SSRPG Yearbook Term 29

Ancient Runes

Each term Hogwarts students eagerly enter the familiar classroom on the fourth floor prepared to delve into the many mysterious and magical qualities that Ancient Runes possesses. However, this term Ancient Runes would take on a new light, the subject being taught by the colorful Professor Tristan Christiansen. A charming man with extensive knowledge on the subject, Professor Christiansen introduced the students to multiple protective runes that could be used and altered in order to provide the best protection, depending on what each student needed protection from. While Ancient Runes in known throughout Hogwarts as being a difficult subject to master, most students had a harder time deciphering what Professor Christiansen was saying. His thick Norwegian accent caused a mixture of amusement and confusion for the numerous students in his class throughout the term. Despite this minor setback, it did not stop Professor Christiansen from supporting a room full of eager and interested students at the beginning of each lesson.

To start off the term Professor Christiansen began by refreshing the students on some basic knowledge of Ancient Runes such as, "Vas iz ze runic alphabet ve use in Runes?" After a bit of staring and thinking for a moment some students were able to decipher that Professor Christiansen wished to know what alphabet is commonly used in Runes, while others chose to just wait and see what their classmates had to say. After successfully determining that the answer was Elder Futhark, and the students receiving a "Very goot!" from Professor Christiansen, the lesson continued, moving into the meaning of the Rune Isa and the incantation Gladr. Isa means ice, and when combined with the incantation Gladr, it can become much stronger than your average ice forming charm. Professor Christiansen would go on to explain to the students that Isa and Gladr were not the only combinations that could elicit more powerful magic. Using a small quill placed in front of them, the students were instructed to find different runes within their textbooks, and practice them on the quills while using the incantation that went along with their particular Rune. After a rather successful first lesson, the students left with instructions to continue practicing.

The second lesson of the term dealt with Protection Runes; however, upon entering the classroom most students were struck more by Professor Christiansen's unseasonably tan skin rather than the runes themselves. Appreciating the compliments but making sure that the students stayed focused on the task at hand and weren't crushing on him, Professor Christiansen delved into which runes could be considered protective runes based off of their meanings. While the students provided numerous runes such as Eihwaz, which provides protection from unexpected attacks, and Hagalaz, which banishes evil storms and spells, Professor Christiansen chose to stress the importance of Mr. Carter and Miss Greingoth's answers that all runes could be considered protective runes depending on what the person needed protecting from. In order to demonstrate this, each student was given a small block of wood that they were to carve a rune into using the spell Insculptum. As a part of their homework the students were to wear their carvings as a necklace, blessing the rune by kissing it in privacy, before seeing whether or not their rune was successful in protecting them. Now, not only did students know how to make their spells stronger, but they also had a means of protecting themselves without having to use a wand!

Perhaps Professor Christiansen could sense the stress amongst his upper class students on the final haul of studying for their OWLs and NEWTs, since the last lesson of the term was short and crisp. However, to say that the lesson lacked the useful information and punch of previous lessons this term would be a complete understatement. The students were taught bind runes, the process of binding two runes so that each rune will strengthen the others while at the same time drawing out the goodness in the soul of the person using said runes. Pretty neat huh? While Professor Christiansen used Algiz and Raidho to ensure protection and safety for his journeys, the students were encouraged to combine their own runes in order to benefit them the most. Suffice it to say the students of Ancient Runes exited their last lesson with a better understanding of not only Runes themselves, but how they could be used to benefit themselves both in order to strengthen their magic as well as to hinder unwanted presences. Some would even argue that by the end of the term students had just as much appreciation of Ancient Runes as they did for Professor Christiansen's Norwegian style English. 

Arithmancy

Professor Hadley started out her first lesson with the usual introduction to Arithmancy and the difference between that specific branch and other forms of Numerology. And because the professor, with such a heavy subject, wanted her students to be entertained while dealing with numbers, the class worked on creating their own mnemonic device for the order of operations knows as PEMDAS. "I don't know about you, but I don't have an Aunt Sally. So what I want you to do is create your own phrase. Wizardfy it. Make it personal to you. Something that you can remember when we get to calculating numbers," Professor Hadley had said to them.

