Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Biologist » October 26th, 2013, 3:48 pm

While Serena went to get a nubbin, Angus got his book out of his bag, placated it by gently stroking the spine and tried to find more information on the Nubina species. He found the entry in the chapter about common household pests, although he doubted Professor Magnus saw them as such. Skipping the parts on how to get rid of them, he noticed there was hardly any information about how to handle them properly if you didn't want to kill them. The only thing he noticed was that the best place to set traps was around the sugar jar. I guess they have a sweet tooth. he thought as he started feeling in his pockets to see if he had any left. He came up empty, though, thanks to his new 'no candy' regime. He hoped his lab partner was a sweet tooth as well. Otherwise he was completely in the dark about this creature. One would have to hit the library to find out more.

He looked up as Serena returned with a - thankfully still visible - nubbin in her hands. Furly? Really? he thought, but. tried to keep his face straight. He focused on what professor Magnus had told them the previous year: if you radiate that you are safe, the creature will feel more at easy. So he thought about taking good care of this little ball of fur, smiling without showing teeth and making sure his motions were slow and non threatening.

He looked up at Serena. "There's not much in the book. All I could find is that they have a sweet tooth. Do you happen to have something sweet on you? I'm all out of candy."
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » October 27th, 2013, 7:35 am

Serena looked at Angus somewhat incredulously. Of course she didn't 'happen' to have candy on her - who brought snacks to class? Besides, they didn't know about the Nubbins dietary requirements; maybe candy was bad for it.


As if picking up on Angus' question, professor Magnus continued:

"Unlike the larger Amazonian Nubbin, which is a carnivore and moves between being scavenger and predator, the Eurasion Nubbin is a herbivore. They can eat anything that humans do, with the exception of avocado as that is poisonous to them. They prefer fruit over vegetables and even like it so much that some Nubbins eat until they're sick, but vegetables are generally healthier for them. They also need tree-bark or other hard things to chew on and keep their teeth in shape. When pregnant, female Nubbins also eat beetles, crickets, worms and even small rodents, possibly as a evolutionary throw-back to earlier diets."

She picked up another small cage and retrieved one more Nubbin from it.

"And speaking of pregnant females, let's see if we can determine the sex of your Nubbin. The reproductive organs of the male Nubbin are very similar to that of other mammals, except for the ability to retract the testis in the abdomen. Because of this, there is no outward difference between males and females."

As she continued to speak, she carefully put the Nubbin on its back in the crook of her arm.

"Flip your Nubbin onto its back. To do this, place your index finger between the ears and grasp the base of the head with your thumb on one side and your other three fingers on the other. With your other hand, either cradle the rump or grab the spot between the hind legs and the belly. Scoop the Nubbin up and put it down - in your arms if you're comfortable, or on your desk otherwise. Now, place your thumb above the genitals and gently push towards the head. This push will reveal the Nubbin's genitals and you can easily see if it's a boy or a girl."

Demonstrating the technique on the Nubbin still in her arms, Magnus revealed hers to be a male.

"Go on, try it," she encouraged the students.



While Serena had watched in fascination as Magnus handled the little furry creature with complete ease, she wasn't quite ready to get up close and personal with the Nubbin's happy bits. Resolutely, she thrust 'Furly' at Angus.

"Here, you do it."



((Since Nubbins reproduce like, well, Nubbins, all creatures from the students' cage are female - Magnus is just not telling the students that ;).))
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Biologist » October 28th, 2013, 4:23 pm

Whispers wrote:Serena looked at Angus somewhat incredulously. Of course she didn't 'happen' to have candy on her - who brought snacks to class? Besides, they didn't know about the Nubbins dietary requirements; maybe candy was bad for it.


Angus felt Serena's stare and sensed disapprovement, imagined or not. Up until last year he had always carried something in his pockets to overcome the long wait between meals, be it chocolate frogs, all flavoured beans or other fantastic wizard candy. Apparently it wasn't a widespread custom amongst Hogwarts students. He felt his face redden to his ears and beyond, taking on a hue the colour of his hair. "Never mind." he said gruffly, looking away at the Professor as she continued her lecture about the little creatures.
-----------------
Whispers wrote:While Serena had watched in fascination as Magnus handled the little furry creature with complete ease, she wasn't quite ready to get up close and personal with the Nubbin's happy bits. Resolutely, she thrust 'Furly' at Angus.

"Here, you do it."


Angus looked somewhat surprised, but without much ado, he gently picked up the Nubbin - the way he had seen Professor Magnus do it: being careful not to be too rough yet firm enough not to let it escape - and placed it on his arm. As gently as he could, he pushed where he supposed the genitals would be and peered at the little ball of fur. "There isn't much to see," he said after he had made sure he was looking at the right spot. "I guess it is a female then? What do you think?" He was courteous enough to let Serena have a look with him still holding the nubbin, trying to placate it by rubbing behind its (her?) ears with the hand holding it.
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Larch with Pheonix Feather core, 13 3/4 inches, surprisingly swishy.

^_^

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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » October 29th, 2013, 2:02 pm

"I guess it is a female then? What do you think?" Angus asked while showing Serena the Nubbin.

Carefully, with her partner still holding the Nubbin on its back, Serena placed two fingers near the Nubbin's hind legs and [pushed gently forward. "A female," she agreed.


Meanwhile, Magnus continued her lecture.

