(1939-02-06) Learning to Communicate
Details for Learning to Communicate
Summary: Jenny and Silas spend some time alone, recovering a bit from the renewal of their relationship… and Jenny starts teaching Silas how to communicate, as well.
Date: 06 February, 1939
Location: Viaduct View Louvre, Hogwarts

Concealed by a circular, wood-shingled roof, the louvre is not very large. It is situated precariously atop the castle's aqueduct, which it leans over, and only maintains its position due to powerful magic or exceptional masonry; more than one professor has predicted that it may one day fall and smash into the stones below. The aqueduct is a long drop below, to the east. Massive, sheered cliffs can be viewed to the south, and below them lies the loch. The slats in the room, from which the tower takes its name, are quite wide. A few have crumbled, and large cracks in the stone surround them. A small, steep flight of stairs leads up to the castle's central ramparts, and gusts of wind can frequently be felt and heard when funneling into the room.

Late afternoon, and the sun is already beginning to set, although through the clouds and constant snow that seem to be falling these past few days, there's not much to see out there. Thankfully the outside view isn't really what Silas came here for today. It's the relative quiet, the serenity.
He'd mentioned to Jenny that he intended to come up here after his last course, although no specific time had been set. Just… after classes, before dinner. And so he works on setting it up. His larger, enchanted blanket set on the floor, radiating warmth already in response to the cold. Another for when he lays down, a long, tall pillow for propping himself up, and a few glow-lamps for when the lights fade, since he doesn't trust the torches to light when they should.
That done, he lies himself down on the blanket, propping himself up on the the pillow, and pulls some parchment from his bag. This he sets on a little lap-desk style easel in front of him, along with a few pencils. Finally, the second blanket goes over legs and waist, and the easel in his lap.
Comfortable, he ponders the parchment.

Comfortable, Jenny had tucked in beside him, without any specific time and no specific reason, it was easier to while away the silence simply watching the way the boy worked his artistry across the page with her head resting against his shoulder and her knees tucked in against the outside of his thigh, her hands completely out of the way. Mindful of not jarring his work.
It was easy and almost funny, how the time could slip away in such a fashion, but rather unique too, how she didn't have to think when she was there. She simply…had to be. It was easier to simply be when she thought about it or didn't think, as the case may be. And occasionally, she'd glance up in his direction and smile but otherwise didn't seem enticed to break the silence.

Silence, or at least the absence of talk, was sometimes a good thing. Silas enjoyed it, at times. Even now, when when pushed the falling snow, slipping through cracks and setting that eerie whistling sound, it was there. There was serenity. But there was that presence beside him, as well… and that… that was far more. That was a piece of the puzzle that had been missing for some time.
And so, every so often, when she looked at him, their eyes would meet, and he would smile back, a tinge of red coloring his cheeks for just a moment, before looking back to the paper.
This wasn't a partial project. This was something new this time… and the very raw nature of it showed as he simply put the pencil to the paper, held it there, and started with large, light sweeps on the paper, as if trying to see something emerge from general patterns, waiting for something to grab at it.
And then he has it. An arm, at first, angled down at a forty-five degree angle, the hand at its terminus still vague.

The color on his cheeks made her wonder, but she didn't break the silence, not yet. Instead she just smiled and watched him. Not just his hand, but….him. The way he smiled and cheeks curled, his lips. The way his nose moved when he breathed. The way his fingers worked as those lines began to find a shape.
She'd not seen Marcus. Whether by luck or because the boy was hiding and perhaps, simply because she hadn't looked. She'd not asked questions, either. Maybe she should have. Maybe because that wasn't the first time he'd found it so easy to walk away, she didn't want to know.
So she watched him find life on the page, instead. With a smile that suggested she found it peaceful.

Oddly enough, Silas didn't ask, when it came to Marcus. He hadn't pried, or pushed. He'd been there, though. And approached her, invited her along be it for something as simple as a walk, or to do homework, or be it to stargaze or something more like this. Just yesterday, he'd even introduced her to a few of the first-years that still seemed to approach him on a regular basis. Yes, sometimes he still blushed… but in every instance it was backed by a smile.
The picture continues to grow, and the basic idea becomes obvious quickly. Two hands, holding each other, fingers laced. A simple concept, to be sure, perhaps even cliche. But sometimes, that's where his best works start, because once the form is down, he works on the details.

