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Simon Mordue, Crotalus
...I saw some grey-green stuff on a tree.
Sat Oct 21, 2017 17:47

Last year had been horrible, dreadful, awful, generally no-good, and all-around unpleasant, or so it seemed to Simon now. At the time, of course, he thought that he had only considered the second half of it so; the first half had, honestly, been unremarkable, but the second half had been so dreadful that it had colored his memories of the whole in a tint he could not quite see past anymore. He was careful never to say anything himself, aware that he was not allowed to have opinions really, but he once had heard his parents speaking in severe tones and saying things that implied they, too, were more annoyed about Uncle Nicky disgracing the family than about the shock to his cousins or Aunt Cynthia’s nerves, and Simon agreed with them about that.

Now, though, it was a new year – or a new school year, anyway. Technically it was still the same calendar year that it had been when his sometime uncle had decided on a whim to expatriate himself and discard his wife, sons, and brother, but coming back to school would have marked the beginning of a new section of Simon’s life even if it had not also marked the transition into a new level of his schooling. Since it completed the latter task as well as the former, it was all the better, and he embarked on his new classes determined to distinguish himself well enough that his classmates, at least, would not primarily associate the name Mordue with Uncle Nicky being an idiot.

Part of this would involve making extraordinary efforts in all his classes, but he had decided the best strategy he could apply would be to focus on Potions and Transfiguration in particular. They were often considered the most difficult subjects, which added to the prestige of succeeding in them, and they had the most important teachers, the Deputy Headmistress and a member of Society. Therefore, Simon was careful to look his very best when approaching his first Transfiguration lesson, to sit next to a respectable person, and to look intently over the syllabus when it was handed out, as though nothing could interest him more.

The theory of the lesson sounded like something he was going to have to work long and hard to get his head all the way ‘round, but the task for the day sounded…manageable, anyway. Lichen. That was like the greenish-grey stuff that grew on tree trunks at home, wasn’t it? The bit of cloth he had was blue, which wasn’t too far off from green or grey. He could imagine, too, the threads that made up the weave of the cloth rising up into the textured ridges and bumps of the stuff that grew on tree trunks…the question was just making it alive, and visibly so, without the helpful prop of a bit of tree trunk….

He read the handout, his eyes widening a little at the descriptions. They were actually composites between other things, and also not parasitic? Well, that addressed the lack of tree trunk, though he still didn’t know what they were going to use to hold themselves together if not the surface of his desk. They could live inside solid rock? That was…impressive. They were entire miniature ecosystems?

“This handout makes lichens sound a lot more interesting than our assignment did,” remarked Simon to a neighbor.

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    • ...I saw some grey-green stuff on a tree. — Simon Mordue, Crotalus, Sat Oct 21 17:47
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