Title: Diving Headfirst Down the Rabbit Hole
Lissa Morgan - August 11, 2011 01:13 PM (GMT)
(((OOC: Tagged for Fallon and whoever else wants to join us. Will Contain Drug References. Yes our characters will be being naughty, and no we don't recommend you try this at home :D
Also welcome are werewolves and other fun people who may want to attack us...... but I beg you do the attacking after we trip out, cause that will be super fun.
As you were :))
Sometimes, days are important.
Normally not here at Furaie of course. Lissa Morgan was usually quite content to just drift along in a rarely ending haze of today and tomorrow in the hope it would cut the feeling of spending forever in this hell hole by a tiny fraction.
But sometimes days were important.
Like this day. Today was a Saturday, and this particular Saturday was the day Lissa's big brother Liam turned another year older. There was spiked punch and laughing till your sides hurt, and huge gatherings of her brothers moronic friends to completely rule over in dodge ball or laser tag while all the friends and family of Liam Morgan celebrated the mundane fact he was another year older...... or atleast there would have been, if he wasn't dead. Having been killed in some stupid car crash while Lissa was away at Hogswarts learning magic that might just have saved her big brothers life if she had of been there.
To say that Lissa harboured a secret yet heaped amount of guilt over her big brother dying in an accident would be a statement of the extremely obvious.
So today there would be no big parties and insanely hectic gatherings of loved ones to celebrate Liam getting older, because he never would now. Today there would just be their parents, being sadder then necessary because they had to be separated from both their children, one cause of the obvious- death, and one cause she'd been troubled and stupid and doing illegal things and thus sent to Furaie to 'serve her time' and rot till the authorities deemed she was fit to be around normal people again.
Yes, Lissa Morgan had been troubled since her brothers death. Troubled and sad and guilty and angry and just about every other negative emotion you could squeeze into a teenage hormone cocktail. And back at Hogwarts, Lissa had began to make some disreputable friends and learned some fantastic and illegal information and had learned a terrific coping skill to cope with all the crap she didn't want to deal with. Avoidance. Such a lovely word that encompassed so many interesting ways of not having to deal with her issues. Lissa had always had a flair for potions, but now they began her obsession, particularly those with the ability to trip you out or distract you from the things you didn't want to remember. And since she'd always been one to share, it just worked out that she began lending her services to others who needed her sort of help too.
….Which is what landed her in Furiae in the first place.
And now here she was in Furaiae. Sad and angry and frustrated beyond belief that she was being prevented from doing what she normally did to run from the problem. Furiae had no equipment that wasn't hoarded by the eagle eyed marshals. Furiae had no good ingredients that could be easily accessible without days of planning and help from friends. Because, hey, Lissa wasn't suicidal enough to head up to the Marshals and say 'hey, can I have some of your most expensive and rare ingredients so I can get high'. And, most frustratingly of all, Furiae had no proper library where books were cared for, they only had the Atheneum- where books went to die, and the only information to be gathered was glimpsed from damaged, unreadable or mouldy, moth eaten pages of mostly useless crap.
Oh yes, Lissa was frustrated as hell and getting desperate to escape any way she knew how.
…..Which might explain why she was out of Furiae grounds, knee deep in the freezing river, with her regulation gray uniform rolled up elegantly above the water line to keep from getting too wet while she glared at a moth eaten Herbology text on the bank beside her shoes, socks, and bag and tried to decide if the gross green sludge she was holding was the moss green specimen described in the text..... and since the forest was home to a number of scary inhabitants, probably soon about to eaten by werewolves or something with sharper teeth.
But desperate times call for desperate measures.
Lissa would try bite off her own right hand instead of tell someone from Furiae the problem, but she was desperate. Normally she could suppress the bad thoughts and the sad thoughts quite well out here. But today, on this day, Lissa just needed to stop missing her brother so damn much it made her body ache and her lungs unable to breath properly.
Yeah, while she might seem a little unhinged to the casual observer (well, maybe she was, but who knows), Lissa had a PLAN. Or, well, to be more precise, she had a thought, some facts, and a lot of praying that this would work.
