Giselle Duell

March 26, 2021 7:37 PM
Giselle strolled about her classroom making sure things were all in order. The candles were lit around the edges of the room, and on the tables set for her students. She inhaled deeply to take in scents they were giving off. Today she had selected mostly floral and other pleasant plant based scents. They usually went well with the study of Tessomancy, and were rather relaxing for today's plan. The round tables were set as they had been in their previous few classes, two chairs, two teacups and a pot of tea at each. They were a few lessons into their starting unit on reading tea leaves, and she felt the time had come to move to the next level. As she wandered, she placed their latest graded assignment face down at the place where they would choose to sit. Most had done well on identifying the symbols presented, and listing possible meanings of each.

She made her way back to the front of the class just before the first of her students entered. She gave them a welcoming smile, because that is what you were supposed to do. Good professors liked their students, and she certainly didn’t dislike any of them. She readjusted her dark purple witch’s hat a bit nervously and smoothed down the skirts of her mustard yellow dress while everyone filed in and found their seats. The nice, neat coloration tags Valentine had helped attach to her attire had mostly fallen off by now. Since she hadn’t really taken much notice of them after the first month or so of teaching last year, her attire usually was not terribly coordinated, not that she noticed or really cared much.

Once everyone seemed to be settled down, she cleared her throat to get their attention and then began talking. “Welcome back,” she gestured toward them, indicating their assignments, “You’ve all done rather well at identifying the basic symbology that will be a basis for much of our interpretations throughout the rest of your studies of divinations. So, you are now ready to move on to the next stage of this journey. You may pour your tea now, but wait a moment before you touch your cups any more than necessary.” She paused a moment while the students followed through. “For those of you who were here last year, there will be a slight deviation in today’s lesson from what you may be expecting.” This was one of those lessons that had needed some fixing from last year, and Selina had helped her see that during her review.

“Last year, we moved straight on towards multiple symbols and their interactions with one another, however there is a very important thing that we need to cover before we get to that. Today, we will be focusing on answering the question, ‘Where do the symbols come from?’ Or perhaps in this case, ‘Why do the leaves form in such patterns?’ She waited a few moments to allow those questions to fully sink in before continuing. “You should have all had at least a small bit of magical theory from Professor Wright and Professor Skies by now. Charms and Transfigurations allow you to use your magic to manipulate the world around you, to bend it to your will.” Giselle’s voice took on a more soothing, relaxing tone, “Divination works in a much more delicate manner. You are trying to sense the flow of magic all about you without disturbing it. You are allowing your innate magical auras to express themselves using a different set of tools rather than your wand. This is one of the main reasons that witches and wizards to not begin studies in this field until they are at least in their third year. By now you should have learned the basics of the theory and have most of your magic under some level of control.”

“Your task for this class is to discuss these possibilities while you try to sense the magic about you. Close your eyes and focus if it helps," She had often wondered if that was why she had picked up on this part rather quickly as a student. The visual spectrum didn't distract her much. "A calm mind is key to this exercise. It is not easy, and it does take a special level of sensitivity so do not feel bad if you do not get any results. That is why we will cover it much more in the advanced classes. However, you should be aware of what you are actually trying to accomplish in this class.”

Giselle's voice now switched to an airy, almost dreamlike tone, “The magic in you wants to express itself. It is tied to all of creation; what was, what is, and what could be. It reverberates through time, just as actions of the past affect the present, and those of the present affect the future, so does the flow of magic. So watch the patterns form as you swirl the tea in your cup, as you drink it, see if you can feel those gentle forces around you shaping them into something meaningful.” She finally gave them all an encouraging smile, “You may begin, and feel free to call on me if you need anything.”
2 Giselle Duell Of tea and other great forces of the universe [Int Divinations] 1517 1 5

Lavender Brockert

April 09, 2021 3:23 PM
Even though the Brockert family wasn't really known for Seers, Lavender had signed up for Divination anyway. After all, Val's aunt was teaching it and the Crotalus would probably encourage people to keep taking Transfiguration after CATS if her mom was still teaching it. Plus, it could be fun.

