|Scene Title||The Mating Habits of Professors|
|Synopsis||Three industrious students stumble upon Siobhan's familiar in Myrtle's bathroom. Everyone, including two professors, hears more about mating habits than they really want to.|
|Location||Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom|
|Date||Jan 27, 1996|
|Watch For||Everyone (but Bean) thoroughly embarrassed. Visions of definitely not sugarplums.|
|Logger||Itty-Bitty Snake (Bean)|
You've entered the girl's room on a lucky day. It seems Moaning Myrtle, the resident ghost hasn't deemed it necessary to flood the floor and outside corridor with water from her toilet. The interior of this room seems quite old like much of the castle, yet incredibly depressing. The toilets and sinks appear to be from the very late 1800's to early 1900's. The porcelain of the sinks are chipped, the long mirror above it is cracked. This bathroom is usually considered to be out of order and no one bothers to come make repairs as the plumbing doesn't stay fixed due to Myrtle's tantrums. This restroom might seem to be a nice place for secluded plotting on the part of students.
Saturday afternoons around Hogwarts usually see the students engaged in any number of activities ranging from the diligent to the troublesome. What it usually doesn't include is a small herd of them all crowded inside Moaning Myrtle's abandoned bathroom. All ages and Houses are represented in this bunch, and the main attraction? There's a three-foot long white winged snake floating through the air near the sinks, making creeling sounds and baring her fangs at anyone who tries to get close to her.
One of the students in the back of the crowd is a small and slender girl in Gryffindor robes. She tries to elbow her way to the front of the crowd, but is completely unsuccessful and finally gives up, folding her arms over her chest and muttering something under her breath in an alien language and watching with fascination as the floor is slowly covered with a thin layer of water. Myrtle does not like a crowd that isn't there to appreciate her.
Since Cianan's -always- at the back, usually with his hands stuffed in his pockets and people avoiding him like the plague… he definitely notices the young Gryffyndor's plight. And since there's already some chaos, why not a little more? "Hey, watch this." he mutters at her when he passes by her. Both hands are held up in the air after he whistles for attention. "HEY, TAKIN' THE GLOVES OFF IF YOU DON'T MOVE, MORONS." He's Ravenclaw, he can totally call people that. He even starts to peel off a glove. He'll totally do it!
Julian is small. He is very small. So, it doesn't take him very long to wend his way through, cajoling, bribing, and fitting into tiny little spaces. It doesn't work quite as well as it used to, but it's still a skill he excels at. When he gets to the front, he sees a very familiar sight. "Isn't this the professor's pet?" He looks over to the Ravenclaw making all the noise. "I mean, don't you recognize it?"
Cianan's whistle and shout gets attention, alright - and some kids even move - but it's not until the tiniest little firstie 'Puff anyone's ever seen runs in trailed by several of the staff that the herd actually parts. Old habits die hard. Cianan is shot a shy kind of smile, but Daine is wordless when she takes advantage of the opening to come stand up by Bean. Hey, she knows this one! "She is frightened," she tells the little Slytherin. "And angry. Something is missing, but she will not calm enough to tell me what." Daine follows that thought to its logical conclusion - wild things don't get this upset over much. "Did someone take her eggs?" The water level is enough to dampen the too-long hems on her robes and it makes her wrinkle her nose.
For her part, the not-so-tiny serpent queen refuses to be calmed. Her frenzy produces the most wrenching creels and cries. Something is most definitely wrong, but as she snaps at a Ravenclaw who gets too close again, it's still not clear what.
Cianan would almost look smug at how successful his ruse is; even if it's only successful because it's accompanied by members of the staff. One of whom, McGonagall, starts shooing people away left and right. "Off with you now! Really, does this look like -entertainment-? 5 points from Slythering for that, Brutus!" Barkbarkbark! she's good at this. Meanwhile, Bean's statement makes him stop and stare. And then nod. "It is…" he agrees, looking sharply over at Daine then. "You can speak with animals? She's telling you that?"
Desperate, he really does remove his gloves now and tries to approach. Hoping for even a mild touch to see what he can glean with his own abilities. "Come on, baby. You remember me right? I'm her little cousin. We've met." he prompts.
When Daine speaks, explaining what the seraph is thinking and feeling, Bean turns his attention to the girl, tilting his head and considering. He knows she's very different, but seeing what that difference entails is intriguing to the canny young mind. "I don't think she has eggs, does she? What about Sio?" He looks up, and looks around. "I mean Professor Noble." He's a little abashed for his slip, but mostly interested in the information itself. "She might know what's got her creature riled up, right?"
