(1938-12-07) Sword and Shield of Half-Truth
Details for Sword and Shield of Half-Truth
Summary: After the lengthy scene in the Leaky Cauldron, Silas and Genevive seek some alone time. Truths are revealed, a pact is made, and both get a greater taste of honesty than they might have bargained for.
Date: 7 December, 1938
Location: Central High Street, Hogsmeade
Related: Mistletoe & Butterbeer

This is the main street and venue for Hogsmeade Village, the central portion of High Street. The street is always occupied by someone either out for a walk, loitering, or tidying up the outside of their business. OPEN signs hang in windows, shutters and drapes are open wide so display windows can be peered into to view some of the shop's wares. Bustling with life the forest surrounding the village is as active with wildlife as the village is with civilization, however quaint and country it might be. All of the buildings along High Street are very acute when it comes to their roofs. Each roof outfitted with one or more extremely tall brick chimneys that sometimes are twice the height as the actual building.

Jenny stepped out into the fresh evening air and took a deep breath for the crisp smoke free nature of it. Though her shoulders were still threatening to shake from the laughter that had carried her out the door. A few steps ahead of Silas, for her running in fear of having the last word stolen away, she turned about to face him, walking backwards so that she could still make eye contact.
"That? That was fantastic. I can't believe she kissed him and of course, he tried to make something of it. Although to be fair, I think it would have been just as amusing if the pair of you had kissed instead," the little chaser teased.

Silas shook his head in disbelief as he, too exited, although his own reaction, while tempered with mirth, is also a bit shaken. The boy doesn't do crowds often; there are simply far too many interactions to keep track of and be certain of.
However, at the suggestion of the two kissing, he does chuckle, "I don't know him well enough… frankly had that not been the case I might have just done it to shock her. But sadly I was afraid I'd lose at least an arm if I did. Sadly, her fantasies must remain unfulfilled."
Rushing to catch back up with Jenny, Silas sighs, "Thank you, by the way, for catching my hint… I was about done for in there."

"And you think often about fulfilling the Prefect's fantasies, do you Sy?" There was a gentle tease to Jenny's tone, her lips twisted up into a grin as she watched him; even going so far as to reach out and offer a playful poke towards his ribs.
"Not an arm. Maybe a leg. A few fingers, a couple of toes." Wink. Giggle. But then her expression turned more subdued, at his thanks and her smile softened; for all that it was tempered in confusion.
"Done for? You seemed like you were perfectly fine to me. Is everything okay? Did I make you uncomfortable? Was it when I used you as a chair? I can not do that again, if you'd rather." But occasionally, Jenny liked for little rumors to reach her Mother's ears. After all, if she was trying to see herself situated then, there was no need to question anything at all, even if those rumors were complete and total lies.

Silas laughs, batting at her playful hands, even as they began to walk somewhat aimlessly through the streets, enjoying the night air, "No, no, I don't even consider them, aside from when they suddenly show their face in public,that is." He grins, leaning in to her a bit to return the play, "And no, you did nothing wrong. I rather enjoyed watching all the raised brows from those watching. And you're practically light enough I hardly noticed."
Taking a deep breath, "No… it was simply… so many personalities to watch, to interact with, to try to weigh every response for. It's… an exercise in endurance. I'd much rather a party I can be anonymous in, or simple, one-on-one interactions, like this. With someone I don't have to perform for."

"I did too. That's why it amused me. You're my friend and you're comfortable and while they'll talk and speculate and wonder, we have the truth." Which made her smile; returning his batting with some of her own. Because the truth was what mattered. Eventually though, she had to stop walking backwards and simply settle in at his side, lest she end up backing into someone or something.
"Perform for?" That colored her voice with a note of concern. "Why would you feel like you had to perform? I thought you…," and that is where she had a hint of a frown, because she couldn't honestly tell the different. "I thought you were being yourself."

