Professor Rob Hier
Trick up your sleeve? [Potions, I - III]
Sat Nov 3, 2018 12:58

It wasn’t that Professor Robert Hier had always been a proponent of planning ahead, but if nothing else had taught him that it was a useful application of his energy, raising four children had done the trick. Even as a student, he hadn’t been one to procrastinate often (or at least, that was how he recalled his younger years) and it was time to teach his own students that learning to plan ahead would be useful to them, too. There had been some kerfuffle with his younger students, particularly the first years. Rob had caught Kit Kendrick trying to make a potion that would turn Elliot Phippen into a frog twice, for example. The kid could stand a few days as a frog, in Rob’s opinion, but Kit didn’t have the attention to detail required to make that sort of potion. Or at least, not without it resulting in a dramatic, colorful death for the drinker. Overall, Rob was pretty sure that even Bellamy Fell, the new Deputy Head, who seemed to dislike small children as much as normal people disliked leeches, would agree that poisoning the first years was to be frowned upon.

On that note, with April Fool’s fast approaching (well maybe not that fast, but it was Rob’s favorite holiday), he had come up with a way to prevent murder and mayhem among the lower years. Instead of rudely curbing their creativity and talent, Rob would simply re-direct the energies of the lower years such that they would be pointed at the upper years. Quite a few of that group could do with a bit of excess nostril hair or shoes stuck seemingly permanently to socks. And for those students that chose to eschew socks in their daily wear - well, they would learn their lesson, Rob supposed.

He wheeled along the corridors, humming to himself, until he reached the practical lab. Lapis, his chocolate-colored babysitter-slash-service-dog, trotted along next to him. Poor Lapis had enjoyed relative peace and quiet before the arrival of several noisy children and an equally noisy dog. Now, she spent a not-insignificant amount of time gazing at Rob accusatorily, as if the clamor encroaching on her previously serene existence was all his fault. Which, well, it was. And to his credit, ‘serene’ was a little bit of an overstatement of what had come before the kids - after all, with a pair of potioneers in the house, there was always the risk of something going bang at the wrong moment.

Here it was - the practical lab. The place that would, with any luck, be the origin of much chaos come April. Never one to shirk his responsibility as RMI’s resident lord of pranks and tomfoolery, Rob had prepared several enjoyable options for today’s lesson. For maximum fun, he had created a kind of buffet-style lesson plan. Since they would be exploring things outside the strict range of the IWCE standards, it was likely that not all students had a properly prepared potions kit. As for those that did - well, Rob was sure to see them in his IMPs class once they were old enough.

Once he was done laying out the extra ingredients in clearly labeled piles on the counter at the front of the room, Rob used his wand to painstakingly write out on the board the recipe for the potion that would provide a base for the prank potions his youngest students were going to make that day.

Base Potion
4 Flabberghasted Leeches, diced
1 dram Clabbert pus
2 oz Flitterbloom root, crushed and thinly sliced

Let boil 15 minutes. Stir thrice clockwise, thrice counter-clockwise, then add rat blood one drop at a time until the mixture is the same consistency as pancake batter. Stir in desired ingredients.

Then, Rob drew three columns underneath the basic recipe. One labeled “Color”, one labeled “Disfigurements”, and one labeled “Effects”. Under “Color”, he listed a number of plants that were traditionally used as dyes; with the base potion, they would turn someone’s skin a fun, new hue. Each plant was labeled with the color that it would turn the drinker, although Rob was sure that some enterprising young student would try to mix the colors. There was a way to produce a shifting rainbow effect, which he would absolutely reveal to any student that was interested in trying it.

Under “Disfigurements”, Rob carefully indicated that wartcap powder and dandelion seeds would cause warts; that a small handful of rat-tail tips would cause a production and thickening of nostril hairs; that hornet cocoons wrapped in spider web trimmings would result in an outbreak of corns; and that a single tooth from a juvenile shark would cause the drinker’s teeth to (temporarily) become very pointed, which would make eating anything other than meat frustratingly difficult. On a personal level, Rob sincerely hoped that someone would use that last one on Myfanwy.

Finally, Rob filled in the Effects column. Slivers of bicorn horn would cause steam to spout enthusiastically out of the victim’s drinker’s ears, while kneazle milk would result in particularly viscous bogies oozing out of their nose. Slime from the rare Vanishing Slug would result in occasional slugs (the less rare banana kind, for anyone who was curious) being coughed up.

By the time he was done, his little group of miscreants had all wandered into class. It was time to begin instructing the students in some very valuable life skills.

“Today we’ll be working on your April Fool’s assignment,” Rob began, his speech slurred from prior strokes. He was still understandable, but it might take some students a moment or two to register what he was saying. “As you know, you are explicitly forbidden to dose anyone in this class,” a pointed look at Kit, who was trying to look innocent by refusing to meet his eyes, “but in this case, I highly encourage you to use these new-found skills on an upperclassman or two. If they’re clever, they’ll figure out how to reverse the effects. If not…” Rob shrugged and didn’t finish his sentence. Too bad for the ones who had decided against taking IMPs-level Potions.

“Follow the directions to make the base potion, then go wild on picking whatever effects you’d like your potion to have. Please keep in mind that the more effects you choose, the weaker the effects will actually be. When you’re done with your potions, please drop some aquamarine in them and bring them to a boil until they are clear as water.” That would counteract any mistakes that might cause particularly nasty consequences.

Rob clapped his hands together. “There you go! Scoot scoot scoot.”

Have fun, write nice posts, make me laugh for more points. Follow all the rules (duh) and tag Rob if you need anything from me ~

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