|Scene Title||Grim Amusement|
|Synopsis||Bored, Padfoot turns up on the grounds of Hogwarts. One thing leads to another and…|
|Location||Hogwarts - Meadows|
|Date||Oct 03, 1994|
|Watch For||The Joke|
Early in the morning, before most students are even out of their dorms, a lone Slytherin can be found wandering the meadows and moors of the outer grounds. To most, this would scream Trouble, at least until the particular Slytherin was recognized. Siobhan, easily spotted by her blonde hair and Muggle clothing, would be one of the last suspects of foul play. Still, if one were to judge by her pensive expression - in a face most often smiling - something could be concluded to be quite wrong. Stopping on an outcropping of rock barely ten feet outside the range of the Willow's branches, she sits cross-legged on the edge of said rock, pulling two small objects from the pocket of her coat and holding them over her lap, humming softly to herself.
Bored, feeling edgy and caged up, the large black dog wanders near the edge of the forest. It's either this, or make good on his promise to go talk to Holly himself. In one of his moods, Padfoot's got to do something, anything, otherwise it's rash decision time. Not exactly out and about in a thrill-seeking manner, he just wants to be /active/. So here he is, skirting the school grounds. Maybe find some students practicing on the pitch, something he can watch.
No broom this time, Siobhan moves her hands in practiced and precise ways. One hand using a small blade to carve out the piece of soft wood in her other hand. Such a task would doubtlessly be made easier with a simple spell, but this way keeps her hands busy. A haphazard glance up has her blinking several times to ensure she isn't seeing things. Nope, it's the same dog from…it's that same dog. With a long, low series of notes whistled across the field, she attempts to catch his attention.
Padfoot's ears perk up at the whistling and he starts. Turning his large head, he looks in Siobhan's direction. Oh hey, it's the girl the Auror was hitting on. He /was/ bored, and now he's debating between taking off the way he came, or being nosy. Being nosy wins out and he trots past Hagrid's cabin to approach Siobhan, taking care around the Whomping Willow. Ah, memories, distant and not so much.
Taking a long look at the rangy dog ambling her way, Siobhan shakes her head and sets her wood and blade aside. Reaching inside her coat pocket, she pulls out a string cheese and unwraps it. "Sorry, love, no sandwich this time. Fancy a bit of cheese?" Tearing off a bite for herself, she repeats the process and tosses the next one towards the black dog. "You really should start eating better, mate… I can almost see through you."
If it's any consolation, the large dog does look better tended to than last time! (Care packages from friends helps quite a bit!) He's still rangy and wiry in appearance, after years of malnutrition and being locked away. It's going to take more than just a month or so of eating well to remedy that. Now that he's close enough, he easily catches the piece of cheese tossed his way and swallows it without really needing to chew at it.
Closer now, it can be seen that the black dog /does/ in fact look a sight better than the last time their paths crossed. "Found yourself a family then, have you?" Sio smiles a little at that thought. "That's good. I'd hate to see a smart lad like you picked up by the RCMC blokes." She wrinkles her nose in distaste. "Not a bright lot, them. Think just because they're human that they've the right to decide how everythin' else an' its uncle lives. So long as no one's bein' hurt, what's the harm in lettin' the wild things have their own way?" Seeing as he's devoured the first offering without trouble, she tosses him the rest; she can get more for herself later. "Suppose it's a bit daft, me talkin' to a dog what can't understand me, isn't it?"
Uhh.. yeah. Good idea, that. Padfoot would be in some seriously deep water if that happened. Plus, they'd figure out fast he's not a normal dog. He catches the next offering without trouble as well. This time, gnawing on it a bit slower instead of wolfing it down. Ears perking up a little, he's listening to the teen as she talks. Oh you are going to be so surprised later down the road if you ever realize who you were talking to.