There are characteristics to numbers just as it is with humans. Each number has a meaning that should be learned in order to decode a spell or a curse. Professor Hadley covered a very serious issue in the second segment of lesson one. This here," she pointed at the locked box. "Is an example of a cursed object. For anyone who has interest in becoming a curse breaker, this lesson here will introduce you to some of the more basics involved." And one of those things was the spell ‘Arithmos Revelio’ that they learned, when used, revealed everything we need to know about the curse and how it works, all contained in a series of numbers.

When asked about the necessity of teaching such a topic, Professor Hadley answered, "Numerology can involve much more than just 'calculating numbers' and I thought that teaching about curse breaking was a good way to give students a taste of what they might be in for, should they choose to follow that career path. Just a different branch of Arithmancy."

Whether it was the homework handed in to Hadley or the honest intention of giving her kids a rest, the second lesson of Arithmancy was way smoother and easier than the first one; The Pythagorean System. By doing a chart, the students went on a fun journey through the system that binds alphabet to numbers. It was a rather enlightening journey, too, considering the fact that their Professor's birthday dates were the material of that exercise. 

Astronomy

While Astronomy may be one of the oldest sciences, dating back thousands of years to the Babylonians, Greeks and Mayans, newcomer Professor Edvard Roslund sought to redefine the subject of Astronomy in the minds of Hogwarts' students as so much more than just a subject in need of some serious dusting.

Yawning their way up to the Astronomy tower at midnight, students found themselves in an unchanged classroom from the previous term. The lesson began with a general discussion about Astronomy - the study of the stars, planets, and everything else floating around in space - before moving on to talk about the planets in our solar system for a brief time before Professor Roslund instructed students to grab telescopes and search for Mercury in the night sky. Professor Rosuland, being completely over the moon for his subject, must have assumed that his students were as well as the lesson turned into the first ever unofficial Astronomy Slumber Study Party. Just as the sun began to peek over the horizon, Professor Rosuland taught his students Lens Focalis to help focus their telescopes. Soon, students were able to pick out the celestial body in the sky and whatever sleepiness had been in the students' eyes was gone. Class wrapped up with a more in depth discussion about the planet Mercury, it's terrain and mythology, before students were dismissed, homework was assigned, and then they were allowed to crawl back into bed.

Looking very dapper in his Astronomy symbol covered robe, students entered the Astronomy tower for their second lesson to see that Professor Rosuland had been joined by Herbology professor, Professor Seren Bentley. While Professor Bentley handed out sweets and hot chocolate, Professor Rosuland kicked off the lesson by asking students a more abstract question regarding the moon's loving nickname of Grandmother Moon. Once it had been established that without the moon life on Earth would be impossible, discussion moved on to the phases of the moon before transitioning into a brief discussion about how the moon can effect magic. The Astronomy portion of this joint-lesson ended with students thinking about how the full moon may effect living things. Was Professor Rosuland trying to give students a hint to be on the look out for werewolves? Nope, just setting things up for the journal assignment assigned at the end of the lesson.

With fifth years losing sleep over their OWLs, seventh years turning into cave trolls due to NEWTs, and the rest of the student body panicking with the term coming to an end, Professor Rosalund decided to keep his final lesson of the term discussion only. After defining a planet and somewhere between establishing the difference between a planet and a dwarf planet, something else dwarf in size made its appearance. Hogwarts house elf, Tinka, dove under desks as she searched the classroom for something. Refusing the aid of fourth year Kennedy Escalante, Tinka's next move was to dive towards the desk of third year Sierra Greingoth, knocking it over and causing the Slytherin to do much more than hiss in disgust. The Astronomy tower in slight shambles, Professor Rosuland eventually dismissed Tinka to the kitchens and continued with the lesson, wrapping up the discussion on dwarf planets and moving on to gas giants. Once terrestrial planets had been identified, class was dismissed and no homework assigned. Just as Professor Rosuland was about to close the door to the classroom for the year, he promised Gryffindor Prefect, Kurumi Hollingberry that he would take her to the kitchens to check up on Tinka. Despite a few set backs, Professor Rosalund succeeded in making Astronomy a subject that all students could enjoy and showed us all that space is indeed the final frontier. 

Care of Magical Creatures


 
The Care of Magical Creatures class for the term was taught by none other than the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures Department Head from the Ministry of Magic, Atticus Aldredge. He started the class by talking about Hippogriffs. Hippogriffs, as many of you may already know, are classified as creatures with the front legs, wings and head of a giant eagle and the body, hind legs, and tail of a horse. Their eyes are bright orange which stands out from their steel colored beaks. A hippogriff’s diet generally consists of things like birds, small animals such as ferrets and rats, and insects. The Ministry gives them a rating of XXX meaning competent wizards should be able to handle them. If you own a hippogriff you are required by the ministry to place a Disillusionment Charm on them daily, so Muggles do not see them.
 
