Jessica Hayles, Crotalus
Story of my life recently.
Sun Apr 14, 2019 20:11

The greenhouse was not a part of the Sonora campus which Jessica thought many people would have expected her - with her almost transparent complexion, pale red hair, and dainty manners - would have favored. It was full of smells, and dirt, and the occasional bug, and sometimes plants broke off and emitted who knew what kind of sticky fluids. It was often hot, the sun amplified by the glass panes meant to keep the plants alive in winter. It was true that Jessica had always loved flowers, but far more plants in the greenhouses here had spines or hideous appendanges of unknown purpose than had particularly appealing blooms.

None of that, however, mattered much to Jessica anymore, because of what the greenhouses did have: things she could see and smell and touch. Real things, solid things. No one jabbered at her about stupid pointless feelings nonsense here, or told her to just imagine things hard enough to make them happen. When Professor Xavier gave her a direction, she could follow it, quickly and without any bafflement as to the purpose of the order or even how to do it. The greenhouses were an oasis of sanity in the midst of the nightmarish rest of the school. When Professor Xavier greeted her each day, he often got at least an attempt (sometimes she was too unhappy to quite pull it off, but she almost always tried for the kindly, non-jibberish-spouting Herbology professor) at a smile from her, and she was pretty sure that she had never even fantasized about trying to shove a magic wand down his throat, the way she did at least once a week with Hawthorne and Wright and especially Skies....

Today, however, he was not at the door, and Jessica, absorbed in reading her latest library book, didn't even notice he was late until he half-ran into the room, looking flustered.

She caught her essay, accustomed by now to papers flying about as though they had wills of their own, and tucked it away without looking, accustomed now to getting grades which made her want to crawl under the porch and die. She didn't get grades like that in this class, as a rule, but it was best to just avoid looking at anything. She stared straight ahead, through the person across from her and at nothing, until a single word caught her attention: experiment.

Words, of course, didn't always mean what they should have meant here, but that one was promising. Even when it seemed to involve interacting with fertilizer. She ground her teeth when the Teppenpaws got the Miracle Gro, with which she knew she could have gotten consistent and consistently good results, but compost wasn't the end of the world. Especially hedges and weeds; she didn't expect anything too horrible to be lurking in that, though she would certainly wear gloves before touching anything. If any such thing got under her nails...!

A hint of the old contempt flashed across her face when he had to explain to sixth and seventh graders what a hypothesis was - she thought her nine-year-old sister probably knew what a hypothesis, along with the rest of the basic scientific method, was, and Mara went to public school! A good one, of course, but still a public school - but she suppressed it quickly. Of course Miracle Gro would work the best; it was regulated and carefully standardized and formulated, not a complete - with all respect to the Aladrens and Pecaris - crapshoot in the dark, the way the efficacy of everything else would be. However, the question was, should she actually write that down? What did they want to see?

The answer to that question would, of course, be helpful for more than this assignment. If she could just figure out what they wanted to see, she could put on a mask of being that thing and then she wouldn't get bad grades and then....

And there she went again, forgetting that there was, for the moment, literally no reason for her to even exist. Her parents had given up on her, and she was already so far behind that by the end of the year, it would be next to impossible for her to ever catch up at an even remotely competitive school. Earning privileges (because Skies' mind was so limited that she thought that even a minimal education was a privilege to be earned; in light of that, Jessica supposed she should be glad the woman was progressive enough to seemingly accept that soap wouldn't give her the Black Death and that she could therefore bathe often enough to refrain from stinking up the dining hall during meals!) didn't matter anymore. So was there even a point to caring what they wanted from her anymore?

Except avoiding punishment, of course; things could always get worse. There was always that.

She realized she was scowling, and tried to force her thoughts away from the hated Transfiguration teacher. She had to think about flowers. Jessica liked flowers. Flowers were beautiful, and also real, things she could plant and get a good grade on. Mommy and Daddy probably still wouldn't like it if she failed everything. No - she didn't want to think about Mommy and Daddy. Just flowers, leaves bobbing and swaying at the slightest disturbance, the way light looked going through petals and leaves...

Emerald shields against a sullen sky/ arch up and cover both low and high/ block the wind and muffle sound/ protect the briars and death's caps spreading on the ground.

She went to get a planter. Here was something she could do. Simple task, mechanical as eating or bathing or dressing herself in this sack. Putting on her gloves was probably the hardest thing she would do today - she had to think to do that, focusing so she didn't put her thumb in the wrong spot. Once they were on, she set about her tasks, going to get soil, then plant compost to mix with the soil in her pot. Once that was done, with only some wrinkling of her nose, she returned to a bench to plant the seeds.

