1994-07-07: Averting Accidental Poisoning

Participants:

Antigone_icon.gif Hermione_icon.gif

Scene Title Averting Accidental Poisoning
Synopsis Hermione and Antigone bump into each other again at the Leaky Cauldron. There may be poisoned butterbeer.
Date 07 Jul 1994
Watch For The Weasley Twins mention
Chronology
Logger Hermione

The Leaky Cauldron

It is very dary and shabby inside this tiny pub, the air full of the smell of pipe smoke. A few old women sit in a shadowy corner, drinking tiny glasses of sherry. A little man in a top hat is talking to the old bartender, who is quite bald and looks like a toothless walnut. A low buzz of chatter fills the room continuously, sometimes augmented by the sounds of laughter or a scraping chair as somebody rises. Down past the end of the bar, a door leads into the small back storeroom. In the opposite direction, a small parlor branches off from the common room, and from there a handsome wooden staircase leads upwards to a hallway of rooms for rent, each bearing a brass number.


The Leaky Cauldron is fairly quiet as afternoon presses on into evening, the sun just beginning to sink below the horizon. Most shoppers have either come and gone or are busy getting those last-minute items, while it's too early for the night-time bar scene to get going. Still, there are a few dotted here and there, in for a pint before heading home, or grabbing a bite to eat.

Antigone has taken up one of the smaller tables in the corner, a butterbeer forgotten at her elbow as she tries to very carefully pour the contents of a pouch into an empty container. It takes a great deal of concentration to get the powdery substance into the small opening, and she squints at it, her tongue sticking just slightly out of the corner of her mouth.

One of those getting last minute items is Hermione Granger. She's been staying at the Burrow with the Weasleys before Hogwarts starts, but she still has had to get a few last minute items. The always helpful clan allowed her to Floo in and she's supposed to Floo back with Mr. Weasley after he gets off work. That gives her a little time to kill at the Leaky Cauldron before heading back to the Burrow. Her bags are less heavy this time - as they're not full of books. She only bought one! And she's very much looking forward to diving right into it as soon as she finds a table. One of the only smaller tables unoccupied is right by Antigone and she drops her bags down onto an empty chair and slides into a chair. "Phew!" She can't help but let out as she eases the weight off of her feet. Book, here she comes! Pulling it out of the bag, she drops it onto the table - as it's a rather large one - displacing enough air that she may just disrupt all that powdery substance Antigone is attempting to pour.

"Ack!" is Antigone's oh-so-graceful reaction when the powder ends up all over her clothing instead of into that little container like it's supposed to. The surprise causes her to drop the packet, which sends up a small cloud of dust that has her coughing. For a moment, she gives the packet and container a dirty look, as if this must be their fault - clearly, they're in cahoots against her. But then it occurs that something else did happen and she looks over at the table next to her. At least any hard feelings only seem to be extended to her own belongings, since she just gives Hermione a rueful smile, and a slightly awkward, "Er, hello … Hermione, isn't it?" And then sets to dusting herself off.

"Oh!" Hermione is quick out of her seat to help dust things up. Normally she'd have a spell that would help with that in a second, but underaged witches aren't allowed to use magic. "I'm so sorry. Yes, Hermione. You're Antigone, right? This isn't something that's going to stain is it?" It's a powder, but in the magical world, it could be anything. "What was it?" Whatever it was, it's no longer going to be much use unless there's a good broom around. Or they're very careful in brushing it off the table.

"Antigone, yes," the girl confirms with a smile as she manages to get most of it off of her precious clothes at least, which seems to be her main concern. "And it's all right. Just some hellebore for my mother. I don't think they'll do any damage unless they're mixed with … uh, I forget what it is you mix it with, but it's not butterbeer, so I think we're safe," she decides with a glance down at the only handy liquid nearby. "I shouldn't have been messing with it out here anyway," she admits.

Using the edge of her shirt - as she's out in Muggle clothing - Hermione wipes away some more of the hellebore. "I'd be careful. Some hellebore's poisonous. Some people think Alexander the Great died of an overdose of it when he was taking it for medicine." Pause. "You didn't swallow any did you?" Then another pause. "Well, if you got it from here, then I can't imagine it would be poisonous. Unless, your mother doesn't get it for medicinal purposes. Anyway, I wouldn't try eating it till you're sure." Glancing around the bar, and at the butterbeer, she frowns. "You didn't get any in your drink, did you? Here, let me get you another one. It's my fault."

