[Blaise laughs then, mouth twisting.] I think most of them are debauched, spoilt brats who wouldn't know how to make their own decisions even if they were allowed to. They don't think, they react as taught. They don't feel, because they think it a weakness or because they don't know how. And those of them that are actually worth something have been eclipsed and embittered by those who aren't.
[Severus nods once, slowly]
I concur. It is a great pity.
[Blaise shrugs,] It's lonely, boring and wholly expected is what it is. And also no great loss in a number of cases.
[Severus looks at Blaise again]
I assume that you have friends in other houses?
[Blaise sips at his tea, shrugging again,] No, not really. There's Terry Boot, in Ravenclaw, whom Professor Spout seems fond of pairing me with, but we only tend to speak about school-related things.
[Looking into his tea,] You are the closet thing to a real friend I have, sir.
If that is the case, I must say I'm surprised. Have you made overtures to students from other houses?
[Blaise snorts indelicately,] I'm Slytherin, a seemingly close friend of Draco Malfoy's and the son of a known Death Eater. If I were inclined to make any overtures I doubt they would be well received.
[Severus sips his tea]
One can always hope that one of the imbeciles in the school know the art of looking beyond appearnaces.
[Blaise smiles ruefully,] You of all people should know better than to hope for such things.
[Severus shoots Blaise a glance]
True. I am becoming maudlin in my old age.
[Blaise smiles at him, hiding it in his cup,] You're not old, sir.
And you, apparently, have an urge to practice deceit. I do occasionally look into the mirror.
[Blaise laughs then, something not so easily hidden behind a cup of tea.] You're biased. And I am the picture of honesty!
[Severus arches an eyebrow]
You'll forgive me if I am disinclined to believe you.
[Blaise smirks,] You're forgiven - though I don't believe you either so there.
[Severus hides his smirk in his cup of tea, and faces the fireplace. Unable to make an appropriate response, he remains silent.]
[Blaise's smirk turns into a smile. He knows that when Severus says nothing it means Blaise has won. He's not sure what he's won, just that he has.
Finishing of his tea,] May I have some more, sir?
[Severus pours Blaise more tea]
Thank you, [Blaise murmurs softly. Then, as if remembering something,] Oh I. wanted to. ask you something...
[Severus arches an eyebrow in inquiry]
[Blaise blushes, looking into his tea cup.] I was wondering if. [He looks up at Severus,] If you'd given any thought to taking on an apprentice.
[Severus looks curiously at Blaise]
It is hardly feasible for me to think about accepting an apprentice while I am a professor at this school, Blaise.
[Blaise flushes darker, ducking his head again and nodding.] Of course, that was silly of me. [He chews his lip, debating with himself for a moment before asking,] Do you know anyone who. might be? Later, after graduation? Or even for a summer internship? [He doesn't really want to study under anyone else, but he has to do something once he leaves Hogwarts.]
[Severus tilts his head thoughtfully]
Several come to mind. Is there any particular place you wish to be?
[Without really thinking,] Here, [softer] with you.