The aforementioned ripped, old, moth eaten and mouldy Herbology text held the answer. Lissa had found/stolen the blessed thing a couple of months ago and had been waiting for a deserving situation, a.k.a- a time she was desperate enough to try get around the marshals, in which to test her theory.
The theory being that two differing magical plants that grew in the wild here in the forest would, if treated right, create a compound that would take you so high you'd be floating on bliss for hours, and (hopefully) bring you down to earth again without the crash that usually effected the drug user. After all, less likely to be caught if you weren't acting off your tree around those who might snitch.
However, there was a slight issue.
Lissa would be the first to toot her own horn as the potion making empress of the universe, but she wasn't the greatest Herbologist ever created. Something fundamental in Lissa objected to her having to go out and collect stupid plants that all looked the same but did vastly different things once powered and put in a cauldron. In a perfect world of potions she would only have to measure this stuff out of labeled glass jars in her perfectly ordered potions rack.
….But sadly, this was not a perfect world.
Hence the standing in the icy water, scrapping awful smelling green sludge into her hand from the rocks lying on the river bed, and glaring at an old damaged book and trying to decide if this was the sludge it was talking about.
Fallon Pollock - August 11, 2011 09:30 PM (GMT)
Fallon only had two brothers, and both of them were alive and well and living in New England. Her oldest brother Lee had been out of the house for years, having married almost immediately after finishing school in order to escape the rather turbulent Pollock house hold. He'd married a very sweet pureblooded girl, made their parents very proud, took a job offer procured through connections, and rarely ever came home after that. He was ten years older than Fallon and she could honestly say she barely knew him. He always seemed a little bit sad, though – very cool and collected, unlike her parents, but sad. On the contrary, her older brother Hayden had always been a part of her life. Although he was nearly as old as Lee, he was always more connected than the morose, aloof older boy. He was emotional – almost as emotional as Harper, if not more so – but kind. He took care of his younger siblings with a fierce dedication, though he owed them nothing. It worked out for him, though, because when he went off to Providence to move in with his boyfriend, nobody spoke a word to their father.
Her brothers, clearly, were not the cause of any of Fallon's myriad issues.
It might have been her father, though. Harper was always attributing issues to their father – constantly blaming him for things and cursing his name and wishing him dead. Every so often Harper asked Fallon questions about absurd things that Fallon, in turn, insisted she had no memory of. She didn't have too many memories at all from before she started school, to be honest. She only had a small collection of her own isolated memories. She loved both of her parents, but she was also just a little bit afraid of them sometimes. She regarded them both a bit like she regarded the headmaster back at SWI, or the Warden at Furiae. There was no doubt that they were in charge and would not cease to utilize that power if she deserved it.
So if both of her brothers were alive and she couldn't remember being mistreated in her childhood (even if she was), what on earth had happened to Fallon Pollock?
School. School happened.
Because even if Fallon couldn't remember most of her miserable childhood with any real clarity, all of the residual evidence that she'd had one clung to her every action. There was the thumb sucking habit, the fear of going to the bathroom by herself at night (and the occasional related bed wetting problem), the propensity to cry over nothing, the daydreaming, the constant doodling – she was a bully's dream. She was passionate and got upset easily, so she was always providing plenty of ammo for the bullies to shoot her down with, and then giving them exactly the reaction they wanted. At the same time, being in school began to fill her head with all kinds of ideas that she didn't have access to in her sheltered pureblood household in Maine. She met people from muggle backgrounds, learned about injustice and bigotry, and started to form her own (often controversial) opinions. Being at school changed a lot of things for Fallon. Suddenly she was exposed to all of the harshness that the world had to offer – and when you understand the world, it's hard to go on living the way you once had.
