|Scene Title||The Family Angle|
|Synopsis||Siobhan tracks down Bean to make an offer. Bean looks for hidden angles.|
|Location||Hogwarts - Slytherin Common Room|
|Date||March 06, 1996|
|Watch For||Sneaky Bean!|
During his free period, Julian is working on an assignment. It appears to be a Herbology assignment. For once, he is totally separate from his roommate: Frenchy is nowhere to be seen. He is sitting at a table in the Common Room, leaning over a picture of a flower, well-drawn. He's labeling the parts, slowly, neatly with his quill. He's so focused on his writing he doesn't realize he has his tongue stuck out as he writes.
Slipping through the re-arranging stones with the easy, bouncing gait of a long-time resident, a certain blonde professor surveys the inside of the common room. Some students get a grin, others get a wave, but Siobhan has one goal today. Sauntering over to the table where Bean is working, she hops up to sit on the edge of the table, kicking her legs and grinning down at the picture of the flower. "Every time I see you, Bean, you're sketching pretty blossoms," she teases, genuinely glad to see the young asplet. "That for Sprout or Snape?" Because it could be specimen or ingredient, easy.
"Sprout," Bean responds, looking up at his professor. He sets his quill down and smiles. "Professor," he greets. They're not completely alone, and he's learning that keeping the appearances are often as important as the reality here in this room. His eye scans her, seeming to check her over. "You're alright?" He was a part of the group that went to rescue her, and she is one of his favorite people in the magical world.
Siobhan is one of a large family of lions. It makes her more tactile than most other serpents. She recognizes this and does not, in fact, stand up to hug the stuffing out of him the way she'd like to. It's a near thing, though. "I'm doing better," she replies. It's a dodge and she knows it, but at least it's not a lie. "How about you?" Sharp brown eyes are scanning, checking for any obvious injuries or changes. "And the rest of them? I heard Salmalin got banged up pretty bad."
"Pomfrey fixed her up pretty quickly." Bean answers about Daine first. "She spent a few nights outside, I think, but otherwise, she seems okay. You know about Tyler." He's seen her with him. "Marshall had a bad strike against his leg, but he didn't even stay overnight." He finally answers for himself. "I'm fine. I've been through worse." He shrugs it off. There is another shade to his nightmares, but that's nothing new.
"Good, I'm glad no one was hurt too badly." But speaking of nightmares. "You sleeping any different? Better or worse or - ?" Siobhan keeps the question casual, but she's fiddling with the edges of her blouse. It's a sure sign of nervous tension for her. "Has the meditation helped at all? There are some other things we can try, but… " She trails off, stifling the urge to smother nerves with words. This is more awkward than she thought it would be.
"New players on an old stage," Bean responds. He sounds far older than he should. However, he shrugs when she mentions the meditation. "It helps sometimes. I do it because it helps keep me from saying stupid things." Cue the cute little boy grin. "Sometimes, I sleep better, sometimes not." Knowing eyes catch hers. "You?"
Siobhan frowns, pulling a face and giving her young friend a dry look. "You're far too clever by half, little one." It's an old phrase, but it's just as affectionate as always. "I'd say I'm not necessarily sleeping as much as I used to, but I'm definitely sleeping better." There's a glimmer of real happiness that shows through her pleasant day-job mask. "Listen, Bean, I spoke with Professor Snape about your condition." Some time ago, in fact, but things after the fact got way out of hand. "It's not something he knows any more about than I do." Which worries her a fair bit, because her mate knows at least something about just about everything. "I have a list of specialists who can give us some more insight into just what exactly is going on, but… " She cracks her neck twice to try and ease the tension in her shoulders. "So long as you're considered a ward of the state, I can't actually get you in to see any of them without doing battle with the entire British Ministry, so we've got paperwork ready to submit that would make me your legal adoptive guardian. If that's alright with you, I can sign the final documents by Friday." It helps, sometimes, to have friends and family who are movers and shakers in government.
"That's me," Bean smiles brightly, though his eyes still carry the too-old look. When she mentions sleeping better, he holds up his hands. "Don't give me any details. I'm just a little boy." Which is true, but untrue. He nods as she continues, pushing the paper away and leaning back in his seat. As she phrases his situation so succinctly, his face takes on a resigned mien. However, she gives him an out. It's almost too much to hope for. "You'd be … what? My mum?" He leans forward, really taking in her expression, her body language, everything he can tell about her from just an intense gaze. "What do you get?" It's a good question from a little Snake.
That makes Siobhan snort, rolling her eyes and reaching out to ruffle his hair. "There aren't any details to give, smart arse, but you are so not as innocent as you want everyone to think." She watches him absorb the information presented, almost holding her breath while he thinks. It means that her reaction to his question is a kind of huffed out surprised laugh. "Well, yeah. I mean, the legal term's just 'guardian' since you're not my blood or anything, but … yeah, it would essentially make you my kid." Her responsibility. The last question, however, makes her grin wolfishly. "Sometimes, little viper, even the serpents do things without an angle, if they like someone." Leaning back a bit, she kicks her legs casually, mulling over things while watching him. "But since I never expect anyone to take what I say at face-value, I get to add another snake to my overly-feline family. Think of it like an alliance. You have a brilliant mind - which I always find useful - and I have a home and money and resources that will all benefit you. Sound like a good enough deal?"
He is still considering. Julian cannot see anything wrong with this situation, but he has to ask. "You have how many brothers again?" It's a huge decision, and like all snakes, he needs all the information he can get before he can make it properly. The comment about helping him because she likes him makes him smile, a real and complete smile. "Thank you, Sio." He giggles at her labeling him so accurately. "It's so fun to make them think otherwise, though, huh?" 'Them' being a very nebulous term that includes most everyone outside this room. "It does sound like a good deal. It almost sounds too good. Almost."
