Care of Magical Creatures

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Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

This thread is continued here. Otherwise, you can consider this event completed. If your student would like to speak with Professor Griffith, just assume that this event has long passed. This thread is now open

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

Oliver loved the school grounds. It was just an echo of the woods and fields that Oliver was used to on the Cavallo ranch, but it was far, far better than staying cooped up in the castle. It wasn’t that Oliver was claustrophobic or anything, but someone who felt such a deep connection with the forests and the sky could be drained easily when he spent too much time indoors.

Although Oliver was still not old enough to take the elective, he was already looking forward to his Care of Magical Creatures class very much. He had heard that some of the other people disliked the somewhat sour professor, Professor Morfran Griffith, but Oliver was happy to learn from anyone who would teach him, especially on a topic he was so involved in. Well, he wasn’t really involved in care for magical creatures specifically, but his experiences with horses on his family ranch was enough to put him a bit above the curb, but only in the sense he knew not to assume he could get along with any sort of animal before they were thoroughly tamed and trained.

Oliver was respectful to everyone older and wiser than him, it was how he was raised. But, if Oliver was honest with himself, he would say that his fascination with the wild professor he only had ever caught a glimpse or two of was merely an extension of his intense interest in the stables.

He could hear the great clattering of creatures from within the doors at any and all hours. Unholy screeches, trills, gentle whistles, like a choir of demons attempting to sing jazz while tap-dancing on burning coals. But, there were the familiar smells of hay, animals, and alfalfa. Because Oliver was still only a first year, he had no excuse to be in the stables or interact with any of the creatures. Unless he made one for himself.

Oliver’s hands were slightly calloused from working with a shovel in the stables, and he missed working with his hands. He wasn’t used to indoor life. Perhaps the professor would understand that? Perhaps the professor would welcome an extra hand?

Oliver’s heart was beginning to skip in his chest a little as he passed the multiple discouraging signs that were stationed in front of the stables, but his purpose was just heavy enough on the scales to get his hand to latch onto the chord and pull down. Just enough to trigger whatever mechanism had been set in place, then, he dropped the chord as if it were set on fire.

There was still the chance to run, but that would be horribly rude of him.

' ' Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ' '
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Strength: 9 Agility: 8 Control: 3 Stamina: 10

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

What was it this time? For what reason did kids think that it was funny to ring the cord and then come up with the most ridiculous reasons for doing so. He didn't care if they wanted him to hide money, or if they wanted him to look at their drawings and he certainly didn't care if they were randomly curious and wanted something to do. Who even did that? Who wanted something to do and then randomly decided that, hey, maybe the professor wanted to entertain them with some stories? The worst part was that it wasn't just students, it was professors too. Or at leas the few professors that actually wanted to interact with the welshman.

When he opened the stone door, he saw a small boy, probably a first year, maybe a second, looking at him. His initial reaction would have been to give a disapproving glare right off the bat, but there was that one girl with the owl that had actually needed help. So maybe he needed help too? He would put on his best neutral face, and wait for a good reason.

The welshman was very tall, with broad shoulders and pale blue eyes. Long brown hair and scraggly beard showed plainly that the man hadn't taken care of his appearance in quite some time. He wore a huge, thick leather long jacket that reached to his ankles. One hand was secreted deep within one of his enormous pockets, and the other was on the door.

"Professor Griffith, care of magical creatures. And you are...?"

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

It had taken a bit of time for the professor to come to the door, but still, it had not been enough for Oliver to prepare his quivering heart for the stress that hit him like a wave as soon as the door was opened. But, he took a deep breath. Tranquility was the virtue he needed to work on, truly.

He bowed his head in a respectful greeting, and while he meant for it to be only a slight bob, it went down just far enough to look a bit silly. “Good morning, sir. My name is Ol- Oliver. Oliver Cavallo.” It was in his nervousness that Oliver’s strange blend of the somewhat ‘southern’ English accent of Bedford, but with a heavy color of Italian.

He went back up to his full height, although his eyes drifted towards the door frame, rather than meeting the professor’s gaze as he should, and clutched his hands together. He knew that Professor Griffith was not the most patient of men, and not one for idle chit chat, so Oliver decided to get to the point before the professor would inevitably ask why he was here.

“I’m very sorry to disturb you sir, but, I--”

Right before he asked, Oliver realized what an unusual and possibly stupid question it was, but he couldn’t back down now. That would be rude, and a waste of the professor’s time.

“I was wondering if there was anything I could help you with? Like cleaning out stalls or something.”

