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Professor X
Beginners: Junior Groundskeepers
Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:48
166.137.240.118

The labyrinth hedges were beginning to bud. Tips of grass were beginning to poke through the dirt alongside the well travelled paths of the gardens. Flowers were beginning to sprout amid the tiny spears of grass. The days were getting longer and warmer.

Spring had sprung and winter was done.

It was Nathan’s favorite- and busiest- time of year.

“Hello, beginners,” he greeted cheerfully as the flow of first and second year students into Greenhouse One slowed to a stop as everyone who was coming to class today arrived. “You’re going to have to wait until next week to get back Tuesday’s quiz,” he apologized. “Yesterday I was busy doing spring groundskeeping.” Until the school hired a new groundskeeper, he had his hands full keeping up with both his old job and a full load of core classes.

“Which brings us to today’s activity. Everybody follow me. You should bring your wands and a pair of gloves, but leave everything else. We’ll come back before the end of the class period.” And with no more explanation than that, he walked out of the greenhouse and into the labyrinth.

He looked behind him periodically to count the students and make sure he hadn’t lost anybody, but mostly he just trundled along - he wasn’t a very fast individual, but he was an adult and he had longer legs than the students - at a steady clip until he came to a part of the gardens where the hedges were in pretty sad shape.

“Some of you may have found the sledding hill we made this midterm. I’m sure it was good fun for us, but the hedges underneath all that snow had a rough winter. Who here knows anything about the hedges Sonora uses to make our labyrinth?”

“Yes,” he confirmed after one student spoke up, “they are a magical species called, appropriately, a labyrinth hedge. These are the moonbeam labyrinth hedge subspecies. What’s their most notable magic property?”

He looked around for any student with the knowledge or at least a good guess. “When moonlight falls on them, they emit a faint aura of confusion,” he told them after taking a few suggestions from the class. “So don’t stay out too late in the Gardens or you may have more trouble than you might expect finding your way back.”

“More relevant to today’s lesson though, they are very good at regeneration, and clippings of labyrinth hedges can be used in some potions of healing. What we are going to do today, is help these damaged hedges get back into shape.”

He spread his arms to indicate the whole area around them that have been buried in great mounds of snow. “Everyone pick a section to work on. You’ll need to clear out the dead branches. Just put them in this bin here,” he tapped the side of a collection bin he had brought out for this purpose earlier in the day. “We’ll use that for kindling at the bonfire this summer.”

“Once your area is clear of dead branches, use a lumos charm near the roots. Their natural regeneration works best when exposed to light, since their branches and leaves normally cause their roots to be covered in shadows. So when they get direct light, it usually means something happened to their branches and they need to grow them back. Once your area looks healthy again, raise your hand and I’ll check it over, give you your grade, and if you finish quickly enough, you can restore another area for bonus house points and extra credit. Any questions? Good, go tend to these hedges.”

    • Let's work together. - Tatiana Vorontsova, Pecari, Thu Nov 30 21:30
      There were many things Tatiana liked about herbology, but she supposed the strangest was probably that it was a time when people other than her wore gloves outside. She was still generally the only... more
      • Two heads and Four Hands - Parker Fitzgerald - Pecari, Thu Dec 7 12:56
        Smell of dirt and green things filled Parker’s nose as he made his way into Greenhouse One. As he raced into the Greenhouse he dumped is backpack on the ground near the door. Herbology was one of his ... more
        • And a vocabulary and a half. - Tatiana, Thu Dec 21 22:39
          Sometimes, Tatiana thought the center of the thing was not so much the number of words she had learned this year, but that she had simply gotten better at quickly figuring out what people meant from... more
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