Volunteer in the summer infirmary!

Author Topic: let me down slowly [Vagary AU]  (Read 1403 times)

* Avery Elliot

    (12/30/2019 at 15:01)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
He might have been more surprised if he hadn’t drawn the five of swords that morning, which he was beginning to simply turn into meaning her. The winter wind that cut straight to the bone. She was air and lightning and Avery Elliot was stuck at her side. Again.

Both of them fell into silence and Avery watched the odd leafy creature with growing teeth scowl at him. Perhaps he was just imagining it. At her prompt, he glanced over at the girl of growing green and pearl teeth. He was definitely not imagining her scowl. “Lyra.”
You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (01/06/2020 at 23:53)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
“…Lyra.”

What a ridiculous name for a Fanged Geranium. She told him as much a moment later: “That’s ridiculous. She’s not a Lyra, just look at her!”

The flower in question gnashed its teeth, which—for Vega, at least—seemed to prove the point, for she looked triumphantly at her unfortunate Herbology partner as if to say, there, I told you so.

“She needs a proper name. Like…like Romilda or Fiona or—or Spike.”

* Avery Elliot

    (01/10/2020 at 15:30)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
Avery did look at Lyra, all her (when did they decide their plant was female?) cutting edges and postering. He wondered if she could take off a finger yet or if would just be like a puppy chewing on it. He looked at Vega too and raised an eyebrow as if to say, see, I told you.

"Lyra is a proper name," Avery interjected but he already sounded dispassionate. He wasn't that attached to a name to risk further conflict, potential toe stomping and/or finger biting. Even so, he added, "Spike is a ridiculous name."

"Fiona seems fitting."
You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (01/11/2020 at 16:02)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
She could have argued with him all day about the not-ridiculousness of the name Spike, and she would have done it, too, had he not decided that Fiona was acceptable enough.

It wasn’t her favourite of the three suggestions, but at least it was hers. 


“Fiona, then.”

She frowned, “How do you want to do this? One week in my dormitory, one week in yours? Or longer? She might not like if we move her around too often.”

* Avery Elliot

    (01/12/2020 at 05:12)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
Avery tried not to look suspicious, but he wasn't sure how well he masked it when he tried to imagine Vega taking care of anything other than perfecting her frown. "Are you good at this?" he asked instead.
You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (01/14/2020 at 19:09)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
The look she shot him was enough to make even a Fanged Geranium wither.

"Of course I'm good at this. I'm in charge of the vegetable patch back at home." No, the real question wasn't whether she was capable of keeping Fiona alive; it was whether he was.

"Are you?"

* Avery Elliot

    (01/22/2020 at 01:51)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
Avery snorted lightly; an intake of surprise, a breath out of disdain. He wondered who ate those vegetables. “Yes,” he said with an unamused smile. “Why not every few weeks then? She’s not moved around a lot, but is enough for us to share the responsibility.” - and grade was a distant second, but also an important factor. She seemed like the type to hog a plant and blame him for not helping, if only to erase his chance of passing a class.

The same type of person that enjoyed crushing things.
You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (01/26/2020 at 23:07)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
“Fine. But if she dies on your watch—”

She hadn’t thought her threat through before she had started to say it. Vega faltered, but only for a second.

“—then I’m going to make Professor Honeycutt give me a new partner.”

Too late, she realised that he would probably like that very much.

monday 24 october 2011
waning crescent


Over the past three weeks, Vega Violet Nettlebed had grown very attached to Fiona Spike Nettlebed. She did not want to hand her over to Avery Elliot, partly because she didn’t trust him and partly because she enjoyed her Fanged Geranium’s company more than she enjoyed that of almost all of her peers.

Plants were a lot less complicated and a lot less effort than people. 


“She likes classical music. And she likes fresh air—but if you’re going to take her outside, don’t take her out when it’s windy. She lost a petal in a gust of wind in the first week, and she’s terrified of breezes now.”

Vega frowned. She didn’t relinquish the flower pot yet. “And if you think she needs repotting before it’s time to give her back, you’re absolutely not allowed to do it without me.”
« Last Edit: 02/04/2020 at 18:27 by Vega Nettlebed »

* Avery Elliot

    (02/03/2020 at 00:59)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
Avery smiled because both of them knew that was no threat at all. He let 'Don't tempt me' hang between them as he nodded solemnly.



If Vega could look at Fiona without it wilting, Avery would almost say plant-motherhood suited her. The same way that crystal shards suited a window sill. It was somewhere through this thought that Vega finished and Avery absently filed away the additional information she gave.

