Sylvia Mordue, Crotalus
Passive aggression via the medium of flowers
Sun Nov 11, 2018 00:13
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Herbology was not, ordinarily, Sylvia’s favourite subject. A lot of the plants could be rather on the repulsive side, and a lot of the tasks seemed to involve harvesting the more unpleasant pieces of them, which was not only often sticky but also was grunt work intended for commoners. She preferred elegant subjects like Charms - more wand waving, less mess, prettier results. However, her ears pricked up at the mention of horticulture. That was a suitably ladylike pursuit - at least the designing of a beautiful garden was. Ordinarily, the actual messy parts would be delegated to a house elf, obviously. Still, pretty flowers were a vast improvement on yucky, grabby plants or extracting bits of them.

They would also get to do this twice, once for each season, which initially struck her as pleasant and agreeable. She was very excited about the idea of displaying their work at the fair. Her planter would obviously be a high point, a triumph of class and sophistication. She was realistic enough to know that boys probably did not pay much attention to flowers, and that a single well-executed planter probably wasn’t going to be quite enough for Winston Pierce or Victor Callahan to consider her marriage material, but any chance to show off a ladylike accomplishment was good progress in that area.

His next announcement, however, removed a substantial amount of her good cheer. They would be making planters for his wedding? The idea struck her as both offensive and just downright bizarre. Firstly, how dare he? They were here to be educated by him, not be used as slave labour to provide his wedding decorations. And who said she wanted her floral displays at the wedding of some common… who-knew-whats. The Xavier family was borderline respectable - good enough to teach in a boarding school run by the Brockerts, good enough to teach the future leaders of society. But Professor Carter? Who knew where she had come from? Professor Xavier had said he would use their floral displays with their permission. She was very tempted not to grant hers. Her talents were meant for far better things than that! She also just found it such a strange thing to want. She knew that they weren’t exactly going to be having a society wedding, but surely paying a proper florist was not beyond them. Half of the students probably had no taste, or experience in the art of horticulture, and would just make horrible, ugly messes. Even those of them who individually did well might not come up with displays that worked pleasingly together. Who would want ugly flowers at their wedding?

Sylvia moved to examine the plants on offer, making a list, before returning with it to her desk. She would need to plan her ideas carefully first. Part of her was tempted to make her own display as ugly as possible. But there was a possibility they were being graded. Also, other people would see it, and she didn’t want it getting about that she lacked taste. She consulted her list, crossing out anything white. Although she had not paid enough attention to Professor Carter to notice her changing shape, Sylvia knew that white was symbolic of purity, and that was not something she associated with this union, even with the (probably fortunate) ignorance of the full situation. As she did this, a better idea for revenge occurred to her. Flowers were deeply symbolic, and there were ways she could make that work for her beyond just removing anything white… Or could she? She had books on flower symbolism in her library at home but she neither had them memorised nor had them at Sonora at all, let alone in this very class. She wished she could ask to go to the library but she would have to specify what she was looking for in order to justify being given a pass, and then… well, that would rather ruin things because Professor Xavier would then be inclined to look up the meanings of what she included. She tried to remember if there even were flowers for negative attributes, or whether they had only been used to say nice things… She thought there had been a few negative ones. She had mostly been focussing on the meanings of white flowers, almost all of which were nice. Though having selected gardenias (associated with nobility and purity), she had had the page bookmarked at ‘G’ and she seemed to remember that geraniums were something pretty rude. As they were spring blooming, they were on the list in front of her as an available resource. She also thought that, when a flower bloomed in multiple colours, the yellow ones often seemed to have negative meanings. She asterisked a few yellow flowers, which would seem thematically appropriate to the Head of Teppenpaw but hopefully mean something fitting for the occasion.

“This is a rather odd assignment, isn’t it?” she added to her neighbour. As usual, she had taken care to sit with someone proper, and whilst she still felt the best way to approach this task was to show off her good taste in flowers (even if it was for a cause where it would be under appreciated) she did not want anyone Society to think she was brimming with enthusiasm over the project, “I mean, horticulture's all well and good, but I’ve never heard of a person using students to provide their wedding displays!” That, she thought, did a good job of conveying both the perils of their classmates’ poor taste, and the fact that it was simply beneath them without being so vulgar as to actually say either of those things out loud. It also let her neighbour interpret the remark in their preferred way, which was more likely to incline them to agreeing with her.

OOC - flower language gleaned from mixed sources as there’s super loads of interpretations, most of them contradictory. This is the list that had the over-riding feeling of yellow = bad, but it doesn’t list the cited meaning for gardenias, which came from… somewhere, and is reconfirmed by this list (though alongside a lot of vastly different ones!)

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