1995-02-08: Locking Horns


Aston_icon.gif Jackson_icon.gif Julian_icon.gif McGonagall_icon.gif Melissa_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif Sirius_icon.gif

Scene Title Locking Horns
Synopsis Transfiguration class- well, mostly. Harry is missing; Sirius wants to know more, and Minerva wants him to be more sensible. Nobody gets what they want.
Location Transfiguration Classroom
Date February 08, 1995
Watch For Cats vs. Dogs
Logger McG

Mid-morning classes within Hogwarts tend to consist of more attentive students- a longer period after breakfast, yet just far enough for most of them to be looking forward to the lunch period. The class consisting of largely first years finds itself in the middle of beetles to buttons(and back again). The couple of older students in the period are likely working on something more free-form, or possibly cross-species switches. Not to mention, made to give the little ones tips on the spells should they be having too much difficulty.

Professor McGonagall is at the head of the room, and since the class has been going for a short time, she is already moving to study one first year at the front, who has accidentally transfigured part of his hand rather than the beetle, due to its bold leap upwards at the last possible second.

That isn't Bean. Bean is watching his beetle move across the desk. He keeps track of the moves the little bug makes, and flicks his wand at it, stating the incantation. The beetle sprouts two holes and becomes rounder, but does no more. He frowns. What is he missing? He glances up at the teacher and runs her words through his head again, trying to find out which part he skipped. While he does that, though, his poor little beetle starts to walk off the edge of the desk.

Jax has successfully managed to turn his beetle into a button — a brightly shiny pink button. When he turns it back into a beetle, though, the beetle is glossy-pink as well. He chews on his lip, looking around at how his classmates are progressing. He glances over at the desk beside his just in time to see Bean's beetle starting to make its escape. He leans over to catch it as it falls of the edge, offering the bug back to Bean on the palm of his hand. "I think it's kind of cute that way," he says with a grin.

One of the first years working on the still having some trouble with the transfiguration. He looks at the beetle a moment raising his wand for another try. The spell works sort of though the button is undoubtedly not supposed to have antenna still. Aston sighs tossing the button into a box and getting a fresh beetle for more practice. He takes a moment to see how others are doing.

By the time that Jackson has bent to catch Bean's beetle, Professor McGonagall has moved on past the desks, pausing at the desk of the Hufflepuff boy to peer closely at the pink beetle- who seems to have confused the other beetle creeping across the desk that happens to belong to Jackson's tablemate.

"Mister Holland." Oops, better pay attention. Luckily, it's only a question. "The color- did you intend that, when you turned it into a button?" Color change is transfiguration, technically.

"Thanks, Holland." Bean grabs the bug and attempts it again, this time getting it right. It's just a regular black button, but it looks round, flat, and has the appropriate holes. "How long does this last, Professor?" Bean wonders aloud. "Do you have to keep changing him if you need a button for your trousers?"

Jackson looks up with wide eyes when the teacher says his name. "Yes'm," he answers her brightly. "I mean, if it's gotta be a button, it doesn't hurt if it's a /pretty/ button, right?" He squints uncertainly at his beetle. "Didn't quite mean it to be such a pretty beetle, though." He squirms slightly at Bean's question. "— A beetle in your trousers wouldn't hardly be comfortable at all."

Aston looks back to his beetle as he spots the professor approaching where he is seated. The first year readies his want and than acts. The beetle remains unchanged a moment before turning into a bottom circle holes and all. Aston grins "That's better." he looks back down though. "Now back again."

From out in the hallway, there is a ruckus. Raised voices, a shriek or two, or four. A general noise of pandemonium! Could be Peeves up to his usual tricks, which wouldn't be out of the ordinary. Not a day goes by without the poltergeist creating /some/ disturbance. Yet instead of fading or dying down, the noise gets closer. Thundering footsteps, and what sounds like a crowd dispersing at top speeds.

The door to the Transfiguration classroom bursts open, and Sirius Black strides into the room. "What's going on Professor? Where is he!?" Furious is an inadequate descriptor for the anger on the man's face. Ordinarily, he wouldn't dare disrupt one of McGonagall's classes, but this isn't an ordinary situation.

"I see." McGonagall replies, lowering her hand to pluck up the pink beetle and inspect it. Yep! Completely pink. When she puts it back down, her eyes settle over on Jackson once more. "Change the color back to normal, and try the spell again. You may change the color as well, but make sure that when you turn it back- that the color also turns." The instructions seem just like the first ones, save that she happens to include his aptitude to make things 'pretty'.

