|Scene Title||Turning Point|
|Synopsis||Severus gets some bad news. It helps him make up his mind. The rest of the gang helps out with that, too. Sorta.|
|Location||Hogwarts - Temporary Bullpen|
|Date||February 10, 1996|
|Watch For||Snape getting out-Slytherin'd|
Severus strides into the bullpen, eyes narrowed, arms stiffly by his side, stalking past the Aurors, Agents and guards in the room without a by-your-leave. He strides right over to Jethro's desk and sits down in the chair across from Jethro, and remains as silent as the grave for long, cold moments. It takes a pointed raised eyebrow from Jethro to get the man to speak. "I am done." That is all he says. At first. When both of Jethro's eyebrows lift, he leans forward, not caring who hears. "He has just told me that because my worth to him diminishes when my complete focus is not on my jobs. When I find any measure of peace. Of course, he used much more grandilliose and florid language," irony, much? "But the meaning clear. He is unaware of the nature of our connection, of that I am sure, or I would have been summarily discharged for imappropriate behavior. He did say thus." He leans back. "However, he has noticed that something 'has been making you positively cheerful of late, Severus, and we cannot have that affecting our efforts.'" He stands again, pacing. "Therefore, though I will still mouth the words to his face, I am completely done." He's had this thought — this conversation — only once before. When Lily was in danger, and Voldemort placated him. That ended badly. This will too. This time, he will become much more proactive.
There's Jake, by a gaggle of his security team going over a map of some sort with pins stuck into it. Each pin's color corresponds to something specific - all of which is then delineated on the chart beside the map. It looks very muggle-ish, but the fact that it all changes without even being touched is the magic part. Even he stops and pauses when Severus starts talking after that long silence.
All of which means little to the recently rescued young woman who walks into the room under her own steam, looking around with a bit of an owlish expression as she tries to figure out just who she should talk to here. Ah, there's Jethro! Yes, he's the in charge person; the one who asked her questions. Not even her eye of horus feels like interrupting the dour looking man who is speaking flowery words. Until Maura registers who it is, and the color drains from her face. "You…"
Brennan had been perched on the corner of Jethro's desk - not having one of her own here - enjoying a cup of coffee. It is, therefore, that when Snape … vomits information on them, she's soaking it up like a sponge. "That makes sense, the human mind can only process one set of stimuli at a time and if your attention continues to be drawn by your bondmate, then your focal ability on other tasks may suffer. It's a very common problem in the early stages of any romantic relationship, well documented both historically and anthropologically throughout the ages. A fallout of our instinctive need to mate as often as possible to secure the maximum chance of passing on our genes before something kills us." Information for information. "The fact that you're prioritizing the well-being of your mate over your other obligations is biological imperative. It only proves that you are, in fact, human." Leave it to Brennan to miss the point for all the Nifty Facts. "Although it is strange. In the Muggle world, many adults manage to live fully-functional family lives and still teach at some of the finest institutions in the world. I wonder why that should be different here." Maura's entrance, loss of blood from facial tissues and utterance is noted with a critical eye and the ever-diligent scientist looks from Professor to former student. "The two of you are acquainted?"
Jethro speaks first. "Told ya you couldn't do your job if you were happy. That's bullshit." Jethro has his own coffee, and he sips at it. "You do a damn fine job here. There, too." When Maura enters the room, spots Snape, and speaks, Jethro looks up at the ceiling. "Aw, hell." It's an all-purpose epithet. "Maura," he stands to move over to see her. "Glad Duck found ya somethin'… lookin' a lot better." Whether she currently wears the amulet or not, she does look improved. "Not what it seems. Mind sittin' over here with Morgan? And we'll explain." Maybe. If Severus is willing.
"I am ecstatic to have proven my humanity," Severus drawls, in fine form. "Of course, since Siobhan is in some way responsible for my small happiness, or at least my diminishing despondency, I may not be involved in any way with her disappearance or recovery. And because I deigned to bring it up again, neither will he." That may not be the whole of the thing, but it's what he'll share. The rest probably sliced into his persona like a hot scalpel, and then poured something caustic in. "Miss…" He takes a look at Maura. "Not all is indeed as it appears. Consider where I appear more at ease." There's a hint of professor there, calling his student to think logically. Also, a bit of embarrassment at her having caught his tirade.
Deciding that now would be a good time to keep an eye on things, a chair arrives just in time for Maura to sit in - swooshing over with a flick of his wand as he wanders over to stand up against the wall behind Jethro. "Surprised you didn't tell him where he could stick his opinion, Severus." he remarks, arms folding across his chest now. But he straightens a little as things look like they might get a little awkward.
"I…" One might think of a moment she's back to stuttering. But no, for a moment she just pulls the amulet out from her shirt so that Jethro can see it, before dropping it back again. "No, you don't understand." she whispers, stepping up closer to Snape. It was the shock of recognition that made her so pale really. "You were the only one… the only person who showed me any kindness at all. I don't.. I'm sorry. You're the one that she was telling me about, aren't you? You must be Snape. Are you Snape?" Yeah, if anyone can decipher that, there's a whole *basket* of cookies for them.
