Professor Rob Hier
Catch this! [Potions, Yrs IV - VII]
Wed Mar 1, 2017 06:05

Rob had never been this anxious before. Admittedly, very few things made him anxious, but apparently ‘about to be a father’ fit the bill. It was an unusual place for Rob to be. Typically he was - well yeah, cocky was probably the right word, although he would probably use ‘self-assured’, personally. He was confident. He was ready to take on just about anything because when it came down to it, most things were probably less of a potential hazard to him than his own body. But apparently when it came to the idea of his wife producing a child in the near future, Rob turned into a quivering bunch of jelly. Relatively.

Celia was due within the month, and all of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy had definitely come in full force for the final stretch. Rob found himself up at all hours of the night with her, wheeling down to the kitchens for whatever her latest craving was (pickled beets, weirdly, were a common one) or just keeping her company as the baby chose to prevent her from sleeping. Rob felt this was distinctly unfair of their unborn child; he had been under the distinct impression that the sleeplessness happened after birth, not before. You’re a month early, kid Rob had thought at three o’clock that morning when he’d been woken up by Cel getting out of bed for the second time that night.

He hadn’t been back to sleep since, and by the time advanced potions came around the brown-haired potioneer was very pleased with his past self, who had already put together the lesson over the weekend.

Rob had decided to put his advanced students through a run of two-week introductions to certain potions specializations. Last week they had finished what Rob called the ‘home and hearth’ session, where they’d learned how to brew common home-helper potions that most witches and wizards got from the shop. Now they were working on medical potions, which was Rob’s personal specialty. Healing wasn’t his jam, but diagnostics and pharmaceuticals were definitely a special interest of his. They’d done a lot of theory the past couple of lessons, and Rob had figured it was about time they get back in the lab.

Wearing an olive polo shirt and jeans that were, seemingly inexplicably, ripped at one knee (if asked, Rob would point out that cripples could fall down too, you know, geez), Rob rolled into the Practical Lab and immediately began setting up for class. The potion they were making today was mostly made of common ingredients, but Rob had asked the house-elves to bring a box of spare everything just in case. Some of this students were less on top of their game than others were when it came to refilling their potions kits, and while Rob generally enjoyed seeing the unprepared dash around trying to get someone to lend them a little more rat spleen or bubotuber pus, he was busy being distracted by his impending firstborn and felt he wouldn’t be able to enjoy the suffering of his students appropriately. Better save it for a later date.

With a tap of his wand, the instructions for the potion appeared on the board. They read:

Boil .7oz shredded bicorn horn in a liter of water sprinkled with one handful wormwood.
Stir four times clockwise. Remove from heat and let sit until cool.
Cast a Revealing Charm over the mixture. It should begin to shine with a silver light.
Drip one vial salamander blood into the mixture.
Heat potion to a simmer. The silver light should slowly dissipate.
Mash two handfuls polygonatum leaves and drop into mixture.
Boil for 9 minutes.
Strain and bottle while still warm. Once cool, it will settle into a cream-like consistency.

Humming off-key, Rob set out a series of petri dishes on the desk that sat in the front of the room. There were enough petri dishes for each individual student in the class, plus three more just in case. Within the petri dish was a patch of what looked disturbingly like human skin - actually transfigured leather treated with a special potion.

Students began to arrive and Rob greeted some of them as they came in; others chose to go directly to their lab benches. Rob liked to think that he was a relatively popular teacher, even though he knew he could get on some students’ nerves without much effort, Lucien Dubois being an excellent example of this. In his personal opinion, anyone who let their annoyance get in the way of their potionsmaking just wasn’t trying hard enough. After all, he and Celia had worked with Jack for far too long, and aside from a few, ah, well-meaning pranks had managed civility.