Some of these small bodies are vaguely familiar, but none of them smell like her nest-mates. The seraph is beautiful in her fury and fear, but still incredibly deadly. Clouded eyes don't need to see, she can feel the heat of the limb stretching out toward her and whips her body around to snap her fangs at it.
Daine closes her eyes. She knows better than to put hands near a snapping, snarling, terrified wild thing. But that doesn't mean she can't investigate in other ways. "She is old enough to have eggs." Which probably answers just as much as it doesn't. "Careful!" she warns Cianan, reaching out to shove his hand down just before it gets bitten. "She has no sight and all of these … these … children." There's the word. "They scare her more."
Cianan swears under his breath; words no boy at his age should be using certainly. But not at Daine. For her, she gives a grateful nod. "Thanks. This isn't like her - Professor Noble. If she heard that her pet was down here and having conniptions, she'd be here so fast it'd be a blur." he points out, even mmaking the *whoosh* sound to go with it as his protective hand coverings are slipped back on. "Hey! Anyone know parseltongue? Maybe that would help!" he shouts, adding, then.. "You're all scaring the wits out of her. C'mon, give her some space!"
"I think I heard a rumor that there was one parselmouth in the school." Of course, Julian did. He's in Slytherin. "I don't see him here." There is an older Snake or two who bemoan on a daily basis that the only person other than the Dark Lord blessed with 'Slytherin's Gift' is the 'Chosen One.' Or something like that. "Well, then, let's get these idiots to clear off." This is spoken quietly. "Hey!" That, not so much. "If you don't scramble, she may attack. She's hungry." And here, little Bean makes these claws, and twists his expression into something sharp and … well, it'd be scary if it weren't so dammed cute. "Scram! We'll take her to get some food, and everything'll be good." It's worth a shot, right?
The creature's frenzy is unabated. Her lack of sight means that she is constantly bumping or brushing things. Three small places on her wings are stained with the black of her blood and there's a raw-looking place on her side. It does not, however, mean that she's settling down. In fact, the pain only seems to add to her confusion, which heightens her energy.
Daine watches all that with an expression of pain on her face. She could command and exert her will on the little wonder, but in this state it would probably snap that precious mind, to say nothing of the spirit. It's upsetting enough that she gives up on the effort of trying to talk to the snake in her mind like she was taught and instead speaks aloud, using a string of words in a language so alien and different from this place; a language that sounds like sun and heat and salt-water shores, not like this place of cold and damp. It does no good, but now that the water on the floor is deep enough to cover the top of Daine's shoes, she turns her frustration to an outlet she can do something about. With hands spread like she's grasping a pair of invisible orbs, she begins to spin her arms around each other in a counter-clockwise direction, as if stirring a giant cauldron palms down. The water on the floor follows the pattern, all of it following the path of suction into a whirlpool in front of her. Still spinning one hand, she holds the other steady and starts to lift it, the water taking on the shape of a slowly-shrinking sphere. The smaller it shrinks, the more effort she has to put into it and by the time it's the size of a Remembrall, there's sweat pouring down her face. Finally she slows the spinning of her hand and leans forward to blow one long, chilling breath on the orb, which freezes and falls into her hand. Staggering a little, she shoves the thing at Cianan with a very angry command. "Never waste water." Like it's his fault that Myrtle decided to cause a flood. At least now the floor's dry in time for her to shove her way past the crowd and storm out where she doesn't have to see what'll happen to the lovely white snake-queen.
"Isn't Professor Snape here? He knows about this sort of thing, doesn't he? I'll go f.." And suddenly there is a ball of ice in his hands and he looks up and around blankly for Daine. "I.. b.. what'm I supposed to do with this!?" Cianan calls out after her, holding up the ball of ice. "It's not my fault Myrtle's totally lost her sh… I mean, her mind!" Come baaaaaaaaack. He looks at the ice, and then at Bean. And then the ice. "You're more likely to fit through the crowd. You wanna find him?"
"Really boys." McGonagall snorts, "My patronus is already on her way to get him. This witch wasn't born yesterday."
Julian huffs with annoyance when the stupid students won't move. "Feckin' rubberneckers," he mutters, loud enough for Kee to hear, probably, but not loud enough that said 'rubberneckers' would hear — much less get — the epithet. "Yeah, alright." He's worried enough that his facade is slipping just a little bit. He slips back through the crowd and scurries down the hall in that 'I'm only really walking fast, professor'' gait, then pauses when he hears the teacher say she's called him with her patronus. "Yes, Professor." It never does do to forget what magic can do.
