"Ah yeah...the Carnivorium violeta...you got any of those laying about for us to work with?"
Andrew chuckled at Gemma's observation of the Burgess Scale of Dangerous Plants, shrugging cheerfully.
"Well, Gem-my-dear, that particular specimen will catch you unaware if you aren't prepared for it, and its spores are hallucinogenic. I think that later in the semester, people will at least have had enough experiences gone wrong to actually listen to my warnings."
Orion's eyes brightened as he thought about the species that Andrew described. A few plants fit that description, and he had never seen one in person. He kept his mouth shut about the lesson plan.
"Interesting," Gemma answered politely, but she really couldn't bring herself to be completely interested. Herbology, while better than Potions, was still not one of her favorite classes. Orion and Andrew, however, seemed to live, breathe, and sleep the two subjects. This almost, but not quite, worried her, for how would she ever be able to have a conversation with Orion about them when she knew so little and didn't care very much?
You'll care because he does, she told herself, even as she glanced at him with a smile, Just as he'll come to appreciate Transfiguration and Charms.... if I have anything to do with it... She tried not to laugh as she noticed that Eclipse was still on Orion's head. Andrew apparently hadn't noticed yet, but a little sound of amusement signaled that Gerard had.
"Nice hat, 'Rion," he murmured, the same wicked smirk that his sister often wore crossing his features, "Goes with your eyes and all..." Gemma fought down a giggle and patted her brother's shoulder in admiration of his teasing ability.
Orion merely raised an eyebrow at the, in his mind, fuss that was being raised with Eclipse on his head. So the cat was comfortable there...the only problem that Orion had was the occasional kneading with sharp little claws. Andrew's expression, however, was enough to quirk a smile out of the stoic boy's face.
"Thank you, Gerard. It is a rare hat that doesn't compliment my face or style. As stylish as Eclipse already is, one would only assume that, as a hat, he would only add to a person's natural beauty."
Gemma finally gave in to her urge to laugh at Orion's comment. She was rendered helpless by the situation, her whole body given over to the expression of her mirth. She had almost never laughed like this before she'd met Orion, and most of the times before that had been in the presence of her little brother and, occasionally, Sofi.
"Oh, Ri, darling, I do love you," she told him when she had recovered sufficiently to speak. She wrapped her arms around his waist and buried her head into the slight hollow formed by his sternum. She wanted to kiss him, but after earlier, she wasn't sure if he would want her to...
Her musings were interrupted by the sound of the door to the room opening. Gemma hastily looked up, but she couldn't bring herself to let go of Orion just yet, even if it was one or both of his parents drawing near...
Ever so carefully, he bent his head to kiss Gemma lightly on the forehead. Eclipse, by digging in a tad harder, managed to stay perched on Orion's scalp. The effort to maintain position, however, drew a wince from Orion. The opening and closing of the workshop door, and subtle waft of lilac, heralded Orion's mother. Most likely, Anthony was with her, but Orion didn't care to look.
"Gemma, darling! Gerard, dear! So good to see the both of you...perhaps I can invite you to dinner?" Andrew and Orion both snorted in as genteel a manner as they could, knowing their mother's subtle ploy. Helen ignored them both and beamed a warm smile at her soon-to-be daughter-in-law and her brother.
Gemma smiled hesitantly at Helen as she addressed her and Gerard. She thought it might be more proper of her to release the woman's son, so she carefully removed her arms from around Orion.
"Thank you, Mrs. Burgess," she answered with perfect decorum, "That would be lovely. I'm terribly sorry we must intrude upon your hospitality this evening; I promise that we will be no trouble." Gerard, eager to please, nodded vigorously in agreement with his sister. "You have a very nice house, ma'am," he put in, clearly trying to think of something proper to say under the circumstances. Gemma's mouth twitched slightly as she glanced out of the corner of her eyes at him, but no other sign of her amusement was visible on her face.
Post by Hebron James on Mar 7, 2011 11:21:15 GMT -8
Helen waved a hand dismissively. "Family is never trouble, my dear, and I want you to feel like my daughter, not my daughter-in-law. And intrusion....tsk. Such a brooding, dark word...I much prefer unexpected social visit, though...with the way certain meetings have been progressing, I must admit that I've expected something like this to happen. No matter though, no matter. I suppose you've heard by now that Andrew was accepted at Hogwarts? Anthony is disappointed to be losing such a good busines partner, but...he and I can think of far worse jobs to go into."
Andrew surreptitiously smiled at Gerard's comment.
"Bloody well better be nice, as much work has gone into it, eh mum?" Andrew quipped. His mother shook her head.
"Andrew, dear, try not to sound so common. You should speak more proudly, like Orion."
