1996-01-13: Parley

Participants:

Siobhan_icon.gif Snape_icon.gif Jake_icon.gif

Scene Title Parley
Synopsis Siobhan schedules two meetings very close together. Things go south. Then they go east, west, up, down, inside-out and sideways.
Location Noble's Office
Date January 13, 1996
Watch For Quippy one-liners, character and plot hints, sprinkles of things to come
Logger I am the Bad Wolf

Late Saturday morning finds Siobhan curled up sideways in her armchair, knees hooked over one arm as she turns the ragged pages of Moreta. Despite the fact that this is obviously a well-used and much-loved story, her attention does not appear to be on the text itself. Instead, her look is vacant, as if she sees straight through the pages to something no one else would see in her snug little office. Her brow is furrowed and she chews on her lip - and has been doing so long enough that there's just a tickle-smear of red below her mouth. A soft creel from the winged serpent wrapped around its rock-perch startles her out of her own mind and those deep brown eyes focus on the antique-style clock on the mantlepiece. Three minutes to eleven; things will begin soon. Nervous in a way she cannot justify to her rational mind, Siobhan turns to stare out the window at the slowly falling flakes of snow. Her stomach gurgles as uneasiness twists in her gut. Something is brewing - she doesn't know what, who or how, but something big is about to change and it's killing her. The not knowing… It's the worst. And yet, no matter how much she tells herself that it's better to know and that the knowing part will come soon, she can't help but dread every single click of the hands in that clock, ticking down the time until the first of two appointments she has for the day. Meetings that she … well, kinda-sorta intentionally scheduled very close together. Just in case.

And now it's two minutes to eleven, and striding into the room early, as is normal for him, is Severus Snape. Robes swirling about him as he enters the room, Severus lowers himself into a chair and waits a moment or two before speaking. "Taking flights of fancy, I see?" He may not have read the series himself, but he can see the pictures on the front, and draw his own conclusions from them. He narrows his eyes, taking in her state, and he drawls, "If you are that anxious, Miss Noble, perhaps we ought to postpone this." He runs a finger across his lip, gesturing for her to do the same. Having expressed his worry and pointed out the blood on her lip, he's ready to find out the purpose of the meeting. "I have extremely banal winter holiday essays to grade, so I would appreciate it if you came rather quickly to the point." The words are sharp, the tone, not as much. He's still his snarky self.

The opening jibe makes Sio pause a moment - unusual for her, since this isn't a new quip coming from him - before glancing down at her book and chucking it off to land caddywumpus on one corner of her desk. Spinning her body to face front and stand, she bounces on the balls of her feet and shifts her weight from side to side. There really isn't the room in here to properly pace, but she damn well isn't going to stay still in this state. "We - " The motion across his lip makes her stop and mimic it, staring blankly for a moment at the blood on her fingers like she can't believe that it's hers. "We've got a problem." There's a tightly-wound tension in her voice that usually only comes when she hasn't been able to sleep the night before. "And I don't think it's something that's going to be quick." There's a touch of apology in her expression - she knows what kind of workload they all have now that exam season is looming over the horizon - but she's determined that this absolutely could not wait. "There's this … " She's not sure where to begin. "There's this American. Well-off enough that Mum tried to get him to marry me once." One hand pushes back through her mussed blonde hair in a gesture of stress that speaks louder than any words. "He declined at the time, I guess, but he's back here now and - " She swallows hard. "Sev, he knows." Her voice isn't much more than a whisper and there's a hint of desperation in her eyes. "He knows everything. I don't know how, but he does. He's supposed to be here in about a quarter of an hour, he … He wants to make some kind of deal." And she's not nearly ready to face that on her own. It's him she's looking to now for guidance, for reassurance and for some sense of safety. She's in the worst possible position a Snake can imagine…

She's vulnerable.

Snape's eyes narrow even more as he leans forward. At first, a fury crosses his face, whether for her or at her, isn't clear. "How," he hisses, voice at its most deadly. "How does an American beau know your most dangerous secret?" He rubs at his temples, and leans back, fury back under control. "When are you meeting this individual?" He can do a lot with time to plan. He strokes his chin, considering what to say next. "Tell me…" He pauses, trying to phrase the command properly. "Everything."

