1995-10-13: Hunters First Meeting


Conall_icon.gif Tiana_icon.gif

Fly on the Wall:


Scene Title Hunters' First Meeting
Synopsis Two people cross paths while patrolling the Hogwarts halls at night. A pity neither one knows just how many similarities they share.
Location Fifth Floor Corridor
Date October 13, 1995
Watch For A spy in the walls! Also a very elegant pissing contest. No. Really.
Logger Tiana-rama

To say that Conall was unimpressed about being yanked from a really juicy assignment in Dublin to take his turn at guarding the hallways of Hogwarts, would be the understatement of the year. However, arriving early that morning he'd spent much of the day walking the familiar paths of what once used to be a home away from home and try as he might, he was unable to fight the warm lick of nostalgia that crept about him. Now, with most all the students and professors bedded down for the night, the hall is silent save for the quiet tread of boots and the occasional disjointed comment coming from the grey-feathered parrot that has taken up residence on the head of poor Boris the Bewildered's statue.

"Shite for brains," the feathered menace squawks before launching into the air once again.

Not quite all the professors have bedded down for the night. Though the extra bodies to run the night-time shifts of patrolling the hallways mean that not everyone has to take a turn every night, Professor Moldavia is one of the few that seems to do so voluntarily. Since it gives the others more of a chance to sleep, nobody really complains. So it is now that she slinks through the hallways like a wolf patrolling its turf, her elegant teaching robes sweeping out behind her in a manner eerily reminiscent of her predecessor. Still, that is where the resemblance ends. Where Snape was sharp and harsh and … not at all classically lovely, Tiana is a vision. It's that eerie, too-perfect beauty mixed with the air of the predator that makes most think twice about approaching her if they don't absolutely have to. As she approaches Conall, she inclines her head in a swift nod of simultaneous recognition and dismissal. It's the bird, however, that catches her attention for longer than that cursory glance.

It's the bird that first spots the approaching professor, or at least it seems that way given Conall's apparent lack of awareness thereof as he continues on hands in pockets and attention to the ground just in front of him. Only when the feathered fiend wheeling in lazy circles high above the hallway emits a very convincing wolf-whistle does his head go up and just in time to catch that small nod of head coming from the vivacious woman. A professor she might be and several years his senior but that doesn't stop the appreciative rake of dark eyes and the half-smile that starts to tilt one corner of the Auror's mouth. The smile never quite completes and is soon joined by a faint narrowing at the corner of his eyes.

Tiana - with reflexes honed over years of work in a very similar line to Conall's - notices both the raked gaze and the narrowing of the eyes. The smile is left alone; such a default human reaction barely merits recognition, let alone commentary. Intrigued in spite of herself, Tiana lets her pace carry her a step beyond him before stopping and turning to face his back. "You are … new?" Her voice is high and soft and lovely, the pitch tuned to that exact balance between curiosity and suspicion that any concerned professor should have. The Slavic accent to her words only adds an element of musicality to the things she says. "I do not recognize your face." Too much perfection for one human being. It's annoying, damnit.

Without breaking his stride Conall's head turns just enough to catch Tiana from the corner of his eye as she passes by him but then he appears to dismiss her as his focus falls front and centre once again with just Gobshite, the parrot, keeping a literal bird's eye view on where she is. It's only when the professor speaks that his steps slow and then come to a halt putting him a good few paces away by the time he swivels slowly on his heel and sets her with what looks suspiciously like the edges mocking smile. Head tipping ever so slightly to one side Tiana is once again put under open study. Finally, after a few moments of silence during which one might imagine Conall's weighing up his options, a rich Irish brogue breaks across the air, "Could say the same about you. I sure as shite woulda remembered a professor such as yourself back in the day." Thus lending admission to his being a former Hogwarts student.

Resisting the urge to roll her eyes at such male behavior only by biting down on her tongue, Tiana does catch a flash of moving silver along the wall when she looks up. Muttering something under her breath that might be along the lines of 'creepy castle … dead people … walls … Muggles know better …' Or something very close. It takes a while to get used to these sorts of things again. "I took over the teaching of Potions after Professor Snape's … unexpected absence last term." That's the politic way to put it. There's a flash of consternation that crosses her face - the expression so real in its imperfection - before she clamps down on her inner dialogue and lets the cool mask of perfection slide right back into place. "I am here only until the Headmaster can find a suitable replacement, I assure you." The smile she turns on him then is distinctly predatory. "Then I have a hunt to finish."

