|Scene Title||Rule Eight|
|Synopsis||Siobhan and Jethro meet up for the usual morning run. McGonagall gets the latest gossip and Sio starts in on new training.|
|Date||November 11, 1995|
|Watch For||Cussing, rumors and new arrangements. Also 'Probie'.|
|Logger||I am the Bad Wolf|
Early Saturday morning, Jethro steps outside the castle, moving to find a space to begin stretching. His attire is distinctly muggle: warm blue sweats and a matching shirt with a strange logo. It looks like a misprint, because it says "USMMC." He glances around, wondering if he's going to have his running partner again today. With a soft snort, he begins his stretches in earnest.
Siobhan is a minute or so later than usual today, but the dark circles under her eyes are a little bit less pronounced than they had been this week, so perhaps she can be forgiven. "Sorry, almost missed my alarm." She, too, is dressed like a muggle - trainers and a grey sweatsuit marking her usual running attire. Flashing the Marine a cheeky grin, she sweeps her mess of loose curls up into a ponytail and joins him in stretching. "Gonna have to do this with the kids before too long," she muses, lifting her arms above her head before stretching out first one tricep and then the other. "Some of the older ones, anyway."
If Minerva goes running, she must run in place within the safe confines of her room. Where nobody can see her. But it's entirely possible! However, she doesn't quite look dressed for jogging. No, she's in her teaching robes already. Perhaps taking a brisk walk around the grounds while she reads from a scroll that never quite seems to come to an end. Every time she rolls some of it back up, it gets no shorter. It's when she sees the muggle-dressed others that her walking comes to a slow stop. "Good Morning, Siobhan. Jethro." Formal sounding, even when using familiar names.
Jethro grunts, his only response to her lateness. "Good. Good for 'em. Teach 'em to avoid a consistent route, though. When ya started, kid coulda stood behind … that and hexed your ass off…" He points to an especially tall shrub. Oh, teacher. Scottish — probably formerly a redhead — lady teacher. "Ma'am." Jethro nods sharply in greeting. "Kinda cool out here. You intendin' t' run with us?" His brow quirks as she doesn't appear to be dressed for a run.
Siobhan's eyes track from Jethro's finger to the … shrub and for a moment she is speechless. How did he know? "Yeah, will do. Those shrubs are a menace." It's a dry response, but laced with a bit of humor. With McGonagall's approach, Siobhan flashes another cheeky grin, bracing herself and stretching her obliques with sideways bends. "Mornin' Minnie," she chirps, feeling a bit more her usual saucy self now that she's had a few days to recover and some good news to go with it. Jethro - and his greeting - are given a strange look, but Siobhan doesn't comment on it. "I heard rumors that one of your cubs got skinned the other night." And she seems … just a little bit too cheerful about that.
"I'm hardly dressed in appropriate attire for running, but how delightfully thoughtful of you to ask." Minerva replies promptly, her expression becoming pained when she's referred to as Minnie. Nobody… nobody calls her that! "Is that the reason for your bright smile this morning?" A cub being skinned. It earns her a slight tsk of disappointment. "One must always strive to be fair; regardless of House. There are troublemakers in every year. Not that you'd know anything about that, right?" she drawls, sounding wry.
Jethro smirks, his eyes tracking Siobhan's gaze to the shrubs. "They some kinda magical plant?" He peers over at the shrub. "Seemed kinda mundane to me." For an American, that's a pun, thank you very much. "No, Ma'am. Just wonderin'." He grins over at the teacher. "Cub?" Oh. Right. Their houses. "One o' your kids? I heard a bit about that." He snickers. "Brave kid, but kinda stupid." Or at least the actions were. He spends a few more minutes stretching, and then looks up to Siobhan, a grin in place. "Can't imagine you causin' trouble." He rolls his eyes.
