(1938-01-11) Winter Gardens
Details for Winter Gardens
Summary: Kiefer and Solstice speak of flowers, pressing, winter and gardens.
Date: January 11, 1938
Location: Rooftops

Roof Hogwarts Castle
Fri Jan 11, 1938 ((Wed Dec 12 18:03:09 2012)) (Roof)

It is a winter morning. The weather is freezing and flurrying.

The ramparts of Hogwarts Castle are massive and provide an uninterrupted pathway all along the outside of the castle as well as giving any visitor an amazing view of the surrounding grounds, Hogwarts Lake, the Forbidden Forest and even Hogsmeade. The view is only interrupted by some of the taller towers of the castle like the Astronomy Tower or the Owlery. The ramparts themselves have chest height walls to either side creating a six foot wide corridor. Every two feet or so crenellations rise up another three feet making the walls almost eight feet tall at those points. Strong winds tend to blow along the ramparts frequently making it a particularly uncomfortable place to be at during the winter but making it nice and cool during the hottest days of summer.

It's freezing outside. Even more so up here on the ramparts of the majestic castle of a school. From up here, the view of the castle grounds is dazzling. Pristine and white, making everything appear crystalized and clean as the morning sun rises behind a veil of grey clouds. Flurries of snow are tossed in the frigid breeze with no rhyme or reason. All in all, although it is picturesque, it isn't the warmest or most comfortable place to be, which is perhaps why not a single soul seems to be wandering out here. And also why Kiefer seems so comfortable being the only one here at the time. Dressed in a heavy cloak with his hood drawn, he leans against the wall looking out over the grounds. The expression on his face is a thoughtful one. Brows faintly knitted. Eyes unfocused. There are likely warmer places where one could stand and think!

Quiet as ever, even in the process of stepping out onto the roof, Solstice hugs her book to her chest, that tome that is strewn with items peeking out from either side, leaves, flower pedals, little keep sakes that have somehow found their way mashed into the pages. She is snugged up in a school cloak and a Gryffindor colored scarf, her blonde hair shifting in the breeze as it tugs waywardly at her. Crystal blue eyes espy the dark cloak and she slowly approaches, but stops far enough off to allow some room. "What do you see?" She asks. An odd question but then again they are on the roof. Her little white boots stick out beneath the coat but yet blend in with the snow, giving flashes of existing and then disappearing as she shifts on her feet. For how bundled she is, she wears no hat, no gloves and doesn't seem to mind as her breath mists the air in the cool morning.

A voice to his left focuses Kiefer's eyes, which soon turn that way to glance at the suddenly appeared girl. Suddenly appeared, at least to him, for the sound of her quiet footfalls were lost to his ears. A ghost? She isn't quite transparent enough to be mistaken for one, but she sure has the silent entrance part perfected. What does he see? The question, odd as it may be, is considered wordlessly as brown eyes return to the expanse of snowy landscape before them. "Loneliness," is the answer he comes up with, his frosty breath apparent in the air as a whitegray cloud. "Emptiness. Unwanted uninterruption. .. Is that a word?" He considers it for a second, then continues on. "That's what I see. But I think what a person sees depends on how that person feels. Someone else'd probably see something very different." A pause. "Like 'happy fun snow' or something." He looks her way again. "What do you see?"

As he answers, Solstice remains where she is, watching him with something of an open study. His words are not laughed at, consoled or otherwise remarked upon, just soft crunch of snow beneath her boots as she shifts again. That tome of things, collection of experiences is finally moved and she looks from him and back out over the grounds, slowly drawing forward so that she can look at the exact expanse he does. Her head tilts and blue eyes move, flitting over little things here and there, considering. "I see a worn path of many feet, a silent earth, waiting to be woken by spring, blanketed by a dusting of fresh snow. I …I see a bird, huddled in her nest to stay warm. The world is waiting, silent, its step held and breath untaken as it waits for something." What, she does not say. "I see the air dancing with cold life…" She lifts a hand, letting her breath waft out to tangle between her fingers before dissipating. "And a watchful spirit..waiting for it to exhale and return to movement." This brings her gaze to him, quiet speculation writ upon her face before a light smile touches her lips.