That's how Fallon met Chelsea, her half-blooded partner in crime – and, ultimately, how she discovered pot... and once you discover pot, it's hard to undiscover it. Suddenly life got a little softer around the edges. Even when people were teasing her mercilessly or she'd just discovered some bizarre human rights issues in the news, she now had a way to go and relax and lose herself with someone who got her. Drugs changed everything. Marijuana was her drug of choice – she never used anything much harder than that with the exception of LSD, which was for very special occasions (and much harder to get a hold of, anyway). Making bongs was always an entertaining arts and crafts activity. Making bongs while high was even better.
Of course, none of the drugs she frequently dabbled in were addictive, so when she ran out of allowance or got caught and needed to lay low for a while, real life came back at her with a vengeance. She didn't like to go too long without using. When she was sent to Furiae, she was forced to go cold turkey during one of the most stressful periods of her life – and she had gone without ever since. It had been over a year. At first she'd tried to find a dealer within the facility, but she had trouble. She didn't have anything to trade, anyway. Eventually she just gave up actively looking and moved on to other things, keeping her quest for the goods in the back of her mind.
Right now she was outside in the woods in pursuit of something else that took the edge off of life – art materials. Her recent meeting with the facility psychologist had rekindled the flame under her butt, and now she was convinced that she could create uninhibitedly, even while locked up at the facility. The first step was to go out into the forest and find a good supply of vine. Astrid had promised that Fallon could use her fire to make charcoal, and once she had charcoal she'd be able to get back on track with her art. Drawing was another kind of escape for Fallon, and though it wasn't quite as pleasant as tripping out, it had its benefits.
Luckily, Fallon was good with plants, so going out into the wilderness to try and find some good quality vine shouldn't have been too hard for her. Unfortunately, survival skills were not quite her strongest suit, so she was a bit anxious about straying from her beloved river. Her last interaction while relaxing by the water hadn't been the best, but it was still the best landmark she had when it came to not getting lost. So, though she wasn't especially optimistic about what she'd find there, she decided to start near the water and then work her way farther out from there. She was barefoot- her feet had adjusted to the rugged terrain long ago and she had no problem navigating barefoot amongst the roots and twigs and whatever else littered the floor of the woods. She was gaping about as though lost in a dream, moving slowly and taking her time as she stopped to examine a tree or tug on a stem. She was on a mission, lost in her own little world.
Which was why, when she spotted Lissa in the water, she shrieked, jumping nearly a foot in the air out of fright. She definitely had not noticed her! Once she realized that it was just a girl from the facility – a girl who Fallon didn't know to be openly violent or especially scary – she caught her breath and laughed, approaching the river's edge. “I am really, really sorry!” she insisted, her eyes big, “I didn't even see you! Well, I saw you, but I just thought you were a log or something, you know? And then you moved – I really didn't expect you to move!” she explained, finally calming down, her nervous laughter subsiding.
Fallon took a moment to check out what the girl was actually doing. Although Fallon didn't always get the right cues from people, she felt, with some accuracy, that this girl must have been out on a similar mission. She was obviously looking for some kind of plant! Fallon's own vine-searching adventure was going disappointingly so far, so it didn't seem like a bad idea to ask this girl, who seemed to know what she was doing (seemed being the operative word) if she'd seen anything that could work... but, of course, she was going to do it the Fallon way.
“Hey, are you looking for aquatic plants?” she asked, leaning over the bank to try and get a better look at what the other girl was picking through. She was careful to hold on and keep her balance – she'd already fallen into that river once recently and she wasn't in the mood to do it again. “Or... algae? Are you collecting algae?” she asked, making herself comfortable and sitting cross-legged on the ground, as though she'd been invited to sit back and make herself at home. “Algae's not technically a plant, you know, since it has no roots or leaves or anything. It's just green,” she explained, seeming to find the sound of her own voice pleasant. “It actually makes, like, really good dye, though, so the greener the better, I guess!” Clearly art materials were still on her mind. Maybe harvesting her own natural pigments would be her next little adventure!
Lissa Morgan - August 20, 2011 05:41 PM (GMT)
Lissa got an unexpected break from her identification and classification of random green organisms she's found in the river from a surprising source, namely- a shrieking lune. No, not a type of bird, a type of person who sneaks around and yells unexpectedly at people in slippery rivers. Liss managed to keep her feet under her, but only just because, well, Liss certainly hadn't expected to see another student this far out from the facility on a day like this.
