shootstars: (Default)
there's a river running wild. ([personal profile] shootstars) wrote in [community profile] bakerstreet2017-02-16 12:04 pm

the picture prompt meme

the picture prompt meme

I — Comment with your character.
II — Others will leave a picture (or two, or three...)
III — Reply to them with a setting based on the picture.
IV — Link to any pictures that are NSFW, please.
V — Be aware that this meme will be image-heavy.

Link to an image:

Embed image in your reply:

Image width and height:

darkart: (i won't need somebody)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-16 11:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Seventh year potions is the most interesting class of Severus' entire Hogwarts career, he thinks, and yet it still barely registers on his Genuinely Interesting Magic scale. Writing a graduate research paper as a way to propel himself past the scope of NEWTs for potential apprenticeships after leaving school at least keeps him occupied. (You know, like there's going to be actual room for that in a society as closed and suffocating, or like they're not all going to be neck-deep in war. Whatever.)

There are only so many really good potion books in the Restricted Section and, fortunately, Severus was able to bully convince Slughorn to give him permission to check out all of them. The professor warned him that another student was looking to use one today, but Severus had just shut the common room door on the man. Spineless, easily manipulated arsehole. It's no wonder half the Slytherin students are already under direct control of the Dark Lord with that as their head of house.

It's near three in the morning, the library's closed, and Severus is alone in the Slytherin common room, writing. He doesn't expect a knock at the door, and he really doesn't expect to find Lily Evans on the other side when he finally gets up to see what the hell's going on. Stunned into temporary silence, he just looks at her.
levans: (8)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-17 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
She'd been asleep already, although not for that long. She probably could have done without the stupid book. It was just knowing that it was Severus that had it, and that he had every single other book on the subject, infuriated her. She could have waited, tried to finish her essay the next day. It wasn't due until next week.

But she couldn't sleep. It was on her mind. It was just so... bloody selfish of him. Why she shouldn't be able to let it go, she didn't know. No doubt James would be irritated to find out that she went to the dungeons in the middle of the night, but being Head Girl had to have some privileges, after all.

She folded her arms over her chest, hiding the fact that she was heartily relieved that Severus was the one to answer the door. "You're up late," she said, frowning. "I do hope you're fully utilizing every single potion book that you've been hoarding."
darkart: (we cannot tolerate)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-17 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
Believe it or not, this is the first time in well over a year that Severus has so much as looked at her head-on. She'd told him to leave her alone, so he's left her alone; it was a humiliating struggle to train himself out of letting his attention drift to her, pathetic and desperate, but he's never been a stranger to being hated and it's a tangible thing. Knowing he was disturbing her so intensely was as gutting as being told to fuck off in the first place, somehow.

"Besides the one I've got wedged under the desk leg," he says after a moment, low-toned and deadpan. His expression is a neutral mask, and there's no trace of that little boy who couldn't ever find the right words, who blurted out any awkward or strange thing without consideration due to a lack of proper socialization. Even the cadence of his speech is different, like he's performed an exorcism of his life in the English midlands from his entire being.

He wonders sometimes if they hurt the same after the split. If she felt like he did, carved, a part of himself missing with no hope of regaining it; but then he thinks of Potter and Black and the way the lot of them, despite having to ensure it's 4-on-1 these days, still corner him, still torture him at any available opportunity. Of how happy he hears she is with them. With Potter. And he thinks she must have felt like she was freeing herself from an anchor.
levans: (24)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-17 03:23 am (UTC)(link)
"Is that supposed to be funny, Severus?" she asked, still scowling. It had been a long time since she'd spoken to him. He looked different. Harder. She missed her friend so acutely just then. She hated the fact that he'd turned away from her so completely, and yet he'd acted like she was the one who'd betrayed him. Now it seemed like he was completely unmoved by her presence at his door. She had no idea why she'd even bother to come.

But some little part of her had hoped that enough time had passed, that they might cobble together something from the ashes of hurt that surely must have settled by now. She wanted to forgive him. She wanted to be able to have a conversation. Someday. Maybe in the future. It didn't have to be right that minute. Just some indication that not all was lost forever.

