Avery family (re: Varian's) cottage, Hogsmeade
Hanging out with Lily for most of the day had proved to be a welcome distraction from.. certain things, for a little while, but it had also given Severus a great deal to think about. On many things. But what stuck out most in his mind at the moment, as he stepped into the
cottage and immediately tensing up for fear of that runt of a dog running over and attacking him, what stuck out most was the small bit of conversation where the two of them had talked briefly about each other's respective current 'relationships' and the people therein. Mostly about the 'jealous boyfriend/girlfriend' comments, and how he had been feeling in the last almost week he'd felt that that comment wasn't at all true in his situation, and how tense and uncomfortable his living situation had been, and how his self confidence had sunk drastically again...
Something had to change. Severus heard the faint sound of the WWN coming from the kitchen - news - and noted as he slowly closed the door that there was no sign of Varian at the moment except for the fact that his beloved guitar was laying on the futon carefully as if he'd just gotten up and left it just moments before. There were a few hand written pages of something laid out beside the guitar (possibly chords or something), and there was no sight of the dog, either - probably a good thing, because if it had been sniffing around Varian's guitar, guaranteed the man would flip. Without even thinking about what he was doing, Severus went over to the futon immediately and started to pick up the guitar to put it away - just in case the mutt decided it would be a good thing to drool on or chew on - looking over his shoulder in a nervous fashion to keep a look out for said beastie. Call him paranoid, but he had good reason to be.
There was the sounds of creaking from the ceiling, evidence that there was movement in the attic above. The creaking moved along the length of the cottage, followed by the heavy thumps of feet on the spiral wooden steps leading down to the rear of the cottage by the kitchen door. Carrying a box of leather accordian files and parchment rolls, Varian Avery seemed determined to not be so awkward carrying the box down steep stairs as he had been. He moved the few short steps to the table that had been moved out of the kitchen and into the main part of the cottage, laying the box down. Glass bottles rattled inside the box as it hit a hard surface, and Varian wiped his forehead witht he back of his hand. He then turned, intending on going back t the bed when he froze, seeing Severus standing there, and stared.
Watching dumbly as Varian emerged from the stairwell, dropped a box on the kitchen table (and what it was doing in the main room, Severus was very curious to know...), and turned to stare at him, Severus found that he felt very self conscious for some reason and just stared back. A moment later, he glanced down, and then realized that he still held the guitar - right, he'd been about to put it away. Hastily, Severus put it back down on the bed, face flushing in embarrassment, and he glanced around everywhere but at the petite man standing across from
"I, um... Didn't want the dog to wreck your guitar, didn't know how long you were going to.. be," Severus explained quietly, crossing his arms in front of him, an unconsciously defensive, protective gesture. God, this was so.. uncomfortable.
"The ...DOG...is at the groomer's." Varian replied as he moved back to the box and started to pull the ledgers out. He then pulled out a few small bottles, each one containing a small blue flower. If that was truth or false, and the dog was elsewhere, Varian never gave any inclination. As true per British standards, his facial expression seemed a frown, but could of been one of a number of emotions. "I was writing when I was gently reminded about all of this." He then arranged the bottles thus so.
At the moment, Severus was just happy to hear that the dog was away, and a good bit of tension seemed to leave him in a barely audible sigh as he sat down slowly on the futon, arms dropping to his sides to grip at the edges of the mattress. He watched Varian arrange the bottle for a long moment before finally saying very quietly, "I need to talk to you... about that. It's kind of important." Do you think maybe you can spare five minutes for me now that you're not being distracted by that stupid rat-dog? he thought snidely to himself, an obvious frown on his face at that.
"If you mean the dog, I already know," Varian stated, and leaned his hand on the table and stared hard at Severus. "You don't like the dog, you have a fear of dogs, I know. The fact you keep focusing on it is making me question. The dog was a gift, I never was allowed a dog when I lived at Father's house, and it was a dream come true." Varian told him, looking solumn. "So yes, what do you need to talk about?"
