Mary Brooding-Hawthorne

March 20, 2021 9:28 PM
Mary greeted her intermediate class for their first class of the new year with her signature beaming smile. Intermediates were always fun (although Mary liked something about each of her classes) because the students who were no longer present weren't all the way gone yet and the students who were joining weren't quite new. Everyone was settled and everyone was familiar with how things worked for the most part. Of course, they were also young teenagers and puberty made everything unsettled and unfamiliar, but that was part of the nature of growing up and Mary loved to watch her sweet students grow up. It made her have way too many emotions though, so she tried not to think too much about it and instead focused on how proud she was of all of them as she greeted them all, exchanging brief pleasantries as they took their seats around the room. Desks were set up for two to three students to comfortably share and although there were tall stools set at each one, they were a reasonable height for most students to stand if they preferred and some students had historically preferred to sit on the desk. That was fine with Mary so long as they took precautions against catching fire or knocking anything over and understood that safety was necessarily the priority.

"Hello," Mary said simply, beaming at her students when they'd taken their places. She rocked up on her toes, bringing her to almost average height for a moment before she returned to a regular standing position. The whole time, of course, her feet were hidden beneath the hems of her long skirts which were today the color of soft lavender skies. "It is absolutely wonderful to see you all again and I'm excited to get started! As those of you who are returning to intermediate lessons know, these years focus primarily on two things: preparing you to make the decision to pursue potions into your advanced years and possibly your careers, if you want, and preparing you for life after Sonora if you don't continue potions into your advanced years. Beginner years focus on the nature of potions, what potions are, and how they are used. Now, we'll start looking more deeply at their practical application and a more in depth look at the theory behind them."

With that, she waved her wand, floating a recipe page to each student. Each was in English, but additional copies in other languages were available in books around the room, with that information available at the bottom of the page. Students in potions classes kept binders - which were occasionally graded on proper organization - and the recipe pages were punched to allow easy insertion into the binders. At the top of this particular page, the words Antidote to Common Poisons were written in neat lettering. Neatness was, after all, important for the safety and accuracy of potion-making.

"Those of you who were in intermediates last year will be familiar with this potion but there is benefit to starting with a quick refresher and getting us back in the habit of best practice potion-making. Additionally, this is one potion you may find you need to know for domestic and professional life after graduation." Hopefully no one would ever be poisoned or need to save a friend or family member from poisoning, but there was always the possibility. Most people tended to just purchase such remedies but that wasn't always possible either.

Waving her wand again, Mary then floated process sheets to each student, one blank one for each third year and a blank one and used ones for the older students. "Third years, you'll be filling this out the same as you've done in beginner classes, simply taking notes and answering the lab questions as you go so you can do a proper write up for me for next class. Fourth and fifth years, you'll be doing the same thing but part of your homework will also include an analysis of how your work and process has changed or remained the same based on your notes from previous years. You can put those in your bags for now to review later, you won't need them during class. Please note that they are copies so you can keep them for your own learning if you'd like and there's no point in trying to change them; I'll know what your previous work looked like."

Satisfied that she'd laid the groundwork for class, Mary took a breath and smiled at the room again. "Any questions?" she offered, ready to answer any that applied to the class as a whole and letting students know she'd come by their desk or they should come visit her at the front of the room if the question was more individual. "Go ahead and get started! Although your work is individual, I encourage you to talk with whomever is at your desk with you so that you can compare notes and brainstorm ideas together."
22 Mary Brooding-Hawthorne The antidote to summer break [Intermedites] 1424 1 5

Philippe Delachene

March 21, 2021 9:27 AM
For most of his early childhood, Philippe had considered himself and Anya to be basically the same age. Sure, she was taller than him, but not by a lot. Anya had never been particularly tall for her age (the opposite, in fact, was more true) and Philippe had never been particularly short for his (though he wouldn't call himself tall either) so their height difference had always seemed negligible compared to how much bigger than them Jasmine was. There were barely more than two years between Anya and Phillippe, while Jasmine had twice that between herself and Anya. Jasmine had been a seventh year to Phillippe's first year. He'd been all of five years old when she left for Sonora. He'd never had any trouble thinking of Jasmine as much older. Anya had only been seven then and by the time he was seven, he and Anya were doing basically the same work with their tutors, and he was doing it better.

He'd been angry when she got to go off to Sonora and he had to wait, not just one year but two. He'd always been able to keep up with Anya in school work and he hadn't thought that was fair, that she could start learning magic before he could, just because she was eleven and he was still nine. (Newly nine, too. He was really glad he hadn't been born two weeks later or he'd have needed to wait a whole year more than he already did.) They were peers. They were on the same reading and math grade level. He was the one Mom told to look after his sibling when they went outside together. It had really messed with his perception of how old he was compared to how old she was.

When he started at Sonora, Anya had been in her third year, an Intermediate, while he'd been a mere first year Beginner. She had a two year head start.

This year, he'd finally caught up again. He entered the potions classroom and would have grinned at finally being in the same class as his sister if she wasn't sitting on the desk next to her cauldron, looking for all the world like she intended to stay there and Professor Brooding-Hawthorne didn't seem to be making any moves to stop her either.

Philippe decided Potions maybe wasn't the Intermediate class he was going to spend working with Anya after all, and took a seat closer to the front so he would need to turn around to find out if Anya was actually going to spend the whole class period like that. If he didn't see it, it didn't happen, right?

He tried to put Anya and her desk-sitting out of his mind and managed it by seeing Freddie walk into the class. Oh, right, Anya wasn't the only fifth year he was going to be sharing classes with now. His heart fluttered a little and he waved a little shyly at the older Teppenpaw, hoping he'd come sit next to him.

During the lecture he did peek back once at his sister and immediately regretted it. Anya really was That Guy. Dear Merlin. How hard was it to use a chair? They weren't even the boring chairs most classes had. They were nice high stools. Anya usually liked high stools.

He made himself focus on the lecture. Between his sister being a Desk-Sitter and Freddie in such close proximity, it wasn't easy, but he did it. He was the mature and responsible Delachene, after all.

So he took notes. He learned about antidotes. He looked over the recipe they was supposed to brew. He looked over the familiar process sheet, and started filling it out, using his neatest handwriting because this was going to go into his binder and apparently come back to haunt him for years to come.

When he finished filling in the preliminary steps, he smiled at Freddie, and kind of wished they were brewing together instead of individually. He set up his cauldron and began filling it with water.

"Too bad we each need to make our own," he commented as he worked. "I prefer teamwork brewing, but at least we get to talk. I'm happy doing anything with you."

Wait. What? He hadn't meant to say that like that!

"For the class, I mean," he added lamely, but the redness on his cheeks probably gave him away.
1 Philippe Delachene Hi, new Intermediate here (tag Freddie) 1489 0 5

Valentine Duell

March 21, 2021 12:26 PM
Valentine was having a pretty day so far. The best part so far was coming from Aunt Giselle's class, that had been fantastic! She was terribly confused about what the class had actually been about, but it had been great! Now they were onto the last class of the day, Potions! Potions was a fun class, Professor Brooding-Hawthorne was wonderful and she was doing alright in the class itself. She also got to play 'mad scientist' with Bonabelle! Usually. Being in intermediate classes was exciting as well, she was back with the people she had classes with her first year here! That meant she could sit with Morgan, or Alexander, or Sadie, or Esme again!

