(1937-09-05) Gadgets & Gizmos
Details for Gadgets & Gizmos
Summary: Ophelia inspires Hephaesta to improve upon one of her classic inventions.
Date: September 5, 1937
Location: Ravenclaw Girls Tower, Ravenclaw Common Room
Related: None

Girls Tower, Hogwarts Castle

In a turret off of the main Ravenclaw Tower is another tower for the Girl's Dormitory. Of all the towers in the castle those of the Ravenclaw House are the most 'out there' so to speak so there is a soft and constant whistle of wind through the shingles and cracks in the windows and doors. 'Rowena's Lullaby' is what the wind has affectionately been named by those sorted into her house. Bronze four poster bedframes are outfited with a lamp in the head board so that night reading can be done with ease. Each bed also comes with a 'back rest' pillow to also keep the studying student comfortable. Sky blue silk is the fabric and colour that drapes each student bed. Between each bed there is a large desk with a bookshelf in the wall above it. Also a small low dresser doubles as a night stand on the other side of each bed from the desk.

After the strange traffic mixup on the stairs yesterday, Ophelia has been searching for something. Or rather, someone. She's spent most of the day attempting to approach Hephaesta, though each of the efforts she has made has ben bungled in some way. Between interruptions, just missing the other Ravenclaw in the hallway, and once tripping over her robes in an attempt to catch up with her, Ophelia was looking rather discouraged. But she hardened her resolve and during dinner formed a plan. Leaving early again, she went stright to the Ravenclaw tower, where she is now coming downstairs, arms full of books and parchment, to wait the other girl out. Eventually she has to come through this room!

Suddenly, Hephaesta's voice is gracing Ophelia's ears. But…the Fourth Year girl's bed is empty, and there is no sign of her. Invisibility would be an impressive spell even for an older Ravenclaw. But the voice has a muffled quality, and it is soon apparent why. Outside of one of the tower windows, Hephaesta Mulciber peers inside through those odd goggles of hers. Upon sighting the red-haired girl within, she knocks on the window pane and gestures to the window latch.

Ophelia jumps, looks around, and frowns at the empty bed. She starts rubbing the back of her head absently as she searches for the sound's source, a bright and very relieved smile touching her face when she sees Hephaesta in the window. Scurrying off her own bed, she rushes to open the window with a laugh, "Testing a new invention?"

Hephaesta gives Ophelia an abashed smile. She is sitting astride her broom, hovering just beyond the window. "Just routine maintenance for Gizmo," she explains. "I think someone shut the window without realizing I was out here."

Ophelia's eyes light up at the mention of Gizmo, and she glances around for the owl as she steps back to let Hephaesta inside. "Next time you'll have to leave a note." She suggests. She steps back to where she'd left her parchment, picking it up and turning shy rather suddenly, "Listen, ah, I was hoping… to ask you something?"

When Ophelia steps back, Phae moves closer, and crawls onto the window sill and back inside the tower. She leans out of the window more a moment, pursing her lips to whistle a little four-note tune. Within moments, the mechanical wonder that is Gizmo the Clockwork Owl alights on the sill. Hephaesta picks "him" up, moving him to his perch by her bed. "Why are you only hoping to ask? You can ask me anything." She smiles pleasantly to the older girl. It seems that this year, the Weird Girl is really starting to come out of her shell.

"Thanks. Sorry. Well." Ophelia runs a hand through her hair, and tries not to stare at Gizmo like a first-year. "Its just I know you must be so terribly busy and all. But I, well, I heard some of the others talking about… about your entry to the craft faire your second year? I missed the faire that year, but well I was wondering. Do you maybe have any more of those wand buffers?"

Hephaesta takes off her goggles, perking up at Ophelia's interest in her work. "Really? Those things? Um…I still have one. The rest are back home. I suppose I could send for them. But they were just an experiment in basic actuation. I'm sure I could make something better now." See sets her broom carefully by her bed.

Ophelia nods eagerly, brightening as Phae accepts her question so gracefully. "That's fine! I was hoping to maybe order a few? For Christmas gifts, probably, so there's no hurry. I thought my parents would like them."