Of course, it could be terrifying too. Lavender might very well predict disaster for herself and her loved ones. Although, if she didn't have the Sight, then her predictions weren't reliable. Which kind of made her wonder how one passed a class when they were wrong about everything. Or how Divination could even be taught in the first place.

Still, it was her friend's aunt teaching the class and supporting her friend's family member-and said friend by extension- was more important to her than any conundrum about a class that seemed impossible to teach-she'd let Gabriel figure that one out-or fear of potential failure or dire predictions.

And anyway, since Lavender most likely did not have the Sight, maybe she'd just interpret only happy things. Love and health and fortune. Of course, then she might be wrong. And what if what she predicted was far off in the future. Like if she predicted who her future husband was. Lavender was thirteen, marriage might not be as far off as it was for some of a similar age, but it was far enough away. Therefore, how would she know if her prediction came true until way after she was done with Divination?

Should she ask Professor Duell? Lavender usually didn't speak up in class for fear of saying something that others might mock.It was one thing when a professor asked a question that she knew the answer to, which happened on a fairly regular basis, as she was a good student but asking questions that others might think were stupid or especially expressing an opinion was quite another. Lavender knew full well there were people out there who would rip her to shreds over certain things although she didn't know if any of them were in Divination or, indeed, if any of them were in her classes at all-and she didn't want to find out either. Plus, now the Crotalus was in class with people two years older than her which was a tad intimidating.

Anyway, Lavender vowed to come into Divination with an open mind. She knew that there were people out there that thought it was a bunch of bull poo though again, nobody she knew personally. Even the Aladrens in the family-or at least the ones closely related to her-were pretty nice about it. Of course, one of the Aladrens that she was closely related to was Amity, who wasn't really a very Aladren-ish Aladren. Not that Amity had taken Divination, as taking electives meant extra work and Amity reacted to work like Lavender would react to bees. And she was allergic to bees.

Professor Duell began the lesson, bringing up some interesting questions. Just because the third year wasn't an Aladren and not as academic as her older sister Ivy-who wasn't one either-didn't mean she wasn't someone who didn't find things in her classes interesting at times. Of particular relevance at this time, Lavender had never given much thought to why tea leaves formed the particular patterns they did. For one thing, she wasn't a huge tea drinker, though she had been given to tea parties with dolls and stuffed animals as a child. For another, well, she'd just always assumed they were random. The thought that they weren't, that they were formed by magical forces was...intriguing.

They were released to do the exercise and Lavender turned to the person next to her and asked. "Would you like to partner up for discussion?"
11 Lavender Brockert Forces like caffeine? 1504 0 5

Wally O'Malley

April 11, 2021 1:39 PM
Okay, so full disclosure, Wally still was not really sure what he thought about Divinations. Somehow, this branch of magic remained controversial, even among other magical groups. And that was silly, wasn’t it? Because it wasn’t like he doubted anything they learned in Transfigurations or in Charms, so why this? There was just something intrinsically difficult to grasp about future prediction. Maybe it was because other classes had immediate and tangible results. You waved your wand, you said an incantation, and voila, your tea cup was a rat now. With Divinations, you looked in the tea cup, you noticed some shapes, you extrapolated some symbolism, and now maybe your future wife was a blonde? It was all very far away and predictive, so the validity was delayed.

Doubtful or not, though, Wally was taking it. And he was actually pretty glad to see that thankfully, Stanley had dropped out before classes fully picked up. Or maybe he just didn’t show up ever. Who knew what that kid ever did? Wally was talking to him again, but only when necessary and unavoidable, and in short, choppy replies. He knew they’d have to make up again eventually, but for now, Crotalus just wanted to be angry for a while.

He took dutiful notes, as he always did, while Professor Duell spoke, but paused and closed his eyes as she discussed a calm mind. What she said next when her voice changed struck him quite deeply, to his surprise, and without opening his eyes, he began scribbling it down word for word. The magic in you wants to express itself….