Kiefer follows her eyes as she talks, listening, searching. Can he see the same things as she? Things both literal and not. Footprints. Anticipation. His eyes slowly scan, pausing upon the dot of a student that has emerged from the castle to trudge to places unknown. Then up to the winter morning sky, veiled in grey, snowfall dancing jauntily. His expression of thought softens vaguely, and when his gaze returns to her, there's a vague smirk apparent. "You see more than I do," he remarks. "I need to broaden my views, I suppose. Open my eyes a little more. Thank you for asking," he says, pulling his hands into the overlong sleeve of his cloak, fisting them to conserve heat. "If you hadn't, I wouldn't have thought of it, and never would have known how pessimistic I was feeling. Pessimism is energy sucking." And who has energy to spare, especially when in one's OWL year? He glances to her book, catching sight of one of those petals that peek out of it. His brows lift a little. "Is that recent?"

"It is cold, the days are short and the sun likes to hide away. I do not blame you for such things as your thoughts." Solstice says with a smile and moves to join him closer to the wall, setting the back down on the top of it after dusting a bare hand to free the snow. But by the look of the book, its been man handled and somehow is still surviving. She shakes her head, opening the page carefully and with practiced fingers to show the pressed flower. "No…it is from earlier this year. It still has much of its color." She explains and draws the wild yellow daisy from its place on the page where some sketches are also residing. She turns, "Open your hand." Sne instructs.

The Hufflepuff teen leans forward a little as the page is opened and the flower is revealed. Now he can see that it is not in fact something freshly picked, but that doesn't seem to wilt his interest in it in the slightest. "Rudbeckia Hirta.." Kiefer muses as his eyes examine the petals, which indeed still flaunt its colors despite how old the specimen may be. The drawings on the page do not escape his attention either, and his brows lift a little as he skims over them. "It looks lovely. Your drawings are impressive. You've a lot of detail in them that many would overlook. Not many take the time to appreciate flora, and that's unfortunate, because there are many things to appreciate about them." He looks up from her book once the daisy is lifted, and at her instruction, he unballs a hand, just as ungloved as hers, and extends it towards her palm up. "I'll be careful," he promises.

Looking down at the page as well, the latin name for the flower draws her lips back, "Black-Eyed Susan, yes." It seems he has surprised her, studying him for a time as her eyes blink and widen a moment. "You are..surprising." SHe voices it at the very least before she extends that flower, placing it in his palm so that he can study it. "That is from a field not far from my house..see.." The picture shows a flint wall, chipped and broken, old. Her eyes lift to him again and there is interest in a usually distant and airy stare. She smiles faintly and then hesitates, noting the wind, his care and how delicate the flower is. She is quickly turning to a back page and tearing it out of the book, seemingly not worried what it might do.

Kiefer is careful to use his other hand to cup over the flower a bit, blocking the wind, hopefully keeping it from being taken away by a sudden burst of breeze that tends to whisk through the ramparts. He holds the flower up for better viewing, gentle with the way he handles it, knowing presere things to be far more fragile than their live counterparts. "It's nice to see spring's color in the middle of winter," he remarks with a wistful sound to his tone. "Surprising is a good word. Usually I'm told I'm odd or confusing." Thus, surprising is a welcome change of adjectives! He peers at the picture that's shown to him, studying with as much interest as he did the flower sketchings. "So, it's a part of home. That's wise. I should've brought something too. Maybe next year," he muses, storing that in the back of his mind. The sound of the page being ripped lifts his brows though. Book page ripping, oh no! "That isn't a picture page, is it?"

"The fields are full of columbine and blue bells…I do miss it. My Uncle tends to take me on small trips and we went to visit Tintagel castle…I got a few sea hollies there." Solstice is excited about that but when he asks her about the page, she looks down. Oh! It is. "Yes." She is honest but then begins to fold the paper, fashioning it into something like an envelope. Pictures of birds smatter the page, small finches and the like, some on rocks, some on branches along with a few pictures of violets. Those catch her ands he quickly pages through, picking up a few faded viola's and placing them with the yellow black eyed susan.

