though perhaps in a different way.

"I do admit that this is a different use for my skills than I have previously used." He has, however, thought of the idea. So, when the opportunity arose, he was perfectly willing to seize it. A short, sharp shock of laughter escapes as he remembers something he'd read. "I recall a scene in a book quite similar to this, though it was the lady who was the one teaching her … intended to fly." He shakes his head. "Would you be interested in learning?" It might help her escape sometime in the future, and that alone is worth the time and effort to teach her. When the small seraph runs into them, he smirks over at her. "I am teaching your mother to fly. Or I may, should she so desire. Then, the two of you can gallavant around in the air without the need for that pesky broom." He rubs small circles with the hand on her back, looking up at her with intensity. He lazily directs his magic to lift them higher. Slowly they rise until they're level with the trees. The stars appear closer up here. The air is slightly thinner, but not enough to disrupt their kissing and necking appreciably. He kisses her again, pouring a little more intensity into the kiss.

Siobhan shivers, unable to suppress a grin. She likes his laugh. "Which book is this?" she queries, unfamiliar with the scene being described. Q doesn't necessarily understand all the filler words her mother's mate uses, but she does know and trust the voice, and she understands enough of the gist to creel excitedly and loop back on herself in a miniature display of her own style of acrobatics. Siobhan, however, shakes her head. "If I learn it," she teases, "then I won't have the excuse to do this again." She nips lightly at his neck to illustrate what 'this' is. She likes the intimacy of being held this close so high above the ground. However, she can acknowledge the usefulness of the skill and capitulates. Kind of. "Yes, mo chridhe, I would be interested. Just not tonight." She lifts her head to catch his eye, sharing vivid half-remembered, half-imagined images of the two of them twined in an endless number of ways; her mouth on him, his fingers in her - always with him bending her, stretching her, twisting her, holding her … possessing her. Had any doubts existed over just exactly to whom she belongs, there is enough evidence in a dozen heartbeats of shared desires to damn her a thousand times over. Breathless, she clarifies - just in case a redundancy is for some reason required. "Tonight, I want to fly with you in another way entirely."

Now, Severus looks a little sheepish as he responds to her question. "It was a Douglas Adams story. It was a wild flight of fancy." Something he doesn't normally allow himself to engage in. "I had conversations along similar lines when I was younger, so when someone mentioned the premise, I wanted to read it. Reading the first book led to reading the rest of the series." He wanted to find out how the story eneded. "The particular story was called So Long and Thanks for All the Fish." He rolls his eyes at the title, but secretly, he finds it amusing. When she returns to nipping at his skin, he sighs happily. "You mean you won't have this particular excuse again, Bright One. We are intelligent souls; I foresee creativity being applied in many ways." He lowers his voice into the register that he knows affects her. He's not above using a tool like that, especially when it's for their mutual enjoyment. Q's attention gets a smirk, and as he slides his hands under Sio's jumper just a little, he gives a sharp jerk of the head to the familiar. It's a sign for her to go play somewhere else for a while. Whether Q understands it or not is debatable. Her shared collection of images seem to spread themselves out on the water of his magic like projections, played out for them to enjoy and remember clearly. There are ripples in the otherwise quiet ocean that seem to emphasize or color the memories in his own way. His own memories come bubbling up to the surface to join them, to overlay across the similar ones, so that, like pensieve memories, they become thick, real, and nearly three-dimensional in intensity. "Do you wish to fly here, or somewhere a little more … less adventurous?" He licks at her ear, nibbling at it with his lips, carefully, yet with affection.

Siobhan can't help it - that title makes her laugh. "I'll keep an eye out for it." Because with that title and flying people, it's at least worth a try. His hands against the skin of her back make her expression turn smug. "See? Open robes make it so much easier to get at skin without fuss." She's teasing, really, but her enjoyment of his skin - and the reaction her touch to it invokes - is no secret between them. Pressed this close to him, she can feel the pull of muscles as he jerks his head. Before she can ask about it, his question paints a vivid picture in her mind's eye and she moans into his shoulder, hips jerking involuntarily against his. His lips and teeth and tongue at her ear aren't helping either. "You have no idea how tempting that is." Because the freedom and danger of riding her lover like this is enough to trickle liquid fire down her spine. "But Q can only follow body heat." As far as she knows, anyway. "And besides, when I leech away that self-control of yours - " and she always does " - you might not be able to keep us both aloft."