Wally wasn’t really sure what it all meant, the magical auras and energy flow of the universe and all that, but something about it sounded really nice. Comforting, almost. Like maybe there was a connection out there, something that tied him to others in a way that didn’t require him to contort himself to fit their requirements. He just was and could be, maybe.

His cousin Lavender asked if he wanted to partner up to discuss, and he nodded, happy to have her for the task. “Sure,” he reiterated. “Honestly, I’m… not sure what all that stuff means,” he confessed, “but I really like the sound of it. What do you think?”
12 Wally O'Malley Probably, among other things. 1492 0 5

Valentine Duell

April 14, 2021 5:50 PM
It was not unusual for Valentine to be the first to arrive at class. She had gotten into the habit of racing from one class to the next so that she could have some time at a desk to work on adventures for gaming club, or anything else for any of the other clubs that needed to get done. She did not need any such excuse for this class. She raced out of Care of Magical Creatures and arrived at the divinations class room in no time flat.

She still hadn't been able to catch Aunt Giselle... no, Professor Duell, still setting up for class. It was like she knew just when her students were going to arrive. She greeted Professor Duell cheerily, cringed inwardly at her attire, and noticed that homework sheets were waiting for them on their desks. Val grinned and decided to see just how good her aunt was, she counted the tables, pulled out an appropriately sized die from her bag and wound up at table number two as the die had instructed. At the table she rolled for odds on the left chair and evens on the right. She sat down in the right chair, flipped over the paper... and found her homework results waiting for her. Aunt Giselle was good. Her own marks on the paper were... okay. That image had totally been a heart! And how where those not balloons?

As class began, Valentine listened intently. She wanted to do well in Aunt Giselle's class, she really, really did. According to what she was saying, Val should be doing well. If they were trying to sense the flow of magic without disturbing it, she was really good at not disturbing magic in transfigurations. That should count for something. She closed her eyes and took a few calming breaths as she listened to her aunt finish her opening speech. It had a nice flow to it, between that and the scents in the air she could feel her mind drifting a bit. Something swirled around her mind like fragments of a lost memory... a spider.. woman? A dead owl?

She was shaken back to reality and the impressions were gone again by the other person at her table. "What?" She opened her eyes quickly her face in an apologetic expression, "Sorry.. I may have relaxed a bit to much."
2 Valentine Duell Whoooo!!! 1490 0 5

Jasper Brockert

April 25, 2021 11:23 PM
While Jasper really didn't believe had the Sight, because he'd never had a prophecy or anything and Seers didn't run in his family, he'd decided to sign up for Divination. Because well, it might be useful to predict what Topaz was up to and find a way to thwart her.

Of course, when it came to the seventh year, it wasn't usually that hard to figure out what was going to happen. Such as that Topaz was probably going to make Evelyn Stones suffer this year, but that was more because the Teppenpaw knew his sister who made people suffer simply because they happened to be convenient, so surely someone who'd gotten what she wanted and that she didn't seem to particularly like anyway was not going to be in for a good year.

And thwarting Topaz didn't seem to be a thing that happened either. If you did such a thing, and weren't the original intended target,her attention would be turned to you . And if whatever dastardly deed she'd originally planned had been meant for you already,she'd just do something even worse to you. Maybe that was why Allegra seemed so hopelessly resigned to her fate.

Still, Divination might be fun. Jasper's second cousin Alessa enjoyed playing with tarot cards even though her predictions had a so-so succcess rate or were things she already knew or were some sort of educated guess similar to the third year's own about Topaz. Still, it gave her a fun party trick now that she was way past the age where reciting people's genealogy to them was no longer remotely cute. Even though Jasper himself still thought that was pretty impressive given it was hard enough to keep track of just the Brockert family.

Professor Duell started the lesson and he had to admit, she had the atmosphere of the class down. It all sounded very mystical and imprecise when compared to other subjects. Sense the magic around them? That sounded...well, they were in a class full of magical people, so they already knew magic was all around them. Was it really sensing something when you had a pre-existing idea that it was there? Like, wasn't that the power of suggestion?