Jenny'd gone, of course. All week. Where ever he'd asked. Be it walking or simply sitting at his side while they sorted through their homework together or attempting to help him with transfiguration. Jenny'd been there. And for the most part, it was easy. Unlike when she'd parted ways with Silas that first time, she'd not broken down in tears anywhere.
But the sight of those joined hands make her smile, a soft whimsical thing as she gives a coo of a sound and snuggles in a little more deeply against his shoulder.

There's a soft sniff of a chuckle that escapes him as Silas hears that coo… but it makes him grin all the more, and he continues the work. First each arm gets attention, the light, downy hair that graces his own arm, and the slight constellation of moles that criss-cross his right arm, to the single mole on the inside of the index finger of his right hand. And then, from memory, the scars on his knuckles from that morning at the viaduct, careful shading going into them. And then Jenny's left hand… again from memory every detail, even the subtle imperfections that one might assume would go unnoticed, he gives them equal, loving attention.

Scarred knuckles and old lacerations on fingers. The slight imperfections in the bones, from where that hand had been broken more than a time or two. All of Jenny was like that. Composed of imperfections, of little details that betrayed more than she ever would. Right down to the callouses on her palms. It was easy to see then, if one actually looked, how she could have a hint of trouble thinking that she was beautiful.
But…much as she had been all week, Jenny was quiet. She didn't break silences, not anymore. These days, she waited until they were broken.

It's not done, of course, but with Silas, these things are never done… until the point where he realizes he has to let it go. But for now, he smiles. And sets his pencil down. The drawing stays on his lap, although he pushes it slightly away, and the arm on her side adjusts, slipping over her head, to invite her to come even closer.
Once she reacts, he waits for a moment, and then, quietly, just says, "A knut for your thoughts?"

"Mmm," Jenny settles in closer when Silas invites her, tucking the crown of her head in against his neck and letting an arm settle over his chest, one there's room and it won't ruin his drawing.
"I was just thinking about how relaxing it is, to watch you. It's…peaceful, you know. In ways that I don't understand but…enjoy. It's kind of like…escaping to you, isn't it? A chance to be free?"

"I do get it, actually. Watching someone else do something they love. Seeing their passion pour into it. I get that. It's like… watching you fly. When I get past the whole idea of the bludgers trying to remove your head from your shoulders, I sometimes can escape there, too." Silas moves his head over, and since she's closer now, places a light kiss on her forehead. "If I can give you that, by all means. I love an audience, and you, by far, are one of the best. So."

"I feel free, when I'm flying," Jenny murmured, her voice a near whisper. "I don't..most of the rest of the time. And growing up, it was the only thing that didn't feel like a cage, you know? I think Mum wanted it to be well, one of those things to see me like her but…I loved it. It wasn't a punishment or a pressure to perform it was just…it was fun. The idea of being trapped…I guess it's like…I don't know. Have you ever thought of what might happen if there was only one page. Just one stretch of parchment in front of you and you could never ever have anymore. Just that. To be so limited."

"I haven't," Silas offers honestly, although his arm holds her just a little bit closer as he says it. "But… it would be painful. To have to limit the space I needed to use. To have to settle on a single medium. You've not specified how large that parchment is… but I get your point there."
And then he sighs, "I know I shouldn't be trying to fix things. But where is your cage, Jen?" He fears he knows the answer to that… but still he asks.

"In here," the girl taps her temple. "I remember growing up and Mum always having something to go off with for work and Da always fascinated with some creature and being just…too little, so they'd leave be behind and then, when I was bigger Mum'd take me along but I'd be shuffled out, out of the way, you know. And I love them, Merlin knows I do and they cared and when I got big enough to do more, then they'd take me along but I remember looking out and watching and…," at that she shook her head.
"It just, it became this thing in my head. That I didn't…I dunno how to explain it. But the world seemed small and then…then I could go sit on top of it. After that? After that how could I want to go back? But it works when I think of the future too. It just…gets a little overwhelming, to look at something and to know that it's…forever, you know? Set in stone? Fated. And then..well, I get nervous and suddenly there's walls and then they shrink. I'm…working on it though." At that, she offered him a hopeful smile.