Avery reached his hands out for the pot, nodding, "I'll update you every day."


notes, as promised, every day

her teeth are getting sharper

                                     she smiles like you do

  she has another blossom starting, i think she likes me more

                                                        yeah, i deserved
                                                         getting bitten.

does she sway or is she dancing to the music

                  what kind of classic music did you play for her

                                                                  moss agate is
                                                             her new best friend.

she drank moon water last night.

i don't think she likes the colour of this pot

                                             i don't think she
                                             likes this pot

meet me tomorrow
after breakfast?


saturday 12 november 2011
waning gibbous

Avery Elliot held Fiona very close to his chest, avoiding teeth and crushing any blossoms while keeping the plant comfortably secure. "It is good it's just past the new moon," he noted as he set the plant down on the long table recently cleared of food. The Great Hall still smelled like biscuits. "Did you find a pot she'd like in the greenhouse?"


You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (02/05/2020 at 19:18)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
The notes were sitting in a neat pile in the second drawer down of her bedside table.

She didn’t know why she had kept them, only that she had. By the time she had thought to question it, the thought of throwing them away was less appealing than it might have been if she had decided not to care when the first one had shown up on her pillow.

“I found lots of pots in the greenhouse.” Whether or not Fiona would like any of them was a different story.

“I couldn’t carry them all, so we’ll have to go together.”

greenhouse one


“These two are my favourites.”

She pointed first at a pale ceramic pot, the rim of which had been moulded to mirror thick, twisting vines, then at what looked very much like a pewter cauldron in miniature.

“They’ve got character, like her.” Two shades of blue clashed, “Which one do you like?”

* Avery Elliot

    (02/07/2020 at 03:01)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
The best way to avoid danger was to keep it within sight. He learned it when his back brought spitballs and his curls tangled in vicious fingers. He learned it when someone grabbed his bag and when he braced himself. Uncertainty was the same as a threat because predictability was his only defence.

Avery followed a step behind Vega, ensuring he had an extra second if she decided he wasn't worth the trouble of passing Herbology. He also counted on the fact that she cared for Fiona perhaps more than anyone else in her life (he had yet to be disproven on this suspicion), and he held Fiona carefully in front of him.

It was most definitely not because he could also watch the way light filtered through her hair and reminded him of summer woods.

His attention shifted from porcelain to ceramic with her prompt, evaluating each. One seemed more like Fiona, earthy and strong. The other simply looked like Vega took one of her cauldrons and put it here to throw him off.

"I think this one suits her better," Avery finally said, setting Fiona behind the vined pot. He tilted his head as if imagining someone wearing an outfit. "What do you think?" he asked to both snappy creatures in front of him.

You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (02/08/2020 at 18:03)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
Both snappy creatures bared their teeth in what might have been two matching smiles.

“She likes it,” Vega insisted, because that was easier than saying, yes, you’re right, it does. Fiona swayed slightly in her pot, which Vega could only assume was her version of a nod. They all agreed, then, even if the two girls hadn’t specifically said it out loud.

“Now we have to repot her.” As great a challenge as picking the right pot, if not a greater one. “I’ll hold her,” Vega held out her hands expectantly, “—and you get her new home ready.”

* Avery Elliot

    (02/09/2020 at 17:47)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
He found agreement easier to understand from the plant than Vega, who would never fully say she agreed with him. As long as Fiona liked it, though.

When Fiona was situated with Vega, Avery began to prepare the new pot. Enough soil to fill the edges, but leave her room to stretch her roots. Malachite nestled at the bottom. He sprinkled water from the New Moon in July's Leo to moisten the fresh soil, for good measure.

Reaching over, Avery shifted some of Fiona's topsoil to find the moss agate he'd given her, setting it aside for when she was re-potted. He also had some dried lavender to keep her company afterwards to help relieve some of the stress of the ordeal.

Putting some more soil into the pot, Avery eyed how high it was comparatively before deciding it was enough. "Ready?"
You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (02/13/2020 at 17:35)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
Vega watched, hawk-like, as Avery did the dirty work and she cradled Fiona in her arms.

Blue eyes watched, not missing a thing, as he reached out towards Fiona, digging through the top layer of her soil. The semi-precious gemstone was, she could only assume, the moss agate he had mentioned in one of his notes.

She hadn’t understood it then. She still didn’t understand it now.

“—Ready.”

Vega broke from her thoughts, jarred into action by his question. With a gentleness that surprised even herself, the Gryffindor lifted Fiona out of her old home and lowered her into her new one.

