1995-10-25: What Is Normal?


Cianan_icon.gif Siobhan_icon.gif

Scene Title What is Normal?
Synopsis Siobhan runs into Cianan on her way down to visit the Thestral herd after dinner. He asks to go along, but an unexpected vision interrupts them.
Location Rear Courtyard
Date October 25, 1995
Watch For Visions and Foreshadowing and Rumors! Oh my!
Logger I am the Bad Wolf

This place can be a great hiding spot, if one is able to properly blend in with the stone well enough. And, clothed in his rather decided plain and worn grey clothing, it could be said that Cianan kind of fits that bill. He's perched himself on a stone near the ivy covered call, with a book cracked open and the end of his wand being used as a personal sort of chew toy. Cause yeah, it looks like he's gnawing on it much like muggles gnaw on the cap of their pens. Bad habit, that.

With the dinner hour over and no detentions today - it helps that she mostly uses other forms of punishment in her class, like embarassment - Siobhan finds herself taking Rene's advice and ambling down the stone steps towards the meadows. To do so, she has to pass through the rear courtyards and though every time she takes a step there's a weird plastic sort of crinkling sound - after all, in denims, boots and a heavy pea coat, there's not a /whole/ lot of unsquished pocket room - the youngest member of Hogwarts' staff doesn't at all seem to mind. She almost walks right by Cianan, blended in with the stone as he is, but stops mid-stride and slowly spins around to face him. Who knew ballet lessons could come in so handy? "Cianan?" she ventures, praying that's actually his name and she's not being incredibly thick. "What in Merlin's name are you doing reading out here at this hour? You'll freeze!"

The sound of crinkling plastic catches Cianan's ear pretty quickly and bright blue eyes soon look from page to person walking. "Professor Noble."His tone is both polite and deferential, and he even manages to look slightly embarrassed when glancing down at his clothing when she mentions the hour and the cold. "Well, it ent nothin' compared to winters in Kildare." he ventures, with a bit of a shrug. "And I prefer being alone outside to being alone inside. Nature is fine company. But you're out in the cold too?"

Smacking her right wrist against her hip, Siobhan holds up her wand and even wiggles it back and forth a little. "I had the sense to cast a Warming Charm, first." Plus, you know, heavy coat! And boots! "My mum grew up in Eden, and she still complains about the cold in Balmorrow." But since Geography is most definitely not her strongpoint… Perhaps it's not the best comparison. If he doesn't flinch from it, she'll wave the same charm over him, one that seems to take away the bite of the chilly Scottish autumn air. "I, uh…" Somehow it seems weirder to tell him about her interest than it was to tell Rene. "I wanted to go see the Thestral herd." She pats her pocket and another crinkling plastic sound is heard. "Got treats and all."

If Cianan /had/ a heavy coat and boots he would totally wear it! So, he remains perfectly still when she casts the warming charm. And in fact seems to relax a bit once it's been cast. "Balmorrow you say?" His short forehead wrinkles a bit, trying to place that. "My Da has family over that way, I think. He's mentioned the place once. Years ago." But otherwise, he doesn't seem to have any knowledge over it. Thestral herds however, /that/ is enough to pique his interest. "Really? May I tag along? I won't be a bother I promise."

"Yeah, Balmorrow. Someone way back in my Da's family line did something important somewhere and the King gave 'em the land and titles." She shrugs. Being the youngest of six - and a daughter to boot - means that none of it passes to her, really. So see how much she cares! Still, it's family and she loves hers fiercely, so she doesn't seem overly put out to be discussing them. His wish to tag along, though, that makes her shift from foot to foot a bit awkwardly. "Um." One hand is raised to rub at the back of her neck. "Look, I've got no problem taking you with me, just … how much do you know about 'em? Thestrals, I mean."

Cianan just blinks at first, and then nods. There's something nagging at his expression, as if he'd like to say something. But he thinks the better of it and just bobs his head once in apparent acknowledgement of their talk on Balmorrow. "That they're hideously ugly. And, that only someone who has witnessed a death will see them. I'm curious to know if seeing a death in a vision is enough. I've had friends die, of course." As if everyone has friends of such a young age just… die. He says it just that casually. "But I haven't seen it up close and personal-like. Only in my, you know…" He twirls a finger at his forehead referring to the times that he acts like a total nutter.

Siobhan: the one professor in the world who has not only never had a single Divination lesson, but knows absolutely jack shit about the entire branch of magic. It's probably because of this that she latches first to the one part of the conversation she understands without a hitch. "Hey! They're not ugly at all. Gorgeous animals, they are. All black, like horses with wings but so much thinner." Okay, so Siobhan has a twisted sense of beauty. Not the weirdest thing about her by far. "Wait. You're the sleepwalker?" She eyes him critically for a moment, as if to judge whether or not that's the case. Just because she never had anyone point and go 'Hey, that's him!' doesn't mean she never heard the rumors. Siobhan and Hogwarts gossip were always tight. Suddenly, she beams. "Wicked! Come on!" And without thinking, she reaches down and grabs his wrist, tugging him along with her.

