Holland Keene
Being a good student
Sat Jun 9, 2018 13:19

Wandwork had always come naturally to Holland. They suspected their talent for Transfiguration was outlook-related: Holland never had trouble seeing how easily one thing could become another. The boundaries between two allegedly exclusive things were more mutable than most people believed. Casting Charms was like winning an argument with physics, and even with charms that were mostly practical, there was often an opportunity to be artistic or creative, which Holland liked. Defensive magic was easier for them than offensive spells, but they had gotten better at both over the last few years—and especially over the last few months, since Ruben had agreed to train them.

Claudia’s use of a mentally manipulative spell had solidified one principle for Holland: they wanted to become so skilled at self defense that no one could ever use magic on them against their will again. Ruben was the best person in the school (including Professor Embers) at protection, and Holland had been (correctly) certain that he would agree to teach them. He was an almost surprisingly good teacher. Not that it was a surprise that he was good at this kind of magic—Holland’s understanding of Durmstrang was that the Scandinavian school emphasized Dark Arts as well as defense against them over other areas of magic—but they hadn’t expected Ruben to be as good at teaching as he was. Holland’s skills in both physical and magical self defense had improved rapidly.

Besides what they’d learned from Ruben, Holland also had another tool to help protect themself. It didn’t contain active defensive magic, but Holland’s capstone project for Spellwork had been a success. They had created a miniaturized version of a Foe-Glass, and threaded the mirrorlike disc onto a thin metal bracelet. When they looked into it, Holland saw moving shadows, but the figures seemed undefined and distant for now. In theory, if they were in the same room with someone who meant them harm, the glass would sound a tone audible only to Holland, the volume and direction of which would indicate Holland’s distance from their enemy. Fortunately that enchantment had yet to activate, even though Holland did want to see how it worked.

Holland wasn’t sure under which circumstances they would use a spell like the kläderkämpe, but having it at their disposal couldn’t possibly be a bad thing. The more spells in their arsenal, the better they could protect themself in any situation. Because this was the first time they were attempting the spell, they were casting wanded; once they had the hang of it, Holland would try it nonverbally, and then without their wand.

They could guess what some of their friends would say about Ruben encouraging them to use a spell that would unravel his clothes. Holland cast it anyway, copying the wand movement and intonation Ruben had demonstrated. The spell made contact with its target, but as promised, there was no immediate effect. “Are you going to cast a spell so we can see if it worked?” Holland asked. Then, teasing, they added, “Or would Kaye not approve?”

  • Sharing my wisdom [Holland] - Ruben Lundqvist, Tue Jun 5 00:57
    As he was reaching the end of his explanation, the rising breeze tossed a section of blonde hair across his nose. Ruben took this as a sign that it was time to move on to their next activity (he... more
    • Being a good student - Holland Keene, Sat Jun 9 13:19
      • Watching their raised wand critically, he was pleased to note that he didn't feel their spell settle on him at all. Even anticipating it as he was, it had still been undetectable. Perfect. He had... more
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