1995-07-03A: Still Life


Siobhan_icon.gif Sirius_icon.gif

Scene Title Still Life
Synopsis Sirius gets a faint shock before leaving Hogwarts, so does Siobhan.
Location Hogwarts - Gryffindor Tower
Date July 3, 1995
Watch For Nah
Logger Bad Dog

Summertime sucks. Whoever said otherwise was a dirty, rotten liar. Well, at least it sucks if you're stuck in the world's most boring painting in the world's most boring tower in the world's most boring castle. At least during the school year there are kids around. All of this is fairly easy to read from the thundercloud hovering over Siobhan's head. It would be an amusing little spell, except that - from several angles - it looks quite a bit like she is sitting inside the Fat Lady's usual portrait. "Be a dear and watch things for me while I go to tea with Rowena?" Siobhan's voice is high and nasal as she mocks the Fat Lady's posh accent. "I won't be but a moment, but you see it's been ages since we've been able to have a proper chat!" More grumbling, low and indistinct, can be heard. Sio doesn't really sound happy. At all.

Summer. The best time for Sirius Black to be roaming the halls of Hogwarts without causing alarm. Not that this is a leisurely stroll. He had a meeting with Dumbledore to discuss security and area patrols for the upcoming school term. Meeting done, he's taking his time in leaving the castle, meandering past Gryffindor Tower. It's the scenic and nostalgic route, you see. The change in the portrait of the Fat Lady isn't immediately noted, it's more of a delayed reaction when Sirius stops a few feet past the painting and double-takes.

Yup. That's what he thought.

"Siobhan?," he asks in an incredulous tone as he approaches.

So intent upon her grumbling sulk is she, that Siobhan doesn't even notice that someone's walking in front of her. Nevermind recognizing the person. Well, at least, until a very familiar voice says her name. Blinking several times, Sio rubs her eyes and leans forward in her - frankly, oversized - chair. "Yep, it's official. I'm hallucinatin'. She's been gone too long an' I've lost what's left of m'mind. Lovely."

"I was about to say the same thing," Sirius states in a dry manner. Clasping his hands behind his back, he examines the painting from all angles. It's still the same old Fat Lady frame. "How in the name of Merlin's beard.. did you get in there?" He's curious about this, and worried. That's Jack's little sister!

"What, no one's told you?" If Sio's voice is a little dry, it may be forgiven. That chair is not comfy. "It was that stupid…Alumni Weekend. Worst idea in the history of ideas, that." She shifts her weight to try and find a more comfortable way to sit. "'Cause y'know, it never occurred to anyone that most of the Death Eaters graduated from Hogwarts." Off on her tangent, Siobhan almost forgets she even has company. "Oh. Yeah, that. The Death Eater who Crucio'd me in Hogsmeade - " and doesn't her jaw just clench at that memory. " - brought a dead girl into the castle. Ali an' I followed him an' saw him meet up with Snape."

Sirius's brows knit and a scowl forms on the man's face. Apparently, he was left out of this news loop. Even if he's a prominent member of the Order. He also could have been distracted with Harry's welfare, but that's no excuse. "No. No one forgot a good number of them are Hogwarts graduates," he says in bitter tones. "And then what?"

Siobhan shrugs. "Spells flew, I got hit with a weird bright green light an' th' next thing I knew, I woke up in a paintin'. Turns out it's one of m'family's oooooooold castles. Like way back before Uncle Icha." She shudders then, arms going around her middle. "It didn't hurt or nothin', but I've not been able to get properly warm since." Despite the heat of the summer.

The frown doesn't leave Sirius's face as he tries to keep his anger in check. This must be a new spell the Death Eaters have been working on. Black is an accomplished wizard in his own right and he doesn't know of any spell that could do this. "Is anyone working on a way to break this spell?" He would certainly HOPE so.