If Conall's aware of what briefly caught the Professor's attention, he doesn't show it, his focus remaining squarely on her. While everything about the tall, willowy bombshell oozes the stuff that sends testosterone into overdrive, there's just something about her that he can't quite seem to put his finger on, thus the thousand yard stare Tiana's currently getting as if he were trying to see right through her. On the matter of Snape's disappearance there comes a soft snort and Conall breaks his gaze away for a moment of brief respite before it swings right back again, faint amusement edging his lips, "You don't consider yourself…suitable?" A brow going up in silent challenge on that note and then dark eyes flash with interested response to the predatory demeanour that slips out and mingles with words of hunting and the Auror takes a step closer. "There seems to be a lot of that going on these days," he drawls in a tone that could well be considered inviting if not for the cold thread of suspicion woven into the words.

There's just a spark of real amusement lighting up her pale blue eyes as Tiana watches that 'thousand yard stare'. The lad has potential, but if he can't even match Severus' piercing glare, he hasn't a prayer. She laughs at him, then - a softly artful, even muscial sound. It's enough to send shivers up the spine. "Try again in ten years." But she leaves that cryptic comment to lie between them unmarked for now. "When I learned such things as I am meant to be teaching these children, it was in … a much less forgiving climate." Durmstrang doesn't coddle. At all. She watches him step closer, folding her arms over her chest and letting a sultry smile shape her lips into the perfect invitation. "Feast when the prey is plentiful." An old maxim, but one he might be familiar with, all the same.

He may not yet realize the 'why' of it but Conall knows when he's being laughed at, thus it is that his jaw tightens, broad shoulders square and dark eyes flatten in response to Tiana's beautifully spoken slight. "Don't flatter yourself," small disdain ices his tone as he takes a step back even the supposed invitation laced into that sultry smile of hers not enough to bring the light back to his eyes. "These children," Conall borrows her words expression and tone grim, "better start learning how to get their wands out of their arses before it's too late. It's a big bad world out there and it's gonna swallow them whole without so much as a please or thank you unless people like you start tellin' them the way of it." And he should know given his line of work. Only now does he answer her comment about hunting a tight smirk wrapping around the Irish brogue, "I hunt alone." And another look is flicked up and down the Professor's shapely figure although this time it appears to hold little to no interest.

The disdain icing Conall's tone only seems to delight Tiana more. "I never do." Although there is a certain smugness to the set of her smile that may give him doubts. It's of no consequence to her. His tirade about the 'big bad world' earns him another silvery laugh, this time with him, not at him. There's a difference. Really. "On that point, I believe we agree. However, after I poisoned them I was given … strict parameters for the appropriateness of the lessons." She inhales deeply through her nose and her smile bursts into a wolfish grin. "There is something of the hunter about you, indeed." And this time it is she who stalks foward, her movements oozing the she-wolf's lazy grace. Just for kicks, she lets her voice shift to the all-too-familiar sharpness commonly used by Auror unit leaders when demanding an answer from their subordinates. "What is the latest intelligence on Fenrir Greyback?" Some of these soldiers are so ingrained to answer to that tone … and some are not. Either way, she learns something precious.

Conall isn't that easily swayed so as to fall for her next shift in demeanour but he does allow the edge of amusement to show through in response to silvery laughter and talk of poisoning students by way of an object lesson. "Like I said, a Professor such as yourself would have made for far more interesting times during my internments," as if his time at Hogwarts had been some kind of sentence that he'd endured, "I found Professor Snape to be…lacking in creativity." Smirk.?

With Tiana taking a step inward, the young Auror holds his ground watching her from under a hooded gaze with just the trace of a smirk making an appearance for being named a hunter. If she only knew. The tone she takes with him however, that has Conall shifting a challenging look over to her before producing a cool smile, "You'd have to check with the Ministry, I've been undercover up Dublin way." Thus answering her question while at the same time adroitly sidestepping having to divulge much of anything because let's face it, he doesn't know her from Jack and for all he knows she could be working for the Dark Lord.

