1996-01-28: Minerva Saves The Day


Dumbledore_icon.gif McGonagall_icon.gif Snape_icon.gif Flitwick, Sprout and Sinestra.

Scene Title Minerva Saves the Day
Synopsis It's the monthly staff meeting, and Minerva prevents Severus from killing the Headmaster.
Location Hogwarts: Staff Room
Date Jan 28, 1996
Watch For Grandfatherly mien while attempting to destroy a life. Severus head nearly asplode.
Logger Snape.

Early on the last Sunday morning of each month - 0500 sharp, though the clock doesn't think so - the staff of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry gather together to discuss problems with the children or cirricula, upcoming events, plan for exams and exchange news pertinent to their small corner of the wizarding world. For this most auspicious of occasions, the staff room's furniture is removed, replaced by a long oaken table with comfortable chairs lining either side. The fire is lit and blazing, providing a warm and comforting heat to the early risers. The elves have laid out coffee, tea, fruit and toast - an aid in maintaining wakefulness for the meeting's duration. At the table's head, Albus Dumbledore is already waiting. Today he wears a set of traditional robes in a very loud lime and trimmed in purple and just at the moment, he is conversing quite enjoyably with a very gossipy old witch while nibbling on a boysenberry scone. One may wonder if the Headmaster needs to sleep at all - he shows no sign of the early hour.

Minerva shows signs of the early hour alright; namely the way she all but drops her Sean Connery and Patrick Stewart picture mug on the table blearily before reaching for the tea pot to pour herself a generous cup. "I do hope this is Irish Breakfast tea. Nothing less then that will wake me this morning." she mutters, prompting a chuckle from one of the men on her enchanted mug. "Cram it; sucking up this early in the morning is ill-advised. Wait until after lunch." is chided, while she then gathers some fruit and toast to nibble on. And wait.

Severus Snape strides into the room, sits down and pours himself a cup of tea before even looking at those around him. He is an early riser, partially because of this tradition, and partially because he doesn't sleep much — well, he didn't sleep much, and doesn't again. "Headmaster." He dips his head in greeting and reaches out for something to eat. "Minerva." He sips at his tea, not even making a snarky comment to Minerva or the figures on her cup.

Filius Flitwick plods into the room, barely awake himself. He picks a chair, flicks his wand to give it enough lift to allow him to reach the table, and climbs up into it. "Could you pass me the tea, please?" He pulls out a piece of parchment and a self-inking quill. One must always take notes at these sorts of things.

Other members of the staff trickle in; some alone, others in twos or threes. It'll be a moment before everyone is settled with their tea and nibbles. It helps that their Headmaster doesn't seem to be, himself, in a very great hurry. His attention is drawn from conversation with the witch - who has apparently just said something remarkably amusing - by the arrival of his Deputy and Slytherin's Head of House. The lack of bite in Snape this morning does not go unnoticed, though it perhaps goes misunderstood. "Good morning, Severus, Minerva." His good mood will go un-ruined. "You seem in good spirits this morning, Severus." Lack of snark is a good thing, right? "A good night of sleep will do wonders for the spirit, one finds." He chuckles to himself over McGonagall's tiff with her own teacup and turns next to face her. "Would you care to try a scone, Minerva? They're boysenberry this morning. I find them delightful."

McGonagall flicks her wand and floats the teapot over to Filius, where it pours the tea for him before settling back down. "There you are, Filius." she pauses to acknowledge Snape when he walks in, giving him a brief nod. "Severus." She keeps things polite as normal, and even gives the Headmaster a brief smile at the offer of scones. "boysenberry is one of my favorites. I do believe I will try one." is agreed. "With fresh butter. Nothing goes better with tea, really."

Severus narrows his eyes and just glares at the headmaster. He takes another long sip of his tea, swallowing his harsh reply. Instead, he turns to greet the other staff members coming in with a nod. He'll eschew all discussion of boysenberry scones, and sit eating a small bowl of fruit and a couple pieces of toast.

"I think I prefer the strawberry ones." Filius replies, then turning toward Minerva. "Thank you, my dear." He levitates the sugar bowl over, scooping in a couple spoonfuls of sugar before settling it back into place. He glances over at Severus. "Everything alright, there, Severus?" He doesn't expect him to reply, but he does greet his colleague.

"Well, if we're all here." Minerva, unlike Albus, prefers to move things along please and thank you! Plus, she would like to avoid Severus cramming his fist down someone's throat this morning. /So/, she clears her throat. "Shall we begin, Headmaster? There are certainly a few things that should be addressed today." she points out, a little more lively now that there is violence to prevent.

