1996-01-15: Gravedigger Off-Kilter


Snape_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title Gravedigger Off-Kilter
Synopsis Siobhan is singing and Severus finds her. Discussion ensues. Other things ensue, as well.
Location Hogwarts, Dungeon, Noble's Quarters
Date Jan 15, 1996
Watch For Weird magic. Music. Multilayered conversation.
Logger Snay-up.

Late Monday evening finds Siobhan's office locked and empty, her classroom dark and devoid of life and even her spot at the staff table is conspicuously bare. Though the dinner hour has come and gone, the usual occupant of all those places hasn't moved - not since classes let out for the day. Dressed in a pair of ratty flared denims and a faded THE WHO tee, she sits on the floor of her sitting room, back against the couch and legs folded to support the Alvarez guitar in her arms. Fingers slide over the strings with the familiarity of one old lover to the other, plucking with a classical fingering over a minor inverted scale that gradually folds itself into a familiar melody. "Would you make it shallow? I wanna feel the rain…" Her voice isn't the kind of technical perfection that Keegan would have liked to make it, but it's soft and earthy, rough and pleasant to listen to. At any rate, the Seraph curled up in front of the fire and the four occupants of the large painting above her roaring fire don't seem to mind. Her hair is swept back into a loose ponytail and her face is pink and bare, like the usual layer of makeup has been scrubbed from it. She's on her own turf, now. With only a blind Q and four long-dead mages for company, her dark circles and red eyes mean nothing.

Severus Snape has been unsettled since their conversation with the American. Perhaps it's still the novelty of someone considering his safety irrespective of any other consideration, or perhaps it's jsut the feeling of having been involved in the conversation at all. Whatever the reason, Snape is stalking the dungeon corridors, chivvying children back to where they belong. He pauses at the outside of the new professor's quarters, hearing the music. He holds up a fist to knock, pausing for a moment, considering, then deciding to go ahead and interrupt her. He knocks briskly, a tap-tap against her door.

The wards know that hand. They were keyed for it. On silent hinges, the door swings open on the scene at hand, but Siobhan doesn't stand or even stop. Her fingers continue to stroke and caress the bittersweet melody and its chilling harmony from the instrument in her arms. She does break her humming long enough to form a single question, but she doesn't look up - not yet. "Is something wrong, Sev?"

When the door swings open with a simple touch, Severus blinks, looking at the door as if staring would reveal its secrets. He turns, stepping into the room. "Not as such no," he responds to her query. He falls silent again, listening to her play the chords before speaking again. "Are you feeling particularly mortal?" The words could easily be taken snidely, but the tone is more pure curiosity than insulting snark. He can identify with the song, and often feels the same. However, he's not one to sing, at least where anyone would be able to hear him.

And maybe someone who hadn't spent the better part of the last six months working in close proximity wouldn't be able to tell the difference between snark and honest curiosity. Siobhan, however, knows. "A little," she answers honestly, her voice quiet and drained and just a bit nasal - like someone who's got a cold or has other reason for sinus drainage. "Have a seat if you like," she offers quietly. In all the time she's been living here, this is the first time hosting this particular friend, so the polish on her hospitality might not be up to snuff. Her hands shift up a key and a half to play a haunting version of the melody from 'Ring Around the Rosie', buried in the other, softer notes of the scale.

"I have often wondered why children are taught a song heralding the demise of victims of the Black Death." Severus eases himself into the seat, giving her a slight nod in deference to her offer. "I understand the historical significance of such tunes, but …" Life is morbid enough without reminders. "If I have misspoken…" He attempts to quantify his unease, to express it. However, that is as far as he is able to go in the attempt. Instead, he closes his eyes, listening to the tune.

"Because they don't know any better." Siobhan's answer is succinct. "And neither do their parents. Or their parents." Her lips curve up into a sad kind of smile and she closes her eyes to let the complexity of the harmony and the resonance of its combination with the melody soothe her raw nerves - and even something deeper. "No." She's quick to correct him, and for the first time she looks up into his face with red-rimmed eyes. "You've not said anything wrong. I'm just…" She shrugs, uncomfortable with the fact that she's not been able to force herself into acceptance, yet. "It's stupid and childish, but - " She pauses here and looks into the flames again, unable to finish the thought when she could see the mockery she's sure will rise to his features. "I genuinely thought this was the last thing that was mine, that I could do just for me. Something that I could choose to suit my heart, not a war."

