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 The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1

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Mimosa Harrington
Slytherin Second Year
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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:29 am

Mimosa had narrowed her eyes at the professor's casual denial of what happened last Halloween but before she could say much else, other people had started coming in, other taller, more impressive looking people. And despite the child's conviction that she was absolutely right and that he were wrong, she would wait to corner him some other day. He had done a bad thing so he would have to say sorry, that was just how things worked.

As she took her seat, the man began to talk about ruins. Which the girl wasn't sure about at first because she thought ruins were like old buildings you had to buy a ticket to see. It didn't help that she couldn't really read anything on the board or understand the shapes around the classroom that the other students seem to instantly get. Was this a secret language? Or an art class. Taking out a quill, the young Slytherin began to randomly draw a weird looking symbol she saw on a knife hanging of one of the walls.

When Professor Kessler asked them to turn to page ten, Mimosa looked at her textbook blankly. Counting out ten pages, she arrived at a page of a large picture taken in Egypt. Everyone around her however had a page with text on it. Taking a peek at her neighbor's book, Mimosa finally found the right page and stared at the words, taking non of them in.

It was a good thing they were asked ot partner up for he assignment because the young American knew she was going to need some direction. Writing erh name was annoying even in English without her special quill, writing it in this strange language would be nearly impossible. Looking around, the child scouted out potential partners, looking for someone who was so good, they had already done it on their own.

Gradually, her eyes landed on a Ravenclaw prefect and a Slytherin one. Choosing the Slytherin one who was also Elenore's friend, Mimosa picked up her book and made her way to the older witch, placing the book on the desk with a plop. "Umm, could you please help me. I don't know what any of this means," she asked the pretty witch with a tentative smile. Elenore might be playing the game but would her friend ignore Mimosa too?

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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:39 am



Tess hummed softly as she returned to her assignment in hopes of making even making a thought out in ancient runes, perhaps like a classic spell. As she fiddled with her quill, a small seemingly shy voice rose through the silence of the classroom.

Lifting her gaze of her scroll was a tiny girl. At first her brain wracked with thinking of the name, that is until something in the back of her mind reminded her of just who that was. Mimosa Harrington not a Clement and the current thorn on her best friend Ellie's side. She found herself briefly inspecting the girl wondering what did the young witch do to hurt Ellie so badly.

The memory of her mentioning herself as a Clement seemed clear enough of a reason. Still, she knew as a Prefect she had a duty to help. So she sent the young girl a shy but sincere smile to Mimosa before nodding.

"Of course, please take a seat. Mimosa is a tough name to spell in runes so I get it" she whispered softly to not create a disturbance around them. " Let me see what you have so far okay?"

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:34 am

Letting out a relieved breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding, the little witch slipped into the seat beside the Prefect, smiling brightly at her now. The older girl may have been Elenore's friend but she wasn't playing the same game. In fact, maybe Elenore had sent this girl here to help Mimosa since the Hufflepuff couldn't? Elenore was still watching over her even through this game. The thought vastly comforted Mimosa as she turned to the older older Slyherin, attempting to answer the question.

"Uh... My name has two Ms," she began uncertainty because in truth, she hadn't gotten very far at all. Just looking at the weird shapes had made the girl internally groan but now she would have to focus. "So I tried looking for the Ms?" Her answer came out more of a question as her blue eyes scanned the normal roman alphabets, ligating upon the two joined triangles that formed the first letter of her name.

"Here," the child spoke, her voice bright at finally locating the letter. Her finger confidentially landed on the "W" inscribed on the page. "We need two of these right?"

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Andrei Kessler
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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:47 pm

Stepping away from a particularly large third year near the front of the class after helping him, Andrei continued his slow deliberate rounds of the room. Here and there he spotted new faces and old, which was a step in the right direction. After all, when he was younger and a student himself he'd seen many a frustrated student drop ancient runes without so much as a second thought. Yes, a step in the right direction to be sure but only a step and nothing more.

