Bagsy! He cries, unaccustomedly cheerful as he snatches up the Slytherin tile.
''Bagsy'?' She asks in frank disbelief, wondering if one of the Perception Charms has done a number on her hearing and if so whether the Matron can sort it...
Slightly less sure, enough so that he casts a surreptitious look over his shoulders to make sure there are no students in sight, he repeats, Bagsy, with a still firm nod.
'You can't bagsy the Slytherin plaque,' she objects, still not over the fact he'd done so to begin with.
Clearly I can, ta, particularly in the absence of youthful ears. He beams not unlike Minerva when successful at mousing. It's a pity, really, the woman often doesn't seem to derive as much satisfaction from being human. Unlike most, however, she has other options.
'Speaking of youthful, how old are you? I haven't called bagsies since...' She trails off and he looks at her expectantly, brow raised in silent query. She just blushes and completes the thought, 'Well, it's been a while.'
He grins at her slight discomfort. Pre-O.W.L.s then? He smirks.
'Anyhow, it's not like you're the only Slytherin present,' she concludes, reaching for the tile herself.
You don't seriously mean to tell me that you feel your claim to it is stronger than mine as Head of House? If only as a matter of principle, she's bloody well prepared to argue it is, yes, not that he doesn't have a point...
Minerva, who has been quietly watching their exchange, chooses the moment to get her barb in, As opposed to the Heir of Slytherin, say? Surely he - or she - would be more entitled?
That's far from fair, Minerva. Even assuming there is such a person... It really has been a... challenging term to be a Slytherin.
A certain ginger shares the sentiment only too much. Instead of arguing with the Deputy Headmistress, she shows her support by immediately relinquishing her hold on the piece, 'It's all yours.' The clear advantage of saying that to a fellow Slytherin is he takes her meaning at once. A faint nod acknowledges his appreciation of the small demonstration of loyalty.
'Shall we set to assembling it then?' She asks her co-workers.
I'm happy to just hold onto my own tile. Filius, he calls to the man still seated at the table, can I interest you in the Ravenclaw plaque?
Filius, lost in discussion (not a particularly fruitful one, but it's the holidays, after all...) with his fellow Ravenclaw Sybill, hasn't been following the conversation. What's that you say, Severus? Oh! Gladly. Thank you very much. Sybill already begins securing their bounty before the words are out of his mouth.
I'd ask Pomona, Severus snarks to his Gryffindor counterpart, but as you've been so keen to have me understand, she is unable to weigh in on the topic.
And presumably feels badly about it.
Minerva just gives him one of her looks. He suspects it's one she reserves just for him, which provides an odd comfort of sorts. Say what you will, they're family. Often dysfunctional, to be sure, but then that aligns nicely with his thoughts on family dynamics anyway.
Nonsense, comes the prim reply. He just grins. Filius, I'm afraid you'll need to return it to the pile; we have something to build. It's telling that she doesn't even bother trying to reason with the Divination Instructor.
Filius is an eminently agreeable sort who upon sighting the remaining pieces is only too willing to return his, and soon joins the others in a communal build.
Well it's certainly... Minerva pauses, unsure what it certainly is.
Fair, supplies Filius. Assuming that's of consequence, he adds, sounding uncertain if it actually is.
Severus doesn't chuckle, merely lifts his brow again, Yes, I could see where the word might have escaped you, Minerva. Presupposing the concept hadn't.
A certain ginger has to fight not to laugh, and is now chewing her lip rather brutally in a bid to hold back her fit of good humour. Severus, although pleased at the nature of the response, takes slight issue with its manifestation. Some days he thinks she makes a positively rubbish Slytherin. Truthfully, he'd argue her ambition, insightful analyses of situations, and considered actions wouldn't allow her to be sorted elsewhere, but it is hard to believe she hadn't had more of these tells drummed out of her during her school years in the dungeons. He wonders that he hadn't noticed it more at the time.
Aside from 'fair', does anyone know what it actually is?
'I do,' the DADA apprentice replies. That's greeted by looks of surprise. 'I read the product description,' she clarifies with a shrug.
Care to share with the rest of the class then?
She hesitates. 'It might spoil tomorrow's build.'
Ah. In that case, right you are, my dear. Right you are. Tomorrow is soon enough, we'll discover it together then, Filius pats her hand reassuringly, although it's a bit of a reach to do so. He's used to it, and his avuncular tendencies override any potential concerns for his physical comfort.
And in the meantime, can I interest anyone in some elf wine? He offers the rest.
Unsurprisingly, Sybill is amongst the first of the takers.