“All right, let’s get started,” Rob said as the last student scooted into the classroom, seven and a half minutes late. He didn’t really care that much about punctuality. The classroom chatter mostly died down. “Cool so today we’re going to be working on a Contagious Disease Diagnostic Potion. I know we went over it in class, but I’m just going to refresh you since I know at least some of you were busy being asleep,” a well-meaning but pointed look at one of the students in question. “Anyway so it pretty much does what you think it does, indicates the presence of a contagious disease. It was invented, as far as we can tell, to identify the Black Plague. Unfortunately it’s kind of unspecific, so a lot of people ended up getting exiled from their homes for things like the stomach flu or syphilis instead of the plague but you know, invention takes time so can’t blame the makers too much there.

“Fortunately by this juncture we’ve figured out how to identify specific diseases with it, so we find it a lot more useful now, particularly in the cases of fast-acting or particularly contagious diseases. Ebola’s a good example of that.

“We’re not going to be making specific potions today since that requires the blood of an infected subject and that’s technically a biohazard so we’re skipping that. We are, however, going to make the general potion. There’s a petri dish for each one of you up here that you can use to test your solution on - typically you want to dip your thumb in it and then make a thumbprint on the person’s forehead just to make sure you’ve got enough area without turning their face into a beacon for the next three days.” Rob looked around. Some students were taking notes while others were fiddling with their kits or examining their fingernails with an intensity only seen in classroom situations or awkward family gatherings.

“Fantastic. Since I know you all live for the joys of working in partners, find a buddy and share a cauldron. Directions are on the board, petri dishes and extra ingredients are up here, scoot scoot children!”

Rob moved out of the way as students came up to fetch the petri dishes. There was a high chance of things blowing up this class - diagnostic potions could be tricky, but he wasn’t going to tell them that - and he always found it funny when things blew up. Singed eyebrows all around!

Write things, follow rules, etc etc. Remember that you get house points for this and the more you entertain me, the more points you’re likely to get! If you need Rob, tag me in the title of the post. You can find out more about this potion here. Have fun!

    • Are you daring me to? - Kaye Packman (Aquila 4th Year), Sun Mar 5 11:56
      One of the things Kaye appreciated about Professor Rob was his lack of homework. He seemed to understand that potions was a hands on subject, like most magic, and he didn’t assign busy work. She... more
    • That's a sick joke - Dardanius Dubois [5th year Lyra], Fri Mar 3 16:22
      Slinging his bookbag onto the floor, but placing down his potions kit with a degree of care, Dardanius clambered clumsily onto his seat and resumed his daily task of inking in the centre of all the... more
      • Fortunately, I'm immune to jokes - Lucien Dubois [7th year, Draco], Sat Mar 4 01:16
        It was time for Potions, otherwise known as the best part of the day... Er, make that second-best. Dating Francine, while occasionally reminding him of why he hadn’t previously gotten along very well ... more
        • But laughter is contagious - Dardanius, Sat Mar 4 21:37
          Lucien - or the other Dubois, as Danny often thought of him - was exceptionally lacking in sense of humour, but was a competent potioneer. The trade-off of grades for fun wasn't one that the fifth... more
          • Alas, intelligence isn't - Lucien, Mon Mar 6 03:16
            It was unlikely, Lucien decided after a moment’s consideration, that Danny was intentionally trying to piss him off by his display of nonverbal magic. But that was still what he did. The oldest... more
            • Danny raised his eyebrows, a little surprised by Lucien’s audible scoff. He knew that the seventh year wasn’t popular among Danny’s own friendship group for his apparent lack of respect for Holland,... more
              • Fine by me. I'm not one for cards. - Lucien, Thu Mar 9 20:35
                Taking a clean handkerchief out of his pocket, Lucien began polishing his knife, watching Danny intently as the younger boy stirred their potion. Just because he’d offered him the chance didn’t mean... more
                • You shock and astound me - Danny, Sat Mar 11 15:08
                  If Danny weren’t already standing he might have fallen off his stool. ‘More than competent?’ He would have asked Lucien when he was planning to propose if he hadn’t been dumbfounded. His silence... more
                  • You I find less surprising - Lucien, Sun Mar 12 23:06
                    For the entire duration that they waited, Lucien moved only twice. The first was merely a startled reaction when Danny pulled out a thermometer too early. Having spent much of his free time during... more
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