Siobhan's grin only grows. Nobody may call her that, but she didn't hex or lecture! (To Sio, that equates to Getting Away With It, so she's just tickled.) "What? Oh, no. Well, kinda." Siobhan is, at least, honest. Moving into a bend to stretch first her lower back and then the muscles down her legs, she shrugs. It looks weird upside down. "Pie's got a bit of an attitude, so I can't say as I'm sorry, really. More than likely, whatever he got he deserved." Sure, they may be new-ish, but it shouldn't take that long to learn not to push boundaries with Snape. "But I'm in a good mood because my Uncle's not actually dead." Of course, if Siobhan has any inkling of how little sense that sentence makes out of context, she's not showing it. "Me? Trouble?" Cue Innocent Expression #4. "I was a model student!" Which means only that she got caught fewer times than she didn't, really.
The shrubs are ignored completely. Traitors.
McGonagall stifles a groan at the pun. Really she does. One can just barely see her lips part and then purse. Once. "Well, I would certainly hate to keep you." 'Minnie' begins, lips twisting downward at the mention of Pie. "Yes, there is that. He can be exceptionally trying at times." As can most students actually, at one time or another, if she really thinks about it. "Your Uncle? He was… pretend dead?" is ventured, with an arched eyebrow. "Model student, indeed." Snort.
"Had an agent I thought was dead," Jethro recalls, his face settling into a grim line. "Findin' out he wasn't really dead made me a bit giddy, too." He finishes with the seated stretches and stands to stretch his back and upper body. "What'd he actually do? I heard scuttlebutt, but I don't trust scuttlebutt." Rule number eight.
"I really don't know what he did, to be honest. I heard one kid say he flipped Severus the bird and another couple of girls swore Pie upended a cauldron on him." She shrugs. School rumor is - as it always has been and will be - highly unreliable, but just as entertaining. "I don't think he'd do either - I mean, he seems spoiled, but not stupid - but I've been wrong before." Not often when it comes to gut instinct about people, but it does happen. Her other leg is put through the same stretches as the first. "He disappeared towards the end of the last war. After a while, he was declared dead. He's been living as a Muggle the whole time, would you believe it? His kid's a student here, too." Siobhan bounces on her toes. Acquiring more family puts her in a good mood.
"I can well imagine." Minerva concedes, her expression softening to empathetic for the near loss of one of Jethro's agents. "Upended a -cauldron-? Flipped… I. Please inform Severus I would like to speak with him about this if you see him first, Siobhan. Not a single one of my Gryffindor students is allowed to get away with that kind of disrespect." Ooooooo, one can almost see the fury building behind her eyes before the young Slytherin speaks up about her Uncle and his child. "Well… well, that's lovely news for you my dear. And I'm sure your newly discovered cousin will be in good hands with you watching over him." She reaches over to pat the other woman's shoulder lightly before inclining her head towards both the early joggers. "I don't want to keep you. I'll just…" she gestures towards the entrance.
"Not keepin' us. Usually takes Noble a few minutes t' get her ass in gear." Yes, Jethro's a bit crude. His life has been military and law enforcement. Siobhan is the recipient of a smirk and a shaken head. He saw what she did there. " 'Bout what scuttlebutt said, yeah." He shakes his arms, gaging the looseness of the muscles. "You ready yet, Noble, or …" His voice trails off, probably in concession to the older professor present. "Still could come run with us for part of it, ma'am." It's a gentle invitation made for politeness' sake. On Siobhan's newfound family, Jethro nods, serious for a moment. "Glad he was able to protect his wife and kid." Lord knows he wasn't able to do so himself.
Siobhan rolls her eyes. "So I actually got some sleep last night. Sue me." She's picked up on one or two of his 'American-isms'. She does about the same thing he does, pleased at the strength and flexibility she's been able to regain since her return to the world of three dimensions. "You pay more attention to your breathing and less attention to my arse, old man, and you might keep up with me today." A barb, but once the tip of her tongue pokes out her grin, it's easy to identify it as a friendly one. She's a snake. They poke at people when they like them. "Don't worry," she adds, accepting Minerva's pat on the shoulder. "I'll make sure he knows how to Not Die, and I'll let Severus know you're looking for him." If that means she gets to poke her head into his class of first years and warn him only 'to keep a ball of yarn on you, today' then so much the better. He'll make faces and the students will be confused. A sharp - but cheeky - salute is snapped to Jethro in open mockery of all those US soldier films she suffered through with many, many brothers. "Yes, sir, Special Agent Old Fart, sir!" And then she's laughing and jogging backwards a few paces. Hopefully out of 'slap' range.
