(1939-01-27) Murder in the Greenhouse
Details for Murder in the Greenhouse
Summary: Lucretia approaches Myrus for some herbology advice. Variel turns up and what starts out as an uncomfortable interaction with Myrus takes a much more bitter turn for the worse when Esther and Zayn arrive.
Date: 1939-01-27
Location: Greenhouses, Hogwarts Castle

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.

Morning. Yuck.
For most people morning was a bad thing. Myrus on the other hand, drug out of bed by Anthony before breakfast, and on a run he was taken. Anthony was ensuring Myrus wasn't slacking on that. But Lowe didn't seem to mind.
After the run, there was still time to wash up, grab a quick bite in the great hall for breakfast, thankfully his Haggis-as-only-protein Diet prescribed by Pringle for offenses to the Haggis Day or whatever Scottish festival it was (Myrus didn't know, nor really cared to), he went to the Greenhouses just to look at what was still growing in the middle of winter. He already knew what would be in Greenhouse One, but it was still interesting. He hadn't been in his greenhouse at home since last summer, and he almost missed tending to it for mother.
'For' mother, and not with her. Among his other duties while trapped there in the past, but no longer, and even the reason he didn't go back was gone. But this gives him some peace of mind to sit and enjoy the sights and smells for a moment before heading to class later this morning. Plants can't leave you. At least not the tame ones, anyhow.

If Myrus is seeking solitude at this early hour, then sadly he will be robbed of it. At least if he stays in Greenhouse One. Lucretia is here before him, checking on a couple of plants she'd been tending over the previous two months. The pods have just germinated, if the green feathery tops are a measure of anything, and she's carefully checking and making notes in a small notebook she carries. "Oh bother!" Its a exclamation of annoyance as she straightens, her mouth pursed in a pout that might look cute, were it not for the annoyance that shows in her face. "Bother! Bother! BOTHER!"

THe solace of silence is pierced and the bubble of beautiful calm is popped as Lucretia basically curses for someone her age. "Hey, pipe down, Squeaky. You'll scare the puffapods into dust. Then all the first years will fail. And there will be crying… lots of soggy, disgusting crying."
His seat on a bench leads him to lean back and push his feet out, crossing them at the ankles, leaning back on the table behind him where said puffapods sit, lacing his fingers over his stomach and looking up at some of the hanging pots overhead. A demure and calm tone to his words, one might think he was being serious as he's not being loud, or making complete and total fun of her. Either way, the look he shoots her is neutral, and a getting a little annoyed, to say the least.

Lucretia looks around quickly. She'd not known that Myrus was around and its with a certain tenseness to her shoulders that she hugs her notebook into her stomach and takes a few steps in his direction. "Sorry," she apologises. "I'm not so good at herbology and I think I've done something wrong with the valerian roots that I've been growing." A small gnaw is given on her lower lip and she looks back over to the three pots she's just been working with. "I don't suppose that you'd have a moment to cast an eye over them, would you? I'd hate to fail my assignment on this, I'm not used to failing." A tiny, hopeful look is given the older boy, and despite the knowledge that he's unlikely to be in a helping mood, its worth asking anyway.

"Yes, I do." The turn of events since the catastrophy known as the Lowe Falling Out between Myrus and Esther is of course, a driving factor in this moment that he has to spare to help. She only asked if he had a moment to spare. "I have lots of moments to cast my eyes wherever."
Though they still stay cast overhead, at the fernlike plants above, some other project someone was studying, no doubt. He doesn't get up yet. Like he only commented to answer her question, not take action to prove it.

A warm smile melts over Lu's face, she looks completely different to how she did a moment ago when frustrated with her plants and she hovers twixt them and Myrus. "Should I bring them over? I can if you want me to, though they might just prefer not to be moved. Not that they're mandrakes or anything, they're just valerian roots. But maybe that's why they're not doing so well as they ought? Or maybe the compost is too dry. Or not wet enough. Too hot?" She offers several options, then looks down at her notebook, flicking back through the pages to see if there's anything glaringly obvious that she's missed.

Variel steps into the greenhouse and sighs pleasantly as the warmth settles in around him. He rubs his hands together a few times, moving idly through the foliage until he catches voices. Curious, he approaches and lifts ahand in greeting. "Lowe, Lu-" He pauses. "… feel like you two need friends. A Lee, Lye, and a Lei perhaps…" Oh, haha. Name puns. "Staying warm or tending sprouts?"

Myrus doesn't make a move to even look at it. He just simply states, "No, they aren't mandrakes. Soil uniformly moistened. They like lots of room. Do you have posts for them to latch and climb for support? They aren't tempremental, but they do have their preferences. Maybe grab the book instead of your notes if you're having trouble. Then you can stop wasting my moments with questions you can read to find the answers which you seek. You can read print I assume?"
Variel steps in, as Myrus was looking at Lu by the time the redheaded Gryffin comes in. Myrus was well on sounding like he was going to continue. "Weasley. How nice of you to join us. We were just going over the basics. Like reading to find answers instead of bugging people." His thorns reach far today.

