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John Umland, Aladren
I'd really rather not.
Sun Jul 2, 2017 13:53

Love potions were a subject John found intensely objectionable, but since they had been in the reading, he recognized the telltale signs which indicated the substance on Professor O’Malley’s desk was Amortentia. He did not bother to answer that question, considering it too easy, but he did put his bit in when the professor asked if any of them knew what Amortentia was

“It’s a potion which makes one person obsessed with another,” he said.

Professor O’Malley seemed to prefer the slightly more romantic wording, which annoyed John. It was true that someone sufficiently dosed up on that stuff might behave as though in love, but that was Wrong. Love was making the free choice to behave in a certain way which put another's interests ahead of their own, and someone whose judgment was impaired was not capable of doing that, even if the behavior looked the same on the surface. Just the vapors from this thing were clouding his head a bit, trying to persuade him he ought to relax a bit and be less irritable than was his norm. He didn’t wish to do that, though, so it was Wrong.

He was reluctant to deliberately inhale more of said vapors for that reason, so he decided to go ahead and get it over with when Professor O’Malley asked for a volunteer. “I’ll do it,” he said shortly, and did so. He stepped back from the cauldron almost immediately, blinking and rubbing his nose, trying to sort out the jumble of impressions his nose was trying to tell him it registered.

“It’s…mostly vanillin,” he said. “Books, in other words.” He was willing to bet that none of the audience found this surprising. “There’s…something I think is India ink, too, and – I’m not stealing from you – “ he added to the professor – “a little pine, or cedar - something evergreen.”

That wasn’t all, though. There was an undertone he couldn’t decide if he thought was more like jasmine or candle smoke, another which seemed to be a mix of the carpets and incense at church, plus things he could only identify as ‘like plastic, but good plastic’ and ‘like the sun at home if you stripped out all the petroleum notes’, both of which he thought would sound kind of stupid to say out loud. There was something else, too, that he couldn’t quite identify, a sort of light yet not quite sweet smell; his brain was trying to make some kind of connection to sunflowers, but he suspected random neurons with no real basis for firing simultaneously, as he did not even know if sunflowers had a fragrance as such or why he would find them attractive.

That task done, he stared through the page of his notebook which lay open before him. All of this, aside from the inexplicable sunflowers, reminded him of home. He was not sexually obsessed with his house. He really, really wanted to go home - it disturbed him to the point of irrationality when he thought about it; he wanted to yell and throw things because he couldn't go there, and he wasted time thinking about how much he wished things hadn't happened - but there was a difference, he thought, in that and sexual obsession - wasn't there? Or was his contempt for and, now that he had some basis for an opinion, frank dislike of sex such that the potion was merely focusing on the kinds of love he did experience? Most people, he knew, assumed everyone over a certain age wanted to have sex pretty much twenty-four seven, but John absolutely did not and also had to wonder what happened if small children smelled this abomination of a brew....

  • Smell the rainbow!Ginger Pierce, Thu Jun 22 15:41
    Ginger had no answer for the identity of the shimmery potion or what it did. She frowned at it when she learned it was a very strong love potion. It looked pretty and smelled happy (she was standing... more
    • I'd really rather not. — John Umland, Aladren, Sun Jul 2 13:53
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