Silas sighs, and offers as an answer, "I was, yet I wasn't. It's a delicate balance. Because people come with presuppositions. I'm pure-blooded. Talking to a Black, I have to be something. Even if I suspect there's more to what he's done than he lets on. Or to the reality of what occurred. Can't let on that I know there, unless asked directly. And so I perform."
"I just… you get used to putting on a face, even if it's so thin it looks exactly the same as your own, because the last thing you want to let them know is that you're on edge, or nervous. Because that is weakness… and that lets them control you."

"I'm pure-blooded and I was talking to a Black. But I treat him the same way I do everybody else. Or okay, let's be fair, everybody else on the team. And then there's people who aren't on the team, but the difference is the smidge of loyalty that's granted, even if most of the time I'd like to break his nose. He's okay until he gets all, full of himself. Tonight? He was okay." Which was saying something, wasn't it?
"But..I don't understand why talking to him would put you on edge or make you nervous and I'm not sure either..if somewhere in there you're saying that I let other people control me because I show weakness. Though to be fair, people don't so much put me on edge, as piss me off for being ignorant."

"I can assure you," Silas offers, actually stopping in the middle of the street to do so, "I was saying nothing of the sort. Not about you. About me." He actually bites his lower lip, worrying on it for a moment, "One on one I would have been fine with him. Because in those situations it's just you and that other person. I can control it. Myself. But not in social situations. I'm all mental thumbs then."
He grunts, and turns to start walking again, "It's my own fault. I spent so much time just sitting in the background I never bothered to get myself used to those situations. I don't know how to…" he shakes his head, "It's foolish, and I'm babbling again, when we should be having fun instead."
He is silent for a moment, before trying to change the subject, "You mentioned wanting to show me something? I could have sworn you mentioned a portkey."

"I..," Jenny doesn't know what to say, not for a long moment and she simply listens as he talks on. Reaching out after a moment so that she can catch one of his hands in hers, to give a little squeeze. "You're fine, Sy. And you did just fine, I promise. No one would have known a thing and I certainly wouldn't have, not if you hadn't told me. Well..except for when you blushed." He'd been cute, when he blushed.
"But anytime you ever need help, any group, any party, any whatever, if I'm there and you need a break? You tell me and I'll pull you away. Promise." It's the best she can think of, under the circumstances. "And don't apologize for talking to me either. That's what friends are for. You're honest and, I like that. So..I'm going to be hones too," which may make things strange, but she dearly hopes not. "I can't say who, because they're not..well, in school, but..I'm sort of seeing someone. It's..well, distant. But you said something the other night and just, so it's there. I don't..well, I don't want you to be upset and retreat or pull away or anything like that I just, nobody knows." She's quick to tell him, wide eyed, hands waving away the very idea. "Nobody. Just…," awkward. And her own moment of silent stretches too, before she leaps into answering him.
"Yes! I did! I mean, I want to show you sometime, because just, it goes to the most amazing castle! …but nobody knows about that either, 'cept for Black and Andromena and that one girl who's her friend…"

Silas shakes his head and laughs at that, "My bloody body, betraying me to the last. It was more the thought of being judged by a prefect than anything else. She caught me well off-guard with the comment." He listens to her more, and nods, "And I thank you. We get each other, I think, for the most part. And it's nice knowing that I can place that trust in you."
At the next bit of revelation, he actually looks shocked. Not angry. Not hurt. Not upset. And his reaction likely should set aside any other fears, as he reaches out to take Genevieve's hand in his. "I'm you shield. It puts a light on several things… clarifies quite a bit." He chuckles, "As long as he isn't some fifty-something tosser who is well too into young things like you, I think I can be okay with that. The question becomes, though, would he be okay with me. I think we have an understanding… and I personally think all the to-do about physical intimacy in friendship between the sexes… canoodling… is just so… Muggle." He looks back at her, "But would he? Assuming it's a he."
The talk of portkeys gets set aside for the moment. This may be a bit more important.