And there it is. That's what has bothered him, both for himself and for his friend. Severus purses his lips. "I had hoped to take on that burden." He doesn't make himself any clearer, but it's there… he wishes he could stand in his place between two, protecting from the loss of choice. "It certainly ought to be, but oughts are naught." The unexpected turn of phrase makes the corner of his mouth turn up for just a moment. "It may be unnecessary to reiterate, but you have my support, whatever path you choose." That seems to be enough for the moment, then he clarifies. "In this matter." In other matters, he may scold her a bit, especially if it involves getting herself hurt.

Unnecessary to reiterate? Those words impact hard. For the first time, Siobhan's fingers freeze on the strings and for just a moment she doesn't breathe. She can't. It's just a beat; she swallows hard and makes her fingers resume their playing, the music seeming to kick her heartbeat back into gear. Nevertheless, it's a moment more before she feels like she can say anything without some embarrassing display of emotion. "Thank you," she whispers, lifting her head to look into the fire again. Anxious to push through this - before her friend comes to his senses and snarks at her for being a Puff - she forces a smile and a bright tone to her voice. She only manages a quirk of her lips and a strained sort of resolution. "There is no choice, truly. It would be foolish to turn down assets like that. An entire other dynasty in land and money, plus the command of quite possibly the biggest private army in the west?" And yet she'd balked with those enticements initially. "Besides, it will free you from the chains I can't protect you from." And the edge of bitterness that slips through those words makes it a little too plain for her liking just how much that's bothered her. "If I deprived us of that just because I never grew out of the little girl's fantasy of love and marriage?" She laughs, then, but it's not a happy sound. "I'd be a fool, indeed."

Severus focuses his attention on her fingers, feeling a bit like a Hufflepuff himself. However, he keeps his expression clear — aside from his eyes. When her fingers falter, he looks up to her face. Of course, that's just as she turns away, so he turns to look into the fire as well. A wordless "mmm" is the only response he has to her comment about not really having a choice. "He seems an honorable man." As opposed to someone else — many someones else in his acquaintance — whose ideas of honor include mistreatment of those below them. "It may make the difficult path a little easier." He glosses completely over her protecting him. It's not meant to be an insult, he just isn't sure what to do with the idea. At all.

That wordless sound makes Sio turn her head to look into his face, but by then he's turned his head and so she misses whatever emotion clouds his eyes. Somehow this feels like their usual dance, just off by a single step. Both of them keep missing each other instead of the easy understanding they'd grown into of late. It leaves Siobhan with a funny kind of discomfort in her stomach. "Honourable, yes. Depressingly leonine, though." Recent experiences have darkened her opinion of that particular sect of humanity. "But at least he's grown up without their prejudices. If even Potter and his band turned on me when I offered the greatest of gifts - and they've known me for years - then I can't imagine a stranger ever being able to see trouble without instinctively pinning my name to it. I couldn't live like that." She is wolf in more ways than one - that network of close bonds - that sense of 'pack' - is vital. Her fingers slide back down on the guitar's neck, twisting the main melody in with a strain of minor chord progressions that sound like something from the Arabian desert before bringing it back to the basic line.

"Perhaps it is the grandest disservice we do," Severus comments, apparently on the predjudice of the British Wizarding World. "It makes things simple for our matriculation, but beyond …" He falls silent again, listening to the tune. Her characterization of Morgan as a Gryff gets a huff of amusement. "One wonders if his internal organs are branded with the colors of their flag." He wouldn't exactly phrase it any other way, at least not for quite a while. "That would make for a fair partnership for his business endeavors. You have the skill he may lack," namely that of getting things done through a much broader means than he might consider. The mention of Dumbledore's Golden Boy makes his lip curl and his eyes narrow. "Potter is an arrogant child. His two miscreant minions are equally as egotistic." He shifts in his seat, gazing toward her, perhaps, this time, actually catching her eye.

Siobhan smiles softly, the first real smile in this conversation. Lifting her gaze from her fingers, she catches him staring at her and blushes, lowering her eyes instinctively before setting her jaw and looking slowly upwards again. If he's going to stare, she bloody well can too! There's something different about him and it's been bothering her since he walked in the door. This is her chance to make a study of his hands, his shoulders, his face and expression and even the very posture with which he sits. Even with this close observation, she can't put her finger on it, and so when her gaze lifts enough to lock with his again, she tilts her head to one side and chews on her lip. "What's wrong?" The rest of the conversation isn't necessarily forgotten, but definitely on the back-burner. "Can you tell me?"