Lucretia's cheeks darken with a blush. "Right. Well I'm sorry I interrupted you, I just thought…" She doesn't finish her sentence however, her teeth gripping her lower lip before she looks down at her notebook. Hurt. She looks hurt. After half-expecting him to dismiss her without even bothering to reply, having said he'd had time to help, she'd not been expecting that. Variel's arrival is perhaps fortuitous and after a brief rub of her nose is given with one finger, she turns to him and ghosts a smile. Its a hard fought for smile, and the older Gryffindor will probably see the difficulty that she even has in making it. "Hello Variel. Lowe was just helping me with my herbology. I stink at it."

Promises made to try and exist /without/ quaffing a draught of peace every now and then are not being kept. It's sad, but true. But it's all part of why Esther carries her bookbag so close at at all times. Herbology isn't her strong suit, which might be what draws her here - But it's mostly got to do with getting out of the castle, so she doesn't have to see;


She pauses, midstep. What's the point of skipping breakfast if it won't let you avoid the one person that you're trying to? Esther slowly takes cover behind a neat row of foxglove. Intending on walking away, instead, the Hair gently touches the… Well, in some situations, lethal, flower, and watches Myrus and Lu.

Variel says, "Ah. I see. Well-" Lu's expression gives him pause. He steps in, pressing a hand against Lucretia's shoulder, squeezing gently. "No worries- I'm rubbish as well. Lowe's just trying to prepare you for your own work later. Can't always rely on clever Ravenclaws to answer your questions, right?" He turns and glances about. He heard footsteps, bu t whose?"

To Lucretia, Myrus gives a small lilt of his head to the side as he says, "You sound like you do, yes." A look to Variel about preparing for when Ravenclaws aren't there to answer questions. "Quite right. But books should be more reliable than people. They won't leave you unless you just drop them somewhere and forget about them." Familiar sounding, a very dry tone on that one.
He speaks slowly, like he's talking to her for her to take more notes. Even to the point he might be insulting her ability to write at any pace of normal speech. So he drawls out each tumultuous word to agonizing detail. Like to a small child with paper and glue making a mess. "Put a stick in the dirt, center of the pot, next to each plant. Just one sprout per pot, they like their space." What, does he think she's deaf?
Variel's attention makes Myrus turn his head, eyes following suit a couple seconds later to look as well. Looking right at where Esther was a few moments ago, maybe still directly at her behind some other shrubbery, but whether he sees her or not, it's like he doesn't, and he looks at Lucretia again, brows raising almost impatiently.

Lucretia tucks herself in against Variel's side, enough that he'll be able to drop his arm around her shoulder. Cheeks still slightly flushed at Myrus' attitude towards her request for help, she quickly writes down his instructions. "Right. I have that. Thank you." There's a backwards glance over her shoulder at her three plants that he's not even looked at, and a small knitting of her brow. "I'll put the sticks in then. Thank you." Her mouth closes with that, though she looks like she desperately wants to say more, waiting a moment for the ink to dry before closing the notebook and slipping it into the folds of her cloak.

"Books don't change everything about themselves based on who reads them, either." Esther advises from behind the foxglove. She seems a little drawn, possibly to do with not eating, although the cocoa with Lucretia last night had brightened her day immensely. "But then again, books don't need excuses, either." Her steps are slow. Her breath measured. And despite the potion flowing throug her, her heart is pounding, despite how placid her expression might be. "Lu; Variel." She greets them both affectionately. Warmly. Yes, Warm to Variel. Only so the distance is like a chasm when she directs it to her cousin. "Myrus."

Variel has room under his arm for Lu. it's odd to see her quiet in the face of insult, even that meant to hel her, and he's a touch disconcerted. This is worsenee by Esther appearing, unsure how Myrus will respond. He remains quiet to find out.

Myrus leans back to where he was before, hands with fingers laced over his stomach, almost lounging with his shoulders leaned back against the table behind him.
His gaze doesn't turn from Lucretia and Variel as Esther makes her presence known to all of them by speaking, then coming forward from her hiding place. The change in Myrus' visage is subtle, other than the grin that twists itself across his maw. Like the cat that just caught the mouse that stole the cheese.
The male Lowe's voice is gratingly pleasant. "Quite true, a book contains the same information, the same ending. And should that book want to be read by someone else because the first chapter is so endearing, but they will get to the end, eventually. But would the new reader like the ending as the first did?" His grin fades, turning to look at Esther, "Ah, Esther." Ester. "How nice of you to join us. How is your new reader, by the way? Liking the content, I hope, so far." Not veiled at all. Not one bit. Vile, acid laced words, but he covers them so neatly in the context of a lighthearted conversation, even after lifting the veil of subtext to reveal a direct jab.