Ordinarily she liked to get to classes early, so she could work on gaming stuff before class started. However, she hadn't gotten a chance to connect with Ness yet to see what plans were in store for the gaming club this year. She had gotten some initial plans together for a game the first half of the summer, but then with the traveling she hadn't looked over them recently. However, with the new class level... and maybe hanging around after Divinations to chat with the Professor a bit, she wasn't exactly 'early' to Potions class today.

Upon entering the room she immediately returned the Professor's beaming smile and then took in the classroom. The first thing she noticed was the Bonabelle had already found a partner, Stanley. That was a little odd, Bonabelle had asked about working with him after... after... but it was fine. She was probably planning on finding out some more about Wally. That would be nice. She could be happy perhaps, she remembered their talks last year about her feelings of loneliness and boys and such. Maybe if she got to know Wally better..? She smiled at the thought and continued to scan the room for a seat.

There! She walked over and took the empty seat next to Alexander! He was already sitting next to Mab, but that would be alright. Hanging out with Mab would be fun as well. She hadn't gotten to much during her first year, and last year they hadn't been in the same classes. Now she could fix that! She got out her class things and set them in place, all ready to go while greeting them both with a bright smile. This would be great, Alexander had agreed to help her out get adjusted to these intermediate classes. Unfortunately, due to her lack of earliness of arrival, they didn't have much time to talk before Professor Brooding-Hawthorne began class.

Valentine took her recipe page as it arrived and clipped it into her binder at the appropriate location. She glanced over it quickly while the professor talked about it. She was pretty sure she had helped Mama had made some of this, just to have around. It sounded like it was something you wanted to have around when you needed it. You probably didn't want to be stuck trying to brew it when you needed it. That probably wouldn't turn out well.

The second sheet that came her way was the normal blank process sheet they'd been doing. She was glad to see that they were still around. She liked them, they helped her keep everything straight with what she was doing. Even if she did add the occasional 'Maniacal Laughter' step here and there on them. She noticed that Alexander and Mab had gotten two sheets though, but the professor quickly explained why that was. Uh-oh. She was going to have to do this neatly and properly if she was going to have to look at it again next year.

Val did have a question or two, but nothing really important. Maybe Alexander or Mab, being more experienced, knew the answer. She'd ask them. So, once they were released to begin working (and encouraged to talk to each other), she turned to her tablemates. "Hi!" She opened cheerily. "How are you guys doing? Anything new or exciting?" Wait... class stuff. She should probably do some class stuff. She began to prep some of the equipment she would need, but couldn't resist. "Thanks again for offering to help me Alexander." That was class related, right? "Got any tips for a new intermediate?" She tossed that question out to either of them. They both had sheets that may give them some insights to answering that question.

OOC: Bonablle, Mab, Alexander and Stanley bits approved by their authors.
2 Valentine Duell This seems like a good thing to know [Alexander & Mab] 1490 0 5


March 21, 2021 2:14 PM
Mab was trying very hard to keep a low profile. She had made a scene at the concert last year, and while that hadn't bothered her at the time, the closer she got to returning to school, the more mortified she became of what she'd done in front of witnesses. She had shouted - shouted, when there were people in the school who must have thought she was at least selectively mute given how little she voluntarily talked at all - and not only had she shouted but the shout had very specifically drawn attention to the fact that her mom and Bel (who was very clearly a woman) were newly married. And then she'd attacked Bel.

And that told everyone that (a) Mom used to be a single mom, (b) Mom slept with women, and (c) Mab was probably a violent sociopath with bad martial form. And while all of these conclusions had at least some grain of truth to them, if not the whole story, and while none of them particularly bothered Mab (except for how sloppy her form had been during her attack; she deeply wished she'd at least looked a little more competent while making a scene), none of them were things she wanted to be held as common knowledge at her school because there were loads of people who would be bothered by some or all of those things.

So she was trying to keep a low profile. She'd been sitting close to Alexander all day because she was nervous that anyone else might make a comment about it, and then she'd have to either punch them or run away.

(Explaining was completely out of the question. She wouldn't know where to begin, even if she had been so inclined, which she wasn't. The wedding, the fact that Mab had worn a dress and carried flowers, the trauma of seeing Mom and Bel kiss, the adoptions that were still in progress, the new apartment, those were all private. Even Sadie had only gotten the briefest of updates - "My custody arrangement got worked out and I'm with my mom again. It's good." - on what had happened this summer.)

She had almost made it through the first day of classes without getting into a fight when Valentine Duell joined her and Alexander at their potions table. Mab scowled at her but it seemed to roll right off the girl. Go away, you're not welcome, Mab thought at her, but either the girl was an obstinate mind reader or she didn't hear the command because she didn't leave.

The class started then, and Mab tried to ignore her. The lesson was one they'd had before, which was a kind of nice way to ease back into school.

But Mab had made a snap decision at the beginning of her second year and spent the last two years actively avoiding Valentine Duell, and as soon as the lecture was over, she felt entirely justified in doing so. She'd been right. Valentine Duell talked too much.

She looked at Alexander and tried telepathy again: She's your Housemate. You deal with her.
1 Mab My summer break does not need an antidote. 1473 0 5

Bertie Jackson

March 25, 2021 6:58 AM
Bertie felt very thoroughly prepared for intermediate classes, and had very little doubt he would cope with them. After all, they were letting all his peers into the class, and he was far more capable than the vast majority of them. He thought he was probably brighter than several of the fourth years too, and likely would have been even if there hadn't been some notable outliers in that group. He probably would have given the fifth years the benefit of the doubt had Anya's reputation not preceded her. Apparently, he was already ahead of the new prefect-by-default simply by walking in and taking a seat. He would have hoped she didn't disrupt anyone's learning but she was already doing so by blocking the view of the board for certain people. Bertie took a seat in the same row but as far from her as possible, so that she was neither blocking him nor out of his sight, as he didn't entirely trust her not to cause accidents.

The lesson seemed very straightforward, differentiated for the older students only in that they had to be self-reflective. He wondered what would happen for anyone who had got it right last time? Maybe they would simply note down to carry on being a competent human being. Still, he appreciated Professor Brooding-Hawthorne's focus on proper process and analysis, and that there was a lab sheet to fill out. She was quite good at making potions feel scientific, which was exactly how it ought to feel. Bertie held no truck with people who thought magic was a thing to 'feel' not to understand. Of course, people did that all the time with things they used. You could ride a bike without knowing how it was put together - heck, you could walk around having a body without understanding biology. He wasn't saying it wouldn't work if you didn't understand it (especially given the weight of evidence to the contrary) just that it wasn't nearly so beautiful or exciting.

He began with task one, which was finely crushing his bezoar, which he would test by passing it through a grade 1 sieve, the logical choice of test for any powder described as ‘very fine’ (whilst everyone with basic potions knowledge came to know such things, he really wished the books would dispense with their vague language, and just give an accurate measurement of fineness, like they did every thing else). He noted down that this was how he had quantified ‘very fine’ even though it was standard practise and common sense, at least as far as he was concerned. In terms of reflections and improvements he could make next year, he could only hope to develop some more arm muscle between now and then. Crushing this thing was painful, and he wasn’t sure he would want to note down on his lab report how long it was taking him, because he was pretty sure it was going to be embarrassing.

