|Scene Title||Reassurance Sans Information|
|Synopsis||Severus goes to have a drink with Minerva, hoping to reassure her. Only he can't tell her anything.|
|Location||Hogwarts, McGonagall's Quarters|
|Date||Jan 16, 1996|
|Watch For||Slight misdirections, Minnie!LOOKs, and snark.|
Marginally more relaxed now that she's in her own space, Minerva's already got the tea set out because she had to make a cup for herself to calmm her nerves In fact, the brandy decanter open beside it suggests she added a little something to assist with that. And now, is going over students papers to grade them. The door has been left cracked open, as if she doesn't want her painting to be making demands of anyone who may stop by.
Severus Snape strides down the hallway toward his coworker's rooms, stopping only to smirk at the portrait. "Mister Noble," his deep voice intones, "you're looking in fine fettle this evening." Before the flattered man can reply, however, he's pushing in and nodding to the other teacher. "Good evening, Minerva. I know I am not quite the professor you expected, but Siobhan was unavoidably detained, so I elected to come in her stead." He holds out a bottle of decent-quality scotch, and smirks as he presents it to her.
"Must you encourage him." Minerva sighs, hearing the flattery loud and clear. "He makes me say far worse then that sometimes before he will allow me in the door. Even though I know the password!" Her voice rises in pitch along with her indignance of course. She waves Severus in anyway of course, and with a flick of her wrist the door shuts behind him. "Yes, good evening Severus." she finally agrees after a moment's pause to digest his presence. "An offering of Scotch, even. Well yes of course. That's always welcome. Do have a seat now and I'll prepare you a glass. Would you like it in tea, or neat, or on the rocks?"
"On the rocks, I believe," Severus decides, sitting down in the offered chair. "Well, one must maintain good relations with all possible sources of information, Minerva." He snorts, deciding to take the 'small talk' tack for at least a moment. "You missed it, Minerva. During the class just after you left, Rockwell managed to splatter his swelling solution all over three-quarters of the class. I had to congregate them in a small circle and spray the antidote over the whole bunch at once. Yorke looked rather amusing with only one ear expanding at an appreciable rate."
McGonagall groans in dismay at Rockwell's antics, and the ensuing mess that was obviously made. "Well, I hope you set him to scrubbing cauldrons and cutting flubber for the rest of the week for it." Her lips do twitch a little in amusement at the mental imagery though, and she can't help but chuckle at the idea of Yorke growing one ear up and out of his head like that. "Oh dear." she agrees, shaking her head and setting the whiskey with ice in front of Snape once she's put the drink together properly. "Do tell me what's on your mind, Severus. I appreciate a good story as much as the next teacher it's true, but you aren't normally one for… sharing."
Snape swirls his drink around a bit, listening to the clink of the ice in the glass before taking a sip. He takes care of the work-related answer first. "He will, indeed. Someone must clean up the mess the explosion made." It might as well be the one who made it, right? He sets the glass down and sighs. "You may have been … more observant than I would like to admit." He figures the more direct approach may be the best with the Head of Gryffindor House. That his 'direct approach' isn't really all that direct is really immaterial. "However, as is typical for me," here he snorts, as he repeats something he's heard before. "I 'tend to take the longest, most difficult road anywhere.'" He picks up his drink and looks down at it, then takes another sip.
Far be it for Minerva to gloat. She does, though, give Snape a brief knowing look before she nods and settles back into her seat so she can lift her cup (now laced with Scotch - she dumped out the brandy one) and sip cautiously. She's used to the long winding road that snakes tend to take, and she can be patient with it when she must. And right now is definitely a must. "We all do, on occasion. But you do seem to do so more often then most." she agrees, trying not to grin as she ribs her colleague a little. "What matters is that you are here, however! With Scotch."
Severus sees that look, and rolls his eyes, probably just as discreetly as McGonagall's knowing look, and nods. "The situation has become so complex," he finally begins, after a few more moments of silence that clearly discomfit him, "that I am unsure of what I can disclose, and what I cannot." He snorts again, holding up the Scotch in a salute. "As labarynthine as this may become, I may miss the solace of such simplicity."
McGonagall chuckles again; she does rather enjoy the verbal riposte once in awhile. And as she's a master at making people squirm, she does indeed allow the silence to stretch on until he breaks it himself. At which point her tea cup is set down and her hands resting on her chair very much like the mistress of the manor as it were. "It certainly sounds complicated, when you put it like that." she agrees. "There are many things afoot it seems." And being in the dark? Makes Minnie fear for her students.
