(1939-02-07) A Lesson in Venom Extraction
Details for A Lesson in Venom Extraction
Summary: Professor Beery challenges his students to extract venom from their Venomous Tentacula
Date: Feb 7th 1939
Location: Greeghouse, Hogwarts

Students chattered back and forth as more bodies were pouring into the enchanted Greenhouse that was surprisingly warm inside. Each desk had their own plant. A potted Venomous Tentacula set at a reasonable distance. Everyone was set to pairs. "Come on in, come on in!" The Professor had encouraged. "Take your seats, careful there Mister Gringly…" He warns one student that was attempting poke one of the waving vines. "Now then. Who can identify this plant? Hmm? And what is it known for?"

Sybil walks in, her arm looped through a tall brunette's. "I've been dreading this class all week," she confesses to her friend, slipping her arm free in order to twist the long ponytail her hair is tied within into a messy topknot on her head. "Horrible things, I'm not giving them anything to grab onto if I can help it." There's a nod of greeting to Adorabella and she takes up a place with her friend at one of the tables on which is set one of the potted plants. At the question thrown to the class, she doesn't call out, she simply lifts her hand.

Prompt as usual, mousy as always, Dora took her usual seat next to Tobias and Rhyn on the Hufflepuff side of the room. Satchel at her feet, dragonhide gloves on her belt, one hand shot tentatively into the air, no more than shoulder height. In her own quiet fashion. It's non-committed. Too high and the Professor might think she was brown nosing, too low and it might seem she didn't know the answer. Somewhere in the middle thing, by the methodology that she'd spent four careful years working out.

Professor Beery pointed to Sybil, "Miss Pyrites?" He acknowledged and waited for the student to provide their answer. A pair of Slytherin boys were snickering at each other, hushed whispers passing back and forth. As long as the students remained out of reach the potted plants appeared to be quite docile. Almost stately subdued as the tendrils casually swayed.

Sybil still has one hand in the air, even as she's pulling a leather-bound notebook and her herbology textbook from her satchel. Its her Millie, her friend, who with a quick nudge to her side that draws the blonde's attention to the fact she's been picked on to answer the question and Sybil's head shoots up, a small blush colouring her cheeks. "Me? Oh. Right. These are venemous tentacula plants, they have tendrils that will try to grab their prey and draw it in. They don't always need to grab something though, because they can shoot poison to kill their prey. Still, its not wise to let them grab you, so its best to keep your wits about you when dealing with them." She breaks off there, and pulls a face at her friend. "They're a bit like boys, grab grab grab," she says, though quietly… don't want to upset the Professor after all.

Hand down, Dora peers at the neatly written notes already on the page about the plant in question, all I's dotted with proper fluffy clouds which no doubt made it plenty painful for those who'd to read them. But at least they were readable. And she gave a little smile to the plant, too. As if it were an animal rather than simply a thing and might somehow understand the sentiment.

A few giggles follow Sybil's answer. There's a set of boys who chuckle to themselves as one quips back, "You girls like it." And the banter begins with the battle of the sexes. One of the students from Gryffindor mutters under her breath, "Disgusting." Professor Beery claps his hands excitedly, "Excellent Miss Pyrites! Now then, who can tell me the benefits of such a creation hmm? How might this dangerous plant be useful?"

Sybil turns to look at the students that snigger. Thus she misses the question and also any hope of giving an answer. "Merlin's beard, stop eavesdropping on a private conversation," she says, though there might be the smallest hint of a smile given one particular boy, before there's a lift of her chin and she turns back and primly settles her hands in her lap. Millie's hand goes up, and there's a questioning look from Sybil, a glance given the notes that her friend is taking. "Did I miss something?"

With a glance to the page and then, again towards the professor, once again Dora's hand climbed to shoulder height. The girl's feet swinging idly back and forth.

"Miss Selwyn?" The Professor acknowledged. He didn't seem to mind the idle chatter occurring back and forth or the lively banter between students.

Sybil picks up her quill and starts to make notes, cribbing a little from Millie's notebook, but mostly working under her own steam. She's a Ravenclaw and you don't get sorted into Ravenclaw unless you've an affinity for knowledge and learning. Head bent, she transforms from the distracted blonde into the model of the perfect student, eyes just shifting in Dora's direction as she waits for her answer.

"The Venomous Tentacula has multiple uses, the girl intoned, "While the leaves of a well tended plant my find themselves worth far more than those who aren't, they may be dried and used in several potions. While the sap of the plant as well, which unlike the barbs is non-fatal, has been known to be used in purging droughts. Always in moderation, however." The mousy creature finished simply and set to chewing on her bottom lip.

"Well said Miss Selwyn!" Mister Beery exclaimed. "Now then today you all will need to extract the venom from these plants. They're quite temperamental. There are various methods of doing so without falling prey to their ensaring. Best of luck. And should any of you find yourself being choked do raise a hand."

A boy stood up while staring at the writhing plant. "It's just a plant." He folded both arms across his chest. "How dangerous could it be?"

Sybil eyes the boy, though doesn't say anything. No doubt Professor Beery will deal with him. Either that, or one of the plants will show him exactly how dangerous a venemous tentacula can be. She turns to the page in her text book that deals with the extraction of venom from the plants and takes a moment to study the instructions.

