Grayson Wright

April 02, 2021 8:26 PM
Of necessity, Professor Wright had in his life owned enough kitchenware for, at least, his own use, but it had to be said: even when he had lived alone, he had owned far more books than he had bowls. Fortunately for the purposes of his beginner lesson, however, he currently lived in a school, which had kitchens organized and administered by other people, meaning he could just ask one of the prairie elves when he needed a decently large supply of cereal bowls. He was fairly sure his helper had looked at him a bit strangely after this request, but it had nevertheless been met, and so, as the first and second years came into the classroom, it involved the sight of stacks of bowls teetering precariously beside the professor.

“Hello, everyone,” he greeted them. “Hope you enjoyed your weekend without homework, but now it’s time to get back to work. As you can probably guess – “ he gestured to the stacks of bowls – “today will mostly be a practical lesson, one that I hope will help clear up any misconceptions about one of the basic principles of Charms – specifically, what we mean when we say we’re going to change what something does without changing what it is.”

The students, fortunate little humans that they were, probably for the most part were unaware of exactly how much ink had been spilled over the centuries on this topic. Indeed, arguments over it had allegedly resulted in at least one person being stabbed in the eye with a quill in an Irish monastery in the sixth century. It was also part of the running feud between certain specialists in Charms and Transfiguration – he’d been to a cross-disciplinary conference after his second year of teaching where any discussion of Golden Snitches was banned, on pain of being physically ejected from the premises for your own safety, before someone who had had that argument one too many times performed an entrail-expelling curse on you. However, even the students (after having multiple reading and a couple writing assignments about it in the first weeks of school) knew it was a statement that looked very simple but was actually sometimes quite the headache to work with practically at all. What, after all, was chairiness? Teapotitude? Were there degrees to which something was or wasn’t a table? And so on….

He flicked his wand, causing the bowls to distribute themselves, one in front of each student. The curious or highly observant might have noticed that they seemed to have been recently washed and not very well dried; the insides of them were noticeably damp.

“This is also the beginning of our study of charms of motion,” he informed them. “Eventually, you’ll learn how to make things fly, and how to stop them flying; for now, we’re going to work on a smaller problem – a much, much smaller problem. The ancient Greek philosopher Democritus was possibly the first to understand – more or less – that everything is made up of many smaller parts, which join together or separate apart to create different arrangements of matter, and the reason we constantly see change around us in the universe is because once you split things down until you reach the point where they cannot be split any further, those tiniest particles – he called them atomos - constantly move, every second of every day, bouncing off each other and having interactions with each other. Since then, we’ve discovered that there’s some truth to this idea, and also that things can change based on the speed of those tiny particles. Therefore – “

He muttered a refilling charm, and the bowls all went from damp to about half-full of water. “We talk about water, ice, and steam as though they were three separate things, but they’re made of the same particles,” he explained. “The particles just move very fast in steam, very slowly in ice, and somewhere in the middle in liquid water like that in front of you now. Today, your job is to use the charm glacius to make the particles slow down – in other words, you’re going to freeze the water. This spell has a wide variety of practical uses also, so even those of you who haven’t been paying much attention to me talking about ancient Greece should get something of value out of the lesson,” he added, with a smile and without changing his tone in the slightest, just to see who was awake if nothing else.

“Ideally, you want all the water frozen by the end of class, and I’ll especially look for that from you, second years.” The second years were often not much better than the first years in the very first fortnight or so of school, but picking something back up was quicker than learning it the first time. “If you think you’ve finished by the end of class, bring your bowl up and we’ll test it – otherwise, I’ll check them all after class and offer feedback from there. Freeze something, though, and you pass today. Clear enough? Very good. You may begin.”

OOC: Welcome to Charms! Remember all posting rules apply. If you, as an author, have a question, you can either find me in Chatzy or post the question on the OOC board. If your character has a question, please include “tag Professor Wright” in the title of your post and I will steer Gray your way. Happy posting everyone!

Additional notes: Gray's summary of Democritus is accurate as far as I know, though it stops short of modern understandings of atoms and elements. His description of particles moving fast or slow is based on my recollections of how the idea was explained in my middle school science class. The rest of the theory stuff, I made up.
16 Grayson Wright Freeze! (Beginners) 113 1 5

Iris Cobb

April 03, 2021 11:31 AM
Iris was staring to get things at this school figured out, and they weren't nearly as bad as Billy had led her to believe. Sure, when it was nice outside that was much preferable to sitting around in stuffy classrooms, but there were learning such interesting things. Not that the excessive reading and writing assignments had been entirely enjoyable, but some of them had definitely given her some new ways to look at things.

She arrived to the classroom well within the expected arrival time for students, neither aiming to be the first or last to arrive. Granted being last would be tricky as Billy always did his best to sneak in at the very last possible moment. Finding a seat, she sat and pulled out her class supplies and placed them in a nice organized fashion on her desk and doodled in her notebook until class began.

Professor Wright was a nice man, but she thought he did tend to talk a bit more than was strictly necessary. His introduction about learning how to make things fly caught Iris' attention. That would be a very neat thing to learn. But then he went to drone on about Greek something? She tried to make a few notes, but wasn't even quite sure what he was talking about or why. He filled up their bowls with a very neat trick that she very much wanted to learn.

Iris did note down the charm word 'glacius' and that it was supposed to freeze the water into ice. That'd be a neat trick to know as well. If that worked all year round, she could make ice in the summer like the townsfolk had. They must be good at this glacius charm because it seemed like there had always been lots of ice on the rare occasions she went down to town in the summer.

Once they had been released to begin working, Iris picked up her wand waved it about over her bowl of water and repeated the magic word, "Glacius". Unsurprisingly, nothing happened. She repeated the action, and again got nothing. Experimentally she dipped her finger into the water. It seemed a bit cooler than the room was, and she took that for a good sign. Smiling she looked down at her notes to make sure she had her thinking straight, then over at the student next to her. "I don't have any ice yet, but I think I have started to slow down my atomos. How are you doing?"

OOC: Billy is also my character so mentions of his action and such aren't godmodding.
2 Iris Cobb Cold! 1526 0 5

Billy Cobb

April 03, 2021 12:25 PM
As usual, Billy cut it as close as possible to get into class. He found his way to an empty seat while the professor was beginning his talk. Thankfully it wasn't next to Iris. It wasn't as though he had anything specific against his sister, it's just that he'd seen plenty of her growin' up already and his friends here were a lot more fun. Luckily they either saved a seat for him, or one happened to be conveniently open next to them.

