|Scene Title||Smells and Stars|
|Synopsis||Julian finds a quiet place on the observatory. Sio finds him. Talk ensues.|
|Date||Nov 17, 1994|
|Watch For||Shared sympathy.|
It's evening, and Bean finds himself in the quiet place he's found, which happens to be one of the highest points in the whole castle. It's deserted tonight, which is a good thing for the first-year. He's keeping an eye on his watch, not wanting to miss curfew. However, the quiet calls, and so here he sits, leaning against a wall, enjoying the silence.
The quiet calls to other snakes as well, most notably to one blonde in particular. Pushing up the trapdoor leading to her favorite quiet hideaway, Siobhan hauls herself up and shuts the door quietly behind her. It's late enough - both in the day and the year - that the dark prevents her from seeing someone else in her hideaway. Moving to the other side, she pulls her magenta cloak tighter around her and curls up against the battlement's low wall; her brown eyes trace familiar patterns of constellations.
When Siobhan comes up, Bean lets out a slow hiss, almost like his House animal, and he closes his eyes. Even here. He opens his eyes again, gazing back up at the stars, and decides to break the silence. "Suppose this's your spot, then." His voice carries the tiredness he's worn in his eyes, and he doesn't move from his spot.
Startled by that hiss, Siobhan's wrist slaps against her knee, releasing her tiny wand into her hand before she can even think about what she's doing. The spoken voice brings recognition and with it comes a small modicum of relaxation. "Sort of, yeah." Her response is quiet, only the barest twitch of a smile to color her usually lively words. "But seein' as I'm only here this last year, I need someone t'leave it to, don't I?" She's trying to summon up her usual, outward cheer. It's painfully obvious, especially to someone who'd recognize the signs of Pretending.
This is the spot Bean had come to get a break from the Pretending. So, he doesn't bother putting the face on. He figures Noble's a smart girl anyway, and would see right through his facade. "Well, it's still this year." He's being practical. If you want me to find another place, I can." He isn't really bothered by spending time with the older girl, but if she wants to be alone, he can oblige. "Or…" He shrugs. "I learned pretty well how to listen, and forget."
With the first stirrings of a true smile, Siobhan shakes her head, not realizing that he probably can't see the motion in the gloom. "You're fine, Bean." Her voice is tired, worn, but not unkind. "And thanks, but…it's my own fault this time." There's a hint of dry humor in her voice at that, but it's far more self-deprecating than anyone would suspect from the bouncy, smiling Slytherin. "And you?"
"You ever want to just …" Bean lowers his gaze, looks over at the other student. "Just want to have somebody completely inept cast an obliviate on you?" Ever since Rene told him about that spell, there's been a stray thought nagging him. It'd be easy, but it'd mean giving up. Completely. "Stupid potions class." He snorts. "My favorite teacher, and my least favorite class. How's that for odd?"
Turning a sharp gaze on the younger student, Siobhan listens carefully, floored by the similar train of thought. "Yeah, I do." It's a very quiet admission, but an earnest one. "Even had an offer." An offer she didn't take, because it wouldn't change the fact that it had happened. When Bean's issue seems to come from the same root as her own, she can't help a soft, empty laugh. "I do like Professor Snape, and Potions," or at least she used to, "but I get what you mean."
"Oh, I like making the potions." Bean's voice turns wry. "But it's the effects of the potions that are a bitch." He rests an arm on his knee, one leg pulled up in a semi-relaxed pose. "I like this school." He ought to, it's basically his home now. "But sometimes, some of the things that happen here…" He purses his lips. "Did you know that a smell can make you remember things you'd forgotten?" And wished would stay that way?
"You're tellin me," Siobhan remarks with a snort of amusement. Just which comment she's agreeing on, however, is left unclear. His question leaves her quiet, chin resting on knees that are pulled into her chest. "Yeah," she answers after a bit, her voice strangely hoarse. "I did."
Bean is silent for a long time, the only sound coming from him being the tapping of his foot on the stone floor. Then, suddenly, he stands up, and moves toward the edge of the tower to look down. "Huge place. Easy to get lost. Easy to find things." He exhales loudly. "I don't know what to do. Nothing is the same, yet nothing's really changed." He frowns. "I had hoped…"
Watching the dim outline of the first-year, Siobhan remains quiet. That eerie sense of intuition serves her again; instead of picking a fight to get him to let it out, as she might with her brother, or approaching him to coax the story with gentle touches, as she would Alistaire, she sits where she is and speaks quietly - deliberately. "What had you hoped, Julian?"