Still, good preparation was the most essential part of potion making. He was not being slow, he was being well-prepared, which was essential.
He glanced up to see who else was working at his desk. Professor Brooding-Hawthorne had said partners weren’t necessary but comparing notes and ideas was highly encouraged. He currently had his lab report on the side away from the person next to him, and would decide how closely he wanted to follow that instruction dep

OOC: Up to the respondent how 'standard' Bertie's ways of doing things are.
13 Bertie Jackson A scientific approach 1497 0 5

Alexander Pierce-Beales

March 26, 2021 11:25 AM
Alexander was still riding the high of summer but it was becoming more normal. Life was becoming more normal, as school resumed and spending time with Mab in their usual places - often class of course - resumed. It was nice. It was easy. And then all of a sudden it was harder.

Had Valentine always smelled pretty?

He was determined not to be an absolute weirdo even though Mab looked like she might be perfectly happy to poison the newcomer whether or not Alexander had an antidote ready. He widened his eyes a bit at her when she looked at him, hoping he could somehow convey please help me look cool even though he was pretty sure it wasn't going to get communicated clearly. Also, he wasn't sure that Mab would be able to help him look cool; she knew too much about him and was way more likely to be able to blackmail him than anything else. Although she wouldn't do that. Probably.

"Happy to help," Alexander replied, his expression pleasant if not outright smiling. The question about their summer was one he was completely sure Mab didn't want him to go off answering in detail so he skipped that altogether. Besides, this was class time. "Mab's better at this stuff than me," he added when Valentine asked about whether they had any tips. He pretty much immediately regretted tossing the ball into his fos-- adopted sister's court because she . . . did not look like sharing. "Being meticulous is the biggest thing that's helped me," he added, stumbling a bit over himself because of course he couldn't just be cool for one stupid second.
22 Alexander Pierce-Beales I do feel a bit poisoned though. 1475 0 5

Freddie Zauberhexen

March 26, 2021 11:37 AM
Freddie had not gotten prefect and he was honestly more than a little relieved. Truth be told, he hadn't even considered the fact that he was up for consideration for the position (assuming he was actually considered at all, even if by default) until they'd gotten to school and he'd heard the announcements begin. Hana had been a little tense but had wished him good luck before they'd taken their seats at the Teppenpaw table and it had only struck him a few minutes later why she might do that. Since she hadn't gotten the position in her year either, Freddie was glad not to get the position himself now. The only bummer was that Ellie and Anya had both gotten it and so he'd miss them sometimes because they'd be busy and he'd be alone, but they wouldn't usually be busy at the same time probably They'd also both been the only choice for their House and it was nice knowing that he hadn't gotten it as a preferred choice when they hadn't (even though they were obviously both great choices too) because then that might've made them sad. Freddie would rather be a friend than a prefect, especially if it made other people maybe a little sad.

The whole thing had almost entirely served to take Philippe off his mind at the feast, although he hadn't been able to help a few glances towards the younger boy. The younger boy. The one who was too young to know for sure what he wanted, even though he seemed perfectly well adjusted and thought out to Freddie. The one Anya thought was maybe having crushes but didn't want to say for sure and didn't seem to be too confident about whether it was a good thing or not if he did. The fact that Freddie had seen Philippe's memory - for that's what it had been - was knowledge to them both now and that made everything seem a whole lot more difficult than he thought it really needed to be. Now everyone knew stuff except that none of them really knew anything.

Except he knew that a friendly wave made him feel a lot happier about everything than he had a moment before he'd walked into the potions classroom and he took a leap hoping that that little wave was an invitation, taking a seat next to Philippe instead of Anya or Ellie. Of course, sitting next to Anya wouldn't have been an option anyway, but sitting near her would have been. His neck bristled as he wondered how many times the older Delachene's eyes landed on the back of his head, and whether they were friendly or not as they did so.

Philippe was a good student, so Freddie tried to be as well. He took notes, and only a few of them were questions about English words, and he considered his papers from previous years with a practiced eye, one used to such activities in this class. The lecture finished and Freddie felt much less practiced with basically everything else, despite the fact that he'd both made this potion before and talked to humans before. He'd even talked to Philippe himself before.

Freddie grinned, happy that his company was wanted around, and nodded, wholeheartedly agreeing that team brewing was easier. There was something about the way that Philippe finished his thought that sounded like it meant something but Freddie wasn't the master of picking out nuances in English sentences, and all he had to go on was Philippe's cute red face.

"I like doing stuffs with you too," Freddie said simply, thinking of when they'd dyed Philippe's hair. His German accent was undeniably heavier after having spent the summer at home but his vocabulary and grammar had been under ongoing practice so he hoped that at least made sense. "And talk is nice," he smiled. "You are good student," he added with a nod both at Philippe's process sheet and cauldron, both demonstrating more progress than Freddie's. He quickly started adding water to his own cauldron to catch up.
22 Freddie Zauberhexen Does that make me an old intermediate? 1452 0 5

Bonabelle Row

March 26, 2021 11:43 AM
OOC: CW: Bonabelle has some not-nice words happening in her head. Possibly out loud. BIC:

Bonabelle didn't know what she wanted to say to Stanley. Well, she did. She didn't know what she wanted to say and would be acceptable to say to Stanley. But when she got to class and saw him sitting alone, Bonabelle took the seat beside him without a word or a glance. Class was filling quickly; he wouldn't be able to run away. Although apparently he was good at running away and making a fool of himself and abandoning people. He'd firmly added himself to Bonabelle's list of Untrustworthies and she didn't think she could count on him as far as she could throw him. Just for science though, it would be nice to throw him.

Class began and Bonabelle took notes, scrabbling fiercely because she wasn't really focusing as well as she should've been and she knew she'd want to review these later. She tried to keep her expression neutral because Valentine was sitting with a much nicer boy than Stanley and if she looked this way, Bonabelle didn't want to make her worry. She also didn't necessarily want Valentine to date that other boy, but she was mostly just hoping for Valentine's happiness and wellbeing at this point.

The lecture finished and Bonabelle turned to Stanley, since they were going to be working together today. If she couldn't actively give him a reason to need his antidote, then maybe she could scare him into doing a terrible job and getting a terrible grade. Not that he probably needed help failing.

"So," she said in a quiet, albeit sharp voice. "Poison. Got much experience?" She left out her offer to help provide some.
22 Bonabelle Row Hey, stupid. [Stanley] 1488 0 5

Valentine Duell

March 26, 2021 8:26 PM
Mab wasn't saying anything, but that was alright. Valentine knew that Mab wasn't a very talkative person, and it looked like the other girl may have been having a rough first day back at school. While she hadn't seen the scene that had taken place at the concert, Val had heard rumors of it. She dismissed them naturally, while she enjoyed talking with people and spending time with them, she did not like idle gossip. It was much better to talk to people directly than talk about them. That was what those rumors sounded like to her. Even if they were somehow true, and Mab had really nearly killed an Auror in the middle of the school only to be nearly killed by them, it wasn't really her place to comment on it. Also that may even be more reason that Mab needed friends right now. So she gave Mab a friendly and understanding smile. Mab could be quiet, that was okay. Bonabelle liked quiet as well sometimes.