Snaking his way towards the back of the class, the professor took careful note of each student's progress with just a cursory glance at the papers he passed by. Miss Homles, Miss Denver, and Miss Goldstein all seemed to have a firm handle on their runic names though it appeared as if the first of the three was the only one to understand the concept of teamwork. Oh well, there was yet time for the other two to pick up on it much like there was time for Miss Harrington and Miss Grey to work towards understanding the Futhark script in the first place. Learning, that's what school was for, right?

Finally arriving at the back of the room the older man could not help the smirk that tugged at his mouth at the sight of his own son's paper. Not only had Nikolai written out his full name, but he'd also littered the page with some less than school appropriate descriptions of his own father in perfect Futhark, of course. The kid had talent, which wasn't all that surprising considering he'd been raised with the text like a second language. Nonetheless, when Nikolai glanced sheepishly up at Andrei, the professor's former smirk disappeared only to be replaced by a disapproving shake of the head and a slight frown.

Where did I go wrong with him? Andrei mused to himself with mental tongue in mental cheek. Having come to the back of the classroom, he began making his way back towards the front. If anyone found themselves in need of assistance, then they needed to only ask for it. If not, well, then he'd be continuing the lesson upon arriving at the blackboard.

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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:28 am



The girl was sweet, an Tess shared a softer expression with the girl at the clear confusion that was shown. She was never allowed be feel this; the idea of not knowing or asking for help would cause her to receive a fair amount of slaps from her father. Still, it was nice to see that innocence still existed. So as the girl sat herself beside her and began to attempt to properly spell her name a problem arose that she hard never faced. Why was Mimosa pointing at wrong sign? She tilted her head and looked curiously at the girl.

"Honey" the term of endearment arose without her realizing it. Her tone almost eerily maternal. "You mean this letter" she moved the smaller hand to the "M" with the crosses in between.

"Mimosa is M-I-M-O-S-A" Tess write it in clear script before moving to the first letter. "So we have the first letter, let's move to the I, which is easy right? Another M." She lightly moved the girls hands around so she could understand. "The O is a bit weird see? It looks more like an F with wiggly lines" she giggled. "The 'S' looks like that backward N, I know confusing but it gets better. We're even close. Lastly my favorite letter, an A."

Once she was done, she looked up at the girl once more with a sweet smile. "We're done. Mimosa does look lovely in runes doesn't it?"

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:31 am

As Tess gently pointed out Mimosa's mistake and guided the child's hand to the right runes, Mimosa couldn't help but feel a small pang. Tess was helping her the same way Jacques and Michelle always helped her, taking her tiny hand and guiding it into the whorls and loops that made up the mysterious words Mimosa still found incomprehensible on most days. She wished Jacques was here, he would get along really well with Tess.

No sooner than they'd started, they were done, with her name written out in this weird script. When the Slytherin prefect pointed out her name looked pretty, Mimosa gave the completed word a closer look before nodding. She supposed it did look pretty. no one had ever called her pretty in runes before.

"Yours is prettier," Mimosa pointed out with a bright, unabashed smile before leaning sideways and giving the older Slytherin a slight hug. "Thank you so much! I promise-" but she was cut off as the lying professor passed them on his way to the front of the class. His proximity made the first year fall silent. His gait made it obvious the class wasn't over.

Trying not to squirm in her seat, she glanced at Tess before directing her gaze back to the blackboard when it looked like the man was about to speak again.

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Andrei Kessler
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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:11 pm

“Alrighty,” Andrei clapped his hands together, once more standing at the head of the class. “It looks like most of you have the hang of it. If not, well, you’ll get it with time, because I expect to see your name in Elder Futhark at the top of each homework assignment you turn in from here on out. Now, if you’ll turn to the next page in your textbook we can continue with our lesson…”

Pulling his wand out from inside his jacket, the professor gave it a lazy swish causing a single stick of chalk to fly from his desk to the blackboard. Then, as if guided by an invisible hand, the piece of chalk began to reproduce each character from the Elder Futhark script on the blackboard in slow methodical strokes. Giving a self-satisfied nod to the board, he replaced his wand before turning back to the class.

