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Ingrid Wolseithcrafte, Pecari
Citation needed
Sat Mar 24, 2018 22:03

Although Professor Wright told them that no assignment was necessarily better than any of the others, it was pretty obvious which table the Pecari Quidditch Captain was going to make a beeline for. Ingrid sat down at the table with the Snitch, hoping it was more about that than the chessman. She knew chess pieces were transfigurations, so she suspected ‘compare and contrast’ might be on the cards for this table. It didn’t come as a great surprise then, when Professor Wright outlined the content of the lesson, although ‘design an experiment’ was new and somewhat alarming as an instruction. She wasn’t really sure how to go about that.

Still, it wasn’t the first item on the cards. First she just had to ‘theorise’ about why a Snitch was a Charm and a chessman wasn’t. She’d honestly never thought of them as particularly similar before, although that was possibly due more to personal associations and biases (chess equals Theodore equals dull) than an analysis of their respective magics, but she thought it gave her quite a good place to start from.

She began jotting down notes about what a Snitch could do. It could move, in complex patterns but it was still movement, and most motion based things were charms - summoning, banishing, dancing, hovering. Professor Wright had mentioned it behaving ‘evasively’ which implied deliberate choices on its part but she had never really thought of Snitches as being sentient. She pulled a couple of books towards her, beginning with the faithful Quidditch Through the Ages. She skimmed the pages on the Snitch, pulling out the key phrases ’Wright,’ she paused, glancing at the Professor, and wondering… It was a common name, but it would have been very cool if they were related, ’who was a skilled metal-charmer, set himself to the task of creating a ball that mimicked the behaviour and flight patterns of the Snidget,’ and ‘rotational joints like the Snidget’s, enabling it to change direction with the lightning speed and precision of its living model.’ Ok. So that was… inconclusive. It was charmed to mimic ‘the behaviour’ of Snitches. She reread the chapter. Snidgets had ‘remarkable agility in the air and talent at avoiding predators’ according to the paragraph on them. So, was that talent at avoiding predators due to their agility, or due to some conscious behaviour on their part? And, if the latter, had the Snitch been charmed to have the same conscious capability, or was it merely sufficiently evasive by being so agile - and, honestly, by being so tiny in such a freaking huge space, because she was sure that even if Snitches stayed perfectly still, it was the proverbial needle in a haystack, and she’d have had a damn hard time finding one.

She pulled a further couple of books towards herself, including a magical ornithology text (which taught her such details as the Snidget being an apodiform and a nectarivore and repeated the details about its speed, agility and evasiveness but… evasiveness was such an evasive word). Similarly, books on the Snitch itself were of no help in letting her decide whether the ball made conscious choices or not. She felt that had to be at the crux of the argument. And then her brain began whirring with things she could do… If that point was up for debate, then she could try out things to test it. Grabbing at the Snitch seemed an obvious if basic test. If it deliberately avoided her hand, then it… Well, it knew she was a ‘predator’... Were there any Charms that had things behave reactively? She jotted herself a note about researching that to back up her argument, and to determine how complex her experiment on its ‘evasiveness’ needed to be... Something could react without being conscious, couldn’t it? Was Devil’s Snare conscious, or did it just have a biological reaction that it grabbed when touched? What was the equivalent amongst Charms? Alarms! Alarms were often charms that were reactive 'If this thing is touched, then this noise happens,' so not all Charms had an immediate effect - a Snitch could be charmed that 'If a person is nearby, fly away' and thus be reacting without knowing it was reacting. Assuming this was the right path to be going down, when Professor Wright had straight out told them that it was evasive….

“Professor Wright did say that the Snitch ‘takes evasive measures’ didn’t he?” she clarified with the others working at the table. She felt his remark had definitely implied conscious decision making, especially when the comparison with the chess piece was drawn. Was he deliberately trying to mislead them? Or had he made a mistake - people did have a general tendency to anthropomorphise, and perhaps he was merely falling victim to a rhetoric that was often used. “To me that remark implies deliberate conscious decisions on its part, but I can’t find anything to verify that it really does, instead of just having very complex flight patterns.” Physically, Ingrid resembled all of her siblings except Jemima, who had always been the odd one out - she had the same colouring as her brothers, with dark hair, light eyes and a dusting of freckles, and although Francesca was blonde, they all had the same long thin face and nose. However, she rarely resembled them in terms of personality. They were all serious and studious, and Jemima and Barnabus had their gentleness in common. Ingrid was the impatient one, the active one. Not that anyone who had seen her report cards would have said she was stupid, but she did not generally have the same deeply studious air as the three oldest. However, the family resemblance was deeply striking as she asked, “Has anyone else got a citation that backs up what he’s saying?”

OOC - quotations taken from 'Quidditch Through the Ages' (full text available here. The Snidget's wiki page makes reference to it resembling an 'apodiform' which is the class that hummingbirds etc belong to, hence the claim that it is also a 'nectarivore' (yes, that is a real technical term, however lame it sounds).

  • Advanced Charms: Blind me with science.Professor Wright, Fri Mar 2 22:15
    Charms was often – and fairly enough – considered a ‘softer’ subject than Transfiguration or Potions for many reasons. Where they were exacting, Charms offered room for creativity, often worked under ... more
    • Citation needed — Ingrid Wolseithcrafte, Pecari, Sat Mar 24 22:03
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