"If you could manage to part with just the one, I'll be on my way and leave you to it," she said. "I'm sure you've got more important things to do. Plots to mastermind and whatnot."
darkart: (i believed in died)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-17 04:15 am (UTC)(link)
The thing is, Severus doesn't see it as a betrayal. Just a heartbreak. He's had time and distance and he understands why she did what she did, and more importantly, he understands what he did. Not in one moment, but over the course of years. This is him, though. This is the house he's been sorted into, this is what he's good at, this is the social circle that's decided to accept him. Maybe there's a world out there where he's strong enough to tolerate being abused at home and in the Hogwarts corridors and in his dormitory. But not here.

Severus is a corrosive toxin and he's where he belongs. Away from anything worthwhile being destroyed.

He gives her a bit of a look, then turns and heads back down the dark hallway to the common room proper. "In or out," his voice calls over his shoulder, "Just shut the door."
levans: (3)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-17 04:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Lily hadn't stepped foot in Slytherin since 5th year. Of course it hadn't changed at all, but it was eerie to be there so late at night. She crossed the threshold, though, and closed the heavy door behind her. She followed after him, instantly reminded of the times she'd snuck in as a child, when they would study together and play exploding snap on the floor of his room until his roommate was due back. Times they would never get back. A home they could never return to.

"What are you working on so late into the night?" she asked. She might expect him to be fiddling about over a cauldron into the wee hours, but he wasn't brewing anything in the common room.
darkart: (if you don't know)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-17 09:08 pm (UTC)(link)
A bit surprised she's followed him, Severus spares a glance as he makes his way to the desk in the center of the room, but his expression remains distant. Slytherin is as ever, stone and dark wood and black leather, the lamp lights taking on a blue-green reflective glow from the large windows to the lake. Sometimes the current or something swimming by creates an odd, watery sound, but besides that, the common room is gravelike in its silence.

"Just writing," he says with a verbal shrug, coming up to the pile of books and notes. "It's quiet at this hour." Severus picks up the tome Slughorn had mentioned a student wanted - interesting he hadn't mentioned which student - and flips through it to the first marker he's put in. He'd like a few excerpts for reference, still, even though the bulk of his research is done. He makes sure he's got enough blank parchment and then silently casts a copying charm as he runs fingertips over one page then the next, quick and almost thoughtless. You're definitely not supposed to copy bits of any restricted books given the legality of things that may or may not be in them - but it's a nice little charm, at any rate, smoothly sliding around the book's protections. Without looking up he says: "If the Head Girl is going to narc on me for this I'd appreciate knowing ahead of time."
levans: (16)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-17 10:16 pm (UTC)(link)
It really was quiet. Eerily so. She leaned her hip against the desk, looking over the staggering stack of books he was working with. In some ways, the entire concept of a 'restricted section' rubbed her the wrong way. She could understand it for first years, second and third years, even. But at some point a place that meant to function as a school ought to stop protecting its students from knowledge. And so, in her mind, there was nothing immoral about copying bits of a book.

"The Head Girl is asleep in her bed, where she ought to be," she said quietly. "And I have no idea what you're even referring to, Severus," she said, glancing towards the ceiling as if she's turning a literal blind eye to his rulebreaking. It was the most words they'd exchanged in over a year, and she still missed him terribly.
darkart: (in the boiler room)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-17 11:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Just finish and give her the book, he tells himself, ignoring the thought that were any of his housemates awake, he'd be expected to have slammed the door in her face and not bothered sharing the material, Head Girl or not. But even if it were someone besides Lily, Severus has lost the ability to give a fuck about house rivalry as it concerns him personally.

More pressing things happening out in the world, aren't there.

"Can't sleep?" he asks without looking up, still apparently engrossed in his copying charm. He cringes internally. Stop it, Severus.
levans: (8)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-18 04:08 pm (UTC)(link)
As Severus wasn't looking at her, it gave Lily an opportunity to watch him. There was always an air of loneliness around him, even when he was in the thick of his nasty little mates. She wanted to reach out to him, fix that because she knew she'd done it before. No matter how he'd hurt her, she still cared about him and wanted to believe there was good in him still.

"No. There's a lot on my mind at the moment," she said. It was vague, but it was true. She had overheard Sirius Black teasing James about picking out a ring, and it had spooked her. She'd thrown herself into her assignments, and checking on first years and prefects, and generally making a head girl pest of herself all around, everywhere but near the Gryffindor common room.

