Done! I've done my best to proof-read it real quick, but I always seem to miss something when I do. Anywho - I really like Zinnia's sense of humour (strikes me as a very British sense of humour tbh) and I decided to stop showing all my love to Hyacinth and had good ol' Maggie appear in it instead
Idk if it's crazy in-line with their characters, but? Ah well. Here be Zinnia and Maggie doing some science together - 100% willing participants. Don't even worry about it.
“You’re entirely certain this will work?” Magnolia stared through the murky vial she held precariously between two talons, muzzle wrinkling at the foul smell coming from the vial. This wasn't what she'd imagined Zinnia had said she wanted help, but, with Cin preoccupied and no-one else viable available, it just had to be her. Maggie just hoped this one’s scent didn’t cling like the last. She’d had to hold her wing over her nose whenever she’d walked past Zinnia and Hyacinth the last time a bit of 'science' had been in order.
“Fairly.” Across the room, Zinnia, who she’d come to recognise as something of an alchemist, leafed through notes she’d set aside with such speed Maggie was convinced she wasn’t actually reading them at all.
“‘Fairly’?” The pale ridgeback echoed, looking over to the bogsneak with what was definitely uncertainty in her eyes. Zinnia gave a small huff of irritation, and cast a foul look over her shoulder towards her ‘willing’ helper.
To her credit, Magnolia was much less unnerved by the disgruntled visage of Zinnia than she was whatever she was holding. “And how certain are you that this won’t go as horribly wrong as this thing smells?”
Zinnia began to rustle through scrawled notes with much more force than before. “That’s what I’m trying to find out. Now pipe down for a second, would you? I cannot concentrate with your incessant blabbing.”
Maggie glanced back at the vial she was holding, before wisely clamping her mouth shut. As Zinnia tried to find what she was searching for, the ridgeback turned her attention back to the vial. It was a strange foul-looking liquid - gloopy and bubbling all by itself. “Disgusting,” she muttered under her breath, giving the vial a small shake. “Funny shade of green, too.” Magnolia held it out at arm’s length now, closing one eye to focus on it. “Kinda looks like your wings, Zinnia.”
“It’ll look like your wings, too, in a minute, if you don’t stop moving it about.” Whereas just a few seconds ago Zinnia had been across the other side of the cave, she was now directly in front of the other, expression even fouler up close and cyan eyes narrowed dangerously. To her credit, Magnolia didn’t jump back, although she did gasp with some surprise at just how quick the bogsneak could move. Zinnia either didn’t care to acknowledge this or her patience was beginning to fade, for she just gave a gruff grunt in comment. “Hold it still, would you? I need to add the final ingredient.”
“Of course.” Magnolia tightened her grip on the vial as much as she dared to, although it was with fear again that she regarded the alchemist as she procured a strange looking herb and lined it up with the vial. “Are you really sure there isn’t someone else who could help you with this? I’m not really much of a scientist.”
“Who was the one who ate all the fish earlier this morning, and so now owes me for it?” Zinnia asked with a growl. She almost looked ready to fold her forelegs, although Maggie was certain it’d have made the other wobble - if only a little bit. Plus, she raised a good point. Magnolia had eaten all the fish this morning and, unable to fish herself, had swapped places with Zinnia’s usual assistant.
“Yes but-- I was hungry. You don’t even eat fish, and Cin said I had a fast metabolism!”
“So, let's see if you have fast reflexes too if this goes wrong,” Zinnia commented with a rolling of her eyes and flick of the tongue. Quite literally waving off Magnolia’s squawks of protest, the bogsneak then dropped the herb into the green goop.
Magnolia gave something of a horrific wail, sounding as if, for a second, it had gone horrendously wrong after all. “By the Icewarden and Windsinger and all of our deities, Zinnia, why would you--!” The rest all dissolved into an incoherent mess, her wings flailing and head whipping back and forth in what could have been a very convincing display – but Zinnia was having none of it.
Zinnia swatted the white ridgeback with a wing and hissed, expression somehow becoming even darker. “Shut up, you idiot, it’s not even doing anything!”
“We’re going to die, Zinnia, we’re both going to-- oh
.” As quickly as the dramatism had begun, it stopped. Magnolia quickly realised that her wings were not, in fact, melting, nor were they a funky shade of green, and that her talons weren’t about to fall off. In fact, all was strangely still within the vial. Even the bubbling had stopped. As disgusting as it still looked, the green sludge was now as inconspicuous as water. This was enough to finally see Magnolia relax, even if it was only a little bit.
Zinnia, however, was less than impressed at this turn of events and scowled at the notes just to her right as if they were the reason for the failure. “I’m sure I had that right,” she grumbled under her breath, crawling away to properly take a look. The alchemist leafed through more notes, before stopping to read off a list. With each ingredient, her scowl deepened. “Two crushed silkworms, one ground-up featherhide locust, the innards of half a dozen bloated maggots, two drops of fan scorpion venom, and... Not
spiral aloe! I should have known! Where did I get spiral aloe from? Certainly not-- Oh, by the Stormcatcher, I am a fool, Magnolia!”
“Uh-huh.” Maggie sounded dubious, slowly taking one step at a time to peek over the bogsneak’s shoulder. She tried her hardest to make sense of the scribbles Zinnia was looking at, but it, like most science-related topics, went straight over her head. “We’re done, right? You don’t need me anymore?”
Zinnia didn’t respond for a second, trailing a claw along the parchment to keep track as she read. The alchemist then gave a small shout of what could only have been victory, and slammed a heavy paw down onto the desk, causing Magnolia to jump.
Magnolia physically deflated as the bogsneak jumped up with more enthusiasm than she’d seen her move with in days, and headed straight for her herb rack again to have another rummage. As random herbs and tools were tossed about onto the desks and cave floor, Maggie felt her heart drop to her stomach. They obviously weren’t finished – not even close. “Cin really
needs to hurry up with those fish...”
Also, the new boy makes a really pretty goaler - it's such a shame blossom is so difficult to get.