Albus Dumbledore seems to find something funny about the glare with which he's skewered. "Still not quite awake, eh? Good to see you're sleeping better, Severus." Since the room is now occupied by everyone who'll be attending, he lifts his cup and spoon, lightly clanking the metal against the china in a completely inappropriate mimicry of 'tapping the wineglass'. That, combined with McGonagall's timely interruption, seems to gain the attention of the room. Clearing his throat, the ancient wizard smiles around the room, regarding each member of the staff with kind attention over the rim of his spectacles. "Good morning to you all," he begins. "First, I have the sad duty of reporting that our Defense professor will be absent for the foreseeable future. There was no notice of leave-taking, but a thorough search of the premises has turned up no sign of her." He almost shrugs, smiling indulgently. "Ah, youth. Her classes will need to be divided up among the remaining staff - yes, even I will take a class." He chuckles. "It will be good for this old mind. If you could all please pass on the most convenient periods of free time to Minerva, we will create the schedule and have it sent around before the dinner hour this evening." Brushing a few crumbs almost daintily from his beard, he glances down at the notes in front of his place setting. "Now, we have the bi-yearly Ministry audit of our examinations this term. You'll find a packet of information containing the written notice for your subject as well as a packet of rules and frequently asked questions. It is quite informative and actually a very enjoyable read."

It takes a considerable amount of effort for Severus Snape to remain in his seat. Were it not important for him to keep up appearances he would just turn and walk out of the room, or reach over and strangle the dotty Headmaster within an inch of his life. He inhales sharply, his lips thinning in a look that, were it directed at a Hufflepuff firstie, would have dire consequences. Hissing lowly, he leans forward. "The reason there was no note, Headmaster, was because she was expected to return from her errand. She went to go get more food for her plants and something happened. There is reason to believe foul play is involved." He doesn't elucidate why he thinks that is, not right now, not to him. " Her fiance does not know where she is either." If Siobhan would leave the school for any reason, a brand new fiance would rank right up there.

"Siobhan leave without a note? That's really not like her, Albus." Filius looks up where he's taking notes about the bi-annual audit, and looks at Severus. "If Severus thinks there's foul play, shouldn't we at the least consider it?" He likes the young professor, even if she didn't always seem to get the more esoteric ideas in his class.

"Albus, really." Minerva snorts. "Miss Noble would never abandon her students in such a manner. I think what you meant to say is that the classes will be divided amongst us temporarily while we attempt to dicover what has happened to her. Is that not so?" She sweeps a gaze across the room, just *daring* anyone to naysay her defense of the Dark Arts teacher. "And we mustn't forget the matter of her pet, which was quite distraught about the fact that she is not here. And she usually takes the seraph everywhere with her." she adds, in addition to what both Severus and Filius have said. To which she nods at the gratefully. She cannot of course allow herself to stare at Snape longer then necessary. "Is Auror Jethro looking into this as well? Severus?"

"Morgan, Gardener and Shepard," Severus replies, his scowl deepening with each name. He doesn't mention Brennan here, but he may tell McGonagall about her later. Especially if he can find some of those books she was talking about. All he'd need is for Dumbledore to meet Brennan and get all that information from her.

"Now, the Ministry audit is nothing to be overly concerned with. It is a simple observation so that the Wizengamot has the appropriate records on file that the school is complying with the strictures set out in the educational charter." Which, since this is the school that wrote that charter, it not likely to be a big issue. Flipping to the next page of his notes, he stacks the parchment to even it up and looks about to move on to the next issue on the agenda when first Snape, then Flitwick and McGonagall interrupt him to drag things back to the Noble business. The Slytherin Head is the first to get his attention with a deceptively mild gaze. "What reason is that, Severus? Surely, had there been an incident involving one of my staff, I would have already been informed." He sounds so reasonable. When still more arguments arise, Albus sighs, seeming to grow older before their very eyes. Pulling a worn file from the bottom of his Stack O' Stuff, he hands it to Severus with a truly sad expression. "I wish you did know her, my friends. I truly wish you did. But you see, this is not the first time young Siobhan Noble has disappeared without notice." He nods toward the folder now in Severus' hands. "There are the records from her disappearance at age 15. She ran away from home during the summer between her fifth and sixth years here and … fell among the wrong crowd, shall we say." He steeples his fingers and rests his forehead against them. "I am sorry, Minerva, but I meant exactly what I said. I had hoped to be able to keep this information private, as it pertains to the private life of a child for whom we were responsible, but I see now that the matter will not rest until the rest of you understand that this is not, in fact, against her nature."

