A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #31710  by Vivianne Vale
Location: Redes National Park, Spain • Date: Early October 2003

This was a rare opportunity! It had come about from unpleasant circumstances. The elderly witch she served had passed away, and so Viv got an impromptu vacation while the estate’s asserts were settled. She had at least a week before she needed to return to London, but that would hopefully be plenty of time for her to complete her mission.

There were rumors that a new species of magical nettle had been found in the forests of Spain. They were calling it “Blessed Deadnettle” and Vivianne was absolutely determined to find and study it. And she was prepared. She had several days rations and water in her bag, as well as some other camping supplies. Her clothes were practical: hiking shoes, lightweight pants, a simple t-shirt, and gloves.

Viv was wandering in a remote forest within the Redes National Park, away from where the muggle tourists explored. It was maybe not the smartest thing to be adventuring alone, but she hadn’t run into anything too dangerous yet. As she was getting deeper in the forest she started spotting more magical creatures, such as some shy bowtruckles. It must mean she was headed in the right direction!

But then she got distracted for the fiftieth time by another plant, this time a blooming fanged geranium. She pulled out her messy notebook and pen and started scrawling down observations while stating just out of reach from the flower.

(for Eden)
 #31760  by Eden Kalima
Eden loved getting to travel for her job. It was one of the reasons she had joined the Wizarding Expedition Society in the first place, the other being of course that she loved plants. Her only worry was that her father would take opportunities to move ahead with his business when she wasn't home to stand against him.

This time, she was off to Spain to look into a new species of magical plant that had recently been discovered by one of her colleagues. Her mission was to identify the plant and create a profile to add to the Society's registry, as well as collect a sample to test its effects back at an outpost. With a Society-sanctioned supply pack and her favourite hiking clothing, she left her hotel and apparated to the site where the plant had been sighted.

Eden made her way cheerfully through the forest, nibbling on some jerky she had picked up before heading out. Even while on the job, she couldn't stop snacking.

As she swung around a tree, humming softly to herself, she suddenly found herself face-to-face with a fanged geranium. Her face fell and she stumbled backwards, out of reach as it snapped at her. "Omf!" she grunted, falling back on her bottom. Only then did she notice the other person.

"Oh... I didn't realize anyone else was out here," she said, rising to her feet and brushing off her clothing.
 #31762  by Vivianne Vale
Vivianne was so focused on taking notes of the plant that she didn’t even notice the woman approaching until the geranium was about to snap at her.

“Watch out—” but luckily Eden saw the flower just in time. Now hopefully this was another witch, and not a muggle needing an obliviate spell. Viv suspected there was a spell keeping muggles distracted from entering the magical potion of the state park but you couldn’t be too careful. The other woman didn’t seem surprised by the fanged geranium after standing up, so probably not a muggle?

“No worries, are you alright? You’re the first person I’ve seen in a while!” Vivianne was relieved. Thank goodness she spoke English! Viv stowed her notepad and pen away in her back pocket, her wand still tucked behind her ear.

“I’m Vivianne!” She offered a handshake, smiling warmly.
 #31799  by Eden Kalima
Once she was confident that most of the dirt was brushed away, Eden clapped her hands together before accepting the handshake. "Eden," she replied, offering a small grin. "I'm fine, thanks. That's not the first fanged geranium I've come face to face with." She thought back to the last time. The bite mark on her arm had lingered for weeks afterwards.

"So, what are you doing out here?" She had not missed the notebook and pen, even in her awkward stumbling.
 #31862  by Vivianne Vale
"I'm on vacation!" Vivianne replied excitedly. "I came out here to study plants. Well, I'm hoping to find one in particular," she admitted, unsure about whether to elaborate. Would the woman even know about the plant? And if she did, it wasn't like anyone had claim over studying it, right? At least Eden seemed friendly!

"But I keep getting distracted by other plants! I saw an actual Wiggentree a little farther back, and when I got a closer look I saw some bowtruckles hiding in it!" Vivianne paused, realizing she was starting to ramble. "But, uh, what's brought you this deep in the woods?"
 #31880  by Eden Kalima
Eden didn't normally meet people who were as enthusiastic about magical plants as she was, at least, not outside of work, so this was a welcomed reprieve. While Vivianne was speaking, she noticed her package of jerky lying on the ground and bent down to pick it up.

"You'll have to show me the Wiggentree! I haven't looked at one in a couple of years and I have my records here with me..." She trailed off, digging through her bag for a moment. "I'm a herbologist for the Wizarding Expedition Society, so I'm here on official business," she explained, holding up her leather-bound notebook with the Society's logo emblazoned on the front. "Apparently there's a new species somewhere in this forest so I'm here to examine it and start a profile. Blessed Deadnettle, they call it in the local dialect. Which plant are you looking for?" Eden gave a friendly smile, then started to nibble on another piece of jerky.
 #32008  by Vivianne Vale
"A herbologist?!" Vivianne clapped her hands together excitedly. Yes! This was someone she could get along with! Unless --

Yup, this other woman was here for the Blessed Deadnettle too. It wasn't going to be a competition to find the plant, was it? Eden had a fancy notebook and everything! The plant wasn't going to be restricted to the Wizarding Expedition Society until it had been studied, right?? Viv eyes darted around at their surroundings, as she was unable to hide her unease.