"My name is Bean," the boy corrects quietly but just as deliberately. "I had hoped things would be different. That I could find my way here, and not get…" He shifts again, switching arm and leg. "I wanted to put all of that behind me. Now, I don't know if it's possible to do at all."
Siobhan doesn't know particulars. She doesn't even know the rumors - for once. But she's a keen observer, and no one behaves the way Bean does without reason; without fear. "Your name is Julian," she rebuffs him quietly, gently. "You can call yourself Bean. I'll even call you Bean - if that's what you really want - but your name will always be Julian." Just like Sio will always be 'Shi-VAHN', no matter how much it annoys her. "It's possible. Mostly."
"I'm not even sure it is, Noble." Bean replies, on the matter of his name. "I barely remember being called it before I got here. So, I suppose, it probably is. But the life I remember most, I was — I am — Bean." He looks up at her again, and nods. "I hope so, or I'll just go back to where they found me. I know enough now to be able to live like a king." He rolls his eyes. "But I want better."
Wincing at the use of her surname, Siobhan turns her head up towards the sky. "If it was on the List, it's your name." And to the wizard-born, that pretty much ends that discussion. The Quill is - at least in popular myth - infallible. "It's less…forgetting and more…learnin' to think about other stuff until it doesn't hurt so much." The Voice of Experience talking? Maybe.
"I've never seen the List, nor do I need to. If they want to call me Legume…" Bean shrugs, because he was about to say something untrue. Lately, he hasn't been answering to anything but Bean. "I guess the name doesn't matter, does it?" He's Bean to those who know him and care for him. "Sh-" He looks up, lifting his eyebrows to catch her response to his near-swear. "Should probably give up bein' an arse about a stupid name."
Siobhan has no issue with the almost-swear. Compared to some of the things that come out of her mouth, that slip is tame. "Depends on your point of view, I guess." She runs a hand through her hair, pushing it back from her face. "You don't seem like the overly-excitable type, so if it really bothers you, there's probably a reason for it, yeah?"
"Damn right there's a reason for it." Seeing that she didn't flinch or scowl at his previous near miss, Bean figures it's probably not going to bother her. "That Amortentia. The smells. Reminded me of someone, of course." His look is faraway and hard again, and he looks toward her before scanning the area again.
As the younger snake finally gets down to the roots of the problem, Siobhan's expression softens with sympathy. "That's what it's designed to do," she offers softly. "Did the same for me." Though, thankfully, it wasn't the person that could have undone her, and was by far the least damaging of the consequences of that day. "Were they close to you?" she inquires gently. "The person you remembered?"
Julian nods. "I did. We called her Winnie. We were very close. She was murdered." He doesn't tell her as much as he's told Frenchie, but it ought to be enough. "I had forgotten." He snorts softly. "I shouldn't have, but I had forgotten." His voice lowers to a very quiet whisper.
Pulling her knees tighter to her chest, Siobhan nods, listening quietly for a long moment. Just when it seems that she has nothing further to add, her shoulders draw back to allow her to inhale enough to speak. "The muggles are…well they're backwards in a lot, but they've had to be creative to get on without magic." Her nose wrinkles up, scrunching into her face as she thinks. "I heard once that the brain works on its own without us knowin' about it. If stuff is just…too much for us to handle, it'll hide it away until we can handle it better or until somethin' trips the memory. I think." It's a very rough approximation of a science she doesn't know, but it gets the point across.
"Intentional amnesia." Bean nods solemnly. "Yeah. It happens a lot more than we like to admit, I think." He moves back to sit down again, but his demeanor is much more open, less cold. "Heard one of the psychs at the mission talk about it." She may not know what a psychologist or a psychiatrist is, but he really doesn't care at the moment. He gives a quiet chuckle. "And I'm one of the more sane ones." And isn't that nuts? It is to his way of thinking, at least at the moment.
"Psych?" Siobhan's head tilts to one side, her expression crumpled as she rolls the unfamiliar word off her tongue. "What's a psych?" His admission of sanity pulls a chuckle out of her. "Then I'd say you weren't often bored, yeah?" It's a guess and she's not afraid to hazard it.