He ventured a glance up towards the professor’s hard face, and he understood why some of the other students were afraid of him. Still, the man was older and wiser, and Oliver had a deep respect for anyone he could learn something from. It was in his nature.

' ' Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ' '
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Strength: 9 Agility: 8 Control: 3 Stamina: 10

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

It was a prank. At this point in time, the professor was reasonably sure that this whole thing was some sort of elaborate prank. He had thought that Ms. Jensen had decided to ignore him, had she really told half the student body that he needed help to muck out stables? Was that why students kept asking him that? But no, the Slytherin HoH wouldn't stoop so low as to use petty pranks to get revenge. He refused to believe that was her style. Far more likely it was a prank done by some upperclassman. Or maybe a lot of kids assumed this was the only way to actually interact with creatures?

Didn't he have a program for kids like this? But maybe this kid just didn't know about it, or maybe he just wanted something different? Either way, the professor was going to go the obvious route and ask for the reasoning behind this request. There always was a reason, albeit sometimes a poor excuse for one.

"Help me around the stables? Why is that, and how old are you?

He was a bit hungry, but otherwise not in that bad of a mood. They hadn't been bad lately, the safety of the school's wards giving him more time to breathe than the man had seen in ages. It was a good time and place to be alive and breathing.

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

Oliver got a sort of nervous flush about him. How was he supposed to admit to the man that he was homesick? Not in a way where he just missed his bed, or the food his mother made, but that stomach-churning way that made his eyes droop and water when no one was looking.

Back at home, it was what he always did. He worked outside, he played in the fields, and his family would tell stories under the stars until they were dropping like flies for exhaustion. Here, he was barred from the woods that tugged at his soul, the grounds were well-tended enough to purge the familiar spirit of the wild from him, and he was inside so much. The castle smelled musty, too much like people for Oliver’s taste. He could feel the memories of the place in the walls. It was like being trapped inside a living being, and that disturbed Oliver more than it should. He wasn’t exactly claustrophobic, but it was definitely bizarre to spend so much time indoors when at home he only went into a building to sleep most of the time.

He needed to move. He couldn’t stand to be strapped to a chair all day when his hands were rough from working on the farm from a very young age. Very young. All of the Cavallos were expected to start helping with the animals from the moment they were big enough to pick up a shovel, because work was good for the soul, grandfather always said. That was why Oliver was much stronger than most eleven-year-olds would be, although any talent for magic was sacrificed in the process.

“I-… It’s what I… It’s what I did at home, sir. And I’m eleven.”

He did his best to keep his face calm and professional, but the stumble of the words mostly revealed his reasons for asking.

' ' Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ' '
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Strength: 9 Agility: 8 Control: 3 Stamina: 10

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

Pigeons were okay. Scary dogs were mild. Lions were terrifying...but hippogriffs? Even the word wasn't as daunting as seeing one with her own two eyes. And how did she get into the stables? Well, Jesse wasn't entirely sure if they were closed off to students outside of class, but she was too curious to wait to see magical creatures during instructional times, when she probably wouldn't get to touch them. Not that she was touching anything.

Her hands were safely folded in front of her as she walked along, glancing at the creatures who she had next to know idea about. Thinking of them made her think of pets, and if she could even have one. Back home she'd only had small ones, like dogs, cats, fish, the ordinary ones, but what about...dragons? Before last year she had been a religious believer that dragons didn't exist, except for komodo dragons but they didn't count to her. But Jesse had heard rumors about the existence of a few and it was both amazing and terrifying.

She felt like nothing in this building could compare to a thirty-foot dragon. Maybe a giant as tall, but a dragon...Jesse shivered with excitement. "Just imagine."

Jesse thought about how she could get her hands on one. She felt energy rush through, barely able to keep herself from skipping around, when suddenly she halted in her tracks. Two things were wrong with her little idea. First, dragons probably weren't allowed on the school grounds, unless specifically ordered. And two, she'd be at the school for the next seven years of her life so she'd have to wait to find her own living space in the wizarding world to own a dragon!

Jesse felt like someone had blown out a blazing fire in her heart. She was deflated, both emotionally and practically physically, and now she wasn't in the mood to look at the animals.

She walked out the stable, sulking, and headed back towards the class. Suddenly, amidst the loud noises of the creatures, she had an idea. The rumors about the professor of Magical Care of Creatures, or the other way around, she supposed, weren't all very positive so she'd have to be careful.

