The welcome willow was waving at him in a… well, a welcoming way. It seemed appropriate to greet it so Anssi gave it a nod back, assuming it would pick up on the gesture: as far as he could tell the tree didn’t have eyes, but it clearly had some kind of spatial awareness. “Thank you.” He’d hung his clothes on trees before, when out hiking for instance, but never one that seemed so eager to receive them. Quickly removing his Prefect badge, the blonde slipped out of his robes and looped them over a branch, watching the branch pull away as he repositioned the badge on the front of his striped shirt. (He never went without the badge on school grounds, half out of a sense of responsibility, half-hoping that it would ward off the inevitable chaos that followed his friends around like an unwelcome shadow. So far, he was having moderate success.)
Already rolling up his sleeves in preparation, he shuffled over with the rest of the class into a circle and pitched his voice towards their new professor when it was his turn. “Hej, I’m Anssi Lundqvist and my pronouns are he/him. My favourite plant is… cactuses. Not a specific cactus, just in general.” It wasn’t the best thing he could have said, but it was the first thing to come to mind off the top of his head, and it was true enough. He’d never seen a cactus before his parents moved to Texas, as they weren’t exactly common in his home country, and he still found them very neat both in appearance and the biology of how they survived such dry places. There were some magical cactuses too - he’d read about one with hallucinogenic spines - but it hadn’t made an appearance in Magizoobotany classes yet.
Building a poison greenhouse was an interesting task for their first class. Professor Anders had always focused more on animal care, which Anssi had hoped would be useful knowledge for him while he was struggling through the early stages of Animagus lessons - not that he expected his Animagus form to be a kelpie or anything, but surely it was good to know more about magical animals when preparing to turn into an animal yourself. Having a class exclusively focused on plants was new, and he could already tell some of the students were getting excited about the danger element.
Unconsciously, his blue eyes darted down to his Prefect badge and back up again. The glare of Professor Iolanthe (regardless of her introduction, it was habit for him to think of all professors by their first name) made no impact on the sixth-year, as he well knew he wasn’t its real target. Since she was new to RMI, unless Professor Anders had left notes on all of the students, she wouldn’t yet be able to identify who in the class was most likely to touch or lick something without thinking first. This thought-train made him suddenly remember Kit was in this class, and then he remembered the date he had uncertainly agreed to go on. The resulting uncomfortable twist in his stomach wasn’t going to help him focus on poisons, so he pushed it away and actively sought a partner that wasn’t Kit. The first person he landed eyes on was Petra, whom he’d always gotten on with, and in a few strides he was beside her at the workbench.
“Ja, that seems like a smart approach,” Anssi agreed to her comment on staying away from an untimely plant-related death. “Lucky for you, I grew up with a death risk one bedroom over, so I have a good idea of how to stay alive.” As usual, his sarcasm was flat enough to almost be taken seriously, though hopefully they’d interacted enough by this point for her to pick up on the joke. Glancing around, he spotted a dead-looking stump nearby. “I think that’s a Snargaluff,” he gestured towards it. “It’s sentient, so it would be good to place with the aconite and hellebore, it won’t grab them. If I’m remembering well, those ones only need a little sun and Snargaluffs prefer shade, so we could put them... maybe by the back wall of the greenhouse, away from the windows?” While he talked, Anssi was already pulling his gloves out from the back pocket of his jeans. “If we stand at both ends, I think we can carry it safely, it’s pretty wide. Or we could just levitate it. What do you think?”