The professor talked a lot again, as usual, using some really odd words that he was pretty sure weren't the magical ones they were learnin' about today. As a bowl flew his direction, he brightened thinking that maybe they were going to have snacks this class. Sure they'd just had breakfast, but still he wouldn't complain about havin' more food. Sadly, for the moment, they remained empty while the professor rambled on. Then the bowl filled with water. That was pretty cool, were they gunna learn how to do that? He began to pay a bit more attention to the professor.

Nope. They were doing that freezing thing again. He had mostly figured it out last year, how'd that go again? He sighed and waved his wand over the bowl of water and muttered "Glacius". A thin layer of frost covered the water, but it wasn't quite ice. Right, that whole pronunciation thing. As he began to prepare for another attempt, a thought struck him. He grinned. Waving his wand about, he repeated the spell word as the tip of his wand plunged into the water. A chunk of ice formed around it and Billy let go. The wand toppled over and he caught it again. Shucks. Could he get his wand to stand upright in the ice on it's own? Sure, couldn't be that hard.

Billy pulled the chunk of ice from the end of his wand, and another great idea struck him. He glanced over at where his sister was sitting, then at his roomate. He grinned showing the ice chunk, "Think I can get this down the back of my sister's robe from here?"

OOC: Iris is also my character, so mentions of her actions and such aren't godmodding. Plus some of that was established in her post.
2 Billy Cobb I didn't do it! Oh, I mean.. umm... [Gus and/or Oz] 1519 0 5

Rosalynn Tellerman

April 03, 2021 8:06 PM
As much as it might hurt her cred as an Aladren to admit it, Rosalynn had enjoyed her weekend without homework (or at least Charms homework). She'd gotten outside (where she had sat next to the big fountain in the Gardens where they'd had Orientation and done her other homework, but it was still outside, so it counted, right?), spent some time with Tommy and her roommates, curled up with a biography of Elizabeth McGilliguddy, the MACUSA president during the American Revolution for most of Sunday afternoon, and got to start the week feeling relaxed and refreshed and empowered as a witch. Magical society had so many stereotypes as being conservative and backwards, but they'd had witches leading the government here in America centuries before muggle women could even vote. It was kind of awesome and something they really should advertise more.

She arrived in Charms with a positive outlook and will to learn and an ambition to someday be president herself. Maybe she'd have better luck than her grandfather. But probably only if she didn't run on the ticket for the Integration with Muggles political party, which was approximately as popular in magical MACUSA elections as the communist party (which Grandpa was also a member of) was in muggle American ones. Which was fine, because Rosalynn was only technically a California Pierce and she wasn't raised with quite so much . . . she was gonna be polite and call it 'idealism' instead of 'delusions about how the world works'.

Anyway, Charms. She took a seat near one of the first years with a half formed idea that she needed to start networking now. "Hi, I'm Rosalynn," she introduced herself with a smile to the younger girl, during the minutes before class began. "Rosalynn Tellerman."

When Professor Wright did begin the lesson, she listened attentively. After one year of charms, and some extra reading, she felt she had a pretty good grasp on 'changing what something does without changing what it is' as long as she didn't start chasing some edge cases down the road that led to insanity. Changing the state of matter was one of the simplest examples of that, and she was pleased a few minutes later when she learned they would indeed be turning water into ice, though she'd thought for a minute, when he mentioned motion charms, that they'd maybe start with something like making pears dance. Well, bowls more likely, given the teetering stack on the professor's desk. But the book had specifically mentioned pears in the chapter she'd read ahead in.

That idea had fizzled out as a prediction when the professor started talking about Greek philosophers and atoms (or rather, atomos, in the Greek pre-understanding of modern science) because there was no way any of that had anything to do with dancing bowls, and Professor Wright could be long winded sometimes, but he generally stayed on topic, or at least within a few iterations of research delving. The history of particle physics was kind of amazing and did segue nicely into the difference between hot things and cold things or, rather more specifically, between liquid molecules and solid molecules. Which meant her original call of states of matter had been totally right and nobody should mention she'd changed her guess after that.

She chuckled quietly at his dry comment about anyone who'd zoned out with the references to the Greeks, and felt kind of pleased with herself that she'd followed through that background information with as much interest as anything else. She was totally acing this Being an Aladren thing. Badge dunking results confirmed. She was in the right House.

He finished explaining what was expected of them, and Rosalynn pulled her wand out of its arm holster. She hoped that never stopped feeling like she was the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella.

"Glacius," she cast once and got a very thin film on ice over the top of her bowl of water. Not even solid cover, just those fractal ice patterns one saw on puddles that were still mostly water but had streaks of ice just barely starting to coalesce together.

She poked at the ice shards with her finger, breaking them and submerging the bits left over, because that's what you did with ice fractals. It was a law or something, she was pretty sure. They had to be poked at or stepped on. They were too enticing not to.

Second try. "Glacius!" she cast again, because louder and more emphatic meant more power, and she would fight anyone who said otherwise because it worked. She got a solid sheet of ice on top of her bowl this time. A light jab with her finger didn't even break it, though it moved and sloshed enough that she knew there was still liquid water underneath.

The first year spoke to her then, and Rosalynn glanced over at her progress (or visible lack thereof). "Good start," she encouraged. "I got a top sheet, but I'm a second year, so he's going to want a solid block from me." She poked her ice again to show that the water was oozing up along the edges of the bowl and the ice was bobbing some under pressure. "You don't want to scream or anything, because then you loose control of your enunciation, but maybe try more volume and give the word a lot of oomph. I find that helps if you're getting some progress but not enough."
1 Rosalynn Tellerman Here's our chance to be Elsa! 1520 0 5

Oz Spellman

April 04, 2021 7:13 AM
Oz took a seat in Charms. He and Professor Wright had not gotten off to a good start last year, after Professor Wright (to Oz's interpretation) had been baffled by lighters and then called Oz's family background 'weird.' However, since that initial incident, Professor Wright had been pretty much neutral, to the point of being downright boring much of the time. Oz wasn't entirely sure what to think of him. He couldn't swear the professor hadn't ever said anything else controversial because honestly he wasn't actually listening 100% of the time. It mostly seemed like Professor Wright rambled on about science, which was kind of confusing from a guy who was baffled by how lighters might work.