Expected to be mauled and eaten by various monsters, sure, but having random interludes with passing kids- not so much. And considering the majority of Furiae students were sneaky, self serving, snitchy bastards.....this might be a problem for the super secret reason Lissa was this far out.
….Lissa then said many very bad words in her head while her quick mind began the instantaneous process of churning out credible excuses about what she was doing out here in the middle of no where and why telling the marshals wouldn't be a good idea.
All this as she watched the other girl coming towards her.....
And then the other girl spoke. Her laugh nervous but her tone relieved.
“I am really, really sorry! I didn't even see you! Well, I saw you, but I just thought you were a log or something, you know? And then you moved – I really didn't expect you to move!”
“Well atleast I'm not a crocodile.”
Was Lissa's apparently flippant, friendly and non threatening response as she worked to access what she was dealing with.
The girl's eyes were big and her expression seemed harmless and innocent of sneaking and snitching.... but again, this was Furiae, and some people here were really really good at acting.
A dusty red flag waved around at the back of Lissa's mind. This was one of the twins from Alecto house, one was dreamy and one was bitchy. From her comment, Lissa would put her money to bet she had the dreamy twin, Fawn....no, Fallon, wasn't it?
Lissa was terrible with names but Fallon seemed to ring a bell, but really, if you didn't go in a potion, you were lucky if Lissa remembered anything about you at all.
“Hey, are you looking for aquatic plants?”
…..Apparently the girl, Fallon, was also annoyingly inquisitive, coming over to investigate Lissa's set up- lucky Lissa.
What was she supposed to say?
'No, I'm just standing here because I like cold feet.'
….Somehow she didn't think that answer was gonna fly.
“Or... algae? Are you collecting algae?”
Fallon went on without giving Lissa a chance to answer, much less make up a lie. The girl making herself comfortable and sitting around having conversation and clearly violating the standing 'you mind your own business and I'll mind mine' clause that most Furiae students understood intuitively- namely, if you see weird stuff, don't ask about it, don't tell, unless you are a snitch.
Looking at Fallon and remembering all the weird comments she'd heard about her, Lissa didn't think Fallon was a Marshall snitch (wouldn't completely rule it out though), but she didn't look like she'd heard about the rule either.
“Algae's not technically a plant, you know, since it has no roots or leaves or anything. It's just green. It actually makes, like, really good dye, though, so the greener the better, I guess!”
“Thats very interesting...... and yes, I am looking for aquatic plants.”
Lissa responded now that Fallon had stopped babbling- not that there was anything wrong with babbling though. Lissa's old friend Hanna used to babble on all the time and Lissa missed it.
“..... Well, sort of. I'm kind of doing a self learning and improvement thing, experiment....whatever. See, I've always been crap at Herbology.... and I found this super old and crusty Herbology book in that excuse the warden calls a library and thought I'd, you know, try learn something new.”
Lissa went on with many pauses, melding truth and lie into a seamless web of confusion.
“So I'm out here trying to identify magical, aquatic plants..... and not having much luck, to tell you the truth. “
Lissa looked up at Fallon with a very considering look in her dark eyes. Her thinking along the lines of the fact that she wasn't having that much luck with finding the right sludge, and if Fallon didn't know the rule about not asking strangers about their business, maybe she didn't know the rule about not helping anyone you don't know either.
“You sound like you know abit about plants. Don't suppose you'd know if this sludge I found is the one mentioned in the book do ya?”
Fallon Pollock - August 21, 2011 03:29 AM (GMT)
Fallon nodded right along as the girl explained what it was that she was doing. It didn't sound like anything the Alecto girl would ever do herself – she wasn't in the business of going out of her way to do homework, especially if it wasn't actually assigned. She had a tendency to forget about homework completely, even back in school when it was assigned on a normal basis. She didn't forget on purpose, of course. It was just that... well... she smoked a lot of pot. There really wasn't any other half-way decent excuse. She used plenty of excuses – some random drivel about relevance to her life or creative expression or styles of learning – but there was always just one genuine one: 'I was so high when you assigned it that I didn't realize it was homework. I actually thought you were reciting a poem... but I liked it.'