"Dangerous enough," Dora murmured, looking towards the boy as if he had forgotten he was in a NEWT class. But then the girl simply slipped on her gloves and readied her tools, so that she could peer at the plant. "We'll take turns," she suggests to her partner. "You stun, I'll extract. And then we'll switch." Which meant that she tucked her wand away and when Rhyn murmured, Diffendo, Dora set to extracting.

"Get it off! Get it off!" A girl shouted as the plant had sized a hold of her wrist. Pulling against the capture only seemed to infuriate the vines further and suddenly her arm was coated in vines, twisting and slithering their way up to her shoulder.

So they switched, as one by one, neat vials were filled up with careful extraction. The plant given the utmost attention and care. As Dora stunned, her partner clipped and while they were responsible for collecting poison, Dora made a mental note to trim away some of the deadened leaves as well, so that the plant could stay healthy without suffering. It seemed a prudent part of the lesson so she did, leaving the Professor to deal with the problems.

At Sybil and Millie's table, several of the smaller shoots now lay severed on the table and the blonde girl was gently squeezing droplets of the venom into the readied vials. "It says here that the younger shoots are more easily harvested," she points out to her partner, grinning as the second vial gets stoppered. "Oh good golly, Balinda's has got her," she suddenly says, putting down the shoot she's holding and removing her gloves to draw her wand. She's ready to sever the shoots that have caught the Slytherin girl should Beery or Balinda's partner not be onto it before her.

Once their lesson was done, the plant neatly trimmed and in return watered for its efforts then Dora began to tidy up her section. The dead clippings to be added to the compost pile when she left. Her tools were washed, dried and returned to her satchel, while she chittered a happy thanks at the plant.

Once their portion of the lesson was done, the plant neatly trimmed and in return watered for its efforts then Dora began to tidy up her section. The dead clippings to be added to the compost pile when she left. Her tools were washed, dried and returned to her satchel, while she chittered a happy thanks at the plant.

There were some who read the homework assignment and others blatantly did not. Professor Beery praised those that had managed to perform the assignment without injury. "Hold still!" Another student shouted. "We can use spells? I didn't know we can use spells!" Obviously speaking of Adorabella who had stunned the plant in order to extract the venom. "Sybil, do something!" A girl shouted as the Slytherin student was slapping at the vines. Clearly not effective.

<FS3> Sybil rolls Charms -1: Success.

"Diffindo…" Sybil intones, deciding not to wait for anyone else to be the hero, and also refusing to be thrown into a flap by the potential death, or near death, of Balinda. The spell hits the plant neatly and severs the tentacle that has Balinda by the wrist, poison leaching from the vine, though not to any ill effect upon the student. "Are you alright Bali?" Apparently on first name terms with the Slytherin girl, she puts an arm around her shoulder, a comforting hug given.

The panicked Balinda swatted away the plant that had been coiling around her arm. "It almost killed me!" Not truly but some people had a way of overreacting. Professor Beery had just turned around in time to witness the quick thinking of Sybil. "Well done Miss Pyrites! Perhaps you can show Miss Balinda here how to properly extract a venom hmm? Everyone else once you have finished do bring the vials up to the front of the class. And remember your reports on the Venemous Tentacula are due next session!"

Sybil draws Balinda with her, back to her own table where Millie sits. Her friend is, perhaps, a little wide-eyed at the commotion, but Balinda is offered a quick smile. "Nice one," she tells her, then at a 'shift along' motion from Sybil, she moves along to allow space for the Slytherin to join. There's a scrunch of Syb's face and she hands her gloves over, waiting until they're on Balinda's hands before demonstrating just how the vines are cut and venom milked. "You can't allow yourself to be distracted," she says. "Not for one second." And, harking back to her earlier comment regarding the plants, she adds with a grin, "Think of them as boys with octopus arms."

Balinda is hesitant against touching that plant again, even for a passing grade. With Sybil leading by example the Slytherin girl inhales, drawing in a breath of bravery. "They're just so.. gross." The visual of octopus arms didn't help either however it did bring the girl to giggle softly. "Even two hands are too much." She takes the clippers then mimics Sybil's actions. "Like this?"

"Mmhm. Just like that," she says, using the end of her quill to distract the plant away from what Balinda's about to do. "But quickly though, its a case of surprising it and keeping your attention fully upon it at all times." A smile is given the self-possessed blonde when the cut is neatly made and the length of vine lays on the table-top, venom already starting to bead upon the cut end. Whisking her quill with a final tickle to the plant, she nudges the Slytherin girl. "Pick it up carefully so you don't waste any venom and squeeze it into the vial."

Balinda carefully squeezed the milk into a vial as previously instructed. "That wasn't so hard." A better method as opposed to reaching out to the vine and simply pulling it. "I think that should be enough." She states when the vial is nearly full.

There's a warm laugh from Sybil, the Ravenclaw witch stoppering up the vials after wiping each of them around with a cloth to remove any traces of poison on the outside. Tossing the cloth onto the table, she draws her wand and incinerates it with a muttered 'incendio', the venom upon it making it fizzle with a purple light before its reduced to a barely-there pile of ash. "Excellent." This from Sybil who tugs her hair from its updo before taking half the vials and giving them to Balinda, retaining half for herself and for Millie to take up to Beery.

"I should have known to partner up with a Ravenclaw." Balinda mutters but it's also a praise. From the head of the class Professor Beery is organizing the collected vials. "Class dismissed!" He announced cheerily to the students.

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