(1937-10-08) Be More Like Fungi
Details for Be More Like Fungi
Summary: An attempt at reconciliation doesn't quite pan out, and Kiefer wishes girls could be more like a fungus. At least he manages to secure a youthful buddy for Halloween!
Date: October 8, 1937
Location: Greenhouses, Hogwarts
Related: Fizzling Friends
Characters
GabrielleKiefer

It's lunch time, so most students are in the great hall eating. The Green House is warm compared to outside, although the humidity is about the same. Besides the soft sounds of growing plants, movement can be heard near the back, where most of the healing plants can be found.

It was a … eh, confusing weekend, to say the least, and Kiefer's glad to be back in the routine of school. Lunch has been taken on the go. After having stopped by the Great Hall long enough to snag a few things to store in his lunch pail, he enters the greenhouse in robes and the usual Hufflepuff garb beneath. The door opens and closes, and he sets his lunch upon a worktable near the front. "Buon pomeriggio, le mie bellezze," he says as he makes his way towards his healthy looking monster flytraps to check on them. "Co-.." he begins, but pauses, hearing something. He blinks, listening. "..Hello?" Ugh. Hopefully it's not snogging students.

The movement stops for about 6 seconds , and then start up again. Kiefer gets no reply.

Kiefer frowns. When someone calls and there's no reply, but there's obviously someone back there…that's always a recipe for trouble! With that frown still etched across his face, he leaves his project behind to instead go and investigate, heading deeper into the greenhouse. "Look, I'm coming back there, so if you're doing something that's best left unseen, then if I were you, I'd stop before I get to where you are."

There's still no reply, and the soft movement continues, as Kiefer get near the back, he turns to see Gabby sitting on the ground. There's two baskets in front of her, and it's obvious she's weeding. Her robe is removed to the side, and from the look of perspiration on her uniform and the amount of weeds in the basket, she's probably been here some time. Her back is straight, and it's clear she heard you and is ignoring you. She'll reach up and push that lock of hair that keeps going in her face away. She has a dirt smear on left cheek.

Kiefer pauses upon seeing who it is back there, and a flicker of irritation is felt licking at his emotions. Of all the places of this huge campus and its grounds, why does she have to pick here? She knows that this is his sanctuary. He watches her a moment, getting his thoughts together while pondering his own irritation. "This is stupid," he concludes aloud, brow arching. "Highly stupid and childish. This is first year stupid."

Gabrielle tenses. She'll pause in what she's doing, still looking at the plants in front of her, "I'll come back later." she'll reach over to the other basket, which, now that Kiefer is closer, isn't weeds, but clippings from healing plants. In fact, there's a small piece of paper that has the same list that she had when she was trying to make a salve for herself. It mostly has the smaller stuff, the less dangerous stuff in it for now.

"Did you not hear me?" Kiefer says as he leans against a wooden support beam. "I said, this is stupid. You're acting like a child, an' so am I. I'm here, willin' to stop acting childish, but it's not going to work if just one of us does," he says. He glances to her basket of weeds, then to the other basket of clipped plants. He doesn't comment on either though, and his eyes turn back to her expectantly.

Gabrielle will close her eyes for a moment, and bite her lower lip. She seems to be considering something, and then will turn to look directly at Keifer. She's still sitting on the ground, and Depending on how observant Kiefer is, he may notice she's more pale than normal.
<FS3> Kiefer rolls Awareness: Good Success.

At least she's not storming off. That's .. progress! Kiefer watches as she turns to look at him, and his expression turns scrutinizing now. His brows furrow, eyeing that pallid look, and he leans away from the beam to instead take a step towards her. "What's wrong? You don't look well." In comparison to yesterday, when she looked livid.

Gabrielle glare at him slightly, as telling someone they don't look well during a fight isn't usually taken well. She'll start taking off her gloves, "Well, I'm sorry I didn't get dolled up to come to the Green House."