Severus looked at him in surprise for a second, and then looked away, biting his lip nervously. The explanation Varian had given sounded painfully like how he'd grown up. Never allowed to have toys, never allowed to have pets. He'd been in pretty much the same boat whenCorinna and Walden had given him Joey - a couple years ago now... But still, one thing about what Varian had said bothered him.
"I don't think you really get it, Varian," Severus said softly, trying not to feel confused and guilty about this. He looked up again then, and shoved down the apprehension he felt, as he started to push himself up to stand, coming to a decision as he started to say a bit more forcefully, "It's not just a fear, it's that it's seriously affecting me. I haven't been here that much lately, and when I am, I'm on edge the whole damn time! Or didn't you even notice?" Shaking his head, Severus tried to figure out how he was going to go about saying this, and found himself starting to pace as he thought.
Varian stood there, his eyes moving back and forth as he followed Severus's pacing. His frown turned down even more, showing tru signs of displeasure. The side of his nose flinched, and he cleared his throat slightly before standing fully and crossed his arms over his chest. "Of course I get it, Severus." Varian stated, partially trying to cut him off but didn't. "You don't like my dog, the dog I always wanted since I was seven. The very dog Walden gave me for free, I may add. Do you even know how much a purebred like this one costs?!? You're on edge, I'm on edge!"
Varian turned his back to Severus and started going through the ledger, cataloguing the floral. "Evan needs me to finish the inventory and I have to transport the box to him within the hour. If I had known, I would of started it earlier...Good thing he messaged me via the fireplace....or else I would of completly forgotten...." Varian was mostly speaking to himself at this point, his hands shaking slightly, not out of his 'medical' condition (even though he had refused to remove the plastic hospital bracelet from Niagara) but out of nervousness. He didn't like talking about.....feelings....and he knew Severus was fed up witht he dog. Any idiot could see that. He wasn't personally ready to confront things, and had such anxiety over 'relationships' that he was rubbish at even attempting to talk about it, even if he did consider Severus his most favourite and precious 'partner.'
"Walden?!" Severus stopped where he was and turned to stare at Varian's back, hoping that he'd just mis-heard. "Please, Varian, for the love of God, tell me you didn't just say Walden gave you that dog." God damn it, Walden knew how he felt about dogs. He KNEW. And still he'd - "God damn him! He fucking knew, Varian!"
That made Varian jump, literally, knocking over several of the small jars at the sametime. One of which rolled on its side until it reached the edge of the table, and the next sound, under Severus's yelling, was the small tinker of the glass smashing. The perserved flower practically fell apart, its petals scattered over the floor. Varian looked un-settled, like he had just jumped out of his skin or was a cat who just lost eight of its nine lives. "Sorry!?" He asked, now having to shout out just to let himself be heard above Severus. When he heard Severus say his name, the now very confused Varian only shouted "WHAT?? Knew!? What?? Yes, he did...?" Varian threw Severus a strange look and immediatly dived to pick up the delicate flower, and immediatly recoiled his hand. A small hiss, a small quick bit of red, and his finger disappeared inside his mouth as he carefully picked up a dangling floral petal from the floor with his left hand.
Oh great - he knew those flowers had been hard to find, and now he'd gone and quite possibly caused one to be ruined because he couldn't control his temper. Which, of course, only made him more frustrated, and he shouted, "He fucking knew my issue with dogs, you idiot, what the hell did you think I meant?!"
Almost immediately afterwards, Severus felt bad for yelling, and he strode over quickly, saying tensely, "Let me see-" as he reached out for Varian's injured hand.