At this, Siobhan finds she can't help herself. She laughs. It's not a pleasant laugh, by any stretch. It's hollow and chill and lacking in her usual effervescent energy. "Break the spell?" she asks, wiping a slightly hysterical tear from the corner of her eye. "I was hit with a green light an' now I'm stuck in a paintin'…" She shakes her head. "I'm not Harry, Siri. I can't break this one." Ooooh, someone's obviously been trying to puzzle this one out. "I just wish I knew what those bastards did with m'body."

"Yes, break the spell." Sirius isn't laughing as Sio is. His face is set as his mind sets to thinking of possible ways to go about breaking this. "Maybe your body is kept separate, maybe it's not. The spell could have transferred you entirely into a painting.. do you have your own frame, that you're aware of? Does Dumbledore know that you're roaming the castle?" That's a stupid question, not much gets past the Headmaster.

Blinking at Sirius as if he'd just dribbled on himself, Sio is momentarily at a loss for words. Deciding not to even open the can of worms that is his theory - or even let herself listen, lest she start to hope he's right - she shakes her head and answers the last question instead. "If he does, he's not come to see me." Or help. Her voice is incredibly bitter, there. Years of watching the Headmaster blatantly favor Gryffindor House made her wary of him, but it wasn't bitterness so long as she had her own Dark Horse to watch out for the snakes. With his betrayal, however… So much has changed. "Alistaire should know. I think." It's hard to remember whether he was there or not. She knows she was waiting for him, at least.

"Even if he hasn't, he could be aware. Portraits talk amongst themselves, whether you want them to or not. He could be working on a possible solution, or designating Order members." Sirius ignores the bitter tone in Sio's voice, he can't blame her any. "Alright. I'll see if I can't get in contact with him. If you have your own frame, that might answer a few questions and help us with a solution. You said you did wake up in one of your family's homes."

Shaking her head - again - Siobhan pauses to steady herself. So much head shaking! "I woke up in the painting of an old castle." The story of how she found out who it belonged to is too long for this conversation. "It's hangin' on the wall high in the Armor Gallery. It's so weird t'say that, though. Cause, t'me, this is a very stuffy sittin' room an' you're nothin' more than a large picture on the wall." Inverted realities. "I s'pose I could go hang about in one of the portraits in his office until he notices me." And there's a hint of Siobhan's old mischief in the grin that forms for that thought.

"Ah, I see now, I misunderstood," Sirius says in an absent tone as he thinks. "I wonder if you're restricted then to Hogwarts. If the same rule of paintings applies to you." It could stand to reason that the painting Sio woke up in is 'hers'. "If you do go to the Headmaster's office, do give Phineas a kick for me."

"Dunno," Sio answers him. "Never tried it, really." But that does give her an idea. Maybe this summer doesn't have to be boring after all… "Oh believe me," and here Sio gets a rather vicious gleam in her eye. "I very much plan to." Unexplained vehemence, ahoy! But then something occurs to her and her nose wrinkles with distaste. "Wonder why mum hasn't come bustin' down the doors t'demand someone tell her where I've been. Not that I'm complainin', mind," she adds hastily. "Just odd, s'all."

"Probably because she hasn't been told. To keep her from doing precisely that.. wait.." Sirius stops talking and thinks furiously. "You were hit with a green light. If your body was left behind.. if.. it could be mistaken that you were hit with the killing curse.. Yes. That makes sense. We should get the word out that you're fine and still with us. In a manner of speaking."

"Don't." Siobhan's voice is quiet, but firm. "If I am dead, then telling my family otherwise would be cruel beyond measure." She speaks slowly and carefully, channeling Snape in an eerie manner. "And if I'm not dead, we don't know what I am. I could be trapped here forever and that would be worse than being dead for them." Brown eyes snapping cinnamon lock onto Sirius' face. "At least until we know for sure what's happened, you will say nothing to any of my family." There's a softening of her face, then. "Please?"