"So, you collect," Kiefer assumes after she speaks of the different kinds of flowers she's seen on her excursions with her uncle. "Collect and record? You have skill with the quill. All've what I have seen so far has looked…realistic," he compliments now hat he's gotten another look at hte pages of the book as she flips through, catching not only etchings of plants but animals as well. "Flora and fauna. You must have patience to sit still enough to draw a something as flighty as a bird. I lumber. They'd fly off in fright before I could get ten yeards." His expression remains curious though as that makeshift envelope is made and the viola is plucked from its page. "How many types have you got in there? And … might as I ask, what are you doing?"

"Yes, collect and record..its a history of what I have seen…what I wish to see again and remember. For days such as this…" Winter, cold, coloreless but still beautiful. Her breath mists outwards again as she exhales long and deep. "You can learn." She suddenly says, looking at him. "I could teach you. How to sit still for a bird….they will come close with you wait. And I will teach you talk to them." She whistles, imitating a finch as she does so before a grin spreads to her lips. She then lifts the envelope and slides the viola inside, plucking it from his hand and then then rudbeckia. "There are many types, sometimes I forget what I have collected and collect more. You can look if you like." She offers, though its said faintly and with some reservations. But as the paper is folded back, flowers gently inside, she offers it back to him, placing it in his hands.

Learn to sit still? That will be .. qute the feat for Kiefer, who always seems to be on the move with something. "I don't think I have the capacity," he admits with a crooked smirk. "I've skill handling things that have no choice but to be handled. Things that can't run away," he says with a gesture to the flower in his hand. "Animals I'm not so proficient with, and I think they sense my … er, awkwardness with them. They fear my lack of knowledge." He laughs a little, but the sound is quited with her whistle. What is it a whistle, or was it a wayward finch left behind in the snow? "Wow.." he sounds more than slightly impressed. His hands lower once the flowers are taken from him, and the offer to look through the book piques his interest. "You wouldn't mind? I'd love to see what species you've come across. I've seen many, but I know I haven't seen everything firsthand. I'd never thought of keeping record of them like this before, and.." he trails off, eyeing the offered envelope. "..I can have these?"

Beaming softly at him, Solstice finds a kindred soul in Kiefer, her toes turning inward as she rocks on her heels and looks to the envelope. "Yes..they are yours. I have many more….and if you see another you like.." Its an unspoken offer. "I have beautiful campanulas as well…somewhere." Amongst the massive requisition. But she pushes the book towrds him along the wall top and steps back a bit, turning to face him as she sways, watching him curiously. "You should start a book." She observes faintly.

The first two of his collection, if he indeed begins a book of specimens. The odds of that are very high, considering the way he gazes at the envelope, as if it were filled with shining galleons as opposed to dried flowers. Very carefully does he tuck the gift into an inner pocket of his cloak, letting in a gust of frigid air in he process, causing a vague shiver. "Bellflowers," he says, speaking the common name as he hugs his cloak around himself again. With his hands free, he carefully pulls the tome towards himself before lifting it from the wall. He crouches, pressing his back against the wall, using it as a windbreak. "You've offered to teach me to be still and to speak to birds.." He tries a whistling call, but it sounds nothing like any sort of animal at all other than, perhaps, a wizard whistling. "And now I'd have to ask you to teach me how to make flowers stay like this. I'll owe you something," he says as he begins to carefully open the book to see what else lies inside.

Watching the way he treasures the flowers and the book, Solstice seems taken aback, surprised again and then suddenly pleased as punch. The wayward girl is now fully enveloped in the study of Kiefer, slowly lowering to squat next to him, watching the way he handles the tome. That is til he whistles and she encourages him with, "You will have it no time." Its a promise and then she is scooching closer, lowering to her side and hip as her legs lay against the ground. The windbreak saves the flowers and them from the bitterc old and she extends her finger, "This, this is cinquefoil." She explains, but suspects very much he knows. "Yes…I will teach you. But first I will make you a press, the book will work for most flowers, but some..thicker ones, like roses, will need a press." But she seems to think that will be easy to procure. Is she actually paying attention for more than five minutes? She is very much here now, wrapped up in discussing shared interests.

