Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

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Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Avis » August 15th, 2013, 8:24 pm

Care of Magical Creatures / Ghoul Studies / Magical Theory

Students come to a cottage bordering on the Forbidden Forest. It looks surprisingly mundane, given its location, with a picket fence, a small garden containing flowers and herbs, blue shutters and a warm light coming from without. It's oddly peaceful here, despite the tell-tale rustling of trees as unseen creatures pass through the dark forest only a stone's throw away.

A tall woman walks out, her chocolate-brown curls tied back in a ponytail at the nape of her neck and carrying an exotic looking egg. She gently places the egg in a sling at her side and addresses the students. "Welcome. I am Professor Magnus and I will be teaching you about Magical Creatures. For this class, I'll take you outside, where we have space to handle some of the wondrous and beautiful creatures these grounds have to offer. If you are here for Ghoul Studies, or Magical Theory, we'll go inside. So, shall we?"


Professor: Helena Magnus (Whispers)
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Helena Magnus - Care of Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory - Ravenclaw, Head of House

Age: 37
Wand: English Oak, Phoenix Feather, 10 3/4", Unyielding
Patronus: Phoenix
Blood status: Halfblood

Appearance: Helena is an attractive woman, with luscious chocolate-brown hair cascading down her back in thick waves and curls. Her eyes are blue with an undertone of steely grey, like the sky before a storm and, indeed, she has a temper to match. She stands tall at 1.75 m and while years of exploring the world's most inaccessible regions have given her body an athletic tone, there is no denying the femininity of her curves.

Bio: Helena Magnus is the only child of Gregory, a famous Magizoologist, and Leda Magnus, a Muggle Nurse. Following in her father’s footsteps despite initially graduating as a Mediwitch, Helena had become quite a famous Magizoologist in her own right before being offered the position of Care of Magical Creatures Professor.

While she is a woman of reason and intellect, Helena is also unyielding in her pursuits and once she has made up her mind, there is no changing it. She is exceptionally brave and bold, with her work as a magizoologist often taking her into dangerous situations. Helena has no patience for nonsense, nor does she have any tolerance for excuses and, thus, she expects full-committal from her students; in fact, she is known for kicking 'slacker' students out of her Magical Theory and Ghoul Studies classes.

Helena loves tea and anyone seeking to mollify her would do well to start their conversation with her over a pot of Darjeeling First Flush.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » October 19th, 2013, 4:59 pm

Chocolate-brown curls pulled back in a practical and unassuming ponytail, Helena Magnus stood waiting in her classroom for the fourth year students to arrive. Well, maybe 'classroom' was a bit of a strong word. The air was still lovely and warm, especially considering that it was Autumn in Scotland, and her Earth Worm colony had not predicted any rain, so she had chosen to conduct today's class outside. Besides, Magizoology was, by its very nature, something that was usually practiced outdoors, so she considered it a good way to prepare her students for the road ahead. Several large boulders and fallen trees, their usually coarse surface worn smooth by years of use, would serve as makeshift tables and seats.

As the students started filing in, Magnus surreptitiously turned her attention to a large Magizoology book that she was holding. Watching the youngsters from behind her lashes, she quietly observed who sat where, who hesitated and who didn't, who was serious and who was joking. There was no judgement behind her observations; she merely wanted to 'get a feel' for her new students - as long as they were fully committed once her class started, she had no objections to anyone taking a moment to settle in.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Biologist » October 21st, 2013, 12:18 am

Angus had just spent his first lesson of the year learning about Counter Curses and even trying to cast a few himself. It had gone reasonably well.

Still shaking sand out of his hair from the curse he missed, he arrived at the 'classroom' of one of his favourite classes. He loved how Care of Magical Creatures was mostly taught outside in the open air, where the sounds and smells of the grounds gave the lessons an extra impact. As an added bonus, his nemeses weren't around to ruin class for him.

He gave the Professor a respectful nod and sat down somewhere on a fallen tree, close to the front. It had been worn down by countless of students and the ancient wood had taken on a smooth sheen: Angus preferred wood over stone. He could hardly wait for class to start and see what Magical Creature they would meet today. Being raised in the muggle world, he had never imagined all these creatures were real, but they were. He even had a Centaur Professor! His mood was definitively up, a grin of anticipation on his face.