Hephaesta nods, plopping down on the trunk at the foot of her bed, brow furrowing in contemplation. "Yes…I know I could make something better. The old ones were hand-held, but to be really useful, it should be automated. Something that polishes your wand while you have tea, or whatever." One can almost see the light bulb flickering to life in her brain…if wizards had a clue what a light bulb was.

"Oh, the other one isn't?" Ophelia had always pictured them polishing her wand while she read, it was that mental image that, in addition to the obvious, had so inspired her seeking Phae out. "That would be lovely, really."

Hephaesta shakes her head, actually blushing. "No…here, I'll show you mine." She stands and turns around, opening her trunk. It is full of the clothes and books one would expect of a Ravenclaw, but also with sundry bits and bobs of…junk. Scraps of metal, oddly shaped bits of wood, springs, gears and cogs, spools of wire…a seemingly endless array of mechanical refuse. Opening a smaller box within, she produces the object in question: a brass device the size and shape of an egg, with a few seams in it; a bit like an elongated Golden Snitch. Giving the egg a twist, one end of it pops open, revealing a stem inside that ends with a cylindrical wool brush. "See, you just give the bottom one more twist and the brush spins. It's got a permanent Polishing Charm on it." She offers the buffer over for Ophelia's inspection.

Ophelia is almost instantly drawn to the items in the trunk. She kneels to glance at it all, and while most of it does indeed look odd even to her, she reaches out gingerly to trace her fingers over one of the bits of wood. She looks up as the Buffer is produced, standing again to give her attention. She takes the small thing carefully, her eyes rivited to the little brush. "This… is fantastic!" She beams at Phae, her eyes lighting up with a sudden thought, "Come downstairs with me, okay?" She doesn't wait for an answer though. She just takes off running toward the common room.

Hephaesta hops up, letting the trunk lid fall shut. She opens her mouth to protest the other girl taking off with her buffer, but she's quick! Phae hurries after Ophelia to keep up.

Common Room, Hogwarts Castle

The Ravenclaw Common Room is one of the most airy rooms at Hogwarts. This wide, circular room's floor is covered in a deep, midnight blue carpet and the arched windows are hung with soft blue silk curtains. The high, domed ceiling carries a charm similar to the one in the Great Hall making stars glitter and move about on it reflecting the proper placements of the constellations according to the seasons. During the day, the Ravenclaw students have an excellent view of the surrounding mountains. The room is furnished with comfortable tables and chair upholstered in midnight blue with white pinstripes and bookcases stand along the walls.

Dinner ended a few minutes ago, and the common room is just barely starting to fill up with students when Ophelia comes flying down the stairs from the girl's dormitory. Her face is alight with excitement and she's holding a small something that, as fast as she's going, might look rather like a golden snitch. With something furry attached to it.

Hephaesta pounds down the stairs after Ophelia. "C-careful!" she calls out after her. "It's fragile! Early prototype!"

Ajax is seated in one of the armchairs near common room stairs, and as Ophelia plows into the room he looks up from his copy of Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms in surprise, his eyebrows doing their best to retreat into the greater blue of his hair, rather like a pair of slender caterpillars trying to retreat into the nest. Or, insert a simile that makes sense. Your pick, really. Either way, he pipes up, "Whoa! Steady on, there! You'll take out a window and go a-plummeting, and then we'll have to find a chaser to go after you!"

Hearing the very voice she had come searching for, Ophelia spins around to face Ajax in his chair. "There you are!" She says. As though she has been looking for him all day, rather than for all of a minute, "Look!" She holds the item out for him to see, thrusting it forward so that it's not quite as close to him as the book. Up close, it reveals itself to be more egg-shaped than a snitch with a spinning wool brush sticking out of one end.

Hephaesta comes to an upright halt beside Ophelia, almost like standing at attention for the Prefect. She eyes the bronze egg-thing worriedly, quietly looking it over to make sure it wasn't somehow irreparably jostled in the flight downstairs. "It's…not that special," she mumbles in an effort to save face. She's come so far with her inventions since that little doodad!

Ajax puts on an expression of mildly amused curiosity. He marks his place in the book with a silk marker, setting the volume aside, and then crosses his legs, resting his hands on the upper knee. "All right, so you have a pretty bauble with a tail. Let's see what it does, then."