When her hand makes contact with his wrist, suddenly the world around him isn't the same, anymore. Cianan sees a flash of a visibly /livid/ Siobhan in her Slytherin uniform dueling with spells in the Armor Gallery. She's hit with a wash of a very trademark pale green light and goes very still. The light wraps around her body, but the vision ends before the results can be seen.

"I think you might fit in well with the goth crowd." Cianan decides, not above slipping muggle terminology into a conversation when it seems to fit. Her idea of beauty - emaciated black winged slick horses of death - well, hey, if the shoe fits. "I.. yeah. I'm the sleepwalker." he admits, warily. Expecting her to skedaddle right off and leave him there. And then he sees her reach for his wrist. But, it's like in slow motion because he just knows. /Knows/ that is a bad idea. And sure enough, when her fingers clasp against his skin he does the opposite of being hauled up to stand.

Instead, he goes -totally- limp and starts to slump down onto the stone with his eyes snapping open. "You're so angry, why are you so angry!?" He even tries to curl up into himself to ward against whatever it is he's seeing inside that head of his. "Wh-what is that green light. Why is it around you like that…" Whatever it is, it frightens him. And then, of course, his eyes close again.

Protective instincts never quite go away, not once they've been roused. When Cianan goes limp and then curls in on himself, Siobhan reacts without even thinking. Years and years of helping her own yearmates and then the younger ones through bad nightmares leave their mark. She's sitting on the stone beside him, now, not entirely sure how she got there. One arm reaches around his shoulders and then the other one moves up to grip his arm where there's a sleeve between them. The arm around his shoulders moves, that hand rubbing up and down his upper arm while a bunch of soothing nonsense falls out of her mouth. "Hey, easy… I'm not angry. S'not your fault your brain likes to show you weird shit." As a professor, she probably should remember to curb her language, but right now she's not thinking like a professor. "Green … light?" Most wizards only know one 'green light'. Siobhan knows two. Neither of them are good news.

The last thing Cianan is used to is being comforted. He's more like the the circus sideshow for people to point out. So quite honestly he has no idea how to deal with it and just starts gulping for air like someone dying of thirst would chug water. "Weird shit. Yeah. That's it. It's really weird shit and I don't want it." As if that will make it go away, he emphasizes the words heavily. But, with defeat in his voice. "You were were wearing uhm… a Slytherin uniform, and you were in the armory dueling." he explains, squinching his eyes closed, so he can see it better now that the vision itself has passed. "And then this pale green stuff kind of wrapped you up. And that's all I saw."

The air-gulping doesn't surprise her, really. It's not an uncommon reaction to being woken out of a nightmare. So she takes it in stride, never guessing that it's a reaction to her and not to the vision-thing. "We all do that to which we are most suited… Whether we want to or not." Her voice is quiet, there; though the cadence of the words isn't her own. Probably she's quoting something. Or someone. But what he says next makes her freeze, her blood turning to ice despite the warming charm. Her eyes slide closed and she swallows thickly, giving his shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "I'm the only one you saw, right?" This seems like an important point, somehow. A heavy sigh escapes. "That was the end of last term. I fought against some Death Eaters who'd come into the castle." A flash of pain that has nothing to do with her opponents that day makes her twitch. "Me and … and Auror Phoenix." She swallows hard again. "Sounds like you saw the Death Eater trying to kill me."

"Do I really seem suited to dealing with weird shit?" Cianan mutters, entirely ungrateful to be dealing with this gift of his; breath hitching on the word. He stubbornly holds back watering eyes though, gritting his teeth and glancing over sharply when she goes still. "Yes, you were the only one in the room. I.. so that was in the past? I saw the past and not something in the future?" That's, well, a bit new to him. But he can't help his relief. It's not a nice thing to be relieved about, but he *is*. Because he's not telling someone about something they won't believe. So all he can offer is a weak… "I'm sorry. That sounds… terrible. Horrible really. I wish… I wish my father had warned me about this. He didn't say anything about seeing the past. Nothing."

Siobhan lifts one shoulder and lets it fall in a shrug that he'll feel rather than see. "If you're the sleepwalking kid, then you've been dealing with it since you started school at least." Rumors spread like wildfire, after all. "And you haven't gone completely 'round the twist or killed anyone yet." Another shrug and a final squeeze of his shoulder before she drops her arms and shifts over to let him have his own space again. "So I'd say that's a pretty good mark of your ability to cope." This last is offered lightly, almost playfully. All of which disappears into silence as he continues. "I don't … " Sio shifts awkwardly, now. It's moments like this that make her question her right to be teaching at all. "I really don't know anything about Divination or whatever." There's clear chagrin in her voice. "But I can say it's a safe bet I'll never wear a school uniform again." One good thing about having graduated, at least. It's no longer a requirement. "And I did get hit with a curse like that in the Armor Gallery last term. So I'd say it's … at least a pretty safe bet that it was a past thing and not a future one?"