He looked around at the other students filing into the clearing, mentally urging them to hurry up...
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » October 22nd, 2013, 9:59 am

Serena settled in at her 'usual' spot for Professor Magnus' outdoor classes. The stone table she chose, was just outside of most shadows cast by the trees and allowed her to soak up some warmth from the sun - while she was perfectly fine swimming at sub-zero temperatures, she wasn't as lenient towards temperatures on land. She spotted a small rectangular object, likely a container of sorts, covered by a thick cloth sitting on the professors desk and tried to think of what might be inside. She hoped they weren't baby Fire Newts again; Serena's achievements in Care of Magical Creatures tended to vary wildly based on the type of creature the class had to handle and Fire creatures were definitely not her strong suit.

As she sat there, craning her neck to see if perhaps there were any other indicators on the professor's desk to reveal which creatures they'd be handling today, when Professor Magnus caught her eye and winked at her. Feeling a flush rise at being 'caught,' Serena hurriedly diverted her gaze and started pulling her Care of Magical Creatures books from her bag. One of the books hissed at her as she pulled it out and she quickly placed it front-down on the table.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Wrackspurt » October 23rd, 2013, 1:45 pm

Levi and Iris made their way down the lawn to Care of Magical Creatures. Iris really enjoyed the subject, but Levi had taken to sitting in the back of the class, and being a good friend, Iris sat with him. The reason Levi sat in the back was because no matter what creature they were learning about, they always seemed to have a vendetta against him. Taking care of the family cat - which was now somewhere down in the Hufflepuff basement - was one thing. Magical creatures, however, were much different. He simply couldn't get any of the creatures to do anything he wanted them to, and while he'd never ended up in the hospital wing, he seemed to be the one coming out of class with injuries most often. He'd narrowly passed last year's exam by relying almost entirely on the written portion.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

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

Angus watched the other students file into the clearing.

Levi - the bane of all magical creatures, Angus mused - had taken his usual place in the back, as far away from any creature the Professor might reveal. Angus had wanted to speak to him about the detention, but it just never was the right time to bring it up, it seemed. Oh well, he'd get to it. Eventually.

Serena - the swim team captain - had found a seat almost next to him, near the front of class in a spot of sunlight. She was peering intently at the desk of Professor Magnus. Probably trying to figure out what kind of creature she was hiding. Angus knew Serena was good at this subject, even though she seemed to have mixed results with certain creatures. He hoped her skill with magical creatures extended to giant squids and merpeople.

No time to dwell on denizens of the Black Lake, as all students had arrived and class was about to start. He followed Serena's gaze and looked at the desk with a strange box covered with thick cloth. What on earth could be in it? A grin spread across his face. He could hardly wait.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » October 24th, 2013, 12:29 pm

When all the students had found their seat, Magnus took a step forward and, reaching slightly behind her, pulled the cover off with a flourish.

“Behold, Nubina Atelerix Minor,” she said, seemingly unaware that the cage behind her on the desk was, in fact, empty.

“Nubina Atelerix Minor, also known as the Eurasian Nubin and not to be confused with its Amazonian cousin Nubina Atelerix Major, is a species of magical rodents. They make their home in abandoned houses, creating nests out of dust balls, and indeed the best way to get rid of them is a thorough house-cleaning. They are a prey species and docile, even friendly, in small groups, but can be extremely aggressive and dangerous in large packs. Since they have a reproductive cycle of only one day, require a mere week to reach sexual maturity and have litter sizes of more than a dozen, even a single pair of escaped Nubbins can take over a house in a span of months.”

By now, one of the more daring students coughed softly to alert Professor Magnus that she had taken the wrong cage with her or that the Nubbins had already escaped, but she silenced him with a stern glance.

“In addition to their quick reproduction, Nubbins have two more advantages that allow them to thrive. The first is a hive mind, created by pheromones, which lets them act in complete synchronicity with each other. The second is their magical camouflage, effectively making them ‘invisible’. Nubbins use this camouflage both for defence when they feel threatened, and offence when a pack is about to attack.”

A quiet murmur of understanding rose through the students, though Magnus remained unaware that the Nubbins behind her were camouflaged.

“Please team up in pairs of two and come forward to select a Nubbin to handle. Whatever else you do, do not let them escape. But before we start: are there any questions now?”

The daring student from before raised his hand and Magnus nodded for him to speak. “Uhm,” he started somewhat hesitantly, “what do they look like, Professor?”

Frowning in surprise at his question, Magnus looked back at the cage and saw that it was empty. “Oh come on, that’s not funny,” she murmured as the tapped the glass softly. Slowly, as if feeling shy, about ten cone-shaped balls of fur with pointy ears and large round eyes appeared.