She moved a little closer and had a glance at what he was copying. It was quite advanced stuff, but nothing that surprising for Severus. She'd always admired his dedication to learning. Remus was quite like that, as well, but not on Severus' level. Remus was the sort to be delighted by new knowledge like a child with a toy. Severus pursued it like a shark smelling blood in the water. Their estrangement clearly hadn't changed that. "You're going to need to get some sleep eventually, too, you know."
darkart: (was worse than having)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-18 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
In a way, Severus is deeply jealous of James Potter. Not over the expected angle: he doesn't covet his relationship with Lily, because Severus isn't the sort to badger a woman into it (is that what she wanted? should he have persisted when she said no?). But because Potter - and Black alongside him - has figured out how to live life doing whatever awful thing he likes and not be held accountable for his behavior. Every cutting spell, every cruel word, and he's still lauded as the ideal man. Is it simply because he's a Gryffindor, or is it also because he's rich, handsome, and pureblooded?

It's the same in all four houses, all walks of like. Everyone is a monster. Severus prefers his without the pretense.

He's finished with his copying. He closes the book, paper snapping together with a sound that doesn't echo in the quiet room. Severus looks up, his black eyes meeting her green ones as he hands the book over.

"There's a lot on my mind at the moment."

No sleep for him, either.
levans: (13)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-20 03:22 pm (UTC)(link)
So there they were, at an impasse as usual. She accepted the book, gazing levelly back at him. She wanted to know what was on his mind, but she doubted he'd tell her. She equally doubted that he'd want to know what was on her mind. There was a time when she could have told him her concerns. There was a time when no subject was off the table.

But the fact was, James Potter had changed. Something had happened that had altered his attitude. It hadn't been easy for her to see it, either, but he'd called her out on it, accused her of extending second chances to everyone but him. Of course that wasn't true, but everyone was burdened with their own selfish world view. She'd examined things differently, tried to assess if she was being unfair, and she'd found that Potter was... more grown up. When he'd become Head Boy, he'd started to take things seriously. He'd even chastised his mates a time or two.

If anything, reconsidering James Potter had made Lily wonder if she was being too hard on Severus. Sticks and stones, after all. It had just hurt so terribly at the time. There were so many horrible levels to the insult, but... she might have read too much into it. It could very well have been his simple attempt to survive in the house he was lumped in with.

And so she took a chance, fully expecting it to backfire. "I'll listen to yours if you want to listen to mine."
darkart: (life is change)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-20 07:14 pm (UTC)(link)
Something shifts in his gaze like the glint on a knife's edge and he looks at her, assessing something unseen. He never used to look at people like this - not her, not anyone. His tone is stinging:

"So I can hear what ails me regurgitated back next time I'm cornered on all sides?"

It'll be a slow-motion backfire, perhaps. For if ever there were something so pathetically laughable it's James Potter changing. Superficially to get into Lily's knickers, perhaps, but he still seeks out Severus to terrorize when her back's turned. That's not changing, that's gaming the system, and gaming the system is something rich pureblood boys are born into with ease, a fact Severus is intimately familiar with after spending so much time sheltered by one. Perversely he understands Potter's compulsion to violence, too, and why he can't repress it fully even while being Head Boy. Not that, for the record, Severus is fully cognizant of the act and the way the four of them are complicit in Potter's double life. He thinks Lily knows and that, if she's consenting to relations with the fucker at this point, that she approves.

Before Lily can respond, he cuts in with more. "Eileen's died."

She knew his mother a little, once.
levans: (24)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-20 08:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Lily was thrown by the first comment. It hurt almost as much as being called 'mudblood' that he would doubt her, that she would violate his trust. If she had any awareness of James and his friends continuing to torment Severus, she certainly wouldn't approve of it, but as he'd reprimanded her quite robustly for intervening on his behalf the last time, her actions to stop it would more likely be through official channels, rather than taking things into her own hands. However, she was unaware of any such incidents.

As for relations, if she knew his thoughts on that matter she might slap his face.

But any response she might have had to his barb was cut off by his second statement. She gasped a little and put her hand over her mouth for a moment. "Severus... what happened?" Whatever he felt about his mother, she was still his mother. Lily knew only too well that he had no affection for his father.
darkart: (it's a job)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-20 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Severus can only form opinions based on the reality he experiences.