"Nubbins are highly social creatures, living in groups with one alpha male, several subordinate males and several females. Unlike other animals whose group consists of an alpha male and females, it's the female who initiates mating and females have been known to strike out to form a new group with one of the subordinate males, rather than mate with the current alpha male. They are capable of experiencing loneliness and will go so far as to strike up a symbiotic relationship with other creatures if they become separated from their pack. They're also reasonably intelligent, comparable to rabbits, and can learn to perform very basic tricks."

To demonstrate the latter, she set her own Nubbin down on the desk. "Watch," she said to her students, while she took a treat out of a robe pocket and made a hand gesture at the Nubbin. On command, the small ball of fur laid down flat and rolled over once, before sitting up again and eagerly receiving the treat she gave him.

"Are there any questions about Nubbins at this time," she inquired.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Biologist » November 2nd, 2013, 5:17 pm

Angus didn't have any questions. He had his doubts, though. The little furball didn't *look* very intelligent and he wasn't sure there were any tricks worth teaching the little creature, except to not go invisible. He guessed teaching the trick, any trick, was its own reward in the first place.

Angus glanced sideways at his partner to see what she thought of the Nubbins, although judging by the name she had given the Nubbin, he could pretty much guess.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » November 3rd, 2013, 4:09 pm

Serena leaned forward as the professor's Nubbin rolled over. The smile on her face clearly showed that that was the best - or at least the cutest - thing she'd seen all day.

"Lie down, Furly," she turned her attention to their own Nubbin; trying to coax it down for the first part of the trick.



Magnus surveyed her class in satisfaction. Overall, the students had been great with the Nubbins. Even Levi had only suffered a minor bite on his index finger - he didn't even need to see the nurse about it.

"For your homework," she waved her wand and several cages floated up from behind the large stone that served as her desk, "you will all be taking your Nubbin 'home' for the week. Next week, I will grade you on the health and happiness of your Nubbin, as well as a written paper on Nubina Atelerix Minor - extra points for an analytical comparison with the Nubina Atelerix Major."

"Enjoy your Nubbins, everyone!" she called out happily while the students started packing their bags and placing their newly acquired 'pets' in their cages.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Biologist » November 7th, 2013, 9:56 am

Angus looked a bit surprised at first when professor Magnus announced their homework assignments. He hadn't thought they were actually getting to take magical creatures *with* them, but it made sense considering the subject of this class. He had never had an actual pet, so the practical part of taking care of creatures was a bit… undeveloped, let alone taking care of magical creatures. He avidly hoped Serena was better at it, or at least had some experience with 'pets'.

But after the initial apprehension, he looked forward to getting some practical experience. It usually helped him in the understanding of a subject, which was also one of the reasons why he was dismally bad at History of Magic.

He was glad he had partnered with Serena, as he guessed she was good at writing papers with analytical comparisons. At the very least he could profit from her library skills, helping him with getting the right information for his own paper. He hoped he had something to offer in return.

What remained was working out who was going to take care of the Nubbin, where and when, since he and Serena were of different houses, for starters. He looked at Serena questioningly. "Where are we going to keep the little lass?" he asked, as he gently put the furry creature in the cage and locked it tightly.
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Larch with Pheonix Feather core, 13 3/4 inches, surprisingly swishy.

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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » November 7th, 2013, 1:17 pm

Serena cooed at Furly and carefully tapped her fingers across the cage, eliciting a purring response as the critter pressed herself against the bars.

"Well," she said to Angus, "assuming Furly gets along with Trevor, I suppose we'll switch every day. That way we can both look after Furly. And we can sit together during breakfast, lunch and dinner."

After a few more moments of cooing at the Nubbin, she continued: "Considering how social they are, we should try to bring her to class with us rather than leave her behind in our room. Except in Professor Noguerra's class - he'd probably jinx her."

The Du Lac was obviously looking forward to 'pet sitting' for a week.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Biologist » November 11th, 2013, 3:05 pm

Angus was grinning as he heard Serena talk about the 'duty roster': she was just as eager to take care of this little creature as he was. He had his doubts about sitting together at meal times, though: he didn't really look forward to sitting at the Slytherin table for obvious reasons... and he couldn't ask that they solely sit at the Hufflepuff table. But he would cross that bridge when he'd get there.

"I hope professor Magnus has remembered to inform the other Professors that some of their students will be bringing creatures to their classrooms. Otherwise it will be a good test of our own defensive skills in Charms class." He said that last part with a fighting smile, though he knew that they'd stand no chance against Professor Noguerra's skills. "Maybe we can make the cage charm proof?" He said doubtfully.

He tried to make contact with the Nubbin as well by placing his fingers on the bars of the small cage and allow the Nubbin to get used to his scent. It worked with dogs... He looked up. "Anyway, I have a free hour after this class. I could take care of her if you want. I'll score some vegetables from the kitchen and an apple for special occasions." He laughed when he heard himself say that. He was obviously enjoying this subject.
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Larch with Pheonix Feather core, 13 3/4 inches, surprisingly swishy.

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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » November 16th, 2013, 2:21 pm

"All right then," Serena laughed in reply, "you take her for now. We'll switch after dinner."

She wrapped a long strip of leather around her hissing textbook and tied it shut, before plopping it into her bag. Waving to Furly and Angus, she was still laughing as she left the classroom.



Magnus watched in satisfaction as the students filed out. She was rather pleased with how the class had gone.

This was the second year of Care of Magical Creatures for these students and she felt it would be good for them to get some hands on experience - she had already informed the other professors that students might be bringing Nubbins to class and they had all agreed to it (albeit some of them very reluctantly, she though as she remembered her discussion with professor Noguerra).

((CLASS DISMISSED :)))
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~~ PFF Student ID: 24R046 ~~


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