Jesse sneaks along the side of the building until she's just at the corner close to the front door. She heard voices, not sure who's. She peeked and saw a boy talking to someone, possibly the professor. She took a breath and hurried over. Just in time she heard enough of the conversation to say, "Hi, I know I just popped up from no where but I wanted to help as well, I'm a first-year." She waited and then added. "I'm really interested in taking care of magical creatures."

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

Griffith's eyebrows raised a bit when he saw the girl come towards him and the boy. Another student? He had never had two visitors come to him at once before now, and it was a bit off putting. He had thought himself reasonably intimidating. Most students should avoid coming to ask questions about a class they didn't take, right? Still, the girl hadn't said anything yet, and he was going to focus on the boy for the moment. It became pretty clear what he wanted. He didn't feel right without work, and there was precious little work to be done outside of pushing pens across parchment.

Griffith had a few options. One was to let the boy help out a bit. Not very much, but enough to stretch his legs. Not many felt right inside the great maze of a castle, the welshman himself never had, not even as a student. But the boy, although probably accustomed to work if that's what he did at home, was still eleven. Twelve tops. How would he in good conscience let someone that young handle magical creatures, even just muck out the stables?

It was then that the girl caught up to the conversation, and expressed her interest as well. He already knew what he was going to say to her, and the boy was basically getting a modified repeat of the original question.

"So why should I trust you around magical creatures? And you, a name would be polite, as would giving me the reason behind you wanting to help out. 'Creatures are cool' is not a good reason."

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

Jesse's eyes widened then went back to regular size, staring up at the professor. He was daunting, but in a good way. She beamed up at him, figuring that a smile would make him even a little more happier, and said, "I'm Jesse Schielder, professor!" She glanced at the boy, wondering what kind of work he did back at his home. It was definitely nothing she could relate to, and she didn't honestly want to lie, she always had a bad conscience afterwards, but she really wanted to get to see the beasts. She wondered if there were any jobs consisting of taking care of them. It would probably be best to ask a man who did it himself, although he was a professor, which she didn't want to be.

"I'm a... I'm not from—well, I'm a Muggle-Born." She hesistated before continuing to see if it caused any reaction, miniscule or large. "I don't know very much about magical creatures but I have to start somewhere, and I don't think reading books is just going to help me achieve my goal. Also, why do the professors trust you to handle those creatures? Because you have had experience and you're dedicated to your work, and I'm an..." Jesse tried to think of the word. "An...an inspiring student and I want to start young so I can get a head start."

She grinned, proud of herself, and clasped her hands behind her back. "Oh," she added. "And because creatures are cool."

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

Oliver now felt extremely awkward, with this girl intruding in on the already nerve-wracking conversation. Wasn’t Professor Griffith considered intimidating? And didn’t this girl… her name was Jesse?… Didn’t she know that there was a reason this class wasn’t available until third year? Magical creatures were dangerous. Everyone knew that. That’s why he didn’t ask to help with the creatures specifically. That could never be allowed.

Oliver did his best to fade into the woodwork, stepping back from the professor, who had now turned his attention to the newcomer. He pressed his back against the wall of the stable, and occupied his eyes with watching the intensely fascinating grass beneath his feet. He now regretted all of this very much. It had been stupid to bother the professor. It was stupid that he wanted to waste the time that he already filled with work on assignments because he was too worried to bother someone to help him read it… Oh, this was all just a bother. But, he took a deep breath. He would work to be content with whatever happened. He really did need to work on that.

It wasn’t an entirely cold day, but Oliver could feel the kiss of the wind on his exposed face and hands, and he pressed his fingers against his robes to ensure that not even a possible chill could creep in.

' ' Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ' '
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Strength: 9 Agility: 8 Control: 3 Stamina: 10

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

Jesse decided to just leave. Maybe her plan was dumb, she didn't have any experience with these creatures at all, and she was acting more ignorant than anything else, so she felt. If she had to choose between a muggle job and a wizard one, she was sure she'd choose wizard, even though she still time to decide. Handling magical creatures sounded awesome but ever since she'd come to Hogwarts, she felt less and less responsible, she probably wasn't cut out for it anyways. Besides, she had her classes to worry about, and wanting a pet dragon was definitely not allowed in the curriculum.

So Jesse said her farewells and left, trying to burn the strange yearning from her mind. She figured studying in the library could clear her mind, she tried to maybe she could meet Eleanor there, and that idea made her blush. She thought about how she could surprise her friend, perhaps her only friend, and this made her want to skip, which she did, across the great lawn. She was even joyful enough to do a cartwheel, tumbling onto the grass in a fit of giggles. Jesse wasn't one hundred percent happy, her whee plan still in the back of her mind, but she indeed felt better.

