Professor Aaron McKindy
Let's try some horsing around [Spellwork Yrs 4-7]
Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:53

Now mid-November, Aaron was starting to get anxious about his December plans. Well, not that he hadn’t already been anxious, but he was starting to get more anxious. Admittedly, Aaron was an anxious person, but it was typically a more low-key anxiety with spikes in response to certain triggers. His therapist had talked about the potential for him to go on an anxiety reduction potion that he would take daily, but Aaron had refused. Although he was extremely good at Spellwork, the Italian was much less proficient at Potions and honestly didn’t trust them entirely. Not to mention that (a) he didn’t trust Rob Jacobs Hier with much - Aaron remembered Rob’s student pranks, as well as the rumors that he hadn’t exactly stopped them now that he was a staff member - and (b) he didn’t really trust anything that might risk his mental capacity. He might spend a fair amount of time being an anxious mess, but he was a talented anxious mess.

It was one of the reasons he hadn’t brought Evelyn’s suggestion up with Garen. Aaron wasn’t sure how his partner would respond, but he was a little nervous that the other man would take Evelyn’s side, so he’d decided it was better not to talk about. In general, one of the things that he’d been slowly learning over the past several years that talking to Garen about things was good, but he was willing to make an exception here.

In the silence of the pre-class practical lab, Aaron laid out boxes of materials, one at each lab bench. His intermediate class was a little small, but the students were all relatively talented, which was good because today’s lesson was going to be a little on the tricky side. Laying the last wooden box on the last lab bench, Aaron walked over to the front of the room and took a seat atop the professor’s desk that sat at the front of the room, in front of the blackboard.

Today Aaron was wearing deep purple robes with swirling galaxies charmed onto them, because despite his discomfort with robes, he did try to adhere to Rey’s standards for teaching. He’d been fired from RMI once, and he had no interest in experiencing that again. Although, to be fair, Reynaldo Bonilla had shown less inclination to do so than his cousin, Alessandro Guido, had. As far as Aaron knew, Rey was perfectly fine with his relationship with Garen, which was an unsettling feeling that made Aaron avoid the topic with his boss as much as possible. Which, on occasion, was difficult. Rey liked knowing about his staffs’ lives, often sending gift baskets at significant times.

Straightening his t-shirt - another one from Garen’s collection - the tall man put his hands in the pockets of his jeans. He would have checked his watch, but Aaron almost never wore a watch. He had come in a little bit early to make sure his set-up was over before the students came. Before laying out the boxes, he’d made sure that each one had the ingredients it needed: two handfuls of multicolored glass marbles, several blocks of wood in different shades of tan and brown and two fresh eggs. They also happened to be organic, because it was Boulder and it might be impossible to get fresh eggs that weren’t organic in the city. The box itself was also fair game for the lesson; it was made of willow, unlike the blocks of wood which were oak, making it easier to Transfigure. Willow was a very flexible wood.

Once it was solidly mid-morning, students began to trickle in. Even though the class was smaller than his beginner classes, Spellwork was still a fairly popular class so it was far from bare. Aaron chatted with a few of the students as they entered, handing back the most recent homework to some of them who had turned it in late. Unlike some professors, Aaron did not dock points for late work. He figured that the important thing was that the work got done, not necessarily that the work got done in a timely manner. After all, Aaron only assigned relevant homework and the only person students were hurting if they didn’t do the work on time was themselves.

After everyone had settled at their seats, Aaron smiled at them and began the class.

“All right guys, here we go,” he began. “Today, we’re going to do a little bit of a complicated mixture of charms and transfigurations. It’s going to be the start of what is probably a longer term project, so don’t panic.” From a box under the desk, he pulled a miniature carousel. The base and top of the carousel as well as the poles that attached multicolored glass horses to the model, were made of what was clearly a beautiful chestnut wood. The horses themselves tossed their heads, pawed the base of the carousel, and, on occasion, reared up. If the students were listening careful, they might have heard small neighs coming from the front of the room.

Zamaaru,” Aaron instructed the model with a wave of his wand. A tinkling musical sound began to play; some students would recognize it as the latest hit from The Occasional Sweatervest, a psychedelic indie pop band that was relatively popular at RMI. Aaron was not a very big fan of music himself, so he tried to use things his students would recognize. As the music started up, the model carousel itself started rotating, tiny horses trotting along the base synchronously. After a minute or so, Aaron waved his wand again. “Finite Incancatem” he said. The music and trotting stopped, and the horses resumed their previous activities.