She'd never used that excuse, of course. It was just kind of implied.
“You know there's a whole greenhouse, right?” Fallon asked once she'd internalized what exactly the girl's mission was. She wasn't trying to make the girl feel stupid – she was just politely pointing it out for future reference. “Aquatic plants are harder. If I was just learning I'd probably start in captivity, but maybe that's just me. This is more fun, but definitely harder.” Fallon had learned most of what she knew from living in a wizarding area in the middle of North Bumblefuck. The middle of nowhere was best known for having lots of plant life and not a lot else, and, by that definition, the Pollock family home was definitely in the middle of nowhere. Fallon loved trees above all – she was very interested in wandlore and the properties of trees, not to mention the sheer beauty of trees. She knew enough about plants that identifying them wasn't too challenging. It seemed that today was Lissa's lucky day – she'd been screamed at by the right girl!
”You sound like you know abit about plants. Don't suppose you'd know if this sludge I found is the one mentioned in the book do ya?”
“Oh, let me see!” she squeaked as she spotted the dilapidated book not too far from her. She crawled over to it on hands and knees before kneeling over the thing, squinting down at the page. “This one here?” she asked, picking it up and settling it upon her lap, reading over it slowly, her mouth moving silently as she took in each word. One she was done reading she took a moment to stare at the picture, which was a bit faded and too ancient to be very good quality to begin with. She flipped to the pages both ahead of and after the page the book was open to, taking in the images of the close relatives of the plant that Lissa was looking for so that she could easily tell the difference. It didn't take her terribly long, but it was clear she was being leisurely about the whole ordeal. It didn't occur to her that Lissa might not want to be in the water, considering she'd just told her she was doing this as a fun enrichment activity, so she didn't rush.
She leaned over the bank with the book still in her lap, taking in the sight of the sludge that the Megaera girl had in her hand. “No, see, that's Cladophora Algae. It's not even a magical plant. It just exists to be annoying,” she explained. “What you want is fuzzier and slimier – it'll be growing on a rock, probably.” She set the book down and stood. She was already barefoot, so she worked at getting her robes off so that she could wade comfortably in the river. She slowly dropped herself down into the water, careful not to slip – she'd fallen into that river too recently to want to do it again so soon. “It didn't say so in the book, but I'm pretty sure we'll be able to tell by the smell. Have you ever used it before – in a potion or something? It doesn't smell like a regular old moldy plant. It smells kind of like ginger... or maybe not ginger. I think it smells like that, but maybe it's something else. But anyway, it smells nice.”
Fallon stuck her arms out at her side for balance, as though she was walking on a balance beam or the curb of a sidewalk. She approached a group of rocks just a few feet from where she'd started and, carefully and clumsily, splashed around trying to get close enough. “It's used in those potions you take when you have a really bad cough, right?” she asked, her arms still thrown at her sides, her ponytail swinging behind her as she stumbled over stones and sticks and whatever other invisible obstacles blocked her way from their homes at the river's bottom. It was always a little bit fun having a cough when you knew you could expect a spoonful of that potion to come your way – it made absolutely everything seem hilarious... before it knocked you completely on your ass and you slept for the next two days. It was probably the only potion in existence that could make bronchitis seem like a crazy slumber party.
“Here!” she exclaimed, perching precariously on a little rock, cradling it with her toes for balance. Those toes were practically going white with the effort it took to keep her from toppling off that rock and into the murky, slow-moving water just below her. “Come smell this! I think I found it – right where I thought it would be!”