He's not sure he can tell her. It's not something he can define. "I am… unsettled." And, in a weird cycle, not knowing what's unsettled him makes him feel more off. He smirks ruefully, at his own discomfort as much as at her embarrassment. "I am unused to having a forum to discuss my unease when there is no strategic value attached. It may just be the upheaval of being back in this situation after I had resigned myself to remaining by the Dark Lord's side full time." It proably is a little more than that, but it's the part he can grasp at the moment.

Letting her melody trail off, Siobhan sets the Alvarez to lean against the empty armchair and moves with surprising grace from one tangle of limbs to stand and then to fold herself to sit sideways at his feet, her hand moving to rest atop one of his. The usual spark of warm sunshine to come with the first contact does not disappoint, as if her magic itself is happy to see him. "It's more than that, Sev," she answers, quiet but firm. "You've had months to adjust yourself to the idea of leaving the service of both your masters." Siobhan honors her promises. There's more she wants to say, but this isn't one of her brothers or even her students. She's only ever known one other soul as damaged as this, and from it she learned that it's best to let them have their silence to let them answer in their own time, rather than trying to coax the answer out.

He is slightly surprised, but since he can track her movements fairly easily even as pensive as he is, he does not jump. "When I was a child, a friend and I saw something of an evening that left both of us in awe. Childishly, we tried for nearly a week to replicate the effects. I feel like I am nearing being able to do that in this situation, but hesitate to fully attempt, for fear the means will be kept slightly out of reach again." His magic reacts to hers; it doesn't try to splash the warmth away, though. Instead, it seems to surround it, instinctively making a small peninsula of the bright touch, surrounding it with blue-green water that seems to thrum like the bass lines of her music.

Siobhan's sunshine seems fed by the protection and energy provided by the swirling green-blue waters. It grows, but not in any way that could be explained by physical science. It expands to offer its warmth to waters beyond the point of contact without overheating that primary point - a balm to the chill that's settled into these waters that should be so full of life. Siobhan, while the stress and tension of the last few days is slowly melted away by this comforting melding of magic, is puzzled by his answer. "You're a good deal more powerful now than you were as a child, Sev." She cracks her neck twice, the muscles there finally loose enough to allow it; it's a relief. "And you know I'll help if I can." Brown eyes lift to meet black ones again, soft and open. "What is it you want to do?"

"I haven't thought specifically beyond the end of conflict." Severus moves the arm touching Sio's, but doesn't move it away, just settles it further. The contact seems to warm his magic some, changing the color of the water nearest the light to a paler teal, more like the water at a pristine beach than a rocky crag-filled shoreline. "The steps I see necessary to becoming free to consider anything beyond that seem Herculean in and of themselves. I see that Shadow is a huge obstacle, as is our esteemed Headmaster. I have yet to see him refuse to use any tool he can put his hands on, nor throw away any which he has before used." He lightly shrugs the other shoulder, trying to affect a nonchalance he doesn't actually feel. "After our jaunt to China, my mind has continued to spin out ideas for some of the ingredients we harvested, however, I have no earthly clue when I would ever have the time to notate those ideas, let alone …" He shakes his head. "Perhaps that would be a small enough beginning. If, in the middle of all the extra…" Again, he falls silent, gesturing with his free hand. "If you are able to find the time to assist me with that, or know of someone who does have the time — whom I can abide," he adds that, knowing that may be a huge limiting factor, "then, it may ease this … restlessness I am feeling."

Siobhan grins playfully, the tip of her tongue poking out the side of her teeth. "You do know there are more fun ways to ease some restlessness, right?" Don't kill her, she's young and from the same stock as Jack. Sex is never far from the brain, even in play. Even so, her features lose their playful slant as she considers his other words, her thumb rubbing idle circles across the back of his hand. "Of course I'll help you. All you ever had to do was ask, silly." But the rest is starting to rile her temper. "If he dares … " There's a sound in her chest that sounds remarkably like a snarl. "I'll kill him myself." Fear of the Headmaster takes a backseat to protective fury. It's almost funny how much like the lupine who infected her she can be when roused; even her shoulders hunch up as if preparing to leap at an exposed jugular.

