Lease this WebApp and get rid of the ads.
Cleo James, Crotalus
Hell is other people. Especially you.
Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:12

In the first part if the term, Herbology had easily been Cleo's favourite thing in school. It had now slipped to second only because she was helping tend the vegetable patch in her free time. Whilst she still liked learning about all the different plants, gardening was her real passion. It was also nice not to have everyone else around. She sometimes considered turning the project into a gardening club -it would have been nice to make some friends, and like minded ones who also enjoyed gardening would be even better, but at the moment, part of the appeal was the break from other people. She could take her little red wireless down with her, and it almost felt like home.

Today's project was cool, once she understood what it was. Although she and her daddy spent a lot of time gardening they a) didn't do it in tiny little boxes b) use long or fancy words about what they were doing. One thing she'd learnt so far in Herbology was that there were many things she knew but a lot of technical names or terms associated with them that she didn't. She had been aware that all plants had other names - she remembered pointing to the impenetrable italics on the seed packets and asking her daddy what they said; 'fancy name for carrots' was what he'd said. She'd since learnt that all those names were in Latin and just as difficult to pronounce as she'd suspected.

Today's project though, was much more her kind of gardening -going with what pleased them. Although she thought it would be a good idea to learnt a little bit about each plant, if she didn't know already, so she could make sure she wasn't choosing plants that wanted incompatible things, such as one that liked the heat and one that wilted under it. Of course, with a bit of magic, that was manageable but she wanted her terrarium to be something she could care for independently.

There was also the Muggle friendliness to consider. It was mostly in the shop that they had to be careful. They didn't have a lot of visitors to the flat, and even fewer of those who would be likely to come into Cleo's bedroom, although she might put it in the main room (a combination of kitchen and living room) because she was already super excited that she got to share a school project -and even better, a herbology one - with her daddy, so she wanted it to be somewhere where he could enjoy it too. She thought that, even in their living room, the passing traffic was low enough and predictable enough that they could put the terrarium away if company was expected, and thus it would be safe to use some of the more interesting plants, although nothing too over the top and nothing that had escapist or exhibitionist tendencies.

The jumping mushrooms were definitely out, as were the walking sprouts, which was a shame because they were fun. She thought the shy violets might actually be a problem too because they might inadvertently draw more attention to themselves than they meant to by running off to hide. She thought a phoenix flower would be ok because the odds of it choosing to burst into flames at the same time as them having a surprise guest seemed incredibly low. She'd also seen some glow in the dark bugs and sea creatures when she'd watched nature shows with her grandparents, so she thought that glowing moss wasn't totally out of the realms of believability for a Muggle, besides which their visitors would either be there during the daylight hours or they'd have lights on, which would make it considerably less noticeable.

She decided that she would make the phoenix flower the centrepiece of her terrarium, and then make symmetrical patterns around it with different coloured soils and grasses, broken up by rocks and mosses. The ticklish grass would be another fun, minimally detectable magical plant to slip in there.

She decided to look for stones first, because it might be hard to find matching pairs, especially after they had been ransacked by other people. She wasnt going to try to make every last stone match -that would be insane -and she didn't mind filling on smaller gaps with a mishmash, but she wanted something good to mount her moss on. She was momentarily distracted by a very pretty purple stone but there was only one of it. There were a beautiful pair of smooth black stones just beyond it, which in addition to matching, would set off the glowing moss really nicely.As she reached for them, however, her hand collided with someone else's.

"Sorry," she apologised reflexively before she noticed who it was. She barely managed to contain a roll of her eyes. Jen. Was the girl on some kind of challenge to jostle Cleo in every subject before the school year was out? Although the other girl's crimes against her were minimal, Cleo was very capable of holding a grudge, and the initial poor impression had coloured several subsequent moments, ones which with someone else might have gone unnoticed, until she had built up a picture of Jen as someone who generally annoyed her. A fact which, naturally, was not helped by forced confinement within the same building and the prevailing sense that they were all meant to like each other, or else.

Cleo glanced at the tray, and then back at Jen. Jen, with her black glasses, black clothes, and general air of misery. There was little doubt in Cleo's mind which stones the other girl was after, especially as they'd both been reaching more or less the same way. Her first impulse was to declare that she had seen them first, and then possibly just grab them. She knew that her daddy wouldn't approve of such behaviour, as he had given her lots of talks about how school would involve compromising and sharing. Still, she wasn't entirely sure he'd had anyone as annoying as Jen White in mind when trying to teach her those lessons. In the heat of the moment, it may not have been enough, but luckily not wanting to behave badly in front of Professor Xavier was enough of a deterrent. She knew the fair thing to do was offer to take one each but that would be pointless for her because her design required symmetry. If she couldn't have both then there was no point having either, though she was reluctant to give one or both over to Jen because it didn't seem fair that the other girl would get what she wanted and Cleo wouldn't.

"Rock, paper, scissors?" she suggested grudgingly. She was sure that Jen wasn't likely to budge an inch or let her have them out of the goodness of her heart, so the only thing to do seemed to be to leave it up to fate. Which, if there was any justice, would surely choose her.

  • Terrarium Paradise - Jennifer White (Aladren), Tue Jun 20 15:27
    To her own surprise, Jen had discovered she actually quite enjoyed herbology classes. Partially that was probably down to professor Xavier being really easy to be in a room with (just because she... more
    • Hell is other people. Especially you. - Cleo James, Crotalus, Thu Jul 13 10:12
      • You're talking to yourself again - Jen White, Tue Jul 25 16:13
        Of course it was Cleo. Jen hadnít been able to ascertain whether Cleo was aggravating and rude to everyone or if she was making particular efforts to ensure Jen didnít like her. Either way, she was... more
        • It's better than talking to you - Cleo, Sun Jul 30 23:16
          Normally, getting her own way made Cleo happy. Trust Jen to somehow be able to ruin even that. Cleo had been perfectly willing to be fair and play for the stone but Jen had turned her down, and was... more
Click here to receive daily updates