Professor Mary Brooding
Identifying Your Opportunities [Advanced: VI, VII]
Fri Sep 7, 2018 02:08

"The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components."

- Golpalott's Third Law

Mary was writing Golpalott’s Third Law on the chalkboard before students came in. She was happier than usual today, but also exhausted. After receiving approval from Deputy Headmistress Skies to begin a new program for Advanced and Intermediate students, Mary had been eager to begin. She must’ve been terrible company at dinner when she brought a number of papers to work on and left quickly, kissing Tabitha a swift goodnight before withdrawing to her quarters to iron out the details of what was sure to be a massive undertaking. Her handwriting now, as a result, suffered, and she attempted to the write the law in its entirety three times before giving up, erasing it all, and waving her wand to get magic to do what her tired hands would not.

Today was not the day to be tired, unfortunately, and she took a steadying breath hoping the extra oxygen to her brain would wake her up. As the students made their way into the classroom and to their desks, they each found a small scroll with details of the new program. She was hesitant to call it a proper assistantship or apprenticeship, although that’s largely what it was in practice. She was also hesitant to guarantee any extra credit. However, all of those were possible outcomes for interested students, and Mary began the lecture with this in mind.

“Good morning, everyone,” Mary greeted, her tone more subdued than normal despite the smile on her face. She hoped it wasn’t too obvious that she’d hardly slept the night before. “I have some exciting news for you. Sonora is going to be doing a trial run of a new academic program available to Advanced and Intermediate students. The Intermediate version will be a bit different so please note that the information in each of your scrolls pertains only to your class.” She always tried to make eye contact with as many of her students as she could and today was no different.

“Advanced students can expect to work with me to prepare ingredients and potions for upcoming classes and those interested in teaching Potions can help with grading papers and preparing lectures as well,” she tried to keep her description vague in case any additional opportunities arose later or in case some things turned out to be impossible. “Students who are interested can talk with me after class or during my office hours. I am currently anticipating taking on just one Advanced student but am open to taking on two if they are in different years, so this could turn into a two year opportunity for those of you who are in your sixth year now. If you’re not sure whether you are interested, feel free to ask me questions after class as well.”

Mary couldn’t help perking up as she spoke. This was the sort of thing she would’ve killed for when she was in school and she hoped to find some hint of excitement in the faces looking back at her now. She tried not to look too close in case all she found was the 8:00am blues instead.

“Now let’s get into our lesson for the day!” she said, gesturing at the chalk board. “I think we’ve discussed Golpalott’s Third Law before in the context of poisons, as Golpalott himself discussed, but I want to also touch on another area where this Law applies. Does anybody have any ideas? Very good!” she said when one student gave a close enough approximation to her point.

“While Golpalott was speaking about actual poisons, this Law also applies to mixed potions of other varieties. If someone has been given an Elixir to Enduce Euphoria and a Love Potion, it stands to reason that a Love Potion antidote won’t remove all the affects they’re suffering. Or enjoying, maybe. However, this can cause particular issues for healers. While a Love Potion antidote might cure the Love Potion itself, leaving behind the Elixir to Enduce Euphoria effects could have a number of serious consequences. In some cases, patients have overdosed on antidotes when their remaining Euphoria has been misidentified as Love Potion symptoms and antidotes were continually applied.” She shuddered, thinking of the patients who were now unable to feel any infatuation without Love Potion treatments now. “In other cases, the leftover effects of Elixir to Enduce Euphoria have been massively beneficial, helping ease the heartbreak of getting over a Love Potion. However, this treatment is best applied separately and in a controlled manner.”

Mary looked around the room. She herself was enjoying the throes of love in her personal life and she wondered, in this room full of fifteen to eighteen year olds, how many of them were thinking of their own partners and romantic interests. Perhaps she should’ve chosen a different example.

“There are numerous potion pairs where these sorts of issues arise. Consider Volubilis Potion and Polyjuice Potion, Hiccoughing Solution and Pepperup Potion, et cetera.”

Mary moved to stand beside a row of cauldrons on a table at the front of the room. “We’ve been practicing bottling and labeling potions throughout this term, so you should all have systems to do that now but I can help if you need it,” she started, glancing around to see if anyone looked particularly confused. “You’ll be working alone for this activity but you can discuss your work with your neighbors. I’d like each person to take a vial of each potion, label it, and take it back to your own desk for analysis. You’ll be trying to identify which two potions are combined in each using some of the methods in your book and that we’ve discussed: testing them against other ingredients for color changes, testing their effects on plant matter, smelling them, heating them or cooling them, various spells, and more. Feel free to experiment but please don’t taste any of them.” One of the potions was indeed a mix with Polyjuice Potion, her own hair used for the recipe, and another had Shrinking Solution. Neither of these were particularly dangerous but would certainly cause issues and there were only five potion mixes altogether so two out of five causing effects like that were not good odds. She’d shied away from Love Potion just in case.

“Your homework will be to write up a list of antidote combinations for each of the potion mixes you identify.”

Mary nodded, trying to remember whether she’d covered everything. “I’ll be walking around so if anyone has any questions about this or about the opportunity I mentioned at the start of class, please just let me know. Go ahead and begin!”

(OOC – Presumably this is something they’re all capable of, so feel free to play around with whatever you think might be a way to test a potion, just make it clear whether your character is doing so because they learned it, because they’re making an educated guess, or because they have no idea what they’re doing. If you choose to have your character drink one of the potions, play around with the effects but tag Mary and she’ll come help.

Golpalott’s Third Law was from the Harry Potter wikia and I made the rest up. But it sounds like it makes sense, right?


    • Of Fairs, Foreign Boys and Family DysfunctionTasha DuBois, Aladren, Tue Oct 9 05:33
      Tasha fairly bounced into Potions. She was super looking forward to midterm and it put her in a pretty good mood.Not that she wasn't normally in one though the whole Juniper-Finn-Gwen thing did put a ... more
    • The missing SparkJozua Sparks, Teppenpaw, Thu Sep 13 10:49
      Potions was Jozua’s best class. It wasn’t his favorite - that was DADA, which was a close second place in terms of being his best class. Nor was potions even the one class he had always scored the... more
      • I can substitute.Lily Spencer, Pecari, Sun Sep 16 18:24
        Potions was one class Lily hadn’t planned on taking as an Advanced class, but her course load had been too little this year, so she’d taken it on. It didn’t seem too terrible so far, and they had a... more
        • Jozua sniffed again after Lily gave her assessment. Yes, quite potentially polyjuice in there. That had fluxweed and wormwood and he could just barely detect both by scent in his phial. He wasn’t... more
          • As is learning to breathe.Professor Mary Brooding, Wed Oct 3 23:05
            "Hold your breath, Mr. Sparks," Mary smiled, approaching the student at the sound of breaking glass. At least students wore shoes to class, a benefit to more formal potion-making settings. She waved... more
            • How about learning to play it cool?Jozua Sparks, Thu Oct 4 08:52
              He hadn’t thought to hold his breath. He had, after all, just been sniffing at the potion, but at the professor’s instruction, he did so immediately and without question. When covered with an unknown ... more
              • Startled by Jozua's reaction, Lily dropped more than enough of the potion she was holding on the leafy plant in front of her, and the entire thing shrunk - pot and all. She would have written down... more
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