Alexander on the other hand looked much happier. Things must be going better for him, he was practically smiling! She felt some extra bubble of happiness in her because of that. He was still willing, no, happy to help her! He was really nice and seemed anxious to move onto the classwork, which was probably safer. She glanced around to see where the Professor's attention was at the moment before turning her attention back to her tablemates. Maybe she could catch up wither summer news and stuff later. "Then I did sit at the right place!" Valentine stated happily when Alexander mentioned Mab's excellence at the subject matter. Then she nodded along as Alexander gave his advise. "I'm not doing to... well, I wasn't doing to terrible in this class last year." She corrected herself as she moved from the upper tier of beginners to the lowest tier of intermediates. Although, to be fair, she wasn't doing to bad so far. She had her recipe and some of her equipment out. She couldn't be to far behind everyone else yet, right?

"That is one part I'm trying to get better at." She held up the blank process sheet, "These have been really helpful to make sure I get everything done properly." She gave it a look, "And now that I know I'm going to see it again, I'm going to have to be extra good with filling it out." She looked between Mab and Alexander, "So, where do we start? Filling the cauldron?"
2 Valentine Duell Well, we'll just need to fix that up. 1490 0 5

Philippe Delachene

March 27, 2021 6:09 PM
Philippe fairly glowed under Freddie's praise. Freddie liked doing stuff with him, too. Freddie thought talking to Philippe was nice. Freddie said he was smart (or at least good at school, but that usually meant smart and/or responsible and/or competent so he'd definitely take it as high praise). "Thanks," he said, still flushing a bit, but more with pleased happiness than embarrassment now. In some ways, he was kind of worried about whether he and Freddie might have a lot of misunderstandings with the language barrier being what it was, but right now, he was just kind of relieved that the older boy seemed to have missed significance of his oversharing.

He'd just have to remember that subtleties were lost on Freddie and make sure he was always very clear whenever he had anything really important to say.

While Freddie worked on getting his cauldron set up and filled, Philippe began to sort out his ingredients, making sure he had everything and in sufficient quantities. This was only the first day of class, so his ingredient kit was still freshly restocked, and therefore he unsurprisingly did not need to go up to the potions cabinet to get anything this time, but it was always best practice to check.

"What is your favorite class?" Philippe asked curiously after a short while of working silently on their own potions. This was an opportunity to get to know Freddie better, to find out if Freddie was as attractive on the inside as he was on the outside (which he had no reason to doubt, but it was still always best practice to check), and Philippe wasn't planning to waste it. "I think I like Creatures best, but potions is good, too." They were rather different skills sets, but he found each was enjoyable in its own way.
1 Philippe Delachene I think you need to be more than 15 to be old. Like, maybe 16? 1489 0 5


March 27, 2021 6:57 PM
Mab was pretty sure Alexander was trying to use telepathy back at her, but beyond something that might have been a plea for help - maybe he thought Val talked too much, too? was Mab supposed to get rid of the younger girl? - she was no better at understanding him than he was at understanding her. But then he did turn to Valentine and talk to her . . . by throwing Mab under the bus.

After frowning in disagreement to Valentine's assertion that she had sat at the right table, Mab gave Alexander a Look. What part of anything he knew about her made him think she'd want to give a talkative young Teppenpaw potions advice? Then he thankfully remembered himself - and who Mab was - and offered his own potions advice to the third year instead. She was mildly surprised that Alexander seemed . . . well, she wasn't sure how he seemed, but he didn't seem like he wanted Mab to scare the younger girl away, anyway.

Instead, Mab started writing on her new process sheet, more or less ignoring both of them. She glanced from time to time between the book and the one from last year, to make sure she hadn't been a total ignoramus a year ago, but her previous year's sheet seemed to be largely fine, though she added a few more clarifying details to the one for this year, details that she hadn't thought had been particularly important last time but which now seemed more significant after a year of intermediate study.

Her attention was drawn back to the other two when Valentine started waving around her own blank sheet and asked where to start. "Process sheet," Mab said shortly, almost against her own will, but there was an order to things, and Valentine apparently didn't know it, and Mab didn't want a potion exploding right next to her. "Make your plan. Follow it." Then she returned her attention to doing just that for herself, having said as much as she ever intended to say to Valentine Duell.
1 Mab Did she do it? Should I get rid of her? 1473 0 5

Anya Delachene

March 27, 2021 8:19 PM
In the classrooms where the professor wasn't strict about using chairs, Anya always sat in the back of the room so she didn't block anyone from seeing the front of the room when she sat on her desk. With the higher vantage, she could see the front just fine from back there. Her eyesight was perfectly good - better than good, she was training as a Seeker after all - and she could read the board with no trouble even from the back row.

In contrast to conventional wisdom, she found it was actually easier to pay attention from the back of the room. This was partly because she didn't want the professor in question to catch her being distracted and take away her back-row-sitting-on-the-desk privileges, and partly because being able to see everyone else doing work helped her to remember to do work, too. Similarly, she never sat near the windows. She'd learned by the end of her first year she could not be trusted to think about classwork when the whole world was right there to look at, so she always picked a seat where she couldn't see the whole world very well. It was one of the things Professor Skies had helped her figure out was a problem.

For her first potions class of her fifth year, Anya headed for the back row and perched up on the tall desk (potions had the very best desks in the whole school) farthest from the windows with all the hallmarks of this being entirely routine and habitual. She grinned at Philippe when he came in and gave her little brother a wave, pleased to finally be in the same class as him, if only for a year. He didn't sit next to her though, choosing instead to take a desk closer to the front (well, he was short, being one of the youngest kids in the class). Only when he waved Freddie over to sit with him, did she realize he might have designs in his desk choice other than seeing the board well.

Nobody would want to flirt with their potential boyfriend with their big sister hanging over their shoulder. (Nor did she want to be there when he did. There were some parts of her brother's life she had no desire to be a direct part of.) From her safe distance, she grinned down at the pair of them like a proud mama. If that worked out, she and Freddie would get to be siblings, and how cool was that?

Even if it didn't work out, neither Philippe nor Freddie had a mean bone in their bodies, so she wasn't too worried about getting dragged into the middle of a bad break-up. Hopefully, they'd even still be friends afterward. With luck and maybe a little bit of fate, though, it perhaps wouldn't ever come to that. She wanted both of them to be happy, and she thought they'd be a good match.

Philippe was thirteen now, so he was at least a teenager this year, and while she still thought he was kind of young to start dating, she knew that wasn't her call to make, and she trusted both Philippe and Freddie to make good choices, so they both had all of her support.

Professor Brooding Hawthorne called attention to the start of class, and Anya stopped spying on her little brother's date. When the process sheets were distributed, Anya looked at her old ones and winced. The third year one was only half completed (she'd completely forgotten to do the lab questions), and the fourth year one was done but the even in the copy, the writing was distorted and runny and hard to read, an effect of having accidentally spilled some of the potion all over it last year.