Dares what? That's the first thing Severus wonders, and the question shows on his face. "The Headmaster dares a great deal." But he doesn't want to talk about the old goat in the tower. "Brewing is enjoyable, often profitable, and without as many cautions." He won't completely shut any door; he's too much of a Snake for that. "Were …" He begins, then looks back at the fire, enjoying the combination of its heat and that of her magic. "Very well," he says, after a moment of collecting himself. "Perhaps on a weekend — do you have commitments this weekend?" He wants to at least get a couple things done before the preservation magic wears off. Having been an experiment itself, he doesn't want to lose all the ingredients.

"Then he also risks a great deal." Siobhan is firm on that. This fiery she-wolf will not allow her family to be screwed with. Not without dire consequences. The slowly rising temper coincides with a rise in the intensity of her sun, but the cycle is stopped from the most unexpected source. The soothing chill of the watery magic brushing against and surrounding her own settles her, relaxes a body readying itself to fight an enemy that isn't even present. It's enough for her to even laugh a little at his reply. "But with risk comes oh so much reward." Yes, she's being a brat. "I have a detention first thing Saturday, but I'm sure Filch would be more than happy to torture brats for a while, so I'm all yours." But her mind, her curious, curious mind, isn't all too good at just letting little things go. So when he cuts himself off after only one word, she can't help but ask. "'Were' what, Sev?"

Snape can feel his magic soothing hers, but isn't pushing it intentionally. He looks down at their connected skin for a moment, head tilted slightly as his curiosity is piqued. "He does risk a great deal, and he ignores the consequences when they do not suit him or affect him." Bitter words slip out, and he shakes his head, thick hair whipping slightly. "I do not wish to discuss the Headmaster." He looks up, his smirk present. "I am certain Mister Filch would enjoy it. Much more than the miscreants themselves." Her comments about risk and reward are considered. His slip of the tongue gets brought back up into conversation, and he rolls his eyes. "You are often more observant than most, Siobhan." He doesn't clarify what he means by the comment, nor does he elucidate on the single word that slipped out. He returns his attention to their arms, and he conducts a small experiment of his own. A small tendril of water sloshes up near the edge of the light, possibly tickling, possibly cooling.

Siobhan senses that bitterness as much as she hears it in his voice. Though she doesn't address it directly - he doesn't wish to discuss it - she does give her sunshine a little push, adding the lazy comfort of a summer afternoon. So it is that when his water sloshes closer, tendrils of light are already there, the two strands winding around each other until Siobhan feels a little breathless and dizzy. She does not, however, remove her hand, though it takes a moment before she can gather wits enough to speak. "I have to be. You're more subtle than anyone else I've ever met." Which is her way of saying, 'yeah, so?' There's a pause and her voice now is softer, but there's an edge of concern to it. "'Were' what, Sev?"

The twining of their magics feels good. It feels like the touch of a lover, or the hug of a friend. Or, perhaps both at once. "Why thank you." It wasn't specifically a compliment, he knows, but he'll take it as one. He is uncertain whether to continue to address her question, but knows if he does not, she may contintue to try to find out what he meant. She might stop asking, but probably not stop trying to find the answer. "I have only found the solace of such friendship once before. I made an assumption then that cost me much. I shall not do so again." It's more than he has said to anyone else in a while, but that is apparently becoming the norm with Siobhan. He closes his eyes, content to feel the warmth twisting through the dark waters, sparking in the depths, like small fireflies in the night sky.

The blending of magic feels good in a way that Siobhan can't describe. It's like the intoxication of being drunk but without the haziness; everything is in startling clarity and yet in slow-motion. So when the person who is quite possibly her best friend in the world answers - even so cryptic as that - in such an unexpected way, Siobhan has a moment of unprecedented clarity. Her mind whirls and spins with the implications of such a statement. How sad, truly, when a body doesn't even know its own feelings until they're shoved into its face. But the ache that permeates her very frame, dimming the light of her magic and tainting it with the dust of sadness and pain, is that this confession, this opening, this … possibility comes on the heels of a deal struck to sell her soul for the advantage in this war. She knows he'll feel her ache, her pain and her frustration, all draped in the most heart-wrenching sadness, so tightly woven are their magicks. There's nothing she can do to stop that, but she also knows him. If she doesn't explain, he'll believe it comes from rejection of the tantalizing idea that he proposes. It's an explanation she doesn't have the breath or wits to give, but she's sat here so long lost in her own head that she knows her time is running out… Oh well. She's always been a person of action, anyway. His eyes are closed and that gives her the last bit of courage she needs. Pushing on the hand she holds and on the arm of the chair, she levers her body up to press her soft mouth over his thin lips in a kiss whose passion rivals the turmoil of pain and sadness inside her core. There's no turning back, now… There was no turning back from the moment he actually explained. Not for someone like Siobhan.

