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Charming — Victorian Era Potterverse > Dead Threads > Fire in the Snow

Title: Fire in the Snow
Description: CoMC - 6th - 7th Years

Jack Collins - February 5, 2012 07:26 PM (GMT)
Classes seemed to be going well, Jack had been nervous; he wasn't used to having so many eyes on him, depending on him and his knowledge of creatures, so share that knowledge. It felt like a huge responsibility and he wasn't sure if was going to be able to handle it. OF course, he was use to lecturing, several wizarding schools and universities had him visit to do a lecture on this creature or that, but that was different. Those students were not all that much younger than himself, they were adults and therefore easier to talk to. Of course he wasn't also responsible for grading the information he gave out either. He'd been doing alright so far, he supposed. Nobody had gotten extremely hurt yet, which was a bonus. Of course they hadn't done any extremely dangerous creatures yet either.

Today though, there was a potential for a bit more damage, as he watched the raging bonfire flare in the middle of his outdoor classroom. If he could prevent any burns it would be a miracle. Today's creatures were a bit more interesting as well, he supposed. He had first studied them in school, as well, but had taken the it a bit further, traveling to the Aleutian Islands in the Volcanic Arc to learn more about them. It had been a very interesting trip indeed. The group he was with were studying the healing properties of the salamanders, and the differences between the magical and muggle versions of the creatures.

It had taken a little prodding of his ministry contacts and some extra permission to have the bonfire on the snow, but he'd gotten the eggs and started the fire. They hadn't hatched yet, but he was hoping that the students would be able to witness that after his short lecture. He had both the scarlet and blue varieties in there, hoping the fire was hot enough to sustain both species.

As the students began to file in, mesmerized by the giant flames licking at the cold air, Jack smiled. The fifth through seventh years were easier for him to handle. It was easier to treat them like the young adults that they were than the thirteen year old third years. He had a tougher time with them trying to figure out just exactly how to explain things to them without either making them feel stupid or having everything go straight over their heads.

When they were all assembled, Jack began, watching their faces light up with interest. That right there was what drew him in about teaching; watching them become fascinated by it all. "Does anybody have a guess as to what they think is in the fire?" He questioned, waiting for a few hands to shoot up in the air. He called on a one student, who go it right on the fist shot. "Correct, Salamanders. Today I have two varieties for you, both the Scarlet and Blue. They haven't hatched yet, but should do so in the next few minutes, notebooks open please." Jack moved closer to the fire. "Salamanders both live in and die in the flames that they are hatched in. They only last as long as the fire they are created in." He watched as the group frantically grabbed their parchment and writing implements.

"These lizards, unlike the muggle version, are not amphibians and can only survive outside of their fire for a short time, perhaps six hours or so, if fed the right amount of pepper." He motioned to a large number of canisters behind him, filled with various forms of the spice; black, white, red, etc. "I would like you to first sketch the eggs, then the hatchlings as they emerge, take notes as the process goes along. You may work in pairs or alone, however each student is responsible for their own sketches and notes. Once the salamanders have hatched you may extract them carefully, with your wands to the edge of the fire, but do not put them on the snow." He motioned to the large circling of rocks outside of the fire that were no doubt warm from its flames. "A simple summoning charm will do the trick, they will be warm but you can touch them, though they may bite, and feed them some pepper. This will be a three day study, so please do not keep the creatures out of the fire for too long." Jack paused, hoping he hadn't given them too many instructions at once. "Questions, comments or concerns? I will be walking around and available for questions should you have any. Please begin."

OOC: I used the HP wiki article on salamanders for info, if you want to check it out.

Malvina MacFusty - February 6, 2012 07:00 AM (GMT)
About the only upside to being kicked off the Quidditch team was that Malvina now had more time to focus on her Care of Magical Creatures studies. They’d recently acquired a new professor and Vina found that even though it was silly, she looked forward to the class now, not only because it was one of her favorites, but because of Professor Collins. The fact that he knew what he was talking about was a delightful bonus. She was beginning to feel like one of those silly girls that made eyes at their Professors…minus the making eyes bit of course, but she did feel almost giddy when she realized that her next class was Care of Magical Creatures.

She picked up the pace, her class journal and textbooks in a satchel that she wore across her chest from right to left. She was one of several older students in the class and by no means was she the most eager, but she was the first there and eyed the bonfire curiously as the other students filled in around her. The Professor was standing by the fire and smiling at them as they arrived and she returned the smile with a broad grin of her own without realizing how over eager it made her look.