Just as Julian is entering the bathroom again, there is a black swirl of cloak, and there is the professor himself. "Any student not involved in this situation will vacate the area, or I shall begin docking points and handing out detentions. With Mister Filch." He doesn't want to deal with them himself right now. The students seem to clear pretty quickly, leaving the few students and Minerva there. He looks from one to the other, frustration, anger and annoyance evident. "Explain."
Cianan nods over at the creeling, self-injuring snake-queen flying 'round and making lots of disturbing noises. "There was a girl here a minute ago; she can communicate with animals. And she says it's missing something. But she can't tell what. It's scared and angry" he explains, anxiousness evident in his voice. Which is obviously when Minerva steps in. "Thank you for coming so quickle, Severus. It was felt that someone who spoke parseltongue might be able to reason with the creature before it hurts itself more." The words are curt and crisp, and she gestures the boys to step further back. "The young lady's name is Daine. And she does seem to have a gift with the animals. And water, it seems. I allowed her to step out as she appeared to be getting as overwhelmed at Siobhan's pet is."
Severus pinches the bridge of his nose, and looks outside the room for a moment. "Will you find her, Legume?" Since it seems the small Snake can probably figure out where the Gryffindor has gone.
"Yes, Professor," Bean moves out of the room, glad to have something to do. He's muttering under his breath, probably epithets in various languages. If there's a loud screech, yeah, Mermish is involved.
Snape looks over at the pet, and starts to walk toward her. "Foolish little creature," he speaks in a softer tone than any of the students, or even possibly Minerva may have heard. He flares his magic just a little, hoping the seraph will sense the magic in the air and at least settle down.
Cianan cannot hide ever bit of skin, or he would need to walk around encased in soe sort of breathable bodysock with holes for the eyes and nose. And mouth. It would be even creepier then he is now, and that just would not do. So obviously his face and neck are always exposed. Which means, exposed to Snape's flare of magic when he casts it out. That's when the 'ohshit' expression appears, the world slowing around him to a mere pinpoint of light. One that originates within Snape himself. The young Ravenclaw's pupils dilate and glow while she stares at the potions professor, the moment feeling like an eternity for him as he breathes in and out once and is snapped out of his trance while stumbling backwards. "I, uhm… " stare.
The tone of voice makes the winged thing stop dead mid-air, head blindly turning and questing for the source. It's not until she can feel the flare of magic, however - soothing and familiar blue-green waters edged with an even dearer golden light - that she settles. Still flapping desperately to stay aloft, she's not going in any direction now, only sending a short, pathetic creel in Snape's direction. Afraid. Desperate. Questioning.
The air is dark, and Severus' arm hurts. A fierce pride wars with a tiny little doubt, especially when he sees something cross his friend's face. Severus looks down, and his arm bears the mark of his Master. A soft swirl of white, like the shifting of one memory to the next in a Pensieve whirls through, showing another scene. "Save her! I will do anything you ask, Dumbledore, just save her." Severus is older, and a pleading expression crosses his face. The white magic swirls again. Severus shivers as warm magic twines with his own, sending euphoria through his physical body. He leans in very near to Siobhan, the words passing from mind to mind. They are hidden by a fuzz, but their intent is clear. One more swirl. Severus stands, hair slicked back into a silver clasp, robe of dark green with silver filigree. There is a pride and sadness in his eyes as he turns. The view turns with him, only showing Siobhan standing, dressed absolutely to the nines, and holding out her hands to someone else.
Kee's face shows his confusion now, as the images rush in, in the aftermath of visions' blur, to overwhelm him as they always do. Through time and practice he doesn't black out quite so much. But, his sight blurs around the edges and starts to grey out while the teacher are focused on Siobhan's pet. Everything he sees just mires him in -more questions- . "She's missing, isn't she. That's why so much of what I just saw is focused on her. And her pet, and…" Slump.
Severus steps closer, now that Q is more calm. "Settle." It's the same language he uses to corral firsties, but definitely not the same tone. If she will allow, he'll get close enough to stroke the spot between her eyes with a crooked finger. "Foolish little creature. We shall soon have a means to speak to you. Then, perhaps, we can find out what you know." Ed and Q are always good indicators of what's going on with Sio, and this bothers him, a lot. He gazes over to Cianan when the boy slumps. He begins to step away from Q, then offers his arm to her, in case she wants to wrap around it, or him. "Stretch him out and lay him on his side." Bad visions can be really bad, and well, vomit, choke, and all that.
Bean walks down the hallway, and looks for the first 'nook' he would use to hide from anyone else. It helps that it's near a large window. "Daine, we got all the people cleared out. Can you come help us?" He offers her a hand up to pull her from her sitting position. "Professor Snape is there." That may or may not help, since the young girl is a Gryffindor.