"Oh, good. Good. Excellent." Minerva agrees, upon hearing of who is taking the lead in looking for Siobhan. "How interesting that you have gathered this information for us." Minerva decides, glancing at the folder when it's slid along to Severus. "And all very interesting information about her past to be sure. But the past is the past, as I know you are well aware. However, in deference to your obvious discomfort with the topic - I shall coordinate with Severus and the American team that is looking into her disappearance and keep you advised. So that you can focus on this Ministry audit. As you consider this particular matter unimportant, that should surely help put the matter to rest. It is, after all, an outside group doing all of the legwork." Pleased with herself for this, she nonetheless keeps her expression stern.

"Were she one of your precious Gryffindors, Albus, something would have already been done." Severus fights a losing battle with his temper. "If she wore any color but green and silver on her uniform, you would have already forgiven her, buried the record and forgotten about them. However, because she belongs to the House of the Snake, she is considered to be acting in form according to an incident that happened four years ago. Were she a werewolf, a vampire, or even a succubus in another house, this would be a non-issue." He slams the file down without opening it. When Minerva speaks, he inhales deeply, calming himself. He doesn't dare even look Minerva's way to thank her. Instead, he drains his glass of tea and flicks his wand to levitate the pot toward him to get more.

Filius Flitwick looks shocked. He's rattled for a short moment, both at whatever might be in the file and at Severus' rantings. "That is as it may be, but every one of us has something we're not proud of. I think she had committed herself to doing well at teaching. And the children like her." He'd really like to see her back. "If they think it's not her fault, then I think we should at least consider the possibility." Pure Eagle: Examine all the angles, then make a decision.

"Now Severus…" And there's a flash of hurt across the old man's face. "You of all people should know that isn't true. Errant children of the Serpent are forgiven on the same grounds as those of the Lion or the Badger - true contrition and sincere effort." Turning toward Minerva - the much more reasonable of the two closest professors, Dumbledore seems to consider this mode of action. "If it will ease your mind, Minerva, by all means, coordinate with the American team doing the search. However," he pauses and leans back in his chair. "I have other, more important matters on which I am afraid I require Severus' full attention. He will not be assisting you in this endeavor."

The file slides open just a little where it was slammed and rests there for only a moment before whipping down the table into an outstretched hand. Sinistra, wand in the other hand, narrows her eyes at the head of their arrangement. "It's always advisable to know with whom you are working, wouldn't you agree, Severus?" It's a pointed barb. "A leopard cannot change its spots. If there's something in here that means Miss Noble is unfit to work with our children, we have a right to s - " She is cut off when the folder is snatched out of her hand and she is bopped right on the top of her head with it by none other than Pomona Sprout. "Nonsense. Siobhan'd sooner fling herself between a child and danger than push them into it - Slytherin or not. If you would spend some time down here in the real world once in a while you would know that, Aurora." Sprout takes that file and tucks it securely under her arm and gives a sharp nod to Minerva. "My apologies for the interruption, Minerva, Headmaster." Even Severus gets a look of fierce approval. He stood up for one of her favorites, so of course he must have some taste after all.

Helping diffuse some of the anger in the room, Minerva chuckles brightly at Pomona's outburst. "Nonsense, Pomona. That was quite a lively statement. Quite along with my own line of thinking as it were." she agrees, reaching over to pat the woman on the shoulder with rare affection. "Thank you, Albus. It would ease my mind a great deal to coordinate with them. You know how protective I am of our students and teachers." She slides a gaze over towards Severus as she retakes her seat and kicks his foot just as she's getting resettled. Don't worry, she's got this. She is not going to let him go without information. "I will have a schedule for you by dinnertime, on who will be filling in for those classes for the time being." she adds briskly.

Severus has a fairly good idea what's in that file, unfortunately. At least part of it. Doctor Brennan may have been right again. However, it is of no consequence. Sio's indiscretion affected only herself and maybe another or two; Severus' own affected the whole wizarding world. "I know no such thing, Headmaster." Well, he begins to say that. About halfway through the sentence, his leg is kicked. He shuts up, and looks down, content to leave the rest to Minerva. He didn't think the old man would let him do as he pleased in this matter. He never has before.

"Hear, hear, Pomona." Filius lifts his teacup, sloshing a little as he does. He flicks his wand, and the tea returns to the cup without a thought. "If I can help in some small way, Minerva, let me know." He doesn't know what he could do, but he might be able to take some other load off her shoulders to make room for this.

Fingers steeped in front of his face, Albus Dumbledore watches all of the goings-on without interruption or comment. He appears thoughtful, but in that serene way that grandfathers across the world watch as their children's children squabble amongst themselves. Only when the matter seems to be resolved does he lean forward and without further comment, lifts a stack of heavy parchment, taking one off the top and handing the rest to McGonagall. "The audit will take place between the dates of …" And the meeting continues apace.

Any additional notes fall to the bottom.

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