Anyway, that was the assignment and Jasper usually did what professors told him to do to the best of his ability. He turned to Val, whom he was sitting with, and said. "So what do you think?"

She seemed like she was sort of out of it...or deeply into it. He'd understand either as on the one hand, it was a bit of a spiritual seeming thing which some people-like Grandfather-would denounce as mumbo jumbo-though technically, that was not Grandfather's exact wording on the subject of Divination which was unrepeatable-or would find confusing but on the other hand, the professor was Val's aunt which might make her try harder. Jasper himself treated his aunts and uncles with utmost respect. Except for Uncle Eustace, of course.

"What? Sorry.. I may have relaxed a bit to much."

"It's okay." He reassured the other Teppenpaw. "The only way you can relax too much is if you fall asleep." Jasper smiled. "So, I think you're all right. Anyway, I asked what you thought about the lesson."
11 Jasper Brockert The force of whoooo!!! ? 1496 0 5

Valentine Duell

April 30, 2021 7:17 PM
Valentine blushed just a bit at Jasper's reassurance. She hoped she hadn't actually fallen asleep in Aunt Giselle's class, that would be terrible. Not that she really needed to worry about that now anymore. Now she had Jasper to talk to, and that was what they were supposed to be doing. She liked it when the professors told them to talk to each other, it made talking so much easier.

As for what she thought of the lesson though… she cocked her head to the side and put on her best thinking face. What did she think of this lesson? "Well," she started thinking out loud, slowly, "I guess it makes sense. The symbols must come from somewhere." She eyed up the teapot in front of them, then decided the time had come to pour it.

As she filled both of their cups, she continued, "We know there are magical fields or auras around us, and we can manipulate them," though some better than others, "So, why wouldn't there be other ways of using those fields?" Val looked at the water in her teacup.

"For example, if we were both standing on the bank of a pond and you hit the water with a stick. I might guess what you had done without seeing it, just by watching the ripples in the water." She looked up from her cup at Jasper. "Do you think that makes any sense?"
2 Valentine Duell Yes. Absolutely 1490 0 5

Morgan Garrett

May 04, 2021 5:44 PM
Morgan had to sneeze almost as soon as she walked into the Divination classroom, but she had prepared for that eventuality beforehand, and had a couple of tissues pressed to her face even before the tiny-but-hurricane-force bit of air expelled itself loudly from her nose. She couldn’t do much about the fact she could feel her sinuses snapping shut behind her nose, but that was, she guessed, the price one paid for attempted clairvoyance. A certain tendency toward sneezing and getting headaches in the presence of candles ran, it seemed, in her family, and while she hadn’t had the trait when she was younger, it had caught up with her finally. Which sucked, because what kind of film star couldn’t wear Joy? It was practically required, but alas, even if Morgan could have afforded Jean Patou fragrances, she was pretty sure she couldn’t wear them without constantly sneezing and snotting and ruining her voice.

She went to a seat and was still, even after a while of this, surprised that it was in fact her paper in front of it. She started to grin in Professor Duell’s direction before remembering that Professor Duell couldn’t see her, and then had to bite her lip not to giggle at the odd attire. She didn’t know if Professor Duell even knew it, but the contrast between the professor herself – darkly gorgeous and mysterious in her big glasses – and, well, doing something like wearing purple with mustard yellow just looked like something that was done on purpose for comedic effect. It was brilliant if so, but it would be horrifying to acknowledge it and then find out later that it was not.

“That’s pretty, isn’t it?” she said to someone who joined her at the table, pointing to the teapot they were apparently going to share. “I don’t know about drinking tea hot still, it feels weird, but teapots usually are prettier than the pitchers we’ve got at home.” She had seen in magazines that some people had (rather boring-looking, she thought) wavy-glass carafes for their iced tea, but her family used a basic Rubbermaid or Tupperware-style rubbery-plastic pitcher someone had acquired in the seventies or eighties; even her, who seemed to want to forget everything about his childhood home and family more half the time, had somehow acquired one during the Years Where Nobody’d Known Where He Was. His was sort of teal-blue and medium-sized, whereas the one back home was huge and brown.