OPhelia pauses, frowning. She looks from Ajax to the object, then turns helplessly to Phae. "Well, while I suppose I could figure it out I've never actually seen one used so… " She moves the little object back toward its owner, offering it up and pulling out her wand, "Do you mind? You can use my wand, if you want… "

Hephaesta takes the device back, actually looking a bit embarrassed. "I really can make something better now." She sighs, not wanting to disappoint Ophelia. "Alright." Giving the bottom of the "egg" a twist, the woolen brush protruding from the opened top begins to spin rapidly. It's a very simple process, as she rubs the spinning brush along the wood of Ophelia's wand, buffing it to a highly polished shine.

Grinning at this display, Ajax erupts in a quick bark of laughter followed by a spatter of quick, light applause. "Brilliant! Much better than a polishing cloth, I'll guess? And faster! So, does that mean we can hire you to see to our polishing-up when we want to make a good impression?" He winks at Ophelia. "No mystery why YOU love it, of course, Ms. Professor of Wandology."

Hopping onto the armrest of a chair opposite Ajax, Ophelia grins, "She's going to make automated ones, and if she lets me I'll buy some to send home for Christmas." Her bare feet begin swinging back and forth as she ponders the possibilities, "Can you imagine, though? Ollivander should have something like these in his shop!"

For all of her inventiveness, Hephaesta has consistently been most famous for the simplest and least impressive (in her mind) of her creations: the wand-buffer. But, praise is praise, and at least she is being appreciated for her talents. "Ollivander? Really?" Phae smiles abashedly, her cheeks coloring a little. Then Ajax's words sink in. "Ophelia…you're studying wandlore?" Now that's impressive.

Chuckling a bit, Ajax says, "True! I can see it. It could be included with a large purchase, possibly." He looks over to Hephaesta, smiling a bit. "You're quite an innovator, aren't you? This is impressive, but it's not half so fascinating as those goggles of yours. You've got quite a keen creative mind."

Ophelia nods, "Yes, and if he doesn't accept me as an apprentice I'll open a shop of my own. With a nice display in the window to include whichever version of that little thing you'll have invented by then!" She continues to nod as she glances at Ajax, "You really do. Have you tried to sell them outside of the faires?"

Hephaesta blinks, stunned at the direct compliments. Her cheeks flush with color — one would think they had just told her she's pretty. "I…thank you…no, I don't really sell much yet. But," and a dreamy smile creeps onto her face, "I think one day I'd like a shop of my own. What I'd really like to do is create superior brooms. But…that's almost as complicated as wands." She shrugs, finding a seat so she doesn't feel as awkward. "But that's a long way off. But I did have an apprentice over the summer at MacCurry Manufacturing." She sits upright, showing off a bit of pride at this.

Ajax's smile spreads into a bright grin. "I'm sure you'll both be brilliant makers of magical things someday. I wish I had such passionate feelings about what I want to do! I'm not really sure about anything like that. I feel practically like a shiftless wastrel by comparison!" He laughs lightly to keep the expression from sounding too serious.

Ophelia shakes her head, "Oh, I wouldn't worry. Whatever you do, you'll be absolutely charming at it." Of this, she is most definitely certain. "And besides. Wandmakers who don't have Ollivander in their name tend to be… well. Less." She shrugs.

Hephaesta tilts her head to Ajax. "I'm sure you'll find your passion soon. Just try things out until something inspires you." She looks down at the little bronze egg in her hand, which is now closed, hiding the delicate brush inside. She offers it to Ophelia. "Here. Keep it. I'm going to start working on the new one tonight." With that, she is heading upstairs. Undoubtedly, she'll soon be back down with tools and spare parts. It wouldn't be the first time she's been seen taking over a corner of the common room and turning it into her workshop for a few hours.

Ophelia lights up so brightly as she is handed the buffer that she nearly glows. "Really? Thank you!" She beams at Phae, than at Ajax, and hurriedly stuffs both buffer and her wand into the pockets of her skirt. There's a glance at Ajax out of the corner of her eye as she does so, just the slightest bit of worry touching her features.

((Feel free to include the remainder of the scene, after Phae's departure, here.))

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