Sirius's train of thought comes to an abrupt halt at Siobhan. "I think they would like to know that you're still about as opposed to being permanently gone. Your brother is a curse breaker, we have very powerful witches and wizards in the Order who can help see this resolved." He makes an appeal to Siobhan, even when he knows stubborn when he sees it. "Where were you in the castle when you were hit with the spell? What room? That could be the first place we can start searching." Of course, if a body was left behind, any Death Eater with half a functioning brain cell would have taken it with them.

"Don't talk to me about my brother, Sirius Black." Oooh, raw nerve! Letting her stiff shoulders relax, Sio sighs. "However, if your 'Order' can help me, I would very much appreciate it." And in the meantime, she'll find a way to make herself useful. Somehow. "The Armor Gallery. That's the last castle room I remember being in." She doesn't mention the fact that Snape has more than half a functioning brain cell. Sirius knows. "Please, Sirius. Respect my wishes in this?"

"I don't like it, but fine. Your brother's the only one who won't kill me upon receipt of the news," Sirius says, finally caving and giving his word. "I think they'd like to know, but you don't want them to, so I'll keep my mouth shut." He still sounds distracted as his mind works. He's hoping that there is no body for the DE's to hold onto, that could prevent them from breaking this spell.

"You're right. Jack won't kill you." More bitterness, there, but she doesn't delve into it further. The last she remembers of that whole situation, Sirius had been upset with her and Sio doesn't think she could handle more recrimination just now. His distraction is noted and Sio shakes herself from the unnerving attempt to remember that damn werewolf's name. "Tell me about this Order of yours?" she asks, since it seems like a neutral subject. "Is it like a club for genius wizards or somethin'?"

"You could say. For some reason, I thought it might have been mentioned to you. I'll keep your current location from your family if you not repeat that I mentioned the Order," Sirius says, looking back at Siobhan, this time, a stony expression in place. "I've a feeling we would have recruited you soon enough. We're an organization that fights against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Been around since the first war."

Siobhan grins at the offered exchange, comfortable in the soothing habit of bargaining. "Sounds like a fair deal t'me." Somehow that stony expression makes her smile widen. Odd girl. When he starts to explain, however, she leans forward; intently interested. "So, you're a branch of the Ministry, then? Like how Tonks an' Ali an' Moody work for the Aurors?"

Sirius is normally far more careful with secrets. Needless to say, seeing Siobhan's current situation threw him off completely. "No," he barks out in a short and sharp manner. "We're independent of the Ministry. They care more about covering their backsides than doing effective fighting."

Considering her father is one of the Ministry officials, there's a part of Siobhan that is pretty sure she should take offense at that. It is, however, that same intimate connection to the organization in question that allows her to see and admit the truth of his statement. "Agreed." She stands then, stretching out sore muscles. "I'll get Cadugan to stand guard, I think. Probably make the poor bloke's day in th' bargain." She doesn't outright mention his short, sharp manner, but it's definitely her cue to exit stage right. "I have a Headmaster to haunt." Turning then, she walks out of sight of the frame, then ducks back quickly. "And Sirius? Thanks." A short, mischievous smile flashes his way once before she ducks back out of sight. It's not long afterwards that a stubby man in far too much armor marches very dutifully into the frame. Blinking at the room in general, he lifts his chin, clears his throat and blusters out a single, "PASSWORD?"

There is definitely no love of the Ministry with Sirius. Starting all the way back with their precious rules interfering with his 'fun' as a wayward teen. He's got issues and subscriptions. Before Siobhan can get away from him, he says, "If you need to get word to me, send it through Phineas Nigellus. He's in the headmaster's office. He may make it difficult for you, but he'll get over it." The stubby little knight earns a quirking of the eyebrow as Black mutters, "Hello again." It wasn't that long ago he got past the knight and into the tower. Not wanting to stick around this particular corridor for too much longer, he heads off for the Armor Gallery. He doesn't expect to find any clues as Filch would have cleaned anything left behind.

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