Morgan kind of preferred those tea pitchers to the fancier options, honestly – they were much harder to break, for one thing, and they were just…homey, too – but that didn’t stop her from appreciating the fancy-girly aspect of having a for real teapot on the table in front of her at all. It was one of those things that made being at Sonora seem more like what she’d thought school would be like when she was four and had gone to preschool with the Methodists – learning to do play-things, like tea parties, for real, and making things (even if she still didn’t know any spell to produce glass slippers, like she’d wanted to back then), and generally life having more color and life to it than school (or most anything else) back in Industry had.

Well, sometimes it did. Morgan had leaned forward, interested, when Professor Duell had started asking where the patterns in the leaves came from, because that was really kind of interesting, but she made a bit of a face when some of the more tedious work they did with Professor Wright and Professor Skies came up. This, Morgan thought, was the problem she’d had with science class back in regular school – the underlying structure of why and how things worked seemed so vast and complicated and full of math that she couldn’t get her brain around the tenth part of it, so it was far more practical to just be glad there were nerds who did understand that stuff while she operated on the principle that if she understood how something worked, that was great, it made her feel really smart and happy, but if she didn’t, she didn’t really care that much as long as it continued to work.

At the moment, she wasn’t sure if Professor Duell was making more or less sense than Professor Wright and Professor Skies usually did. It…sounded like she was saying they could affect whether or not the thing worked? If they disturbed the vibrations or whatnot, it would make the leaves not work right, even though they weren’t consciously doing that? Was that like accidental magic? Could someone who did know what was what here deliberately change them to make them look like they said one thing and not another? How did you know if you ‘felt’ magic…doing stuff? Sometimes Morgan felt emotions when she was using magic – happiness when it worked, frustration if it didn’t, that kind of thing – but that was kind of separate from magic once you got magic halfway under control, wasn’t it? At least that was what Professor Wright seemed to think….

Well, they were supposed to discuss it. She looked at her table buddy again. “Have you ever, like, felt magic?” she said. “I don’t know if I have, or if I didn’t notice, or what.”
16 Morgan Garrett This either totally makes sense or totally makes absolutely no sense. 1470 0 5

Mara Morales

May 04, 2021 6:52 PM
On the whole, seeing a classroom look like an attempt at a spread from one of the Victoria family of magazines was not the strangest thing Mara had seen at wizard school, but she still raised an eyebrow slightly anyway. She had just walked out of a class which was basically a live-studio-audience Steve Irwin: But With Magic!, and now she was going to sip tea in a period piece. Well, at least Sonora could fairly assert that it was rarely boring….

She picked a seat based on her opinion on the teacup pattern closest to it, a sturdy, sensible dark blue china with a wide mouth that allowed the drink to cool faster and a handle that it looked reasonable to assume a human over age three could get at least one finger through instead of one of the fiddly little things so many teacups seemed to have. Then she looked appraisingly at the paper face-down in front of it before flipping it over and, despite the mark being good, exhaling in something like frustration.

People very rarely seemed to ‘stick’ to seating arrangements here the way they did in digital school, but she was sure there were patterns in generally where students sat. Humans found patterns where no patterns existed; it was nearly impossible for them to act purely randomly, it was all too sub rosa for that. This meant that it was…within the realm of possibility that Professor Duell could predict where each of them would sit without any spooky psychic stuff going on whatsoever. Mathematically, she was pretty sure, at least (she’d never really had a chance to study probability beyond the bare basics, so there was a certain, by which she meant ‘massive’ amount of guesswork and assumption going into her thought) it…was not out of the question. In practice, though, it was really, really unlikely, which implied that if it happened more than once, Professor Duell really did have access to…something, some source of information, beyond the plane that people perceived things on. It seemed a strangely small thing for prophetic ability to touch on – weren’t prophecies supposed to be about, like, demigods and stuff? – but in a way, that almost added to its credibility. The future was the future, after all, in matters both great and small.