“So we’re learning a new charm today,” the Spellwork professor said, a little bit stating the obvious. “This charm creates a tune, which you can stop at any time by using Finite Incantatem, as I just did. It will pick the tune you’re focusing on most heavily to play, so if you have something stuck in your head it’s quite possible you’ll end up playing that instead of whatever you were intending on.” As students advanced further with Spellwork, focus and self-discipline became increasingly important, particularly for those who were planning on studying to be Animagi. “So again, the incantation is Zamaaru,” Aaron waved his wand again. The music started up. “And that’s the motion.” He canceled the spell with a wave and a mutter.

“Now, older students, if you want to try doing that wandlessly or nonverbally, I encourage you to give it a shot as long as you recognize that it might not work. It’s perfectly fine if you just want to use the incantation and your wand, though.” Some of his students needed to practice their wandless or nonverbal magic, although as far as Aaron was aware none of the students in this class were capable of doing both simultaneously.

“Now, this is going to be a project in several parts,” Aaron continued. “First, you have to make the model; you have materials on your lab desks for that. After you’ve made the model itself, you need to work on making it play the music. And finally, you have to work on linking a movement charm,” Aaron didn’t particularly care which one, there were options, “to the music charm, as we discussed in the last class.” They hadn’t practiced the technique yet; that was what this class was, in part, for.

“I suggest you work in partners, and when possible if older and younger students could pair that would be ideal.” Like any of his suggestions, this was a soft one; if his students preferred to work with their friends, it wasn’t something Aaron would stop them from doing. “All right. Go ahead and get to work! Raise your hand if you need me and I’ll come on over.” Aaron tucked his wand into the back pocket of his jeans and watched his students start the lesson, the relative silence of his lecture turning into a mumble and then a chatter among the gathered teenagers.

It was going to be a good class.

You know the drill. More interesting posts = more points for your House. Be realistic about your character’s ability to do things - wandless/nonverbal magic is hard, and only begins to be taught in the fifth year anyway. If you need Aaron, just tag him in the header of your post.

7th years, you are welcome to attend this lesson, but be aware that the majority of Spellwork lessons for 7th year students are individual sessions with Aaron, so they would not be required to attend this class although they can if they want.

    • Or I could lose my marbles - Rose Farnon [Aquila], Wed Feb 1 17:13
      With a last glance in the mirror, Rose checked to make sure that her eyeliner was still neat, pulled her paisley owl bag over her shoulder, and left the room she and Marissa shared to go to... more
    • I'm not much of a rider - Russell Drew [4th year, Cetus], Sun Jan 29 20:55
      Russell tended to arrive early to class. Not obscenely early, but enough that he was almost always able to claim the most dimly-lit chair, usually off in a corner or against a wall, and set up at a... more
      • Is that relevant? - Dardanius Dubois [5th year Lyra], Wed Feb 1 09:53
        Danny was one of the last students to arrive in time for the spellwork class, as was the norm for him. Never late, but never early, Danny ended up sitting wherever a space remained. Today that was... more
        • Despite having a kind of ridiculous full name - or maybe in spite of it - Danny seemed like a pretty easy-going guy. He had basically shrugged off Russell’s frenzied eating, at least, so that was... more
          • Okay. I don't sing. - Danny, Wed Feb 1 16:38
            Rusell’s reaction to Danny pointing at his pocket was both comical and alarming. The fifth year knew his eyebrows had approached his hairline of their own volition but he tried to hold back any... more
            • Oh hey, me neither! - Russell, Wed Feb 1 20:40
              With a skeptical humming noise, Russell shrugged. “I guess they might not.” He didn’t have as much faith as Danny about that, but it was kind of nice of the other boy to try reassuring him about it,... more
              • A common ground - Danny, Sat Feb 4 08:51
                “Oh yeah, I can levitate non-verbally, too,” Danny replied, pleased to have found some common ground and that the younger student wasn't going to instantly outshine him. The fifth year liked to be... more
    • How about a glass menagerie? - Holland Keene [Lyra], Sat Jan 28 14:38
      Professor McKindy was Holland’s favorite person in the entire school. He did experimental charms and was queer and got to work at the same place as his partner. He had a hat made of bubbles made of... more
      • Don't get me started on Tom - Marissa Kendrick (5th Year Aquila), Sat Jan 28 17:52
        Just because she was related-but-not-related-but-related to Professor Aaron McKindy did not mean that Marissa found Spellwork to be any easier than other classes. The red head didn’t actually know... more
        • Jim was okay - Holland, Thu Feb 2 14:26
          “Box sounds like a plan. Probably easier than the blocks.” The wooden blocks in the boxes seemed more solid than the thinner, more flexible walls of the box. To say nothing of material. Holland knew... more
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