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Breakthroughs
#1
Private 
March 27th, 1890 — Potions Dungeon

Seneca had taken up a potions project for an extra grade. Kind of like doing a thesis, an independent study of sorts. It was on Chinese poison making, which wasn't covered in the Hogwarts curriculum in depth. Seneca decided to take a different route with this dark interest of hers and research it under her professor's guidance. She had aspirations of maybe publishing her research if something interesting came out of it.

The thing with Chinese poisons was that their antidotes were other poisons. Some poisons had known antidotes, whereas others didn't. Seneca's research was on discovering the antidote to some barely used poison, by looking for its antidotes in poisons from other culture's potions selections.

So far, Seneca and Professor Valenduris had been testing potential antidotes on poor rodent.

"I believe this one will work," Seneca told her professor and showed him a vial. "After my most recent research, it would make the most sense, given its base ingredients. I believe bat blood is the key."

@Meserimus Valenduris


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#2
Meserimus didn't often give extra credit, not that he didn't like to encourage his students to go above and beyond, he just didn't think they deserved extra credit for doing what, in his view, should be a passion. For Miss Lestrange however, he had made an exception:- Not only because she was a student in his house and he liked to encourage his students to stretch their expectations, but also because her interest had seemed truly academic. It was not a means to an end - to become an auror, or an unspeakable, but rather it had seemed to him as though her interest was out of a genuine interest in the art of potions.

The topic - well it was a little intense for a young person, and a young lady no less, but if his second wife, innumerable daughters and grand daughters had taught him anything it was that there was nothing more dangerous than underestimating the drive and determination of young women. The practical sessions had borne out the good sense in allowing her to undertake the work.

'Excellent summation Miss Lestrange' he noted, making an annotation in his own notebook her grades, for this project would be based - not on the ultimate results of the experimentation, but on the potions theory she applied to draw those conclusions. 'Had you thoughts as to what you might do once you complete your time in Hogwarts?' he could guess that some of it would be taken up with all the usual society nonsense that upper class girls normally engaged in after they abandoned their education.


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Bee is amazing
#3
Seneca was pleased with herself, for Professor Valenduris' praise. Since he didn't do these sorts of projects with all of his students, his praise was even more meaningful. She hadn't made him regret supporting this independent study of hers. There were many other students who would claim to be interested in a subject and then give up after the first difficulty. Seneca had kept going, even though her research had spawned for two months now.

"I will marry, of course," Seneca replied to his question. It was what was expected of her and she personally didn't mind getting married, as long as it was to someone powerful and ambitious, like her Papa, or Cousin Tiberius. She did plan to be a socialite like her Auntie Olivia had been, because there was a lot of influence a woman could have by doing that. However, she didn't plan to throw away all her books when that happened.

"Of course, I want to continue my studies, especially in the Alchemic field. Luckily, as a woman of high society, I will have both the time and the money to invest in my academic interests."


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#4
Meserimus couldn't help but smile behind his long moustache and beard as she explained, as though it were obvious, the life she would have after school. It was endearing in a very slytherin sort of way, if he had been inclined towards arranging matches, his own son Remegius would have suited her quiet well, he had that same sort of competative academic bent and didn't believe that compromise was a requirement for those of blood status and breeding. Then at least he could have been sure that her talent wasnt squashed by some idiot who didn't know how to handle a strong willed lady. 'Is that so...' he mused thoughtfully as she informed him of the benefits of her status. He couldn't disagree with her, his own wives, (well number 2 and number 3 at least) had also benefited from the benefits of being women of breeding, wealth and intelligence.

He cleared his throat, as he watched her handle the vials in front of her, 'A gentleman friend of mine, Mister Caesar Pavesio will be attending my home during the summer months' she might well have recognised the name, Caesar had a reputation in the alchemical field having published several books on the subject, many of which were in the Hogwarts library, 'We shall be working on a monograph together. I will be taking on a student or two to assist us in the labs. Might this be something that your family might be inclined to permit?' he asked. It was very possible that her family would expect her to throw herself into the softer side of the season, even though not fully out she wouldnt be the first girl whose penultimate summer was a trial run of her debutante year.


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Bee is amazing
#5
Seneca knew who Ceasar Pavesio was, he was well known in the alchemic circles. He had made important discoveries on the field and so was a highly esteemed academic. Seneca would like to meet him in person and she felt somewhat flattered that Professor Valenduris thought her skilled enough to assist them in the labs.

"You would have to ask my father," Seneca replied diplomatically. She was sure that her father would be flattered that one of her professors thought so highly of her skills. Still, he would probably be reluctant to allow her to work alongside two men. He allowed her more freedoms than he had her two sisters (for example, duelling) but he was still quite old-fashioned regarding some things. No matter what he believed about Professor Valenduris' proposition, Seneca knew that she couldn't take any liberties in answering Professor Valenduris. Lucius Lestrange liked to control everyone in the family, including his favoured members.