Kiefer gives his eyes a quick roll and mutters something beneath his breath that doesn't sound quite like English. "That's not what I meant. I meant you look ill, an' from that," he gestures to her basket of non-weeds, "I'd guess that you're not."

Gabrielle glances down at the basket indicated, "….I'm fine" Her voce is softer though, and she keeps her eyes on the basket, "I just need to have something prepared."

The Hufflepuff arches a brow. Fine? She surely doesn't seem fine, though he doesn't voice that aloud. He already has, anyway. Without being invited over, he steps forward and kneels down by that basket of hers, glancing at the ingredients within without touching them. "What are you doing? Are you making more of that salve?" he asks, brow arching again.

Gabrielle juts her chin out a bit, and again still won't make eye contact, "No. I don't know how it's done…so I'm improvising." she'll close her eyes for a moment, like she's trying to get herself to calm down," I just don't want to bother you anymore, so I'll make it myself."She'll laugh softly, mostly to herself, while looking at the basket, "That was the original intent, anyway."

"Improvising with medicines is never a good idea," Kiefer points out. "If you're going to make it, make it right, else who knows what'll happen when you put it on. Might make you grow scales on your skin for the rest of your life." He shakes his head. "If you need the instructions, I can write them, though you could just .. y'know, ask me to do it again."

Gabrielle pulls her right arm closer, although that may be unconsciously. "Ask you?….I…" she looks flustered again, and will shift so she can face you better, "what do you want? You are /so/ hard to read! I /thought/ I understood you, but then yesterday you completely changed. I have no idea what's ok, and what isn't now!"

"I did not completely change yesterday," retorts Kiefer with a stubborn sort of look. "An' what's there to read? I'm not a book. People aren't the same day to day, like a tome or novel or textbook." He glances to her basket again, taking metal count of the leaves and sprouts that are there, noting those that are missing. He grasps a pair of clippers. "You don't wish to be my friend any longer. That's fine. But that doesn't mean I'm going to be unfriendly to you." Snip! He clips a portion of a spiked vine, gingerly holding it between two fingers. The two of them are located near the rear of the greenhouse, near healing plants. Gabrielle sits, while Kiefer stands, now busy clipping plants.

What's this? Voices in the greenhouse? That's what draws Phoebe out, after she's checked on her herbology project. She comes around a row of bushy-leaved plants, leaning in to see who and what's going on. Hmm. She pulls back her head, brushes off her robes, and steps around the corner to smile and wave. "Hey Kiefer."

Gabrielle says, "Yes, yes you did!I've /never/ hear you say a single mean thing about /anyone/ before yesterday!You've /never/ implied you cared about anything that could be related to going to a dance. I know people aren't books!I"m not /that/ Ravenclaw." She clamor to get to her feet. "What are you doing?!?" Gabby looks extremely upset, and will glance at Pheobe when she walks in, but doesn't say anything to the girl."

Ah look, a friendly face! What a breath of fresh air a smile can be, and Kiefer returns it to Phoebe once she's noticed. He gives his pinky a wiggle, what with this hand pinching prickly vines and the other hand grasping shears. But words for now are few for he soon looks back to Gabrielle as she speaks. What is he doing? He holds the clipped spiked vine up. "You're missing this," he says, matter of factly, gesturing with a nod to her ingredients. "And a few other things. But don't let it prick you. It's poisonous when not diluted." So handling it without gloves? Totally safe.. "And I told you, I didn't know about the dance. And you can't tell me 'Christmas' isn't a ridiculous name. You didn't have to jump on my back about it."

Phoebe glances at the spike vine, with the hmmm face of trying to remember which it is and what spells it's good for. That distracts Phoebe for a moment, and then she's back to paying attention to the conversation. Oh! The dance. Is that what all this is about? Such as 'all this' is. "You're lucky. My sister chased me down just to talk at me about it," she says with a theatrical little shudder.

Gabrielle looks down to her basket, confused as she doesn't remember anything like that on her list.she'll say to Kiefer, "I didn't jump all over you…you were being mean." As Phoebe talks about how lucky Kiefer is, she'll shake her head, "You know what, yeah, he is lucky." And with that, she'll brush her hands on her rumbled skirt, turn and start to leave .

