|Scene Title||The Calm Before the Kids|
|Synopsis||Siobhan comes home after a long day to help Severus finish unpacking. They both get to unwind some in the process.|
|Location||Hogwarts - Headmaster's Office|
|Date||August 16, 1996|
|Watch For||How snakes interact when on their home turf|
Most of Severus' things have been finally brought up to his office. He paused in his sorting, straightening up again to look around at the place. His office. It's still a weird feeling to come up here and not find Dumbledore dozing off in the chair, or reading something while sucking on a lemon candy. The room even looks different. Instead of several small, twirling devices, there are a couple cauldrons, one foe-glass, and shelves of books. Now, he has to find places for all these other things. He sighs, stooping again to lift the first box and set it on his desk to sort through.
The sound of scraping stone precedes a new arrival into the mess of moving, mingling with the click of heels ascending without the patience to simply wait for the magic to finish on its own. The minute she's over the threshold, Siobhan has both hands behind her head, tugging at the pins holding her hair in its twist until the curls can finally tumble free. "Making any progress?" she inquires quietly, running manicured fingertips over her scalp to ease the ache of its earlier style. "I didn't have time to do anything but drop off the last load before I had to get ready for dinner."
At the sound of scraping of stone, Severus turns, straightening his posture and inhaling, ready to speak to whoever enters. When he sees his mate, he sighs, turns again, and humms softly. "Mmm. I am merely starting on this portion. How was your dinner?" He had an elf bring him sandwiches. It worked. He got to keep working for a while, and eat.
"Long." The rest of the analysis will have to wait. It's a process for Siobhan, transitioning from 'out there' to 'in here'. As she kicks off her heels, there is an audible sigh and a roll of her shoulders - another layer gone. "Collins was insufferable, as expected. He will never recover from the fact that I married a colonist." Her hands lift to pull the heavy metal from her earlobes - first one and then the other - and to unfasten the matching necklace before setting them all in a small pile on one corner of the desk. The soft sweater and thin black pants are all that's left, finally comfortable enough to remain in. "What can I do to help?" Because this is too big a job for one person to finish in one night.
Severus bemusedly watches his lover's transformation from high-society matron to the young, bright woman he knows and loves. He thinks for a moment, considering where he could best use help, and then points to a particular box. "If you would shelve those, I would be most appreciative." He returns to moving things into the large desk. "Collins is a small-minded man, and you are not technically married to a colonist." He snorts. "However, even if you were, it would not denigrate your value one whit. " He sighs, taking his own moment to connect with her, moving over to press a quick kiss against her temple. "I am glad you have returned, My Own."
Siobhan is quick to lean into the much taller body when it nears her own, eyes sliding closed and tension leaving her shoulders slumping forward as it drains slowly away. "Me too," is her less eloquent reply, breathed out on a heavy sigh. "He doesn't think it deni-whatsits my value either, that's the problem," she answers dryly, unable or at least unwilling to pull away and work just yet. "You just don't waste good stock on foreign bloodlines. Like we're all racehorses instead of people." At least she's still enough herself to see the humor in it. She pulls back just enough to tilt her head back and grin up at him cheekily before steeling herself to step away altogether. "And he doesn't know it's not real, mo chridhe - that's kind of the point."
"However, you are aware." Severus wraps his arm around her as she leans against him, then releases her when she pulls away. To the comments on not being breeding stock, he hums again, listening, then interjecting. "Many of them do view the young as exactly that, unfortunately. It is why so many competent brewers end up making cauldrons of Pepper-Up and Stomach Soother for their hordes of brats instead of creating their own potions." And thus gaining more fame and credit in the Wizarding World. He moves back to his box, turning it upside down on the desk and sliding all the quills into a drawer. He snorts. "I had Hagrid up here with his revised list of creatures for the year. He still has several on there that need to be postponed considerably. I am uncertain if he will get an appropriate list by the time school starts." He's only been doing this for a short time, and he's already weary of the extra work.
Siobhan turns to her own box, cracking her knuckles before lifting both hands and holding them out toward the contents. The tip of her tongue pokes out between her teeth as she concentrates, tugging on a strand of sunshine magic and sending the heat down her arms with a series of broad directives. Lift. Alphabetize. Move. Place. The look on her face when the process goes off without a hitch is no less than ecstatic. "That would have exploded on me this spring." The control lent her by the aqua tinge to her magic has done miraculous things. It makes her thoughtful. "You know, if the two of us work together we might just be able to do the whole office that way." It'd be quicker than manual labor for sure.