“As you can see,” he continued while the little piece of chalk worked. “Each character in the Futhark script is, for the most part, made up of a series of straight lines. Scholars believe this characteristic to be a direct result of the writing materials available at the time. After all, most people did not have a readily available source of paper, parchment, or vellum in the second century. Instead, people used stones and wood on which straight lines were much easier to create when compared to the loops and curves of other scripts.”

“Interestingly, the examples of Muggle rune work would have you believe Futhark to be a fairly straightforward script with the most prominent works being inscribed on large standing rocks throughout Scandinavia. This, however, could not be further from the truth. Like much of our world there is a certain duality inherent to the study of runes: the Muggle understanding and then the Magical understanding. For example, Muggle scholars contend that runic talismans amounted to superstitious paganism, but Wizarding authorities know these talismans to be anything but the result of superstition.”

The piece of chalk finished its last line and fell onto the ledge at the base of the chalkboard with an exhausted finality.

“But, don’t take my word for it; let’s have a demonstration,” Andrei scanned the classroom until his gaze fell upon his house prefect. “Miss Goldstein, could you please come to the front of the classroom?”

Assuming the witch complied, he would pull his wand from his jacket once more.

“Now,” a wry smile tugged at Andrei’s mouth. “Miss Goldstein, I would like for you to attempt to disarm me.”

He paused before adding a hurried caveat.

“Using magic, of course.”

Squaring off with the prefect he spread his arms with wand in hand making it clear he would not be making any obvious attempts to counter whatever spell the girl elected to use. Though, like any good magician, Andrei had a trick up his sleeve or, in this case, his pocket where a small stone with a deceptively simple inscription sat.

ᚨᚱᛖᛟᚱ

Or, more intelligably, 'armor'.

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Clara Goldstein
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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:35 am

Clara, having grown a little bored with doodling, had gone back and added her last name, as well as attempted to write out the entire alphabet from memory, just to see what she knew. She'd forgotten U and W, but after briefly refreshing her memory by glancing at page 10, she had the whole thing down just as she used to.

As Professor Kessler began speaking again, she put her quill down and paid attention. What he said made sense, so she didn't feel a need to take any notes yet. When the professor called her up to the front, she was momentarily surprised, but obeyed.

She was asked to attempt to disarm him, but she knew what he meant. It was a demonstration, which meant he was trying to make a point. She wasn't actually supposed to disarm him. She was supposed to cast a spell, and then whatever runestone he had on his person would deflect it in some way, to demonstrate the practical use of runes. There was no need to try and be clever.

She took her wand from her sleeve as the professor turned to face her. She wasn't worried about harming him in any way, as he obviously knew what he was doing. She raised her wand, pointed it at his chest, and said, "Expelliarmus."

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Clara Goldstein || 14 || Ravenclaw || Scientist

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Andrei Kessler
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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:43 am

No sooner had the Ravenclaw spoken the proper incantation than a brilliant flash of light shot from her wand. In less than a heartbeat, the prefect’s spell was upon Andrei and even he could not help flinching ever so slightly. However, instead of rending his wand from his hand like the spell should have it flowed around him like water about a rock only to disperse into nothingness with a loud whip-like crack after doing so.

“Very good, very good,” Andrei boomed, considerable enthusiasm leaking into his normally even tone. “Five points to Ravenclaw and a round of applause for Miss Goldstein and her superb use of the disarming charm.”

Giving his prefect a wordless nod meant to dismiss her back to her seat, Andrei returned his attention to the class at large. What was Hogwarts without a little bit of house-based nepotism?

“However, despite Miss Goldstein’s flawless use of said charm, here I stand with wand in hand,” Flourishing his wand ever so slightly before returning it to his jacket, Andrei continued his prior enthusiasm ebbing from his voice. “What went wrong?”

A rhetorical question if ever there was one, the runes professor dug his hand into his pocket to retrieve a small flat stone no bigger than a woman’s palm and placed it on a student’s desk near the front of the class with the intention that it be passed around for all to see.

“Well, strictly speaking, nothing went wrong. The stone I’m passing around is one of those ‘pagan talismans’ or what we in the wizarding world know as ‘runestones’. On this stone, in particular, you’ll notice I inscribed the word ‘armor’ in Futhark. This is a fairly common inscription for runestones, because, as you saw, it gives one the ability to shrug off unfriendly spells with relative ease—quite helpful for those not wanting to be caught unaware, no?”