"Are you going to finish that or…?" asks Kiefer, pointing to her basket. "If you want this, you can have it," he wiggles the vine, "but be careful about sticking your hand in there after," he warns. "One scrape will do it. You won't feel your arm for days, and it'll probably turn green for a while." Like before, he doesn't stop her from leaving. He's tried making amends, but he can't force that upon anyone. His eyes stray to Phoebe. "Talk to you about choosing a costume?"

Phoebe raises one eyebrow at the thought of Kiefer being mean, but she doesn't jump all over into that part of the conversation. She just listens to it, and then, at the questions about costuming, sighs. "I wish. That'd at least be interesting… well, maybe, she'd probably try to get me to do part of hers for her or something. No, she wanted to talk about boys." Siiiiigh.

Gabrielle having forgotten the basket in her hurry to get away, spins around and will grab the basket on the ground. She'll shove the basket towards Kiefer, imply for him to but the vine in. "Yeah you're right. It would be awful for me to lose feeling in my arm."There's an obviously connotation that Phoebe wouldn't understand.

"Don't do anything unwise with this," says Kiefer simply, dropping the spindly vine in her basket. "Like I said, it's poisonous when not diluted properly. And if you don't know how to make it, Gabrielle, per favore, take it to someone who does." His lifts his brows a little, giving her an earnest look. "Seriously." He offers a slight smile before taking a step back to replace those shears on their hook, swiping his hand against the side of his trousers, just in case. Phoebe's long sigh isn't missed though, nor were her words regarding her sister and boys. "She's in Slytherin, isn't she?"

"Generally is," says Phoebe to Gabby in the driest of tones. Losing feeling in limbs is, quite often, thought of as a bad thing… but then, what does she know? So says the slight arch of her brows, and glances back to Kiefer. Dryness is broken for a rueful laugh. "Yeah. Fifth year. How'd you guess?"

Gabrielle stands there for a moment with a blank look on her face. She'll inhale deeply, turn and walk away. She does pause at the door, like she's considering something, but will the shake her head, as it's not worth it, and leave.

"She's in my year. We share some classes," answers Kiefer. "I thought she may be your sister. The two've you look alike in some ways." Not to mention they share the same surname…not that Kiefer would have pieced that together with his brain as scattered as it usually is on any given day. His eyes drift to Gabrielle again before she exits, and he shakes his head after. "I don't understand girls. No offense to you. You seem alright as far as girls go. Rather normal. Moreso than most I've met recently." What a compliment! "But others are flipping mad."

Do they, now? There's the polite smile, the one that doesn't reach her eyes. But then, what younger sibling wants to be compared to the elder? Phoebe steps over to perch herself on a bench, leaning back a little. "That's because you haven't seen me being A Girl," she says. Why, yes, there are capital letters on that. Audible ones. "She's mad at you cause she likes a boy, and he doesn't like her back. Or maybe she hasn't asked him yet."

"You'll spare me that then, won't you?" asks Kiefer. "If being A Girl means to make as little sense as Arithmancy an Runes combined, then I'd rather see girls being something else entirely. Like… maybe a nice fungus. They've many uses, you know. And most are harmless. They grow quietly and mind their business." Such lovely things, fungi! But as Phoebe continues, he looks confused. "Who, Gabrielle? That doesn't make sense," he says, shaking his head. "What do I have to do with any of that? It isn't fair for her to take that out on me when I haven't done anything. Well," he pauses. "I did poke fun at that fellow's name she's going to the dance with, but she's over reacting to that."

Phoebe laughs, and kicks her legs a little. "I'll do my best," she agrees. "I don't think you'll have much luck turning girls into fungi, though. Not unless you practice your transfiguration awfully hard." She flicks an imaginary wand. "Mushroomii!" A grin, and then she points to Kiefer. "A-ha, see? There's the boy in question. Dances are important for girls. They're when the boys have to play by girl rules."