"You're quite polite. But being called ma'am first thing in the morning already makes me feel too old and tired to go for a run." Minerva replies, giving a bit of a sniff when she does so as well. Crude language doesn't seem to bother her much, as her expression doesn't change even an iota. Except maybe for a little bit of amusement. Maybe. "Thank you, Siobhan. Do enjoy yourselves. The weather is only going to get worse from here on in." she suggests, inclining her head at both before setting off closer to the building.
"Never said a thing about payin' attention to your ass, Noble," Jethro snarks in reply. He, too, snarks at those he likes. He shakes his head, and grins before starting off running. "My breathin's fine. You sound like Abby." With the Special Agent Old Fart bit and the bad salute. "Don't call me sir. I work for a livin'." He picks up the pace a little, taunting her by calling out over his shoulder. "Bet that littlest snake kid could run faster than you this mornin', Noble!" Yes, he was a DI. Can you tell? "Mornin', Professor!" He waves at her as he runs past.
With a final wave to Minerva, Siobhan is off like a shot. "Bean? Pfft. He's a quick little bugger." i.e. Don't underestimate the snakes - even in jest. "So does my Da and he's a 'sir'." Literally and figuratively. It doesn't take her long to catch up with him and an even shorter space of time to fall into step with him. It's a synchorniztion of breath and rhythm that - for whatever reason - makes the entire world seem like it fits together much better. Like the pattern of a heartbeat or the tattoo of thoughts being slotted into place. "I've got a group of kids," she offers after a few minutes of silence - once they've both found their stride and the Deputy Headmistress is out of earshot. "They want to learn how to fight and not just the spells." She lets a few more footfalls beat into the earth. "I learned a lot last year from Moody and even more this summer." No, she doesn't come out and say that she watched Death Eaters train, but most of the castle knows she disappeared to somewhere over the summer. "But I wouldn't say no to a hand in getting 'em in better physical shape." Reflexes and wind and other such things.
Jethro nods approvingly at her as she paces him. He grunts at her comments, then turns to look at her, keeping his stride. "You're wantin' my help trainin' the kids?" He just wants to make sure he's understanding her correctly. "Can do that. S'long as it doesn't interfere with my shifts." He frowns. "They're how old? From twelve until what? Eighteen?" The school system here is so different than the one in the States. "Little bit different than trainin' full grown guys." And gals, but his point is clear. He speeds up again, thinking about how to train the kids, then slows back down to her pace. "What kinda things you want them to know? Or just general fightin' stuff? I know a few kinds of hand-to-hand. Dunno if you want that, or just stuff t' help 'em shoot straighter." If he were to assume, he'd think all of the above, but he doesn't assume. Once again, Rule eight.
"You know hand-to-hand?" Siobhan is genuinely warming to the idea, now. "Actually, I wouldn't mind learning that. I can brawl, some, but it's more … " She waves one hand as if the motion will help her find the word she's looking for. "Like how kids'd fight in the hallways if they didn't have magic." So nothing elegant or efficient. And she'd like to be able to be both, if possible. She gestures to herself as they round a corner. "I know me being er … petite - " at five-foot-five and 125 pounds, she's not joking " - doesn't have much at all to do with power in a duel." Magic doesn't count on such physical characteristics, after all. "But would that keep me from learning how to fight without magic?" Siobhan - full of questions. "I think the youngest on my list right now is thirteen and the oldest is sixteen." So far, anyway. "I can teach them offensive and defensive spells and what is and isn't smart in a duel or a wand-fight, but I really don't know how to … get 'em more wind, more agile, better reflexes." Shrugging while running is an interesting effect. "Angie and I kinda stumbled through that last year, but I always had the feeling we weren't getting the point across." Although dealing with the after-effects of an un-diagnosed Cruciatus allergy probably didn't help any.