"The good news is it won't take much to show visible improvement," she whispered to her neighbor with a grimace as she laid the three sheets out next to her.

They were soon told to begin and, still sitting on the desk, Anya used her wand to insert the two old process sheets into her bag, and then began filling up her cauldron with water so that could start getting heated up while she wrote the process notes down onto the new sheet. "Have a good summer?" she asked the person sitting next to her, figuring she could handle filling a cauldron and casual conversation at the same time.
1 Anya Delachene Here I am, responsibly sitting on my table. 1453 0 5

Freddie Zauberhexen

March 30, 2021 1:12 PM
So far, things seemed to be going well. They were working on the task assigned to them, which was good, and they were talking, which was even better. Freddie definitely would rather chat than make a potion but he didn't mind making potions either. It was nice to have something to do with his hands and with his eyes to avoid them wandering all over Philippe. No wait no no not his hands. He was nice and would keep those to himself. Also, he wasn't even really sure what he'd do with his hands if he wasn't keeping them to himself. He'd thought about asking Hana but he wasn't sure that she knew any more than he did and it seemed best to just keep himself to himself and use his words, for what good they were, to interact with other people. Unless people wanted hugs, and then they could have those too because hugs were great.

In any case, he had something to do with his hands and eyes, namely getting his cauldron ready and then copying Philippe in checking his ingredients. He wasn't the most organized student himself but his parents had made sure that his kit was refreshed so he was pleasantly surprised to find everything he needed inside already. It took him several glances back and forth between the recipe and the box of ingredients to make sure he had the right ones since he was working from the English recipe, something he tried to do unless he was very stuck. His kit was labeled in English and German both but some of the words just looked too stinking similar. It helped to be able to glance over at Philippe's own arrangement to make sure they had the same things, and he made a quick scrawled note about this part of the process on the sheet they'd been given.

He considered Philippe's question for a moment, wanting to give an honest answer. "I like Herbology," he decided eventually, giving into a grin as he thought about the class. "It is nice playing in dirt and being friends with plant. I like Creatures too," he added, both because it was true and because he wanted to relate. He thought that sitting with Philippe and petting a soft little animal would be a great way to spend a class period. "Mine sister like potions much. But I am ascared to . . . to . . . " He made explosion sounds with his mouth and gestured to show what he meant. "I don't want that."
22 Freddie Zauberhexen Hana is old for sure. 1452 0 5

Theo Spurn

March 30, 2021 6:41 PM
Theo bounced into potions, feeling optimistic about how fourth year was going to go, seeing as his number of potential work partners had just almost doubled. He was pretty selective about who he worked with in potions, and it was mostly Anya, Josie or Professor Brooding-Hawthorne. One of his potential partners was already busy sitting with a girl. He hoped it wasn't in a gross way. He wasn't sure why they were all getting into that. Stanley had wisely broken up with Valentine, so that meant he was supposed to come back to playing the floor is lava and not want to kiss anyone cos it was gross. He wasn't supposed to talk to new girls. Ugh.

Theo spotted Anya first, so he walked over and nuzzled her in greeting. As she was up on a desk and not yet sticky (maybe) that meant he rubbed his head against her side and that she could pet him (probably). He ran his hands through his own hair afterwards just to check it felt right still and because he was very soft, even if he did say so himself.

For two people who didn't have the most cohesive track record, Theo and Anya made a surprisingly good team. Anya understood the yes/maybe/ALL OF THE NO box system, and that Theo was doing his best, whether that meant joining in or standing a foot back with a rigid look of horror on his face. She didn't question The Systems, or make him feel bad on NO days. She even acted as a positive influence sometimes especially with the maybe box. Theo liked joining in with his favourite people, and when Anya was enthusiastically slicing and dicing and even smushing (ick) she made it look fun, and then he sort of forgot to be so scared, or at least wanted to be a bit more involved.

Theo was occasionally almost maybe a positive influence in return. He sometimes noticed what Anya was doing, or not doing, in time to shout a warning before things got split or out of hand, but his notice was deeply affected by how bothered he was by substances and how much peril he regarded there as being. He could usually point out that she had dropped or spilt something once she had done so, and occasionally that was even helpful if it stopped an ingredient getting lost or a spill interacting with things it shouldn't.

Professor Brooding-Hawthorne had said no partners but he knew (from checking several times beyond what most people would regard as necessary) that if he needed help that was different and he was allowed to get it from a peer. However, as he read the recipe, he felt okay. He would use a tiny scoop for his pinches because he didn't want powders under his nails and getting everywhere like sand or glitter, and mistletoe berries were a maybe because if you had to skin or squish them that made him shudder, but this time they were going in whole.

"I think I can do it all!" he declared cheerfully, moving a few inches away from Anya as a precaution. "Don't splash me," he reminded her.

OOC: Theo and Anya's working dynamics approved by her author.
13 Theo Spurn And helping younger students as needed 1476 0 5

Stanley O'Malley

April 05, 2021 4:26 PM
Stanley Jacob O’Malley was not, by most stretches of the imagination, the most perceptive person alive. It was in fact one of his special Stanley skills to remain oblivious to and unaware of things most people might see and utter a firm, “well duh”. However, this young man was a bit too thick-headed to perceive these obvious states of being, these undeniable truths.

But one truth was pretty darn undeniable: Stanley kinda had a feeling that Bonabelle Row did not much care for him.

He was pretty surprised when she took the seat next to him, mere days after the fact of his unceremonious dumping of her best friend had started making the rounds of Sonora’s gossip mill. At least she didn’t say anything, though, so maybe she wouldn’t, like, assault him directly between now and class ending.

Stanley was even more surprised when Bonabelle actually spoke to him. Like on purpose and everything. He was afraid to start another thought with “at least” since the other one had gone right out the window now, but at least she was talking about school and not, like, carrying his head on a spike through the town and presenting it to his weeping mother. And speaking of: “Uh, yeah,” he replied a bit nervously, “my mom’s a potioneer.” He wasn’t amazing at it and often didn’t pay attention when Mom talked about that stuff, but it made him at least vaguely useful to Bonabelle, who was admittedly kinda scary with her sharp but quiet tone. “I know a little bit,” he added humbly.
12 Stanley O'Malley Yep, that's me. 1491 0 5

Bonabelle Row

April 07, 2021 10:54 AM
"So you don't know much then," Bonabelle said, flipping her textbook open with a whack and looking down at it to make it clear that this comment was not a question; she knew he didn't know much. She didn't know whether he knew enough to know that it wasn't just poisons she was speaking of but that was hardly important. She took a breath, knowing that Valentine would want her to be nice. Knowing she should be nice. Knowing she didn't want to be nice.

Fairly often these days, she heard a voice in her head that she would have been tempted to call her conscience if not for the fact that it always sounded like either Uncle Killian or Valentine. Nice people lodging themselves in her head were very irritating because there had once been a time when she could do the self-preserving things without thinking about whether or not it mattered to other people. That was what she had once thought everyone did, but then she'd met Uncle Killian and Valentine and they were both annoyingly good people.