A lot of the spells, he had to grudgingly admit, were pretty cool. So, he generally liked studying charms but didn't like studying with Professor Wright, which was sort of inconvenient. He took his seat, trying hard not to zone out. His school report from first year had been okay because there was enough practical work to keep his grades up, but there had been a couple of comments about homework which mom had been less than thrilled by. He was supposed to try, to work himself out of the less-than-ideal place they lived in. That had always been the tune, but Sonora was such a golden opportunity... He had promised to try harder, even though he still wasn't sure how to tackle his real issue with homework - especially not now that all the teachers had had a chance to form opinions, and to decide that Henry was the smart one and he was the slacker. He also wasn't sure whether trying harder with homework meant it was necessary to listen to Professor Wright now. He could get the main points from skimming the textbook, and it would be faster. You couldn't skim Professor Wright. You just had to keep waiting for him to get to the point...

"Did he just get into Ancient Greece in order to tell us that this is a charm because ice is frozen water?" Oz muttered disbelievingly as the lecture ended. Though as Billy was next to him, he was probably more talking to himself than his neighbour with that remark. His roommate had slid into the seat just as class began, as usual. Oz had not specifically been saving it for him, but apparently it turned out there weren't that many people keen to fill the space next to him. Billy began the spell, so Oz did likewise, trying not to notice Billy sticking his wand right in there. He didn't think they were supposed to do that... He focussed on his own bowl, managing to get several good chunks of ice floating about. This was the kind of thing it would be useful to be able to do at home, for when they (he) forgot to fill up the ice cube tray. And who would it hurt? Their neighbours weren't exactly peering into their freezer. Stupid unfair magic rules.

He only stopped making mini icebergs when Billy got his attention.

“Probably,” he grinned, as Billy suggested pranking his sister. “Especially with that,” he nodded to the wand in his roommate’s hand. He wouldn’t have done it to Henry in class, because he didn’t like to give people the idea that Henry was someone it would be fun to pick on. But it was different when it was a girl. People didn’t tend to think that, at least not other guys. It was just siblings messing with each other. He totally would have done it to Henry at home.

OOC: Oz would have got homework comments from Prof Skies (my character) at the very least, so I am allowed to claim that.
13 Oz Spellman Me neither 1514 0 5

Iris Cobb

April 05, 2021 5:17 PM
Iris returned the smile to Rosalynn Tellerman as well as the introduction. "I'm Iris Cobb of the Kentucky Cobbs." It was a bit strange, but she had begun to notice that not everyone followed that standardized introduction. She wondered if there was more to it than Billy had picked up upon. That wouldn't surprise her in the least. "Just Iris is fine though," she quickly added before the Professor began to talk.

Ms. Tellerman had just introduced herself as Rosalynn first and then added her last name. That seemed to her to indicated that Rosalynn was the name she preferred to be called by? She could test it, and apologize if Ms. Tellerman didn't mean it that way. She had so much to learn about these folk and their ways.

"Thank-you Rosalynn," Iris responded to the encouragement. She did her best to say the name smoothly without hesitation or awkwardness. She thought if she sounded unsure, it wouldn't make the apology sound as sincere as an honest mistake. She hoped she was right, she really didn't want to offend the older, and friendly girl. Her eyes opened a bit wider at Rosalynn's progress. The older girl had actually frozen the water with her magic. She knew that was the entire point of this, but it still amazed her a bit every time.

"It certainly looks like you've almost got it." Iris returned the encouragement. She looked back at her own bowl while nodding at the older girl's advise. "I can certainly try it." Iris waved her wand once more while trying to put a little more strength and authority in her voice, "Glacius!" A wave of excitement ran through her as a faint pattern of frost crystals spread across the top of her water. They quickly melted away again, but she had made progress! Visible progress! "I did it!" she exclaimed excitedly.
2 Iris Cobb Who is Elsa? 1526 0 5

Billy Cobb

April 12, 2021 6:24 PM
Billy liked the way Oz grinned back. Oz also had an excellent point about the wand. Iris' hair ordinarily would have made it difficult to get something like, for example, a small chunk of ice down the back of her neck. It was all puffy and frizzy and curly and made a decent natural defense against such things. However, with the help of his wand, and that floaty charm they had learned last year... he really couldn't miss.

Something was telling him that he really shouldn't to it. It wasn't the right thing to do, it might get him into trouble. Fortunately, Billy had long ago learned how to ignore that something when he wanted to. Life was just to dull to live by the rules all the time. What was the worst that could happen? Iris writes home to Ma? Gee.. he'd never been in trouble with Ma before. These thoughts and feelings flitted through Billy at a subconscious level as he figured out the distance the ice would need to travel along with the floaty charm.

Billy grinned again and gave Oz a wink. "Here we go," he said in a low whisper. "Wingardium Leviosa" he was careful, 'cause this one had some odd pronunciation bits. The ice floated up off the desk a moment and held steady while he focused upon it. Odd, he thought, he hadn't done nearly so well with the charm last year. Maybe he was getting better... or maybe he just had a proper motivation this time. With his wand and thoughts directing the slow projectile's path, he sent it sailing towards his sister.
2 Billy Cobb Good, then we're agreed. Nothing happened, right? 1519 0 5

Grayson Wright

April 17, 2021 6:04 PM
As a bit of a solitary person by nature, Gray had often wondered what would be more stressful: classes being arranged as they were, so he saw more people at a time for fewer hours per day, or under some system where he taught each year alone, putting in more hours but with fewer people at a time in each. He had never conclusively settled the matter with himself – not least because it didn’t matter, as he didn’t organize the schedule, probably for the exact reason that he was too indecisive to ever settle on a plan – but there were days, of course, when he had stronger feelings one way or the other than he usually did.

Today, it seemed, was going to be a day of wishing for the ‘fewer people per hour’ option. It had serious drawbacks, but it would at least make it easier to keep an eye on all of them at once.

The first years always took the most watching anyway, but Mr. Hexenmeister and Mr. Vorontsov – though they were admittedly, as he had suspected after Orientation, both more fluent than their sisters had been at their ages, Hansel Hexenmeister to the point that his accent seemed almost incongruous – made it especially important to pay attention to that group this year, lest they have undue trouble with incantations. He had just concluded that Alexei’s pronunciation was adequate enough for now when Billy, behind his back, took the notion to send a piece of ice flying through the air, and by the time he turned to look over that side of the room again, it was too late to do anything much about this.