TA-DA!!! Here is the American. He's clearly dressed for the occasion; business. Suit and tie, though he has his sleeves rolled up a bit. The tie loosened and the first collar button undone. And, there are vague beginnings of dark circles under his eyes. But, here he is. "Because the American in question has a lot of contacts, and a lot of money. And numerous reasons to wish to help end the threat you're facing /now/, before it's too late for me to assist." he says reasonably, walking in at the worst possible moment.

Stress does not make Sio a very nice person. "He's not my beau, Severus. You know better," she snaps. That little barb stings more than the rest of it, though it may seem stupid. He's been around and witnessed her mother's … thing. To pin it back on her, well… It hurts. "He's wealthy. He's ex-military. That's all I can figure. Imagine Lucius with not only connections in the government, but in the military as well - Muggle and wizard bo - " Oh flying screaming horse shit. So fast that it's creepy, Siobhan's barriers crash down. It's too hard and too fast; it leaves her cold and just a little bit vicious. That chill and vicious wit get turned on Captain Ameripants, because his timing is the absolute worst. "You're one of those incredibly aggravatingly chipper individuals that's always twenty minutes early to everything, aren't you?" Okay, so the whole 'excessive use of adjectives' thng may have rubbed off a little when she's emotionally shut-down and pissed off. "Last I remember, American manners - though depressingly decomposed - still included the requirement of knocking before barging into a private room."

If Severus Snape were to do a jaw-drop, it would be here. However, since his reaction to being surprised is to whirl and aim his wand, he pulls it out, then stifles his instinct, laying it directly across his lap, hand loosely wrapped around it. "Help her do what exactly?" Dark eyes narrow at the intruder, and his scowl deepens. "Help her survive her own idiocy, or assist her to an early visit with her forefathers?" It's not the most subtle way of asking which side he's on, but it works. "More connections does not an ally make, Miss Noble." He quirks a brow at her, throwing her own example back into her face. And the crack about knocking before entering? He tilts his head pointedly as he glances at her. Really? "Perhaps you ought to tone down the essence of cheering potion and do me the favor of giving me your name." He throws this last back at the newcomer.

"Yes, I probably am. Aggravating and chipper…" Jake agrees, hands stuffed into his pants pockets now and looking entirely too at ease with the situation. "And you're right. It was terribly rude of me not to knock, for which I sincerely apologize. I've a lot on my mind, but that's no excuse." He doesn't quite have the grace to look sheepish there. Just tired and apologetic. But, that doesn't stop him from continuing. "Jake Morgan, Professor. My name is Jake Morgan." he offers, pleasantly enough. "Help her ensure she has the resources to do whatever she thinks is best way to ensure the safety of the children here at the school and during the summer of course. And put an end to 'He who shall not be named'."

Yes, really. Not all that good with surprises, okay? And though willing to be vulnerable and open with Snape - someone who has earned her trust time and again - Siobhan is so far beyond not being alright with either of those two adjectives around the semi-stranger. Folding her arms across her chest and cocking one hip in a pose eerily alike to her mother, she narrows her eyes at Jake for long, measuring moments. After that stillness, however, she acts without hesitation - once the decision is made, she wastes no time. One hand snaps up, the motion in time with the slamming of the door and the appearance of an almost painfully bright golden light emanating from the cracks around it. A flick of the raised wrist makes another comfortable chair appear next to her own armchair. (Severus will notice a similarity to 'his' chair from downstairs.) "Sit." See? She's not completely devoid of manners. Gesturing to the two uncomfortable-looking student chairs, she clearly means for Jake to take his pick. To Severus, she nods, then lowers herself to sit ramrod-straight in her own chair. "Tea?" Monosyllabic communication seems the way to go. At least in this seating arrangement, there can be no mistake about the lines being drawn.