Her eyes were scrolling over the words on the page that Professor Brooding-Hawthorne had sent around the room, since she didn't actually need the textbook right now and had mostly opened it for something to do. She took another breath.

"Isn't it interesting?" she asked, not looking at her classmate. "How some words on a page hold everything necessary to literally kill you?" She paused, then held up the antidote recipe and finally looked at Stanley again. "Or cure you."
22 Bonabelle Row Self-deprecation won't save you. 1488 0 5

Alexander Pierce-Beales

April 07, 2021 11:02 AM
Alexander had heard of people who went up to the mountains in the snow and spent time in hot tubs, where the cold snowy air could lick at them on one side while the warm water jawed them from the other. He'd thought it was weird. Why would anyone want to be between something so cold and so hot-- uh, warm? Well, standing here with Mab and Valentine respectively, he thought he understood what it felt like. Now he thought it was really weird that people did that and he solidly added Mab to the list of people to never ask to attend a double date with him or to chaperone him anywhere. Bel might be more friendly about it than Mab was, and Mab was at least Valentine's age. He tried to be considerate of what he knew of his sister and the fact that she was making choices the same way Alexander did: by doing what seemed the safest given all known circumstances.

But still. She could be a little more helpful.

He tried both to ignore the Look Mab shot him and also not to shoot her his own look at her advice to Valentine, but nodded in agreement. "It does help to have an idea where you're going before you start," he agreed. "But filling the cauldron takes a minute sometimes. Sometimes I'll do that while I start my sheet." He didn't actually ever do that; he followed Mab's lead and Mab's lead was cautious and methodical, but he didn't want Valentine to feel like her idea straight sucked.

Trying not to notice if Mab gave him another Look, he nodded at the sheet he'd previously filled out, pointing to where he'd annotated it afterwards in cramped, albeit still neat, handwriting. "It helps to leave yourself some space to add notes and reminders for next time," he added.
22 Alexander Pierce-Beales Yes to you, no to you. 1475 0 5

Valentine Duell

April 07, 2021 5:48 PM
Alexander was right. Mab was good at this, she was focused, she was 'in the zone'. Valentine Thought she caught some looks passing between Mab and Alexander, and if she wasn't mistaken, Mab was a little bit annoyed by something. She couldn't see Alexander's 'looks' very well as he was facing away from her to look at Mab on his other side. Perhaps they were discussing things to loudly an disrupting Mab's focus. Alexander was probably visually apologizing to her.

When he began talking to her again, he wasn't being much quieter though. She hadn't been very clear with her statement, so it wasn't their fault that they had misunderstood. Val had been asking what they thought the first step to put on the process sheet was, based off of their previous experience. Usually 'filling the cauldron' had been at least one of the first steps on her sheets in the beginners class, did that hold true here in intermediates? She hadn't seen anything that looked like it would come first from her initial look over the instructions, but you never knew.

As it was, apparently she had sown a bit of discord here. She'd like to clear that up, but do so without causing more problems would be ideal. Unfortunately, she didn't have much experience with Mab, she didn't know how best to do that with the older girl. She may need to remedy that this year if they were going to share classes for a little while. It may be easier to get to know Mab by herself though, she would need to find some time when Alexander wasn't around maybe.

In the meantime, she had a mischievous idea for Alexander and she did her best not to grin. He'd tried to agree with both of them and that was really sweet of him. He was a good Teppenpaw. However, that had left her an excellent opportunity that she was loath to miss. She smiled at him super sweetly, poised her quill over the sheet, hesitated and then looked at him in worried confusion. "How do I put on the sheet to start filling the cauldron before working on the sheet without working on the sheet first?"

She held the expression for just a moment or two, then she couldn't help it. It cracked into a playful smile with a quite giggle. Mab was still trying to concentrate after all.
2 Valentine Duell Wait, I'm getting confused 1490 0 5

Anya Delachene

April 07, 2021 7:03 PM
Anya grinned at Theo as he took the seat next to hers. They didn't always work together in potions - he had Josie (and now Stanley and Wally again) as a potential partners, and she had Freddie and Ellie, and sometimes she just wound up with somebody completely random - but he was one of her more common partners. She would not go so far as to say they had a system. A system was way too organized for either of them. And it didn't always go without a hitch (if she needed to name a partner who did the best job of keeping her focused on the potion, she'd have to go with Ellie for that one), but it worked better than logic might suggest it should for two students as atypical as Theo and Anya.

She didn't mind helping Theo out with his NO WAY textures. It was no trouble for her to do the slicing, dicing, and smushing. She actually preferred that to be her role on a potion making team, and for individual work, it was barely any extra effort to do a little bit more when she already had to do it for herself, so it worked out great. Slicing, dicing, and smushing were straightforward active tasks, easy to keep track of, hard to mess up, and required enough concentration that it was hard to forget that was what she was supposed to be doing. Plus, it was kind of enjoyable, especially smushing. Made her feel like an old time alchemist or something, mashing things up with her mortar and pestle.

It was the waiting around for the right time to stir again or dump in the next ingredient that really got to her.

That wasn't exactly Theo's strength either, but between the two of them, one was usually on top of things enough to get the timing at least close. The more unpleasant the ingredient (according to Theo) that she was waiting to put in, the better Theo was at keeping track of it, or at least at reminding her she was holding it, and shouldn't dump it prematurely all over herself when she started gesturing with the hand holding it, having forgotten she'd picked it up minutes ago with the wild hope that holding it would maybe serve as a reminder of what she was supposed to be doing (that part was hit or miss, but it did usually help her remember which step in the recipe she was on). Other times, she did end it up spilling it, and Theo would help her figure out exactly where she had spilled it so she could get it cleaned up before the mess could get worse (this was significantly more helpful when she dumped it away from herself rather than on herself as she was usually pretty well aware of exactly what parts of her were wet or sticky, though even then she sometimes missed some less obvious spots that Theo could see and she couldn't feel directly).

Today was one of the independent work days, so she was ready to double her prep of whatever ingredients weren't in Theo's Yes box. She was mildly surprised when he said nothing fell outside of his comfort zone today, and she grinned at him. "That's great!" she exclaimed, and it wasn't even because it meant less work for her. It was because he sounded so happy about it.

"No splashing, got it," she promised when he took a precautionary step further away from her. She slowed the flow and slightly changed the angle of the water she was using to fill up her cauldron so it went in a bit more calmly and with less back-splash. She was not offended by Theo's increased distance. He had a valid concern. Her fourth year process sheet proved that, and she hadn't been being as careful as she should have been with Theo close by, even though plain water wasn't exactly a NO WAY box thing. He didn't like wet spots. As it had been, her water stream hadn't actually be in any real danger of splashing out more than a drop or two, and even then only if she got unlucky, but she knew better than to make him nervous. "Sorry."

