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Professor Grayson Wright
Life in a bubble (Intermediates III-V).
Sat Jul 1, 2017 18:06
107.77.104.54

For several years after university, Grayson Wright’s life had gone exactly according to plan. He’d gotten a job as a junior writer on one of the wireless dramas marketed to children and had eventually advanced to senior dialogue on one character on that show. It had been cancelled eventually, of course, but he’d snagged the same position on another before he even had time to consider himself properly unemployed. His short stories were nothing to build a life on, but he got them published fairly regularly and one had even been nominated for an award. It hadn’t won, but one couldn’t, as his mother had remarked at the time, have everything - including, it seemed, a firm place in the company.

When his last show had been cancelled, Gray hadn’t been too worried. He had a decent resume and had saved enough money to weather a brief stint without work. As months had done by, though, the rate at which he’d been offered interviews had proven slower than his rate at which he had gone through his saved money. His contacts all told the same story: politics, cut budgets, etc. It had become obvious that for the meantime, he was going to have to find some other work.

His cousin Anne was the one who’d suggested he get the qualifications to become a private tutor, as she had been. Anne no longer had to do that work, but she still knew people and had been able to put him in contact with them. Working for spoiled pureblood brats was not exactly his idea of a good time, but it had kept him from having to move back in with his parents, who he suspected would have taken far too much pleasure in being right about there not being much of a future in writing, and so he had endured it until Anne had summoned him again and informed her that they needed teachers at Sonora.

Becoming one of those, Gray had explained to Anne, would be a terrible idea for him to even consider, never mind move from 'idea' to 'plan' or from 'plan' to 'action'. Anne had thought differently, so here he was, well over a month into teaching classes and almost accustomed to the only familiar faces he saw suddenly being attached to grown-up bodies and surrounded by unfamiliar and bizarrely young-looking people. Some of whom were killer Teppenpaws, apparently. Gray was positive they hadn’t had any of those in his day….

He made a mental note to mention this change in Sonora in his next letter to Jera. Not only was her teaching less weird than him doing so in general, it had also been before this lot showed up, he thought. For now, he gave the class the slightly awkward wave (though less awkward than it had been at first - he was almost used to wearing robes with full sleeves instead of a variety of amusing t-shirts and trying to look his thirty-four years in general) which he began classes most days as the class settled into their seats. “Good morning, everyone,” he said. The Intermediates were probably more or less awake by now, though hopefully not yet eager enough for lunch to turn unduly distracted or cranky. Checking off the roster, he looked at his notes on this class. “Looks like I didn’t set you any homework that’s due today, so let’s get to it. The charm we’re going to learn today is a very useful one, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first. Who can tell me what the Bubble-Head Charm is?”

He called on a student and nodded when he was given the correct answer. “I was sort of hoping you’d say ‘it turns your head into a giant soap bubble,’ but your answer is the correct one,” he said. “This spell gives you a bubble of fresh air over your head to breathe in situations where you wouldn’t normally have fresh air. Take two minutes to write down a situation where this spell could be useful and explain how it’s useful there and put your name on it. I’ll collect them when my timer rings and the most creative use gets five points for their House next lesson.”

Bribery, Gray had learned as a private tutor, was a great incentive. Win more flies with honey and all that. He gave them the two minutes, then announced “Time’s up! Everyone tear off your answers, or fold them up.” Once this seemed to be done, Gray summoned all the papers and directed them to a drawer in the desk. “Thanks, everyone. Now, the most practical use for this spell is if you’re ever in a situation where you might drown, and that’s probably why it’s on your curriculum, but it’s also useful if you’ve got a roommate who likes to experiment with potions or set off Stink Bombs, so you’ll want to pay attention now as I cast it: aurecrumena.”

A bubble of air appeared over his head, distorting his features. He considered grinning at them through it but considered that this might scar some of the more delicate ones for life and so dismissed the bubble instead. “It’s a simple wand movement - point your wand in the direction of your head - never right under your nose or in your eyes - and give your dominant wrist one firm twist to the right. For safety, I want you each to have a partner. Look at each other as you work to make sure your partner isn’t in any distress.” Of course, he’d be watching them, too. Dangerous complications were extremely unlikely, but so was going to referee a Quidditch game and abruptly finding oneself in a desert in Egypt, and that had apparently happened at least once. He hoped this career change of his was only temporary, but did not want to be responsible for anyone dying in the meantime.

“Once you each have a bubble on, we’ll test them out over here,” he said, indicating a large wood-and-glass screen, a bit taller than Gray himself, off to his right. “I’ve sealed this corner of the room off so smells can’t escape it, but inside, there are some potion bottles, as some of you can probably see through the lattice, and they have different smells and some are stronger and some are weaker. If you smell anything - and I’m not going to tell you ahead of time if they’re going to be good or bad smells - then you’ve done it wrong and you need to go brainstorm about where your mistake might have been. If you don’t smell anything, you’ve done it right and you can start reading pages 143-148 and thinking about how this charm allows people to breathe for over an hour even though the bubble does not hold enough air to keep someone breathing that long. Fifth years, you might want to really work on that, because there might be an essay in your near future. Okay, then. If you have any questions, raise your hand now, and if you don’t, get started.”

OOC: Welcome to Charms! All posting rules apply. Realism and creativity get the most points. Feel free to theorize about Gray’s question and make up the smells behind the screen if your character isn’t immediately successful. Also, have accidents if you want, but remember that Gray is a reasonably competent adult despite his protests to the contrary and would intervene long before you suffocated/asphyxiated/what-have-you-ated. Tag me if you require the professor’s attention and have fun!

    • Not sure I'd like to live in a bubbleFinn Scott, Teppenpaw, Thu Jul 20 07:29
      Finn wasn’t a regular question-answerer in lessons. Even in Care of Magical Creatures, where he knew more of the answers, he preferred to be a quieter presence, only volunteering information if it... more
    • Working on My Class Participation GradeJozua Sparks, A Killer Teppenpaw, Fri Jul 7 15:22
      Jozua raised his hand to answer the professor's question about what a bubble head charm did. It had been a few weeks since he last volunteered an answer and he actually knew this one so he figured it ... more
      • Trying to figure things outFabian Brockert, A Not So Kiler Pecari, Sun Jul 9 16:38
        The end of the year-and CATS-were fast approaching. Fabian wasn't really worried about failing CATS and he wasn't out for perfect scores or even straight Os. That was just slightly more likely than... more
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