And then, the least likely thing that anyone could have possibly expected- Sirius Black, striding through the wooden door that now wheedles metallic on its old hinges- it sounds as if it may be protesting being pushed open in the middle of a class. Hey! Wait! Voice booming, Sirius' presence inside of the room is almost the same as the outside. A few of the first years let out squeaks, and there is a popping noise when one beetle towards the back explodes in a sudden shower of green spittle.

If Black is furious, there is absolutely no word for McGonagall. She stands in the middle of the rows of tables, suddenly rigid and bristling with anger. Almost like a volcano, preparing to rain down on frightened, fleeing little villagers below.

"Mister Black." Even her voice is smoldering with fire, well beyond the point of simply being stern in tone.

Aston jumps at the door banging open and prods the table instead of the button it shivers but luckily doesn't turn into a giant beetle. The one who has entered gets more of a look scared at first calming quickly. "Is who? Unless he means who he thinks he means." the first year's eyes doesn't leave the man for the moment.

Julian has seen that face. It's been all over the news. And McGonagall's words confirm it. "Sirius Black," he whispers, nodding toward the door. He looks down at the button, half procrastinating to pay attention to the drama, and half testing his theory of how long the transfiguration will last, since the Professor didn't answer his question before the door swung open. Yeah, that's what he's doing.

"Yes'm," Jackson says cheerfully, focusing his wand on his beetle again once it is back on his desk. Sirius's abrupt entry startles him, though, breaking his concentration. His spell misses the beetle, hitting his desk instead and turning /it/ bright pink as well. He squeaks, jumping in his chair and turning to stare at the door. "Oh — ohdear." He blinks, cringing slightly in his seat at all the anger in the room. He cups his hand carefully over his beetle as it tries to scurry away, and stares with eyes as wide as saucers at Sirius.

Intruding upon McGonagall's classes of all of them is never a good idea. He /knows/ his former head of house tolerates interruptions from no one, unless it's the headmaster. Again, ordinarily, this isn't something he would dream of doing, but he just got word Harry's missing.. and he's /not/ a happy camper. He can't find Dumbledore, so McGonagall was the next face to go to, and this is an emergency as far as Black's concerned. Beneath the fury, there's a fear and overwhelming worry for a certain someone's safety. Bold as brass, he strides down the center of the classroom, straight for McGonagall. "What's happened to him, Professor?" If he were in a right state of mind, he would be apologizing, heck, he wouldn't be here at all. But he's not, so he continues his advance, looking quite like the crazed image splashed on papers.

Rushing through the hall looking flushed and disheveled, Siobhan rounds the corner into McGonnagall's classroom ready for a tongue-lashing. The old tabby doesn't tolerate tardiness from anyone, she well knows; especially not from a Slytherin. "Sorry Professor I - " But that thought never gets the chance to finish, because there is a very familiar voice and body advancing through her classroom. His words send ice through her veins. She'd just been trying to… Oh, hell. "Sirius?" she calls out to him - completely ignorant now of the class she is helping to disrupt. "What happened to who, Siri?" There's raw panic and icy fear in her voice. "Not…" Not her brother, please not Jack.

The Gryffindor first years fear turns to concern quickly if the teacher isn't wigging out about the man being in the class room it's likely he shouldnt either. Aston looks about to speak but the new arrival asks his question and he only sits waiting.

The look that Sirius gets back could rust right through that brass, despite it being so new. "How dare you interrupt a class of mine-" McGonagall steps forward to meet him, and frankly if they both had a pair of horns, they might be locking tight right now. Siobhan's sudden appearance helps very little indeed. The professor lifts a hand past Sirius' frame towards the Slytherin girl, a pointed gesture to the empty table at the back of the room. "Sit, miss Noble." Without so much as a blink. If it were someone to do with her, Minerva would be treating this with much more care. But as it stands, Sirius is liable to rile up the class for no reason known to them.

"Mister Black." Her voice first carries, and now that they are close, it turns more familiar. "Sirius. If you have any sense at all left in that head of yours, you will get out of this classroom." The tone implies she'll only help him then- and so does that little twitch on the outside corner of her right eye.

This is how rumors get started. Bean watches Siobhan enter, and wonders who she might be missing that she couldn't reach. He fervently wishes that Mermish were not so … awful to listen to. "Who is he looking for, anyway?" He flicks his wand just in case the Professor comes his way, and turns the button back into a beetle. Minus a couple legs. "Damn," he mutters to himself, catching the thing and starting the whole process over.