Hippogriffs demand respect and are very proud creatures and if you must encounter or approach a Hippogriff, you need to follow the following directions. If you do not, the hippogriff might very well attack. You must first bow to them from several feet away and maintain eye contact with them, without a single blink. You must then wait until the Hippogriff decides you are harmless and allows you to approach by bowing in return. Even then, you should still wait for them to get close to ensure that they do not get offended.
 
When the herd of Hippogriffs were brought out for the students to see there were a range of reactions. Everything from pure excitement from Kurumi Hollingberry and Kennedy Escalante, to fear from Presley Black and even disgust from having to touch dead ferrets from Gideon Gert, were present. By the end of the lesson a few of the students were even able to fly on the Hippogriff, having earned its respect and enjoyed a nice ride on the friendly beasts. 

Charms

Althea Schirmer started off her teaching career at Hogwarts as a Charms Professor by introducing the students to this particular branch of magic rather smoothly. According to her references, Charms change properties of things and adjust behaviors. If one wants something to do something else, it can be managed with a charm. As for what are the components of a charm, Schirmer smiled at those who replied "An incantation, wand movement and intent." but frowned at those who had failed to participate in the debate. The Professor explained wand movements thoroughly and spoke of how spell families often share a similar wand movement. Incantations and their origin were covered next with a bit less detail. Since this was a double lesson, a totally new topic was due after the students finished with the wand movements assigned for this class. "When we talk about Charms, we are not just talking about the everyday spells we use as magical folk to make our lives easier, we also need to pause to include those things that we do not enchant ourselves, but already hold bewitchments when we acquire them." That made sense, but to clarify what those were, students with feedback from Schrimer, started listing bewitched objects that they knew existed in our world; Timeturners, revealers, re-visibility specs, model dragons, everlasting candles, luminous never-popping balloons, etc.

And yet to another interesting and relevant question, "Many of these items link to my next question; do any of you know what a metal-charmer does?" It won't be an overstatement to say that half the class met the teacher with blank eyes while the other half stumbled over their answers. Eventually Professor Schirmer agreed to the most accurate and simplest answer, "Someone who charmed metal objects, so that they could serve some purpose to wizards." The class soon reached the point where you would talk less and stare in wonder more. The Professor revealed a box full of metal shiny eggs for the students to collect. Later, they learned that those eggs were their term-long assignments and would cost them half their final grades. "The idea is for you to each take care of your egg for the duration of the term using a set of spells." Professor Althea smiled faintly at the awed students. The class continued with silver and alloy being on topic: what are they, what their properties offer, and what makes them special. Learning five spells in the end of the second portion of class was just the easy part of the assignment. Keeping a journal of your daily life taking care of a metal egg, now that was a challenge, especially if you've never taken care of anything before. What if your pet hated the new intruder, or if you started to feel it was a burden rather than a cute little egg. 

LuLu Kieren, second year Ravenclaw who got a silver turtle, answered our question about the egg assignment by saying, "Well at first I didn't think it was the best idea for a charms class to focus on eggs, but I did grow to like the egg. I couldn't wait until it hatched and when it did I was happy with it! When I say that, I'm glad it was a turtle and not something else like... a... Hippo or something." What Kieren didn't know at that point was that another student got weirder than a Hippo. Victoria Bunbury, a third year Slytherin, explained, "I kept hoping and dreaming and thinking that when he hatched, he would FOR SURE hatch into a pretty metal peacock or a swan..." "..BUT NO. What do I get? A DUNG BEETLE. Everbody else and their brother got a cool something...But what do I get? A SMELLY DUNG BEETLE." The girl elaborated excitedly, "I ended up keeping him after he proved himself worthy at the closing feast. He snuck into Sierra Greingoth's bag and stole out one of her valuable presents, so like, he was totally worth all the effort I had to put into taking care of him. But anyway, I was surprised to get a dung beetle and at first kind of disgusted by it, but in the end, I guess I still like Professor Schirmer after all."
 