“Watch out!” he called to the direction he saw a small, unidentified Something flying toward, though he knew it was probably pointless, quite as pointless as reaching for his wand was. He had never had the quickest draw in the West, and the item was approaching its destination by the time he was in any position to do anything about it.
16 Grayson Wright Best just to let that question go. 113 0 5

Henry Spellman

April 18, 2021 1:49 PM
Henry wanted to like the strange Charms professor but was still a bit weary of him just because he still seemed the most likely to turn Oz into a match. Even so, the lessons that took place here were definitely some of Henry's favorites and most interesting, and he appreciated learning the theory behind magic so much. If nothing else, it had helped him start figuring out how to best put it to use after he graduated. It seemed that food couldn't be summoned out of thin air, something he'd gone off to study just as soon as he'd thought of the possibility, but he wasn't entirely clear on other limitations. In any case, it wasn't like he was capable of such things anyway yet. Providing someone a bowl of ice from their water wasn't super helpful but it could have practical applications. There were certainly enough hot summers - and springs and falls and winters - in Phoenix to make him appreciate ice. Plus, if this didn't melt the same way, maybe it would be easier to transport than water in order to bring it to communities who didn't have enough? Although it wasn't as space saving . . .

He put those thoughts aside when it was time to actually begin working on a task. His notes, nearly a full page, were pushed to the side for easy reference when he needed them and the half-empty bowl was pulled to the center of his working area. Where he stared at it. Blankly. It was just a bowl of water, but it was a bowl of water that the professor had summoned out of thin air, filling a bowl as if it were the easiest thing in the world. Perhaps it was for him. The people of Flint would probably have liked to know about this. Why hadn't anyone done anything already? Did they just not know? They couldn't just not know, could they? Henry berated himself for being stupid, not having thought of that instead of trying to think of the best way to transport truckloads of non-melting ice. He was still thinking like a 'muggle' and if he was ever going to get anywhere in this world, it was clear he needed to stop doing that.

Focusing his attention on what he was supposed to be focusing it on, Henry considered what he knew of ice and freezing mechanisms. He wasn't entirely sure whether things froze best from any specific point, but the spell they were given didn't seem like it would maybe be useful for cooling the bowl to the point of freezing the water from the bottom, so he dismissed that thought first. Freezing from the top where the water was exposed seemed like the only real choice, but he wondered how hard it would be to freeze the bottom of the water if he had to get the magic through the top that he'd already frozen first. Maybe he could freeze it bottom to top just by pointing? Or freeze it from one side to the other? He wasn't sure. The task was to freeze it as much as possible so that's what he was going to do. Rule following, to Henry's mind, was the most effective way to stay under the radar and get done what he needed to get done. Which was freeze this bowl of water.

He glanced at the student next to him who had apparently had a different idea on how to approach this task. Surprised and intrigued, he turned toward them a little more fully. "What are you doing?" he asked.
22 Henry Spellman Red light? 1513 0 5

Tommy Jamison

April 18, 2021 2:43 PM
It felt good, having his wand in his hand again. Tommy didn’t know why they weren’t allowed to do spells outside of school, except maybe just so that Muggleborn kids weren’t at an educational disadvantage. That would make sense, he supposed, but like, it kinda seemed like that wouldn’t be the kind of thing the government would be as concerned about, since pureblood elitism was kind of still a big deal in some magical circles.Tommy’s family was pureblood but had never cared much for that kind of prejudice. His bloodline’s relative purity was more of a happy accident.

In any case, he was back at school and ready and able to cast again, so he was glad to have a practical lesson in Charms today. The task at hand was to freeze the water in their bowls, but Tommy’s bowl didn’t have a whole lot of water in it. In fact, it sort of just seemed like somebody had done a bad job drying it. The insides were dotted with droplets, and a tiny supply rested in the lowest point of the bottom. That didn’t seem especially useful, having it all spread out like that, so he tipped the bowl on its side to try to gather it all in one spot. But being that it was, you know, bowl shaped, the dish was not inclined to remain in that position, so he supported it with his textbook.

Beside him, a kid named Henry asked what he was doing, and it was only then that the silliness of it really struck him. “I thought maybe if I got all the water in one spot, I could freeze it all at once,” he stated. Tommy leaned a little to look at Henry’s bowl, wondering if he had any other ideas. “Oh, hey, yours is a lot more full than mine!” Tommy stated indignantly, like a child who had not received as much of anything as a peer. Then he paused. “I have no idea if that’s an advantage or a disadvantage, actually,” he confessed.

OOC: Discovered after posting that I misread the lesson and that all the bowls should have been refilled. Gray's author has given us permission to say Tommy's bowl got missed so that I don't have to rewrite.
12 Tommy Jamison Green light! 1518 0 5

Hansel Hexenmeister

April 19, 2021 7:33 PM
Hansel had indeed enjoyed his weekend without homework. He'd brought Cori out into the gardens, made sure nobody was nearby, and let him slither around a bit, free of his cage for a while. They'd also met a local snake out there, and that was the first time Hansel got to be the very first parselmouth a snake had ever met, so that was kind of cool. He'd been glad Cori had been there though, to vouch for him, because apparently most of the two legs the local snake had met previously had been prone to screaming, running away, or attacking, rather than hanging around to chat like Hansel wanted to do.

Now though, as Professor Wright had said, it was indeed time to get back to work. He was glad it was a practical lesson. He liked those. His accent gave him a little trouble, but if he thought of the spell words as a fourth language he was learning (which was basically true as they were generally a bastardized Latin), and he focused really hard on how the professor said it, and learned it that way before he tried to read it, that seemed to work okay.

Water particles moving around at varying speeds seemed kind of out there to him, but Professor Wright seemed like a smart guy (he was Head of Aladren after all) so Hans was willing to take his word for it, even though it didn't really make a whole lot of sense to him.

He took his wand out as the lecture wound up, and he regarded his bowl full of water. Unfortunately, Professor Wright had only said the word once, and hadn't demonstrated it at all. It was written in the book, probably, but he'd say it wrong if he read it, so instead he turned to his neighbor. "Did you catch the incantation? Can you say it for me a few times?" His English was perfectly fluent, just accented, because everyone he'd learned the language from also had a German accent. "I'm Hansel," he added by way of introduction. "My accent messes me up, so I like hearing it a few times before I try it."
1 Hansel Hexenmeister *holds very still* 1524 0 5

Ian Malone

April 20, 2021 4:14 PM
Even though Ian missed his mom and sister terribly, he was somewhat glad to be back in classes. After all, he had to learn things in order to be a Healer and maybe someday be able to cure immune deficiencies. Or at least help people who were sick or hurt.