Lissa Morgan - August 27, 2011 06:12 PM (GMT)
Lissa’s sharp brown eyes were fixed on Fallon as she fed the other girl the whole goodie ‘I just love learning’ speech. Unfortunately for Lissa, Miss dreamy brunette was also annoyingly astute about some matters, as she found when the other girl responded with;
“You know there's a whole greenhouse, right? Aquatic plants are harder. If I was just learning I'd probably start in captivity, but maybe that's just me. This is more fun, but definitely harder.”
Lissa kept her face as blank as she was able, but internally she was grimacing at Fallon’s completely fair and correct observation that picked out every flaw in her excuse. Lissa’s brother Liam would have been so ticked off at her about this- having such obvious holes when making up a story to tell someone (they had always been covering for each other with their parents when they were little), but he had always been better at everything anyway, so why should this (the ‘this’ being making up crazy stories on the fly for strange people who just appear out of nowhere) be the exception.
“The greenhouse would be an easier distance certainly, but…… that’s Marshal territory, and I like to spend as little time as possible around the grow-ups who can demote me and punish me for no apparent reason and put me through weird experiments as humanly possible.”
Lissa managed as her excuse. To be fair, the words were said with real feeling, cause this part at least, was entirely true.
They moved on and Lissa’s request for help from Fallon was greeted with enthusiasm…..to help…..a random classmate…..seriously, who was this Fallon chick? She was definitely weird, but weird could be a good thing- hell, Lissa was weird too. But Fallon, she seemed to be awesomely idiotic and amazingly brilliant in alternate measures…..
“Oh, let me see! This one here?”
At Lissa’s request, the other girl crawled over to have a go at playing match maker with the plant pictures. Fallon seemed to take forever to go over everything, and Lissa’s feet might soon become iceblocks, but since Lissa was struggling with the text herself, she didn’t have many other options than to wait and hope Fallon could help. So Liss gritted her teeth and refrained from any snarky hurrying up comments and waited…..
Finally, after sufficient examination, the verdict was in;
“No, see, that's Cladophora Algae. It's not even a magical plant. It just exists to be annoying,”
Lissa looked at the suddenly really gross sludge in her hand.
She questioned, but the question part didn’t matter cause she trusted Fallons answer. So she did something she’s been wanting to do since she picked the gross green sludge up- to screw up her nose in a very ‘ewwwww’ expression and fling the stuff back into the watery depths and let the current wash it away, before washing her own hands in the cold cold water and sighing in relief.
Fallon went on with the talking. “What you want is fuzzier and slimier – it'll be growing on a rock, probably.”
And apparently it was explain and explore day cause Fallon was soon splashing in the water with Liss- though Liss noted and got abit jealous over the other girls cool sense of balance, way better than what Liss could do.
“It didn't say so in the book, but I'm pretty sure we'll be able to tell by the smell. Have you ever used it before – in a potion or something? It doesn't smell like a regular old moldy plant. It smells kind of like ginger... or maybe not ginger. I think it smells like that, but maybe it's something else. But anyway, it smells nice. It's used in those potions you take when you have a really bad cough, right?”
…..Fallon was good, she knew this stuff- Lissa was impressed. Lissa had used the algae in potions before, and even powered and dried, it still smelled fresh, tangy, or zangy- was that right? Was zangy even a word- tangy with a touch of zing perhaps?
“Good thinking about the smell thing, I’d overlooked that part. And yeah, you are right, its used in a lot of health potions.” Among other things.
Liss commented as she watched the others girls’ intent search.
“Here! Come smell this! I think I found it – right where I thought it would be!”
Now Liss was excited, her eyes shining with it. Really? It was really here? Maybe this was gonna work after all.....
She scrambled as quickly as the uneven ground and murky water would allow to Fallon’s side to look at the brunettes find.
Liss smelled the fuzzy green specimen. Yep, it was fresh, zangy, and kinda gingery- this was it!
She looked as Fallon and grinned a grin from ear to ear- quite a feat for a Furiae student who worked hard to never show strangers her true emotions, but discovery triumphed rules in this case.
“This is it!”
“….You are good…..You must be some kind of plant genius……Good going.”
Yep, compliments a plenty were due the plant whisper-er.