"I am honoured that you think so highly of my skill, though!"


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#6
'I can certainly write to him and make the offer, my girls would delight of the company and your chaperone, or sister would be more than welcome to accompany you.' he explained 'As to your skills- well you have shown both interest and good aptitude' he explained. While Seneca was only a 6th year and bright for her age, she would need dedicated study, after her formal schooling was complete, before she would be considered to be anything more than skilled. She was after all, only a student and in things like potions, as with alchemical practices, which could only come with time and dedication would be needed to make her truly notable.

He turned his attention to her concotion and with an experienced sniff of the fumes notes, 'Have a care Miss Lestrange, your potion is on the verge of overboiling.' He could have remedied it, but the point of this was for her to practice her skills, which she couldn't do if he fixed every problem she encountered. 'Have a think on the offer Miss Lestrange and if you still fancy the idea I can make the appropriate overtures' he added. 'Although do let me know if you do not want to take the spot it must be offered to another student.'


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Bee is amazing
#7
"You could write to him, Professor Valenduris," Seneca replied. It would be more official for her professor to do so, she supposed. And then the ball would be at their court. She couldn't predict how her father would take the offer and whether he would agree.

Meanwhile, she took the needed actions to prevent her potion from overboiling. Their conversation over his proposition had distracted Seneca from her potion. She lowered her fire's heat and stirred anti-clockwise.

After about fifteen minutes, the potion gained the colour Seneca had been aiming for. "We can test it now, Professor?" she asked.




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#8
'I will do just that Miss Lestrange.' Meserimus mumbled, almost to himself as he leaned over to observe her workings. He knew little of Mister Lestrange other than by reputation and couldn't possibly predict how he might view his daughter undertaking potions work. For his own part, he would have hoped his own child bright enough to be trusted with the sort of work but with traditional pureblood families one never could tell.

As she managed to save her concotion he nodded in approval and made a note on his pad on her level of success. When the potion had stewed approriately she declared it complete. 'Just so' he acknowledged and gestured to the shelf with the various types of jars and containers sat. Some potions reacted to their containers so there was almost as much choice of containers as there were ingrediants. 'Given its posionous nature, I would suggest using one of the toads, rather progressing straight to human trials' he guided with a joking tone.


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Bee is amazing
#9
Seneca nodded and she levitated a glass jar containing an unassuming toad to her working station. She also summoned another jar that contained dead flies, which were usually used as ingredients for potion-making. She opened the lid of the fly jar and levitated a fly outside. Then, she infused it with the poison whose antidote she would hopefully discover that day. She placed the poisoned fly in the toad's jar and watched it as it ate it.

Then, she levitated a second fly out of its jar and dipped it in the potion she had been brewing. That took her enough time for the poison's effects to take their toll on the toad, which was beginning to shake. Seneca promptly placed the second fly in its jar and waited to see if her potion would have any result in saving the toad.



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#10
Meserimus watched carefully, as his student worked through her final preperations. He had long since lost any sentimentality above the animals who were sacrificed for the sake of progress and innovation - it had been more than a 100 years since he had given it even the most passing of thoughts.

The toad gobbeled the fly greedily, and could be seen to immediatly regret it's decision. The quick administration of the antitdote fly had seemed to do the trick - the toad stopped shaking, it croaked loudly, and then took a deep breath as though it was about to let out another belching croak, but it didn't stop, it kept inflating and when it looked like it might explode it deflated like a balloon. He prodded the creature with a glass rod, used for stirring potions, the organs were still in placed, but tiny.

'A solid start Miss Lestrange' he noted, 'Bad luck'. He was a little pleased, if it hadn't succeeded, which in fairness would have been incredible given her age, then this was the next best possible next outcome. It was a nasty poison, prone to making it's victims bleed out of its eyes and nose - a super warfarin. Not a pleasant death for a young lady to see, even if she had elected it. 'To quote a muggle scientist through systematic, palpable experimentation we get results' he noted, 'and your attempt was on the right tracks, too extreme I would say but certainly getting there.'. Instead of stopping the internal organs and blood from leaking it had instead entirely desicated them. 'well done Miss Lestrange, an admirable attempt' he applauded. '20 points to slytherin, you may use magic to clear up and head back to the common room.'


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Bee is amazing
#11
Seneca watched in frustration as her efforts failed to save the frog's life. At least the animal hadn't bled out to death, as it was supposed to happen with the first poison. In any case, even if the organs had remained intact, the frog had still died.

"Thank you, Professor Valenduris," Seneca replied to the awarded points. "I will do so."

It would have been a breakthrough for a seventeen-year-old to have discovered the antidote to that potion on the first try. In any case, Seneca had been disappointed. Her interest in discovering the antidote had minimized. She didn't want to find it for the good of humanity, but rather to receive glory. Her project would likely be abandoned until she rediscovered an interest to pick it up.

She cleaned up her working station, returned the jars with all the ingredients to their place, and then returned to her common room. She had so many other projects to work on!

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