"Then again, you're not just any normal dog, are you?" Sio pats down her pockets and pulls out a pair of peanut butter cookies, the soft kind, not the break-your-teeth sort. Holding one out in her palm, she nibbles at the other, savoring the rich flavor for a moment before speaking again. "Still, it's the second time I've met you and I'm still not dead, so you can't be as bad as they'd make you out to be." After all, there are so many legends about the grim that it's quite possible they're much nicer than most would think. "A bit like werewolves, that. I've met one, you know. Quite liked him too. Best professor we had up until Moody showed." A frown crosses her forehead then, creasing lines between her brows that won't have any business there for at least another decade. "It's quite stupid the way he had to leave like that. My dad, he's a good man, see, but it took me an' Jack /ages/ to talk him to our side of things." Another few bites into the cookie, then. "What makes people stupid like that, hey dog?"
Ha ha. You have no idea Siobhan. None whatsoever. Padfoot's mouth opens and his tongue lolls a bit. He could be laughing. There is amusement in his pale eyes as well. The peanut butter cookie is taken carefully so that he doesn't accidentally bite Sio's hand. Not able to really respond in a way that could be understood, he just listens. Got that right kid, Lupin knows the Dark Arts and he's one of the best teachers a kid could have. As for the Grim, death following seeing him is reserved for a select few. Starting with a little rat.
As the cookie is removed gently from her hand, Siobhan gets a closer look at his eyes and for a moment, she just stares. "Odd eyes for a dog, those." A slow smile spreads across her face then. "Dunno how much of my babblin' you're like to understand, but if'n you don't mind being up about this time in the mornings, I can see you get a bit of breakfast in you." She tilts her head to one side. "Shame they don't allow us t'keep dogs. Even the dungeon's a sight warmer than wherever it is you've found to hide out." Half a shrug then and she reaches out to try and find that spot under his chin he seemed to like scratched last time. "Still, it'd be nice to know where your next meal's coming from, yeah?"
Uhm, yeah. Odd color for a dog's eyes. Owner had a spell that backfired. No really! Padfoot makes short work of the cookie and lets Siobhan get in the scratch she's aiming to give. He knows here his next meal is coming from, just not exactly /when/. They come pretty regularly however. He gives a bark that could be a laugh in regards to the statement about staying in the dungeon. Oh please, could he? The trouble he could cause for Snape alone!
That bark, sounding - at least to Siobhan's rather active imagination - quite amused, elicits a giggle from Siobhan. "If I had some way to get you in there… Oh the pranks I could pull!" That giggle turns into a snicker she tries to hide behind her hand. "We have a few younger students who could really use a good scare. I mean, I have pride in my House, but some of these kids take it to the /extreme/." Tapping one finger against her chin thoughtfully, she examines the dog, taking in his dimensions. "Hmm…how do you feel about being shrunk, pup?"
You and him both sister. Padfoot still owes Snape a few practical jokes. Things were just a tad too dire and serious end of last term. Now? Still similar, but there's no imminent threat of Death Eaters approaching. There are always younger students that could use a good scare. Unfortunately, were Padfoot to help with scaring? It'd get him in trouble with a few folks. Remus, Tonks, not to mention Dumbledore. And that's someone he doesn't want to create trouble for. No shrinking please!
Noting his grumble and shift of ears, Siobhan tilts her head to one side. "Pranking doesn't appeal?" Chewing her lower lip in thought, she eyes her canine companion until a thought seems to strike her between the eyes. With a snort, she grins and shakes her head. "Or is it the targets? Don't tell me I've found the /one/ pro-Slytherin being out there." With a groan, she rubs a hand over her face, leaving the other one resting on the warm, soft fur just behind the dog's ears. "Still, I shouldn't really complain. It's a nice change from people recoiling or going frigid as soon as they see my House colors. Honestly, you'd think I had the plague or some such!"
Pranking ALWAYS appeals. Especially against Slytherin. No offense kid, but if you knew his background, you'd understand. Padfoot's ears perk and his tail gives a wag. He's found a Slytherin freak, who's not like the majority of her house! (Or his family for that matter.)