She was peering into the fire—it wasn’t normal to have a bonfire in the middle of winter, or really any time aside from Beltane and other such “pagan” holidays that the MacFustys were usually keen on celebrating from time to time when they could get away with it in a predominantly Christian society—when Professor Collins finally asked the question she was waiting for. Her hand shot up and she smiled once more and when she was called upon to answer the question she was fairly certain she knew the answer; she’d seen something in the fire that certainly wasn’t present during any Beltane celebration she’d been to. “Salamander eggs.”

While her specialty was dragons, she’d been fascinated by the stories her brothers and mother had told her about various other critters and Salamanders were one of those that drew her attention the most aside from dragons of course. She settled into a comfortable position as he began his lesson and quickly complied when she asked them to open their notebooks. While she already knew most of what he was teaching, she jotted down notes anyways, smiling when she realized that they would actually get to play with the little balls of fire.

She made a quick sketch of a particular egg she’d spied in the bonfire in detail, her face and front overly warm from the fire while her back was still cool from the winter air. She glanced around for a partner then wondered if it might not be better to just work alone. Not everyone was perfectly comfortable holding a little ball of fire in their hands. But she trusted the professor when he said they would not burn her and if they did bite her…well, she’d experienced far worse than a salamander bite so she wasn’t worried about that. Now all that was left was to wait for the eggs to hatch. Edging towards the pile of pepper bottles, Vina crouched down, unable to bend properly for reasons best left unmentioned and grabbed a red jar of red pepper then straightened and made her way back to her little section of the fire to wait for the egg to hatch.

Augusta Longbottom - February 22, 2012 09:31 AM (GMT)
While Augusta enjoyed just about every class that she attended at Hogwarts, Care of Magical Creatures was one of her least favorite ones in the winter time. Having to sit out in the cold, bundled up so thickly that she could barely move her arms- not exactly her idea of a good time. Yet, class was class, so when the hour approached, Augusta donned her cloak, headed out the front doors, and down the sloping lawns.

As she approached the paddock near the edge of the Forbidden Forest a blazing fire caught her eye. A small circle of benches formed a ring around the fire and most of the seats had already been filled by her fellow class-mates, but she managed to squeeze herself in-between a couple of seventh grade Gryffindors just as the professor began to speak.

"Does anybody have a guess as to what they think is in the fire?" When a few hands went into the air he picked one of the girls a few seats down from her. "Correct, Salamanders. Today I have two varieties for you, both the Scarlet and Blue. They haven't hatched yet, but should do so in the next few minutes, notebooks open please. Salamanders both live in and die in the flames that they are hatched in. They only last as long as the fire they are created in."

Augusta scrambled to pull out a parchment and quill to copy down the information on the Fire Salamanders awaiting to hatch in the flames. The professor continued to tell them about the specific properties of the lizards and then went on to explain the different aspects of today's lesson. They had to make several sketches of the eggs and once the lizards hatched they would actually be able to handle them.

This part was actually pretty exciting to her. While she wasn't the type to want to go and get her hands dirty, being a proper lady and all, magical creatures were something that Augusta definitely loved. She had actually started learning about them since before she began attending Hogwarts, secretly smuggling books from the family library when her governess was otherwise occupied. When she was eight she finally got the courage to ask the woman for her very own pygmy puff, but the young girl's dreams were quickly squashed by her governess' scolding.

Her picture was just about finished when she heard a loud cracking noise coming from the flames- several of the salamanders had hatched and were now roaming about the glowing logs. Placing her sketch on the bench beside her, she crossed the snow towards the crackling flames. The warmth was a welcome comfort in the frigid temperatures and Augusta was even tempted to make her own little fire back at her seat so that she wouldn't have to continue to sit there shivering. Using a simple summoning charm she floated one of the little blue critters towards her and cradled the little guy in her outstretched palm.

Augusta was petting the salamander and whispering to it as she slowly walked back to her place on the bench, unfortunately she wasn't paying attention to where she was going and collided with a very solid object on her way. "OH! Ow, wow, I'm so sorry, I wasn't paying attention to where I was going..." she began sheepishly.

