Professor Cindra Embers and (uninvited) Guest
Have a Hex of a Time (DADA 4-7)
Sat Nov 3, 2018 22:32
162.157.213.224

The fourth through seventh years were sometimes separated for lessons, fourth and fifth in one group with sixth and seventh in another, but today wasn’t one of those days. The lesson plan in the curriculum indicated that everyone could benefit from the material with different bits of scaffolding for each level (heck yeah, teacher lingo!). They were used to mixing it up, so being told they were having a combined class wouldn’t have been much of a surprise to the upper years.

What was a surprise, however, was the presence greeting them in the doorway.

“Your cloak has ties for a reason, Mr. Carboni,” chastised the Deputy Headmaster, who had better things to do with his time but today had undertaken the role of doorkeep. Gaze locked on the student, Bellamy waited until his robes were fastened before indicating with a nod that he was free to enter. This process was taking longer than he would have liked, but he had given Cindra permission to start teaching even if some students were still outside the room. The fault was theirs; all were old enough to know to come to class dressed appropriately.

No matter how oblivious she played, it was a courtesy to both herself and the students that Bellamy had volunteered to continue supervising her classes. (Well, “volunteer” was a stretch. He was paid to be here.) After his initial round of observations, he had swiftly concluded that she was one of the more questionable professors. His feedback to Tobias on this had gone unanswered, which he took as support to pursue a closer examination of her methods. Hence his lingering presence at the back where he could watch for rule-bending and nonconformity - by students and staff alike.

Cindra Embers stood in her usual spot in the middle of the lab. To pretty much anyone, it would seem that she was smiling like she did every day: uninhibited joy due to the opportunity to teach and change and mold young lives. Even though Defense Against the Dark Arts wasn’t her first choice to teach, she loved it. There was something hidden behind that smile, though, that didn’t often grace her features: annoyance.

“Hello everyone,” she greeted the students cheerily once they all had filed inside. Then, without giving Bellamy a second glance, she said, “As always in my classroom, you are free to remove your robes if you feel they will inhibit your movements. This is a practical class, not a theoretical, and everyone deserves to feel comfortable.” With the mustachioed man frowning in the background, she gave the students a chance to remove and put away their robes if they chose. She was all about her classroom being a safe space and Bellamy was ruining it with all of his ridiculous rules. She’d been at Rocky Mountain International much longer than he had, and no one wore their robes.

“In our last class where we were all together, we focused on jinxes and counter jinxes,” she began. Cindra knew she was growing as an educator, so she did not like how Bellamy observing made her feel. The curriculum was her bible; why did people still act like she didn’t know what she was doing? She did not enjoy feeling so restricted. “Today, we’re moving up in the world of darker magic: Hexes.”

Mr. Chalkboard tore himself from the wall and floated closer to the group of students, whipping up a quick chart in the process. The chart indicated that Jinxes sat at “Dark” and Curses sat at “Darkest”, with Hexes sitting nicely in the middle at “Darker.”

“Hexes are meant to cause moderate suffering for the victim. Basically, they’re meant to be a major inconvenience to the target,” she explained, “Sub-optimal, really. Hexes can be used in a defensive way, like in a duel, but protecting yourself from hexes can also be tricky. That’s what we’ll be practicing today.”

She was excited to show off the set of dummy’s she’d spent the week enchanting. Each were able to do something hex-like to a student, and the student would have to deflect it. But as soon as she made one appear, before she could even open her mouth to explain, Bellamy cleared his throat loudly from the side of the room, where he had migrated while she was talking. Having gone to the effort of not only reading her lesson plan in advance but magically copying it to his clipboard and making notes in the margins, he had identified this part as a safety hazard. Cindra may be the Defense instructor, but that didn’t qualify her to make such enchantments. Chastising her verbally in front of the class would not be professional, but he had no qualms against giving her a pointed look and a slight head-shake.

Growing up in a pureblood household that didn’t understand her made Cindra very aware of what that look meant. Fine, he could be that way. She responded with her most bubbly, innocent voice and smile. “Our Deputy Headmaster has graciously volunteered to demonstrate Hex Deflection for us today. Give him a round of applause!”

As the sound of (needlessly enthusiastic, in his opinion) applause scattered around the room, Bellamy put on a polite smile that moderately disguised a long, strained inhalation-exhalation between his teeth. He was going to have a word with Tobias about this later. For now, he drew his wand from the inside pocket of his suit, Banished the clipboard back to his office, and stepped to the front of the room. “My pleasure,” he lied smoothly, “and thank you all for that warm welcome to your class,” he lied again. “When you are ready, Professor Embers.”

“You know the spell you’ll be using?”

“Of course.”

Her wand appeared in her hand, like she plucked it out of thin air, and immediately a grey-ish, silvery light shot out at Bellamy. She didn’t expect the Sardine Hex to land, but it would be so fun if it did.

As for Bellamy’s own expectations, having her cast non-verbally was not one of them, but fortunately he was already prepared. “Salvio Hexia.” With a flick of his wand, the silvered beam of light was diverted upwards and fizzled out over his head. Another flick and a quieter mutter, and he sent a violet-hued Blooming Hex towards her.

Salvio Hexia.” She chose to speak the Hex Deflection spell, since it’s what she was teaching, and followed up with a silent tickling hex. Bellamy deflected it again, and they repeated this pattern for several more rounds. Mr. Chalkboard bobbed around the display, the incantation written on his face. Eventually, Cindra didn’t return with a hex, and focused back on her students.

“You get the idea. Pair off, practice Hex Deflection. Anything else to add?” She directed the question at Bellamy, who shook his head. “Wonderful. The two of us, I guess, will be here if you have any questions or need help.” Compared to being pressed into a mock duel with that blasted chalkboard careening about, Bellamy was much more open to the idea of assisting students and took up stance near her, retrieving his clipboard to make several notes while they watched the students work.

    • What a delightful premise - Claudia Dubois, Sun Nov 4 15:32
      Deputy Headmaster Bellamy Fell’s continued presence in Defense Against the Dark Arts classes was reassuring whilst being frustrating. Professor Embers was admittedly somewhat scatterbrained and... more
      • Is it really? - DJ Finn, Sun Nov 11 13:46
        DJ had always liked Defense Against the Dark Arts at Wallowa but here not so much. At Wallowa, there was less emphasis on defensive and offensive skills for dueling but more practical things like how ... more
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