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the book that beat the speed reader  PV w/ Saskia 

In another life she might have found Hogwarts breathtaking. The castle certainly knew how to make an impression with its dark silhouette cut against the wide skies of the Scottish moors, and the hustle and bustle of students garbed in black robes in ancient stone halls that held a specific aesthetic charm. That specific aesthetic charm, while imbued in many things in the castle, was certainly lacking in the history books laid out in front of Asteria, who with one hand tugged at a strand of her hair, and with the other flipped through the books in front of her.

"I just- I just don't get it," she mumbled to herself. The dates didn't want to line up right, the history felt removed from what she had previously learned in her Muggle schooling, and there was this awful underlying sense of pointlessness to the whole venture. Tracing the watermarks of careless students from the past, she continued to jot down notes on gargoyles and goblins but again - that pang of pointlessness hit home, the desire to take the papers in front of her and scatter them to the wind, to tip over the desk, to run out onto the moors and never be seen again. The impulse terrified her. It was like walking out into black water or being consumed by fire - the absolute knowledge that your sense of self has been fundamentally altered. Still, there wasn't much else she could do but sit down, suck it up, and learn the material. She said that she would, and by god, it would happen.

Here lay the rub: she didn't care - she couldn't care. It didn't matter that she knew she was a witch now, that this was supposedly her history, her heritage. Her mother lived an ocean away, and her life was what she wanted to understand, but was terrified of at the same time. What did it mean to be a dark wizard? Why were there dark wizards? How did wizarding society reach this point? The worries felt too large, too abstract for the young girl, who felt stinging in her eyes and blinked furiously, willing the tears to disappear.

"Why. Can't. I. Understand," she whispered, berating herself as she rifled through the her papers, laying down her quill (an absurd tool really she thought) in the process. Dates swam in front of her eyes, wars and battle got mixed up in the flashcards, and confusion wormed its cruel way through her stomach. Which is why she had asked for help from an older student in her house - she didn't really know her, but it seemed as good of a place to start as any. Her house seemed... safe, forgiving, a place where she might be able to find a modicum of peace. However, that tangent of thought reminded her: where was Saskia? Hopefully she hadn't forgotten about the appointment. She huffed quietly as she picked up her quill and began doodling in the margins of her notes while she waited. 

@Saskia Nicholson

everybody crashes - you take a little damage, you'll spit a little blood, but we'll always manage love, cause everybody does

the book that beat the speed reader  PV w/ Saskia 

When a first year came up to Saskia and asked for a tutoring session, the girl accepted without further hesitation. Perhaps it was the helpful nature in her that made her so eager to step up to assist the first year, or the fact that she wanted to prove that she wasn't so hopelessly incompetent that she couldn't help someone with basic history. She wasn't too desperate for validation, but nowadays, she had this urge to prove herself, not only as a capable student, but also as a good Quidditch captain. That didn't mean she would use this appointment as an opportunity to brag about how good of a person she was, though. If anything, it just felt nice being able to feel useful when most of the time was spent on studying and Quidditch practice.

Luckily for both of them, Saskia had a decent grasp at wizarding history. Sure, History of Magic might have seemed like a boring class to many people, but having come from a magical background and reading up on past events at a young age, it was an easier class for her, as opposed to the likes of something complicated like Transfiguration. It wasn't that it was easy to slack off in the class (although in theory, it would have been), but all the girl really had to do was take as many notes as she could and memorize them until the facts were drilled in her mind. Was it tedious? Definitely. But it always paid off in the end when her knowledge was put to the test. And at this very moment, it would be.

The Hufflepuff found herself swiftly walking along the corridors, her schoolbag held tightly one hand. The study room may have provided plenty of resources for this session, but it was always good to be prepared with extra notes. Still, the girl couldn't afford to waste more time. Punctuality was important to her, considering how she herself could get easily impatient with waiting, and she didn't want to leave the first year waiting for such a long time. She didn't have too much to worry about, considering she wasn't late, but she was more or less close to being on time. And by that, that meant she was probably a few minutes close to the actual time for the appointment. Crap.

Nevertheless, Saskia made it to the doors of the study room, flinging them open with her free hand. It supposedly wasn't too different from the library, although she could see the differences between the two. The study room had much less students wandering about, and if anything, many of them were huddled in their groups with textbooks and parchments out in the open, while others sat in their own corners. It was a much more peaceful, if not serious, environment.

Saskia's eyes flickered across the room, attempting to scout out the dark haired first year. Sure enough, the other girl was already seated, books scattering the table in front of her, and a frustrated expression on her face. Well, at least it'd be easier to start things off if the girl was already studying. The second year made her way to the girl, an apologetic smile making its way to her lips.

"I see you've already started. Sorry for the delay, by the way," she said as she pulled out a chair to sit beside the girl. "So, before we start, was there anything in particular that confused you the most?" she asked, turning to look at the girl more properly now that she was settled in.

"Honestas ante honores."
Stam: 9 | Eva: 6 | Str: 7 | Wis: 7 | Arc: 6 | Acc: 8
Abilities: Fearless

the book that beat the speed reader  PV w/ Saskia 

Asteria jolted upwards with a start as the other girl pulled in next to, attempting to hide her idle doodles by jerking an arm over them. From the outside, it must have looked rather odd, as if a marionette string had been yanked hard, tugging her body into an almost rigid upright position. And just as suddenly as she had risen up, she slumped downwards again, her elbows propped up on the table, her chin resting on her hands. "No, no it's fine, I was planning on working for a while before we were supposed to meet," she waved one hand at the assemblage of papers, "as you can probably see."