"Potentilla," supplies Kiefer whose eyes linger on the cinquefoil. This is fun game. The naming of flowers, as they can be known under so many different titles and masks. And he's never done this before. Plants have always been interesting, and the interest that others have ever showed in him for it has usually been for school reasons. Help with herbology! My project plant is dying! Of course one turns to the herbal nerd who spends nearly all of his free time in the greenhouse. But to talk of plants just for the fun of it with someone else? This is new. Pleasantly new. He glances at her inquisitively, eyes lingering a curious moment before returning to the book. "A press?" he speaks the word as if it's alien to him. "You mean, these don't look this way because you've laid a book on them? A wizarding dictionary would work … or so I thought." He grins. "How does it work?"

"My father made me one, he's a muggle." Solstice says this with a great mark of pride. She returns his gaze and then quickly launches into explanation. "You take two pieces of wood.." Hands lift to approximate the size, a small book size. "Then you layer cardboard just slightly smaller inside…then you take four very long screws with wing nuts in each corner." She is being very clinical, or trying to be when discussing the construction. "Then you can press more than one flower..the cardboard absorbs the water from the roses as they die and the dark helps keep their color. This way you do not damage a books pages either..and you can tighten the press for more thich flowers…I will make you one." SHe promises him with a bright smile. "Then you can gather everything you want, even river plants…like that lily pad." She explains. "I am still learning how to keep the color longer, …though not sure." She admits and ten glances up to him. "You really do like plants…." SHe pauses, considering for a moment and then, as if imparting another precious secret, says, "When it is warmer, I will take you wiht me, when I gather."

The process of press making is listened to intently, trying to piece together the contraption in his mind as each step is spoken. "Oh… I see.." Kiefer says, nodding here and there as things click, apparently understanding the process. Understanding and making are two wholly different things though, and he's glad to hear that she's willing to make one for him. "Does your father do the same thing for his work?" he asks. "A researcher of some kind? That'd be an amazing job. To travel and collect specimens for study from anywhere in the world." He grins, tracing a finger over that lilypad. "I don't know much about water plants," he admits, shockingly enough. Kiefer, not know about plants? What has the world come to! "Never had much way of studying them, other than the ones that grow here near the lake. As for keeping their color.." He trails off, brows knitting in thought. "I'm not sure. Maybe a spell of some sort could help them last longer. I hate using magic on mundane plants though, but it can be useful for some things." He gives her a sidelong look, a half smirk on his face. "Some say I like plants too much, but I think I like them just enough. I'd like to go with you to gather," he agrees, warmly. He never gets invited to do anything! "Do you ever go to the forest's edge?"

"It is easy once you have the press..books are harder." Solstice is pleased as he grasps the concept and her hands in the proces of showing a sandwiching process lower to her legs and she lokos back down to her book. Studying the page it is open to, she shakes her head. "No..no my father works for our city, he takes care of the flower beds and cleans the streets." She explains softly and there does not seem to be shame in that fact. "I never use magic if I can help it, muggles get on just fine without it…no need. But it is fun..fascinating. But a spell, that might actually work." She seems thoughtful, considering that optionb efore he continues, mentioning the forest and drawing her back into the conversation. "Oh yes, whenever I can. It is so beautiful, especially in winter. Have you been there recently?" She asks him, excitement in her voice as crystal blue eyes alight again.

At the explanation of her father's job, Kiefer nods, judgement not in his eyes. "My father works in the oil fields. He isn't so interested in plants," said with a smirk. "My mother though, she's probably a forest nymph in disguise. She can make anything grow. They're both muggles." Something in common! Which isn't entire uncommon for Hufflepuffs. "Are both of your parents muggles, or just your father? I haven't been to the forest since the snow fell," he says after thinking about it a moment. "I never go too far in. That's just looking for trouble. And I usually don't go in winter, as I've never had much reason to. But I bet you're right. With the snow and ice … it'd be perfect for my snow garden," he says, eyes widening a bit with inspiration. "Will you help me pick a spot for it sometime?"

"I bet she is…forest nymphs have been known to take human husbands…it would explain your love for plants." Solstice is utterly serious but she blinks, shaking her head. "My mother is a witch who pretends to be a muggle..well she prefers being a muggle. My Uncle is the one who taught me most everything I know." She explains and then tilts her head, giving a glance in the direction of the woods, rising just a bit to study it from afar. "We should go…" But then he has that excitement in her voice and she lowers back down, rather close. She does not have any hang ups on personal space. "I will. A winter garden?" She asks him curiously, her eyes not far from his if he doesn't move.