Pandora Zane - March 13, 2012 02:47 AM (GMT)
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<p>Of the many classes Hogwarts had to offer, Pandora certainly ranked Care of Magical Creatures amongst her favorites. Of course, in the first place, Pan was never one to turn down an opportunity to ditch the stuffy, dusty classroom environment for fresh air. It wasn't as though she hated the castle's interior for, having lived there nearly seven years now, it had come to be much like a home to her-second only to Skopelos, and she knew it would be some time before she could return there.<p>
<p>Nevertheless, Pan lived for the outdoors and it was, perhaps, with her feet planted firm and barefooted in the earth that she felt most at home. Her fondest memories from childhood, after all, were of the sweet, tropical breeze, the late night street fairs, the perfection of eternal summer days...<p>
<p>Now, drawing her thin jacket more tightly about her frame, Pandora reflected wryly that she would give nearly anything for those days. Certainly, of the many things she had had to adjust to in transition from Greece to England, the weather was among the most striking of changes. Pan simply could not, no matter how hard she tried, become truly comfortable with the gray, rainy afternoons. Worse still were frigid winters such as this one, especially since the Zanes had little money to spare for the proper cold-weather wear. <p>
<p>Despite the weather, though, Pan was in good spirits, glad to be free of the castle and outside, even if she was practically frozen.<p>
<p>The prospect of caring for fire salamander hatchlings was definitely an appealing one as far as Pan was concerned. Eager as ever, she was among the first few to edge towards the merrily crackling bonfire, though she approached swiftly in a few enthusiastic bounds.<p>
<p>She rushed quickly through her drawing, sketching so clumsily that her hands were soon black with charcoal, but the results she reaped were accurate enough, if not admittedly rather rough.<p>
<p>As she'd spent the last few minutes sketching on a log, one of her few good dresses was soiled in several places. Clearly supremely indifferent to the fact, Pan wiped her dirtied hands at her sides, further ruining the gown, before hurrying over. Just in time, her ears perked at the sound of a cracking nose that split the night air. Slowly but surely, the tiny thing inside poked out its head, then one arm, then another and Pan watched, a smile tugging at her lips at the sight of it.<p>
<p>She had never been one to romanticize any situation but well-they were awfully pretty weren't they?<p>


Jack Collins - March 19, 2012 05:16 PM (GMT)
Relieved, as always, when the students seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the lesson, he watched them as they followed his directions and moved into their sketches, waiting for the salamanders to hatch. Jack remembered a lesson similar to this when he was in school, though his professor at the time had not always had the same hands-on approach he tried to maintain. Creatures were real, living things, and while some could be dangerous, students should have some kind of idea of how to actually, physically handle them. Salamanders were not as uncommon as people would think. Thanks to the Floo Network, salamanders had become a more prominent household creature as of late. They could easily move through the network as long as somebody had a fire going in their hearth. Fortunately, they were not pests, as they couldn't really leave the fireplace, but they were fun to watch on a cold winter evening when there was nothing else to do.

Jack walked around, meandered as he watched the students proceed, very independently, through the lesson. Keeping an eye on a pair of possibly trouble-makers across the fire from him, he paused his steps without noticing those around him, causing a student to bump into him.

Smiling down at her, he waved it off. "My fault, wasn't watching where I was going either." He watched her for a moment, handling the salamander, very clearly enjoying herself. He wasn't sure why he worried about the students enjoying the lessons, there were things that they absolutely had to cover and while he tried to make them as interesting as possible, there were some innocuous creatures that were just plain old boring. Fortunately, he'd managed to far to intersperse the boring lessons with the interesting ones.

"How's it going Miss Longbottom?" He questioned, praying he had her name right; he was still struggling to learn everybody's names. For some reason, he just could not tell them all apart. Of course it was always the trouble makers whose names you learned first. It was the good students he'd been fighting to learn. Of course the MacFusty children stood out from his previous connections with them and he looked at Miss MacFusty now, enthralled by her salamander, with a small smile on his face. At least they were enjoying themselves.

Augusta Longbottom - March 20, 2012 12:51 AM (GMT)
    A light shade of red colored Augusta's cheeks when she realized it had been the professor that she had walked into. Picking herself up, she was glad to see that he was smiling- Care of Magical Creatures was one of those classes where if you weren't watching what you were doing, one was likely to lose a lot more than their balance. This class, however, was one of the less dangerous ones, and she supposed that was one of the main reasons he had taken it so lightly.

    When he addressed her, Augusta pulled out the side of her robes in a small curtsy, "It's going quite well, thank you professor." Holding the blue salamander a bit higher, she smiled, "These little guys are very interesting- perfect for such a cold day."

    Augusta's eyes bulged slightly when she realized that she forgot to grab a bottle of pepper to feed the little salamander. Digging into her pocket, she pulled out her wand and pointed it at the box on the other side of the fire. "Accio," she said simply and one of the little bottles came whizzing across to where she was standing. Grabbing the container with her free hand, she pocketed it, hoping the professor didn't have a problem with her doing spells in the middle of class.

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