1995-03-26: Herbology Headstart


Jackson_icon.gif Neville_icon.gif

Scene Title Herbology Headstart
Synopsis Tutoring in Herbology, and also Muggle items.
Location Hogwarts - Greenhouses
Date March 26, 1995
Logger Jax

[HGW] - Greenhouses

The Herbology classes of Hogwarts are taught in a series of greenhouses located out off the main courtyard. From the outside, these greenhouses look like any old greenhouse you would find in someone's garden. The structures are made from glass and metal, of course they are magically enhanced to prevent breakage as well as controlling the inner temperatures. Depending upon your class year depends upon which greenhouse you study in. The contents of these rooms almost appear normal, save for oddly colored foliage that occasionally try to teeth on passing students. Tables and shelving units containing the smaller plants are set up in neat rows, while larger plants occupy corners in their own pots and personal space. Some of these errr, miracles of nature are quite volatile. Arranged down the center aisle are a series of tables for students to work at.

Sunday afternoon is generally a quiet time in the greenhouses. Generally. At the moment — well, it's true that there aren't a lot of /people/ in it — just one small Hufflepuff — but he is singing loudly and cheerfully enough for an entire class as he bounces around the room. "Dance your cares away! Worry's for another day! Let the music play!" His herbology book and notes are sitting on a table nearby, but at the moment he is engrossed in the music playing from his headphones, connected to a Muggle Walkman. His clothes are as brightly cheerful as his singing — his jeans are embroidered with yellow and pink stars, and his t-shirt has a picture of a bright yellow Care Bear on it, a smiling sun embroidered on its belly.

The door squeaks open as it always has, no matter how many times Filch had been told about the unruly hinges. It's a familiar, comfortable sound to Neville, and the young Gryffindor grins largely. "Jax," he greets, unloading a worn, dirt-stained satchel on the long work bench. "How was your week?" the boy wonders with a look to the other student.

Jax slips his headphones down around his neck, continuing to hum the song for a second as he smiles brightly and waves to Neville, his tone bright. "Hi! Was great! Well, good. Well, I didn't die! I mean I survived /all/ Professor Moldavia's Potions classes /and/ all Professor Moody's classes /too/ so these days I think that counts as a success!" He fumbles with the buttons on his Walkman until he switches the tape off, and bounces over towards Neville, leaning against the bench. "How was yours?"

Neville catches sight of the Walkman, a puzzled expression floating over his face. Still, he shakes his mind off of it. "Bully for you," Neville says brightly. "Mine was… the same. I survived." Finally, he can't help it. "What /is/ that," he wants to know, prodding a finger towards the device.

"It's a tape player," Jax explains, holding the thing up. "You put cassettes in it and it plays music. Through the headphones. See?" He presses play again, and holds the headphones up near Neville's ear, playing a new song from the Fraggle Rock show, now.

"Casset," Neville repeats awkwardly. He leans in, squinting at the sudden rush of noise. "Woah, wicked!" Another long look is given at the muggle thing. "That's a muggle thing, yeah? I'm startin' to get real fond of those muggles." The statment is backed up with an honest smile.

"Yeah, a muggle thing," Jax affirms with a nod. "Right now these songs are from a TV show but you can get all /kinds/ of music and things on cassettes and stick them in here and they'll play for you. 'most any sort of music you like! Or — books and stuff. Read out loud. I just like being able to carry music around to dance to, though, or listen to while I do homework." Neville's smile at the muggle contraption makes Jax's own stretch wider.

Neville pushes a hand forward, looking to Jax before touching the thing with a curious finger. "Bloody brilliant. You think you could get me one of those? How much is it? I have a handful of sickles I've been saving for a rainy day. Would kill for some music while I work."

"Sure!" Jax turns the device over to Neville to let him examine it. "There's some real fancy ones but this isn't anything special, it only cost —" Jax pauses for a moment, brow creasing, and then grins sheepishly at the older student. "Math isn't hardly my strong point, I have no /idea/ how much it'd be in wizarding money. A couple weeks' chore money, for me."

Neville seems pleased with the thought. "Well, sure. Lemme know how much you want. I guess I would need some of those… casset things." he says, wiggling his figner in a circle at the tape player. "All right, so… let's see. What's your lesson on in Herbology this week?"

"I could definitely get you some of those. You'll have to let me know what sorta music you like." Jax smiles brightly and switches the cassette player off, wrapping the headphones' wire around it and setting it down on the bench, picking up his textbook instead. "Well, this week we're reading about different plants that can be used for healing. And learning about taking care of soapweed and spineflowers."

Neville nods, making a mental note to think about this. "Well, that's an awful lot. But I'm pretty sure you're on the basics. There are some non-magical plants, too, that are good for that. We learned about those first." He motions the boy over towards the other side of the green house. "Those," Neville motions to a small row of almost pointy cactus looking things without needles, "are aloe vera plants. Non-magical. They're in the succulent family. Inside of them is a gooey, watery body. It's used for burns and rashes."

"Oh! We have lots of ointments and lotions and stuff that use aloe vera in the muggle world," Jax says excitedly. "I never actually saw the plant it comes from, though." He trots closer to the aloe plant, peering at it and reaching out to brush a finger lightly down one of the thick leaves. "Succulent makes it sound /tasty/."