Not that every lesson was particularly relevant to Healing. Like, for example, in DADA, if they had to duel. Which was Ian hated it not only because it was about harming rather than helping, but because he wasn't very good at it. Partially because he disliked and was reluctant to hurt others, but also because he just wasn't that athletic. However, Ian would need the class to recognize and treat injuries and illnesses caused by dark magic.

Or Flying, which was even worse, because there had been nothing useful about it whatsoever-and, again, Ian was not athletic. The good news was it didn't involve harming others but he was still glad to be done with it once and for all. The Teppenpaw wasn't all that fond of Quidditch either, based on the fact that it was, well, dangerous. A cause of many many injuries. Actually, flying could lead to injuries even without people hitting metal balls at you. Especially when one considered not all of Ian's classmates were the most cautious people.

And COMC would have been useful if Ian had been planning on Healing animals but he planned on Healing people. As it was, he was planning on dropping it after CATS, even though he wasn't bad at it and he liked it better than DADA. Still, the second year had to have RATS in all his other classes and five Advanced classes would probably be enough. Ian was slightly worried that taking that many would make him look like a show-off to people who didn't know the reason. And he wasn't a show-off at all. In fact, he generally liked to blend in and definitely didn't want his classmates to think badly of him.

Anyway, right now was Charms, and Ian had to admit that sometimes, Professor Wright talked about things that were...a little bit off topic from the main lessons, never mind irrelevant to Healing. Still, unlike flying, they were at least sometimes interesting, and didn't involve athletics, danger or hurting others. And relevant or not, Ian wrote them down, just in case they were on the test as he did want to get good grades.

He was just about to get started on his assignment when the first year boy from his house turned to him and asked him to pronounce the spell for him. "No problem." Ian replied. He demonstrated the word a few times for the younger boy. "I'm Ian." He introduced himself. "It's nice to meet you, Hansel."
11 Ian Malone I generally do just that. 1522 0 5

Xavier Lundstrom

April 21, 2021 5:07 AM
Xavier took a seat in charms. It was a new week, and a fresh start, and he'd had a fun and relaxing weekend. He had taken his rollerblades to MARS and found that it was totally capable of conjuring up an awesome skate park. Skating was something he'd done a lot of with his brother, so it had made putting pen to paper a little easier. He was still getting used to having to write letters to communicate, but he guessed all those imaginary letters to fictional characters or whatever that they'd done in school, or all those forced 'thank you' notes to relatives had paid off. It wasn't like he didn't know how to write a letter, it was just unfamiliar.

Just cos his first wandwork classes hadn't gone great didn't mean it would continue to be the case. Just because he'd gotten his migraine after charms and transfiguration didn't make them actually responsible. He knew he was hanging on to a bit of resentment over that, and that it was totally unreasonable. He had survived the rest of the lessons without ill-effects. Or any other effects. But it was a new week, and he couldn't just be unable to do all of this, or he wouldn't be here, and it would just click at some point.

He took a seat, paying careful attention. Listening respectfully to adults was a habit that had not so much been drilled into him as just absorbed via osmosis, as the standard and expected behaviour. Professor Wright's class presentation wasn't as long as some he'd heard, and was definitely shorter than a sermon. It wasn't even that complicated. Ice was water, steam was water. Even the parts about molecules weren't totally unfamiliar, as Joel often talked about what he was learning at school, meaning Xavier was frequently exposed to material above his own grade level. It wasn't hard, and he wasn't stupid. He could understand it all... Then they turned over to the practical part, and understanding stopped being the main measure of success.

He stared at the bowl of water in front of him. On the one hand, it didn't exactly seem like an insurmountable ostacle. Like, who got psyched out by a bowl of water? Maybe a goldish. Or would they be happy? Or could they not get psyched out cos they only had three second memories? Maybe an ant. Anyway, the point was, he shouldn't be. Except, he'd just been told to turn it into ice, which was something he was still having trouble wrapping his head around being real and possible. And which, after last week, seemed much less personally possible for him than other people.

He swished his wand through the movement, still feeling clunky and awkward. He knew from skating that that was just how things felt at first. It seemed like something you'd never be able to do, until suddenly you did it. And after a while, you forgot how you'd ever felt shaky doing it because it just felt natural, and the unsteady feeling had moved onto something else. Much like skating, fear was also the mind-killer.

He tried to believe in his own ability to do this.

"Glacius," he said it calmly, confidently, moving his wand through the motion. He could feel it. It was like something deep inside his chest was uncoiling itself, trying to wake up and rise. But it couldn't get there. The water in his bowl remained exactly the same, and the energy was released only as a frustrated sigh.
13 Xavier Lundstrom I'm going nowhere fast 1529 0 5

Winston Randall

April 21, 2021 3:55 PM
So basically, Winston was a failure. Playing by the rules? Check. Getting his homework in on time? Check. Memorizing the facts he was meant to memorize and reading up on everything he was supposed to read up on? Check check. But making friends? Succeeding at what was apparently supposed to be basic magic? No checks anywhere to be found. He'd even tried doodling small images of wand movements and stuff, both to keep himself occupied and to remind himself how to do some of this stuff. And it wasn't like he was doodling so much that he couldn't make friends, it was just like no one wanted to be friends with him. He'd been trying to keep his head down to avoid 'big brother' but that wasn't exactly hard since they weren't in the same classes anyway.

Whatever. The point was that Winston was doing terrible and he was going to fail out and no one wanted to be his friend and everything was awful. And now he had a bowl of water that would only ever be a bowl of water and would never be anything more and he was pretty sure he'd never related to a bowl of water so much in his entire life.

His own frustrated sigh came nearly at the same time as his classmate's and he glanced up in time to find that the other boy's sigh was due to a failed attempt at the spell too. Which was just great because it meant that not only did Winston basically suck but also he was slow and behind. Great. He did sort of wonder if they could bond over this at least though . . . he pushed his notes towards the other boy, pointing at the drawing he'd made of the professor's wand movements.

