|Scene Title||The Call|
|Synopsis||Severus is summoned for the first time in months. It sparks a fight. Only one explosion ensues - so far.|
|Location||Hogwarts - Snape's Quarters / Grounds|
|Date||March 21, 1996|
|Watch For||Snape digging a spectacular hole for himself in record time.|
Late one evening, Severus is sitting in his chair, reading a book. It is an old book, probably laden with dark curses or counter-curses for them. Beside him on the table sits a cup of hot tea, from which he sips from time to time. The top two buttons of his robe are undone, and he's removed his boots. It's a quiet Thursday night.
It's a cold enough evening that Siobhan has slid the couch a fair bit closer to the fire, soaking up its warmth while nestled into one corner and swathed with a thick, soft, cream-colored blanket. Tonight's reading is a well-worn paperback version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and she's about three-quarters of the way through. Her sunshine magic is a background hum, quiet and content, but definitely present.
Severus picks up his tea, takes a long sip, and then sets it down, or starts to. As he does, he feels that burning in his arm. Looking up at Siobhan, he stills his hand, mostly preventing the impending spill of hot tea onto his robes. Slowly, he sets the mug down on the nearby saucer, and stands, moving to put his boots back on. His hand is already wiping up his abdomen, straightening his robe and refastening his buttons with a wash of wet salt. "Siobhan. I am being called," he begins as he catches the boots flying through the air toward him. Mentioning the call is just one new step in an already well-worn routine of preparation. After his boots are on and fastened, he summons his wand, his outer black robe, and his mask. Having done all of that, he steps toward her, hoping to give her a good-bye kiss and head out on his way.
"Bein' called to wh- … oh." Siobhan has been exposed to most of her mate's daily routines and rituals, but this is the first time she's been present for his master's call. Perhaps, then, she can be forgiven for not picking up on just exactly what 'call' he's referring to until the boots fly into his hand. Slipping a folded piece of parchment into the book to mark her place, she sets the book on the other end of the sofa and pulls the blanket off. It's only the work of a moment to shrug into her jacket (she's not quite as neat as he is, so the blazer got left slung over the back of the couch) and to summon her own violet robes from their hook on the wall. She usually wears well-worn calf-covering equestrian-esque boots, though, so she pads over to the wall to put them on the - admittedly less cool - Muggle way. So when he turns to step toward her, she's busy doing other things. Hey, if he's going to try this 'no talk just do' thing, he can't be mad at her for doing the same, right?
Severus starts to lean down to kiss her, and then she moves. He tilts his head, quirking a brow at her movements. "You know where I am going. I do not see why you are putting your jacket on, unless you're headed out for another midnight fly with your creature?" His question is asked with a steady yet dry tone. "I shall probably be back shortly. I do not expect him to keep me long on a school night." He starts to step toward the door.
"Deliberate obtuseness is not a good look on you, Sev." Siobhan's response matches his for dry steadiness, but there's an edge to it that probably gives her away. "Albus doesn't factor into his equation anymore. I don't think he's going to fret much over a curfew." One boot is tugged on and then the other before she stands and side-steps him to give herself room to sling her purple robe over her shoulders, slide both arms in and attend to the fastenings. "He can't hurt me. You have no such guarantee. And besides," she adds, giving him a wry grin over her shoulder. "You already told him you were turning me to his side, why not reinforce the idea?" Read: No way in hell is she okay with letting him do this alone.
Severus looks at her askance. It didn't even occur to him that she would go along with him. "So, involuntary obtuseness is acceptable?" The interplay between them is charged a little more than usual, and not enjoyably so. "I stopped assuming what he would and would not fret over years ago. It garnered fewer sleepless nights." Coming home with every nerve in his body screaming at him made for a particular kind of insomnia. "Indeed," Severus agrees. "I have no such guarantee. So, when I appear at his side bringing an unannounced visitor, especially one who is invulnerable to his own brand of 'care', it shall be me who is given the punishment for bringing you along." He says this, but his mind is considering whether it would be worth it to take a few more bouts of Crucio to prove his assignment is moving along apace. "Walk with me," he decides, not sure yet whether he'll take her. However, he must get moving, and she is prepared, should he decide to take her along.
"Always." She answers his last command first, the one-word answer laden with more meaning than just this situation can justify. Siobhan will worry later about her disturbing tendency to lose grip on her control when it comes to him. For now, she has to keep up with him - her shorter legs moving almost two full strides to each of his one - and maintain her half of the dialogue. "Involuntary obtuseness is understandable, not acceptable." There is a difference. It's been a long time since she has felt this kind of friction between them. It makes tension creep up her spine until the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end, but she isn't going to back down from this without a fight. "I won't let it come to that," she growls under her breath. She's confident she can protect him, but only if she's actually there. "Dunno if you've noticed, but I'm really not good at sitting on my hands and doing nothing more useful than having tea and healing spells ready." It's dryly spoken, but very true nonetheless.
Severus looks at her again, as they walk down the hall. Behind his eyes, the waters roil with restless worry and agitation that his protective side won't let go. However, the side of him that has enjoyed their camaraderie seems to pull the other way, making a vortex of whirling water in the middle of the cove, the two ideas warring within. What is not in question in the least is how much he cares for her. All of her, including the parts that aren't good at sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to happen around them. "I am glad for the clarification," he intones, nodding at a passing Slytherin and striding toward the door. "You may not be in the position to prevent it. I know that he is not allowed to touch you, but should there be more than myself there," which is always a possibility, "the others in the room have no such compunction, not on their own merits." The Dark Lord may punish them for touching a new possible recruit; on the other hand, he may laugh uproariously that one of his men found a way to deal with the situation and work around the treaty.