Severus groans, both at the assault on his senses, and the fact that his mate will now read one of the silliest books he's ever enjoyed. However, that's also a bit of a relief, because it does make up a small part of his odd sense of humor. He chuckles at her comment about the robes, and agrees with a wordless hum. "Then, call that broom and your creature to yourself, and we shall enter the castle another way." He knows of a way to get into the actual building this way. The grounds and wards are protected against flying things; the castle proper is not. "Because," he intones, right into her ear, catching her eye and letting the words echo through them both. "As titillating as flying this way with you may be, I too would prefer the other method." He considers for a long moment, though, and then adds, "perhaps after we have both mastered the skill more," and maybe are more used to each other in other ways, "we may practice somewhere that is not populated by a thousand small minds." Somewhere quiet, full of trees and empty of people comes to mind. It's something for them to work toward someday. "As you are the only individual on the planet who wishes to look at my bare skin," Severus admits, "I had not seen the benefit before now." He'll admit that he can definitely see it now. Not that he'll change while he's here, though.

Not completely sure just exactly where they are, Siobhan leans in close enough to give his earlobe a light tug between her teeth. "Hold on to me," she advises, letting go with one hand and extending it out behind her. "Accio Firebolt," she whispers, not trusting a simple force of will when it involves a heavy broomstick whipping at them from parts unknown. Only once it smacks into her palm and her fist closes around it does she relax enough to let her more organic magic seep into the broom, shrinking it enough for her to slip into a pocket. "Mmm, yes - when you and I are finally free, Severus, I want to make love with you soaring over some warm stretch of ocean." Soaring through warm winds and clothed only by sunshine and seaspray while so intimately twined is a visual well-worth savoring - and sharing. Siobhan does both. As for who does and who doesn't want to look at his skin, Siobhan laughs quietly, shaking her head and bringing her once-again broomless hand up to cup the side of Severus' face. "You and I both know that's not true - I thought I'd have to peel melting Muggles off of you when you showed off tight clothes at Cat's." Her laugh at that memory is low and soft like rich, sensual velvet. She doesn't care if they look - she can be that generous. "But I am the only individual on the planet who gets to touch all that bare skin." There's dark promise and feral possessiveness in that statement - apparently her good nature only extends so far.

He noticed the 'melting Muggles'. Kind of. Severus' attention was focused on Siobhan moving like a dervish in that mass of people, standing out like that goddess enthroned in her sunshine. He wraps his arms around her, keeping a tight hold just as he's been asked. "I look forward to that moment, My Own. We shall have to beware of Muggle obstacles then, but we are wise." They can disillusion well. The idea appeals to him quite a bit. "You are the only person able to touch me in that way. And in many much deeper." They are over the bridge now, and he shifts them a little so they can both watch their home below as they float by. "The reverse is also true, Bright One. I am the only one able to touch you, to draw you into myself, to flow together…" He continues to run his hands across the skin he can find, though his movements remain discreet. If they are spotted by an insomniac child or a staff or auror patrolling, they may recognize them, but they won't be able to see what his hands are doing inside her robes and under her jumper. What they are doing is rubbing soft circles with his thumb, mostly on her lower abdomen and sides, intent on avoiding the ticklish spots. He doesn't want her squirming … not yet, anyway.

Siobhan shakes her head, amusement combining with sheer joy to bubble up past her lips in quiet laughter. It would not do to wake anyone with unseemly volume. "There are untold miles of coastal waters off of Africa, Australia, South America … all of which are empty of people nearly year-round." And in those parts of the world, such a sight would be interpreted as the appearance of a god and his consort goddess, not anything to be troubled over in the slightest. His touch against her skin proves his claim on her true, the contact making electric pleasure dance along her nerves. That claim strikes her somewhere deep, feeding wild and primal roots - he is her mate, she is his to possess. "You are my only equal." She repeats words burnt into both their minds. "Why would I settle for anything less?" Watching the castle flash by below them, she can't help the wicked grin that lights her face, nor the blatant tease in her voice. "Although in all fairness, I draw you into myself." She pauses, feigning innocent confusion. "Well, mostly into my body, but the 'self' is included."