Clueless!Brennan is Clueless. Looking from Maura to Snape and back again that many times is going to make her neck snap. (It actually won't, that would require a force exponentially stronger than the one she's currently employing, but it feels like it might and paints a good literary picture.) "Kindness? Wha - you were there?" Agitated enough to stand from her corner perch, Brennan stares at Snape with an expression of betrayed confusion. She hates when her instincts are wrong about people. "You've met her before? You were in that, that … that slaughterhouse and you didn't get them out? What were you doing there?" Ladies and gentlemen? Meet a very indignant Dr Brennan in a righteous outrage.
"My position precluded the ability to remove anyone from any such thing, let alone those I … personally care for. I cannot explain more without endangering more lives than my own." Severus may be the only spy, but there are still layers to his work and knowledge he's gotten along the way that endanger several if he cannot keep his word. He turns toward Maura. "I am. I am Professor Severus Snape." He is proud she remembers that much. The mention of a 'she' is picked up on. In his state, as before in his life, an unnamed antecedent 'she' must be his 'she'. However, this may not be the place to hear what Siobahn said of Snape, so he closes his eyes. "I hope she is not disappointed in that fact." The fact that he couldn't just storm in and free her as Brennan suggests.
"Don't be a dumbass, Snape." Jethro snorts. "Noble knows you couldn't do a damn thing. What I'm hearin, though, is that you wanna now?" Severus' thinned lips and narrowed eyes are enough of an answer for the taciturn agent.
After all of the other things are settled, Severus looks at Morgan."You have no idea. This is not the first time, by far, nor is it the first time he has had the protection of one I cared for in his hands and let falter through either intent or inability. However, the first time, I was a young, blind, trusting fool. If he does not like the shape of his tool, he need only look at the shavings on his floor to assign the responsibility for it." Severus is his own man, but so much of his life has been shaped by walking the wire between two old, addlepated men that he cannot claim all the credit when things are not to their liking.
"I assure you, Dr. Brennan. If I felt any ill will towards him at all, there is no way in hell that the amulet around my neck would let me get away with anything less then a profanity laced screed calling for his head." Maura admits. "It makes me spead my mind, quite crudely, in fact." Which brings a slightly embarassed flush to her face. "There were times when I am certain that the only reason I held on at all were the small kindnesses he was able to provide. I believe fully that he was simply unable, for whatever reason, to get any of us out." She doesn't even care why. "She loves you." is added, simply, before she tries to get back to why she arrived in the first place. "You have to go, Professor. If you are not there, we will not succeed. I w… Cianan. I was checking in at the infirmary and he was recovering from one of his visions. And, when he sensed my presence he had another one. You have to go." she emphasizes. "Have to."
Morgan, for what it's worth - grunts at Severus. "Like to wrap my hands around the old fart's neck right now." Yeah, he's not much for lots of words.
Brennan is not satisfied by that abstract explanation. Opening her mouth to launch on a tirade that anyone present should know would be exhaustive and thoroughly, scientifically scathing … she is stopped in her tracks by Maura's timely interruption. Oh. Well. Back to sipping coffee and quietly listening, then.
Severus turns toward Maura, his eyes widening with the information. "Tyler has had another vision?" He doesn't count divination for much, but a real Seer — not the one up in the tower, but a real one, thank you — is a rare thing, and their portents are not to be ignored. "That decides it for me. I shall have to find the means by which I can accomplish this without endangering any other thing." Too many plates. Wayyy too many plates in the air. He moves back to the seat, and sits down. "This will require thought, information, and more planning." As usual. The comment about Siobhan's love for him seems to sink in, finally, and there is a relief. If one watches, they will see the man mouth to himself, 'Never doubt.' He won't.
"Whatcha need?" Jethro's already ready to start doling out roles and assignments to make it happen. Never mind that it will take a while to get to that point.
"He did. It was pretty fucking creepy too, if you ask me. Kid looked right through me. And then called me by name, and started talking about how I…" She actually claps a hand over her moutht here, so that Mr. Babblepants Amulet can get out what he needs to say and she can prevent people from actually hearing it. "Sorry, we're still learning to get along." Ahem. "I'm a healer, and can cast protection spells." she offers then, sitting down now and shutting up.