"Is that right?" he asked, pretty sure it was but now he was doubting everything. "I haven't tried it yet . . ." he added, which was stupid because obviously he hadn't tried it yet because he'd been sitting right stinking here the whole time and obviously hadn't tried it yet.
22 Winston Randall Are we the same person? 1527 0 5

Xavier Lundstrom

April 21, 2021 7:55 PM
Is that right?

Xavier's neck prickled at the comment, but then he glanced up and saw that the boy was pushing a paper towards him. He was asking about his own notes, not critiquing Xavier's performance. He looked over the paper, appraising the strange squiggle. At first, he mistook it for a bored doodle, but then he realised it was an attempt to get the wand movement down in visual form. He had seen those on the board or in textbooks, but he rarely tried drawing them out himself, figuring the ones he found in the books would be way more accurate than anything he could produce.

"I think so?" He underlined his doubt with a shrug. It was more at his own ability to be any kind of authority on the subject than at the quality of the boy's work. He almost added that - something along the lines of 'But what would I know?' - but he didn't exactly want to draw attention to his own failure, although he was pretty sure his eyes had gone to his own bowl and made that point for him.

"I'm kinda new to all this," he admitted instead. He wasn't really sure if that was a good excuse. He was pretty sure he wasn't the only Muggleborn in their year, but whenever he looked around the room, it felt like he was the only one having this much difficulty. It wasn't his background - it was him.
13 Xavier Lundstrom I don't think so 1529 0 5

Winston Randall

April 24, 2021 10:27 PM
The boy shrugged and Winston immediately regretted showing him his drawing. It wasn't half bad as a drawing, it was just the accuracy that he was worried about, and the boy didn't seem to care either way. Which was fine. Winston didn't really care either way either. It just . . . sort of sucked. That no one cared. He couldn't blame people for not caring about him when he didn't really care that much about himself, but he had hoped that someone who didn't even know him yet might care a little. Or at least try.

"Oh," was all he said, his voice quiet as he withdrew the drawing, keeping his eyes focused downward as if appraising his own work instead of just desperately wishing he hadn't started this interaction at all. Apparently he couldn't quite get out of it though now because the boy continued to speak. Winston wasn't sure if he was trying to make him feel better or what but he thought it was a weird thing to say since they were both first years; of course he was new to this. "Yeah, same," he replied, mimicking the boy's original shrug, although he did look up at him then. That's when it crossed his mind that maybe the boy meant all of this was new to him. Oops. "I mean I'm not like a Muggle-born or anything like that, but I've never done my own magic," he said quickly, trying to clarify. "Not that I'm racist. I'm not racist. Muggle-borns are great. I don't know any, but they're probably great . . . I just mean that I'm not one. Which would be fine if I was. Or if you are. That's fine if you are. You're probably great too. Or not. I don't know. It's fine."
22 Winston Randall Oh. Right. Of course not. 1527 0 5

Xavier Lundstrom

April 25, 2021 5:45 PM

The word was small and sad, and the boy immediately curled in on himself. Xavier could recognise that his confidence had been knocked, even if he wasn't totally sure what he'd said or done to knock it.

The guy then replied to his other statement with a whole slew of babbling - one which quickly destroyed the idea that Xavier had found someone just like him, but definitely confirmed that this guy was wound up. He couldn't help a slight smile that appeared at just how over the top this boy was in trying to just say... he wasn't even sure what.

"Chill," Xavier advised. He wasn't sure whether it was helpful advice, but he didn't feel like this guy needed to be so jittery about talking to him. He was definitely not scary. It felt sort of weird being called something unusual, someone who was strange to meet. As a white, suburban boy, he'd never been the outsider, and his shoulders had hunched and his skin prickled just a little bit at the unfamiliar feeling. But he'd also been taught to take a deep breath and count to ten when he felt mad, and to have grace and patience with other people. It was kinder to give the benefit of the doubt than to start a fight.

"I feel definitely less than great," he admitted, poking his bowl so the water sloshed. "I am Muggleborn," he confirmed. "But I guess it's true then, what they said about that not making a difference? It's not that, it's..." he trailed off, the words 'just me' hanging in the silence even though he couldn't bring himself to say it out loud right now.
13 Xavier Lundstrom I mean, that's just not how people work 1529 0 5

Iris Cobb

April 28, 2021 5:45 PM
Iris was just trying to repeat her success when...

"Watch out!"

She began to turn to see what the Professor was shouting about when something cold and hard struck an her neck just below her ear. It was cold! "Gah!" She reflexively jerked away from the sensation, but it followed her and began to slide down her neck. She shivered and tried to grab at the quickly melting fragment of ice, to no avail. Her efforts only hastened it on it's way down her shoulder blade as she squirmed under it's influence.

Iris did not need anything more to know what had happened. She knew she wasn't a super-genius, but one plus one equaled two. "DANGNABIT BILLY!" She shouted across the room at her brother as the ice met its fate and just became a cold damp spot on her robes. She stalled out on her usual next threat after he'd done something like that. Telling Ma wasn't going to do anything 'round here. She was a witch now, and if the story-books taught you anything, it was you don't mess around with witches. If he wanted to play that game, fine. She could play that game as well.

She waved her wand over her bowl and said in a loud, clear voice that would not accept failure. "Glacius!" The surface of her water obligingly froze a quarter of an inch thick. With a motion, she shattered it into a few chunks, grabbed a sizeable one and moved to hurl it back at her brother.
2 Iris Cobb If you insist 1526 0 5

Rosalynn Tellerman

April 29, 2021 3:39 PM
Rosalynn was quietly contemplating whether she ought to just keep repeatedly casting the spell until the bottom of her bowl of water was frozen too, or if she needed the up the gravitas of her casting somehow and give it more power that way. She was additionally wondering if putting incantations to music had any effect on their efficiency, and thought she'd maybe make an experiment about that sometime for self-inflicted homework when chaos exploded all around her.

First there was the warning. It wasn't much of a warning, telling her neither what to expect nor how to avoid it, or even who it was intended for, but when a teacher calls out 'watch out' you watch out. Rosalynn spun around, pointing her wand in front of her and casting, "Protego!" like she maybe even had useful magical instincts somehow already, because a shield charm was obviously the most versatile defense when you didn't know what you were defending against even if, at her level, hers was not particularly strong.

And if the ice had been aimed at her, it might have even done some good.