Pale eyes flash with anger too violent to be smothered before it is seen. In control once more, Tiana doesn't respond to the barb. She will not defend that … that snake, no matter what her instinctive reactions are. Still… He manages to avoid spewing the information like a gutted pig. "Pity." Color her mildly impressed. Or at the very least, satisfied in an earlier assessment. "I had him cornered in Devon before … obligations here recalled me." There's no attempt at all to hide the condescension in her voice when she next speaks. "I had hoped to find your Ministry capable of finishing the job, seeing as I had all but gift-wrapped him. How disappointing to find they are completely incompetent."

Rather than being cowed by that sudden display of anger as Tiana might assume, Conall regards her in silence a sly smile flickering in and then out again. Perhaps his intention had been to see just what it would take to crack that perfect veneer of hers or maybe he'd simply been testing where her loyalties lie. Either way, the result is intriguing to him. Thus it is that hands unpocket and arms fold across his chest genuine interest flaring in eyes pooled to near black in the dim lighting. "You had the 'great'," cue the touch of sarcasm there, "Greyback cornered and then what, let him go to come and wipe the arses of this lot here?" And while he may sound derisive there's unspoken understanding on the frustration of being pulled off assignment. The insult to his department is allowed to roll off his shoulders unanswered. "Perhaps," and now it's the Auror that takes a step in toward the Potions Professor, "I might consider taking on a hunting partner after all." Though the way his voice caresses across the words it sounds less like tracking a notorious Death Eater to his doom and far more like an invitation to howl at the moon.

Howl at the moon… Oh, Conall; if only you knew. There is something about this man that brings so much more of the wolf to the surface than Tiana ever allows. It's unsettling and thrilling all at once. Though her appearance remains too flawless, the tone of her voice and her facial expressions start to thaw and flaw into reality. "It took me from the day those brats left on the train until the day I was recalled, but yes." And there's real, genuine frustration in that tone, not something that's just exactly what frustration is supposed to sound like. And the great irony of it all is that this man before her has no idea of how big of a deal that is. "I had him." It wasn't easy and he made for a good chase, but Tiana has edges he doesn't. Her eyes dart again to the wall, attention captured by another flash of silver … hair? Mentally berating herself for such ridiculousness, Tiana turns back to Conall with a single raised brow, moving neither forward nor back. "Do you hunt rabid wildlife too, then?" Dry, dry tone, that.

The feeling, were he aware of it on a conscious level rather than on the cellular level where it writhes and whines to be free, is mutual and stirs a restlessness long last felt in Conall. Attention dragged back from flirting along ethereal edges seeking a way in, settles an understanding look onto Tiana, "The only good Death Eater is a dead one." Tone tight with a conviction that carries a certain haunted undertone to it. As the Professor's attention darts away again, Conall frowns, his gaze following after hers where it lingers before drawing back to her anything he may or may not have seen kept clear of his expression save for a sardonically quipped, "If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck…" Then it must be a duck? But then both his brows are lifting and the gorgeous ebony haired woman is set with a crooked grin as broad shoulders roll in a shrug, "If it runs, I chase it."

Tiana only 'hmm's in response to his quip about Death Eaters. It was not so long ago that she would have argued with him, but now she is not so sure. However, it must be said that if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck… "It's never a duck." Ahh, the age-old Auror paranoia. How strange to find it in a teacher of potions. "Hmm," she considers his final statement. "So long as your leash permits, at least." Giving a little half shrug, she stalks toward and then past him, pausing in the end archway only long enough to toss back one final taunt over her shoulder. "I plan to slip my collar before much longer. What about yours?" But it seems she must expect no answer, for she waits for none.

Tiana's response must have been the one Conall was hoping for, for no sooner have the words left her lips than the first genuine smile of the evening appears and he inclines his head in acknowledgement thereof. It's a low husky laugh almost akin to that of a big lazy cat purring that greets comment of leashes being slipped and dark eyes pin an intent look onto the Potions Professor as she slips passed him. "Perhaps then you'll tell me what a Professor is doing hunting the likes of Fenrir Greyback," but it's a murmured comment sent to the space left by Tiana's departure. And so with an enigmatic expression in place, Conall's hands go back to his pockets and with a last glance toward the section of wall that had so caught the ebony-haired woman's attention, he continues back on his rounds with Gobshite winging in from another hallway squawking, "Dumbass," repeatedly.

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