"I wonder what sorts of flowers we'll get," she remarked to another student. "I hope it's something colorful."

  • Beginnerís Herbology: This stinks - Nathan Xavier, Tue Apr 9 11:42
    Nathan Xavier hurried into Greenhouse One several minutes late. It was very rare for the Herbology professor to not meet and greet every student by the door as they arrived, so he was a little... more
    • What's German for poop? (Hilda) - Sophia Priory, Aladren, Fri May 24 07:59
      Since the beginning of the year, there had been two people in her class that Sophia had been interested in talking to. Well, technically she was interested talking to Bridget and Christabel too, but... more
    • Duh - Topaz Brockert, Aladren, Tue Apr 23 05:45
      Midterm had really sort of sucked. Topaz's mother was driving her crazy. Mother kept gushing about how "sought after" her older sisters were. Emerald could choose between Winston Pierce and Victor... more
      • To grow is to live. - Felipe De Matteo, Crotalus, Thu Apr 25 02:51
        Felipe always enjoyed Herbology, and wished very much that he did not have to work with his housemates. He was trying to be a nice, good De Matteo and be more sociable, as it was inappropriate to... more
        • I prefer knowledge is power. - Topaz, Sat May 4 16:03
          Topaz cooly appraised the person she'd spoken to. She made it her mission to know about people, not because she cared about them but because knowledge was power and she had to know everything. The... more
          • Who needs power? - Felipe De Matteo, Sun May 5 15:30
            Felipe nodded, acknowledging both Topaz' introduction and some of the suspicions she'd unwittingly confirmed for him: This particular pureblood was not a princess, and made no effort to be. While he... more
            • I have plenty but want more. - Topaz, Tue May 14 19:42
              Topaz considered what Felipe had said. She guessed he had a point about Muggle plants responding to Muggle fertilizer as, well, they had to use something . Still, she doubted that it would work as... more
              • I have far too much for my liking. - Felipe De Matteo, Wed May 15 15:59
                Felipe mushed his smile into something more civilised than a grin. He was thrilled to actually have an intelligent conversation about herbology and agriculture, even if Topaz thought it wasn't... more
                • *is puzzled by this* - Topaz, Mon May 20 00:12
                  "I mean, it's not something I think most people want to know a lot about." Topaz replied. Except that she wanted to know everything or as much as she possibly could. "I just bring it up because well, ... more
    • Story of my life recently. - Jessica Hayles, Crotalus, Sun Apr 14 20:11
      • It could be worse - Allegra Brockert, Crotalus, Wed May 22 03:17
        Allegra's midterm had been really lovely. It had been nice seeing her parents and younger siblings again and having warm, cozy, family time. This would be the last time too, that it would be the six... more
    • If perhaps not in the way I'd expect. - Katerina Vorontsov, Teppenpaw, Sun Apr 14 17:36
      Katerina was surprised not to find Professor Xavier waiting for the Beginner class at the door, but she did not start to become concerned until he became actually late. Everyone was slightly behind... more
      • I don't even know what to expect. - Johana Leonie Zauberhexen, Teppenpaw , Mon Apr 15 20:33
        The fact that Johana Leonie's English had gotten better was certainly not enough to save her from confusion in basically all of her classes. Herbology however, was both the most likely to see her... more
        • Mir-ra-cle. Mirakl. There! There it was! The word was almost the same between the two languages, though she thought it might be used slightly differently in context. She had forgotten how strangely... more
          • Across the board! - Johana Leonie Zauberhexen, Thu Apr 18 18:44
            Johana Leonie beamed at Katrina, remembering why she liked the girl so much, when she got a response in German. Katrina's German was about where Johana Leonie's English was, maybe even better, and it ... more
            • We can start with fun with homophones. - Katerina, Sun Apr 21 22:07
              Katerina's eyes widened in surprise when Johana Leonie suddenly spoke Russian. Dorian spoke Russian - sort of - and Tatiana spoke Russian, of course, but even hearing 'my Russian is very bad' from... more
              • I feel so validated! - Johana Leonie Zauberhexen, Mon Apr 22 18:26
                OOC -- As usual, full disclaimer that I'm using Google and Google Translate and promise nothing by way of linguistic accuracy. IC -- Johana Leonie felt like she might break into dance in that moment. ... more
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