Minerva is already at Cianan's side, careful not to touch any of his skin while she helps him into a position that will prevent choking on his own bile. "There you go, young man. Take all the time you need." Stern as she may be, the genuinely afflicted have always had her sympathy. And apparently the boy is one of them. "Well Severus, it appears the snake likes you. Who would have thought." Deadpan.
And when Cianan's eyes flutter open, he just groans and cloucthes his head like someone is trying to pry open a crack in his skull. Out of commission for a round!
Crouched in the alcove under the window with her knees to her chest, her arms around her legs and her face resting in the nook between her knees, Daine is most definitely not crying. That's definitely not a sniffling sound he hears and certainly not her wiping her eyes on her sleeve before looking up at him. "Okay," she answers quietly, accepting his hand and standing, dusting herself off. Her eyes are red from allergies, okay? There's weird shit growing in so much wet here. She'll follow him at a small distance, head down to watch her feet as she moves.
Q doesn't have the grasp of human interaction to tell her that something is wrong with the youngling who just hit the deck. More of that familiar voice and the confirmation of identity through the single touch does the trick. This is the stork-man whose lap she invades on a regular basis. Slowly, she'll wind up his arm to drape loosely around his shoulders. He might end up with some Seraph-blood on his robes, but that's no worse than some of the daily ingredients, right?
Bean knows the 'stoic-avoid-emotions' theory. It's part of his integral makeup. So, he says nothing about her tears and sniffles, though he does hand her back a small scrap of cloth he's got in his pocket. It's a handkerchief, but it's definitely not his. It's got a great big L embroidered on it. He found it somewhere. He walks back to the bathroom, letting Daine follow as she will.
The blood doesn't bother Severus as much as the fact that Q is injured. He purses his lips, continuing to try to soothe the little snake while he watches the young seer on the ground. "I am uncertain as to what may have triggered his vision." Well, at least for a moment. "He reacts to tactile sensations?" Then, his magic being … in the air… His lips thin even more. He hopes it wasn't something too painful for the young man. He wouldn't wish some of his memories on anyone here.
Cianan begins to breathe evenly, with no retching this tie even, though he is meticulously slow in sitting up. Not standing. Still sitting, while he watches the seraph as a way to try and soothe himself back to a normal sort of state. "She's hurt." he says, like an idiot. Because everyone can already see it. Hopefully Daine will arrive to save the day from more of his ramblings.
"Apparently so, Severus. We'll get him sorted at the infirmary before he heads back to the dorms and I'm certain he will be just fine. Perhaps the little seraph should be seen by Hagrid as well for her injuries. He has a way with creatures." she suggests crisply, glancing back out into the hallway. "I believe the two others are returning now."
Daine will take the cloth, but she simply stares at it before stuffing it into a pocket. No idea what it's for, she nonetheless doesn't want to give it back in case that's offensive. As they round the corner back into the bathroom, Daine perks up about nine degrees, pushing her magic forward like the cooling evening breezes off the sea, smelling like saltwater and tasting like starlight, searching for the deep sea she knows she felt as she walked in. The combination of that magic and the little white serpent draped over his shoulders - plus his black hair - stir up hope in Daine. She jogs closer and starts jabbering at him a mile a minute in that strange, musical language, but when he turns to regard the boy on the floor, recognition hits hard and she slumps. "I - " She swallows hard. "She is happy to see you, P-P-Professor." It's not a stutter, just a long and unfamiliar word she still struggles with. "But she would very much like to know … " There's a hot blush rising to her face. "Well, she would like to know if the mating season is over so she can have her mother back." There's another pause. "Please."
"OH GREAT. Is that what I saw? I didn't want to see that!" This is Cianan, beginning to piece things together.
Severus Snape looks from the student to the seraph, and then toward McGonagall. His lips thin, his cheeks pink, just a little, and then, he catches sight of Bean. Bean, whose eyes have gone round as saucers, just looks up at the professor, and then snorts, then mutters something under his breath that sounds like it might have been, 'Go, Sio.' "I trust, Mister Legume, that you are able to keep such matters to yourself?" He narrows his eyes, and Bean nods emphatically. Secrets? Been there, done that. "Thank you, Daine." He continues to call her by her first name. Severus does not recognize the musical language. He frowns, wondering whether what she said was relevant to this, or whether it was so much childish chatter. At the moment, though, there are more important things at hand. "Mister Tyler, keep your sentiments to yourself." It's hissed, but it's not exactly as … sharp as he might expect it to be. After all, the boy is dealing with a vision, and something niggles in the back of his head. Oh. There it is. Damn. He's family.