That's a bold enough statement of intent for the professor. The tension in his shoulders relaxes a little — not completely, but enough to be noticed if you're looking — and he stows his wand. "I am Severus Snape, potions master at this institution." He nods fractionally, considering that to be enough of a greeting. As Sio wards the door, his eyes flick to watch the glow and a small measure of approval shows. 'Pleasantries' over, he nods at Sio. "If you would." He gazes intently at Morgan for a quiet moment, eyes flicking up and down. "What is this deal, Morgan?" It's plainly obvious that he's in Sio's confidence about the whole thing, so he might as well start the process. He's a little more at ease, but still mostly wary. With good reason.

There may be a bit of amusement in the American's eyes when he's ordered to sit in the uncomfortable chairs like a naughty schoolboy. But sit he does, a dimple showing when he nods and smiles. "Yes ma'am." Just as if she were a drill instruction. "If you'll be having some, yes. I won't impose otherwise." is said of the tea before they get down to business. The folder that's been tucked against his side is held out towards the both of them. They can decide who reaches for it first. "I won't lie by saying it's simple, even if.. well, I will cut to the quick of it for both of you. I'll be dead in two years. It's not something I planned for, much to my dismay. So now I am scrambling. I have my sister's boy to take care of. He's only 12 and he has the blood just liek I do. His father, however, is a murdering pig. Miss Noble and her family can provide him a stable and loving and safe environment to grow up in; and with their retinue of barristers and the iron-clad contract I've had drawn up, his father's family cannot take him back." is said bluntly, at first. "I'm filthy rich. All of my money, save for a sum put away for my newphew, will be hers. All of my homes, my business, my stocks and bonds and other assets… hers. Any magical artifacts… hers. Books… everything. I ask in return that she marry me, so that I needn't spend my last two years alone. That will also get her family off of her back for awhile, if I recall correctly."

Siobhan does not reach for the folder. She busies herself instead taking the tea tray from a timely Janet and then preparing three cups. Severus is here. She can study it later, but he's more likely to get the most out of a quick perusal like this. A cup is prepared for Sev in the usual way, but as she knows nothing of the way this foreigner takes his tea, she merely sets an undoctored cup down in front of him. The cream and sugar is on the tray and well within reach, so she's not being completely bitchy. Her own mug - hot and sweet and creamy - is sipped at while she listens. It's a small comfort that she comes to regret when the 'catch' comes so bluntly. She chokes on her sip and quickly lifts a hand to her lips to prevent any accident while she swallows her mouthful. She's gotten better at the 'blank face' thing, but there's no denying the shock, fury and then sheer determination that light a fire in her cinnamon eyes. She hasn't quite exploded - no shattered mirrors, yet - and yet her answer, monosyllabic as it may be, is distressingly firm.

"No."

Snape leans back in his chair, pondering the words from the upstart American's mouth. He strokes his chin again, consideirng the offer from all angles. It is why he's ascended to be the master of Slytherin House, after all. He remains silent for a long moment, then reaches for the folder, scanning it, adding it into his calculations, correcting assumptions. The information leads him to raise his eyebrow, intrigued and silent. The upraised eyebrows and narrowed eyes shift focus when Siobhan speaks. He thinks for another moment, then only asks of Jake, "Tell me of your nephew. He is a wizard, you say?"

Jake is sincerely disappointed, but not surprised at Siobhan's initial reaction. But all which shows is a flicker of dimay there in his features before he leans back in the godawful chair and tries to settle in for a long discussion. "Yes, he's a wizard." is agreed. "He's a smart kid. But he needs a stable environment. I haven't figured out what his focus might be, or what he'll be best at. But he has potential. I won't see it wasted by leaving him with people who don't understand, and will probably deny him the opportunity." Snape would have found that really, every single contract looks clean and well written. "As a show of good faith, I've hired Miss Noble's uncle and his family to be caretakers at my residence in Ireland. Upon my death, whether she agrees to any of this or not, they will be left the house free and clear. I'm certain this will benefit her young newphew Cianan."

