(1937-09-14) Walnuts Are Sensitive!
Details for Walnuts Are Sensitive!
Summary: A distraught Hephaesta comes looking for Professor Beery, but instead finds help with her dying tree in the form of Kiefer.
Date: September 14, 1937
Location: Greenhouses, Hogwarts
Related: None

Green Houses, Hogwarts

On the side of the castle are the greenhouses where the Herbology classes are taught. Set all in a row the three greenhouses have statues of long, serpentine dragons running along the peaked roofs and are made entirely out of glass. They are home to many exotic and magical plants including some that are extremely rare, difficult to cultivate and maintain, or even dangerous. Greenhouse One is used specifically to teach first year Herbology and because of this it contains no dangerous plants of any kind. Greenhouse two is a multipurpose greenhouse. At times it is used for classes but mostly it's used by the faculty and staff to grow ingredients necessary for classes other than Herbology or even herbs and spices for the kitchens. Greenhouse three on the other hand is used for advanced Herbology classes and houses dangerous and hard to cultivate plants like Venemous Tentaculas, fully grown Mandrakes, and Devil's Snares.

The overcast sky seems hellbent on lingering over Hogwarts to deposit its watery contents, turning usually easy strolls to and from class to slippery, sliding, mud tracking excursions. The time of day has grown to be difficult to tell as well, as the gray of morning looks very similar to the gray of afternoon, though at this time, afternoon classes are letting out. Kiefer has no class at this time though seems busily working anyway. He's been holed up in the second greenhouse for a while now, mindless of the elements that patter a rhythmic drumming sound on the glass panels overhead. He's been tending to a few of the mundane plants as a class of third years had their lesson on puffapods, his mixmatched rain boots of vivid green and pink today getting their fair share of snickers as he goes about his business. But now, class is over. Cue a mad dash to the door! "Hey careful!" he begins to the last one out, but too late. A puffapod is knocked over and POOF! upon hitting the floor, multiple flowers and quite a bit of pollen explode on the floor. It's like a parade! Though one that the third year seems eager not to clean up, for she's out of there, leaving Kiefer with a flowery watering can in hand to siiiiigh.

As if she had also burst forth from the exploded puffapod, as the cloud of pollen settles, a girl comes into view, standing in the doorway of the greenhouse. Hephaesta stares in bemusement at the mess, eyes widening as she spots Kiefer in an I didn't do it expression. "Oh, hello." She limps into the greenhouse — carefully sidestepping the settling mass of plant matter — making a mechanical clicking and squeaking sound as she steps. She looks around curious. "Is Professor Beery here?"

And from the pollen rises…a Ravenclaw? Definitely not the one that dropped the puffapod, but Kiefer will definitely make her pay her dues! "Luckily it wasn't something poisonous," he says as he moves to set the watering can down upon a worktable. "You would've been dead. An' me too, eventually. Probably. An' the kid who dropped it. Nobody really appreciates the epic potential dangerous-ness of plants." A broom is snagged, and he wields it over his shoulder like a rifle. "Professor? Just missed him. He was here a moment ago. Left me to watch the Thirds clean up. Suppose I failed that task." He crookedly grins, glancing down at her leg after. "Fancy," he comments. "Do you need help? I can help. Usually."

Hephaesta sighs, her pouty lips pouting even more than usual. "I've been trying to get his attention ever since he gave us his big assignment." She is referring, of course, to Professor Beery's assignment to all of his students to choose a plant to nurture all year. "But he's always so busy with the Arts Club that every day he tells me 'tomorrow.'" She lets out a dejected sigh. "My tree is dying. I don't know what to do!" A strain of panic enters her voice.

Oh no! A tree in trouble? If she didn't have Kiefer's attention before (which she did) she certainly has it now. Brows raise at her lament, and the broom over his shoulder is righted, its bristles planting firmly on the ground, as he holsd it like a staff. "Have you watered?" he asks first and foremost, though after the question is spoken, he makes a face and waves it off. "Of course you did. Everybody waters. Maybe you've over watered. That's common, you know. What kind of tree is it? Where have you planted it? How long has it been down?" Rapid fire questions! Be ready, Hephaesta, you have a helpful Hufflepuff on your hands!

Hephaesta's eyes get wider and wider with each query, her lips trying to stammer out answers, only to be run over with the nex question. "I…it…P-Professor Beery said it's a walnut tree." She swallows hard, trying to decide which questions to answer in what order. "It's in Ravenclaw tower, by my bed. In a pot, of course. It gets lots of sun, and I water it every day. Um…" she nibbles her lip, pondering. "But five days ago the leaves started wilting and turning ugly brown. It just doesn't look healthy. I've been over and over my Herbology book, and everything I can find in the library. But I can't tell what I'm doing wrong!" She's starting to get excited again, wringing her hands in frustration.