Minerva is merely amused at Cianan's reaction of course, though her lips purse and she swings her eyes away from him to avoid chuckling. "Allow us to focus on the words that were expressed, please!" she redirects. "…So she can have her mother back." is repeated, and she Deputy Headmistress focuses on Daine. "Young lady… is the seraph telling you that her mistress is … gone? How long has it been since she's seen her." is prompted.
Meanwhile, Kee just covers his face with his hands and hopes it all GOES AWAY OMG.
Daine still doesn't really understand enough of this society to comprehend why this seems to be the cause of such a fuss. It's embarrassing to her because she's a 14 year old girl who is just now starting to think boys might not be completely foul, but she doesn't get why Snape is blushing. When the other professor - her own Head of House - addresses her, she sets her jaw and holds her head a little higher. (It's unwise to show a tabby cat that you're afraid of anything.) "She says that her mother has not returned to their nest for sleep in seven nights, but that she was still within the castle until yesterday." Which would corroborate other evidence. There's another pause, with Daine's head tilted at an odd angle. "She says that her mother always brings her when she leaves the castle and would like to know why this time she did not."
Severus looks down at Daine, and then over to the seraph on his shoulder. "Foolish creature." He rubs her forehead again, trying to calm her when he isn't calm himself. "Perhaps the fact that she was headed to a dangerous place," he responds to the snake, though he's not sure whether she'll understand him, or even if Daine will. "I still have one avenue yet to explore." He really doesn't want to do that, but he will. "Perhaps you can remain with me until Professor Noble returns." After, of course, Hagrid sees to her wounds. To that end, he considers something. "Miss — Daine. Have you met our grounds keeper yet? He has several animals you may be interested to meet." Tit for tat, perhaps that is enough. It didn't tell him much, but it calmed Sio's familiar and helped her get care. That's something.
Julian watches the interplay between the animal, profesors and students, and keeps mum for a long moment. Then, a thought occurs to him. "Are they linked? I read a thing where the creature connected with a wizard, and they were linked. Is she linked to her creature?" He isn't sure if this is a strange train of thought, or something that might help. "If we can at least find out how she is, then I can stop worrying, Professor." He looks up at Snape with a look that says, 'and you, too', or maybe 'or you can'.
"Up you go now, Mister Tyler. We'll take you to the infirmary while they care for the seraph at Hagrids." Minerva order the lad up and on his feet now; he's had enough time to recover, right?? Right! For his part, he kind of obeys on autopilot. "You'll find her right? Siobhan? Maybe if I touch some of her things…" Or then maybe not, since there are things he doesn't /want// to see. And he blanches, but straightens, and doesn't retract the offer. "Thank you." he adds, looking over at Daine. But not saying anything else. He is in full on emo mode now, complete with morose expression and brow furrow.
"The giant?" Daine asks. "Yes. I spend a lot of time with the People he cares for." The lack of 'sir's or 'ma'am's or other honorifics is not meant as a sign of disrespect, just one of ignorance. The question of connection makes her wrinkle her nose in confusion, but she tries all the same. "She … does not fully understand the question." Probably mostly because Daine doesn't either. "She knows that her mother is alive. She knows that her mother is in pain. She knows that her mother is … breaking. She - oh." And once again Daine turns bright, bright pink. "She thought that since her mother had mated um often this season tha … she had gone to … lay her eggs. It can sometimes be painful," she explains, swallowing hard. This is quite possibly the most uncomfortable conversation she has ever had in her young life. "But if you are here, then she is not laying eggs." Which is faaaaar over-simplified going from serpent to Daine to English. "Or at least, she says you had better not be here while her mother is laying eggs." And it only gets worse.
That first part was what Bean was wondering. "So, she can feel she's still alive." He looks pointedly up at the professor. "That's gotta be something, right?" The rest of it is glossed over in that strange disassociation he does with information that doesn't help him — or now, those he cares for — survive. There's a slight sense of embarrassment for his friend, but … he's fairly inured to 'mating', and discussions thereof.
"Thank you, Daine." Snape doesn't add the 'that will be all' on to the end, but it's a very near thing. When Bean mentions what he was aiming at, he purses his lips and nods. "I shall keep her near, then." It will at least be a good idea of what's going on. "Let us go take care of her." She's their barometer to how Sio is feeling, and as masochistic as it may become, Snape needs to know that. "Come along." He swirls out of the room and down the hall, not really caring whether the two students follow him.