"I'm sorry I put you in the uncomfortable position of being judged by a Prefect," Genevieve replies, genuine apology in both her tone and her eyes. For all that his mention of trusting her made her feel better, it was a warmth that was fleeting, because the shocked look on his face was akin to being hit in the gut with a bludger. Immediately she felt as if she'd disappointed him on some level, or that the comfort and closeness she found in his company was made cheap or worse, had been misleading.
So the girl's head actually slumps a little. "Puts a light on several things?" She doesn't want to ask, but does anyway and then, he continues and in her mind, they only twist worse. "I don't see why not. I like you and you're good to me and for me I think. You're different." So perhaps then, the way she squeezed against his hand was a little desperate. "And maybe it's selfish but..I don't want to lose that. This. Us." But she felt awkward too, it showed as her eyes fell to the ground and she was left toeing at the cobbles, tucking her hair back out of her face with her free hand. Vulnerability was not something she wore well.

He may be clueless in some areas, but Silas isn't completely without the ability to read body language, or expression, and with a deft motion he pulls Genevieve away from the street, toward an alleyway, and stops there with her. His hand lets go of hers, but moves just as quickly to join the other in framing her face instead, gently yet insistently forcing her to look at him.
"Genevieve Solomon, and I swear by Merlin's beard I'd use your middle name if I knew it… You're not going to lose this, us, our friendship, so easily as that. I'm not disappointed. Sure, I was shocked, but more by the admission than its contents. That… you would trust me so fully as to place such knowledge in my hands, despite our House, despite how you know how others might use it, disarmed me." He moves his face close to hers now, close enough that their foreheads and noses could touch, so close that if someone were to observe them right now, they would assume anything but talking was coming next.
"I meant it when I said I wondered how he, or she, or it for all I care, would take it. Because I've no problem being your shield, Jenny. It makes both of our lives easier. For you, because you get to misdirect the thoughts of others away from your secret… and for me, because, well…" He smiles, "I can deflect some of it myself as well."

Tugged along, some of Jenny's usual grace is missing, along with a hint of surprise to suddenly find herself in an alleyway with Silas. Still, it's his control and the insistence of his hands that finally force her gaze upwards and the way he uses her name, that keeps it there. In fact, the way he wielded her name like it was some kind of tool actually made her blush. "Theodora," the venture is a soft one. One that she bites her lip immediately afterward.
"We're friends," was the only defense that she could find, as to why she trusted him. "And you'd blushed." The words were small quiet things, as her nose brushed in against his and they were close enough to share a breath along with the warmth that came from standing so near. "And I like you." A line that she also seems to have a habit of using in defense, whenever something comes up that could be questioned. "I didn't…I just didn't want things, ..if something happened.. Bah." Genevieve Solomon. Frustrated and struggling for words. It had to be a first.
"I don't trust people. But I, care about this." Friendship they had. "Because it's… and if that makes me a pawn and I pay for it later, so be it. Because I've been here for six years and can't claim a single person I'd trust, or feel truly comfortable around until you came along. And, it's a him, not a her. Not that it probably matters. And I see you as more than just a shield, Sy. But…how does playing one make your life easier?"

"Theodora. It's beautiful," Silas responds, not moving an inch, staying in the close, intimate position for the time being. "Adrian, by the way, just so we remain on equal standing. I think we both found each other by happy accident, and I don't believe in coincidence. I'm also remarkably stubborn, and insistent when I want something. So you're going to have to shake a little harder to get rid of me now."
He pulls his face away, if only by a few inches, and leaves one hand on the side of her face… not quite a caress, but that same shameless intent on touching that he seems to have. "I'm also selfish. I… well, let's just say I grew up in a household where I was merely a means to continue the bloodline. And while I think that's important, I also had to learn from others about affection. Love. That sort of thing. And I came to a conclusion, watching my parents dance their little dances when they bothered to even be around, as well as watching other pure-blood families. Romantic love, at least as I've seen it, seems to be a fabrication. A lie they tell us to keep us star struck. Affection is real, friendship is real, love is real… but this whole dance they try to foist on us? Balderdash. And if I'm to branch out… make friends and create alliances, the more people know me, the more they're going to expect me to fall into that trap as well." He grins, "So… shield. It's not a bad thing. It's just another aspect of this friendship."
He then swallows, "I guess we're both being rather honest, aren't we?"