The fact that Snape not only doesn't seem to hear her answer, but seems as if he's actually considering this madness … Well, it makes Sio's world kinda tilt. It stinks of betrayal. There's a long moment where she stares blankly ahead into the fire and lets the words from both wash slowly over her; she knows full-well that if she looks at … well, at either one of them now that she'll lose her hard-won self-control and that, as they say, would be that. Swallowing hard, she steadies herself into forced calm, though her grip on the teacup is white-knuckled and tense. "I'm sorry, Mister Morgan, but I've spent too long dodging contractual marriage to agree to this, not even with all this incentive." Looking down at her hands, she forces a slow, deep breath. "I'd be happy to make arrangements as to the child's care and rearing. A simple contract of guardianship would be sufficient for that." But the rest she … she simply cannot do.

Snape straightens the parchment in the folder, shutting it softly before setting it back down upon Siobhan's desk. He turns to gaze at Sio and his lips thin, perhaps in worry, perhaps in consternment. "Would a guardianship contract accomplish the same thing?" It's not as though he's considering the offer, for it wasn't made to him. He merely wants to know what the whole story is, and what can be gained from whatever decision is made. He steers completely away from the subject after asking the single question; instead he focuses on Morgan himself. "What is your ailment, Mister Morgan?" Hear the scientist / inventor side of Snape's nature appear.

"I'm sorry to hear that, Miss Noble. I will have to start searching for another." Jake says simply, but blandly, and addresses Severus again. Because something tells him that if he can convince Snape it's a good idea, eventually Siobhan might come 'round. "Not quite. Legally, it may. So long as the contract is well written." he admits. "But, I do not want a guardianship for my nephew. I want the security of a family for him. If Miss Noble is unwilling to adopt, per se, then another member of her family could step in and do so. That's also been written into the agreement." Page 5, paragraph 10, subsection iii, yo. And as for his ailment? "Pancreatic cancer, Professor. I'm undergoing chemotherapy, but they give me approximately two years."

Snape is being so, so, so … so calm about this entire thing. It's maddening and when he even starts to ask what sounds like questions against Siobhan's refusal, she snaps. Calm? Gone. Cinnamon locks onto gunpowder and the intensity of that gaze alone would be enough, but Siobhan has a different method, one that - she hopes - can clarify things quickly and simply.

Siobhan wastes no time with pleasantries. Her mind rushes to push tightly against his with a wash of strong emotions. Anger, confusion, betrayal and underneath it all a strain of pure fear. What has gotten IN to you? she demands hotly, the heat of her sun becoming near-blinding in its intensity. You KNOW how I feel about these arrangements. You've SEEN the lengths I've been through to avoid them, and yet just because someone's willing to chuck a load of money our way, you're asking questions like you're going to barter me away? Like a hippogryff or a pretty painting! There's a dimming of that sun and the sensation of rising hurt. Is that all I am to you, too? … A bartering chip?

Snape scowls his dislike for chemotherapy. "Muggle poison," he hisses, expressing said dislike. "However, we have nothing better as of yet." There is the hint of annoyance that he hasn't discovered the potion to fix that. "One may find solace in many places," he replies easily to the comment about the differences between guardian and family. Inadvertently, his eyes flick toward the door, and he is silent for a long moment. However, in that moment, his eyes flash over to gaze at the other professor, and the message is received. He blinks his eyes, purses his lips and curls his hand into a fist. He speaks nothing more out loud, but it may be fairly clear there is communication happening.

Jake cannot help but agree at the apt description. "Indeed it is. I endure the muggle poison and try to lessen the effects with potions and charms." The words admitted in a slow and measured voice. He allows his gaze to rest on both Snape and Siobhan thenm as they're obviously communicating. He doesn't even dare risk a smile at the moment. And is pretty sure that if he tries to leave the door will do something like, say, blow him up. So, he waits.

Severus reels from the assault of sunshine; his own core of water and green swirling like a maelstrom of thought, the core beginning to form a vortex. I will not TRADE you away like an animal, Siobhan. Mind to mind, she merits her given name. However, I do want you to think through this logically, and not react right away as though … The conscious thought seems to peter out and there's an echo of not again… I will not lose one again… impulsive… The strains of thought that caught on his conscious words are forcibly sucked back into the vortex and buried deep. Bubbles of mortification appear for a moment, then, they too disappear. A green wall of water lowers between them, and the connection is severed for now.

