Growing up at RMI since he was five, Andrew Tennant had seen a lot of professors come and go. According to Dad and the house elves, the school went through cycles where one position would be inexplicably cursed (“Not cursed,” Dad insisted, “just a high turnover”) and they’d run through a few of them within a few years. Apparently Magizoobotany was the not-cursed-just-high-turnover class this cycle, because Professor McCloud was the third teacher for it since Drew had started at RMI.
There was also a pretty big range in who Headmaster Morgan hired. Sometimes he picked people who were intensely qualified in their field. Sometimes he picked RMI alums with no teaching experience. Drew was pretty sure the new magzoo professor fell into the first category, but he also thought someone should have briefed her about the school better. A good new teacher orientation would have covered the kind of information that would have let Iolanthe McCloud know that creating a greenhouse full of deadly poisons at RMI was the worst idea in the world.
But hey, who was Drew to tell a new teacher what to do? Maybe Drew would not be as concerned if three members of the class had not already confronted him about the situation with Darlene this year. Drew thought of himself as pretty easygoing, but he had somehow made a lot of low-key enemies in the last five years.
So after he’d told everyone his favorite plant (sunflowers), Drew scanned the group for someone who probably wouldn’t want to poison him. He just had to make it through this class, and then he would just be careful about leaving his food unattended at the Diner for as long as it took for Kit to forget about the poison garden—probably about a week, unless something else happened to outrage her sooner.
Perfect, a transfer he’d hardly ever talked to. The new kid (yes he had been here for a year but Drew knew nothing about him, so he was basically still a new kid) couldn’t possibly have a vendetta against Drew, and he seemed to be standing there on his own with no other partner in mind.
Drew approached him. “Hey! Malachi, right? You wanna repot some poisonous flowers?” Drew was so not going to risk messing with venomous tentaculas right now. Some nice, normal plants that couldn’t bite him were much more his speed. “I’m Drew,” he added as he led the way to the belladonna and a few other flowering toxins. “Kind of a weird project, right? You’d think someone would’ve told Professor McCloud that giving us literal poison is not a great idea.” Then again, not tipping her off was peak Toby.