Eileen is - was - a complicated figure in Severus's life. A victim as much as her son, but a culpable one. She was a witch. She could have gotten them out of there at any time, she could have done any number of things to Tobias to keep him in line. The painful mystery of why she stayed and why she forced Severus to be subjected to the abuse alongside her is one he'll never solve. He remembers Mr and Mrs Evans and the way he observed their loving family with mingled fascination and disbelief. Something alien.

For a time, he just looks at Lily.

"You wanted me to leave you alone," he says after a little while.
levans: (14)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-21 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
"Technically I meant what happened to your mother," she said, frowning a little. As she was there and they were having a conversation, she thought it was sort of implied that she didn't particularly want to be left alone, especially as she'd sought him out in the middle of the night. "You hurt me. Worse than I'd ever been hurt before. Do you understand that people who don't matter to you have no power to hurt you, Severus?" If she didn't care about him so much, he wouldn't still have such a hold on her. She'd tried to set it aside, move on, but she still worried about him, watched him from a distance.

She took a deep breath and exhaled. "I'm sorry about your mother. I know your relationship was complicated, but still." She doubted that any of his so-called friends gave a tinker's curse about Severus' feelings about that or anything else. Severus was bright and talented and clever. He was a prime target for someone to take advantage of, and she wished she could be someone he could turn to. But she didn't think he would want that anymore, despite how much she thought he needed it.
darkart: (how to be what you want)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-21 10:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Lily takes his observation further than he intended - or maybe just slightly off-course. He means he's surprised at her offer to talk, hell, surprised she came down here at all, given what she demanded of him.

"I know." Severus looks at her, this time a bit oddly. The inside edges of his eyebrows knit together slightly in the beginnings of a frown. "You might recall I apologized."

About a hundred times. He slept outside the entrance to Gryffindor common room to practically beg her forgiveness. How could he not know he hurt her? Half his own blood is muggle; he knows, he knows. She was the only person who'd ever been kind to him and in a flash of weakness, terrified and angry, he lashed out. A caustic combination of self-hate and helplessness and-- yes, in the moment, a part of him had wanted to hurt her. A dark and awful part of him he hasn't figured out how to remove, that's jealous of the way her parents love her and how beautiful she is and how easy she made it into the right house and the right social circle. It's difficult for him to sound sincere now years later, what with her having so uniformly rejected all of his honest attempts to make amends.

His justifications aren't any good, but they're human.

"Thanks." Slightly deadpan over the condolences.
levans: (16)

[personal profile] levans 2017-02-23 04:24 pm (UTC)(link)
She should have known this would not go smoothly. She wasn't even sure why she was bothering trying to fix something so thoroughly shattered, except for the fact that she often felt like she was existing in an echo chamber of people who agreed with each other about everything. Or maybe it was just the mutual admiration society of Potter, Black, Lupin, and Pettigrew. The most impartial of them was Remus, and only just. She missed Severus. She missed hearing another perspective on life in general.

"Yes. I remember every one of your exhaustive apologies. Perhaps I should have accepted one when they were still on the table." She sighed a little. "I thought the only cure was to remove myself from... your reach. But now there's an empty space." It still hurt if she thought about it too hard, but she didn't have to now. It was so far in the past that it was frosted over with haze of time and distance. She could almost believe it was something she'd only heard about, or that had happened to someone else. More importantly, she wanted to believe that.
darkart: (the fuck am i holding)

[personal profile] darkart 2017-02-24 12:33 am (UTC)(link)
A more pronounced frown twitches over his face, that stoic facade shifting in small degrees to a real person. This is getting under his skin-- in one way or another.


He doesn't sound accusatory, just frustrated. How can she be saying this now, especially when she still thinks of him as - what, an illness? Not that he blames her, honestly; Severus loves Lily (even if he's currently struggling with being able to recognize that emotion for what it is, and will continue to for a few years yet), but he understands why she pushed him away. If he can't remake himself for her, he can't expect her to remake herself for him, no matter how much this whole mess has hurt.

Severus has spent so long building a wall around the pain of losing her that to have it confronted so casually is difficult to process. This encounter suddenly feels surreal.

"I haven't changed. You have to know that."

He almost sounds sorry.