Professor Rob Hier
Wiggling in Anticipation [Potions, Yrs 4 - 7]
Wed Jan 18, 2017 06:30

Given that it was now late October, Rob Jacobs had decided to have a little bit of fun with his older students. He didn’t believe in fun for his younger students, so they were pretty much SOL for the rest of the semester (that was a lie, he believed in fun for everyone. Especially when that fun involved pranking them). Anyway, he’d planned a fantastic lesson for them, and to Celia’s mild exasperation had sneakily tested it on her first. Once her ears stopped wiggling and Rob was relatively certain his wife wasn’t going to murder him yet, the brown-haired professor had explained the plan to her. In his opinion, it was quite a good plan.

“Good afternoon, students!” Rob said, rolling into the classroom five minutes late for class. To be fair, Potions was immediately after lunch today so he imagined that he hadn’t been the only person running a little bit late. Or well, in his case, rolling a little bit late. He also wasn’t wearing robes like he was technically supposed to, but if anyone called him out on it Rob was ready to pull the “but I can’t use robes in my wheelchair” line. He could, actually, use robes in his wheelchair. He just preferred his burgundy hoodie and jeans to a robe.

Because this was a combined class it was a little bit larger than usual. Many older students chose not to continue with Potions, which was disappointing, but for those who had it was going to be a great lesson. O+. Rob figuratively patted himself on the back. Lapis, his service dog, looked up at him with the dog equivalent of a raised eyebrow, as if she knew how much self-congratulation was going on before the lesson had even started.

“Today,” he said, scooting his wheelchair (complete with painted flames on the wheel covers) over to the chalkboard at the front of the room, “We are going to be learning one of my favorite prank potions: the Ear-Wiggling potion!” Rob grinned widely at the group. “Then we’re going to test it for purity and those of you who achieve 98% purity or above will be able to take your creation back to your dorm to use as you see fit.” the Potions professor thought there was great merit in the students seeing the results of their labor in action, particularly in this case. “Of course,” he added, “I would never encourage you to slip it into a classmate’s morning pumpkin juice. That,” Rob continued, looking seriously at his students and nodding. “Would be wrong.”

He technically couldn’t get in trouble now, right?

“Anyway,” the man continued, waving his wand at the blackboard. A list of five ingredients appeared: willowbark, agrimony, Clabbert pustule, flitterbloom root, and aquamarine powder. “Can anyone tell me the properties of any of these ingredients?” After calling on a few students, the correct answers had all been spelled out, and Rob nodded again. “Good job guys. That’s exactly right. Now, what does this potion look like it does, just from the ingredients?”

Someone said something about a healing potion, and Rob nodded again. “Exactly. Now as we’ve discussed, experimental potions is pretty tricky.” The students all knew that he’d worked in industry for the past several years; he had told them plenty of stories about Jack, a former coworker with the intellectual capacity of a Billywig, and his saga of terrible potions experiments. “The Ear-Wiggling Potion is actually a potion that was being experimentally developed as a fever reducer in the nineteenth century. For some reason that isn’t quite fully understood, it doesn’t work without the willowbark. That’s why we’ve since added agrimony, to prevent any unpleasant side effects of internal bleeding in the recipient of this delight. It’s the predecessor to the Fever Reduction Potion, which as some of you know is still commonly used today.

“Now, today we’re going to distill our own willowbark essence. You have all the necessary distillation equipment at your stations. We’re going to be working with a fractional distillation today - who can remind all of us what that is?”

One of the more attentive students explained the process of distillation. First, the students would make the solution. Then they would heat it below a fractionating column, which was available at their stations. At the top and sides of the column condensation would form, where it would be heated by the hot vapor and condense once more. After several iterations of this process, the condensation would drip into a receptacle, forming a purer distillate.