Siobhan reels back from the response, startled and shocked. It takes a beat to process those things, but it seems to have settled her all the same. As quickly as her temper flared, it calms, leaving a gentle sunlight to carefully warm the wall of water. Sev, please… There's a palpable shudder. How do you explain to someone that doing the logical thing, making this bargain would shatter a piece of your very self you hold to so tightly? There's no way for this to end well… In the one case, I turn something that means so much to me into something cheap - something that can be bought - and mock it by living a lie. He is not the person I love. How can I - There's a heavy sigh and only one final whisper before she accepts the conclusion of communication and makes to withdraw her mind from his. I don't LOVE him…

After long moments of that silent communication, Siobhan seems to imperceptibly pull away, her eyes sliding closed and her shoulders slumping ever so slightly. Leaning back in her chair, she rubs at her temples, buying herself a moment of silence before speaking in a quiet, almost defeated voice. "What are your requirements for this marriage?"

Jake is smart enough not to crack even so much as a teensy eesny smile. No ma'am! He does stop with the thumb twiddling however, and swing his eyes back towards her before speaking in a professional tone. "Only that we retain the pretense of a happy marriage in public. It will provide a bit of a morale boost for two old and pure blooded families to join together, even if one of them happens to be an american." Obviously, he has a dry sense of humor. "That's all. We will need to live in the same residence, obviously. And, of course, my newphew. You or a faily member will agree to adopt him. And keep his part of my fortune in trust for him until he can claim it himself. That's all."

Snape watches the interplay between the two silently, eyes hooded with emotion. Something has struck him in their 'conversation', and he remains still, eyes flickering between them. He fiddles impatiently with the edge of his sleeve, the movement showing his raw emotion more than any expression visible. "I believe that your mother would enjoy caring for the youngster, if none of the rest of you would." There is a slight pause before he says 'youngster', as though he is struggling to use a better term than 'brat'. He's snarking now, instead of asking questions or getting clarification.

Siobhan is uncharacteristically quiet. Every word falling from Jake's lips seems to weigh her down infinitessimally more. It's only when Severus speaks that he draws her attention, and what she sees there rouses her to just a little more liveliness. It's protective instinct. Only one of them can afford to be shaken at a time. If it's his turn to be rattled, then she needs to take the attention onto herself; she needs to buy him some time. "My family - with the exception of my mother - would never buy me marrying for a deal. I've not been quiet with my opposition to the idea." She doesn't sounds happy at all, but at least she's talking possible scenarios. "They would have to believe I l-" She very nearly chokes on that word. "They would have to believe I care for you a great deal in order for this to proceed without opposition." So it would be an act without end for two straight years.

Whatever Jake does, or does not notice, is kept to himself. He and Snape sort of share that much in common at least. Except his is a mask of determined cheer. While the potions master is… not. "I see. I can understand why that would be difficult." is agreed. "Is there something that would make that easier for you? Or do you believe it would be impossible for you to do?" he wonders, posing the questions thoughtfully. "I realize this is a difficult position to put you in." Funny how he glances at both of them upon saying that. "I wouldn't have approached you if I did not think you were of impeccable character, power, and resolve, however."

"There was no one closer to home?" It seems weird for Jake to come all the way across the ocean for this. Severus does not insult him with the question, or does not intend to, at any rate. "Your family would, however, understand a difficult choice made from compassion and need to protect a child." Even if that isn't her total motivation, it's something the Gryffs would buy in a heartbeat. When Morgan glances between them, Snape's eyes narrow just a little bit. He looks over at Siobhan, perhaps confirming the other man's patently false assumption. "I am not in such a position to …" He has to pause again to frame his words, and gives it up as a bad job.

"When you were rescued," Snape begins again, reminding Sio of the conversation they had that night. "I mentioned my ability to choose," and lack thereof. "I would that you had many more choices than I." He taps his finger to the side of his teacup, and a triumphant look flashes across his face for the briefest of moments. He sips slowly at his reheated tea, and falls silent again, having expressed what he could in such company.

