(1937-11-27) Flight Test
Details for Flight Test
Summary: Hephaesta gets an audience as she tests out her new bubble-powered broom engine.
Date: November 27, 1937
Location: Ramparts
Related: Fixing (first reference to the Bubble Thruster)

Well away from the towers, along the ramparts of Hogwarts Castle, Hephaesta Mulciber prepares to test her latest invention in the waning light of the evening. Seated in a crenel of the battlements, Phae works her tools to do some last minute adjustments to the miniature broomstick in her lap…and the tube-like contraptions attached to it. On an adjacent merlon is perched Gizmo, Phae's clockwork owl, looking on with seeming interest in her work.

Gabrielle , who was up here scouting for inspiration, is unwittingly trapped near the astronomy tower door. Not wanting to make a big deal, she'll lean up against the wall, already plotting a route of escape when this explodes in a shower of fire.

Josie is a climber. Every bit of roof she can get to, that isn't spelled to prevent students climbing, she's been on. Up looking to do some climbing again, Josie walks along the battlements, only to be distracted by spotting Phae. She grins, speeding up her step to move quickly over closer, "Hi!"

Hephaesta snaps her head up, causing the goggles on her forehead to slip a bit, covering one eye (Cillian would be proud). She pulls it back up, and grins to see Josie there. "Hey, Jojo! Want to see my latest? It's a scale model for a Bubble Thruster design I've been working on."

Gabrielle will open her sketchbook, trying to give her something to focus on. She'll give either girl a smile and nod, before looking back down to the book.

Josie grins back to Hephaesta and nods emphatically, "Sure!" She looks to the miniature broom and asks, totally seriously, "Does 'scale' mean 'little'?" She hops up to first stand in the next crenel over, and then hopping up to sit on the merlon right next to the older girl, giving her a clear view from above.

Another chance to teach Josie something! Phae lives for it. "A 'scale model' means a model of a different size, almost always smaller, but the same dimensions as a normal. So…if the entire thing were enlarged, every part would be the right size." She stands up, showing Josie the little broom. "If I've calculated right, this should be the right sized thrusters for a broom this size. On a regular broom, they would have to be bigger, to create enough pressure for thrust." She fishes into a pocket, producing a crude humanoid figurine made out of spare parts, complete with a tiny, stitched, Hogwarts robe. She fits the figurine to the broom, casting a quick Sticking Charm to keep it in place.

Gabrielle makes small worried face when she sees the small figure….it does not look like a voodoo doll….it doesn't. She'll grip her pencil a little tighter, still not actually drawing anything."Have …have you named him?" She'll ask , voice cracking some.

Josie looks thoughtful at the explanation, and then asks, "If you do things in scale models, it'd tell you if it'd work in the bigger version too?" She grins as the little figure is put on the broom, then looks up to wave to Gabrielle as she asks the question.

Hephaesta nods and smiles proudly at Josie. "Usually, yes. Oh, hi, Gabrielle! Named who?" She looks over at her owl, "You mean Gizmo? Isn't he great? But, come see! It's the Bubble Thruster you inspired. It's my first test run." She turns to explain to Josie, "See, I once accidentally shot a piece of flaming debris at Gabrielle. I felt really bad, so I decided this shouldn't use fire at all. It's all pressure based. It uses an Ever-Bubbling Potion that Professor Slughorn helped me brew up. When the potion activates, the bubbles build up inside the thrusters, and produce tremendous pressure. When it's released through the back of the engine, it gives the whole thing forward thrust. It's physics again. You remember, a bit like a gun?" She harkens back to a previous conversation with Josie.

"No…I mean the guy…on the broom. Isn't it good luck to name him?" Gabby will push off the wall, and close her book, she's still tense, but will to come a little closer if it's pressure based.

The rumor was going around that Mulciber was at it again today. The last time that Phae tested something, Julian had missed it! This time, he meant to actually make his way up to see what was going on. Dumping his bookbag and grabbing his cloak in the Common Room, he had headed up the stairs and to one of the many castle towers that opened up to the skies above Hogwarts… and when he finally makes his way up the steps, he peeks around, seeing who all is there. Phae, obviously, gets the first look. It's hard to ignore the girl in goggles. Gabrielle is noticed, as is Josie. Stepping on up, he gives a call, "'Ey, Hephaesta! Gabrielle," he calls, smiling a little… he peers at the invention being showcased, and he blinks. "Nice."

Josie grins to the explanation and nods quickly, "That sounds brilliant! And yeah, way safer than fire. And bet it goes longer than gunpowder too," she adds, looking down at the broom again. At the new voice she looks up curiously.

Hephaesta blinks at Gabrielle. "The guy? It's not a guy, it's a girl. It's me." Indeed, on closer inspection, the figurine even has little pieces of tubing on its face that resemble goggles. "So…I guess her name is Hephaesta?" She giggles, and waves Julian over. "Right again, Jojo. Gunpowder burns really fast. But this, after the initial eruption, is is a gradual expansion. So, as long as I didn't underestimate the necessary integrity of the thruster hull, it shouldn't explode. Everyone ready?" She doesn't really wait for an answer. She just sets the broom model down on the merlon next to Gizmo. With a wave of her wand and a quick incantation, the broom starts to hover. Then she turns a key set in a box connected to both thrusters, stands back, and lowers her goggles. The device hums to life with a gurgling sound, and suddenly it's off like a shot, zipping away from the castle like a hummingbird, a trail of bubbles floating behind it. Hephaesta squeals excitedly, clapping as Gizmo takes flight to pursue the mini Phae-on-a-broom.

Gabrielle starts to say something, but jumps back slightly when Phae just does it. She'll watch, tight smile on her face relaxing some when it doesn't come rocketing directly towards her.