"Oh! Wellll, that sounds really cool! You wouldn't be, uh, stopping anyone else from investigating that plant, would you? Because I kinda vacationed out here specifically to look for it." She shot Eden a hopeful grin before quickly adding, "And I can certainly show you to that Wiggentree! Got it marked in my notes!"
 #32028  by Eden Kalima
Eden couldn't help but notice the other girl's unease as soon as she mentioned the plant. She crossed her arms in front of her, the book sticking out on one side.

"Well, you see... normally, I'd have to restrict access to it until my notes were completed and handed in to my supervisor, but..." she felt bad, since Vivianne seemed so hopeful and excited about it. Not to mention, she was willing to direct her to the Wiggentree, and that would help her research.

"Honestly, I don't mind. Maybe you'll even notice something I miss," she said, shrugging a shoulder. "However... you have to promise not to publish anything until the Society publishes. It's a long way out, and I'd hate to turn you away." Eden offered a grin, arching an eyebrow. "What do you say?"
 #32034  by Vivianne Vale
Vivianne immediately perked back up at Eden's offer.

"Yes! This is just to satisfy personal curiosity anyway. I can let you do the publishing." And maybe Viv could still sneak out a sample? At the very least this was her chance to study it! Stella pulled her notepad out of her back pocket and flipped over to one of the most recent pages.

"The Wiggentree was just about half a mile that way," Vivianne pointed to her left. "Just past some bramble. There were actually many Rowan trees in the area, but if you look closely you'll recognize it!" She paused for a moment before turning to Eden with an excited grin.

"I know! How about we take a little lunch break by the Wiggentree before continuing the hunt for the Blessed Deadnettle?" Vivianne had rations in her bag that she'd barely touched that day, too enthralled by the nature around her to stop and eat.
 #32074  by Eden Kalima
Eden nodded quickly, dropping her notebook back into her bag. "That sounds like a great idea!" she exclaimed, making sure she had everything. She then glanced off in the direction Vivianne had pointed. "I've been pretty hungry, so I'm definitely ready for lunch," she added.

Without any further comments, Eden started to walk in the direction her now-hiking partner had pointed, giving the fanged geranium a wide berth. This was shaping up to be an interesting afternoon, and she had barely started. Thankfully, she had spent so much time in the brush that a little bramble was nothing to her.
 #32116  by Vivianne Vale
Score! Now she had company for lunch and her chances of finding the Blessed Deadnettle were higher! Viv gave the fanged geranium a little wave before jogging up to walk beside Eden.

“So where did you travel from? I’m from England myself. How’d you get into the Wizarding Expedition Society?” Vivianne was quite curious and excited about her new companion, especially now that they were teaming up.
 #32213  by Eden Kalima
Eden grinned, falling into stride with Vivianne. "I'm actually from America! The school I went to has a lot of focus on the environment, and I got interested in plants really young so by the time I graduated, the Society was recruiting and I already knew so much about magical plants that they took me on as a Junior Herbologist!" she explained, holding out her bag of jerky.

"How about you? What got you into plants?"
 #32259  by Vivianne Vale
“That’s so lucky!” Vivianne was envious of her career. She took a small piece of jerky from the bag, her hunger coming alive as she chewed. At least it wasn’t much farther to the Wiggentree. “I’ve not been to America, but if they have nature-focused schools then I’m jealous! I mean, I had a good time at Hogwarts, but still!”

As they approached some thorny bramble, Viv waved her wand to push a little path open. It closed back up behind them as they walked forward.

“Me? I was just always drawn to plants as a kid. Always covered in dirt and ‘rescuing’ seedlings from the sidewalk. I just had to learn more. I got to work for an old witch in her greenhouse during the summers, and then after graduating I kept working for her.”
 #32298  by Eden Kalima
"You have to come see it some time! The classes were legit in treehouses!" Eden exclaimed, thinking back over her time at Redwood. "Though I've heard some good things about Hogwarts, too. Is it true there's a Whomping Willow there?"

She glanced around as she walked, taking in the sights while she listened to Vivianne's story. "That's really cool, though. I've grown to love the exploration part of my job but sometimes I really just want to stay in one place and play around with floral arrangements." She paused. "I also wish I had a greenhouse, but... I live in a tiny apartment, not much room for it sadly."
 #32416  by Vivianne Vale
Treehouses?? Vivianne was seriously jealous now. "The Whomping Willow is very real, and as intimidating as ever," she confirmed with a laugh. "I'd live in a greenhouse if a could. I swear rich folk have the best greenhouses - plenty of rare and unusual specimens. Well, I hope the next one I work for has as nice one. Seems to be a trend though!"

As they continued on, the brush began to clear and the number of nonmagical rowan trees increased. "It should be just up ahead... Ah!" Vivianne pointed to a thick tree just ahead. "There's the one! I think I can see one of the botruckles gaurding it too - on the branch right there!" As the drew closer it the number of botruckles watching them from the branches seemed to increase.