"Many, many things." Severus agrees, and shares her …protectiveness, and often her worry. "All is definitely not as it seems, Minerva, and will not be for a great long while." He drinks another sip of his drink. He's fully aware of her ability to make her students squirm until they tell her everything. He remembers well. "No one…" He speaks more generally, then thinks better of it. "None of the major players in the upcoming drama are playing unaware."
Okay, now Minnie looks irritated. But who can blame her, really? Even that small gesture of her frustration is often intimidating enough to have a confession vomited forth from her students. Now, Severus is no student. So she feels comfortable expression said irritation and not holding out a garbage can at the same time. "I am the Deputy Headmistress of this school! I ought not to have to wheedle out every bit of information from people." is iterated, in… well, a calm voice. "Yet, it's obvious that Albus is keeping things from me. He's acting… rather strange, all told. As are others." Stare. "I must be able to protect the school and the students. And I know that all of the teachers here share my concern for the children. Or they would not also be teachers. But my job becomes much more difficult like this."
Severus snorts, understanding her frustration with the Headmaster all too well. He nods, willing to elucidate a little more. "Albus has always done so, but now, the consequences are more far-reaching than a small group of students." Yeah, he's still a bit bitter. "I can tell you that because of Siobhan's actions, we will most likely have nearly unlimited resources, both manpower and material, for the current conflict." He looks up at her, and there's a fire in his eyes that hadn't been there before. Hope. Hope and creativity. "It will require an enormous sacrifice from several people — which you will probably be able to determine easily as time passes — but the overwhelming gain will be worth it." He keeps telling himself that, anyway. "As I explained, not all things will appear as they really are, and more I cannot say for fear of endangering the plan entirely. I must accustom myself to reassurance without information, and as you know me better than most, and will probably catch all of the pertinent information as it happens, I shall begin here." It's his way of saying, 'I'd tell you more if I could, but I'm worried about making sure everyone is safe in the situation.' More snarkily, of course.
"I see." Minerva eases back into her chair somewhat, considering all that Severus has said for a long and uncomfortable moment. Not the kind where she's trying to squeeze him for more. Just the sort that means she's processing. "You will tell me things as you are able. And, should the need arise you will give me warning so I can warn the school and activate defenses." It's sort of a question - her voice does lift at the end as if shes clarifying things. "This is an uncomfortable situation for us all. I cannot, you understand, sit on my hands and just hope all turns out for the best. But at the same time, I trust you are doing what you think it best for the safety of those involved. So, I shall begin making discreet preparations for emergency evacuations or last minute defenses."
"I will tell you as much as I am able, when I am able. At the moment, the nature of certain decisions is dependant upon other conversations." Severus drinks another long sip of his scotch and then sets the glass down, responding to Minerva's words about the school. "I shall not," the again is swallowed but present, "endager the children of this school." He considers something and then speaks out. "However, I believe we will have less to worry about here than in years past. A third strong individual, only known as 'The Grey Lady', possibly in deference to the Ravenclaw House Ghost, has made a magically binding contract with the Dark Lord. The benefit of this agreement is that he has committed to direct all attacks at mature witches and wizards, and to completely avoid Hogwarts by means of machination or outright attack for this school year."
"I know you won't." Or Minerva will hunt you down and beat you senseless with a cane until you're a pile of mush, obviously. However, the words seem somehow to come across as reassuring despite the slight understone of 'No shit you won't!' that wafts there. "Well, there is that I suppose. Of course, with it being The Dark Lord…" her voice trails off. He knows where she's going with that. "Very well, Severus. I appreciate that you've come by to apprise me of the situation as it stands. It is more then I've gotten from others afterall."
"If anyone can, Minerva, I can understand your position, though in my case, it is more my own fat in the fire than the students'." Severus drains the last of his scotch, and sets the glass down, not expecting a refill. "I would worry about that myself, only the Lady was quite specific and bound him to it as an oath." He leans back into his seat, and snorts. "From what I heard, it was well-thought-out. For which we can be grateful." He moves to stand, feeling the power of Minerva's gaze and the impetus of everything he has to finish this evening. "I must go oversee that detention, and finish marking my Fourth Years' essays." He doesn't mention the bottle of scotch either way. She can keep the rest.
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