"Just let me know if you need me to take over if anything starts to bother you," she added, to make sure he knew that if everything wasn't as good as he thought it was, she really didn't mind doing the powders or something if they got to be too much, even if there was little to no warning in having that responsibility dropped back into her lap.
1 Anya Delachene That's right! 1453 0 5

Mara Morales

April 09, 2021 7:11 PM
OOC: Mention of Illicit Non-Food-or-Drink Consumable Things. BIC:

The Antidote to Common Poisons, Mara thought as she got her supplies ready, checking all her gear and laying out everything she would need within easy reach, made a decent summary of everything she liked and disliked about Potions class – assuming, of course, that she was right about how it worked. Which, given that several of the things her book told her it was indicated for were actually common venoms unless one hypothetically got into some Hamlet-style nonsense, she might very well not be, though it was hard to test.

If she ignored the bit where it was indicated for venoms, then she thought she had been able to find some logic to the ingredients, or most of them, anyway. She had never yet gotten around to separating out an entire supply of ‘standard ingredient’ and attempting to identify all the herbs in it, but the others –

Bezoar. Their description in the book was ‘stone from the stomach of a goat which will save you from most poisons’. Looking it up on her own terms, in her own world, she had found that a more precise definition involved ‘tightly packed collection of partially or undigested material.’ She assumed the difference between a standard one and a magical one might have something to do with the nature of the consumed material – a goat which chowed down on magical stuff would, she hypothesized, be more likely to produce a magically useful bezoar than one which just ate grass and paint like an honest goat from Anywhere, USA. Either way, though, for use in a potion, the ‘stone’ was either dissolved or crushed, breaking apart the components, but if the magic was what drew them together somehow, then it was possible they might act something like a dehydrant, only for toxins – or rather, a broad sample of them, given that they would all have different properties – and draw the poison out of the tissue, and then –

Unicorn horn might come into play. She was on shakier ground here than at almost any other point in her theory, since she only had magical sources to work with, and they were…not exactly known for giving proper explications of chemical composition. The best she could reason here was that it might act as a purification agent, perhaps overall (vague thoughts of magic potions from books she’d read in the old days), or perhaps something like the way activated charcoal was used in the outside world, only with a smaller quantity and broader effect, though maybe with the common element of being thrown back up, considering the –

Mistletoe berries. Those had made her want to bash her head into the desk when she first saw them while flipping through pages – mistletoe was a common poison, for goodness’ sake! Looking it up at home, though, she had gathered a few more facts about it. The berries were second only to teas made from the leaves in terms of toxicity, but adults were not – usually – killed by them. Instead, they had a number of unpleasant side effects, including nausea and vomiting. She could only conclude, then, that the mistletoe berries were meant to act as an emetic, forcing the other elements, along with the poison (or venom!), back out of the patient’s system, thus presumably, if the magical ingredients worked with perfect or at least very high efficiency, fixing the situation right up. Not pleasant, but probably significantly less unpleasant than a non-magical stomach pump…assuming, given that the books read as if intubation and I.V. lines were among those concepts wizards just didn’t follow, that the patient didn’t choke to death on the potion being tipped down their throat, anyway….

All that, though, was before she even got started on the economics of the thing, or the quality control issues, especially when it came to the points where those intersected…given how varied a ‘pinch’ could be, that would just be asking for a lawsuit in her world, as no two batches could be guaranteed to be consistent. It was just like a ‘dash’ of something; she remembered screwing up a potion pretty badly in her second year due to overestimating what a ‘dash’ of leech juice might be. Though, that did open up the thought of trying to figure out if it would be economically viable to buy large supplies of common ingredients, create her own standardized measurements, and hand off baggies and vials in exchange for money in a way that would not look right at all back home…It was possible that the amount of the initial investment (bezoars and unicorn horn weren’t cheap) plus the amount of time and labor which would go into preparation wouldn’t stack up well next to potential profit, especially depending on the attitudes of her customer base, and, of course, the risk of being mistaken (either by the staff or anyone else currently in that line of work) for campus’ newest dealer. Mara had yet to actually spot such a creature at Sonora, but she assumed without a second thought that there had to be at least one, even in such a micro-population as this. There were high schoolers in it. The ones who didn’t want escapism surely wanted stimulants to study on, and while Mara was (for reasons both practical and sentimental) not inclined to try to break into that market, there had to be someone bringing in supply to meet that demand.

She focused on her work, but it was difficult not to have one’s eyes drift a bit during the tedious parts, such as the initial stages of grinding things up. Consequently, she caught Bertie’s eye as he presumably did the same thing, and responded with her customary brief smile and “hey.” She gave her mortar another twist, thinking wistfully of machines that could do this in seconds, and then added, “Am I being too nitpicky, or is it annoying that this is called an antidote to poisons that lists at least as many usages for venoms?”

OOC: Pulled the ingredients and bit about it working on stings and bites from some things (generally speaking, if it bites you, that's venom; if you have to ingest something which just passively produces toxic stuff, that's poison) of the HP wikis. Mara's analysis is entirely my own, supplemented by wikipedia, so any flaws there are entirely my own.
16 Mara Morales Excellent idea. 1472 0 5

Stanley O'Malley

April 11, 2021 1:21 PM
Looking back on things gave Stanley a little more clarity than he was ever able to achieve in the moment, and now looking back, he wasn’t really sure why he had dated Valentine. She was really nice and pretty cute, so he supposed he figured that just sort of the thing you did when you saw a cute girl: you made her yours. Not in like a creepy or possessive way, but just in a way that showed that somebody liked you and you guys were a thing. But he hadn’t really known her that well, which was probably part of the reason it didn’t really work out. They were pretty different people, honestly. Valentine was sweet and gentle, kind of like Wally.

But her friend Bonabelle, well, that was another story. She slammed her book shut and cut him with a sharp accusation of his own stupidity: a probably warranted act, all things together, but still sharp and a little startling. Bonabelle was fiery and strong, and actually kind of scary. Like, she was just casually pointing out to him that the words in front of them contained information that could kill him, which was more than a little hot? badass. Was she trying to intimidate him on purpose, or was she just like that? He didn’t know her well enough, either.

It was definitely the most Aladren kind of intimidating possible, and Stanley had to respect that. Bonabelle knew more things than he did, things that could really mess him up probably. Stanley’s best form of intimidation was, like, “hey-nerd-give-me-your-lunch-money”-esque stuff. Not that he’d ever take somebody’s lunch money - he was far more a champion of the meek than a bruiser - but that was more his potential range.

“Why do I get the distinct feeling you’re more interested in one of those over the other?” he asked playfully. “If you poison me, I’m gonna be pretty miffed,” he added, though his tone did not especially reflect the sentiment. It was almost like a dare. Was Stanley an idiot? Yeah, probably.
12 Stanley O'Malley Who needs saving? 1491 0 5

Bertie Jackson

April 12, 2021 9:09 PM
Is it annoying that this is called an antidote to poisons when it lists at least as many usages for venoms?

It was sentences like this that made the inherent risk of acknowledging other humans with eye contact (even accidentally) absolutely worthwhile. It added to the greatness that it was Mara saying it, though of course the fact that she said things like that was what made her so interesting to start with.

"Yes!" he answered with perhaps more intense enthusiasm than most people would have thought it warranted. "You-you'd thhhink they could t-tell the difference in a P-p-potions textbook!"