This hypothesis, that it had some credibility, was what kept Mara coming back to this class, even though she had yet to figure out how to steal other companies’ secrets or to ensure Arvale never had a product flop again. If the information came from Somewhere, then Somewhere was…a place, or at least a resource. That which existed could be exploited, it was just a matter of learning where its weak points were in order to gain access. Stuff like Professor Duell predicting the seating arrangements made it seem to Mara like the future might be kind of like a database, and though the implication was that one had to have a special – sci-fi-y neural interface or something to access all the information contained therein, it wouldn’t be a class if they couldn’t all become authorized to view at least some of the content there. And if there was one thing that anyone even remotely near a corporation knew, it was that limited access was still access, and a path straight through to illicit degrees of further access. Though admittedly, Dad did say that social engineering, wheedling credentials out of people, and stuff like scattering flash drives infected with malware for cheapskates to pick up were actually far more common, and far more of a danger to the company, than people directly hacking through security, and she wasn’t sure how she could exactly steal a password to a Seer’s brain, much less infect one with malware that let her know what was going on up there, if that really was how it worked….

Perhaps today, she’d get a little more information. Mara leaned forward in her seat, her eyes fixed on Professor Duell, as the professor began to speak to them about how tea leaves came to, allegedly, form patterns that could semi-accurately predict the future. If anything, after all, should have approached randomness, Mara was guessing that it would be the patterns little bits of tea leaf formed when poured into a cup…unless some force around them was giving them a little…push, one way or the other, something not unlike gravity or magnetism, but the way it was being presented, at least, made it seem a bit more…sentient? Was that the word, or had she just heard Wright and Xavier refer to bits of wood as somewhat sentient one too many times and had her brain break? The latter was a definite possibility, though she thought that it was more likely that she’d picked the right word. Unless – did they, perhaps, somehow draw information from the Future Database toward themselves? Was there some neutral force that compelled certain bits of information to be discovered to guide human behavior, rather like how gravity unerringly dragged Newton’s fictional apple and George Washington’s equally fictional cherry tree to the ground?

She tapped her pen against her lips, her eyes unfocused with thought, now, as Professor Duell talked about being sensitive to feeling things. She was pretty sure there were people with extra-acute senses of hearing or touch and taste – she’d actually met people with super-noses before, such an appendage was a prerequisite for working in perfumery, and Arvale had a couple of chemists who did that stuff. So, this sensitivity – it was possibly a physical trait. She knew almost anyone could improve their nose, but that not everyone could train themselves to be a Nose, as the perfume people called those with a particular talent for their art. So – were there total psychic-anosmics on one end, and Seers on the other, and most people somewhere in the middle? She scribbled this question down to ask Professor Duell later, then looked up in time to hear something else very interesting.

”It reverberates through time, just as actions of the past affect the present, and those of the present affect the future, so does the flow of magic.”

Time…reverberating through time…there was something about that…

- That TV show! She remembered that now. One night over the summer, she’d been unable to sleep and had gotten bored and had flipped on the television. Infomercials were infuriating, and not much else had been long, so she’d landed on some show apparently explaining basic math and science concepts to kids and had sort of stared at that until she’d finally fallen asleep. One of the tiny episodes of very simple stuff had been about dimensions.

Three dimensions, of course, were things she had learned about in school: things had length, width, and height (she remembered that because she had once missed a question on a test about it, because her brain had struggled with the whole concept of length, and how that related to people, since a person’s length could be the same standing up and laying down, but their height would totally change, at least as far as her eight-year-old brain had been able to make out at the time). In a Fun Fact, though, one of the thirty-year-old actresses dressed as a teenager from two decades ago had appeared alone on screen for a second to tell them that there were theories that involved as many as ten dimensions existing, and that some people said the fourth dimension was space-time – where in time their coordinates landed.