"Ugh." Aggravated at the fact that no one seems to be forthcoming about the information she really wants - nevermind that this is so not the time or the place - and at the fact that there are people around her whose brains are moving at normal speed, Brennan is not exactly in the most tactful mood. "It doesn't require a lot of time, planning and coordination, actually." Okay, so that may have come out a little more snotty than she intended it to, but come on. It's so obvious that it's painful, right? "Use the route that makes the fewest assumptions." Crickets would be loud in the silence that follows. "Lex parsimoniae?" Yet another beat. "Occam's Razor?" Nevermind that she doesn't really give people time to think about it. "Among competing hypotheses, the one which makes the fewest assumptions should be chosen. Extrapolate the rule a step further and the principle can be applied to any strategic venture." She turns to Snape, perhaps hopeful that the other academic in the room will have picked up on her brainwave. "You've been in this place before - and I'm still not entrely comfortable with that reality - over a period of time. Whatever mechanism you used in the past has obviously worked thusfar. It's a known variable. Fewest assumptions." Please, someone stop her before she runs out of air trying to lower her mind to the LCD.
Snape's eyebrows raise considerably when Maura begins speaking. It seems to calm him a little, and make the corner of his mouth turn up. "I can see that." It's the Snape version of the snickers in the back of the classroom. "That will definitely be beneficial." He is taking control, and since Siobhan isn't here to share the 'throne' so to speak, he will take it himself, and share reins when she returns. Soon. "I am not certain of specifics, Mister Gardener, but when I am, I will certainly convey that to you." Jethro nods to that, and Severus turns to Jake. "Perhaps one of your men can speak to Maura to get the specifics of what young Mister Tyler saw. Barring that, we may need someone to speak to Mister Tyler himself. It may give us clues what to prepare for. I have heard of portents changing, however, ignoring them is often to our own peril." Brennan is close to Severus, so he focuses his gaze on her. "The actual attempt to retrieve her may not take the effort and planning you are envisaging, Doctor." He keeps his voice calm, but a slight bit of ironic disdain enters his voice. "The other factors to the overall situation make the planning more difficult. I cannot explain more presently. When I am able, I shall certainly tell you." Whether that's shortly, or much later, no one is sure.
"Better to talk to the kid. All he said was that you had to be there, Professor. The things he 'saw' had nothing to do with the mission." Maura clarifies. "But it's possible he'll remember something when prodded. About -Professor Snape-. Not one of them better ask about the rest." Maura even points. Point. To which Jake just smirks, nods, and fully intends to ignore. "I think the geek is saying to just go with what you know. Bust in, grab her, get the fuck out. Right?" Maura Looks at Brennan "Right? I mean.. in addition to breaking the wards and figuring out who Shadow really is and uhm.. all of that."
Turning to regard Maura with the blank and bored expression only the super-intelligently-arrogant can achieve, Brennan arches one brow. "Geek - from the Low German geck, meaning a fool or a freak." Unfolding her arms from across her chest, the woman spreads them in a 'search me' gesture. "Being as I am neither, I would suggest that you make the attempt to be more accurate in your insults - or at the very least, more creative." She's been this way for far too long - stretching back into teenage years. 'Geek' is an old name. "I wasn't inferencing an extraction at all, Snape." Back to the problem at hand. "Look, whatever your means of entry was in the past, use it again. This psychopath who styles himself a 'Lord' has up until now followed a fairly strict set of rules, correct? His entire platform is built upon the idea of Pureblood supremacy - for which theory there is some interesting support - and his most powerful supporters are from old Pureblood families. Taking the daughter of one of those old, Pureblood families does not match his M.O. Therefore, it's highly probable that the victim is being held without his knowledge or consent." And then it hits her and she groans out loud. The mark on his arm, the Headmaster, the madman, Siobhan… "For the record, I would like to point out that you are certifiably insane." Beat. "Off the record, I'm impressed." Standing, she sets her empty coffee cup on Jethro's desk. "Banish that for me, please." And she's off, headed for the exit and her ride to her lab. "Talk to your boss, Snape. I think you'll find he is in a position where he has no choice but to help you." Because this is all just one giant chess game, in the end.
Maura is just pained again, really. And tries to sink further into her chair. But alas, there is just nowhere to go. She's either going to have to get used to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time (Oh hi Jack), or people will have to get used to her doing it. "It's not me, it's…" she points to the amulet, fruitlessly no doubt. As Brennan's already walking away. "Alright. Anyone need me for anything, or can I just crawl off somewhere now?"
Severus tracks Brennan's exit, and blinks. "The good doctor has a point," he admits to Jethro. He turns to Maura and tilts his head. "Doctor Brennan is a very straightforward person. I do not see her as the type who is easily offended, though when one has borne a label for so long, it can wear heavy around one's neck at times." He understands this fairly well. He stands, heading to the exit himself. "I shall go prepare to do just that." It may be a bit before it gets accomplished, but it's a step in the right direction. "The information you have given me may save lives, Miss Maura." He purses his lips. "Gardener, Morgan." He leaves the room in a much better mood than he came.
Jethro banishes the cup and grins up at Morgan from his seat. "Morgan, that's why you gotta work with a team." He nods his head once as though to emphasize his point, then returns to the parchment on his desk. Damn paperwork.
Any additional notes fall to the bottom.