He tipped his bezoar into his sieve, even though he could see that there were several lumps that were definitely still too big to pass through. He would be able to separate out the bits that were already done though, and to watch that pile grow. It was depressingly small after the first pass, and he tipped the remainder back into his mortar, surpressing a sigh. He wished the task he was having to perform in front of Mara wasn't quite so good at highlighting his physical weakness. But then, maybe she didn't care about that. They were both intellectuals, after all. Presumably, she cared more about brains than brawn.

He should think of something smart to say.

"I really hate im-imprecise instructions."

That was basically what she had said. It probably wasn't so cool the second time around.
13 Bertie Jackson Thanks 1497 0 5

Mara Morales

April 17, 2021 5:54 PM
On the whole, Mara wasn’t sure that Bertie was exactly the person to confirm or deny if something constituted over-thinking, but she was glad to hear she made sense at least to her peers. She nodded to his follow-up.

“I know, right?” she said. “I was just thinking about measurements, and whether it would be economically viable to start a thing selling pre-measured portions. Probably, not, though – it would be a lot of time and effort to put it together, and you’d have to skew low on portions to be safe, I’d guess, which means everyone would probably be closer to mediocre…which it occurs to me is probably part of why the books have such vague directions,” she added thoughtfully, pausing in her mortar work as the thought hit her. “I know people probably make some money off potions for the same reason they make money selling frozen dinners, but in this case, you know that what you buy from the apothecary is probably the best balance you’re going to get between safe and effective, yeah? That would either involve insider trading or some…a single big parent company owning the publishers and the apothecaries, though – do wizards have mega-corps, do you know? I’ve been wondering that. They all look like mom and pop shops, but you know.” Mara shrugged. “Looks can be deceiving.”

Or, of course, she could just be overestimating the consumer again. Dad said her greatest weaknesses, as far as business went, were that she was too forthright and that she didn’t quite grasp just how inclined the average consumer was to just…drift along. The heavy lifting of beating all independent thought out of people had been done by people like her great-grandma, so all they had to do was keep enough people placidly moving in whichever direction they were even vaguely plotted, and over-thinking things could actually make that harder.

“Or maybe I read a scam into too much everything,” she conceded the possibility. “I grew up around too many business types.”
16 Mara Morales You're welcome. Got anymore? 1472 0 5

Bonabelle Row

April 21, 2021 4:28 PM
Bonabelle raised an eyebrow. Stanley was either too stupid to be intimidated or too . . . something. Into it? Did he think she was joking? She should've known subtlety wasn't going to work; she should've punched him in the face after all. At least he seemed to understand what she was saying, even if he didn't understand the sincere risk to his livelihood. Was that . . . almost admirable? There was something to be respected in someone who couldn't be pushed over, although she did not appreciate her anger being laughed at. There was something mildly amusing about the idea of Stanley being 'miffed' about being poisoned though, so her eyebrow came back down and her glower turned into a more flat expression.

"Good way to test the antidote," she pointed out dryly, not entirely sure why she was going along with it. "Although you'd probably have to do some graveling to get that from me," she added with a sour turn of her mouth, more than a bit disappointed he hadn't already started that. Valentine was in the same room and he hadn't even gone over there to apologize, to explain himself, nothing. Where was the groveling?! Where was the show of consternation?! Boys were stupid.

She sighed and looked at him a bit more fully in the face. "So you know you're stupid," she confirmed, "and you know that I haven't been convinced not to poison you for being stupid and hurting Valentine. Why'd you do it then?"
22 Bonabelle Row Ugh. You might just be a lost cause. 1488 0 5

Bertie Jackson

June 12, 2021 10:39 PM
“They have P-P-Pureblood families. I d-don’t know about the b-business side, but politically… You have a certain way off doing things. The old white guy--- way. It ssssays certain ingredients are safe, others aren’t. It dictates what it’s legal to ssssell as an ingredient or p-p-premade remedy. And you mmmake sure to elect other old white guys to keep those rules nnnice and tidy.

“History is littered with--- issues. People being fffined for making remedies for their neighbours. Struggles to g-g-get apothecary licenses when you don’t live in the affluent major mmmagical shopping streets. The white-owned ones do well b-b-because they’ve been within the rules by default for the longest.” Admittedly, white and Pureblood privilege existing wasn’t quite the same thing as a megacorp, but it was the area he knew most about, and it seemed to have a similar effect. “Maybe I just grew up around too many a-anthropologists and activists,” he returned the quip.

“Costmmmetics business types?” he asked, when she mentioned growing up around business types. He remembered what she’d said at the feast about chemical formulae of eyeshadow. He wasn’t sure he’d ever asked what her family did, because he was never convinced that families were the most interesting part about a person, but it seemed to have informed a lot about who Mara was.
13 Bertie Jackson Depends what you make of my investigative skills 1497 0 5

Mara Morales

August 03, 2021 12:19 AM
Pureblood families. Those words still, somehow, mostly struck Mara as comical (seriously, what sort of people referred to themselves with a term used for literal showdogs, at least colloquially?), but she suspected that by the time she got out of here, they were going to have gained the ability to automatically put her teeth on edge whenever she heard them. She nodded shortly.

"At home, rich white jerks whip up poor white jerks to keep them on top - wear a flannel shirt once and you've got yourself a whole following thinking you'll somehow make it possible for them to be rich someday, too, just by cutting off immigration or something." Mara addressed one of her ingredients with an excess of malice, which was accompanied by a few phrases in rapid Spanish. It was unlikely Bertie understood the words, but a thing Mara had observed was that strong disapproval sounded pretty similar in both languages. It really was, she thought, too bad that she looked like her mother, and worse that she had a name like Morales; if people back home really bought what the governor was selling, then she could have taken his entire constituency for even more money than that actress with the ghost-repelling aerosol cans or whatever those were did.

She was imagining putting Crisco in fancy jars and selling it door-to-door as an ointment that would 'prevent the socialists from brainwashing your children in school' (probably wouldn't work too well in Atlanta itself, but if she could get two or three counties over....) when Bertie asked a question. This question dispelled that pleasant daydream quite abruptly, and her hands stilled on her work.

"Yeah," she said, multiple scenarios crossing her mind in a split second. Almost all of them pointed toward telling some of the truth; she couldn't possibly keep up the lie if she explicitly told it, not in present company. Bertie was a smart, detail-oriented guy. She'd screw up and that would make things worse - assuming, of course, that he wasn't actually messing with her head right now, fully aware of the truth, but she got the impression that he and his sister barely had a relationship at all, certainly not enough of one for Zara to bother being concerned about who he associated with. "Among others. My mom had a really good job when I was born, long story, but I went to a good charter school. There were a lot of business kids there, parents would come and talk about their companies, and we had a lot of mock business activities we did where you chose different industries you pretended you were in and stuff. Plus, my mother's Colombian. Mamá said she thought she was in heaven the first time she realized how cheap a decent face cream is here, though she didn't know then that there's next to no standards for that stuff here, then. Not like Colombia, anyway, apparently. I think it's changed, but when she still lived there, that stuff had to pass the same standards as medicine." Mara shrugged. "It always was crazy to me - my old school, we had these special programs to remind us that yes, girls can do science - and here's practically the girliest stuff there is, running completely on chemistry, you know?"
16 Mara Morales They're quite impressive. 1472 0 5