It's a damn good thing they're getting close to the castle. There is a window to an unused classroom on the sixth floor, and Severus 'steers' them toward it, unlocking the window with a simple Alohamora. He shudders at her words and touches, especially the idea of her naked above the sea over a warm beach…. "You do realize," he comments, low and dirty as they reach the ledge to climb in, "that you are making the upcoming trip to Italy … more interesting, do you not?" He throws open the window, gesturing for her to climb in before him. "If you like, this room is secluded, and we may seal it, or we may hurry down to our own rooms. Either way…" He is in need of her touch a lot more tonight. "I am your only equal. You are my only equal." Her comment about the physicality of their relationship makes him huff in laughter again. "Literally, yes, however, magically and in personality, I am but a mere planet in orbit." He's a world of water, drawn into her gravity. And he doesn't mind a damn bit.

Siobhan dutifully clambers in that window, feeling deliciously illicit. "Considering that Italy isn't anywhere near secluded and I won't be wearing any less than jumpers and lounge pants, I'm missing the interesting bit I think." She answers him before even really thinking about the words coming out of her mouth, but - though some forethought may have worded it differently - the core of what she says is true. She will not be baring her scars for the entire holiday group, thanks. Rather than wasting the breath answering him, she crouches low to the ground and lays her palm flat against the floor. A wash of sunshine magic floods the room, met and augmented by a surprisingly strong answering pulse from the castle herself. He's not the only one in need of a mate's touch. His metaphor makes her grin over her shoulder as she straightens to stand again, catching just the barest glimpse of her familiar napping on a parapet outside. "I would say the more accurate comparison is the weapon and the one who wields her, since it's only you I don't consume." Although judging by the hungry gaze she trails over him, she's reconsidering at least some form of consumption.

"The thought of you and I on sand together is quite enough to cause an effect, Siobhan," Severus comments. Her magic warding the door and its answering pulse surprises him a little, though, after a little thought, it makes sense. He flicks his hand, undoing all the buttons on his robe, his normal white tee and black boxers beneath. He'd not intended to go flying. However, her last words cause his eyes to narrow and his arms to wrap around her as he backs her against the wall, kissing her hungrily. "You. Will. Be. No. One's Weapon." She may be the best fighter, the best duelist in the wizarding world, but she will fight when she decides to. "It is part of what I stand in that place to prevent." No one else need walk through this. Potter, maybe, he might allow, if the divination pans out, but not his wife. Not his mate. She'll fight, yeah, but only if she's damn well ready and willing. His hands are frantic, reaching under her jumper, stroking her skin and getting beneath her undergarments to touch her. He needs her bright burn, just as she needs his cool depths. "I love you, he whispers in her ear, nipping lightly at it again. He is relentless in his touch, but it remains gentle, provocative, and affectionate.

Siobhan isn't entirely sold on this idea of sand, it has a terrifying tendency to get in all the wrong places and not come out. "Or in the ocean," she counters, beginning to follow his logic. "Up to our necks in water, we'd be almost weightless." Which is almost like flying, though being fucked up against a grotto wall has its own merits as well. The sudden fire and surge forward surprise her; the harshly growled demands and frantic touches spark a conflicting response. The fear behind it makes her want to soothe her husband, but the raw command in his voice and stance and touch makes his mate want nothing more than to submit to that power. Shrugging out of her open robes and letting them fall to the floor, she presses up against him and moves her hands up under the hem of his shirt to get at smooth, warm skin. "I'm not made of glass, mo chridhe. I won't break in your hands." She growls and nips at his lips, challenging his dominance even as she bares her throat to him. Words of love in her ear make her back arch away from the wall and pull a breathy moan from her lips. "I love you." And what's almost more important to a snake - and the reason she doesn't share his violently negative reaction to her being considered his weapon. "I trust you."

"The mere sight of you in the bright sun, surrounded by the light that seems to emanate from you…" Severus shudders, the picture a fantasy-fueler for sure. He smirks at the thought of swimming with her in the depths of the ocean, out away from prying eyes. "That may be an option as well." He seems to gauge the response to his growled words, and his protective nature surges up. He presses in closer and kisses her more intensely. When he draws back, he growls, "Off…" It must be a command to his magic, because the sea foam washes over the both of them, leaving them naked. Their clothes, as usual for his magic, end up on a desk, folded neatly. Her words of reassurance fuel him, and he moves his hands up: one to her breasts, the other behind her neck. He returns to kissing her then licking at her neck and nipping gently. It is still cool March, after all. "Wrap your legs around me, Bright One." He needs her, and if necessary, he can lift her with strength or magic into the right place.