Snape being curt and appearing severe isn't anything even approaching news to the viperlets in their nest, but when Noble looks that pissed and doesn't spare more than a sharp nod in greeting… That tends to be a bit more shocking. Poor Slytherin. Her mate presents a valid point, but Siobhan is not to be deterred. "I watched these people interact with each other for months, Sev. Aside from a few favorites, he lets them determine their own pecking order." She's not going in blind, not by a long shot. "So if someone's stupid enough to throw a curse, they'll make a good example for the rest of them why not to fuck with me." And, by extension, him as well. It's a very serpentine way of viewing things, but if it looks to the 'pack' like Severus is the one 'holding the leash' on her raw power, it will increase his own standing as well. As far as Sio's concerned, that can never be a bad thing.
Severus is considering it. He really is. It's hard to remain unconvinced when she has a logical argument for everything he brings up. He brings a hand to his mouth, still thinking. A frown crosses his face, and he strides through the entrance hall with her by his side. "Is it too soon," he asks, as they leave the building, heading toward the apparition point just outside the wards. "Would he believe that I was this effective in bringing you to him this soon after your experiences there?" This is an honest question. He knows the Dark Lord fairly well, and one of the things he's discovered about the man is that he can be highly suspicious of every single person in the room. He had heard there was a reason for that, but hadn't heard the specific details. It seemed that it had led to at least part of the reason he curses everyone so much. "There also may be an Unspeakable or two among the number. I do not wish for them to sense…" Some of those guys down there are experts at sensing a 'true bond', at least as the British wizarding world understands it. He's not sure that a spook wouldn't catch their bond, as unique as it is. "I merely do not wish for you to be in more danger than you need be." As they near the point, he's still warring with himself.
"After spending a month in his pet freak's torment, do you think he'd believe I'd be there if you hadn't been so persuasive." She shakes her head. "Powerful and dangerous they might see if I was a man, but believe me…" Huffing out a sigh of frustration - because while the nebulous concepts of the upper class behavior are something she understands and works with intrinsically, it's such an ephemeral theory that explaining it is going to take some doing for her - she wrestles with appropriate metaphors and then simply abandons them entirely. "In Pureblooded high society, women are still considered tools - weapons, even. It's not that they don't acknowledge that we can be powerful and it's not like they mistreat us or even really notice what they're doing most of the time. It's just that our methods are different and so there's always the assumption - even in my family, to a certain extent - that someone else is pulling the strings." It's like trying to explain magic to a Muggle, only without being able to simply show them. "Jack didn't notice until he knew to look - and what to look for - right? So even if they notice something, I doubt they'd know what." Which means he could simply play it off as another means of control. "There aren't that many Brennans running about, after all." His last, however, rubs her the wrong way. "So what makes you think I don't feel the same way about you being in danger?"
Her comments make Severus stop stock still for a moment. "So, if I am understanding your words correctly, I ought to take you along because he will see that I have … conquered you, so to speak, that you are beside me, and under my … influence…" The way he speaks that word is low and dangerous, and his frustration level rises again. "And he will be pleased with me because I have found such a one who will stand beside me, whether it costs us or nay…" All of this cuts close enough to the truth yet twists enough of it that Severus is both intrigued and repulsed by the thought of what this will entail. "Of a certainty, I do not believe that any of them are as knowledgeable on the specific matter as she." He continues walking, catching up to her if she's kept moving, or just beginning again if she has stopped. Her words to him about feeling the same way when he steps into danger strike him hard. This time, instead of stopping, he moves forward just a little more quickly until they arrive at the point. Then, he stands, looking directly at her, the truth of the words beginning to finally sink in. "This makes this even more difficult, because I must go. I am given a little room for maneuvering since it is uncertain what I may be doing of a night — especially during the week. However, that minimal grace only goes so far." He looks at her, eyes dark and intense. "I cannot be of two minds about anything. I must wear my certainty, even if it is certainty of things of which the Dark Lord knows nothing, as a thick cloak. Even with my Occlumency shields up, I must have the appropriate mien — the mien I have had in times past, or I risk discovery." He's got to wrap that ice around him, especially now since it's not inside his core anymore. "I must do this. I will ask him if I may bring my new recruit along next time, however, this time," the endearment he offers is sent directly into her mind, my dearest one, "I must go alone. If I need, I will mention that you were quite eager to join us. It may buy us a little more of that good favor." With that, he steps forward, kisses her quickly, then, back on the apparition point, he turns and disappears.
Startled and thrown off balance by the quick intensity of that kiss, Siobhan doesn't have the time to react until it's too late. She is left staring at the space he no longer occupies, surprise building to anger building to white-hot, livid fury. Sparked by such a violent emotion, power flows down her arms like solar flares until she feels about to simply explode. Snarling viciously, she drops to crouch and slams one hand palm down on the damp, dewy grass. Like a detonation of napalm, a ball of fire radiates out from her person, consuming the vegetation in a wide and angry circle around her before dissipating into the night air. Muttering a string of curses under her breath that would make old Mad-Eye proud, Siobhan spins on her heel and stalks back up to the castle. There will be no sleep without her mate, but there is an entire castle full of misbehaving brats on which she can unleash her wrath. Woe be it to snogging, trysting couples sneaking out tonight.
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