But it wasn't, and it might have been a little too slow anyway even if she had gotten it positioned right, and the chunk of frozen water hit Iris in the back of the neck instead of her shield.

And then Iris was spinning around too, and hollering at Billy - her brother, he had to be - and then she cast a perfect glacius charm, which was pretty darn impressive given her previous attempts, and Ros was already saying an impressed, "You go, girl!" when she realized Iris wasn't just showing off that she had intimidating magical prowess, but was creating ammunition, and she really hoped Professor Wright was interpreting her words as congratulations for the spell and not as encouragement for the chunk hurled right back at Billy.

Ros snapped her head toward the Professor, eyes wide in the universal expression of I didn't do it! I was just standing here! Don't blame me!
1 Rosalynn Tellerman Don't hold it back any more! Let it Go! Let it Go! 1520 0 5

Grayson Wright

April 30, 2021 8:53 PM
Oh, dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…

If there had been any realistic chance of keeping the class in relative order, it had just flown swiftly out the window. For a moment, Gray just looked at Iris Cobb in something like surprise, wondering in the back of his mind: so, is this what I was supposed to feel deprived of because I was an only child? If it was, his confidence in the moral acceptability of his parents’ choices, far from being damaged, had possibly just been reinforced.

Then, of course, other considerations came into play. For one thing…surely they were far enough away from wherever Selina happened to be that she’d not heard that outburst from his classroom. Surely. For a second thing…ah, rage. The fuel behind so many acts of magic – accidental, uncontrolled, childhood magic, that was. Well, at least he knew to keep an eye on this one, could notice if there was a problem in the works sooner than he had with Evelyn. And for a third thing –

Immobulus,” he snapped, preventing the return missile from reaching its target. He followed this with a somewhat less pointed “evanesco,” vanishing it, something he was not sure he was capable of becoming panicked enough to try on a moving object in a room full of kids. He might not get fired for partially Vanishing a student by accident, at least not as long as it was ultimately possible to restore the student entirely to this dimension, but he was not at all inclined to put this theory to the test even in a situation where it wouldn’t create further chaos.

“Settle down, everyone,” he added, attempting to project his voice over any babble beginning from the incident. “Settle down! All of you get back to work! Except you two. Cobbs, both of you, go up front please….”

He glanced at Rosalynn Tellerman. He’d not entirely missed the comment which could have been interpreted as egging Iris on, but decided to pretend that he had for the sake of simplicity. He disliked confronting students and doling out punishments even when they were for actual offenses, and a stray interjection in the heat of the moment was not something that quite met that standard for him.

“Very good response with that shield charm,” he told her instead. “I’ll be sure to tell your Defense teacher.” He had never figured out an efficient way to discuss either the Brooding-Hawthornes or the Carter-Xaviers with students, and devoutly hoped that no more of his colleagues took it into their heads to marry each other. “Back to work now,” he added, and went to deal with…whatever the situation with the Cobbs was.

Luckily, he was genuinely annoyed by this point, which made him think he had a good chance of looking more severe than usual as he looked between the miscreants in front of his desk. “Now,” he said, as sternly as he knew how. “You first, Billy. Did you, in fact, throw ice at your sister?” The missile had seemed to come from that general direction, but he had not seen it happen, which meant Billy was at least entitled to offer a defense, if he had one, or to come clean, if he did not.
16 Grayson Wright Time to slam the door on this one (Billy, Iris) 113 0 5

Billy Cobb

May 01, 2021 7:31 AM
Billy grinned as his sister shrieked and danced about. Direct hit! Although it may not have been if the professor hadn't gotten her to turn. His grin widened as she made her own ice the throw back at him. Finally, they were going to have a fun class again! He thought this was a much better way if teachin', the better you got at doin' the spell, the better you did at the classroom snowball fight! That was incentive!

Then all the fun stopped. Literally, Iris' return had stopped mid flight at the professor's command, and then it just vanished. Well, apart from not being any fun at all, it had still been pretty neat. It'd be a good thing to learn, the next time Iris threw something back at him.

Billy gave Oz a carefree smile and wave as he headed up to Professor Wright. The man didn't look particularly happy, maybe he realized what an exciting learnin' opportunity he'd lost out on by stopping the snowball fight. He was a little surprised by the professor's opening question. He shook his head, "No sir," he answered honestly. Hadn't he seen what had just happened? He had stopped it after all. "Iris threw the ice. I levitated mine at her with the 'wingardium thing'." This was charms class, they were supposed to be practicing magic.
2 Billy Cobb Into the unknown.... 1519 0 5

Iris Cobb

May 01, 2021 8:34 AM
Iris watched her projectile stop midair and vanish. The professor did not seem happy and she instantly became aware that perhaps that had not been the best course of action. Apparently the proper response had been to do the thing that Rosalyn had done, not that she knew how to do that.

So, when Professor Wright summoned them both to the front of the room, she knew she had messed up, and by the look on his face, she had messed up pretty bad. She thought Professor Wright was a nice enough man, calm and patient. He did not look like that at the moment. Perhaps shouting and throwing things across the room wasn't the proper way to respond to an annoying and immature brother around here?

Regardless, she approached the Professor full of repentance. A sideways look at her brother unsurprisingly revealed an unphased countenance. She sighed quietly as the Professor asked Billy if he'd started it, and was again unsurprised when he denied it. She turned to issue a scathing rebuttal when he tried to blame her, but did her best to hold her tongue. She needed to follow these school rules now, and one mistake already had brought her to this point. Then Billy stuck his foot in his mouth and she smiled triumphantly. He had done it! She was in the right!
2 Iris Cobb Are you hearing a siren's call? 1526 0 5

Grayson Wright

May 01, 2021 11:43 AM
He’d levitated the ice with the ‘wingardium thing’. That…was not either of the answers Gray had regarded as possibilities, and he was fairly sure that this was readily apparent from the combination of a blink, eyebrow lift, and head tilt with which he responded. Honest, at least….

He made a mental note to talk to his colleagues about the second years informally more often, see what their overall impressions of the group were now that said second years had had a chance to settle back into the routine of school. If Billy and Rosalynn just now were anything to go by, it seemed the group might have really settled into magical thinking already, which was excellent, especially for Billy. The Tellermans fell into the ‘other’ category when it came to wizard versus Muggle ancestry, but if he wasn’t mistaken, the Cobbs were Muggleborn.