Huh. She makes a valid point there. Is is mother a wood nymph? This may take a bit of researching, but that will have to wait til he's home, which won't happen until the term is over! So, it's something else for him to put on the backburner of his mind to revisit later. He watches her as she rises, pressing a hand on the page that's opened to keep anything from floating off in the slight breeze that does make it down past the windbreak. And when she lowers, close as he is, he makes no complaint, perhaps not bothered by it … or not so attuned to social norms to realize how close may be deemed as too close. He beams as she agrees, even though it sounds as if she doesn't know just what she's agreeing to! "Yes, a winter garden. Each year .. well, last year was my first year trying, but .. each year when things go dormant in the gardens and my workload in the greenhouse is slow, I make a winter garden. I make flowers from snow and ice. Mostly by hand, but now that I know more charms, it's good practice…" he lowers his voice, "even though we ought not to use magic out of the classroom." He smirks, then shrugs a shoulder. "Last year's was great until someone ruined it. So now I'm trying to find a place where no one would find it too easily."

A smattering of freckles is easily seen at this close range and the pink of her cheeks only serves to make it more evident. "Oh…oh wow!" She says, her turn to sound amazed. She actually stares at him and pauses, looking at the snow on the roof a moment and then back to him. "Show me?" She asks, attention riveted as she shifts in order to give him some room again. "And for the garden..I may know a place. But you have to brave a length of the forest..only a little." She says faintly and tilts her head, "its not far in…" She says and then rubs a hand to her neck, fingers cold. She flexes them, turning them over til she brings them to her lips, breathing over them to try to shake the chill.

"You really want to see?" Kiefer eyes the book, still opened to that lilypad page, before he carefully closes the volume. "I haven't started yet, but I've made a list of the flower species I want to make." He watches her, somewhat guardedly. No one takes this much interest in his interests. Ever. Could it be some sort of elaborate trick? The predecessor to some grand act of bullying? Nah … not from his own housemate. She seems so genuinely interested. Noone's that good of an actor, right? Except for Slytherin members, possibly. "I'm not afraid to go into the forest. Especially if there's a place in there." He begins to grin now, nodding. "Alright, it's a deal. You show me your spot, and I can start building. Your sketches could help. Usually, I just do them from memory. If you want to help…you can. If you want," he says, repeating himself. He glances to her hands as she warms them, then turns his eyes to the exit. "Going inside seems like a grand idea. Breakfast is likely still being served."

There is no sense of hidden agendas here with Solstice, just open enthusiasm which reflects in her gaze. As he closes the book,s he reaches for it, meaning to take it so he can show her a flower. "You can use the book if you like…I don't normally allow anyone to touch it..but. You like the flowers so." It seems they have mutual suspicions that are easily wiped away. She shifts on her knees and then gazes to the door with him. "We can go tomorrow, to the little grove…but..no. I do not wish to go yet." She seems quite taken with his company, motioning to the snow. "Can you show me how you make your flowers? So I can practice?" She asks and slipping the tome into her satchel, she is pulling out her slightly bent wand - a natural branch of apple as she waits, fixated on learning and forgetting the numbness in her hands.

The offer of the book being used is received with a grateful grin. "It'll be an amazing help, I think, but I only wish to use it if you're there. It's yours, besides. You've already given me the two pressed flowers. I don't want to borrow your book, so I'll only use it if you're present too." She's not ready to leave for breakfast yet, which is just fine with him, for this has to be the most interesting and engaging conversation he's had in a while! Her request to show the shaping of snow has him hesitating a little. But… well, why not. "Sure," he says, pulling out his own wand from the folds of his robe, a smoothed, yet somehat crooked yew. "It's easy, in a way, if you have an image in your mind. Like, your daisy for instance.." He scrapes his hand against the snow to make a pile. "If you can imagine the petals. The stem. The texture of it all. Have that in your mind as strong as you can. Sort of .. envision the shape and weight and contours of what you want. Even the scent of it." He pauses to do so, a yellow flower's image blooming in his mind. "And when you have it, hold in to it. Feel it movin' from your mind to your wand, and from your wand to the snow. Every detail… then," He gives his wand a few slow, arching waves over the pile, murmuring a freezing charm's incantation, and the snow beneath begins to shift, morphing with etching movements into a near perfect replica of her daisy in bloom, sans color. "And there."