“There we are,” Magnus said with apparent satisfaction.

“Any other questions?”
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Biologist » October 24th, 2013, 5:15 pm

Angus looked amazed at the small creatures as they became visible in front of him, and he let the implications of what Professor Magnus had said sink in. He knew from his mother that dust always seemed to multiply of its own, no amount of cleaning would ever totally get rid of it and it would always return. To think there were invisible creatures that could be the cause of that was ludicrous. At least to a Muggle. He didn't think he could ever convince his mother of the existence of Nubins. He grinned as he pictured the look on his mother's face if he ever tried to explain it. If he hadn't been in Hogwarts, she would surely have questioned him about drug use.

Angus hadn't got anyone to partner up with, since none of his friends took this class. He looked around for a partner and the student sitting closest to him was Serena. He coughed and said to her: "Do you want to team up?" It wouldn't hurt to get to know the captain of the swim team that he might be a part of. And she seemed nice enough, for a Slytherin. He decided he would keep an open mind. Something that was required anyway in the class of Professor Magnus.
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Wrackspurt » October 24th, 2013, 6:42 pm

Levi sat with Iris in the back of the group speculating what could be under the cloth on the table.

"So Levi," Iris began, "what's the over-under on you being attacked by whatever's in the cage? Let's put it at twenty minutes today, shall we?"

"We'll know when Professor Magnus pulls the cover off." That of course, turned out to be false. As the Professor pulled the cloth off the cage, it appeared as if the cage was empty. "Oh, great. They've already escaped. Looks like it's gonna be 'under' today. Under twenty minutes." Levi looked around anxiously, as if waiting to be mauled by a ferocious beast.

Iris then quickly and quietly hit Levi square in the chest with the class textbook. "Quit freaking out and pay attention! Have you forgotten how awful you are in this class? You have to pay attention and take notes or there's no chance you'll pass again this year." She was right, of course. Levi had to trust that Professor Magnus knew what she was doing and start listening to her lecture.

As she spoke Levi jotted down the key points of information. "Nubina Atelerix Minor... Abandoned houses... Dustball nests... Friendly in groups; Aggressive in packs... Hive mind due to pheromones... Camouflage/Invisible"

“Please team up in pairs of two and come forward to select a Nubbin to handle. Whatever else you do, do not let them escape.


It went without saying that Iris and Levi were a pair. "I'll go get our Nubina," Iris offered. "I should make you get it, but if it escapes we both get zeros for the lesson." As she went up to the table to collect their Nubbin, Levi looked over his notes again. Aggressive in packs, hive mind, invisible. If he made their nubbin angry, every nubbin in the class would attack him. He didn't like the sound of that. Iris returned to their spot at the back of the class and held the furry little rodent right up to Levi's face. "What do you think of him?" she asked.

Levi met the little fluff-ball's giant eyes. "Yep. Definitely under."
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Re: Class: Magical Creatures, Ghoul Studies & Magical Theory

Postby Whispers » October 25th, 2013, 3:22 am

Serena kept squinting at the cage while professor Magnus talked. Were Nubinas some sort of see-through animal? Or perhaps microscopically small? Of course, everything was made clear when the professor continued to explain that they were effectively invisible.

"Do you want to team up?" Angus asked her and she nodded agreement. Angus was rather good at Care of Magical Creatures, so partnering up with his would be smart. Serena wasn't bad herself either, but her results tended to skydive whenever they handled a fire creature. Besides, she liked him and thought he was not at all deserving of his grumpy reputation.

She raised her hand when the professor asked if there were any questions. "Yes, Professor. Do they bite?"

Magnus looked thoughtful for a moment. "I you mean, 'can they bite', the answer is yes. They're herbivores, but their teeth are very sharp and packs of Nubbins have been known to take down predators. But if you mean, 'do they bite', then I guess the answer is: that depends on how you treat them."

Serena didn't think that answer was particularly comforting, but she wasn't about to let that deter her.

"I'll get our Nubbin," she said to Angus before getting up and walking to the desk. She looked down at the cage of Nubbins and studied them carefully, before finally selecting one that made a friendly crooning sound. At least, she hoped it was a friendly crooning sound and not the Nubbin version of a growl.

Returning to her desk, she showed the Nubbin to Angus. "Meet Furly," she said, while carefully keeping it in her hands - if the creature decided to turn invisible, she wanted to be able to feel it at least.
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