Lucretia certainly isn't one to usually sit down and take being insulted without a caustic bite-back or two. She is, however, acutely aware of what Myrus has been going through and so she's not going to spar with him. Not today. So much for her intention of diverting his thoughts away from Esther however, because here she is. Here. Now. "Oh. Hello Esther," she says in a small voice, which is probably another first for Lucretia, shoulders hunching a little at the particularly vicious barbs with which Myrus hits her friend.

Zayn had received a small note from a firstie, written from Esther asking him to come to the Greenhouse. After eating his food he made his way towards the desired meeting location. Though as he walks in, his dark brown eyes move across the individuals present for a moment before he nods, "Well Hello, all of you." he says his hand moving to straighten out his robes for a moment, before his hand out of habit runs through his hair, "You failed to mention it was going to be a party in your note, Esther." he says softly with a small nod.

Nothing hurts like what he calls her. Ester. Her cheeks burn bright red. "He's significantly less liable to tear the pages out, when he's frustrated." Her hands clench into fists, fighting the urge to draw her wand and use any one of a dozen hexes to stun that smile right off his face. "And thankfully for you, an inspiration against sudden, violent plot twists." A slow, deep inhale. "Although I'm sure he'll never turn out like you, though." Zayn speaks from behind her, and she spins to face him. "Zayn."
One word. Then a flush. "I… I hadn't expected there to be a party. We should leave." Her words are short, to the point. Considering there's Myrus behind her, it makes sense."

Myrus has the audacity to smile at her when she starts clenching those fists. "Now now," talking to that child again, even clicking his tongue in a tsk fashion a few times, "We shouldn't have to lower ourselves to violence, should we, Em?" Change it up, knuckleball right to the temple after that fastball pronunciation of her name prior a few moments ago.
"No, he'll not turn out like me," Zayn arrives, gives the warm greeting. Myrus' hands had clasped cordially behind his back, and he even raises a hand with a small dip of his head to Zayn. A warm, if completely forced, welcome. "Zayn. A party? Oh, well, wait until you get to chapter eight," he makes a 'yeesh' face, tensing his cheeks to pull his lower lip tight and show his lower row of pearly whites, looking at Esther as that face fades back to his eery, heartlessly calm demeanor. "But anyway, I hope he doesn't turn out like me, either. Maybe a prior reader can tell him how it ends, and he has the foresight to close the book before it closes /on/ him." Another smile. So charmingly cold, and putrid, that contented smile. "Oh, which reminds me. Zayn? We should talk sometime of this book I want to tell you about," the Carrow blood in Myrus in full force today, as he chimes, waving after them. "But you two enjoy your day!"
After this, if they leave, or stay, Myrus Lowe reclaims his seat on the bench, extending his legs to cross at the ankle, lacing his fingers over his stomach, and looks up towards the roof of the greenhouse, at those fernlike plants in hanging pots for the moment.

Myrus looks as if that conversation didn't just happen, and Esther was never there. Even if she doesn't leave. Blank stare at those ferns.

Lucretia has certainly flexed her own meaness on others, but watching Myrus is like being given a master class in it. There's a small, awkward clearing of her throat and she focuses her attention on Esther. There's an encouraging smile for her friend, though nothing else. This isn't her fight today, and so she remains tucked into Variel's side. Its safe there.

Esther's silent fury doesn't last long. She's not capable of the kind of dispassionate behaviour that Myrus so easily taunts her with. "Lower ourselves? You're plenty fucking low now, Cousin." She mutters, turning back towards him while she speaks. "If this is how you want to be, then fine. Let's share just one more moment as kin, so I'll get down to your level." She steps towards Myrus. Rapidly. Crisp steps, before the back of her hand hand comes up under his chin. Staring in his eyes, as she states clearly. "You were /everything/. And now you're barely even an upjumped House-Elf — You're not a Lowe, cousin. You're a fucking joke."

To most, it's something new. Something that's entirely unlike Esther. She turns then, looking at Zayn, and only Zayn. The hurt in her gaze is clear - The final words said /just/ to bring Myrus down to her level. "Let's.. Let's just go." She whispers, walking towards him again. One arm across her chest, holding her bicep lightly. Head down.

Zayn rubs the back of his head slowly looking between everyone and Esther, he says silent for a long moment. "Well I hadn't expected a party either I suppose." he says with a small nod, his hand moving out as he offers it to Esther, "If you have the desire to leave then we shall leave, Esther." he says with a small shrug his hand out reached to her. Smiling at Myrus he nods slowly, "Lowe, I enjoy a good read, but I feel you may be feeling slightly bias, towards this book and incapable of offering a reasonable and helpful review." he says nodding slowly, his tongue clicking against his cheek, "No need to be either spiteful or filled with malice, Lowe." he says slowly, with a small nod. "Neither suit you any more then jealousy." he says softly shaking his head. His hand beckoning out towards Esther, "Esther, that is enough." he says says slowly, closing his eyes for a moment waiting on her to take his hand.

