1995-03-23: Paging Doctor Longbottom


Egbert_icon.gif Neville_icon.gif

Scene Title Paging Doctor Longbottom
Synopsis Neville helps brainstorm over the care and feeding of a strange plant.
Location Hogwarts - Courtyard
Date March 23, 1995
Watch For Unwise thoughts of cross-breeding
Logger Egbert

Egbert is sitting at a bench near the sunlit edge of the courtyard, studying a large potted plant sitting in front of him. Thick stem, large roundish bulb. At the moment, he's pouring a little ink-bottle-sized bottle of vinegar onto it, with no apparent effect.

Neville is strolling in from the bridge side of the entrance, his robes heavy and wet with the stormy, cold weather. His hair is curled dramatically from the damp weather, and a red-tinged face peeks out from between the large, curly locks. "Wow," the boy breathes, stopping in his tracks to look at the bulb. "Nice!"

Fortunately for Egbert, his parents insisted on packing an enchanted rain slicker among his things, so his hair and clothes are only slightly damp around the edges where the magic is starting to break down. He squints to see who's speaking up— hey, it's Longbottom, he knows this stuff pretty well, right? "Have you seen one before? I'm trying to figure out what it eats, there was a book in the library but it had a page missing."

Neville bends forward, pushing some hair from his eyes. "What's it called, mate?" he wonders. "Sometimes I know names but not what the thing looks like. I know a bit about blasting bulbs, and sticky bulbs, and well… a lot of 'em."

Egbert leans back so Neville can get a better look at the whatever-it-is. "The book just had some Latin name, lily-something secundus… didn't mention any common name for it. Warned about lightning, too, but I haven't heard any thunder out so I think that's all right."

"Well," Neville reasons, motioning if he can join the boy on the bench. "Secunds is Latin for 'second', and a lily is… well, a lily. Lightening… huh. It could be an umbrella-sized flower of the lily variety. Umbrellas are a bit worrisome in lightening, aren't they? Dunno why it'd be called 'secundus', though…"

"Might be," Egbert muses, scooting over to make room. "It could get a lot wider when it opens up. Anyway, at least it doesn't seem to be dying, it's just… hibernating, I guess. Maybe I should ask Hagrid to try crossing it with a Blast-Ended Skrewt…"

Neville looks a little surprised. "Well, you had best make sure it isn't a blasting bulb before you go and do that…" the boy shudders at the thought. "That'd be a nasty little mistake. Sometimes, if it's a magical plant or not, they'll only bloom in the right soil. Sand, manure, even suspended in water. What have you tried so far?"

Egbert makes a face. "I haven't tried manure— wait, sand, really? Anyway, I didn't really think about changing the soil, I was just working on the bulb. Salt, vinegar, twigs, sunflower seeds… I tried a tomato once and it almost looked like it was going to open up, but I think maybe I was just too tired."

Neville shakes his head. "Think of it like what you breath. You act a lot different if you're in water versus air, right? That little bulb might just need something different to live in." Neville leans in to touch the thing a few times, curious. "If the information on it mentions lightening, I'd figure on water or a very iron-rich soil. Think of what attracts lightening."

Egbert leans closer. "Hmm, there's plenty of water around now, but I'd have to dig it out first if that's all it wants. Better get it back to the nursery, find a spade… for all I know it's got barbs on the roots. Thanks, I'll let you know if it works out!" He adjusts the rain slicker as he stands up, the left sleeve now visibly tattered.

Neville stays on the bench looking up with a smile. "Sure. Lemme know how it goes, what it is, and all of that. If nothing else, Professor Sprout'll be able to tell you what it is without even having to think." He lifts up a hand, wiggling his fingers in a goodbye.

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