Varian's head jerked up when Severus let out another round of venting, his words flying at the older man like bullets. At the part of "you idiot," Varian's hand pulled away from his mouth and his eyes widened for a second and then narrowed. "What did I mean?" He stated, his voice very flat and hovering on the depth of anger. When Severus reached for him he shot his arm back, as if recoiling from his barely-there touch. "You're thinking he gave me the dog just to bugger you, drive you insane." Varian said and immediatly started to pluck the petals from the floor, his cheek twitching everytime his sensitive skin scrapped a glass shard or bit. The light dust of broken glass sparkled from his fingertips as he dropped the petals into an intact vile. "You think everyone is out to get you, that you are the most popular hated man in the UK, and its everyone's goal to undermine you. To hurt YOU, to ruin YOU." Varian said, blinking rapidly as he swept his arms across the floor, plucking a petal here, there, by his foot, by the bottom of table leg. One last one...next to Severus's left boot. "It was FUNNY in Niagara, it was humourus back in school with Potter and his friends. Now its just down right obnoxious." He then swept up to stand, and placed everything back into the box, neatly. The glass inside chinked as he placed them a little more roguhly than needed.
"It took MONTHS to collect these specimens. Rodolphus spent a lot of bloody money to import them from the Tibetian shrine, and its the task to make sure they arrive INTACT to alchemist. My GOD, you can't even let me do that! And the only reason I..yes I have to do this is because the IDIOT Regulus has decided to practically QUIT his duties."
At Varian's refusal to let him even attempt to make up for his yelling, Severus stepped back a bit, opening his mouth to protest Varian's accusation. He knew Walden was petty enough to do something like that. He had always been like that. But no, his lover didn't even give him a chance to try to explain, and at hearing that the man thought he was obnoxious, all desire to try and make it up to the other man flew out the window. "Fine, then!" Severus spat out, spinning on his heel and going over to grab his trunk and shoulder bag, opening both up on the floor and stalking around the room to start gathering his things. "Fine! Do your fucking job, then, don't let me stop you! Oh, and since I'm being so fucking obnoxious, here's a solution, then! I'll just LEAVE!" The last was said as he threw the last article of clothing into his school trunk, and he grabbed a spiked collar he owned (and hadn't worn for a year or so) from where it had been hiding under the futon - and dropped it with a grimace a second later. It looked like it had been chewed on a bit.
Varian just threw Severus a rather cold glance and then rolled his eyes. He chocked it up to another one of Severus's 'acts,' being a highly emotional unstable person. "So you're leaving, I see." He made the cool yet obvious observation as he stood there, watching but not really watching. "You'll be back, in what, a day. Maybe two. You always come back." He added and started for the fireplace to put something behind the loose brick, a hiding place.
"NOT this time," Severus snapped, slipping the strap of his shoulder bag over his head before he stood up. He threw Varian an angry look, and stalked towards the door, gathering up the jackets he'd left by the doorway, and going back to lay them carefully in the trunk, slamming the lid a moment later. He pulled his wand and flicked it towards the trunk, shrinking it to a comfortable size before standing up again. "You go ahead and think that, love," Severus said angrily, a hurt under-tone running through his words as he started back out the door, yanking it open roughly.
Varian barely watched him as he settled the small pouch behind the brick and re-placed it, setting it in its mortar bed. He then picked up his box and flicked a handful of floo powder into the fireplace, causing the flames to rise up. "Right. See you for breakfast," Varian stated, and glanced over. He seemed unconcerned, or at least, tried to keep that impression. He did glance over the packed trunk. "Hrm," he snorted.
"Fuck off," Severus said quietly, almost to himself, as he shot a hurt glance back at Varian before stepping out the door, a feeling of depression welling up inside him at the fact that Varian wasn't even taking his announcement seriously. He fumbled around behind him for the doorknob with one hand, a fierce frown on his face as he slammed the door behind him.
Varian, almost the sametime Snape escaped the cottage, stepped into the fireplace, calling out the name of his destination. He turned to look back, and glimpsed the very last bit of Severus leaving, dragging his trunk behind him. Varian felt a jolt of paranoia sweep over him and he let out a yell, mostly to say "Wait, stop!" only his voice wobbled and drowned as his visual of the cottage melted away in the same wobble.