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Professor Xavier
Intermediates: Wand Woods
Sat Dec 16, 2017 15:02
173.67.179.52

They year had progressed comfortably into spring. The sun warmed the Gardens nicely, the weather charms induced rain to keep everything well watered despite being in Arizona, and the Labyrinth was at its peak of blooming flowers. If one was inclined to take walks through its paths, this was the ideal time for most wonderful views and comfortable temperatures. That was why they had done just that for both of last week's classes, making those lessons into scavenger hunts to identify a list of plants and mark on a map where they could be found last Tuesday, and on Thursday, they had been given an area and told to name as many plants as they could find in it.

Unfortunately, that had been as many Walk-Around-The-Labyrinth lessons as he could think of and still not fall behind in preparing the fifth years for their CATS, coming up in only two months time. So today, they were back in the Greenhouse for a more traditional lecture and activity.

As usual, he greeted each student as they arrived and returned the graded homework assignment they had turned in last week. Once everyone had arrived and taken seats around the central worktable, he greeted them as a group. "Welcome back, today we'll be starting our last unit of new material before we get into test revisions. We'll be learning about wand woods. Wands can be make from nearly any kind of wood, but like only a minority of people can produce magic, only a minority of trees have wood that can conduct magic. It is very difficult to tell the difference between a mundane tree and a magical tree, as they are outwardly very much alike, just as wizards and muggles are very much outwardly alike, but there are a few clues wand makers can use. The easiest is bowtruckles. If there's a bowtruckle nest in a tree, it's a wand quality tree. They don't nest in mundane trees. Other markers are much more subtle and take years of experience to really learn to recognize with consistency. Unless you go into wand-making, nobody is going to expect you to learn those methods."

"What you will be expected to know are some of the characteristics of wands made from most of the common wood types. But first, I want you each to consider your own wand. How long is it? Is it springy or unyielding? Do you know what wood it is made from? Please write a short paragraph describing it and note what kinds of spells it seems to do best with and which kinds it has trouble casting. For a wand to choose you, you probably have similar strengths and weaknesses in spell casting. Note this is for practical spell casting, not the understanding of theory. Some people are just naturally intuitive with some branches of magic, and your wand will more reflect your practical talent than your ability to write essays explaining what's happening. This isn't for a grade, just a quick write up before you're influenced by what should-be."

He gave them some time to write that up, and then collected the papers before continuing. "Now we're going to go over what the different wand woods are known for and you can check to see if your wand matches up to its hype or if your wand chose you for a different reason than your natural spellcrafting talents. Wand cores can have just as much influence as the wood, so that may have been your more compatible match if your strengths are different from those of your wood."

"There are a lot of different woods used by wandmakers around the world, so I'm going to pass around a handout with a quick explanation of each type." He waved his own wand, and a pile of papers flew around the room, one sheet landing in front of each student, with the braille copy being sure to land in front of Nevaeh. "I want you to spend some time reading these over, especially the one corresponding to your own wand. If you don't know your wand wood, raise your hand and I'll try to do so, or you can try to figure it out yourself based on these descriptions. For homework, I expect a research report using your text and the library to get more information about your wand's wood. Your essay should cover the common traits for your wand's wood and how well you feel your wand meets - or doesn't meet - those expectations."

"For today, though, I want you look to see which other woods on this list you think might be compatible with you. If a witch or wizard has to replace their wand for any reason, their second one is not always the same wood as their first, so you do not have to consider the one you currently have as the only one appropriate for you. You may talk amongst yourselves, considering the possibilities presented by all of these wood types. On Thursday, we'll start talking about the properties of each wood more individually and comprehensively. Today is just for familiarizing yourself with the ones most likely to be drawn to you."

"On the side tables, I have some retired wands made from many of these different wood types. You may try casting some simple spells with them, to see how they might different from each other and the wand you normally use. Don't be too concerned if some of them don't work for you at all, as some wands remain loyal to their past owner, and others simply won't work for people they find too different from their ideal owner." Each wand was labeled with a small adhesive tag (with both braille and normal letters) wrapped around its base so it was easily identifiable.

As the students began reading and then moving toward the sample wands, Nathan took a position near where he'd placed the more volatile woods that were likely to protest the wrong handler with fire or other disasters, his own wand ready to set his greenhouse back to rights or protect the other students if necessary.



OOC: Most information used in this lesson comes from the hp wiki: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Wand_wood
In the case of sparks or other violent reaction to a mismatched wand, you have permission to have Nathan step in and avert a disaster.

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