Kiefer hms and busies his hands again. It's always easier for him to think when he's doing something, even if it's something as idle as adjusting pots on a shelf. "This whole dance this is a crock anyway. I know exactly what happens," he says, turning each pot so that the labels on them are facing forward. Easy to find. Easy to access. "It's already started. Girls act even more ridiculous than normal about being asked to dances. Then they're asked. Then, even though they've been asked, they continue to act ridiculous to boys like me who haven't done anything dramatic at all to deserve it. And then, at the dance, they'll act as if they're having the time of their bloody lives, even if they aren't, just for appearances. She already thinks that no one will wish to go with me." Eyes roll. "Mio dio, dances shouldn't be so important. You know what's important? Root rot."

Phoebe watches as Kiefer adjusts the pots and explains the dark secrets of dances and girls. See? He understands these things just fine already. "It could be worse," she points out. "This is just a school dance. It's not like the society balls. Society balls are why I learned to play chess." She grins… then tilts her head. "Why does it matter? Do you want to go? I mean, if you're not going, it doesn't matter if anyone'd go with you or not. Not that I think she's right, but…" A shrug.

"Society balls?" Kiefer pauses in his organizing to quirk a brow at her. "I've never heard've a dance where you'd play chess." He moves on to the next row of plants as she questions him. "No, I don't want to go. I didn't even know about the bloody dance until yesterday when she came bragging of her dress and this Christmas fellow to me." He pause before turning to fix her with a questioning look. "It's not just me, is it? Isn't that a daft sounding name? 'Happy Christmas, Christmas'.." He snickers, then shakes his head. "Anyhow. No, I don't want to go. Bein' in Hogsmeade was enough experience for me to see what it's going to be like. But now, if I don't go, it'll be like she's right. And if I do go by myself, it's still like she's right."

Phoebe quirks one corner of her mouth in a smile. "Only if you're avoiding the dance. But, you see, while it would be utterly unacceptable for a young lady to be a wallflower, it's marginally acceptable for her to play chess in the company of a gentleman instead of dancing with him. If only so many of them weren't sore losers." She sighs, and shakes her head… then pauses. "Christmas. That's hardly a name at all, is it? I mean, I though m'cousins were bad, with John and Jones Evans and Evan Jones all together, but at least those're names." She grins, then hmms, and nods. "Well," she says after a moment. "I've got a folding chess set."

"Pure genius," agrees Kiefer with a grin, moving away from the shelves of potted plants now that they're all uniformly facing forward. He backs up to the bench that she sits upon, and he leans against it, eyeing his work and listening at the same time. Ha! He knew that he couldn't be the only one that believed the name was ridiculous! He fixes her with a sidelong smirk. "I'd take Even Jones over Christmas," he agrees just before his brows lift. She has a chess set, huh? "Regular chess or wizard's?" he asks. "I can play both, but I've to say…wizard's chess is far more exciting." He considers, then turns. "Do you mean to say you'll go with me and be my non-dancing chess partner?"

"Wizard's," says Phoebe with the 'of course' implied in her tone. Really now, "Otherwise it wouldn't fold very well, now would it? Where would you put the pieces?" Ahh, purebloods. She pauses, mid-swing of her leg, at the other question. "If you like." Her tone is casual, and she sets her foot down again.

"In a bag, maybe," answers Kiefer. "Muggles have folding chess boards too, you know," he informs with a grin, but really, chess isn't important here. The important thing is that his problem may be solved! He needs to show up to the dance with someone, and his opinion of a majority of Hogwarts girls of his age group isn't very … high. But lo! Third year to the rescue. He can't help but grin. "You know, it's a costume ball," he says, exhaling a breath. "We're to show up in costume."

Second year! But, hey, it's just chess, so that's hardly going to be relevant, right? It's not like the pieces act differently, not even if they were Muggle pieces dragged around in a bag, which Phoebe simultaneously acknowledges and dismisses with a shrug. On to other topics, like: costumes! "It is," she says. "I hadn't thought about that." What with the invitation only extending to fourth years and up… and dates… she had no reason to. Hmmmm, and then, a grin. "P'raps I'll go as a mushroom."