"Three kinds." Jethro's not bragging, merely stating a fact. "Be best if I taught you first, at least a couplea lessons ahead of where the squirts are, that way you can help me teach." In other words, get thrown around a bit to show the little ones how it's done. "Size's got nothin' to do with it. One of my agents is a tiny little thing, and she can toss a couple of the bigger ones across the room. Literally at times." He turns, taking a sharp corner, changing the circuit a little. "Thing is, Noble, you teach the basics of this stuff, do a few of the conditioning exercises, and that all gets thrown in for free. Kid gets used to how his body moves, his magic starts to work with it. He falls silent for a moment, just enjoying the thrill of the run, then pipes up again. "Nothin' wrong with fightin' dirty."
"Circe," Siobhan hisses, absolutely thrilled. "If you don't mind teaching me, that would be amazing." There's something like raw gratitude in her voice, but she's quickly moving on. She's quick to read his body language and make the turn, preventing the kind of awkward pileup that would really start tongues a-wagging around this place. "Hmm, I never really thought about it that way." Thank Merlin for Jethro - someone who will take all the mumbo-jumbo concept stuff and speak a language Siobhan understands. "But it makes sense, I guess. Your magic follows the pathway it's used to." That much she knows first-hand. A familiar wicked, wolfish grin twists her mouth upwards. "Not if it'll give you an edge in a fight or save someone else's arse." She agrees, wholeheartedly. "So, when can we start?" Eagerness, thy name is Siobhan.
Jethro looks at her askance. "Sure you've never met Abby?" Other than the weird swearing and blonde hair, this could be his Mysteries Department contact. "Could be her clone." Or her polyjuiced. "Yup." That's his affirmation that she's got the theory right. "Could do a bit of the conditioning after our runs." It'd mean pushups and situps at first, mainly. "Make your muscles hurt
Jethro looks at her askance. "Sure you've never met Abby?" Other than the weird swearing and blonde hair, this could be his Mysteries Department contact. "Could be her clone." Or her polyjuiced. "Yup." That's his affirmation that she's got the theory right. "Could do a bit of the conditioning after our runs." It'd mean pushups and situps at first, mainly. "Make your muscles hurt 'til you get used to it, but we can do it if ya really wanna."
"Nope!" Siobhan pops that 'p' the same way Jack does, grinning. It's not the first time he's asked and she's pretty sure it won't be the last. Still, she enjoys trying a fresh piece of logic on him every time he does. "If I was your MD contact, wouldn't I have an American accent?" She snickers a little. "Or at least a very bad British one?" A few steps more fall into the silence before she tries to wrap her mouth around unfamiliar vowels and rough consonants. "Whahh, Ah doo dee-clayRr." But that's all she can manage before being overtaken by giggles. It causes her to drop out of rhythm, but she's quick to regain it as sobriety descends like lightning at his next statement. Her jaw clenches, wrestling for the right words as she uses the comforting pattern of breathing and running to push unpleasant memories back underground. "After a couple good bouts with Cruciatus, Jethro, 'hurt' doesn't quite mean the same thing." Quiet and somber tone as a thin shield over old anger.
Now it's Jethro's turn to stop. He catches up with her, but the look on his face is hard, and cold. It's not directed to her, rather for her. "Who th' hell cast the Invisible Bitch on you?" He looks her over as if the after effects were still present. "S' the worst Southern accent I've ever heard, Noble." He snorts at it, which in Gardener-speak is pretty much a belly laugh. " 'Sides, Abs may be from Louisiana, but she's been in DC so long she sounds like a Yank." He grins, not sure the distinction is clear to the Scotswoman. "Be like sayin' you were Welsh or somethin'." He shrugs his shoulder, as it's a really moot point. "C'mon. You want t' train up the muscles, let's get a little speed goin'. " He puts paid to his words, speeding up quickly.