Jackson shrugs, brow creasing as he looks at Sirius. "He kind of looks even scarier in person," he muses, chewing on his lip, and then brightens as he peers down at his bright pink desk. "I bet that'd be fixed if he was just a little more /cheerful/ coloured."

Sirius never was frightened of McGonagall, not even as a first year. His detention record backs this up! In fact, he's proud of his record, thank you. He and James had a running joke on who could get more. But I digress. Still looking furious enough to remain on the attack, he stares hard at McGonagall. Locking horns indeed. He's quiet, far too quiet as he breathes heavily, trying to calm himself down. "Fine," he says, volume lowered considerably. "I'll go wait in your office to speak with you and Dumbledore about Harry when classes are finished." He's not cowed by the professor, but it's respect for her that has him saying, "I apologize for disrupting your class. It shouldn't have happened." In a swish of robes, he turns and strides for the door, giving a brief, "Miss Noble," to Siobhan in passing.

Siobhan, however, has no way of knowing that McGonagall would take more tact with her if it was to do with her brother. She doesn't trust the Gryffindor tabby anymore than she does the old coot. "I bloody well will not sit!" Indignant Sio. Oops. Hands on her hips, even. That clipped order given when she still fears for her family was probably not the wisest course of action with this particular hothead. Glancing off to one side, she catches sight of Bean's curious look and mouths a set of syllables he may or may not understand. No phonation though. Not even Angry!Sio is that cruel. Standing at his side, ready and raring for a fight, Siobhan gets the wind knocked right out of her sails. Torn between immense relief that it's not Jack, and worry/fear/concern/anger that it's Harry that's missing… Glancing between Sirius and her professor, Siobhan makes a split-second decision and turns to follow the former Gryffindor out of the classroom. Out of everyone here, he's most likely to give her the answers she wants.

Melissa turns from her work to give Sirius a cheerful wave as he leaves. Never mind that if he'd tried this a year ago she'd probably have been scared out of her mind to see him.

"Yes. You do that, which you should have done in the first place." Respect is respect, regardless of any actual fear involved. Respect stems from something, deep down. Because of this, Minerva McGonagall appears momentarily appeased with Sirius backing down and his apology(well, almost, as her nostrils are still flaring angrily). However, before Siobhan does manage to get far- "Twenty points from Slytherin for lateness, miss Noble. Ten more and detention if you choose to leave." Rather than see if Siobhan actually listens, Professor McGonagall turns to her class, somewhat incredulous at the staring bundles of first years- instead of transfiguring anything. "Back to work. There is nothing to see here." Unless of course, you count what students see as one of their professors emasculating a previously known felon.

"I appreciate the solidarity Miss Noble, but it's for the best if you return to class. Professor McGonagall is already in a right fury thanks to me, and while I applaud her growing creativity with detentions.." Sirius asides to Siobhan as she follows him to the door. While passing Melissa's desk, he looks at the student as if she'd lost her gobstones before looking back at Sio. "I'll owl you later Miss Noble," he says, brushing past and exiting the classroom.

Julian is looking down at his beetle, and looks up just in time to see Siobhan mouth the word. He makes the mouth movements, and adds a little whistle in place of the screeching noise, and catches the meaning. His intense look at the other snake is a mixture of curiosity and disagreement. He doesn't understand giving away so much for a family memnber. But the moment passes, and Bean lowers his head to deal with his button bug, making it change again, this time almost perfectly.

McGonagall's admonitions fall on deaf ears. Twenty points for tardiness is excessive, but then again, Siobhan is a Slytherin. She's used to having unfair punishments. She seems determined to follow her friend from the classroom, but stops at the doorway when she hears his words. This 'Miss Noble' business is decidedly unsettling. "Sio, you old mutt. My name is Sio." That irritation of course being the only one she can really protest right now. "You'd better," she throws out an admonishment of her own. "Or I'll set Henrik on you." Threat of her snarky owl isn't really much, but it's meant to lighten this, if only a little. Turning on her heel, she stalks back to sit next to Bean, chin lifted arrogantly as if it was her idea all along to return to class.

Jax blinks in some bemusement as Sirius leaves. He turns back to his beetle reluctantly, focusing on it again. It changes back into a button with the next flick of his wand — shiny yellow this time — and then into a beetle again. It is its usual dark brown colour, if a touch glossier than it really should be.

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