Smiling down at the black-furred anomaly next to her, Siobhan shakes her head. "Well, it's good to know someone doesn't need to be convinced." The Slytherin Freak; how appropriate. "Still, I shouldn't be /too/ surprised, should I? After all, dogs /are/ colorblind." There! There it is! That wicked smile she gets, big and bright and playful, just the hint of her tongue poking between her teeth. With a flick of her wrist, she ruffles his ears and reaches for her blade and wooden cylinder. A few more precise flicks and she puts the knife away and holds up a crude reed flute. Holding it up to her lips, she plays a few notes to test it, then fingers out a jaunty tune that could have come straight from an Irish dance.
Point made, he is colorblind in this form, but he could still see the snake if Sio were in her uniform! Padfoot would further know Siobhan's alright if he knew who her brother was. All in good time, perhaps! He tenses when the blade comes back out, preparing to bolt, but when Sio sets it to the piece of wood, he relaxes.
The sound of eerie, wind-like fluted notes comes from all over, bouncing from its source to rock to rock to rock to tree to rock, until the true source is distorted and the melody folds over itself. Truly a bit of a creepy phenomenon, no? Seated on a rocky overhang just outside of the Whomping Willow's reach, Siobhan and a black dog share each other's company in the early morning hours. Mostly obscured from view by the rocky terrain, the older Slytherin seems more relaxed, more at ease than she has since the start of term. Trailing off, she laughs a little at the dog's tension. " 'm not gonna hurt you, mutt. Promise." She grins wider. "I'm probably the least threatenin' one in my whole family." She pauses then, seeming to consider that, but shrugs it off. "Well…nah, even Jack could love ya t'death."
Ha ha. Siobhan's so funny. Padfoot remains in his current spot, even settling to sit there on the rocky overhang. Listening to the student play her flute and talk, her words amusing him greatly on the inside. The name Jack means nothing to him, far too many with that name in London alone so she could be referring to anyone.
Visitors to the meadow behind the castle are rare on a cold Monday morning. It's perhaps surprising, then, that Draco Malfoy's thin yellow-haired figure may be seen descending the slope from the castle. His frequent henchment, Crabbe and Goyle, are nowhere to be seen for once. He's walking a little awkwardly; if he were wearing trousers one might suspect them of being too tight. But he's in normal Hogwarts student robes. Once or twice he glances behind him as though to check he's not being shadowed, but he doesn't peer forwards toward the forest's edge, and shows no sign of being aware of Siobhan and Padfoot's presence.
The sound of small rocks scattering catches Siobhan's attention. Turning sharply, she spies the lanky Malfoy headed down the slope and groans under her breath. Bending almost in half, she lowers her voice to a near whisper. "Oh come /on/…this is too perfect!" she hisses at the black dog. "Let me shrink you so you can sneak up on him, please? I'll reverse it when you're close and it'll scare the /pants/ off him!" Brown eyes alight with mischief fairly plead with the black dog. "Please?"
Well, when it's phrased like that, how can a Marauder say no? Padfoot's tail wags to show his approval and consent. It'd ruin the surprise if he were to bark, right? This would be even grander if he knew the boy's name, since owing to a number of factors, he doesn't even know what Narcissa's boy looks like.
Draco continues along his path until he's reached the bottom of one of the hollows that pockmarks the meadow like acne on Stan Shunpike's face. He's still just about visible to Siobhan and Sirius, though now hidden from the school. He wriggles a little, and slides something out from under his robe. At first it seems just to be his wand, but it's not; it's made of metal, and it's longer than a wand. Thinner than a sword, though, and it has a lump on one end. Once it's completely out from its hiding place under his cloak, he eyes it with evident satisfaction.
With another flick of her wrist, Siobhan's wand slide from her arm holster to her hand. A quick wave and a muttered word, and the black dog becomes smaller and smaller and smaller until he reaches about the size of a chipmunk. "There," she whispers. "Now, get into someplace close by and make sure I see you, okay?" Without waiting for a response, she pushes herself to her feet, pockets her crudely carved flute and ambles down towards the other Slytherin, wand out and ready. Rounding the last hill quickly, she freezes, wand out and doesn't even have to fake the look of surprise on her face when she sees Draco with a long, thin silver…thing. "Draco Malfoy, what in Circe's name d'you think you're doing?"