Siobhan, too, is startled by the implied assumption in Jake's inclusion of Snape in that statement. She turns then, too, which … probably does nothing to allay that assumption of Jake's, and is direct in her gaze, taking in all the subtle changes in her friend's face that give away so much more than his words. She listens and she sees - because she's watching - that look of triumph. A smile - small and soft - changes her entire face in a way she couldn't possibly be aware of or she'd stop. When she pulls her gaze back to their American guest, however, her expression is once again flat. "I don't know what would make it easier." She can't help a short, bitter laugh. "I can't believe I'm considering this at all." There's sudden a very, very cunning glint to her eye and when she speaks, it's with more of her usual smoothness. "Tell me, Mister Morgan… How much pull exactly would you say you still have left with the USMMC?"

"It's possible there was. But, Miss Noble's mmother had already tried to set me up with her daughter. And when it became difficult to find someone suitable, I thought to travel down this path instead. Quite honestly, it also makes things more difficult for any of my former brother-in-laws family to get their hands on my money or my nephew if they have to also deal with international law. It is not a problem to fight them, however, given the resources that will be available to the Noble family. " Jake is nothing if not thorough. Siobhan's question about his pull, however, makes him nod. He understands that question. "I retired as a decorated navy SEAL, Miss Noble. And my security company provides service to high ranking members of the military and their families. Since I don't know what you're looking for exactly, I can't say if I would get it. But I still have the ear of a number of people."

Sea-change. Lightning fast. That's kind of how Slytherins are. When Siobhan perks up, and that look crosses her face, the very corners of his mouth turn up in a bit of a smirk. It's Snape's version of a smile. He sips at his tea and waits to hear the answer from the man. When he tells her that he was a Navy SEAL, his brow quirks. Interesting. Even as a half-blood Brit as himself, he's heard a little about the mystical SEALs. It's not like he knows much, but enough to be a little impressed.

That edge of cunning turns into a full-blown smirk when Siobhan gets her answer. "Then I will consider it. If - and I stress if - I agree to your terms, I will have some of my own. The first of those is simple." She takes another sip of her tea and then leans forward to make sure this piece is perfectly clear. (She's got the feeling that if she doesn't get this out in one go, she'll probably get hexed into silence.) "You will arrange for a spec-ops team - I don't care if it's federal or your private force - wearing US Military insignia. This team will need to drop to coordinates I provide and extract a friend of mine - officially for 'questioning'. This person will then be provided with at least one of your security team around the clock for the duration of this war to prevent any … 'unfortunate accidents'. Call it a 24/7 guard if you must for cover. Just make sure there are documents hidden somewhere that we can use down the line to prove innocence and the cover once things are over." She searches Jake's eyes to find any hint that he's caught on to what it is she wants, but she doesn't dare look over at Severus; she's almost certain he has.

Ooooh, there it is. The first sign that Jake's not just got an expensive retinue of lawyers to make him look smart. His eyes sharpen, and he leans forward some. "I run any military, or military style operation. At least while I'm still capable of it." here is definite bitterness at the adittance he won't always be capable. "You'll give us the coordinates, and we'll extract and provide a guard - everything you've requested. But you won't question the methods. And you can't be there, or know when it will happen. You need plausible deniability." It's said in a firmly ptoective tone. "And I only say that because foreign military will be involved. And if anything goes wrong, you need to be clean as a whistle. Agreed?"

The smirk on Severus' face disappears immediately, and he whirls with his customary dramatics toward his fellow professor. There is no legilimency this time, but his dark eyes bore into hers, in a clear expression of 'what. the. hell?' He considers all that's being said, and purses his lips. "I am not sure I can agree to such an operation without knowing more." He isn't flat out denying her this, nor is he cutting off the escape route, but he needs to at least have some control over when and how he leaves. "Promises, Miss Noble. Promises." More than one. A complex layer of promises that were reinforced many times. "And there is the matter of the Protean Charm." Would he really be gone if one of his masters can find him in a moment? "Perhaps, we can have such a plan in place, but I cannot agree to allow it to occur until my promises are fulfilled."