"A Death Eater." Siobhan's answer is clipped and concise. Dark humor she's only more recently allowed to surface shows through. "There's a reason Dumbledore trusted me with the students fresh out of school." Several of them, but this is one of the big ones. "Not a one of them at this stage has the magical 'oomph' to overpower me if they get any ideas." An 'oomph' Jethro himself witnessed first-hand, as a matter of fact. "And I have first-hand experience to teach from." She shrugs again, her mood lightening just a little. "It doesn't make up for Auror training - which I couldn't have gotten into - or some big jumble of letters behind my name - which would have ended with me drowning in theory if I'd tried - but it's enough." For now. Another turn and she can't resist rolling her eyes. "I hate to be the one to have to tell you this, boss-man, but you all sound like Yanks to us." Because they are. "Spend some time with Hel and you'll learn very quickly not to insult the Welsh." She shudders, but readily accepts his challenge, matching his increased pace and even increasing it a little. Harder to talk this way, but the extra rush of endorphins feels good.
"Well, duh, Probie." Jethro's snark comes easily, and if they were standing still, he'd likely head-slap her. Perhaps it's good that they're running. He can still talk. Years of cadences have seen to that. "Figured that one right away. Normal wizards don't use that shit." He wipes his forehead, not losing stride. "And to most of us, you sound alike, too. But I've spent enough time here that I'm startin' t' hear the differences." He shrugs again. "Hel?" 'Who's that?', his expression asks clearly. "Best thing to teach from," personal experience is. "Pain in the ass to get, though." It's his way of commiserating with her.
Siobhan snorts out a laugh at that. It's all the amusement she can manage at this pace, but it'll do. "I don't think I've ever been described as 'normal'." Not normal for her family's blood and status, not normal for her House, not normal for her age and now not normal for a witch. Color her so surprised. "Who's Hel?" she repeats. Cue smirk. "Just a portrait-lady I know. A very scary Welsh lady." The remarks about personal experience - at least to someone used to dealing with tight-lipped people like Snape and McGonagall - read as compliments. Siobhan's face tinges an even darker pink. "Wait. What's a 'Probie'?" Distraction!
"Probationary Agent." Jethro replies, taking care of the distraction right away. "Normal enough t' me." His standards of 'normal' are a bit different than others' may be. "Learn a lot from portraits. Solved whole cases talkin' to the paintings on the wall." He won't discount any source of information, as long as he can back it up. "This bastard got a name?" He won't let the curse rest.
Siobhan wrinkles her nose. "Dunno how I like that." She's breathing harder in between sentences, but not enough to make talking too difficult - just so long as she stays in rhythm. "My Ministry wouldn't take me and I don't think I'd want to work for yours. No offense." Her lips twitch upwards, then, betraying a subtle amusement. "Good to see someone else what takes 'em serious," she replies. "Some of my best friends are oil on canvas. Interesting characters, the lot of 'em." At least the ones with enough power in life to leave behind portraits that are more than simple caricatures of their former selves. "Just an alias," she grinds out, annoyed that they seem to keep going back to a point she's not entirely keen to discuss. "Voldemort's got a goal, a political agenda. This guy just likes to spend his days finding new and ever more twisted ways to kill people." Which makes him worse, in her opinion. "He's a sick fuck who deserves a slow death." There's more hatred in her voice for Shadow than Voldemort ever merited. Shadow is personal.
"Oh. That bastard." Jethro has heard of him. Who hasn't, in the ranks of the Aurors? Maybe Dawlish. "Not an official title. More like a …" He lets his voice trail off, as he searches for a way to explain it. "Kinda just means th' one I'm trainin' at the time." He shrugs, a bit more color coming to his own cheeks. " 'Bout ready to cool down and get some of the other stuff goin'? Or you got places to be? Gettin' on eight o'clock." He can tell just by looking, yes.
Almost obscenely grateful for his foreknowledge and his decision to move along, Siobhan would agree with just about anything. As it is, however, his suggestion is one she's eager to follow up on, anyway. "Well that's alright, then." Nicknames she can deal with, especially since he is kind of training her. "Sure, that works." She eyes his time-sense askance, a little suspicious of such exactitude. When in beat with her stride, she taps her wrist against her knee and casts a silent Tempus when the tiny bit of willow drops into her hand. "Merlin's saggy, twisted balls…" It's 0756. "That's uncanny." Still a bit shocked - and impressed - she shakes her head. "It's Saturday and the brats aren't going to Hogsmeade, thank Circe. I do my best to deal out practical exams instead of - " she shudders visibly " - assigning essays, so I'm free as long as it takes."