“That said, I do hope you’ll notice the heat now radiating from the stone itself. One of the major limitations to runework, beyond the skill of the inscriber, is the medium into which the runes are carved. In the back of your textbooks you’ll find a chart of these mediums rated from best to worst; very briefly, though, the order goes something like this: with wood being the worst and gold being the best.”

Well, gold was the best medium these students would be working with for the foreseeable future. There was also always flesh, but that was best kept for another time. He did not need a class of students dabbling in what amounted to the dark arts just yet.

“Each medium has its own stress point after which the runes on it will cease to benefit the holder at all. For example, I imagine if Miss Goldstein had fired off another two or so spells at me that stone would have split in two and left me armorless. Consequently, it pays to know the limits of each medium lest you end up in a less desirable situation.”

“And to that end, I’ve devised our next little exercise,” For what must have been the third or so time this lesson, he produced his wand and gave it theatrical wave. “We’ll be starting with cedar it’s a fairly soft wood to work with, so it’s great for beginners.”

At this point, and in accordance with his earlier wand waving, small planks of sweet-smelling wood flew from behind Andrei’s desk and out onto the waiting desks only just missing a few of the taller student’s heads.

“Now, hopefully, you all brought your supplies with you, because you’ll be needing the hammer and one of the smaller chisels. You’ll need to hold the chisel at about a 20 degree or so angle from the wood and then strike the end of it with the hammer to create the grooves in the wood that will eventually form the characters of your name. I suspect this will be a new concept to most of you so don’t get frustrated with it right off the bat. Give it time and if anyone has any questions or needs to borrow supplies just ask me as I make my way around the room.”

With that, Andrei fell silent and began slowly winding around the room once more. In theory, this task would be quite easy. After all, they’d just spelled out their names. However, in practice, the wooden medium offered a new challenge as it centered on the ability to control both the chisel and hammer properly. Too much power in a swing or too little angle in a chisel and the whole project came out in a less than desirable fashion.

This task required patience and an ability to learn from one’s mistakes, both skills not altogether unique to the study of ancient runes.

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Re: The Study of Ancient Runes — Lesson 1   Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:49 pm

The demonstration that followed the Professor's explanation was not one Mimosa found particularly interesting. Sure, he had managed to deflect the Ravenclaw prefect's spell but what if she had opted to just kick him in the shins? Would a runestone protect him from that? The girl was just about to raise her hand and ask when Professor Kessler started passing the thing around. Choosing to reserve judgement until she actually saw the stone, the young Slytherin remained quiet.

It took her a while to understand what the old teacher meant by "medium". Mimosa had always seen the word as "in the middle of something" like small, medium, large. Or tall, medium, short. But he was saying mediums were things too, like the blocks of wooden logs they were now being given.

Mimosa had never been interested in buying school equipment, she had left all that unnecessary stuff to Clara. And even after the purchase being made, the little witch hand't opened any of it until now. Collecting the hammer and chisel from her bag, the child smiled to see it all embellished in pink with the letter M on it. The child grinned, she was getting good at recognizing that one letter at least.

Writing her name all over again however would be a herculean task. The first time around, Tess had guided her but this time, she was on her own as the Slytherin prefect had to do her own work. Trying to work out how to transfer her name on to the piece of wood, Mimosa started thinking.

Perhaps she didn't have to write it all over again. Perhaps... The spell on the stone had meant armor so it had protected the professor. What would her name mean? Would it just make everything super amazing like she was?

Carefully taking a quill and wetting it thoroughly, the ten year old traced the name Tess had helped her write on the parchment. Following the lines was easier than writing them. She continued to trace over her name three times until it was nice and blotted before lifting the parchment and pasting it downwards on the block of wood, letting the ink seep into the ceder to mark where the words should go. Lifting the parchment up after a minute, the child saw her name in runes perfectly transported to the wooden "medium".

Getting out her hammer and chisel, the girl started once more, tracing the transferred pattern as closely as she could with her tools.

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