"Like a doctor for your brain. Well, your…mind, technically." Bean is nothing if not exact. He chuckles. "Sometimes, some peace and quiet would've been a godsend." He shrugs. "But I've got that here, so I can't complain. Everybody here'll leave you alone when you need it." For the most part. "And there's a lot of places to be alone." He looks up at her again, and frowns. "So, what's got you finding a quiet spot?"
"A doctor….a healer?" Siobhan doublechecks. "Huh, that's new." At least to her. "They leave you alone, tuly? S'good to hear." Especially with Oscar lurking about and 'recruiting' these firsties. Listing her head back against the parapet, she stares up at the night sky for a little bit. "Winter Solstice'll be here soon. Longest night of the year." She apparently didn't hear his question. "Even muggles believe in magic on the solstices and equinox."
"Darkest night. Longest night." Julian sounds like he's quoting something, and maybe he is. Some off-handed poet sitting on the street corner. He notices her avoidance of his question, and shrugs it off. Woman doesn't want to talk, he's not going to push. "Well, I mean, sometimes, it takes a bit, but they do if you're persistent enough. And Frenchie runs interference for me." There's a real fondness on his face. "Good kid." He chuckles. "Even though he is technically older than me."
"Silent night, strongest night?" Finishing the started rhyme in nonsense fashion that's only vaguely familiar to Siobhan, the seventh-year snake manages a small but genuine grin. "I like him well enough, yeah." The fondness in her grin belies her cool words; Sio adores her ickle firstie snakelings. "How's your thing with Oscar goin'? He's not bein' too much of an arse, is he?" There's an implied threat in those words, the unspoken reality that if the older student is abusing this thing, there will be Consequences.
"I don't remember how it went." Julian chuckles at her addition. "That sounds like it'd fit, though." He leans his head back against the wall again, this time, a more relaxing pose than a closing off from his friend. "It's goin' pretty well. He's set us a job, and we're tryin' to do it, but of course, about the time we started working on it, the teachers decided to dump a whole load of homework on our laps." Almost as if they were prescient or something. "He's not too bad. But dull when it comes to people skills, but not any more than say…" He grins. "Crabbe or Goyle." In fact, rather less dull than those two.
"Either of you hear anything about the First Task yet?" It's a casual enough inquiry. After the past few days, this Tournament is actually at the back of her mind. As for the teachers… "It's getting to be closer to the Christmas hols. They always load us down right about now, cause they're so worried about gettin' everything in before the end of term." Spoken like an old hand. "It'll ease up before too long, don't worry too much."
Julian shakes his head. "Not really. Just that it's supposed to be something to test your bravery, I think. Or…" He pauses, and corrects himself. "The going undertsanding is that historically, the first task tests your bravery." He shakes his head. "Generally, people are tight-lipped about it. Still listening, though." He lifts his brows and taps his ears. "It's amazing what you can hear when you listen. Did you know that there's a third year Hufflepuff who's mooning over a fourth year Ravenclaw?" He rolls his eyes. "Don't even remember her name, but she was going on and on about it." He shrugs. "Oh, well." The homework advice gets a nod. "It's nice to know there's some sort of ebb and flow to it. Wouldn't want to think it was a natural progression and we'd be doing piles by the end of the year." It wouldn't be a problem if they were, but it's still nice to know.
Siobhan snorts, rolling her eyes. "When isn't there a Hufflepuff moonin' over someone?" It's not, perhaps, a fair stereotype for her to make - all things considered - but it's not unkindly meant. Pushing herself up, she brushes imaginary dust from her cloak. "I heard there's a Ravenclaw or two that're sweet on a couple of our boys, too." Let him make of that what he will. "Anyway, I oughta go in and finish my Potions essay. Don't need to make Snape's job any harder than it already is." And that's certainly a unique viewpoint. "You hear anything, you let me know, yeah?"
Julian gives a mock salute. "I need to get down to the Common Room too. Ickle Firstie and all that, need to get tucked up in bed right and proper." And that's quite funny to Bean, who used to steal sleep during the slow times and stay awake all night at times to stay alive. It's nice, but funny. He nimbly hops to his feet, and nods. "Let's go then."
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