By the time Siobhan looms up on Draco, the heir of the Malfoys has fished a dimpled white ball out of his pocket, placed it on the ground on a tiny hollow stand, and is now making passes at it with the metal implement which he's wielding in both hands. He gives a convulsive start and the golf club taps the ball, knocking it off the tee and making it roll about two inches. Then he recovers enough to glare at the prefect. "I could ask you the same question!"
Padfoot looks over towards the blonde-headed boy. It's not until Siobhan addresses him by name when 'AH-HA' goes through Padfoot's mind. So /that's/ what his cousin and Lucius produced. Oh this just got better. He's going to make this one count! The shrinking is toleratd, since the other option would be giving the girl a heart attack. He's along for the ride, a willing participant in this! Sprinting through the grass after Siobhan, he proceeds to sneak towards Draco and get to a place he can be seen by her, but not by Draco.
"Could you now?" Siobhan seems to have regained her spunk, along with her footing, now that she recognizes the club and ball. "I think that only applies if you were the one to catch me sneaking out, alone." Arms fold over her chest, wand tip bouncing in her agitation. "Derek already lost us enough points, Draco. I can't have you bumbling about and losing us more. What were you /thinking/?" Eyes narrow on him, but flick to the surrounding landscape as well. Finite might be the one spell she can cast wordlessly, but she's got to be able to /see/ him first…
"Bumbling…!" Draco splutters with self-righteous rage, either feigned or genuine. "I happen to be engaged in serious business here. I'm…" For a moment inspiration fails as he looks at the golf ball, and the club he's still clutching in his hand. Then he brandishes the three-iron at Siobhan. "I'm practicing for Quidditch. This little ball is like a non-magical Snitch and if I whack it with this club… like a Beater…" He plonks the club back down on the ground. "So what are /you/ doing lurking round the meadows all by yourself early in the morning?"
Poking his head up out of the grass, Padfoot's crept up behind Draco. Hopefully he can be seen by Siobhan. Even tiny now, he's clashing with the grass, right? Shouldn't be a problem!
"If the point of Quidditch was to whack the Snitch instead of catch it, I /might/ believe you." Sio's voice is incredibly dry. Aha! That small, black shape is finally spied, inspiring a flash of inspiration. Whipping her wand out to the side in a motion of apparent frustration, she stares hard at the dog and wills Finite Incantatem through her mind, praying this mutt has a flair for the theatrical. "That's a golf set, Draco. Merlin only /knows/ what you think you're doing with it, but it's meant for a game. A /Muggle/ game." Not that this bothers her one whit, but for the self-proclaimed Muggle Hating Malfoy, it is a bit odd… "I'm not lurking, I'm /gathering/." She reaches into her jacket pocket and pulls out a handfull of crushed green leafy things. "Potions ingrediants for Professor Snape." Her grin here turns wicked. "Would you care to question /him/ about his motives, Draco?"
"And what are /you/ doing, knowing about a muggle game?" Malfoy seems to feel that the best form of defence is attack. "Talk about the cauldron calling the potion bottle black!" He snatches the golf ball up from its spot on the ground. "This thing is just the size of a Snitch. But it doesn't go zooming off on its own. So it makes good practice. When I'm on my own." He changes the subject quickly, as though he realises that his argument is on the precarious side. "And do those herbs have to be picked at dawn with the dew on them, or something? I don't see any of Professor Snape's other final year students running round the fields pulling up plants."
Padfoot has more than the flair for theatrics. He's a first rank prankster, who has shown in the past little regard for people getting hurt, physically or emotionally. (Just ask Snape!) The moment he feels himself growing back to normal size, he unleashes the most menacing growl he can form. Along with the growling, the fur on his neck and back raise.
