"Literally what do you think I'm going to do if I'm not supervised."
"I know a spell for telling if someone died of a bacterial infection." She deliberately speaks softly.
"Cool! You should trade that to Wen Qing, she'd love it."
"Thank you! I'll go ask her." Once she works out who she is.
"I can bring plants back to life-- which is totally not useful here-- and explode mals and do a basic shield spell and make some vaguely useful potions out of dead cockroaches."
"Exploding mals sounds very cool."
"Yeah, it's useful. I'll trade you for the bacteria spell."
"... Are you sure?" The mal one would be way more useful (unless the rate of mysterious blood poisoning is way higher at the Scholomance is way higher than expected.)
"Sure! I need more stuff that's in affinity, plus Wen Qing will be so happy with me."
And he even knows who Wen Qing is. That would be more efficient. "Sure!"
Herbs herbs herbs. "What kind of books do you like?"
She is currently doing her best to combine the oils and lye 'till emulsion'. This would be easier if she had any clue to tell when that happened. "I like biology books." (Her penchant for stories about people falling into fantasy worlds is NOT RELEVANT.)
"Oh, cool! Tell me interesting facts about biology."
...on the one hand, this is possibly the most receptive audience she will ever have for cool death facts she will ever get. But on the other, she has had unfortunate experience with finding what she thought was a receptive audience and being very, very wrong. She will... wait. If he's cool she'll be able to share cool death facts later. He has cockroaches: maybe cool insect facts would be a good middle ground. "You can put a mouse's 'put a leg here' gene in a fly, and it will grow a leg there, but it will grow a fly leg."
"That's terrible! It should grow a mouse leg. --Do you think it should grow a mouse-sized leg or a fly-sized leg? I'm not sure which one would be more horrifying," he says in a tone that implies that 'horrifying' means 'really fucking cool.'
She's just going to keep stirring until something goes wrong. That seems like a relatively safe bet. "I think if you put enough mouse genes in you could? The gene just tells it to follow the leg instructions it already has."
"Have you seen the picture of the fly genetically engineered so its legs grow out of its eyeballs?"
"That was so cool."
"I know, right? I bet you could do that with magic. Or Jiang Cheng could but he wouldn't."
"I could what?"
"Make a fly with legs growing out of its eyeballs."
"Why would you do that to a fly."
"For science." Is this emulsion? This might emulsion. She's still going to just keep stirring.
"I think that's emulsified? Should I put in my bit now. --Did you know giraffes drink each other's piss to find out if they're suitable to mate?"
"Probably a good idea to put in now. --I bet giraffes would find us just as weird."
He does. "Yeah, if there were giraffes who did biology they would probably be like 'what the fuck, humans have like a third of their orgasms in front of computer screens.' --Wait, do we?" He starts to scribble down numbers on a piece of paper.