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

What the hell was wrong with these kids?

The boy hadn't answered his question on why he should be allowed near magical creatures, although he could have been thinking that the professor was only talking to the girl. The girl, meanwhile, had seemed super excited about the whole thing but then decided to just randomly run off. What was even going on, that didn't make any sense. But at least the boy had stayed. He seemed a pretty stable type, and Griffith had already begun to formulate a plan. The boy needed work, right? Well who said that work had to be done inside the dangerous stables?

"If you just need something physical to clear your mind, I can probably help you. If it's creatures you're after, I have something else. You can go to the billboard and sign up for R.O.A.M. So let's hear it, what do you think?"

It was back to just the two of them. He would never really understand how kids worked, but maybe that other girl had just come as part of a dare, or maybe she was the boy's friend and had come for emotional support before realizing he wasn't really popular enough to stick her neck out for. But he supposed it didn't matter much, at this point.

He had been telling himself that a lot, lately.

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

The truth was he had heard the professor’s question originally, but Oliver was always the type to wait until everyone else had finished speaking before he put in his two cents. But now he realized that the professor might have preferred to have the information in the order he requested it. And Oliver regretted everything. Not really, but considering how much he occupied his mind with what he should have done, he had enough alternate routes for different situations to make up an entirely new lifetime. It was a problem. He was working on it.

But, at the professor’s offer, Oliver lit up like a Christmas tree. His eyes shone with gratitude, and his posture immediately became more open and confident. Professor Griffith was giving him a chance! For both things Oliver had implied. Well, Oliver hadn’t really been expecting to be let near any creatures, he knew how dangerous they were, but that didn’t mean he would turn down the opportunity. But, was it an either ‘or’? Or an inclusive ‘or’?

Oliver had no idea what R.O.A.M. was, he didn’t really check any school events. Really, he just sort of… existed… in school… That was probably why he would never be a prefect or anything. He didn’t do anything important. But, whatever this R.O.A.M. thing was sounded fun!

“Could I do both?”

He would welcome any activity that didn’t involve squinting at paper or sitting cramped in a chair.

' ' Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ' '
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Strength: 9 Agility: 8 Control: 3 Stamina: 10

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

"Yeah, you could do both. Alright, every few days I need to go find a sapling, dig it up and bring it over to my stables. Digging around all those roots is hard work, but it'd clear your mind if that's what you're after. And just send me an owl to apply for R.O.A.M when you have the time. I can lend you a shovel for digging, if you're still up for it."

Digging up the saplings he had planted outside the stables, one by one. It wasn't really glamorous, but it was work. Griffith could, of course, have used magic to bypass digging the saplings, but he didn't really know why he would do that. Didn't seem like the right thing to do. It was more personal if he took care of his problems himself, it felt like he was doing it the right way, not the magic way. The welshman did not like magic much, if he was being honest with himself. He would use it, sure. But he didn't especially look forward to using it.

Magical creatures were something different, of course. And he was too deep in the magic world to ever escape. He had tried, tried several times. But they always found him, one way or another.

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”

Prof. Griffith's door.  IC questions 

“Of course, sir!” Professor Griffith would learn if he spent more time with Oliver that the boy was the type to do anything he was asked to. His strange obsession with morality and duty and purpose made it so that diligence was a big priority. His constant self-evaluations kept him from slacking off or procrastinating. Well, except when it came to homework. At least when he didn’t have someone to help him read. If he had help, he would work like a wildfire so that he didn’t waste his helper’s time any more than he had to.

Digging up trees sounded fun. His mother tended a garden in their Bedford home, so he often saw her rooting up plants and things, but he had never really helped her himself. Perhaps when he got to go home after this school year, he could show his mother his new found digging potential and help her with her roses.

If Oliver had known that Professor Griffith also had a somewhat distaste for magic, he would be quite glad that at least one other wizard outside of his family shared his grandfather’s (and therefore Oliver’s) views on the use of magic. Oliver was only at this magic school because it was what people did. And Luca and Dante had seemed to think they had grown as people from their experiences at Hogwarts. So, he would stick it through. However, it was unlikely that he was going to use magic much after he graduated, save for his Animagus form, when he finally got it and could run around with his brothers.

' ' Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ' '
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Strength: 9 Agility: 8 Control: 3 Stamina: 10
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