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Professor Skies
Advanced class - where's it gone?
Sat Mar 25, 2017 06:44
115.178.26.185

“Good afternoon,” Selina greeted the advanced class. “Welcome back, and thank you for choosing to continue studying Transifugration. We’ve got a tricky road ahead to RATS level, but I hope you’ll also find it interesting and rewarding.” Although Transfiguration was a difficult subject, it was regarded as a core part of magical education, and as such a large number of students always tended to keep it on, as it suited both those with specific ambitions in a number of high powered fields such as healing or auror work, and those with no real idea what they wanted to do but who figured a good set of grades in solid, respectable subjects was the best way of hedging their bets.

“For this part of the year, we will be spending Mondays and Wednesdays focussing on vanishing.” Vanishing seemed flashy and exciting at first. The ability to make something disappear! For there to be nothingness where something had been before! The initial God-like rush would soon fade when the students realised that it was just reciting the same spell again and again, whilst the objects they were given to perform it on got increasingly complex. The only way it could potentially be very interesting was if, to demonstrate the practical applications, she unleashed a bear as their final exam and told them that they had until it had crossed the distance towards to them to successfully vanish it. Perhaps they’d do that in the mirage chamber if any of the students started getting bored or cocky….

“Essentially, it’s a drill. You must exercise and build up your strength, and so we will be doing this twice a week, alongside learning the theory in these lessons. During your other classes, we will focus on different advanced spells - you can see a week by week breakdown on your schedules - so that class doesn’t become too repetitive.

“Before we begin today, we must discuss what it means to vanish an object. In today’s lesson, I will introduce the theory of vanishing space, and some of the key questions we come across in vanishing theory. Over the next few weeks, we will look at rival theories, including universality.” Behind her, the chalk was scribbling a series of questions, beginning with ’Where do vanished objects go?

“Let’s try to answer this question by some examples…. For example, let’s say I vanish the photograph on my desk,” with a wave of her wand she did so, the filigree frame and its contents sliding out of existence. “Now, if I want it back, I am probably the only one in this room who can achieve that. This is nothing to do with magical power, as I’m sure my seventh years are up to this level by now, but because - unless you have made detailed studies and have excellent memories - I am the only one who really knows what the picture looked like.” With a wave of her wand, the picture reappeared. “This, alone, tells us very little… Of course you cannot conjure something without knowing some details of it - security would be a nightmare if anyone could just will the plans of a major public building into existence. But, once you do know, is it merely accurate visual memory and imagination that allows this to happen, or is it because I am bringing back the same object that existed before? This argument is somewhat the crux of the different theories.

“Now, what if I want to conjure something that wasn’t here before? Whilst it’s subject to certain limitations, they are somewhat flexible. The subject of where conjured things come from is directly relevant to the question of where vanished things go. I was able to re-conjure this photo accurately because I knew what it looked like, but I can conjure things a good deal more complex than that. I could conjure an owl, for example,” she waved her wand, and a lovely barn owl appeared perched on her desk. She threw it a treat. “Now, of course, I know what a barn owl looks like. But this is fully functioning owl. It’s eating. It’s doing that thing they do with their necks,” she observed, as it swivelled at seemingly impossible angles to view the class. “And I have no idea how that really works. I know broadly that it has a digestive tract and what that’s made up of. I know it has complex physiology in its neck. But without knowing all the details of it, I have made an owl. Can this come only from my imagination? I know what an owl should be able to do, and if I imagine it doing that, is that sufficient to fill in the blanks? Or is it that this owl always existed, and I have just caused it to be specifically here? At points the study of vanishing and conjuring borders on the philosophical, and we may not be able to answer those questions accurately or definitely. However, vanishing space - the theory we will discuss today - holds that the latter is much more likely that my imagination and world knowledge are sufficient to bring forth the range of objects that I demonstrably can make. Everything that can be conjured must exist somewhere. And everything that is vanished must go somewhere. If something was destroyed by vanishing, I would have to make a new owl from scratch, and we doubt my ability to do that adequately. We will get into where that is and the evidence supporting it later, though if you finish your practical work early today, you can start reading chapter two of your textbook, but essentially vanishing space sees there as being a place beyond on our reality where these items go and come from. Once you finish chapter two, you should be able to list two practical examples of real world magic, that you know can be performed, and which some argue lend weight to vanishing space, and why these people hold that they do that.

“Before we get to that though, your practical for the day will be to vanish snails if you are a sixth year, and to vanish a toad if you are a seventh year.” She floated around boxes containing the animals to each student. The syllabus had been changed in recent years to push the students a little harder, and so they were going in a bit deeper than perhaps older relatives might have done.

“The spell, as you should know from your reading, will be ‘evanesco’ for all vanishing spells. You can talk quietly as you work, especially regarding the theory, and I’m available if you have questions. You may begin.”

OOC - as usual, points are awarded for length, creativity, relevance and realism. I am very happy to have your character explore and ponder theories - it is most actively encouraged. However, to keep our reality consistent and/or open source, it would be considered polite if you preface such remarks as being your character’s understanding, rather than direct quotes of textbooks. This means we don’t end up with direct contradictions of what each other is saying, or bits of theories that don’t mesh well together. I’m very happy to discuss quantum transfiguration with anyone who would like to, and to try to come up with an Ultimate Sonora Canon containing several different well-formed theories for writers to draw from and/or contribute to in future.

    • You lost meLauren Song - Teppenpaw, Tue Apr 18 16:35
      The idea of making things vanish sounded exciting, exciting enough to make her brighten up just a little. Transfiguration was her favorite class, but it was also the hardest. She just could not... more
      • Possibly making it worse. Sorry.Owen Brockert, Teppenpaw, Thu Apr 20 12:37
        It felt weird for Owen, being in Advanced classes. He felt like a chapter in his life was coming to a close, and it felt kind of sad to him. Like when he finished a story that he wrote. He was always ... more
        • No hard feelings hereLauren Song, Thu Apr 20 16:49
          Lauren nodded in agreement with Owen's words. She understood the theories behind conjuring for the most part, and in comparing the two it didn't seem that different. "Yeah, it does," she replied. It... more
          • Good :)Owen, Mon Apr 24 13:45
            Owen nodded. He personally was inspired by the whole dimensional aspect but not everyone thought like him. "Honestly, the idea is a bit scary if you think about it. I mean, if you're really powerful, ... more
    • You tell me.John Umland, Aladren, Mon Mar 27 20:45
      For one moment – one single, blessed moment – John forgot everything that had happened and silently grumbled in his head at Professor Skies’ announcement that they were going to spend two days a week ... more
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