Severus' eyes are closed, but he feels the pulse of her magic like a barometer, like the lull in a symphony before the deep surge. He is unaware she will act, but he feels her dim and surge toward him. All of a sudden, she is there. She is in his lap, kissing him passionately with the power of her sunburst magic. He is overwhelmed. Somewhere, in the back of his mind, there are objections, reasons, promises. However, for a long moment, they are a near-silent staccato, an annoying buzz. The forefront of his mind is only aware of the woman in his lap, kissing him fiercely. He finds himself responding in kind for several moments before reason's drums crash back in. He gently pushes her away, just enough to break the kiss. "Foolish girl," he murmurs, unable to move, other than to rest his forehead against hers, and hold her tightly. In this moment, he will walk that line, but cannot cross it. "Our timing is nearly tragic." Maybe it was the situation and his assistance that brought them to this place, but he cannot deny that if this had happend a single day before, things may have been at least slightly different. He inhales sharply, keeping his eyes closed, savoring her presence.

Siobhan melts into that response, letting her body rest on his - secure in the utmost faith that she is safe right here. But even as she savors this, luxuriates in it, she knows - she can feel in her bones - that it is bittersweet. So very, very bittersweet. Breathless, she doesn't fight when he pushes her back. With her forehead pressed against his, she raises her free hand to caress the line of his high cheekbone, to press gently in a soft cup against his jaw. "Nearly?" she breathes. "I'd go a bit farther than that, Sev." His arms tight around her feel right and that sense of 'one step off' is gone, like this is the way it's supposed to be, but she has to squeeze her eyes shut and bite her lip to stifle the violent urge to scream at the unfairness of it all. A few days … that's all the difference and all they've missed by. And if it wasn't for the promise of his freedom, she'd have not even the slightest hesitation in changing her mind and telling Captain Ameripants to look somewhere else. As it stands, she'd rather make a vow she doesn't mean than leave Sev in the kind of danger that comes from the Dark Lord's whim. She takes a shaky breath. "You're going to want us to do something I won't like, aren't you?" Like the two of them pretending this never happened. Knowing that such a course of action would probably be considered the 'right thing to do' doesn't make it any more palateable.

"I am uncertain." Severus surprises himself with his words. "I know what must be done, but I also find myself unable to let go." He loosens his grasp and draws his head back to look at her. "Perhaps we are writing one of your fanciful tales," he quips, giving a slight tilt of the head toward the nearest high shelf. "We will do as we must, as we have always done." The thought of his only hope in this situation is the eventual death of an ally is indeed a bitter pill to swallow. "We must be very careful, whatever twists and turns the path takes now." It's become even more important that they keep things from others. And Severus has found a third person for whom he will walk a knife's-edge. This time, however, it is for heart, rather than pride or duty. That will make the challenge considerably easier. "I am sorry to put you in such a situation, however, I cannot find myself to be apologetic that it did happen." He draws her close again, pressing his lips to hers this time, a gentle, slow kiss of bittersweet promise. The 'waters' of his magic seem to surge, finding empty places to fill, corners to touch. If he cannot have more than a moment, Salazar knows he will take the moment he has. On his own, he pulls back before the passion can surge anew.

"I'm not sorry at a - " Severus may have finally discovered the key to shutting Siobhan up when she gets nervous and mouthy. That kiss, soft and slow, melts her from the inside out. She doesn't push, doesn't make any attempt to steer or direct or control it, just enjoys the sensation of the spark dancing between them. Her magic is quick to respond to his, flooding his entire core with the kind of bright light that probably hasn't been there for a very long time, shedding sunlight into dark depths that might never have otherwise seen the tender warmth of the life-giving sun. When he pulls back once more, Siobhan lifts heated cinnamon eyes to search the gunpowder ones so near to her own. "If this was a fairy tale, I wouldn't be so frightened." Yes, she admits it. "We always do what we must." She sighs, pressing closer and letting her sunlight soak itself in the safe embrace of familiar oceans. "Can this spell be curse'd when it feels more akin to the blessing of divinity?" It's obviously a quote, whispered to herself bitterly, but the source is unmentioned. At least now she gets why it's second-nature to protect and defend him. Despite all of her uncertainty, her hold has not slackened. Her face gets buried in his chest and she leans against him, but does not seem at all inclined to pull away.