Severus blinks at her actions, then considers. "Perhaps." He moves to stand beside her, allowing their magics to touch again, the feeling of warmth spreading through him. It's the feeling of home. "You are gaining excellent control." He's not being as successful at incorporating her raw magical strength. It takes letting go of some of his iron control — a process he finds inordinately difficult. He closes his eyes, and lets out a slow, measured breath, then opens them again, gesturing with his hand toward the nearest box. It lifts, albeit slowly, and settles up on his desk. He turns toward Siobhan, eyes bright with success. It is enough to do it in smaller steps.
Siobhan moves when he does, enjoying the cool calm that comes from the dark magic mixing with her own sunshine. But she is not content with that alone. Reaching out, she catches his hand with her smaller one and laces their fingers before folding hers in a firm grip. It's not, strictly speaking, necessary, but Sio will never pass up an excuse to touch, even in so casual a way. "Relax," she murmurs, letting her own eyes slide closed. "No one's here but me." And she'd never cause him harm. Instead of focusing on individual tasks as she did before, Sio simply lets herself sink into her sun, funneling that raw power into her mate's magic until there is a steady stream from which he may draw - light that shines warmth and color into places naturally dark and cold. In this, as in most things, Siobhan supplies the power and trusts Severus to direct its application.
Were Severus Snape another man, he might wax poetic about the way the touch of his mate's magic lights his soul. And, perhaps, in his own mind, he does. However, the only outward concession he gives at the moment is a slight relaxing of his shoulders, and a wave of his hand that looks an awful lot like the movement Siobhan made earlier. He separates the contents into groups and lifts each group to its shelf, more precisely, though no less correctly, than she had earlier. "I am fully aware we are as alone as we may be," Severus says, voice low and soft, nodding his head toward the portraits of former headmasters on the walls, "however, I am still unsettled here." This is not fully his place. Not yet.
And to someone who has always been observant of other people, who has learned to speak such subtle languages as the serpents are comfortable with, that minute loss of tension is poetry in motion. It makes Sio smile and she stands a little closer while he works, maintaining that steady stream of power. "I know." It's a simple reply, but there is nothing smug or sharp about it, simply a statement of fact. He is uncomfortable. She is aware. "It will get better." And if not, there are places more welcoming and familiar for respite. "The boxes probably don't help much." Because her wry humor never stays away for long.
Severus leans into her touch, continuing to move the boxes and unload them. He finishes that task in short order and moves his hand to stack the boxes in an out-of-the-way corner for the elves to take away. "They do not add to the general decor, no," he replies, just as dryly. "I thank you. This was an excellent idea, My Own. I shall have a little more time to finish the interminable paperwork that I must complete before school starts. It is a shame I cannot merely immolate it and be done." Yes. He's been around Siobhan too long. He wants to set it on fire.
Siobhan lets the stream settle, not withdrawing but no longer giving it any specific direction. "I'm pretty sure there's a lot we could get done working that way. It's been easier since you were officially hired and bound your magic into the castle - have you noticed?" It certainly made everything seem much more… natural for her. "Are you sure fire's out? There are so many accidents with my unpredictable magic, you know." She's teasing and it's pretty obvious, but she still sighs as she squeezes and then releases his hand, willing to collapse (sideways) on the sofa so that he may begin to make headway on that as well. "Ross came back to the school," she says apropos of nothing, staring up at the ceiling with tension creeping back into the skin around her eyes. "I found him this morning when I brought the first load of reference material up from your rooms. Tripped right over him, in fact."
Severus releases her hand somewhat unwillingly. He strides around to the seat, pulling it out and sitting down before waving a hand to lever a stack of parchments to the middle of his desk right in front of him. He begins looking over the papers, listening to Siobhan speak, then, as she mentions Ross, he pauses, looks up at her and quirks a brow. "I assume he is still in fair health?" Severus' humor is always droll, and often missed.
Sio snorts. "He survived. His arms will be sore tomorrow, but he survived." Cheetah or not, the kid needs some muscle tone. "I'd lay good money he'll be back before start of term. The castle keeps letting him in, so." She shrugs. There's no point in gainsaying the castle on something like this and she wouldn't anyway. Siobhan knows firsthand what it's like to need somewhere to feel safe. "That's partly why I didn't back out of dinner tonight." Because there's only so many hours a day she can pretend to be the entertaining Mrs Morgan before she snaps. "The official line is still that it was Death Eaters that attacked his parents' house despite the fact that it matches only one of their usual markers. I wanted to find out why." Which would be why she tolerated Collins' moaning about her 'marrying down'. "No one knows, just that it apparently comes down from higher than the Brig's pay grade." Which worries and annoys her.
"I trust the building's judgement more than many of its inhabitants. If Ross is allowed to come in, he may, provided he keeps to good sense and decorum while here." There isn't much he could do to kick him out if Hogwarts herself was letting him in, anyway. He could go into 'protective' mode or something, but for one student in need, he won't. It's his way of showing he cares. "I am not surprised. Often, that means they do not know themselves, or are afraid the information would cause a panic. Or, in rare and wonderful cases," hear the droll sarcasm, "both." Severus waves his hand, and the parchments rearrange themselves in some order. He looks at the top one, and gives a small smile. "I asked them to rearrange in order of importance. We shall see how my magic interprets that."