Gemma nodded, still doing her best to be utterly polite. "Thank you, ma'am, " she replied, "That means a lot to me, for you to say such a kind thing about me. And yes, Andrew told us as soon as we'd arrived." She glanced at Andrew, teasing him silently with a grin. "He seems to be very eager about the job, I'd say..."
"And I figured that," Gerard put in, poking his much-older friend in the side, "I just couldn't think of anything else to say at the time." He smiled cheekily, and Gemma found herself wondering when her brother had become so much like DC. Helen's last comment, however, had Gemma joining in the wicked smile fest.
"He doesn't always sound that way," she commented in an off-hand manner, "Sometimes he just sounds bored...." She smirked at Orion, wrapping her arms around him again. "And still other times he sounds downright.... not bored, eh, Ri?"
Post by Hebron James on Mar 7, 2011 11:35:16 GMT -8
Andrew noted, with surprised glee, that his younger brother was actually slightly flushed from embarassment when Helen raised an eyebrow. The expression clearly marked the Strauss relationship in Orion, and the boy went that much more pink. Barely. For Orion to show any facial coloring meant that he was not able to fully control his emotions. Andrew had thought he was the only one able to make Orion lose control, but apparently, this vixen of his had him under her thumb too.
"Oh?" Andrew tried to put as much suggestion into the word as possible.
Gemma was smiling as she noted that she had managed to make Orion blush, but since she herself was the color of a red rose she couldn't really tease him about it. "Yes, well...." she murmured, now trying to backpedal so that she wouldn't remind Orion too much of earlier, "Nothing much, really.... he just gets more interested in conversations than you'd think to see him other times, is all..."
She knew this sounded even more awkward, but she couldn't think of any other way of putting it. She chose to hide her flaming blush by burying her face into Orion's chest and wrapping her arms more tightly around him. If Andrew continued to tease them she'd live, but if Helen said anything... she was doomed.
Post by Hebron James on Mar 7, 2011 11:46:33 GMT -8
A knowing smile spread across Helen's elegant expression. She herself had been young and in love before, and knew the challenge a male Burgess presented. Especially, she mused, to a Ravenclaw female. The look on her younger son's face when Gemma buried her face against his chest was enough to confirm to Helen that the match was a good one, despite the shrewish nature of the girl's parents. Somehow, the children turned out good even under the influence of the adults.
"Well then, I do have other matters to attend to, so if you'll excuse me, I'll take my leave. Dinner is at six, boys. I expect you to show our guests around and help them to the dining hall promptly before the food is served."
Grandly, she exited, and Andrew burst out laughing at the pair. He knew that Orion was most likely as flustered as he'd ever get, but Gemma's nearly fluorescent blush was too much to hold back the laughing.
Gemma nodded in answer to Helen's comment, her face still buried in Orion's chest, but once she had left and Andrew burst out laughing, she surfaced, her expression indignant. "Don't laugh at me, Drew!" she admonished him, "It's not that funny, you know.... And I'm only telling the truth, after all. Isn't that so, Orion?"
She looked up at Orion, her dark eyes wide, hoping he'd come to her defense. She had plenty of times on her record when she'd been the one to nearly lose her control, but Orion had one, now, too. Not that she expected him to admit it, since she was still in shock over the very idea, but... he could still defend her, even if only a little.
Gemma's eyes flicked back and forth between the two brothers, trying to keep track of the flying, erudite threats. Gerard was watching them too, and when they finally stopped he grinned. "You two are as bad as Gem and I," he commented, "Maybe even worse..."
"Definitely worse," Gemma put in, grinning too, "We don't threaten each other with blackmail stories. Though some of them do sound interesting... whatever "Kitty" is, for instance." She looked up at Orion, her eyebrows knitting together. "And what's so strange about Australia? Andrew's mentioned it before, but I've never heard the story.... did something embarrassing happen there?"
Orion disengaged from Gemma and stalked over to the window, clasping his hands behind his back as he stared broodingly out at the gardens. Andrew snorted at him.
"Stop posing and tell her, brother. By now, the suspense has built up and percolated just enough for the surprise to be worthwhile...."
The only answer given was a small shake of Orion's head. He began, neither smoothly or falteringly, but tiredly.
"This was what...six, seven years ago, Andrew? We were in Australia. Small Wizarding town called Gravelback, precisely. I overheard some people making...unpleasant remarks about mother and father, and how they ran their business and were schooling me."
He went silent for several seconds before he continued on a seemingly unrelated topic.
"Do you know the effects of Basilisk venom, asphodel, and larcunum mixed in equal parts and spread through a town's water supply?"
After several moments of silence, Andrew supplied the answer.
"Grass hasn't grown there since then...Or anything else, for that matter. Cheeky blighter waited until we left town...never figured out how you did that, Orion."
Quietly, Orion answered. "Dissolvable capsule surrounding the poison. I had it timed so we were a day away before it was released."
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