Shifting closer, again without regard to personal space, Solstice watches him intently, lightly mimicing the movements of the wand he makes. She nods her head, eyes lifting to him and then back down to watch the flower form. Her eyes widen a moment, then study it fully before she begins to scrape her own pile of snow together. It is a slow process, until she feels everything is in oder and then she closes her eyes picturing a flower. This of course, takes time as well and she wets her lips, letting out a long breath and then flicks her wand, willing the flower into formation. It starts to move, the snow fluctuating and starting to climb and form a tall stem but as it begins to get near the petals, it starts to fall apart, flakes of snow breaking off and finally, before it is formed she gives up. What was formed falls apart, back to the ground in a puff. She stares down at it and then draws a breath. "I…hmmmm perhaps Delphinium was too ..hard."

Kiefer watches on as she tries her hand, staring at the snow as if able to will it with his mind alone to take the correct shape. It's moving. He perks and grins a bit, watching with raised brows. Is he able to guess what it is? "Ooh.." he says as the snow begins to pile to make a long stem. Something tall! He already begins to conjure ideas, but before any of them gets out…flomph! There it ges. "He claps his hands together and winces. "You were so so close!" he compliments with a broad grin. "That was an excellent first try. You should've seen my first attempt. I don't know what happened, but the whole thing melted," he admits with a humored grin. "Delphinium. I think I would've guessed that! It's a grand flower, but … yes, maybe you could stick with something familiar next time. Something that you see often."

"I am sure it will take some practice," Solstice says, giving him a faint smile. She's not defeated yet. "I will try something simple next time, like the viola." But he had mentioned breakfast and despit the look in her eyes of wanting to give it a go again, she tucks her wand away. "Should we go get breakfast?" She asks him, her eyes meeting his. "We can look at the book there as well, are you fingers cold?" Because her's are. She reaches out, without thinking to touch his hand to test the temperature difference of their appendages.

"We should. I think I can smell the sausage from up here," says Kiefer who takes a big wiff of the winter air. All he can really scent is .. well, snow and cold and ice! But his imagination adds the aroma of breakfast meat in there too. "I've faith that you'll get it eventually. Even if you don't … you can still help with the garden. Gardens aren't perfect. Unless it's my mother's," he adds as his wand is placed away. Reading while eating is his favorite thing to do! And at the offer of exploring the book more he nods in exuberant agreement. "Great idea. And.." before he can answer the question of the temperature of his hand, her hand is felt on his. They're equally cold, but what does warm up a few degrees is his face, causing a faint flush to be seen. Hopefully, that can be blamed on the cold! "You're freezing," he says, trying for nonchalance before he rises to stand, holding her book close. "Come on. Let's eat before everyone else takes everything," he laughs, offering his hand to help her up.

If that flush is anything other than the cold, Solstice does not seem to notice and blinks at his exclamation of how cold she is. "I am?" She looks rather surprised by this and flexes her fingers a moment to keep them working. She does however look to his hand as he rises and offers to help her up. She take sit, rising and dusting her knees off, her robes slipping from her shoulder to show the wool dress fitted at her waist with a belt. She tugs at the robe again and then smiles up at him as she waves off her hair with a quick twist of her head. "I can smell it too." Breakfast. "Can't you smell the maple syrup, buttered pancakes." She smiles and then starts for the door, grasping his hand that had taken his to rise and giving him a solid tug.

Oh now she's making his stomach grumble! How he loves pancakes smothered with syrup and possibly with strawberries on the side. Grumblegrumble. Kiefer is jolted from his breakfast daydreaming by the hand that is regrasped and tugged upon. That gets him moving! He grins now, keeping a hold of her book for her as he heads with her towards the castle corridor and the warmth that it provides. "And sausage," he reminds. "Breakfast isn't breakfast without sausage. And maybe they'll have biscuits too. Or muffins! And you know how at times they have those little bits of cheese?" he continues as they move inside, leaving behind the frosty air. How about that! A typical quiet and somewhat downtrodden morning has done a complete turn around with a possible new friend and kindred spirit taking its place.

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