Jethro does his own looking askance, and then, in a rare show that very few people see, the American Agent-turned-Auror is laughing. "You Btrits and your crazy swear words." He's still able to run, but it's a near thing; his breath is a bit shorter than normal, and only conditioning keeps him afoot. "Merlin's …" He's repeating the epithet over in his mind. "Damn. Never heard that one before." At least that collection of adjectives, anyway. "Alright, then, we'll cool down. Slow the pace down, and head back toward th' castle. Wanna do this stuff on a flatter, little softer surface." He has just the place in mind. "Then, we'll start with twenty-five sit-ups and push-ups. Hurt like hell tomorrow, but if you've lived with the Bitch, shouldn't be a big deal." There's pride in his voice at that pronouncement. "Had one guy cast her on me once," he shudders. "Damn plenty."
Siobhan blushes even deeper, then. From day one, she'd slotted Jethro in the same part of her mind as Severus when dealing with humor - snorts, snickers, may chuckle; never laughs. So there's real pleasure in being able to pull one, even if it is just at her - admittedly rather crude - language. "Sure thing." She'd already slowed when she heard the laugh, but now simply keeps at that pace. "The Bitch. I like that." Somehow being able to label the painful curse with a name like that makes her feel better about it. "It is a bitch." Sore muscles aren't commented upon, but she does wince in sympathy for his having been through Cruciatus. "My Defense professor last year cast Imperius on me and some of the older ones so that at least we'd know what it felt like." There's real fear - though well-hidden - in that statement. "The first time was awful, but the second time…" Real, fierce pride washes through her expression. "The second time he couldn't control me." Yep, definitely something wolfish about that defiance.
"Atta girl." Jethro's voice carries a little more pride. "Not th' easiest thing t' do, but takes some real skill. Know some Marines never got that far." Their course begins to loop back around, and he starts to slow down, as he had said. "Not sure I'd cast it on kids, but with th' situation you're in…" His voice trails off again. "Oughtta be the adults dealin' with these bastards first, not you kids." Sorry, Jethro is both a chauvinist and fiercely protective of children.
"Oh, Moody and I had several discussions about that." With a Slytherin's gift for understatement, Siobhan tells Jethro that she agrees with him. Somehow, even without heavy emphasis, it's easy to tell that 'discussions' is surrounded in quotation marks. "When kids are that young, scaring 'em doesn't do a damn thing. And when he was giving my little snakes nightmares…" There's a fierce protectiveness in Siobhan that will take just about anything that's hurled at herself without question, but raises the fury of hell at wrongs done to those under her watch. "I agree with you on all but one point." And here Siobhan's tight smile is a touch regretful. "I don't really feel much like a kid, anymore."
Jethro snorts. " 'Course not. You've seen combat." He doesn't need to know the specifics. "And yeah, technically you're teachin', and all that, so not so much a kid," but, in Jethro's mind, she's still so much younger than he. He falls silent for a few moments until they near the castle. " 'Bout there." He gestures over to a flat spot in the grass. "If the dew's not too thick there, s' the best place I've found for workin' out. Not too many pryin' eyes, and it's flat, kinda soft." 'Soft' being a relative term, of course. "Ya ready?"
Jethro's rough acknowledgement of that simple fact means a lot to Siobhan. It's hard being a teacher at so young an age - there's so much pressure to prove something. She does, however, indulge in a childish rolling of her eyes. "If the dew's too thick, use a Drying spell." But she does listen to the rest of it with attention and respect for detail - details are vital, after all. There's a part of her that wants to bust out with an overly confident response, but time and experience has tempered that urge and so Sio's only answer is, "As I'll ever be."
The two of them head over to the relatively flat section of the grass and Jethro kicks the grass to make sure the ground isn't too wet. He decides to go ahead and cast a drying charm anyway, flicking his wand from his sweatshirt sleeve in a move Siobhan will find very familiar. "Not that much to it," the Auror instructs, showing her the proper form for sit-ups. "Twenty-five, and if I don't hear 'em, they don't count." They'll spend the next forty-five minutes exercising before they go their separate ways to start the rest of their day.
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