What confused her the most? She stopped for a moment to consider this, chewing the inside of her cheek idly. That was something she wasn't fully sure of. Her dad had always told her to go get help if she had problems with things, and so get help she did. She didn't realize that she would have to be direct with her need. That was a weakness of hers really. She could notice when there was a problem, but couldn't explain it, couldn't dig down and find the root. She could feel it, but never face it. And then there it would be, blossoming in front of her, a big bright sapling that she would despair at ever fully killing. But she had to have an answer, had to give this other girl something, anything to work off of.

"And um- well. I think my issue is the dates? Which is so silly, but I can't get them to sit straight in my head. They all just want to fly off into the distance every time I think I have them even a little bit tied down." Her hand flapped in the air, miming the movement of wings.

Wings reminded her of flight, which reminded her of airplanes, which reminded her of America. Her hand, at the end of its flight, faltered, falling on the table. "There's also context missing I think."

She pushed backward in her chair, raising the front legs off of the ground, self consciously wobbling back and forth, staring intently at the older girl next to her. Her fingers fumbled with her pen, twirling it round and around and around. "History is like- it's a whole chain of cause and effect, yeah? And I'm missing the cause. It's uh- what's the word?" The rocking of the chair ceased as she chewed on her lip, her eyes darting around the room as she attempted to draw upon the lost word, half heard in class and corridors. "Blood politics. That's it. They just seem, well, dumb. Like." Her hands splayed outwards to emphasize her point. "Why do people care so much about them?" At this, her thoughts helpfully replaced the word people with my family. "They seem like they're at the root of so many problems and I can't relate at all! And that makes it impossible to understand!"

The girl was flushed now, slightly indignant in the quiet space, and had resumed her slow rocking of the old wooden chair she was perched on. At the back of her mind lingered a small hope that the natural calm associated with libraries would swallow and subdue her small outburst.

everybody crashes - you take a little damage, you'll spit a little blood, but we'll always manage love, cause everybody does

the book that beat the speed reader  PV w/ Saskia 

As Asteria continued talking, Saskia made sure to listen as attentively as possible. If she was going to help the girl, she would have to make sure she got as much information as she could. It wasn't too hard to follow along, although it was evident that this girl was... Passionate, to say the least. Of course, it wasn't a bad thing, and Saskia could understand where she was coming from. But now she had to take some time to digest exactly what the girl had said.

Dates. Saskia could see why dates could be hard to get a grasp on. At its core, they were just numbers that accompanied important events. And they weren't just simple numbers either. It might have been easier to remember if something happened centuries ago, but if all the events happened within the same century? Sometimes, it was difficult to tell whether something happened in 1546 or 1564. Numbers were simply too easy to scramble, and even more so now. Perhaps that was why calendars were so convenient, except in this case, they were discussing about events that transpired even before they were born. As if years weren't bad enough, there were also months and days. They were just as easy to mix up, although on its own, it probably wasn't too difficult to remember those two things. But all three together? It was certainly a challenge.

"Well," she began, pondering for a second before continuing, "For dates, I'd say that it's easier to associate them with something that you can remember. Since the events and dates are related to each other, you can just imagine the one memorable thing that happened in the event, and link that with specific numbers." The girl stopped herself, realizing just how much she blabbered on. She wasn't even sure if Asteria would understand what she was talking about. She needed a different strategy, just in case.

"Take the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. It's easier to remember because it's a major event that impacted the rest of the wizarding community, so you can easily associate it with a certain date, in this case, being 1692. That way, that number is connected with what happened in that event," she further explained, taking another pause in case she was going too fast. "If that's too complicated, you can also use other things to associate the numbers. Anything that can help you remember them, even if it's just a silly rhyme or some memory from the back of your mind. That way, it's easier to simplify the date in your mind because it's something you can already relate to."

And then another pause. With a glance towards the first year, Saskia gave a smile in an attempt to assure the girl. It was probably a lot to take in. "If there's anything you want me to clarify, let me know. That goes for the rest of this session, too.

The second year sat in silence, drumming her fingers on the table in front of her. What else was next? Something about cause and effect? Ah, right. Blood politics. It was something that Saskia didn't personally agree with, although it was also something she didn't completely understand. She had the basics down- she knew about Muggle-born discrimination and pure-blood supremacy, but there was a lot more to it than that. Of course it wasn't as simple as purebloods hating Muggle-borns because they were somehow lesser than them. There was always more to the story that no one seemed to talk about.

"Yeah, there's a lot on blood politics. It can be hard to navigate through all that mess." Saskia frowned, letting her fingers rest on the table. "Maybe you can try looking at it through another perspective. Instead of trying to directly relate to it, use other ways to connect with the topic. It's the same thing I mentioned about linking dates and events together. It doesn't have to be something major in your life either. It can be something you've seen from your own experiences, or even something from a book. If that doesn't work, you can also try to read up on past events that might have led to later events. See how one thing led to another."

The Hufflepuff sighed, catching her own breath. She wasn't even sure if she was doing this right. She was confident in her own knowledge, but teaching it to another person was another story. It was ironic, too. She led a Quidditch team, for crying out loud. Coaching an entire team was part of her job, and now here she was, uncertain on whether her words came across the way she wanted them to. But at the very least, she hoped some of them did.

"Honestas ante honores."
Stam: 9 | Eva: 6 | Str: 7 | Wis: 7 | Arc: 6 | Acc: 8
Abilities: Fearless