"And before. I dealt with it before school too." Cianan clarifies. Feeling the need. "Well, you teach Defense against the Dark Arts, so I guess it wouldn't be something you're over familiar with." the boy reasons, slowly sliding back in to baby vulcan mode. "I've been taking the Divination elective. And trying to study in my spare time. But I still don't get how it works. There's all these weird ways with cards and…" Ugh … "entrails and just crazy shit. But I don't do -any- of that." His shoulders slump a little, but he nods a quiet sort of acquiescence. "Guess I should wear gloves from now on, huh." Weak joke. -Weak-.

There's a lot Siobhan isn't overly familiar with. It bugs her, but there's not a lot she can do about it right this second. "I never took Divination," she admits. "Seemed like a bunch of silliness to me." She does have the grace to look a bit sheepish about that. "I always figured that stuff about Fate was all bollocks. That we all made our choices and that's what decided the outcome, not some … nebulous concept." Another of her newly learned words, 'nebulous' trips and gets a little stuck coming out of her mouth. "Gloves are one option, I guess." A rather wicked grin tugs at her mouth. "Or you could learn enough insults and hexes that no one would ever dare lay a hand on you." She's joking. Really. "Is it that bad, though? Like, that any skin-on-skin touch triggers a vision?" She shudders. "That's got to make snogging awkward."

"I imagine it would. Seem like a bunch of silliness, I mean. And if I -can- see the future, does that change or alter it in some way? That would mean that fate /is/ all bollocks. And all I see is the most probably outcome, based on current events, if I'm seeing the future. Or maybe I'm just crazy." he tacks on, returning her wicked grin with a crooked smile. "Hexes are a possibility. That was the first time I've had something happen because of touch, though I read that it could. Usually only with people you're real close to though. Or family. And being around the same people a lot; if something important is going to happen. And the really big things… that takes nothing at all, if it's big enough and the Seer is strong enough." He turns alternately pale and then bright red at the mention of /snogging/ though. "I, uh… yeah no. Girls never even get close enough to sit near me. I doubt that's gonna be an issue."

Siobhan looks a bit gobsmacked by this … glut of information. For a minute, all she can do is sit and blink. She's not particularly close to him and she'd have met him before if they were related, so … "Huh. Maybe it was my raw magic being weird again." She snaps her jaw shut with an audible click. That was not something she'd meant to let slip at all. "That's because pretty much everybody your age is a bit thick." Quick! Latch on to a new topic! "So long as girls are your thing, they should grow out of it in a year or so. If it's the boys you're after, though, some of them take forever to grow up." She grins, then. "I've got five brothers all older than me and they still act like idiots sometimes."

"Sorry. I've been reading all I can. And I… blurt things out." Since saying it fast is often the only way he can say anything at all! "Your raw magic?" He isn't clueing in there, which is probably a good thing. "So you're also saying if I like girls not to act like your brothers?" Cianan considers this a viable translation, though he is likely becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the conversation. And the situation. I mean, what is -wrong- with this woman that she hasn't left yet? "I should… I should go write this down. I'm keeping track of it all, this year." he mumbles, shoving himself off of his rock perch and then looking up at the Professor with a grateful expression. "Thank you, ma'am. For being kind. I won't tell anybody what I saw."

Siobhan laughs at that. It's not a pretty, musical laugh or anything so graceful, but it's a genuine sound of enjoyment and it's contagious. "S'alright, mate. My brother Pete's the same way. He'd find something interesting and he'd get so excited telling us about it that it'd all sort of come out in a jumble." She pauses, struck by something. "He was a 'Claw, too. So maybe it's a House trait." It's a much more harmless one than most people assume the Slytherins share. The discomfort doesn't escape her, but she doesn't stop his going. "Don't stress so much, yeah? You're a lot more normal than you think you are." Her eerie insight into people can be a bit off-putting, but she means well. At least until it's broken with a laugh. "Actually, I don't mind if you tell the whole school." The laugh dies down into another wicked, wolfish grin. "After all, I bet my classes would be a bit easier to handle if they though their professor walked away from the Killing Curse." Oh, rumor; how wonderful thou canst sometimes be.

"A bunch of studious ramblers. Not too bad a trait to all share." Cianan can't help but agree. "I'll remember you said that, next time I'm caught sleepwalking down the hall or something." He doesn't seem convinced of his normalcy apparently. Which, in itself, is probably rather normal. As to telling the school… he flashes a real smile there. "I'll start the rumor right away then." And he salutes, before heading back inside, hands stuffed into pockets and a brooding expression on his face.

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