The sudden freedom of skin to skin contact leaves Siobhan with plenty to satisfy her need for touch. Both hands stroke up his sides and back, dragging her fingernails lightly back over the jut of one hipbone - tugging and teasing just that little bit more at his self-control, playing the game she always does to make him lose every scrap. This time the glimpses of his raw and feral nature up the stakes, but the thought of roughness excites, not deters. It's still cool March - she can still get away with high-necked jumpers. Freed that little bit more by the realization that the marks she loves can still be hidden, Sio runs her hands up his arms to his shoulders, digging the nails of both hands into the back of his neck as she pushes off in time with his lifting her. It leaves her settled in his arms and flirting with disobedience. In the end, she tucks her knees up, running the insides of her calves along his thighs and hips - increasing the need without ever providing him exactly the right opening to push in and take her. She even taunts him a little, adding a verbal stroke as well as the physical ones. "Take what belongs to you…" The contrast of smooth warm skin at her front and cool rough stone at her back makes her shiver, biting her lower lip and flinging her head back from the sensations' intensity.

With a hazy wash of magic, Siobhan manages the intent of Sit and finds herself and her mate on an L-shaped sofa that looks remarkably like the one on which they watched James Bond at her flat in London. Still wrapped so tightly around him, Siobhan tries to shift to a more comfortable position - since there's room to stretch out, now - and is stopped by the sharp twinge in her lower back that only ever happens after really good sex. Laughing softly against Severus' jaw, she pulls back enough to look him strait in the eye. She manages to hold back from slipping in, but leaves her own barriers thrown wide open to him. All she really wants is for him to feel the sharp truth behind seven simple, softly-spoken words. "I am so in love with you." And she smiles at him, naked devotion and a soft vulnerability in the expression. That smile leads to a rueful chuckle, though her barriers stay conspicuously absent. "And I am so not going to be able to walk straight tomorrow." Or possibly for a day or so after that, too. But she doesn't sound upset in the least, simply hazy and loved and incalculably satisfied.

Severus' growl is deep, possessive and proprietary. He is surprised when they land on a couch, but he isn't going to complain. The endorphins in his system make his mate's laughter contagious, and he gives her one of his rare, real smiles. When she captures his eyes and proclaims her love so clearly and backs it up with an open mind, Severus is floored. He blinks, freezes, and breathes out his words. "You really do." And that amazes him. The banal comment about her gait makes him smirk. He doesn't want to hurt her, but if she's content, he's happy. His grip around her tightens, and he rubs gently against her lower back in slow, soothing circles.

With those barriers still down, the response elicited by that growl - and the possessiveness that spawned it - is no secret. Shivering with delight, Siobhan melts against him, his fingers at her lower back eliciting contented mewling noises as some of the tension is slowly eased. "Yes, mo chridhe, I really am in love with you." There's a pause there, attempting and failing at a deadpan delivery. (There are some drawbacks to this kind of defenseless honesty.) "I really do love you, too." She laughs a little, amused by the discrepancy between her 'am' and his 'do'. She catches the shock and frozen moment, however and tilts her head. "You alright?"

"I have never felt this way in my life." The open honesty goes both ways. Severus enjoys the response his touch and his growl elicit, and the moment of shock was just pure shock. "In many things, I catch on very quickly," he states what she knows well, "however, it appears that in matters of the heart, I am as slow-witted as the densest child within these walls." He snorts ruefully at himself. "I heard your words, believed them, at least as you thought to be true. However, I see within your eyes," and the mind behind them, "that it is the unvarnished truth. Thank you." He extends the same courtesy, opening his mind to her, letting her see his own feelings for her. The phrase 'still waters run deep' has never been more true than now. There is a depth of feeling that runs ocean deep.