Her quote makes him chuckle, deep, dark chuckles that rattle his chest a little. Severus sighs when she settles against his chest, and tightens his arms around her again. "Siobhan." He only speaks her name, relishing the warmth of her body and magic, the waves inside seeming to surge to try to reach her, perhaps so much so that there is a crackle in the air. "Of what are you afraid?" If he cannot protect her entirely, maybe he can help ease her fears. He knows there is plenty to be afraid of. But as she has eased his restlessness, he seeks to return the favor. This time, from something other than his exacting need for fairness. "I rather thought of the Bard, and the soliloquy from the window." He gives a soft snort. "Since we have already played a set of his roles this year." He lightly alludes to the Halloween feast, though without censure.

There's a shiver that runs from the base of her skull all the way down her spine at the sound of his voice saying her name like … well, like that. The surges of water are matched by the intensity of the sun until the light cannot be seen except through a filter of a brilliant aqua sea. She laughs softly, unable to help it with such a surprisingly pleasant sound coming from his chest. "I'm afraid of this war, that I've alienated both generals and have no army at my back. I'm afraid of what will happen if we don't get you out of both camps soon. I'm afraid of trying to fool the entire world into thinking I'm in love with the man I have to marry. I'm afraid because this isn't exactly an ideal situation and neither you nor I have the greatest track record with … this." She waves her hand in a vague gesture indicating the two of them. "In fairy tales, they always have such unwaivering faith - and they always get their happy endings." Mention of that particular play, however, makes her stick out her tongue and shudder in distaste. "Please, no. Cast me Titania a million times before painting me as that worthless female. Flimsy and feminine and the perfect lady. What did it get her? Double suicide, that's what. Titania put on a good show and still got to return home with her Oberon."

"It was but a passing thought," Severus admits of the Juliet reference. He chuckles again, a light, easy sound, the endorphins from their twined magicks nearly as potent as twining in other ways would be. "I have nearly done just that." He continues, running his hand along her back. "That has been my greatest fear: that I would misstep so greatly that neither man would find me useful, and I would find insanity at the hands of a Dementor or a phoenix-core wand." His arms tighten for a moment before loosening again. "However, I believe that may be changing. If I am able to find a place of my own, I may not have to beg for scraps at two other tables." He sighs again, replying to her words on their state of mind. "I belive you may be able to fool the world just fine. I will do what I can to assist in that endeavor." Though it may be one of the hardest things he's ever done, he will do it. "How eloquent," he continues, giving a half-hearted jibe to her inability to label whatever is forming between them. "I am indeed inept at matters of the heart. I remain optimistic, however." There's a soft irony to his tone, as he knows he is definitely not known for being an optimist at all. "Perhaps that will indeed be our fate," he muses aloud. "Put on a good show, then return to where we prefer to be." He voices the hope he carries, though it contains its own sadness at the cost.

"You don't need to find it. It found you." Siobhan shifts to lay her head against his shoulder, smothering a yawn into the side of his neck. With all of her tension eased and her raw nerves soothed, the fatigue from the last couple of sleepless nights is starting to catch up with her. She smiles against the exposed skin there. "Your place is here, not with scraps." The rest of it doesn't make a huge amount of sense just now, but Siobhan isn't worried. For right now, she's drunk off of cool, deep waters and entirely too relaxed for her own good. Shifting her weight to lie more comfortably braced against him, she rubs her cheek against his shoulder and smothers another yawn. Inhaling deeply of the comforting scent of his robes, she grabs hold of the fabric at the front and murmurs a soft request. "Stay?" The chair's not the most comfortable sleeping place in the world, but just this once she really doesn't give a damn.

Siobhan's simple words offer a realization that hits Severus nearly as hard as the one that affected Sio earlier. He closes his eyes, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "That is a novel concept for me, but I cannot deny the attractiveness." He sighs, weighing his options, taking a long moment to do so before he speaks. "Our muscles may protest in the morning, Siobhan, but I cannot deny either one of us the opportunity." Yeah, he'll stay. "Good night." He won't fall asleep immediately; his mind is too full. However, there is nothing better, nothing more fulfilling for him at the moment than to sit with Siobhan here and watch the fire. Finally, after a long while, Severus' eyes fall closed, and he, too, rests.

Theme song for this scene is Gravedigger by Dave Matthews.

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