Antigone looks a little uncertain as Hermione mentions the part about hellebore being potentially poisonous. She probably should have known that, but it's summer and these details are forgotten at the Leaving Feast, to be groggily remembered sometime after the Sorting. "Er, no. I didn't eat any, just breathed a bit in maybe? I got it from here, but it's the, ah, the cheap stuff. You don't think that will make a difference, do you?" Indeed, the packet is for the cheapest on the market, though the container she's pouring it into is for a much, much more upscale type - one of the finest and most expensive. She looks down at her butterbeer, frowning at the few flecks floating in it, now a little less certain about whether or not she wants to take her chances drinking it. "Oh, I'm sure it's fine. You don't need to do that. It's no more your fault than the wind's."

"Hm." Hermione looks down at all the dust and then at Antigone. "No no, I should get you another butterbeer. I'm the one who caused the wind with my book." It's only right and that's something the Gryffindor cares about. "And I wouldn't trust the cheaper, depending on where you got it. Were you getting it to for medicine? Or was it for something else? That would make all the difference, really. There's many different species of hellebore and only some of them are poisonous. But, some people think that it's the small doses of the poisonous breed that have the medicinal properties." Whenever she gets the chance to lecture or impart knowledge, she gladly will. "Oh! Your butterbeer. I'll only be a tick. You'll watch my things, won't you?" And then, she's off to the bar to procure a replacement drink for the Hufflepuff.

Antigone tries to follow this lecture, though, to be fair, she's not trying too hard to take in the finer points of it, mainly just trying to discern whether this cheaper stuff is going to kill her family or not. "I'm … not sure what it's for. My mother just asked me to get some with the errands, and I didn't think she'd notice if it were cheaper, so long as it came in the right packaging." Hence the empty container for the more expensive stuff. "Suppose I'd best just get us the more expensive kind and not take the chance." She seems set to argue further about the butterbeer, but ends up just nodding that she will, indeed, keep an eye on Hermione's things, sitting back in her chair to wait, while dusting a little more of the powder from the edge of the table.

The bushy-haired witch isn't gone very long and when she's back, she has two butterbeers in either hand. She can't be expected to get one for someone else and not herself, could she? Careful of the dust, Hermione sets one down on Antigone's table and the other on hers. She makes sure it's not close to her book. She certainly doesn't want to get any sticky rings on it. "I'm sorry about that, honestly. I should have paid more attention. I just wanted to start my new book and was a little too excited."

Antigone looks back up with a little smile as Hermione returns. "Cheers," she says sincerely as the drink is set down before her. She glances over at the book, unable to fathom the idea of reading material being that exciting, but she harbours no hard feelings, shaking her head with another rueful smile. "Really, it's all right. If I was about to poison my family, honestly, I'm rather glad you stopped me. I just didn't think it would make a difference. So, ah, what's that you're reading then?" she inquires as she picks up her fresh drink.

"Oh, I didn't mean it like that!" Hermione is truly embarrassed to make it sound like Antigone was going to poison her family. "It's just what I've read in one of the books in the library." No doubt doing some extra work so that she could show Snape just who knew about potions. "This?" Hermione glances down at the book. Now that she's talking to someone else, it doesn't seem to be as important as it was before. "It's just something to occupy my time before it's time to go. It's silly. It's just a very thorough history of Quidditch. I'm trying to convince a friend of mine that reading isn't that bad. The only thing he seems to care about involves large red balls that want to bludgeon what little brains he has left out." She rolls her eyes at that.

"Just the same, I don't think I'll be taking the chance," Antigone decides. "It's rather the last thing we need right now. Are all these sorts of things like that, then? If I buy discount nettles am I going to end the world?" She tries to keep it light, joking, but the question is real enough. She takes a sip of her drink and then looks over at the book. "Well, a Quidditch book doesn't sound that bad," she agrees thoughtfully. "Though I still prefer to stick to magazines in the summer. You still learn such useful things, but it's much less of a commitment," she confides knowingly.

"I didn't mean to imply that!" Hermione backtracks. It seems like she's made a bit of a mess of that. "There are only a few herbs that could be poisonous. That was just one of them. I'll show you the book back at Hogwarts. It's really quite interesting. They have footnotes about historical figures that have all used what herb and what it's good for." Of course, that's the sort of thing only Hermione could really find all that fun to read. "It's not bad at all! It's exciting, really, reading about how it started and then before there were regulated teams. There's an abridged version, but you miss so many more good facts if you get it that way." As for magazines, she tries to hide her distaste. Those aren't books! "I'm sure," she says uncertainly. "They have their uses, too. But, you really need books in order to learn more."