Siobhan snorts, amused by his self-comparison to the dunderheads they teach. "Then I suppose we're just lucky that I happen to be an expert in hands-on learning, hmm?" Lifting her hands to cup both sides of his jaw, she runs her thumbs in soothing caresses across the sides of his face, smiling and shaking her head. "That's honestly a relief," she admits, referring to his admission of no prior experience with these feelings and sensations. "I haven't felt this before either, and I kinda felt bad, like this is what it's always supposed to feel like and I just didn't know because I fucked up the first two tries." But if this is new to him, too, then it's more likely that it's a product of the two of them, rather than of either one of them getting something 'right'. But her rambling is cut off with a gasp as his own barriers are lowered to her. She expected to find care and affection, protectiveness and possessiveness, sure. What she had not expected to find was a love that runs just as deep in his oceans as hers burns hot in her sunshine's molten core. It leaves her shaken and in awe. "I…" Now it's her turn to be without any words - a rare thing for her, to be sure.

"I quite enjoy learning 'hands-on' from you." It's a horrible pun, but Siobhan left the door open for it, and Severus decided to take it. He smirks for a moment, merely enjoying laying with her, clothes nearby, the lassitude and pleasure after a good bout of sex between them. "I know that others have said — those who have found a partner more than once in life — that each is different. I did not understand that, nor did I understand the stories and songs written of deep, undying love. I thought they were the sentimental ravings of mad fools." Not so much now. As she can see. When she falls silent, he brings her head close to his, and kisses her gently, languidly, expressing that depth of emotion in touch as well as within the deep dark corners of his mind.

Siobhan snickers at the pun, but if he hadn't walked into that opening, there'd be cause for some concern. Tangled here with him like this … it's about as close to perfect as Sio believes in. "According to Brennan's book - " at least what she could understand of the blasted thing " - that's really not an option for you and me anymore." The whole second partner deal. And though she probably should sound at least a little bothered about it, she really doesn't. It's actually kind of comforting. She laughs softly, the tip of her tongue poking out the side of her grin. "You're pretty much stuck with me, mo chridhe." But she's not objecting to that gentle, emotional kiss, not even a little bit. She pulls back slowly and indulges in a languid stretch, looking for all the world like a very satisfied feline - complete with cream on its nose. "Aha, so maybe now you won't mind my 'flights of fancy' so much." Since he's dubbed just about every book he's seen her read as such, she feels that it's a fair tease. Pausing in that train of thought, she leans back in to capture his lips in another slow, deep kiss; the intimacy and intensity of it are addicting.

Between kisses, Severus cannot seem to stop his smirk, or even a full smile. It is indeed the perfect moment, and he cannot imagine one better. "I recall that part, yes," he replies to her reference to Brennan's book. "It may be a slow process for a dullard like me," he teases, dryly, "but I may yet come to appreciate some of them." Of course, while they're still in this situation, he may not be able to appreciate them, but as the years roll by, he might just begin to understand some of her stories, and enjoy them too — perhaps recapturing the whimsy that led him to read Adams in the first place. He kisses her again, keeping a light touch, just keeping the feelings of happiness and satiety alive. "Would that this moment could last forever." He'd like that. A lot. "I do not mind being … stuck with you. The reverse is also true, of course."

Siobhan is an extremely tactile creature. She draws comfort from touch even without realizing what she's doing most of the time. Right now, however, running her hand over her mate's side and back in slow, soothing circles, she's completely aware of how good it feels - not really why it does, because the intricate 'whys' are not her strong point, but she knows without a doubt that she'll not give this up without a fierce fight. "Just wait." She hums contentedly against his mouth, savouring another kiss before continuing. "When Jack and Liam finally get their shit together and start ensuring the family line and all that, you'll get a crash course in 'flights of fancy'. You ever see a Dr Seuss book? Let me tell you there is nothing more stuffed full o' fucking fancy than Green Eggs and Ham." Or any one of the numerous others. Her laughter dies down with his last, however, and she rolls them so that she can half-sprawl on his chest, looking down into his face for a long moment before bending down to kiss his forehead, eyelids, cheekbones, the tip of his nose and finally brushing just the whisper of a kiss across his lips. "Don't be daft," she murmurs, unknowingly slipping into the sweetly refined brogue of her native Balmorrow. "I couldn't find a better man if I looked another fifty years and that's a lot of time to waste bein' silly."