“Well,” he said. “I’m very glad to see you remember your lessons from last year so well, and that you’re still in good form with them.” It felt vaguely unprofessional somehow to admit that, but it was a good thing. Sometimes teaching second years with first years could feel like teaching two classes of first years at once, as it wasn’t entirely uncommon for it to seem like the second years had somehow forgotten an entire year’s study in less than nine weeks at home. “On the other hand, though, it wasn’t very kind of you to use it to drop ice on your sister, especially since as far as you knew, until she succeeded just then, she hadn’t learned either of those spells yet and couldn’t retaliate. You also caused a ruckus that distracted everyone who was still working on making ice, and alarmed me when I saw an unidentified object moving and didn’t know what it was or why it was there.”

Those observations made, he looked at Iris. “I understand that it would not be very nice to have ice fall out of the air and down the back of your robes,” he acknowledged. “So while I wish you hadn’t done it, I do understand why you shouted at him. However, throwing things – “ he shook his head. “There could very well be a time when that could be…somewhat appropriate in this class – Charms can get fairly active at times – but this wasn’t one of those times. I’m also concerned about how you cast the charm you used, honestly. From the looks of it, your work wasn’t going nearly as well when you were calm, was it?” he asked, figuring he knew the answer. “I know it’s easier to cast spells when you’re angry, or excited, or afraid, but it would be bad to develop a habit of doing that, Iris,” he explained. “One of the most important things for you to learn in Beginners is how to separate your emotions from your magical expression when you want or need to, because if you don’t, you’re sure to run into more problems in intermediates and Advanced classes. When you cast spells, you need to be firm, confident, focused – but, if at all possible, calm.”

He sighed then and looked between the two. He probably ought to punish Billy for picking on his sister, at least, or Iris for losing her temper, but it hardly felt like the most productive solution. Flicking a bit of ice at someone was not something Billy would lose enough House points over to much deter anyone from any behavior, and copying lines on the subject of I will not use magic to be unkind to my sister would only do so much. Iris presented much the same problem – all well and good for her to write I will learn to keep control of my temper, but that didn’t really offer any practical assistance to her in doing so, did it, unless he was prepared to wage a war of attrition until the child learned to suppress all emotional expression, which would be just as bad for her as learning to rely on strong emotion to fuel her wandwork?

“I’m not going to punish either of you, as such,” he concluded. “This time,” he added, lest that give them the wrong idea. “I think it would be better to use this as a learning experience. You both clearly have abilities that can make you very successful in this class – you for having the creativity to apply old spells in new lessons, Billy, and you producing a fairly thick piece of ice, Iris. But you both need to learn to think more about how you use them. So. Billy, if you would, write me a paragraph about both why you thought dropping ice on Iris was a good idea, and what other things you should have thought about before you did that. Iris, as for you, please reread pages 10-12 of the textbook about how to prepare your mind for charmswork. You can both go back to your seats now.”
16 Grayson Wright Some look for trouble while others don't. 113 0 5

Winston Randall

May 06, 2021 9:19 AM
Winston clamped his mouth shut hard when the other boy told him to chill. It was the sort of thing Tissena would say to him because he never did it and it was the sort of thing that didn't really make him want to do it, it just made him want to curl up in a ball and hide until everything else went away.

It did help some that the other boy didn't exactly seem like he was exuding confidence either. Winston was pretty sure that even below-average people were more confident than he was, but maybe it depended on the setting. Some people were generally confident people but then not so sure about themselves once you got them on a broom or something. He and this guy both seemed a little less than sure about themselves when they had a wand in their hand. Or maybe Winston was just projecting? Winston was probably projecting. He did that a lot because it was easier to think that other people felt the same way he did about things even if he could only make himself believe it for a minute and then they went on and were actually confident people and Winston was all alone, sitting on the floor of his room with some toys that Tissena had left when she'd gotten sick of him like everyone always did.

He took a big deep breath as subtly as he could because his train of thought was quickly getting off track and he didn't want to be aboard anymore. He looked at his classmate a little sideways, pretty sure this was the first Muggle-born he'd met that he knew was a Muggle-born. It was kind of weird to think about because Winston was completely unremarkable but a lot of people thought he was better than this guy just because of who his parents were. He'd be the first one to acknowledge that who your parents were didn't necessarily make a difference, because he was pretty sure his 'big brother' was unremarkable too. Or at least, he hoped that was the case. Maybe he was amazing. That would be depressing.

"I don't know if it makes a difference," Winston admitted quietly. "But it doesn't seem to so far," he added, poking at his own sloshy bowl. Which was when he realized he hadn't tried the spell yet. He'd gone off trying to comfort someone with words that might not even be true. Ugh! Coughing and spluttering as he tried to sit up straight and find his words, his eyes rounding with the social horror of being an idiot so blatantly in front of someone, Winston waved his wand in the best approximation of the doodle he'd drawn (and of what the professor had shown them) and muttered the incantation. The end of his wand seemed to maybe release a little poof, like the cloud that comes out when you breathe softly on a winter day, but it was hard to tell for sure and certainly nothing happened to the water. Winston grimaced. "No, I don't think it makes a difference."
22 Winston Randall Yeah, I don't know how much about that. 1527 0 5

Henry Spellman

May 06, 2021 9:29 AM
"Probably a disadvantage for me," Henry muttered, confident that that would be his luck, as he raised his hand to get the professor's attention. He only had to really point at Tommy's bowl but he did more than that because it seemed rude. "Professor, are all the bowls supposed to be full?" he asked hesitantly. Professor Wright, seeming as Professor Wright-ish as ever, filled the bowl with an apology and left after confirming there were no other questions or needs for help. Henry glanced at Tommy. "Sorry," he said with a ghost of a smile. "Guess he just missed yours."

He looked from his bowl to Tommy's and then back up at Tommy himself. "Now what?" he asked. "I was hoping you had a better idea than me," he suggested, although he was pretty confident in his own ideas most of the time; it was polite to at least acknowledge other people had good ideas, and he'd spent enough time with Oz to know that unorthodox ideas often had a lot of value, at least as fodder for a more cohesive plan. "Do you know if it's harder to cast a spell through ice? Like if we freeze the top part first, will it be harder to freeze the bottom after that?"

OOC: Permission to say that Professor Wright filled the bowl given by his author.
22 Henry Spellman Let's not get ahead of ourselves now. 1513 0 5