[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.
[Severus goes completely still.]
I'm, ah. Flattered that you hold me in such high esteem.
[Slightly softer] There are several potion professors in my aquaintance whom I believe you will get along with quite well.
[Blaise frowns in a manner that could be considered pouting.] But you're the best and I know you and you know me and I'm sa -- I like it at Hogwarts. And I could do all the little things for you and it would. give you more free time to. to write scathing comments on first year Hufflepuff essays or. whatever.
[Severus arches an eyebrow and smirks]
I do not need any time for scathing comments. I make it a substantial part of my daily routine.