At the time, Mara had only had a vague thought about how weird physicists were, theorizing about something that wasn’t in any way fixed at all. Now, though, with this sounding kind of like Professor Duell saying they might access that fourth data point through…guided meditation or whatever, it occurred to her that nothing was really fixed. She was still growing taller. Old people got shorter. People got fatter or thinner now and again. Those changes could be related to time, but bones also had something to do with gravity, and time alone wouldn’t change someone’s waistline. So – was divination, then, just a part of physics? Thinking about probability and all again, it…actually sounded kind of reasonable.

Her mind felt quite calm as she began to scribble notes, working out the thought so she could work out exactly how to phrase a question to Professor Duell. She jumped, though, when she heard someone speak near her. “Huh?” she asked, looking up, startled. “Were you talking to me?”

OOC: If Mara makes any science errors when she's talking about probability and dimensions, it's absolutely because of her incomplete understanding, and not at all because the author started reading Flatland earlier this afternoon, was very very confused, did a Google, and was inspired by two internet articles to write this post. Just so we're clear on whose fault it is. Absolutely hers. I will, however, take a share of the blame if there was anything too inaccurate about cybersecurity there; those were the Correct answers to questions on my quarterly cybersecurity awareness test last week.
16 Mara Morales About that 'forces' bit in your remark.... 1472 0 5

Anya Delachene

May 05, 2021 7:29 PM
OOC: cw: I used a curse word, but it's in a rated G Disney movie, so I'm going with it (seriously, what is up with Frollo?). Holly is all shocked and horrified when Anya repeats it one day, and this obviously means it becomes Anya's first and favorite curse word. BIC:

Anya walked into the divination classroom, and seeing the turned over papers on the tables, she closed her eyes and spun around a few times like she was getting ready to play pin the tail on the donkey (which was precisely the inspiration for the action), picked a random direction, and started walking slowly until her hands bumped into a piece of furniture. They explored it a bit and identified it as an unoccupied chair. She opened her eyes and found she was correct. She put her bag down next to it, sat down in the chair, took a deep breath and peeked at the name of the paper sitting in front of her.

"Hellfire!" she exclaimed. With a bit more violence than was called for she flipped the assignment over and slapped it back down on the table next to her teacup, the name Anya Delachene written in large fuscia letters at the top of it, a grade of E also notable to anyone who chose to look, though that hadn't even pinged against Anya's awareness yet. "How does she do that?!"

She wasn't sure why this bothered her so much. In every other class she was as steady as the north star in which chair she sat in. Always the back row. Always the side farthest from the windows. The only time she varied was when that seat was already taken and she had to shift forward or sideways to accommodate her preferred spot being taken. Calling where she'd sit before she sat there was basically a given. But none of those professors called her on the predictability of it. They waited until people were already sitting before handing back the graded assignments. Herbology didn't have a back row, so she varied more there, but Professor Xavier gave them back their papers as they walked in, so he had no call to try to guess her seating.

Divinations didn't have a back row either, nor open windows (usually). The furniture tended to walk around a bit depending on the unit - pairs of chairs around small tables for tessomancy, just mats on the floor for astrology, various other configurations. Anya had never quite settled into an absolute pattern, but she normally picked a spot pretty far from the door. And then with this new professor, the papers started getting put out before she sat down. At first she hadn't thought much of it. She still had a habit, she still sat in this general corner of the room most of the time.

And then one day she thought she'd be funny and sit next to the door and make Professor Duell be wrong.

And her paper was still there, where she sat. Next to the door. Like she never did.

And that was when it became a challenge to sit somewhere that her graded paper wasn't. It had been one month at the end of last year, and all of this year so far, and not a single success yet. But she'd get it. She'd figure out how to do this before she took her CATS in the subject, because if she could figure this out, she was sure she'd get an O in the class.

After she calmed down a little bit, she put the paper away without looking at the grade or the comments, if there were any. Right now the paper represented only failure. She'd be in a better frame of mind to look at it later.