"Er, thanks," Antigone replies, to the kind of offer of showing her a book and it's footnotes once they're back at school. She does a really good job of keeping her enthusiasm in check. "Though, well, maybe I ought to just ask the apothecarist next time, hm?" Yes, that sounds much easier than looking it up herself. The person in the apothecary is paid to know these things so that she doesn't have to. "Anyway, I mostly just like to watch Quidditch." Not read about it, is the implication there, though she at least gives the book a considering look. "And some of the players are pretty cute, don't you think? I'm looking forward to the Cup!" Such a girl, looking forward to the major sporting event for the eye-candy. "And, really, I learn enough from magazines, at least in the summer. I guess the school couldn't use them as textbooks or anything though." If only!

"You're welcome!" Hermione beams, quite willing to take Antigone to the library any time she even almost sort of allows her to. A study buddy is always a prize. "It's really fascinating, the way we use herbs and potions, don't you think?" But, then, the subject has moved on to Quidditch, which she can't really talk about with as much authority, but she's reading more in order to try to be able to! "Me too. Harry and Ron are always trying to get me to play, but I'd much rather keep my feet firmly on the grass. They'll need someone to fix them up, anyway, if they have their way of it and get themselves all roughed up." She didn't think she meant 'not reading about it'. "Cute?" She never really thought about it. She was always too busy watching for Harry and making sure nothing happened like in their second year. "Oh, I guess so?" Not a typical girl, this one. "I honestly don't know more about the Cup other than who's playing."

Antigone glances down at the table, not quite sure what to do about Hermione's keenness to drag her to the library. Oh well, probably best to just go with it rather than make a fuss. Maybe she'll actually learn something useful, who knows. Hermione's question about the fascinating uses of herbs and potions leaves her likewise at a loss though, and she looks up, blinking somewhat blankly at the other girl, before trying to actually come up with an answer. "Er, yeah, I suppose so. Some of the stuff they do is pretty neat," she'll admit, though it doesn't sound that she's all that interest in how or why it does the stuff it does. It's summer! "Yeah, I don't play either," she amends, as Hermione mistakes her meaning. "It's a little too violent for me. But it can be fun to watch, anyway." Which brings them full circle back to the cute boys. "Yeah. Cute. You know? Like good looking? At least until they end up with too many broken noses and their faces go a little crooked." She makes a bit of a face with that. "Not that … there's anything wrong with that," she adds rather hastily, once she starts feeling badly for judging someone for something he had no control over. "So are you going then, to the Cup?" She doesn't really know much about it either, but if she let that stop her, she wouldn't get much done in a day.

The threat of Hermione dragging her to the library is really idle at the moment. Not only is Hogwarts not in session, but she normally only conscripts students who she has direct control over. Like, Harry, Ron, Neville, and other Gryffindors who fear her wrath. "Right." Cute. The girl thinks that over. Are they cute? Thinking over the Gryffindor team, it's hard for her to imagine them in that light. It's Fred and George and Angelina and Harry. They're not cute, they're housemates. "Of course." She doesn't like to feel like she doesn't totally understand a subject, though, so she nods her head. It's not that she doesn't know what Antigone is talking about, but that she hadn't actually thought of any of the members in that light. "Oh, there's nothing wrong with a crooked face. Just, sometimes it's the people with the crooked faces that are the problem." As to the question, she shrugs her shoulders. "I'm not sure. I'd like to. I've been reading about it in the Prophet and it seems like it would be exciting, but I'm not sure if the people I'm staying with are going."

Antigone is quite grateful at least the risk isn't too great right now. She could probably deal with being shown a book during the school year, when her mind is forced back onto those things, but right now, she can't promise her eyes wouldn't glaze over and her brain go to sleep. To the matter of cute boys, she continues watching Hermione trying to come to terms with this idea, seeming lightly amused to judge by her grin. "My family doesn't really approve of me dating yet, but I figure there's no harm in looking, is there," she confides knowingly, before turning her attention to the matter of crooked faces and crooked people. "Yeah, I suppose that's it. I wouldn't rule someone out just because they had a crooked face, not least of all if it came from taking bludgers to the nose all the time, but … it does mean they maybe aren't so cute. At least not conventionally." She pauses with a frown, not sure if she's just talking herself deeper into this hole. Well, onwards then! "Oh right. I guess it'd be up to them, then. I'm pretty sure we'll be going, so if you do happen to go, perhaps we'll see each other there," she suggests with a grin.

