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Joe Umland, Teppenpaw
Do I get technical credit for this?
Sat Feb 17, 2018 22:10

”Non-verbal magic’s a massive pain in the – feet,” Julian had said when she and John had been discussing upper years with Joe. ”Like you’re trying to wear really strappy stilettos all evening to one of William’s work parties and there’s like no chairs and he stands and talks to the same person for like ten minutes in a row and it would be really rude to move from one foot the other – “

“I think I get the picture,” said Joe, sharing a smirk with John – Julian had clearly pulled that ramble about shoes out of the same portion of the anatomy she had meant to mention instead of feet, only to improvise a different answer at the last second because Mom had walked in the room. That, Joe reflected, was real power – the ability to make one’s adult child change her language, even though said adult child was not only married, but married with a pair of rings that could have likely paid Joe’s first-term tuition. Well, definitely the rings plus one earring, though Joe really wouldn’t be surprised if the huge pearl-and-diamond engagement ring, 18k wedding ring, and both half-carat diamond fan-shaped earrings wouldn’t have been enough to cover the year.

“I didn’t think it was that bad,” said John.

“Oh, shut up,” said Julian and Joe almost simultaneously.

“What? It’s what we do when we’re kids, isn’t it?”

Julian stared at John. “When did he learn how to humble-brag?” she demanded of Joe.

Joe did not know exactly when John had learned to humble-brag, but he was pretty sure that it was largely irrelevant to the task before him: earning the ability to brag-brag about his own ability to cast nonverbal charms.

He did not, if he was to be honest, expect this to be a major problem. A struggle for a bit, of course, but wandless was the real challenge and one which was yet to come. Non-verbal was just removing a…crutch to his concentration, sort of, and he had already gone through a lot of the finer points of removing smaller crutches – specific tags to general spells – in some of his intermediate classes. This was just one step further, and Joe had always been good at spellcasting in general.

He was also good at getting as much out of the system as possible with as little effort as possible, so he decided to take the board’s advice to stick to a beginner spell for the fifteen-minute window he was given, and to select one that involved minimal interaction beyond that. There were two kinds of charm, really, beyond ‘dark’ and ‘normal’ – those that needed another object involved and those that did not. Of the latter category, he decided that ‘lumos’ was a good bet. Make a light; in a lit classroom, it would be harder to tell if it was as bright as usual, and he wouldn’t have to work with the physics of some outside object. So he held out his wand and focused all his mind, or as much of it as he could focus, on the word lumos.

Nothing happened. Well, that was just the first try. Time for another.

Nothing happened again.

Joe twisted his neck one way and then the other. Surely there should have been a flicker by now. Something. Not just nothing. He looked around at other people, hoping against hope that everyone else was flat out of luck today.

They were not.

Frustration welled up. Well, maybe that was the key – being annoyed. Like a kid. Embrace the anger and let it fuel the magic. Just…not to the point of blinking over it. That was the trick. He could do that. Lumos, lumos, lumos, lumos, lumos, lumoslumoslumos -

Joe’s litany was interrupted as his inkwell came flying up off the surface of his desk, and due to the way he was half-bent over his wand by this point, hit him squarely at the hairline. This meant most of the ink missed his face as the inkwell bounced off his head and its lid came away, which was good. It also meant ink splashed all over both hands, his wand, and the front of his robes as well as a bit on the desk, which was not so good. It also meant he said “ow!” out loud, fairly loudly, which was even worse.

Okay. So maybe embracing the frustration was not the way. The only thing was, he was now annoyed, frustrated, and embarrassed, so how was he supposed to be a model of decorum and tranquility now?

  • Advanced: The sound of silence Professor Nash, Fri Feb 16 12:23
    Daniel Nash was a verbose individual. He knew this about himself and, by now, most of his advanced students knew it about him as well. This was, in part, intentional. He knew the psychological theory ... more
    • Do I get technical credit for this? — Joe Umland, Teppenpaw , Sat Feb 17 22:10
      • This doesn't exactly play to my strengthsKyte Collindale, Pecari, Wed Apr 4 11:10
        Kyte entered the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom chattering away to Ben. He didn’t particularly notice Professor Nash’s lack of talking. He wasn’t really one to stop talking or start paying... more
    • In my elementRaine Collindale, Teppenpaw, Fri Feb 16 22:16
      Raine entered the Defence classroom and took her seat. Professor Nash went to start the lecture and… then didn’t. He wasn’t saying a word to them. But the words on the board quickly made it clear... more
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