His voices gets small now, and a hand goes over to take the one she placed on his chest, brings it up to his lips, and kisses it. "Forever." He says, with a smile, "I actually know what you mean. Even though I don't have the love for my parents that you do… I know that feeling. The thought of all of it overwhelming me."
He closes his eyes for a moment, still holding on to her hand, setting both on his chest, just under the chin, and thinks as he says, "I wish you could have met Nanny. She had a way of just… knowing the right thing to say. The right way to comfort. To make everything better with just a few words. I try too hard to be like her sometimes."
He meets her gaze, and smile, with one of his own, "But at a time like this, I think she would have said that, all you need is now. Look at what that thing is now, and fly. And that's one of the things *I* sm working on, too. Remembering to let you fly."

"You're getting better at it," Jenny smiled, her bottom lip tucking in between her teeth as he kissed her hand. She let her fingers spread wider when they settled anew on his chest, so that she could touch more of him at once. "That whole, knowing the right thing to say thing. But…I think there's something said for the voices that just, offer reason, too. Sometimes I think it's just…it's bad to fly.
And at that, she took a deep breath. "I've made so many mistakes and when I look back it's easier to see them. Because…because I have to learn to talk more, when it's important and maybe..just not push at people so hard. Or rather, not push at you. You've always stood beside me, Sy and that means…so much. And I let it scare me, a lot. But even when things were falling to pieces…you wouldn't walk away. Not even then. I think the bad part, is that I knew it too. I just..didn't want to believe it. Because that'd mean admitting I was wrong. And I was."
She sighed, letting her eyes fall away. "And I was jealous. That's the difference, between he and I. I couldn't have done what he did. I didn't like the fact that the girl kept making eyes at him and tried to get him to dance and it just boils down to me being insecure and that started with well, you know who it started with. But then, you'd all your summons and secret friendships and we started out that way and I've seen how that goes. You don't believe in friendships with boundaries. I didn't want to be..replaced and so..I found reasons to do it first. So I meant it when I say, I don't need someone who'll let me fly. I need someone who'll tell me that something is fucking stupid, because I don't always see it for myself."

Silas nods, then, and while he still holds her hand on his chest, his fingers begin to run along those fingers, along the edges of them, tracing each digit individually. "I don't know if I could call something you did stupid… but I'm willing to take the request to heart." He offers, smiling, "And if anything… if you fly, I want to fly with you. No matter how rubbish I am on a broom."
He then smiles, "The only summons I ever got, were from her royal highness… whom I assure you will never have any such part of me, and Morgana. well… while I care for her, I don't… see her the way I do you. She is… well, I told you about Agape, on that night at the Cauldron. The love of a friend. She… she needed a confidant, with boy issues, of all things. And I was a sounding board. But I made it clear, from the start, where we stood. Even SHE got boundaries I never placed on you. Because… I realized that a few were needed. Not because you and I should have had them… but because I didn't want that with anyone else."

"You can fly with me. There's something…," Jenny considered, "There's something I wanna show you sometime. I'd offered once, to…but well anyway, we never. And…I'd like, I'd like to be able to share it with someone. To share it with you." There's a hopeful little smile at that. Her fingers offering the same kind of gentle stroke to his chest that he's offering to her finely scarred hand.
It was the rest that made her frown just a little. "I wasn't…Sy, you don't need to explain anything or I wasn't asking for that. But hindsight makes things really clear. I just…it's things I've been thinking about lately. You. Me. Him. Life. What makes me do the things I do. It's that last bit, that's important. Especially if there's some of them I'd like to figure out a way to -stop- doing so I guess, you could say I'm taking a page from your book and thinking about all the angles and all the why's and then just, tossing them out onto the table so they're in the open."

He shifts his head again, looking over at her, "I still have bad habits," Silas offers, with a grin. "Let's do it. Whenever. You tell me when, where, and we'll do it." The grin becomes a full smile, and he leans his head forward, closer to hers. His eyes close then, at her touch, so small, so simple. But enough to make him smile. "Okay. I appreciate that, actually. And I will try to remember that sometimes, I just need to listen. To not answer the question if it isn't asked." Again, the tone is a happy one. Almost playful.

