The problem with organising meetings with Professors, was that Saralyn always seemed to stress over them. Even if it was not something that she should be stressed about, she was a little bit stressed. Or maybe it was simply the fact that she did not trust her memories, the part of her brain that told her when she had to be at a meeting, and what day it was meant to be.
Despite having checked where she had written the meeting time twice, and her watch again, and it was highly unlikely that she had gotten this wrong - a part of her was unsure whether she had. Trying to ignore that part of her brain, she knocked on the professor's door.
Caitlin James had been expecting Saralyn with a pot of tea and two cups on her desk. She sat at the ready, hands clasped together on the surface of her desk, smiling eyes trained on the door, so when she heard a knock, she almost immediately said, "Come in!"
When the student joined her, the professor requested that the door be shut and gestured toward the chair opposite her desk. "How are you, Dear Miss Adelhard? Fancy a cup of tea with your professor?" the woman asked as she poured herself a cup and lowered the pot over the empty one, her doe-like eyes fixed on the student while she waited for an answer.
Closing the door behind her, Saralyn crossed the room, and sat down opposite the professor at the desk. At the question, she eyed the tea cups sitting between them. Well, she was going to have to say yes, wasn't she? She might have a habit of being rude at times - one that her parents constantly scolded her for. But she wasn't about to outright say no to a professor like that.
Tea? Really? Why was she offering her tea? It wasn't as though Saralyn was here for a pleasant chat, nor was she an eight year old having a tea party. "I'm well, professor," she said. "How are you? And I would love one, thank you." She did like tea, so there was that benefit, she supposed.
"Miss Adelhard, I am wonderful," Caitlin said enthusiastically as she poured tea into the student's cup. It would have a light lemon and strawberry taste that would hopefully suffice without sugar, but the woman reached under her desk for a small tin of sugar cubes and set it in front of Saralyn just in case.
"How is your research going? I'm looking forward to seeing what wonderful information you've discussed in your essay." She smiled at the snake and took a sip of her tea. Caitlin remained totally silent so that her pupil could speak undisturbed.
Saralyn was still a little bit bemused at the tea, though really, she shouldn't be. It was exactly in line with the bizarre professor sitting on the other side of the table. Ignoring the sugar cubes that had been placed down, she picked up the tea, curling her fingers around it. "Thank you, professor," she said. The warm glass was nice against her fingers, and Saralyn was a little chilled. She wasn't dressed entirely appropriately for how cold the castle was, though that was purposeful. The cold made it easier to keep control of herself.
"It's going well," she answered. "I do have a question though, something that I was hoping that you would be able to clear up." She took a moment to try and figure out how she wanted to phrase her question. "I've been coming across the word Panacea in my research, a remedy to cure disease and prolong life. Is that..." she paused for another moment. "Is that just another way that people discuss the philosophers stone? Or is it a separate thing that has similarities?"
Caitlin nodded along to the words to acknowledge that she was listening and waited a moment to make sure Saralyn wasn't preparing to say anything else. "That depends on whom you ask--or rather, on which book you consult," she answered. She started to slowly, rhythmically swirl her tea around by moving the cup on the surface with both of her hands.
"Some alchemists, philosophers, enthusiasts of all kinds will insist that the Panacea is just another fancy name for the Philosopher's Stone, others argue that it's synonymous with the Elixir of Life, and many are uncertain or believe that it could be separate from either the Philosopher's Stone or the Elixir of Life. I'm afraid I couldn't give you a definitive answer; if we were to know for certain whether it was or was not a separate substance, then I believe we would need to know far more about the Philosopher's Stone.
"What do you believe, Miss Adelhard? It's okay to guess, to theorize, madly or sanely." Caitlin's smile became a soft, teasing grin. She took a sip of her tea.
Last Edit: Dec 31, 2016 23:26:34 GMT -6 by Deleted
Saralyn frowned a little bit as she listened. It wasn't the most definite of answers, and that was somewhat frustrating. But then again, this was not the most definite of subjects, so she supposed she was simply going to have to deal with that.
At the question of what she thought, she frowned a little more. "I'm not sure," she said slowly. "The way that it is phrased in some books makes it sound like it could be different things. Because Panaca seems to state it cures all illnesses and diseases, whereas the Exilir focuses more on prolonging life? So they could do the same thing, but through different methods...?"
Caitlin's smiling intensified. "A brilliant analysis, Miss Adelhard," she said earnestly. She tapped her nose twice and added, "Give me a little more details in your writing, and you might be on your way to a proper mark. Did you have any other questions?"
She took her cup into her hands and took a sip of her tea. Her eyes were locked on the student.
At the approving comment, Saralyn smiled slightly. It was nice to be right, or on the right track. "I'll do that," she said with a nod. Movement flickered in the corner of her gaze. Tightening her grip on the teacup in her hand, she fought against the feeling. "No, I - I don't have any more questions."
Caitlin's expression changed for a fraction of a moment. She had noticed oddities with Saralyn before, but she had never felt they were any sort of threat; and the girl had gotten this far without any sort of terrible blunder. Kindly, she asked, "Are you all right, Miss Adelhard?" before taking a sip of her tea. Saralyn was a sixth year, so she was probably just a bit tired and stressed from all her hard work.
If her brain would kindly stop trying to fuck her over when she was sitting in front of professor's, Saralyn would have greatly appreciated that. It was a little harder to sweep under the rug when sitting one on one with a person. "I'm fine, Professor," she lied. "Just a slight headache is all."
Headaches weren't uncommon, especially given how many different things could cause them, but Caitlin would be amiss if she didn't offer some kind of help. "I would be happy to escort you to the hospital wing or the Great Hall, Miss Adelhard," she offered. "Or I could offer you a glass of water."
Saralyn squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, trying to push the lingering dregs out of her mind. It still felt empty around the edges, waiting for a lull to try pull her away again. She opened her eyes, and placed the teacup back down onto the bench, so she could dig her nails into her palm under the table without it being noticed. "It's fine, professor," she said. "I'm sure it'll pass soon, I don't need the hospital wing. Though perhaps I should head to the great hall, and my common room." It was better to get back into her dorm, if her mind was going to play with her.
Caitlin nodded slowly and rose to her feet. "Very well, Miss Adelhard. Thank you for your company. I look forward to seeing your next product," she said in reference to the students' paper assignments. She really was quite concerned, but she felt there was nothing she could do, and Saralyn wasn't a troublesome student like some others about whom she was often concerned.
Unclenching her hands, Saralyn also got up to her feet. She grabbed onto the back of the chair as her head spun for a moment. "Thank you for your help, professor," she said politely. "I'll let you know if I have any more questions."