"Five," Siobhan replies, her voice dry as pale bone dust. "Three lions, a badger and an eagle. Add my parents - both proud Gryffindor souls - and Jake, who bleeds red, white and blue? It's you, me and Sev keeping the whole lot from getting themselves killed." Which is … far more information than she'd intended to give out, but if he's going to be family, it's not like it'd be a secret for very long. "You don't have to tell me how fun." She is, after all, just the bouncy blonde socialite who runs around in Muggle clothes and can't write an essay to save her life, right? His honest admission sobers her, but she nods and regards him thoughtfully. She can see the concern. "Alright, so here. You tell me what you think my angle is." She's half-teasing, but it's an opportunity if he wants to speak up about something specific on his mind.
"You get to save the poor little orphan boy." Julian has heard of their efforts to create a home for children like him. He supported them wholeheartedly because it was a better deal than he was currently getting. However, this … this has layers upon layers of landmines for him. "Noblesse Oblige." He gets that. There are members of this house who lecture on it almost constantly. "I really don't want to be on the front page of the Prophet for more than a few times." He's willing to admit that if he lives in a family of Very Important People, he may get more attention than he did previously. However, the idea that he's someone's pet project is a deal-breaker to him. "I'm not sure that is your angle," he is quick to admit, "but it did cross my mind." He counts out on his fingers the 'brother question', thinking through the ratios. "Are the three of us enough to hold back that amount of sheer guts?" Lions tend to just go do things.
Siobhan laughs, shaking her head. "Ah, but you forgot one key thing." She really enjoys teaching the little snakes. They follow her steel-trap mind like no one else. "If it was a pet project for the spotlight I was after, I'd take on the Potter boy." Much greater publicity stunt that would be, of a certainty. "No newspapers, I promise." That makes her grin, the tip of her tongue poking out the side of her mouth. As for the numbers… "Never underestimate the power of three good snakes working in tandem toward a common goal." In other words? Piece of bloody cake. "Don't forget who you're talking about, after all." Because Professors Snape and Noble are two pretty badass Slytherins, when it comes down to it. "We'll be fine."
"True." All of it. Julian sits, considering. He picks up his quill, twirling it around in his fingers deftly. There doesn't really seem to be a downside to this. "Both … Everybody's okay with this?" He doesn't want to ask outright, but he knows Sio's situation is unique. He's kept his mouth shut because it's the right thing to do. "That's very true. Three Snakes tend to do very well at things." Look at him, Frenchy and Houlihan. They've caused quite a bit of trouble here and there.
There's a sharp look down at the second-year snake, but Siobhan does nod. "Jake's the one getting the paperwork filed for me and Se - Professor Snape agreed to it last night." She manages to catch her slip this time. "But it'll mostly be two professors you're dealing with, plus Jake's nephew once he … " She trails off, a flash of sadness quickly pinched off by a mask of calm. So her, Severus and an American kid about his age for a family. Not the most … orthodox of beginnings, but Siobhan's never been much of one to go by the book.
"I like those two professors." Julian isn't buttering anyone up; he's being honest. "I understand you." And they understand him. He switches hands, still twirling the quill, testing the differences of dexterity between his fingers while he's thinking through what his — possible guardian is saying. "I think I'd really like that." He looks down, nearly embarrassed at the depth of emotion that he feels. This is a new thing. He knows, intellectually, that it's good, that it's normal. However, experientially, this is completely new, uncharted territory. Dangerous, possibly. "Friday, you say?" He looks up, a half-hopeful gaze at the woman he just might call 'mum'.
"Friday," Siobhan answers, grinning her old thousand-watt grin and just barely restraining herself from bouncing in her seat. "There are some benefits to being attached to my family." She's teasing, mostly, but there's a grain of truth. These things normally take weeks if not months. "Oh, which also means you'll be going to Italy over the Easter holidays." It's not an order, or anything - more like a backhanded invitation. "I mean, you're welcome to stay here at the school if you'd rather, but we'll all be catching some sun." So it'll be pretty boring here, all things considered. "You have warm-weather clothes?"
Julian smiles, the idea beginning to sink in. He sets the quill down, and leans back against the couch again, the thoughts running even more quickly through his speedy little brain. "I've never been to Italy. That'd be brilliant." The thought of decent clothes, though, makes him look down again. "I have Hogwarts Uniforms, and I have …" He thinks through his trunk, looking up and right as he counts out what he owns. "Four other outfits. Most of them are short-sleeved, but I do have a jumper. Their Nana made it for me." 'They' are the family that took him in briefly over the summer; it was brief because there was a Death Eater attack, and they were injured severely. Bean was able to escape, heading back to the streets of London that he knew so well.
"No school uniforms on holidays." That makes Siobhan laugh and shudder at the same time. "No one wants to think about school when they're at the beach and four outfits won't be enough to get you through. We can go into London and Diagon this weekend and make sure you're all set." Because as of Friday, she'll be able to sign him out on that kind of trip. Laying one hand flat on the table, Siobhan glances over to read the numbers that appear to glow on its surface. Her magic's come much easier today. "Just now, however, I need to go teach some third years how to deal with boggarts and you ought to get on to Potions." So saying, she hops off the table and brushes invisible dust off the seat of her slacks.
"Yes, Mum," he tries, only half-joking. He gathers up his homework, his books and his bag, slinging them on his back. He calls out for Frenchy, and they head out to class, Bean keeping the news to himself for now. It's a secret, special thing, and he wants to savor the thought for a few minutes longer — all by himself.
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