Second year? Kiefer totally thinks she's a third year! Oh well. Age is nuttin' but a number. And plus, this is for show and a fine game of chess with…a mushroom. He laughs at the suggestion. "You'd make a lovely mushroom. Some are quite interesting looking, you know. The poisonous ones get the looks." He grins before putting on a thoughtful face. "Costume…costume… I could go as Jack Frost. Y'know, the fellow who's fabled to bring winter? Maybe you can put that charm on me. The one that brings a cool breeze."

She's a not in his year, that's what she is, but she doesn't have that shiny fresh first year polish, either. All the young Hufflepuffs blur together sometimes. Phoebe laughs at the idea of being a poison mushroom, and nods. "They really are. We're just starting the unit on them in Potions. Next class we're actually going to use some to make… a Pox Potion, I think it was?" She shrugs, then hmms. "I don't know… though… it might be useful if you want to keep people away." Or… flocking near, depending on how vigorously they've been dancing!

"Pox? Oh, that's an easy one to make," says Kiefer with a knowing nod. "Just make sure your timing's right. And the one mistake that everyone makes is that when you add the mushroom, you'll need to settle it in cap first. Most just plop it in and the potion ends up weak. Cap first, remember. Makes all the difference." His arms cross now, his thoughts processing back to the dance. "Well then, what do you think I should go as, then?" he asks, "if not Jack Frost with a frigid breeze behind me?"

Cap first. Phoebe nods. Got it. Now, never mind the potions… costumes! She hmmms consideringly, looking up and down at Kiefer. "The hounds of winter, nipping at your heels," she says in a quoting tone, then grins. "You could be a kelpie in disguise, just make sure your hair's wet."

"Kelpie?" Think, Kiefer, think! Where's a magical creatures book when you need one? "Aren't they horses? Or … shape shifting…water folk?" He's reaching now. Reeeeaching to the far reaches of his brain where he may or may not remember having studied this at some point in a past year. "What would a kelpie wear? And if we're picking costumes for each other, you should be a wood nymph. You could wear all sorts of flowers and leaves." And, guess who'd be picking the best ones for accessories?

"Shape shifting horse water folk," agrees Phoebe. See? He was right and he was right. "I've no idea what they'd wear. Other than it being wet… okay, so maybe not the best costume idea." Neither cold nor rain nor gloom of night are good ideas for a costume party. She laughs, then. "If I'm a wood nymph, you have to be a faun." Because, paired costumes! Aww. And a nymph and faun together certainly wouldn't give anyone ideas beyond a perfectly innocent chess game, right? … … .. "Maybe we should just both go as mushrooms."

Kiefer is totally game for the mushroom idea. Mushrooms are like, totally cool and as they noted earlier, mega useful. But, lo! She has put an idea in his head, and one can see it growing in his head through the gleam in his brown eyes. "I could seriously pull off a faun," he says just before giving his shaggy head a shake. "I have the hair for it. I'd just need horns. Those should be easy enough to get someone to conjure up for me." Or make. Though again, someone else can be conned into doing that for him! Ah, this is a costume idea that's sticking, oblivious to the faun chasing wood nymph aspect of it.

Growing like… a mushroom in a dark place, that idea is. Phoebe hurms. "Well, yes," she admits, because he definitely does have the hair for it. "…and, no, horns wouldn't be hard at all, I don't think. You could make wooden ones and use a sticking charm…" Easy peasy. "Then it's just… fuzzy legs and bare chest." Well, what do you know, she seems to have just talked herself out of arguing, because she goes silent and looks considering.

"Hmm…I don't think the professors would care to see bare chests at the dance," says Kiefer cautiously. "I don't wish to be kicked out. I suppose a faun could wear forest-like clothing. Maybe a vest would help. And of course, I'll need a tail too." Little goat tail! "As for you, yours is just as easy. Do you've a dress that's green or brown? I can start collecting things that would go well, though I wouldn't pick them off til maybe the day before. Too soon and they'll wilt. Do you want wings?"