"Yeah, that's about what I figured." But he put it so much more eloquently than she could. It never fails to amaze her, his mastery of language. It's a talent that requires a much more precise encyclopedic mind than hers, but she can most certainly appreciate it. "I think most of the kids are still too scared of you to be much in the way of trouble." For now, at least. But that particular experiment drives all thoughts of, well, everything else right out of her mind and Sio is quick to prop herself up on her elbows. It bends her body funny on the sofa, but it gives a slightly better vantage before she rolls off to stand and pad barefoot across the room to stand behind his chair, both hands resting on his neck and shoulders as she peers down at the stack of parchment. "Now that could be dead useful."
"I know that your own style is rather less threatening than mine, but it seems to have served me well," Severus comments on the children being scared. "One can only hope that it continues to do so." He leans back against her and turns slightly into her embrace for a moment, then nods. "I am uncertain what criteria were used, but perhaps even refinement on the directions would be even more efficient." He lifts up the first parchment and reads it, signing it quickly. "Yes, that was indeed important." It was a document having to do with finances that had to be approved to keep the school in order. It had been discussed, but he had to sign it to have it on file. Most of the work was like that, it seemed. "Perhaps, I could convince my magic to learn my signature?" He snorted.
"I know, love. I know." At this point in their acquaintance, Siobhan has no illusions about her mate's cantankerous personality; it will remain as it is and - if she's brutally honest - she wouldn't have it any different. Not in general terms at any rate. Bending to better read the parchments as he goes through them, Sio kneads into the muscles under her hands with gently persistent pressure and a tender sunny warmth. "I don't see why not. It isn't like someone could forge your magical signature even if they could work out how to forge the written one." Sio is silent then, content to work gently at Severus' shoulders while reading along behind him. "I should probably go rescue Bean from my mother." But even though she says it, she doesn't move to go.
"Perhaps we can consider working together to see if we can make it work." Severus' workload would be lightened considerably if he could just point his hand at a stack of papers and sign them all on the empty line. Considering most forms are standard, that might work. His mind is working on the problem, allowing his wife to rub gently at his tension-tightened shoulders. When she speaks again, he snorts. "It will do Julian some good to spend time with a caring adult, even one as … strong-minded as your mother." It is just not done to insult one's in-laws unless you really want a fight. And he's accepted Bean as part of their crazy family; he doesn't call him by his surname outside of school. He picks up another paper, and scans it. "Does this appear to be the correct amount to you?" It's an inventory for one of the teacher's classrooms. "Surely, we can provide more than the merest basics?"
Siobhan doesn't even take the time to glance down at the figures before shaking her head and sliding one hand down his arm to cover his own in a staying motion. "You just used the same word twice in one sentence, Sev. For you, that means exhaustion is well and truly setting in. These will keep until morning, come on." And it's with a gentle firmness that she tries to draw him away from his new desk and all the new work accompanying it. "To bath and bed with you."
Severus raises a hand to his temple, rubbing gently. "Perhaps, My Treasure, you have a point." He allows himself to be led easily toward his rooms. "Whatever would I do without you, My Dear?" He shakes his head, and wraps his arm around Siobhan's waist.
That makes Sio laugh. "Sit up half the night trying to understand someone else's budget and then wake up with a migraine and terrify everyone you meet with no more than a glare." She knows because she experienced those results herself a time or two. "This way you'll have enough of the right kind of rest to be properly creative in your methods of mental torture." When his arm settles around her waist, hers rubs a lazy circle over his back. "And the new rooms won't be so bad once I get my hands on their decor." She, after all, has taste far superior to the late Headmaster. To be fair, a blind man would have better taste than he did, but still.
The smile that Severus gives her is filled with promise of mental torture of small children. "I admit that you are correct." He sighs, agreeing with her on the matter of the rooms. "A blind monkey would make the rooms better. However, with your perceptive touch, they will be as soothing as our former abode." He is sure to reassure her that he is maligning the rooms as they currently are, not as they will be with her influence.
That smile makes Siobhan giggle a soft laugh into his shoulder. It's… not entirely pleasant. She has, after all, her own sadistic streak. Once inside, she draws away just enough to stand in front of him and raise up on tiptoe to steal a kiss that she ends up savoring longer than she had intended. "Go run us a bath. I'll get Janet to bring up some tea." And with one final kiss, she turns him and nudges him off in the proper direction. This is a much better way to spend an evening than bent over budget sheets, no matter how necessary. Sio knows the opportunity will diminish almost entirely with the start of term/; she means to take advantage while she can.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.