The good thing about Professor Duell was that her clashing cloths and large mirrored glasses were almost always the most eye catching thing in the room, which meant the Professor was what Anya's attention was naturally drawn to, which made paying attention in Divinations surprisingly easy. She allowed Mara to pour her tea first (Anya was a fifth year prefect, and could be patient and kind to younger students) then poured her own when they were instructed to do so, and she even remembered not to touch the teacup yet.

The professor then continued the lesson, and Anya wasn't entirely clear on what they were supposed to do even though she'd actually be listening. Swirl tea, she'd gotten that. Watch for patterns in the leaves. All good. Feel magical forces . . . yeah, what?

But okay. Close eyes. Swirl tea. Feel forces. Watch patterns. How do you watch patterns with your eyes closed? No matter. Close eyes. Swirl tea. Feel forces.

She closed her eyes, cupped her hands around her teacup - a hideous orange thing - and swirled her tea and tried to feel the magical forces of the room around them.

She felt the light air currents. People moved disturbing the air, the fire of the candles warmed up the air around them and the heat differential caused air currents; the air was not still in here, though it was obviously nowhere near as agitated as outside on a windy day. "I wonder if magic has currents like the air does," she wondered aloud, and opened her eyes to see what Mara thought about that. Mara was an Aladren which meant she was smart, if if she was a year younger than Anya was. She'd know if Anya was totally off base.

Except she hadn't heard. "I said I wonder if magic has currents like the air does," she repeated herself. "I was mostly just thinking out loud but if you want to discuss the hypothesis, I'm game."
1 Anya Delachene I feel air currents, is that the same thing? 1453 0 5

Mara Morales

May 06, 2021 4:53 PM
OOC: Ah, Frollo, you arguably-least-PG of all the PG villains. I'll never forget loving your movie as a child, but always being nervous that an adult would hear the bad word and take the tape away.

I also cannot take full credit for the Klondike bar pun, I was eating one last night and it had "making squares cool since 1922" on the packaging and thus I played off that in the other direction here.

Magical currents analogous to air currents. Interesting thought, and a much easier thought to try to…actually, not only to experiment with, but to get her head around at all. They had, after all, had a few weather units when she had been in elementary school science classes, but – in what seemed to her more like a reasonable decision than a lapse in the school’s quality – the curriculum had not included much about theoretical geometry.

“Sure,” she said, with a quick smile of thanks for the invitation to work with someone else’s hypothesis. “It makes a lot more sense than where my head was going,” she added, gesturing to her notes. “I’m not even sure that the math exists to get to where I was trying to go, and if it does, I’m pretty sure I’m not quite nerdy enough to ever learn it.”

That statement, she knew, probably still marked her out as squarer than a Klondike bar anyway, but it was true. When Mara thought of super-nerdery, it involved people who went out of their way to push their capacity for learning to the limits for the sheer joy of it. When Mara thought of herself, it involved looking for practical applications, preferably to make money sometime but also for other purposes, such as ‘impress teacher’ or ‘protect secrets’ or, back in elementary school, ‘take enemies down a peg.’ She wondered, sometimes, if she was missing out somehow by being that way, but as far as she could tell, it wasn’t really a conscious choice on her part. It was just how she was wired.

She tapped one finger against the tabletop, trying to remember all those long-ago lessons on weather from fourth and fifth grade. “If it literally works like air currents,” she said slowly, “then – sometimes magic would…move faster in some places than in others, yeah? And the currents would have patterns, but wouldn’t always absolutely go through the same place at the same time. It sounds like that would have to have an effect on how well the spells work at a given time, don’t you think? And it might explain why there’s certain potion things you can only collect at certain times of year if you want them to work properly,” she added as an afterthought as she glanced at the older girl to check her reasoning. “And you’d need something else, though, to take the place of temperature probably, something to get it moving in the first place, right?”
16 Mara Morales I don't know, want to try to concoct an experiment to find out? 1472 0 5