At the sound of Padfoot's growling, something intrinsically instinctual in Siobhan tenses and triggers fight or flight. Despite knowing that he means no harm to her, it still takes a thick swallow for Sio to settle herself. Still, her eyes never leave Draco's face. "Again, if you needed to hit the Snitch, rather than catch it, your story could hold a bit of water. As it is, mate, you're shootin' out your arse." Rocking back on her heels, she shrugs. "I know about it because it's a fun game." Considering the fact that she's dressed in muggle jeans, top and coat, plus her well-known affinity for them, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. "No, they don't have to be picked at dawn with dew, but this is the only free time I've had to gather them." She arches one brow - a trait she picked up from her mother - and tilts her head to one side. "And who said he sent all of his final year students out to get them?" She certainly didn't.
Draco rolls his eyes. "Grant me patience. First, I hit it. Then, I —" He breaks off abruptly. "What… was… that…?" He turns, very slowly and cautiously, to face the source of the horrific growl that just sent shivers down his aristocratic young spine.
Padfoot waits for Draco's reaction before stepping forward in a slow and deliberate manner. It's as if the Grim is marking the boy! Jaws opening to display the rows of sharp teeth, the large black dog snarls once and then barks threateningly, continuing his advance.
"What was /what/?" Siobhan asks, eyeing the boy's 'strange behavior' before shrugging. "You don't have your broom with you, Draco. How did you expect to reach it in time? These things fly, and anyway, what good is practicing on the ground? You'd need - Draco Malfoy, what /are/ you looking at?" She steps to his side and follows his line of sight from boy to dog to boy to dog to boy, careful to keep her face a mask of confusion as she waves a hand in front of /his/ face. "Circe, mate… You look like you've seen a ghost!"
Let Draco be given his due. He is often supercilious, often sarcastic, but generally supremely in control of himself. When he's not, it's generally because of bad temper. Very, very rare are the occasions when the blonde boy displays outright fear. This is one of them. The hand holding the three-iron loosens its grip and the club thuds to the grass as he lifts his hand and points shakily. "It's a… guh…guh…guh… Grim…" His eyes have gone as round as a Sneakoscope, and are displaying about the same amount of frenzied panic as one into the bargain, though his feet remain rooted to the spot.
It may have been a few years since his last prank, but Padfoot knows how to roll with it and pick up on cues. Half the stuff he and his friends did was just winging it with some planning. So he keeps up the vicious Grim routine here, certainly not out to hurt the boy. (That would just bring trouble on the school and Dumbledore!) Snapping his jaws and barking viciously, he gets juuuust within biting range of Draco.
Waiting patiently for the younger Snake to spit out his words, Siobhan ahhs and nods sagely. Having to bite the inside of her mouth to keep from laughing outright, she can taste the tang of her own blood on her tongue. "You know what it means when you see one, don't you Draco?" Her voice is calm, but foreboding. "It's a warning of your imminent death." She's careful to watch only the pale Malfoy's face. "How does he look, mate? He's not got his teeth in you, does he?"
Draco backs off one pace, then another. "H-he's there… can't you SEE him…? he… he…" He clenches his fists in fear, which reminds him that his left hand is still holding onto the golf ball. In a sudden burst of panic he flings the ball at the gruesome canine apparition, whirls, and starts to run as fast as his feet will carry him back towards the school. Even in his panicky state, it'd be hard for him to miss at that distance, and the ball smacks Padfoot painfully on his nose.
There's a yelp of surprise more than pain at the ball smacking him on the nose. Even so, when Draco whirls and takes off running, Padfoot wheels about and chases the teen for a short distance through the meadow. Barking, snarling and snapping before he skids to a stop in the grass.
And as the blond takes off, the black dog hot on his heels, Siobhan collapses with laughter she has to keep quiet. Rolling about in the grass and shaking with the mirth that escapes her only in harsh gasps, she rolls over the golf club, stares at it and starts to laugh harder. Oh, but this was /priceless/!
Muzzle and nose wrinkling best it can in this form, Padfoot returns to where Siobhan has collapsed with laughter. He butts his head against the student once before bolting off towards the forest. Now comes the time to hide! Draco's not the sort to keep quiet and the dog's already picked up on that much!