"Adrian?" It's repeated with a surprised little smile, but at least he seems to be helping balance out her mood. It's rather startling how good he is at that and when he proclaims he's stubborn, all Jenny can murmur is, "So am I. But I'm not in the mood to shake just yet."
It's a different world though, listening to him talk and about his home, as he grew up. "That seems..so strange to me. I mean, my parents are pure-blood," let's just be fair, "But, they love each other. I'm not sure Mum could have overlooked Da' being a Hufflepuff, if they didn't." And his hand is comfortable, but also welcome and her own rises, so that it can rest lightly over his own; but not so hard that it wouldn't fall away the first time he showed signs of wanting to retreat.
"So..I'm your…pretend relationship, because you don't want a relationship or people trying to manipulate you like that?" Sometimes, admittedly, she can be slow. This is one of those times.

Silas grins again, "Well, aren't I yours?" This is offered with a slight move of the thumb over her cheek even as her hand touches his, "That's something of the impression I get. I figure turnabout, and all. We let the others think what they will, we'll know the truth… and while it somewhat flies against my 'always being honest' bit… it does work out the best for everyone involved, I think. Don't you."
He leans forward to touch foreheads with her again, although not as intensely as before, "That, and it allows me to be affectionate with someone. And you as well. Which is something I think people need. There's a whole concept I could blabber on about for hours if allowed to, but I think you get the point."
He smiles, "The only other person I've admitted that to, and not with even as close as much detail as I've given you, thought it daft as well. Indeed, they are of the opinion that you are an experiment on my part to test that very theory." He chuckles, closing his eyes. "I just can't accept the idea of it, to be honest. Paternal love, sure. The love of friendship, clearly. But romantic love… all I've ever seen…" He then pauses, "I'm belittling your own now. I'm sorry. Your distant one, you would feel this for them, and I'm belittling it."

"I hadn't thought of it like that, but, I suppose you are. And you're right, turnabout is fair play. Skirting truthfulness but, not. After all, I can say I like you and it's not a lie. Or that I care, and still be truthful. And you're right." The last is given with a sigh of relief, one that comes as she stops being so still and finally just, lets her body sag in against his.
"People need affection. Just like our animals do. A touch to reassure and reaffirm. To keep from feeling so alone in the world." This conversation has gone a lot deeper than she's any right feeling comfortable with and it shows, in the stark vulnerability there in her eyes. Because they look glassy, except that Jenny isn't drunk, which eliminates that particular option. "And you don't blabber." Again, the girl chides in a tone that's gently playful.
"You're far more clever than I am though, and maybe I am an experiment. I'd make a terrible experiment, Sy." Warned, before she chewed again on her bottom lip. Her eyes, like his closing, even as she brushed her nose once and lightly against his. "You're not belittling anything. I feel…," but then the girl just stopped, giving a gentle shake of her head, not one to dislodge his presence, just, to dismiss the topic.
"We had a deal for the weekend. We'd each do one new thing. So, you pick. What's something you've never done before and want too?" Segue? Yes. And no bones about it.

"One of the things I learned, growing up," Silas responds, "is that as children, we love to touch. To feel. To be close and intimate with people. It's not romance or sexual or whatever you want to call it. It's a need to /feel/ the people with you. And around the point they ship us off to school, they suddenly tell us that's wrong. Especially the boys, but everyone. So I may be a little bit selfish in that I've not only found a friend, but also one who doesn't mind being close." And with this his free arm finds her waist again, bringing her in close even as she sags against him.
The chuckle escapes him again, however, even in the seriousness, "You are far more clever, and adept, than even I think I initially gave you credit for. I saw you dance around Ria and Alphard. And I loved seeing it."
As she changes the topic, he lets out an honest laugh, "I've been doing that since day one with you, Miss Solomon," he says her surname with about as much sarcastic seriousness as he can get to drip off his tongue. "In truth, though… I don't know. I haven't taken a ride on a magic carpet. I've never given a Sphinx a tonsillectomy. I've never broken curfew… and I'm not about to risk losing Alphard's recently-won point haul over that, so…"

