Is your query philosophical or scientific?
Thu Jun 6, 2019 10:09

Elliot started dancing, or at least moving in a way that was more closely akin to dancing than to any other form of movement Jesse could currently bring to mind. It wasn’t like the dancing that Felix did, which looked more coordinated when Jesse was forced to watch it (his brother didn’t practice much at home because their home just wasn’t big enough for dancing in, even when they pushed all the furniture back against the walls, and then Dad yelled at them for moving stuff around, but quite often when he wasn’t at school Jesse was forced to go and watch Felix in a show. His parents let him sit and game in the audience every moment that Felix wasn’t on stage, so it wasn’t too bad, but he had to at least pretend to watch his younger brother leap and twirl about in sparkly spandex, even if quite often he ended up scrutinizing the lighting rig instead) but Elliot’s legs were kicking and hopping and Jesse could reasonably conclude it was his spell that made that happen.

Jesse’s guilt dulled, as the jinx seemed harmless. Around him, other students were beginning to mimic jigs and jives, just like Elliot was doing. Jesse was pleased he hadn’t caused any harm to his partner by casting an unknown spell (not something he was likely to do again anytime soon, thanks to the fleeting panic that accompanied waiting for its effects) and he was pleased, too, that his spell had worked, but he was dismayed on Elliot’s behalf that his shield charm had not deployed effectively. The second year didn’t seem to mind, however, as he declared, “This is so cool!” Jesse allowed the corners of his mouth to pull up into a smile: he was enjoying himself and so was Elliot, and they were following the lesson plan laid out by Professor Embers, even with its dubious effectiveness, and Jesse’s spellcasting had been successful. All in all this class was so far a great improvement on Jesse’s low expectations.

The Draco was preparing to cancel his spell on Elliot, and suggest that they swap around so that Jesse could try the shield charm and Elliot could take a turn at the new spell - and only then should they consider some other arrangement of the instructions, perhaps whereby Elliot could cast the dancing jinx on Jesse with his shield deactivated, so the second year could test his own abilities unencumbered by Protego - but then Elliot posed an interesting question: “Can you make it be a different dance?”

“I don’t know,” Jesse replied to begin with. He had not known the spell he cast would make Elliot dance (again he resolved to never do such a thing again, even when instructed to do so by a Professor: it wasn’t consistent with Jesse’s morality, or even his common sense) so he had obviously not been trying for any type of dance in particular. He had not ever heard of the spell before, either, and so had no knowledge of whether it would be possible to control the type of movement one inflicted on the victim of this spell, or if the sporadic, jerky reel was the standard and only expected outcome. A quick scope of the room informed Jesse that his classmates under the spell were moving in motions very similar to Elliot’s, but as they were all - he presumed - ignorant of the spell before casting as he had been himself, they would all be under the initial control group: those who’d been jinxed by someone unfamiliar with the spell, and therefore not in a position to attempt to alter its effects. “I can try, if you don’t have any objections,” he suggested. A scientific method here proved the most expedient way to collect the information the boys were seeking.

On receiving Elliot’s consent, Jesse raised his wand again. He thought about Felix stretching and arching his body in a way that seemed more feline than human, his feet bare and even his fingers appearing more graceful than Jesse had ever been in his life. He suspected his own ignorance of dance would hamper his ability to control Elliot’s movements, but that was something he would note when writing up this experiment later. There were so many variables to control! “Target acquired. Locked.” This was harder than last time, as Elliot wasn’t keeping anywhere near so still anymore. “Tarantallegra,” Jesse cast for the second time.

  • What makes a dancer? - Elliot, Mon May 27 15:37
    Huh. Was Jesse… fun? All of Elliot’s friends at RMI were fun, obv, but none of them liked video games and stuff as much as he did. Sadie and Tycho would play with him if he insisted but he was pretty ... more
    • Is your query philosophical or scientific? - Jesse, Thu Jun 6 10:09
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