And there he goes, crushing her schoolgirl hopes and dreams. "I suppose not," agrees Phoebe. "A vest might work. A brown one, perhaps, with fall leaves?" Leaves are manly, right? Not like flowers… aww, heck, she's talking to Kiefer here. He'd probably wear flowers, so long as he could talk about the properties of them and how he grew them himself. "Oh! I bet you could charm the tail to wiggle. That would be adorable!" She claps her hands, and grins. "Of course I've a brown dress. And a green… though that one's at home, I might have to send a message and get our house elf to bring it. Hmm." She shrugs, moving on. "Wings? Hmm… oh, better not, I suppose, they'd make it hard to sit down." And, after all, they'll be sitting and playing chess, not dancing. That's the plan.

Wait. Adorable? That's totally not the look that he was going for! Fauns are so…like…fierce! "I don't know if I'd trust my own charm," Kiefer laughs. "I bet I'd charm it to wiggle right off. I'll practice though. By the time of the dance, I'll have it perfected." Maybe. Or maybe it'll just be a perfect catastrophe. Only time will tell! "Your sister is going you said, right?" Perhaps the more appropriate one he could have asked for this little dance excursion… "She can likely help you with your costume, if you need any. You need wings. Even small ones. Wood nymphs have wings," is said matter of factly. And thus, it is settled! Fifth year trumps third (*coughsecondcough*) year anyway.

The fiercest widdle faunykins ever! D'awwwww- *cough* Aherm. Where were they again? "Yeah, Lydia's going," says Phoebe. "She hasn't decided who with yet." Aha, see! There's still time. Kiefer could have a date of his own year. "I'm sure I can do my costume just fine, though." Especially if the alternative is asking her sister. Just. Fine. "Well… I'll see what I can do for wings, then."

Oh wait. Lydia is her sister? Kiefer had someone else in mind. Someone else that still kind of sorta looks like Phoebe. In a way. Not so much as Lydia though, now that he thinks on it. Lydia is good looking. Like a bright morning blossom in a field of dewy green good looking. How does she not have someone to go with yet? She probably does, and is just waiting til the last moment to let the poor guy stop fretting and know that he's been picked, cuz that's what girls his age do. "Alright, that's the plan," he says decisively. "You work on your costume, and I'll work on mine, and we'll go together, and it shall be an epic game played in a corner." He grins. "Charms soon. Are you leaving or staying here?"

Lydia Venita Galetti would not miss the opportunity for a dance. Lydia Venita Galetti has, in fact, three guys that she's all told she's considering the offers of. She's actually considering two of them, not that they know this. Phoebe Izetta Galetti heard all about this, at length. Phoebe Evans, being the one who's actually going to this dance (also, the one who's not A Girl) nods to Kiefer. "It will. And we'll watch all the other costumes." She grins back. "I've got transfiguration." She hops up from the bench.

"Grand. We can walk together. At least, til the first floor," says Kiefer who gathers up his satchel, noticing only now the cloak left behind by Gabrielle. He sighs, half pondering letting his flytraps eat it but…nah. He moves to scoop it up, then returns to Phoebe to exit with her. "This will be fun. I'm already imagining a few broad leaf plants that'll go well with both of our costumes. And they keep pretty well. Did you know that there are over fifty types of leaf shapes?" he says with raised brows. Oh he bets you didn't know! "They're characterized by Latin terms. Would you like to hear them all?" he continues as they move on out.

Phoebe glances down now to to cloak left behind, and… well, Kiefer's sigh. Hmmm. One brow arches, but she doesn't ask questions, instead simply falling in beside him. "Fifty? No, I didn't." She smiles. "All right. What are they?" This, right here, is what exciting conversation looks like. Latinate leaf shapes. Or was that latin roots? Nah, gotta save something for next week…

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