Esther made him look at her. This is true. He listened to what she had to say. And the look of sheer horror on his face for all of three seconds after she calls him something about a house-elf. But that fades quickly, and goes right back to a little smirk for a change from the grins and smiles. "Em, don't you realize, I already /knew/ that. Because just like my parents did to me… and just like your mother did to you. You are her daughter, Ester. Because you've now done it to me." Ester again.
Not a Lowe? A joke? He even pushes himself to stand now, again, after getting so very comfortable, and she had to push those buttons. "You might be right. I'm not a Lowe." A look to Zayn. "You must be talking to the only Lowe in here," a now placid stare at Esther's back, "because I'm a Carrow."
Myrus begins to quietly humm something from their childhood. The song he always hummed after he'd been berrated for no good reason. The one when he knew he was in very deep water with his family for one reason or another, usually not his fault. And he humms it right as she was stalking away. He knew all her secrets, for they were his, too.
"I /do/ wish you the best of luck, Zayn." And he continues humming, sitting back down again.

Lucretia looks up at Variel, then back to Esther and Zayn. "You should probably just go, Esther," she says, offering advice where its more than likely not needed. She'd probably disappear too, but she's things to do and homework to finish and that means more notes that need making on her valerian plants. Still, despite having spoken up, she's not wanting to bring too much attention down on herself in the middle of all this and therefore doesn't step away from Variel.

Esther reaches out for that hand as soon as it's within reach. Fingertip to fingerip, her hand slides across his until it can grip warmly. Tightly. A little too tightly. And then she's in against his side, being led out of the greenhouse. The break-up was always going to be worse for her. More is expected from her. And she's made far more mistakes than Myrus.

Zayn taps his chin for a moment, clearly thinking, "No I am pretty sure you last name is Lowe." he says nodding slowly, "Then again you are not in my house, so I could be very well mistaken, but I would say with almost certainty that your last name is Lowe." he says with a small shrug, "However if you prefer the surname, Carrow, then simply pretend that everything I said, I had used Carrow instead of Lowe." he says looking up for a moment as if he was clearly in thought. "Myrus Carrow." he says nodding as Esther takes his hand and wraps her fingers into his, "I certainly with the same for you, Carrow, perhaps after you calm down you will see that being spiteful and filled with malice does no one, including yourself, any good." he says with a small nod and his tongue clicking against his cheek as he moves to escort Esther out.

Variel leaves his arm aroubd Lucretia, ensuring her little harbor of safety remains intact. A soft squeeze now and then to reassure. He takes in everything, watching Zayn navigate the waters. He tucks his free hand into his pocket in silent observation. Nobody present has quite the familiarity to recognize the look in his eyes. His expression is neutral but his eyes reflect the catharsis of a one-time offender reaping the consequences of her carelessness.

Mryus Carrow. Such a wonderful idea.
He'll keep that for later. The song fades, and he sighs contentedly, looking over at Lucretia and the all but forgotten Variel. "And Lucretia," normal voice? That's more rare now than his vileness from before. "Just remember to keep it in that sunny spot you have it in, and don't forget to ensure the soil is properly moist, but not soaked, evenly." A /very/ faint smile, and Myrus leans forward, bending his knees and clapping his hands on top of his knees both at the same time, "Well, it's about time for me to head to class." He looks back to Lucretia again, "You alright? You look like you've seen a dementor or something." He says as he stands, but doesn't make any move to support or comfort that notion of dementor sightings, and puts his hands into his pockets and with a nod to Variel, he cheerily walks out the door, whether before or after Esther and Zayn is up for debate, but he doesn't even acknowledge them anyhow after this for this time being.

Lucretia watches Esther, Zayn and Myrus leave, then rubs the heel of her hand to first one eye and then the other. "That was horrid. Absolutely horrid. Poor Esther. Poor Myrus." It might be surprising that she thinks of the Ravenclaw at a time like this, but she does. "Right. What was it that Lowe said? Keep them in the sun and keep the soil moist." With a small duck of her shoulder, she slips away from Variel and goes to check on her plants. One's already wilted over the side, the seedling looking more than a little pathetic. She stamps her foot in annoyance. "BOTHER!" There's a small shiver given by one of the nearby puffapods, and it flops over the side of its pot. Murdered. Dead. Expired. Seed pods dislodge, shoot up in the air, bounce and explode, just like Myrus predicted they would. Its no consolation to the young witch that new flowers sprout instantly. No consolation at all. They aren't growing where they're meant to be growing and someone's going to be in trouble.

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