Elliot was a nerd, but he wasn’t like, a nerd for school. He was a nerd about gaming. More of a geek, really. Pre-RMI, he had never been especially good or bad at school. Mostly he had been bored at school. When you had to wake up at ass o’clock to sit in a room listening to someone talk for seven hours while you did worksheets and weren’t allowed to talk then surprise, you got bored. Even gym and recess were not enough breaks from sitting when you had to learn about boring things like long division and different types of rock.
But now that the tutorial level was over and Elliot was in magical school, he realized that the problem wasn’t with school in general. Just with Muggle elementary school. Because learning how to write in cursive was the polar opposite of learning how to transfigure yourself into an animal (Elliot would have to wait until next year for that one) or learning how to hex people so leeks came out of their ears. American history was dumb. History about goblin wars with epic enchanted swords was not. Honestly it was hard to pick his favorite class because they were all so rad and magical: potions, spellwork, defense against the dark arts, and magizoobotany were all vying for that top spot.
Which was a long way of saying that, as a mint-condition fourth year with the freedom to add electives and drop core subjects, Elliot was now taking eight classes. His inventory was full of textbooks. In his defense, it was only one more class than last year. He’d dropped astronomy, because it might be important for other subjects but you didn’t actually get to do any magic during it, and added divinations and magical sciences. He’d toyed with adding ancient runes too (it gave him serious Witcher vibes) but again, it seemed to fall in the same category as astronomy where you couldn’t directly do cool things with it. Seeing the future and technomancy were way more Elliot’s speed as far as the electives went.
They apparently had a new Magizoobotany professor this year. Elliot hoped that was because Professor Anders had moved on to bigger and better things and not because he’d been petrified by a basilisk or something. He didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on his impressions of Professor McCloud because there was a huge sentient tree that had not been there before and it was the Magizoobotany butler.
The welcome willow buttled Elliot’s robes away, revealing his coral shorts and striped white-and-blue v-neck. He trotted over to the loose group of other students, and followed Professor McCloud’s instructions to stand in a circle. Favorite… plant? Elliot had never thought about his favorite plant before. He decided not to say “dat herb, hahaha blaze it” mostly because he had never smoked and also because Professor McCloud did not seem like the kind of person who would think it was funny. So when they got to him in the circle he said, “Elliot Phippen, he/him, chili pepper… plant?”
It seemed to be a correct answer, or at least, Professor McCloud did not tell him that didn’t count. And then she got to talking about the class and Elliot forgot about everything else because this was some Assassin’s Creed ish. Yes PLEASE he wanted to work on a poison garden. And Elliot knew exactly which plant he wanted to help place: the Devil’s Snare. It was the coolest one.
Apparently someone else had the same idea, or maybe they were just going in the same direction, but Elliot got to the Devil’s Snare at the same time as another student. No problem: Elliot wasn’t ambitious enough to tackle this plant alone. “Teamwork?” Elliot suggested, with his grin that pulled one corner of his mouth higher than the other. “It makes the dream work.”