"So, who did you feel before I came along, viewing the world through a puppies eyes in that everyone and everything is one big pile for warmth, unless it's smelly and then it deserves to be bitten," that she'd just compared herself to well, 'mans best friend' didn't seem to be an issue; perhaps because she suspected he'd understand it better than the rest would instead of turning it into some sort of terrible joke. "I figure it's best to forewarn me, since we haven't established yet if we're the type of 'couple' that has issues with jealousy," the girl added on a chuckle and when his arm caught her waist, she let hers circle in around his neck. Laughed, laughed even as she let her head fall back so that she could look up at the darkening sky and pray, that step by step she wasn't dancing the part of the fool. It was all too easy.
"I didn't dance around Alphard or Ria, I just, gave back is all. There's nothing clever in it." And the girl honestly doesn't think so. Regardless, her head rises up again, so that she can meet his eyes and tuck into his palm again. "Well, I'm fresh out of magic carpets and I don't see any Sphinxes around to operate on and since I'm courting Ria's favor I don't think ruining our lead would help it either. Pick something else. Anything! Flying. I would say shop lifting, but if you get us caught then again, points…hrm. Anything that doesn't involve something we could get slammed with a point loss over!"

"No one." Is the answer Silas gives back to the simple question. "The closest I ever got to it before now was with my nanny… but even that ended by the time I was seven or eight. And that was just to climb into her lap when she told me stories at night." He chuckles, "Perhaps that's why I'm so eager now." He smiles, his head following hers as she looks up at the stars, "No girlfriends. No friends, really, at all. Just myself, and an empty house on the holidays. I had more companionship from the house elf than anyone else before now. Nothing to be jealous over, even if you were of a mind to be."
He then looks around, "It may seem a bit childish… but something I've never done…" It's December. In Britain. Above the snowline to boot. He looks around at the snow, "I've never been in a snow fight. Not once. I've played in it, but not with someone else." There's a glint in his eye there. "There may even be the chance for collateral damage, should others pass us by."

Jenny's expression had turned somewhat…solemn. And then, both of her arms slid down from his neck, wiggling in beneath his own arms there so that they could curl tightly in around his ribs and..she hugged him. Hard. "That's it then. We'll go to Black's party, because I'm in charge of mixing drinks and I promised and it'll be fun and if it's not we'll make it fun, but beyond that? We're going to your house for the holidays and maybe, if you wanted, you could meet my friend but regardless, completely, we're going to have Christmas, proper. We'll put up a tree and implore your house elf to cook and attempt to help because otherwise I'll burn absolutely everything and we're going to give you a proper Christmas. Except for Christmas day, if that's alright. For a little while then, I'd like to take you home with me. That way you can see. I'm going to give you Christmas for Christmas," announced, with a proud little smile. "And it's going to be awesome."
She let that good mood carry her too, right on into his request. Her smile growing broader by the moment. "Never a snow fight? Well then, Mister Silas Adrian Meliflua, we're going to have one and you're going to lose, because I'm not a chaser for nothing!" And with that, she leaned in, closer than before until she could peck a chaste kiss to the curve of his cheek, seconds before she attempted to break away, at a run towards the collecting snowdrift there at the very end of the alley, where it'd been piling.

"Just the two of us? Talk about a scandal." Silas utters just before she gives him the big hug. There's only a fraction of a second of hesitation before he melts into it, sighing contentedly. After she lays out her plan, he smiles, and says, "I think this is the point that, in a normal relationship, I think I would be required to say 'Yes, dear', and show no signs of argument. So… yes, dear."
And then she's running toward the snow, and he's following after her, laughing, "Cheater!"

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