As she reached for a handful of soil and began to cover up their Fanged Geranium’s roots, Vega’s impatient curiosity finally got the better of her.


“What’s the rock for? You never explained.”

* Avery Elliot

    (02/22/2020 at 18:58)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
Avery stepped back to let her work, lest vines strangle him too. He took the time to clean off the moss agate with a small bottle of moon water, then rinsed the lavender with it too. At her question, Avery glanced between the moss agate in his hand and the malachite she further buried. "Which one?"
You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (03/05/2020 at 17:08)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
She hadn’t even realised there was more than one. She decided that she was better off pretending otherwise than admitting further ignorance.

“Both.”

Then, struck by the sudden thought that maybe it wasn’t just two rocks, maybe he’d hidden them everywhere, Vega amended her answer, “—all of them.”

* Avery Elliot

    (03/08/2020 at 05:40)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
Avery studied her for a moment, but if she was mocking him, he couldn't tell. Her tone seemed genuine, but Avery knew that meant little. Responding curtly wouldn't do him any favours either. He decided to answer honestly, shoulders hunching slightly as he prepared for the derision to follow.

"The malachite is to support transformation and travel, to help her adjust to the new pot and when she moves between our dorms," Avery hesitated for a moment as if waiting for her to cut him off and decide she didn't want to know after all. When the second passed and there was still space for him to speak (to breathe in rich green and amber), he continued in a more confident tone, "Also for protection, to absorb and purify negative energy. Since it's associated with earth more strongly, I thought it would be the best combination."

Avery ran a thumb over the moss agate in his palm, before offering it to Vega. "Moss agate is the stone of agriculture and stability, but I think she also just likes it with her," he shrugged, "I tried a couple of different ones, but this one seemed to perk her up the most."
You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (04/12/2020 at 11:14)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
The words swept over her like the stormy waves in his eyes.

Transformation and travel, protection, absorb and purify; agriculture and stability—none of these words meant anything to Vega. None of it meant anything at all.

They’re just stones, she wanted to tell him, as she rolled her eyes and thrust them back into the palms of his hands, There’s no need to think so hard. A little of it—her stubborn refusal to hear or believe any of what he said—showed in the wintry flash of her blue gaze. She hid the rest of it behind a smile that still cut too sharply between them.

“And for me,” she demanded, not because she cared or was curious but because talking was better than silence. “What would you pick for me?”

* Avery Elliot

    (04/16/2020 at 21:52)
  • Apprentice at Botánica Navarro
  • C6D10T7S5
    • View Profile
His first instinct was ruby, agate, bloodstone. Mookaite jasper and pietersite. Bold and sharp-edged like the smile she gave to show she didn't care at all. Those were the ones he identified with her, but he wouldn't pick them for her. They would be meaningless carried by her, a tempest into a tornado.

Avery glanced away from Vega’s blue to Fiona's green. "Just one?" he mused, considering all he had with him and the others in his drawer. He wandered to his bag as he thought, rummaging through pockets, flashes of colours between his fingers. Blue. Green. Yellow. Blue. She had never asked for one to be given, but to ask was to receive.

This one,” he decided, unfolding Vega’s hand with one of his while he placed it on her palm with the other. Rich blue-green, more a gem than a stone, its sides sharply cut but painstakingly polished. It was the colour of mid-summers and vast oceans. “Dioptase,” he named it, though he was certain she would not hear anything she didn’t want, which included this.

“Let’s go, the weather is supposed to get worse this afternoon and Fiona will get cold.”


friday 17 december 2011
third quarter

“Christmas Eve will be a new moon,” Avery said in a way of greeting as he sat beside her for their final herbology class before the holidays. “A time of year to be especially careful.” He pulled out the notes that had Fiona’s growth and sketches of her leaf patterns to hand in. He hesitated. He wasn’t really sure what he was trying to say or why he started talking in the first place, finishing with, “Will you be going home?”
You carry the heavens in your eyes
(Like one of those old Greek tragedies)
and I'd call you Atlas but
he wasn't given a choice to hold the stars
(You were.)

* Vega Nettlebed

    (04/25/2020 at 20:44)
  • Potioneer
  • C12D10T13S8
    • View Profile
Vega stared.

It had been almost two months now since Professor Honeycutt had lumped her in with Avery Elliott for their Herbology project, who was now affectionately named Fiona.

Two whole months, and still, she didn’t understand him.

“You sound like a horoscope,” she finally declared, after too many seconds had dragged in silence and she still had nothing to say. Instinctively, she pulled Fiona a little closer into her arms.

Yes, I’m going home. Aren’t you?”