Severus snorts. "I have heard of Seuss. I have even seen a few of his books." The fact that they'll get to see the days when her elder brothers have children is something that brings another slight relief to his heart. He doesn't look forward to the kids themselves, not at this point, not while he's surrounded by all these teenagers. However, the promise of later days and 'just wait until you see' always warms him from the inside like her bright rays. "Thank you," he replies, a step or two further down the road to accepting things as they stand. He's finally seeing the truth of what they mean to each other and how much they're changing each other. "Siobhan," he begins, sliding his hand down her back just a little further, "I noticed something while I was searching for you that surprised me. Now that I know how much we care for one another — how much we love each other, it does not surprise me so, but it may surprise you." He holds out his finger, points to an area of the room she'll be able to see, and casts Expecto Patronum. The bright seraph appears again, seeming just to pop into place, instead of streaming from his finger. "My patronus shape has changed."

No one in their right mind can look forward to anyone's children when constantly surrounded by over 500 of Britain's adolescent wizarding population. It's one of those unfortunate realities that accompany the teaching profession. His thanks make her smile, nuzzling against his jawline and tracing her hand over his stomach, fingertips following old scars as a force of habit. The way he begins his story, however, puts her nerves on edge. In her experience, few things end well that are begun with these kinds of explanations. Confirmation of that bad feeling comes with five simple words. My patronus shape has changed. There is huge weight placed in British wizarding culture on the shape of a person's patronus and - by extension - a change in that shape. There are customs, there are norms, there are expectations - outside of a very few prescribed, accepted scenarios, these changes are almost taboo. It's with a noblewoman's full awareness of these implications that the tense young snake turns to see just what shape her husband's spell has taken. What she sees … surprises her to say the least. "A Seraph?" More puzzled than anything, Siobhan summons her remembered joy and waves a billowing smoke from her fingers. She holds her breath, but the smoke takes on the shape of her over-sized hyena - the way that it's always done. "I don't understand… If the change was my fault, it should have alligned with Ed, not Q." She's never heard of an instance of Patronus aligning with a familiar - an Animagus form, sure, but not a familiar. Chewing on her lower lip, Siobhan glances back at Severus. "What was it before the doe?" she asks quietly, knowing full well the kind of muck the question could stir up and still steeling herself to ask it anyway.

"I do not know why it chose this shape. It was not a conscious choice. I believe, though, if I were to theorize, that I see you as a snake with wings, much like your foolish creature. I have seen her with you more than I have seen Ed, so …" Severus' voice trails off, his mind still working. "The theory behind the patronus charm is buried in the Latin." It's his lecturing tone, but it's not. It's more the tone he might take with a fellow researcher, or a brewing partner, or, in this case, his wife. "I confidently expect a savior. The brightest things in my life are found right here." He knows what wizarding culture says about patronuses, but he also knows that many things wizarding culture believes are not always precisely true. Her last question puzzles him, and he shakes his head slightly, not wanting to disturb her at all. "Before it was a doe? It had always been a doe. I was extremely surprised to see that it had changed. I wanted you to be aware before we were required to use them as a method of communication. If you did not know, you may believe that another had compromised me, or had sent the message in my place." They both known of at least one person who can mask his voice. "I am certain I am the only person with this shape in our circles. At least of those of us who use it for communication instead of merely protection." He runs his hands across her again, attempting to provide reassurance if she should need it.

Siobhan can feel her mate's bare hands moving over her skin and the touch soothes her almost like a charm. "I don't know the theory," she admits baldly, "but I know that when a person's patronus changes because of romantic entanglements that it's almost always a matching set of some kind." Laying her head on his chest, Sio spends a quiet moment simply listening to his heartbeat before working up the courage to explain her fear. "You and I are among a group of people who use the Patronus' message-carrying abilities regularly. Imagine for a moment that you have to send it somewhere and the wrong person notices it's a match for the one used by the 'new Mrs Morgan'." There's a bitterness to her voice when she speaks the title she'll carry in less than six months' time. "I couldn't put you in danger like that, but I don't think a Seraph would tip them off. It's awful far off a hyena." The hand resting on his chest slides up, fingertips tracing the outline of the place she'd bitten enough to draw blood - right where the neck meets the shoulder. Despite the reassuring solidity of that scar - one he'll probably carry the rest of his life, thanks to her recklessness - Siobhan's expression is one almost of pain as she lets her eyes slide closed, her world narrowing to the warm skin under her cheek and the steady heartbeat in her ear. "I'm no savior, Sev. That's Potter's gig, not mine." It's quietly spoken, but she feels that it's only fair she be honest.