"It tastes nasty, mate." How Neville knows this does not become clear. He reaches down, snapping a small tip of the plant off. Each broken end oozes clear, somewhat thick goo. The boy uses his thumbnail to slice a split in the soft, rubbery surface of the plant. It falls open, revealing a almost solid, pale innards. "Your just rub this right on yourself and the burn goes away almost instantly." Neville moves on, this time to a bushy, large leafed plant. "Another one, the dock leaf. Know what it's for?"

Jax reaches out to touch a bit of the clear ooze from the end of the plant, rubbing it thoughtfully between his fingers. He jots down a quick note before moving on to the second plant, studying it uncertainly. "Ummmm — I think I heard once that you can rub them on nettle stings," he ventures uncertainly. "But I've never tried it or anything."

"That's right!" Neville exclaims, clapping the boy on the back. "Which is a spot of luck since it's typically found growing right next to nettles. Works on insect stings too, from what I hear. Muggles will go as far as wrapping them around breaks and sprains out hiking or camping when they can't get to a healer. They're also used in many pain ebbing potions."

Jax bounces happily on his toes when he gets the right answer. "Cool! I got stung by a bee before and it hurt /so/ bad. I wish I'd had some of this around!" He marks down notes on this plant, too. "Does it really help with breaks? There were always so many herbs my ma swears by, but my pa said it was just a bunch of hippie nonsense — well, that was before he ever knew there was such a thing as magic, though! I guess he maybe changed his mind later."

Neville shakes is head, waving a hand. "Nah. But wet dock leaves keep cool well and it helps with swelling, I suppose." The next plant is far, far different than the others. Neville motions Jax back a bit. This plant looks almost like a burnt, fat slug that reaches into the air. Neville pulls his wand from his pocket, flicking it to tickle the plant. It then squirms, ever so slightly, all on it's own. "This," he announces, "is a bubotuber."

Jax's nose wrinkles. "Kinda ugly, ain't he?" he says, and then looks contrite, apologizing to the plant immediately after "— Sorry! I hope I didn't hurt your feelings. — What's it for?" His gaze skips from the slugplant back to Neville, and his voice drops to a confidential hush. "D'you think they get sad? There's so many other prettier plants around here. At least there aren't mirrors for them to see in though."

Neville chuckles. "Don't fret. It doesn't have ears, Jax. Just watch what you blab over the palette of lamb's ear in the next greenhouse over." He steps back, stowing his wand. "Dreadful thing. It hasn't matured yet. It gets these… boil like things on it, filled with this pus like junk. It'll cause you're skin to boil like a stew. But if it's diluted, it cures acne like a charm."

"Oh phew." Jax relaxes, but his nose wrinkles at the description. "So the poor things get /even uglier/? 'least they're useful." He studies the plant curiously, but doesn't get any closer. "I wonder how come I never noticed any magical type plants back when I was — I mean, before I knew I was a wizard. Are there poor unsuspecting Muggles wandering around out there with boiling skin? That don't sound pleasant at all."

"The way my Gran explains is, Muggles are particularly good at not seeing things they wouldn't believe in anyways." Neville shrugs on top of this and leans up against the table, pointing to some tall, pink flowered stalks of an almost weed-looking plant. "That's soapwort, it's for itchy skin. You Can boil it and make some neat soaps with it, too. It's a particularly favorite snack for Unicorns, but to everything else, eating it is poisonous."

Jax laughs aloud at that explanation. "I think your Gran is real smart. That'd certainly explain my pa for a while — when there was first signs I was gonna be a wizard. It took forever for him to acknowledge anything was even going /on/." He shakes his head and focuses back on the plants, poking curiously at a flower of the soapwort. "Have you ever seen a unicorn?" he asks suddenly. "I hear there are some in the forbidden forest! I'd love to see a unicorn one day."

Neville 's easy going smile and relaxed stance changes. He sits up, mouth twisting to a frown. "Ah," he breathes in, giving a cautious glance to Jax. "Yeah, mate. But… but it was dead. Dreadful thing, really." Neville turns not bothering hiding a deep shiver at the memory of the Forbidden Forest in his first year. "So you think that's enough to impress your class next week? he asks quickly.

"Oh." Jax's face falls, his expression saddening. "Oh, that's terrible. Who would — M'sorry." He chews on his lip brow creasing, and nods as he looks down at the notes he's taken. "Yeah," he says with a half-smile. "This is really great, thanks! Professor Sprout was totally thrilled with how on top'a things I was all /last/ week. I 'ppreciate this a lot."

"All right, Jax." Neville starts as he goes back to the work bench and scoops up his bag. "You take care and we'll meet back up here next week." He looks up, shooting the boy a reassuring smile. "Knock Professor Sprout right outta her garden gloves— oh!" Neville flips his bag around reaching into it and setting some nice, silver plant clippers on the table. Their handles are wrapped in a thick, polished black leather, and the hinge of the blades have small, gnome looking faces etched on the bolt, one side smiling, the other side grimacing. "Had Gran pick up a pair of my favorite sort of clippers last week. Told her I lost mine. Figured you could use a better pair than the school-issued ones."

Jax's eyes light. "Woooah. Thanks! These are way nice." He traces his fingers over the faces before picking up the clippers. "Awesome! That's pretty rad of you, Neville, thanks!" The smaller boy takes a half-step forward, looking like he is about to hug Neville, but then blushes and just grins instead as he tucks the new clippers into his backpack. "See you next week!"

Neville gives Jax a friendly tip of his head and a wide, brimming smile. "Ta, mate. Don't mention it. Good luck in class." He throws up a hand, waving as he pushes his shoulder to the door and letting himself out of the greenhouse.

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