"I understand not being there or knowing details, but I need to know when - or at least within a week of 'when' - in order to place other pieces in motion in time." In other words, Siobhan is not willing to perform the extraction without some time to put additional insurance in place. Death Eaters popping into Hogwarts would be most … unpleasant. Turning to meet Snape's gaze, Sio doesn't flinch, but though there's an incredibly determined set to her jaw, she doesn't rise to the fight, either. "Professor Noble, if you're going to be that way. The Protean means nothing under these wards and very little under my family's wards. For anything in between, there's his guys for backup." She leans a littls closer and lowers her voice, barely - just barely - resisting the strange urge to put her hand on his arm. She's gotten too accustomed to touch. "No promises will be broken, Sev… Let me do this." The 'for you' remains unspoken, and yet hangs between the two of them like a dare.

"I'll need to speak with Jethro; his pull in addition to mine will ensure we can get it done the way we want." Jake agrees, his expression not wavering when the two have a, uhm, disagreement of some kind about how this will all play out. "That's fine." is agreed, also, to providing a vague timeframe. "I'm sure you have a lot of thinking to do, Miss Noble. So I will leave you to discuss this. You can reach me by flue, or the muggle cell phone. The details of both are in the file." he notes, standing up with only a marginal degree of discomfort that quickly passes. "Thank you for hearing me out. If you agree, I will do everything I can to make this all as painless as possible."

Snape is not a hopeful man, and he has dared enough, or so he thinks. Here again, he is nonplussed by her efforts for him, instead of letting him swing in the wind. He nods tersely, allowing the plans for the moment. He will probably fuss and cajole and pace when the discussion comes up again, but for now, it seems the better part to acceede. "Mister Morgan," he speaks up as the man begins to make noises to leave. "I have found that very small sips of pepper-up just before treatments may assist with the lassitude afterward." He doesn't explain why he knows such a thing, but offers the information anyway. "There are no interactions with the chemical."

Siobhan is a hopeful woman. She hopes and she dreams and she plans and then she acts. There is no such thing as daring enough when it comes to her Pack. No such thing at all. Even so, she knows her friend well enough to be almost certain that this isn't the end of the fight. And yet … she has hope. "Thank you, Mister Morgan. I … apologize for the inconvenience." This is going to take her some time, but if she can stack something like this onto the deal, then it becomes more worth it. She'll wait until the door closes softly behind him, however, before turning back to her companion. "Are you going to fight me on this?" It's a quiet question, but asked without hesitation.

Jake appears not to have known that; for his eyebrows raise a little at the advice. "Thank you, Professor Snape. I will try that before my next treatment." is promised, showing just enough gratitutde to be genuine, but hopefully not enough to make the man incomfortable. He also doesn't ask questions like 'how do you know that'. He just accepts it at face value. And offers them both a polite nod, and an understanding smile before he leaves the two and closes the door behind him.

"I…" Severus begins to answer in the affirmative, but something stops him. "If it is done in such a way that neither of my masters can find fault with my service, I shall not. I do not wish to be sprung unwittingly, however," he is Slytherin enough to grab a hold of the sliver of hope and grasp it with both hands. "It is much appreciated, Siobhan." He finishes his tea, sets his cup down again, and gazes at her for a moment, before sighing. "Dunderheads and their winter essays await, alas."

"I would never do anything to leave you vulnerable." It's spoken quietly, but by now he should know Siobhan means it. "It will be done right and you will be free." This time, with no prying eyes, she does reach out to wrap her hand around his wrist in the usual way, the touch accompanied by the subconscious burst of sunshine that all initial contact brings. It comforts her as much as it's meant to be a comfort and she smiles. "You know you wouldn't have to spend so much time marking them if you didn't assign them in the first place."

Snape snorts, looking down at her hand, amusement and speculation on his face. "Perhaps, but then I would have no accurate barometer of where my students' talents and understanding lay." He stands, not forcing her to release his wrist until she decides to. "Good day, professor." When he is able, he turns, robes swirling as usual, and strides out of the classroom, not waiting for her response.


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