"And rightly so." He'll answer her last comment first this time. Severus continues his gentle ministrations. "It may not be a literal saving, Siobhan. In many ways, you have already been a 'savior.' It is not something I expect you to have to act on, nor is it intended to be a burden for you. Merely a reiteration of what I have already spoken. You have stood up for me when others have not. Were nothing else the case, it may have changed because of it." He keeps his silence as he thinks through the cases he knows from books and other situations where couples' patronus changed. "It is not always so, however. It can be that they change to the other's animagus form, or some other creature that represents them. I know there is a romanticized history of two people, bound soul to soul, sharing everything including Patronuses. The reality is far more mundane, I believe. When only one of the pair has a strong affinity for the animal, the other's may change to match. I have seen friendship bonds wherein the two patronuses matched because they had a strong enough bond in that manner. Likewise, siblings." So, even if their patronuses matched, there may be other reasons for it than strong romantic love. 'Saviors' come in all varieties, after all. "And I could put you in danger should someone see your creature and then my patronus. The thought has crossed my mind as well." He knows exactly what is at stake, and her protection is paramount to him. He is finally starting to see that the reverse is also true. "Were I able to reach out and fix the situation so that it would not cause you pain, I wouild do so." However, they both know that he cannot, and neither can she.

Siobhan sighs, turning her head to press a soft kiss against his chest. "I didn't mean it like that, mo chridhe… She's beautiful." But she has enough self-awareness to realize that her first reaction to fear is to get mouthy, so it very likely did come out worse than she intended. She nods over to where Ed - without any job to do or Dementor to bully - has taken up batting one forepaw at the whispy Seraph's dangling tail. "I don't disagree with you, either, but unfortunately that highly romanticized history is the one everyone knows." So whether it's true or not doesn't matter. Struck by an odd memory, she laughs, lifting her head to grin down at her husband. "You did threaten Gaius with me, once. Dared him to get past your protector, I think. We'll just call him in if people start asking questions. He'll babble Welsh at them until their heads explode." It's a fanciful solution to a problem that only scratches the surface of what she'll have to undertake before this farce is over, but imagining it makes her feel better all the same. "Hey," she calls softly, lifting one hand to trace the back of her knuckles gently across his cheek. "Thank you for introducing her." She knows how private a person her mate is by nature. "Sorry I was such a pureblood about it." Sometimes a pureblood's culture and education are … more of a burden than a help.

Severus sighs his contentment when she kisses his chest. These moments are as comforting to him as the hurried moments before. He smiles down at her, willing to accept her apologies and reassurances easily. "What is your hyena doing to my seraph?" It's a teasing question. "Is he bothering her?" Soft chuckles shake his chest just a little, probably rumbling through both of them. He sets aside the teasing and returns to the comments on their changing identities, for that's what this is a part of. "You cannot help what you learned by listening to your parents. It is natural for you to assume that is the case until life proves otherwise. At least you are flexible about learning the more realistic version." He smirks, because he knows so many people who will claim their old witches' tales are fact, when they lean more to the 'myth' side of things. "Peate could indeed confuse several people. Especially if we tell him that there is a secret contact who will be the only other person understanding Welsh. We'd have to make a very unique … pass phrase. Something about flying monkeys or something." Here, a little of his absurdity appears. It wouldn't be exactly cruel, but it wouldn't be polite, either. "You are quite welcome. Now, if you wish, we can continue our repose here, or we can return to our rooms and rest." With another flick of his hand, the wispy seraph moves toward him, sticking her tongue out to touch Severus' skin, and then she disappears. Severus is tired enough from the discussion, the flight and the fucking that he makes the decision for them. "Feckitall," he breathes in the more nasal timbre of Spinner's End, "we'll wake up early." He sends magic to gather his robe to drape over them, recheck the lock on the door, and keep the couch in place for a few more hours. Curled with his wife, sated and loved, he falls to sleep.

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