"Walnut…walnut…" Kiefer's plan of cleaning up the exploded flower mess is momentarily put on hold in favor of a new project. Far more important than clean up! He leans the broomstick against the glass wall and shuffles off to where he threw his knapsack. "Walnut…" he murmurs again as he kneels to rummage, glancing through papers that have been stuffed inside, flipping through books. Definitely not the most organized person she'll ever meet. "Do you know what kind of walnut it is?" he asks, looking up from his searching. "And it might just be the season, you know. Leaves turn and fall off trees in autumn, and it's getting close to that."

Hephaesta stares blankly at him for a moment before offering, "Young…walnut?" Clearly, Herbology is not her best subject. "It doesn't look like normal autumn leaves. Here, look." She fishes into her pocket, producing a soft cloth which she unwraps. Hobbling over to him, *clink* *clink*, she shows him the sickly looking greenish-brown leaf.

If Kiefer thought he had a book on walnut trees conveniently placed in his bag, he's sadly mistaken. When he stands, he rises empty handed, though still with a 'I'm thinking super hard' look on his face. And ah, she brought evidence! He peers at the cloth as it's produced, and the sad looking leaf that's unwrapped is considered with furrowed brows. "May I?" he says, reaching for it and plucking it up despite what her answer may be to examine, holding it so close to his eyes its a miracle they don't cross. "No…not chlorophyll…Hm. Yeah. Professor will know and if you wait for him, you'll be waiting a lifetime," he notes, eyes flitting to hers. "I'd say, bring your tree down here. I'm here, usually. I'll let him know what's going on, if I see him before you do. Does your tree have a name and a favorite melody?" Serious question!

Blink. Blink. Double-blink. "A…a name? And a melody?" She tilts her head skeptically at him. "Are you making fun of me?"

Cue an epic stare. Stare. .. Stare. Finally, a blink. "No," Kiefer answers, lowering the leaf away from his eye level. "You mean, you /haven't/ given your tree a name?" He throws up his hands. "No wonder then it is as it is. Everyone knows walnuts are sensitive!" Everyone being…possibly just Kiefer himself. "You must give it a name. Somethin' that'll fit either a boy or girl. What's it called? … Er, unisex, that's it." He nods solemnly, offering her leaf back. "And music helps plants to grow. If it's been with you this whole time with no music and no name, it's probably feelin' like you don't care." And such feelings clearly mean plant suicide.

Hephaesta looks mortified. "But…I do care! I love this tree! It's going to become the most amazing broomstick ever! We'll be together forever!" This entire situation has Phae completely beside herself. Plants are strange!

"Name it," advises Kiefer, who seems pleased by her reaction. She /does/ care! And those who care about plants are alright by him! "Name it, but still bring it down," he advises grabbing his knapsack from the floor, slinging it over his shoulder. "An' it's grand that you're hopin' to make a broomstick of it, but I wouldn't say that in front've it any time. Not unless you really want to see a plant's tantrum." He grins slightly after. "My name's Kiefer and I'll be here. Just … not in the next hour and a half. I've class," he realizes, eyeing the mess hat's yet to be cleaned up. "Next class will have to do it.." he concludes. Oh well!

"Kiefer," she repeats, nodding appreciatively and pulling back her emotional reaction. She was getting dangerously close to tears of frustration. "But…if I'm to name it and tell it I care, shouldn't I be honest with it? Try to help it understand that it will become something amazing?" Suddenly she's really buying into this idea of the plant as a thinking being.

Kiefer is liking this girl more and more. What a good question! To be honest, or to withhold the truth for good intentions? His mouth opens then closes wile he rearranges his words in his head. "You know, I'm going to save that for the next time that we meet. If you really want to know what I think, you'll have to find me again. But not not. One, I'm already found. Two, I've to find Professor Slughorn. Let him know the belladonna is ready."

Hephaesta nods, letting him go, as he's obviously got business to attend to…with the impressive Professor Slughorn, no less! She gives him a grateful smile, and a little wave. "Oh! I'm Hephaesta!" She calls after him. "Hephaesta Mulciber!"

"Like the Greek god of Olympus, but…not?" remarks Kiefer, brows lifting as he eyes her. ".. Neat." He grins then, nodding his head as he adjusts his bag. "Your walnut will be back to its green self in no time," he assures just before a gang of fourth year students barge in from the rain, kicking aside the mess of flower petals as they shake off wet robes and track in mud. Sigh. Cleaning definitely will come after all classes are done. He pulls up his hood, looking to Hephaesta again. "C'mon. I'll walk with you. Have you thought of Lark as a name?" he asks as he moves on out with her into the drizzle, leaving the small class behind to tend to their projects.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License