“Right, so that’s going to be your first step,” Rob said. He waved his wand again, and instructions appeared on the board:

Place the crushed willowbark in a solution that is two parts spirit vinegar and one part water.
Distill the solution
Brew essence of agrimony and add the distillate while still hot.
Using a Cooling Charm, cool the mixture and then add it to a half-cauldron full of boiling water.
Thinly slice flitterbloom root rounds and sprinkle into the cauldron.
Stir twice clockwise and thrice counter-clockwise. Reduce heat.
Squeeze the pus from the Clabbert pustules and let it drip slowly into the cauldron.
Using a Mixing Charm, mix the ingredients thoroughly until the Clabbert pus has been dissolved completely.
Add aquamarine powder. Remove from heat and let sit for twenty minutes.
Filter out any solids remaining in the potion and bottle it.

“After you’re done filtering out the solids, call me over and I’ll show you how to test your potion purity. Sound good? Any questions?”

After sorting out questions, Rob said “All right, now everyone pair up. Try and work with someone you haven’t worked with before! You have,” he looked at the watch on his right wrist. “Two and a half hours.”

The distillation would by far take the longest of any portion of the potionmaking process, but in Rob’s opinion it was important for the students to learn how to make their own distillate. Sometimes they would need a purified ingredient that wasn’t easily available in distilled form.

Rob wiped his wand on the sleeve of his hoodie, tucked it into the side pocket of his wheelchair, and began rolling around the classroom, observing his students with Lapis trotting dutifully at his side.

More interesting posts get more points, so get on that. Y’all all know to follow the 200 word rule, and the rest of the rules while you’re at it. Pair up, have fun, tag me if you need me. Try not to blow up the lab probably.

    • Spoil sport - Dardanius Dubois [5th year Lyra], Sat Jan 21 07:05
      Perched on a stool, his elbow on the workbench and chin in his palm, Dardanius was idly taking half-hearted notes on the class introduction. He did not volunteer to answer any of the questions, even... more
    • Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle - Marissa Kendrick (5th Year Aquila), Fri Jan 20 21:43
      It was late October, and Marissa Kendrick still wasn’t sure about whether or not she’d throw a big Halloween party. She wanted to, of course, but time had slipped away from the fifth year. Her party... more
      • I hope this isn't a dance class - Russell Drew [4th year, Cetus], Mon Jan 23 14:37
        In all honesty, Russell probably shouldn’t be taking Potions. He was confident in his ability to make the most of his limited vision, but confidence didn't always guarantee accuracy. Just yesterday... more
        • Marissa blinked her green eyes at the student, trying to place him. As one of the most social people at Rocky Mountain International, she tried her best to at least know everyone by name. Maybe a... more
          • Not for those of us less dance-y! - Russell , Tue Jan 24 00:37
            At the girl's reassurance that she didn’t have a partner, Russell backtracked once again, only this time not literally as he instead stepped forward. “Oh. Okay. Sounds good.” His eye twitched several ... more
            • Dance is just memorization! - Marissa, Sun Jan 29 11:38
              Was this guy just a nervous person, or had Marissa accidentally done something to make him nervous? He didn’t seem to know her by name, so she wanted to assume it was the first one. The Aquila knew... more
    • I have no interest in wiggling - Lucien Dubois [7th year, Draco], Wed Jan 18 20:50
      Having been rapping his fingers for the past three minutes (the first two had been spent reviewing his notes from last class), Lucien shot an automatic glare at their professor - sorry, "Rob" - as he ... more
      • I can wiggle for the both of us. - Armaan Bansal, [Lyra], Fri Jan 20 01:27
        Armaan sauntered down the hallway, fully aware he was running late to potions. If Rob bothered to ask him why he was late, he’d just say he ran into Professor Boot, but he doubted he’d need the... more
        • Only if it doesn't get in my way. - Lucien, Fri Jan 20 23:47
          Grumbling rude but barely-audible things in French under his breath, Lucien took several pieces of willow bark and began grinding it under his marble pestle while watching Armaan's disorganized... more
          • Only if you do all the work. - Armaan Bansal, [Aquila], Fri Feb 3 22:28
            So on the plus side, Lucien was taking charge of the potion leaving Armaan with little to do. Things were going according to plan. On the down side, Armaan was bored and hungry. Standing by the older ... more
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