"You wouldn't know what a bad habit was if it bit you on the nose, Silas Meliflua," Jenny teased, offering the boy the first hint of a grin, for all that the conversation had been serious. There's a little nuzzle made against his nose, while it was close.
"You could talk, too," Jenny encourages, almost timidly. "There wasn't just one person in the relationship. There were two and both of us have opinions. I'd…well, I'd like to know yours."

Silas leans even further into the nuzzle, dangerously coming almost clone enough for a kiss, before punctuating her joke with a little nip at the her nose, before pulling back to where he had been a moment before.
"I'll be honest, Jenny. That will be a difficult one for me. Not because I don't want to… but because I've always held those things close to the chest. Not that you aren't right… I just… I just don't know what to offer."
He looks up for a moment at the ceiling. "Let's see. I think… I'm not a great fan of most flowers… although there are some roses that I'll still give a chance. I don't really like bees. I hate it when they serve us raw cauliflower…" There's the grin again. He's teasing.

"I can see how it might be a struggle, what with me being so serious and wanting to learn and be better. And you…sitting there, cracking jokes and teasing as a result?" It had her straightening just a little, not because she was upset but because she wanted to better face him. To sit indian style and angled towards him, with a bit of the blanket still pulled up over her thighs.
"Why is that? You were always so serious before and now…I can't seem to get anything out of you. I say something serious and try to bare my soul and you just…you grin."

"I always grin. I always smile. That's… who I am," Silas responds, looking at her as she pulls away a bit. "I… I'm not always certain how to respond. I'm not trying to belittle, or lessen, what you're saying."
He looks down, and lets the smile fade then. "I just don't know what to say. And I don't like not having an answer. I was being honest when I said I didn't know what to offer… because I don't know what question I'm answering. And so I tried to joke, in part to diffuse my own awkwardness."
"What do you want my opinion on? The fact that you want to change? I'm behind that. I want to help you there. But I also don't want to try to even consider a list of things you should change… because who you are right now is just as precious to me. And I wouldn't want you to change anything you didn't want to change. I have, and would, take you as you are. Period. But what you want to change? I'm there for that to."

Jenny just sort of, lets her face slump forward into the palm of her head in a bit of a faceplant with a little groan, for a moment before she finally lifted her head. "I've been talking about us, Silas. Bout my thoughts on our relationship. I even told you that we were both in it, being the relationship and that we both had thoughts and that I wanted to know yours…"

Silas sits there for a moment, his face blank. And then his own head falls, he looks at his hands, actually wringing them together for a brief moment. "I'm, not very perceptive at all, am I? Jen… I'll be honest. I've been so afraid to even try to think about 'us'. Our relationship. To try to pin anything down, for fear I would confine you, and scare you away by asking too much."
He's quiet now, and leans back on the pillow again, "Truth? I was afraid that this last weekend was going to be… just what it was. We would get back, he would realize where he'd gone wrong, and things would return back to what they were. And I was going to be okay with that. Because I at least knew I had you back."
"It broke my heart for you, what happened. I wasn't happy that he'd walked away… but that hurt you. I would never revel in your pain for my own gain."
He purses his lips, "My opinion? I want us, Jen. As much as I sometimes fail so horribly at reading you, like now, I'd love to know where we're going to lead, what we'll become. But I've been so afraid to push you. That I'd fall into old habits. And yet here I am again."

Jenny actually, just wants to reac…no. Jenny does reach out to hug him. Slim arms wrapping about his frame to hug him close. It's so…beautifully them, the confusion of it all. Even when that still wasn't what she meant, she could see the sweetness in it and hugged him all the same, tight. Because of it.
It's as she retreats to settle back into a sitting position that she clarifies a second time. Leaving the future for simply that, some other point in the conversation because she's still trying to sort out, "The past, Silas. I'm talking about our relationship in the past. Not this weekend and not right there, because we never really took the time to before, or I didn't and..I'd like to. Now."

Silas takes the hug, and returns it in full, not really understanding any of it, but he holds her until she retreats. He looks at her, and just sighs, "I… I don't know. I always just… followed things where they seemed to go. What seemed right. From the start… from that first day you held my arm as we walked back to Hogwarts… things changed for me."
"I… I wouldn't change anything, truly. No matter how painful it sometimes got. Xavier. Marcus. The viaduct. None of it. I wasn't joking when I told you that my hands were full of all the good that occurred."
Another sigh, and he leans back on the pillow again, "I don't know when or what happened. But what was supposed to be pretend stopped being so, for me, a lot sooner than I think I readily admitted."
A look to her, this time wondering if he's getting it right now.