Students struggled or enjoyed their egg for around six months before reaching the point where their work reflected the eggs hatching into mysterious creatures, or yet not hatching at all. A silver cat, a frog, a spider, a metal porcupine, Tiger bird, a pup, a miniature metal elephant, a Jackalope, a little ant, a wombat, a giraffe and a dozen more. Those miniature metal figures had enhanced ability to help the youngsters in casting certain spells or strengthen their magic in a special branch. One more thing worth mentioning is that the polishing charm the students were taught in this lesson instantly found a useful purpose at Hogwarts. Professor Althea brought out the tarnished silverware that had been laid out for the Start of Term feast and let her class polish them all before bidding them goodbyes. As for why the house-elves were so lazy to tend to their natural job of cleaning those, that's a whole different story! 

Defense Against the Dark Arts

 

It seems that Defense Against the Dark Arts still has the bad reputation from eighty years ago when every year held a different Professor. Hogwarts in 2076 is no exception. Professor Sarani J. Glass held one class of the subject in the start of term with a brief discussion about dark creatures and objects before calling it a year and leaving the school for reasons us students are unaware of. It wasn't long until Headmaster Tate assigned Professor Althea Schirmer, Charms teacher, to hold one long lesson worthy of a term long absence.

The Charms Professor had all the students who take the subject, no matter the year, in one hall with nothing but colorful windowed walls and long tables. The students came to know shortly afterwards that they were about to decorate the hall for a party, with the help of house-elves for food. The spells needed for blowing up balloons and hanging banners were for the kids to choose, older ones were to help the younger kids. Setting up a happy atmosphere was not random for the Professor, it seemed. The first portion of class ended with a mini-feast and the second portion was about to start. 

Memories, happy ones in particular, were the introduction to phase two of this lengthy lesson. Yes, you guessed it; Patronuses were what this whole party and happy memories talk was all about. The students were given potions to drink that would help them float as high as their memory was strong and happy. If your feet merely stirred beneath you then you had to choose something happier and more vivid. If you felt the floor under you no more, then it was the memory for today's practice. Soon after that the class erupted into an 'Expecto Patronum' chant in an attempt to learn the incantation well before waving wands and trying to get more than just silvery steam. Very few managed to produce a corporeal Patronus but even the youngest in class were determined to at least try. 

Divination

Students of Hogwarts woke up the first day of the termr to find an odd change in their schedules. Those who take Divination came to know that the classroom had been relocated this year. Instead of climbing all the way to the Divination tower, they had to go to the ground floor where, in the classroom, was the reason for the change. Centaur, Thereos was assigned to teach the human students some of his folks' ultimate knowledge; the noble art of Divination.

The first lesson was bumpy at first, with students mis-wording their greetings or mis-looking at the new Professor which resulted in the points going on a one-way roller coaster to the bottom. Respect was not the only thing students of Hogwarts learned that day, Ornithomancy was the big title of lesson one too. Following the particular patterns of a certain flying creature is what this method's all about. The students discussed and sketched various flying patterns and the Professor gave them possible interpretations. The practical portion was outside near the lake where students were asked to make a certain mechanism and watch flying patterns in the water before writing them down for further analysis. The students spent quite some time trying to peer at the surface and detect a flying creature up in the sky with an identified flying pattern – this way they could take notes and figure out what the next week would be like.

The second lesson held no casualties of disrespect, luckily. Thereos went through Full Moon Water Scrying with the students. "This is the simplest form of divination and all it requires is a clear sky and a full moon. It’s best to do it outside under the light of the full moon. However if you cannot perform this divination ritual on that particular night, it is best to do it the night immediately before or after," says the Professor on the subject, only to discover shortly after that, that there was indeed another mechanism to practice this branch of Divination in addition to the night and the moon. The students then had to close their eyes and "attune their minds to the energy" around them. So, you guessed it, a fair number of students spent the class trying not to fall asleep while few others managed to. After that you pour water into your pitcher and stare some more at the reflection of the moon looking for symbols and signs. It's worth it to say that this was supposed to be the easiest way of divination.

Tea leaf reading was the last lesson's subject. Professor Thereos taught the students how to use the leftover leaves in the tea cups, after they'd drank it, in their Divination reading. The symbols that the leaves form on the saucer should relate to each one's life and near future. Hogwarts students worked with partners to interpret the tea leaf symbols and to discover more about themselves and the people around them, or simply to find out whether it was a good day for a walk or not; birdie poop could be joy killer.