"Mine wouldn't either." Hermione nods. It's a little strange to be talking to another girl about boys. Of course she hears Lavender and Parvati talking about the cute boys in their year all the time. But, she doesn't often join in with them and buries her nose in a book. And, of course, Ron and Harry don't even really think of her like a girl. Not that they would talk about cute boys in their year if they did. "They already don't really know what to make of the Wizarding school in the first place. If they found out I was dating boys there, too, I think they might try and make me go to a nice and proper Muggle school." Though the Grangers are really supportive, they don't want their daughter to turn into some sort of strumpet. "Though, I guess, that doesn't mean that looking isn't allowed." She just hasn't. Or even thought about it, really. "I'll look for you if we go. I'll be with the Weasleys, if you know them."

"What? Don't Muggles date?" Antigone asks in pureblooded naivete, drawing that conclusion from the Granger parents sticking Hermione into a Muggle school if she tries to start dating. Huh. Those Muggles. She'll never figure them out. At least it's just an innocent question, no real judgement to it, though she can't say she approves of the idea of not dating at all. She tries to shake off the wonderment though and continue on with the conversation. "But no, I don't think anyone can fault us just for looking. Not like we're blind, is it. If boys are there, we're going to see them." Ah, the rambling of rationalizing. She furrows her brow, the name definitely ringing a bell. "Ah yeah, know of them, though I don't really know them. Sort of hard to miss around school, aren't they," she points out with a little grin, no doubt alluding to sheer numbers.

"Of course they do." Hermione replies, not offended, just teaching. "Just, they don't want me to at fourteen. Just like Wizarding parents, I suspect." She'll teach them all about Muggles one day if she can. "No, we're not." She just hasn't been paying attention. But, now that it's been thought of, maybe she will be more often. It'll be hard not to no that her attention has been brought to it. Though seeing boys and seeing boys as cute is really two different things. She'll just talk to Ginny about it. "They are, it's true. The red hair." And so many of them with that red hair. "Hard not to spot."

Antigone still looks a little confused, but relieved, at least, that Muggles also date and therefore can't be that different. Otherwise, it would lead to trying to figure out how it is they work around it, which could only ever end badly. "Yeah, my parents are both purebloods and they don't want me to, so it can't be just a Muggle thing," she allows with a nod. "Though I think fifteen is certainly old enough." Because that extra year truly makes all the difference. Still, she doesn't seem too hopeful of convincing her parents any time soon. "Right, the red hair," she agrees with a little grin, nodding in confirmation. "Some of them play Quidditch too, don't they?" Not that she's insinuating that the Weasley Twins are cute, of course, ahem.

Hermione smiles. "I think it's just a parent thing." No matter the breeding, parents don't want their kids to date too young and get themselves into trouble. "Fifteen sounds reasonable." Though parents aren't always reasonable about anything with their children. "Fred and George, the twins. I'm sure you've seen them about. They're even harder to miss and not just because of their hair. Explosions and mischief follow them about. They're Beaters." If she gets that she's insinuating their cuteness, that's one area that Hermione is quite oblivious to. They're the twins. How could they be cute?

"Yeah, well, try telling my parents that," Antigone suggests wryly. "Though since I haven't any actual options right now anyway, I don't figure it's worth the fight. There's enough going on these days." She'll save her energy and fight for that right when there's something to fight for. She nods as Hermione explains about the twins, looking again as though this does sound familiar. "Ah yeah, that's right. Yeah, I remember them. Someone said it was them who took the toilet seats from the girls toilet, but I think that might've just been a rumour." She's not going to jump to any conclusions at least.

"No, that was them." Hermione's voice is serious. While she sounds upset at them for such a horrible prank, it's hard not to laugh at the Twins' antics. "There's no rumor I've heard so far about them that isn't true. They're incorrigible." With a smile, she spots a red haired Mr. Weasley enter the Leaky Cauldron, as if summoned by talk of his family. "Oh! There's Mr. Weasley. I've got to run. I'm sorry again about scattering your hellebore. I'll see you at Hogwarts, if not sooner!" Gathering up her things, she quickly makes her way over toward Mr. Weasley and from there, the Burrow.


No Antigones or Butterbeers were hurt in the making of this log.


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