Jenny flumps down beside him, settling in so that she can share the pillow and his warmth and give their blanket a bit of a fluff to draw up a little higher. And she smiled, one of her hands seeking out his own.
"I don't quite think that you're getting the point of the exercise," she admitted on a chuckle. "And I understand that you don't wan..I unno. We both make mistakes, but I can't try and fix anything even if I wanted to, unless you care to actually let me know what they are. Otherwise I'm never going to know any of it was wrong. But I get what you mean."

There's an exhalation of air from the boy, and an air of frustration. "Honestly? I never thought about it that way, Jen. I mean when people asked me about the breakup, I would say we both made mistakes but.. I was the one flying blind. And when it came to you…. you always knew when you were pushing me away. You always called it, after we fought or talked it out… you always placed it there."
He closes his eyes, then, "In the end, I kinda always figured… it was me who pushed you to those times. Talking about forever. Getting intense. Asking for things you weren't ready to give. It was my fault. I was the one driving you to push me away. Even with Him. I wasn't the one who couldn't light that fire. Couldn't make the world burn."
He frowns now, even though he shifts to touch shoulders with Jenny when she lies back next to him again. "I know there's got to be more than that. That we're both a part of it… but I… I have a hard time not putting the blame on myself. Because I was the one going in blind, and flailing about. I never really took the time, or put the brainpower into, trying to even think what was wrong otherwise."

"And that's…funny, in a kind of bitter way. Not a single person asked me about it. Not one. And why should they? Because…," her knuckles cracked, when she flexed her hand into a single fist. Just one. But that was all it took for her to realize the slow bubbling build of unhappy and put a tight reign on it.
"I've learned something. Something about love. It shouldn't be equated to fires, because the thing about fires? They always, -always- go out. Oh sure, pine will burn to ashes faster before oak will and so will poplar, but in the end? They all become ash. World doesn't have to burn. Only the sun does, so that it can warm us all."
"I don't think it was all just me, but, I've already said my peace with the other. While we're…being as we are now will you at least tell me, if something crops up that makes you uncomfortable or question?"

"I… never said I thought it was all you." Silas offers. "I know I was at least an equal part of it." He shakes his head, "And in these situations I just don't have the words. Perhaps fire isn't the best analogy, no… but there needs to be something. And there is, for me. Always has been."
He reaches out, and tries to take the hand, that she just made into a fist. "I will try. I promise."

"Oh I didn't imply that you were, Sy," Jenny corrects, frowning at him. "At all. I was just…talking. Because I'm clearly so smashing at it." She managed a hint of a smile then, before tucking in a little closer at his side and letting that fist uncurl until she can properly lace her fingers through his, enjoying the sensation of their touch.
"Good. Communication. Trust. And something else I can't remember, are clearly the…word I can't remember, but, we'll be okay. I know we will. Besides, tomorrow's Friday, and when they turn us loose for the weekend and I figure, we may as well put it to good use."

"Honesty," Silas offers, a stab in the dark, "Although even with my penchant for the truth, I probably still have to work on that one." As she moves in closer to him, he puts his other arm around her again, and says, "All said and done, Jenny, what I do know is that I love you."
"And please, let the weekend come." He chuckles again.

"And I love you, Sy. I told you, that didn't change. Not then. Not now. Not even when we weren't really talking. I've always loved you. It's not about what burns brightest or who makes your pulse race the most, though, honestly I think it's fair to say that you take that one too." She flashed him a grin with that one.
"But I think…I think it's about who completes you, who you want there by your side when it feels like you're on top of the world and who you think about having there when you know you've hit rock bottom. And all those times in between, too. It's not just one piece of love, like you were talking about that time and earlier tonight. I think it's the person who reflects all of them."

Silas looks over at her, and places a long, protracted kiss on Jenny's cheek, long enough that she could easily change it's target,should she want to.. "I know. I knew and believed it then, and now. You and I, no matter what… I don't think that simple fact can change." He grins though, "But knowing I can impact your pulse… that does help, too."
When she goes on, though? He actually blushes again. That same one. Not embarrassment. Just… happiness. It's a warmth that seems to radiate all over him in that moment.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License