As Julian makes his way over, he stops abruptly as Phae decides to set off her contraption. Stopping dead in his tracks, he begins to cross his arms a little bit, watching it take off. As Phae begins her celebratory squeals, he chuckles a little bit, nodding in approval. "Nice use of chemical combustion," he comments idly, watching the little broomed Phae and the mechanical owl zip around in the air…

Josie, too, lets out a cheer as it works. Not that there was any apparent doubt in her face that it'd work, her look is of total faith in Hephaesta. She grins, looking out to watch it as best she can as it zips away, "Brilliant!"

Hephaesta gazes out through the gloaming light, her goggles helping her to see more clearly. She draws her wand, incanting a relatively minor locomotion charm to nudge the broom this way and that, just to give it some steering. "It's woooorking!" She explaims, making a little hopping motion (though never really leaving the ground). Under her guidance, the bubble-spewing broom makes a wide arc, and starts to zip back in their direction.

Gabrielle smiles, relaxing even more. She'll turn to Hephaesta with a soft laugh, "Mini-Phae's a decent flyer!"

Watching the wandwork and the 'Ground Control' as it were, Julian grins a little bit, nodding approvingly still. "This is probably the most productive way to use free time I've ever seen," he comments softly, laughing a little. "A practice in potions and Charms work." He grins a little bit toward Phae, giving her a small thumbs up as the little model continues to zip and rush around through the sky. "So, what spurred this idea on?" he asks toward Phae curiously.

Josie looks to Hephaesta and then to the mini broom, and asks, "Is it coming back?" She's still grinning wide, as excited over the success as Hephaesta. She grins back to Gabrielle and nods quickly in agreement with a giggle.

Hephaesta beams happily at the praise, particularly from Gabrielle, but everyone gets a shining smile. She nods to Josie as the broom returns. She releases the controlling charm, then casts, in rapid succession, "Lumos! Nox! Lumos!" Gizmo responds to the signal, and swoops in on an intercept course, snatching the broom out of the air to bring it safely back to the merlon. "Lots of things inspired it," she explains to Julian. "I've been trying to make my own broom, but I really want to make it something special. So I thought about putting some kind of jet engine on it. That's this new Muggle technology I read about. But…they're pretty dangerous, and would be really hard to miniaturize. So I thought of other ways to make a powerful propulsion system. So, I thought obviously a pressure system would be the next best things, and a lot safer."

Gabrielle does take a half step back right before Phae grabs it. She'll smile and nod to Hephaesta, "Looked great, "and she'll loosen her hands on her sketchbook.

"Weren't the Germans supposedly working on something like that?" Jules glances toward Phae for confirmation… "Jets, I mean," he adds lightly, tilting his head. As she begins to bring the little broom model home, he smiles some, watching Gizmo snatch it and bring it in for a safe landing… "You're right, in any case. This little chemical-pressure propulsion bit is pretty smashing. And a lot more efficient in terms of safety. Less chance of serious explosions or the like."

Josie grins and says, "Gonna make a brilliant broom. Bet any team that has something like that is gonna win." Then, though, she says, "I gotta go. Got homework to finish. But that was brilliant, Phae!"

Hephaesta shrugs at Jules' question. She knows technology, not Muggle nations and politics! "Thank you, Gabrielle. That…really means a lot to me. Thank you all. I can't believe it worked so well!" Phae is positively glowing with energy. She flicks her wand to deactivate the hover charm on the broom, and takes it from Gizmo's talons. "I declare the first flight test of the Bubble Thruster a resounding success!"

Gabrielle will nod to Jules mention of there being less chance of explosions, and smile to Phae. "Slughorn will be pleased!"

Fair answer. Jules smiles, nonetheless, clapping his hands all the same. "Nicely done, Phae," he comments gently. "So… since you're probably already letting the gears turn in your head on it," he remarks softly, grinning a little. "When can we expect the full-scale model to come to being? And a live test flight?" His eyebrows perk up slightly at the thought.

Hephaesta grins, looking over the little model for any damage. "Well, it'll take some time to construct. I'll need to ask my father to send me some parts. Some of them, I can transfigure myself, I think. But some really need to be precision made." She taps her chin. "Maybe in a month or two?"

Gabby will nod but stay silent.Not really having much input to add to the conversation.she's not a flyer.

Studying the model for a moment, Julian peers at it and tilts his head. "Maybe I can give you a hand at some point," he remarks. "I mean… I'm not so bad when it comes to broomsticks and flight dynamics," he tells Phae lightly, tilting his head. "Besides… if I'm gonna spend my free time doing something, it may as well be productie in some way!" He grins, then.

Hephaesta starts packing her tools and devices away in the thick shoulder bag she's taken to using. "That would be excellent, Julian. I didn't realize you knew anything about aerodynamics. Are you Muggle-born?" She asks him wide-eyed and innocent, alluding to wizardkind's general lack of understanding of Muggle sciences.

Gabrielle will nod to the two and start making her way out the door with a hand wave,"I'll see you guys later!"

"M'mother is fascinated by this kind of stuff," Jules remarks idly, "but she's a witch. M'pa is a Muggle," Jules replies, still studying the model for a moment before glancing at Phae. "Needless to say, when I stay with my mother, we… have a lot of books on things like this." He then grins, and glances around toward Gabrielle, sending her off with a small smile and a wave. "Later, Gabby."

Hephaesta waves to Gabrielle. "Thanks for staying to watch the test!" Seeing Gabby leave in seemingly good spirits is the icing on Phae's happy cake for the evening. "That's fantastic, Julian. My father gets me all of the Muggle books he can on the subjects I want to study. I've been learning loads about physics. Muggles are brilliant."

"They truly are," Jules remarks softly, "and their little inventions to get around using magic are simply awe inspiring at times. A tribute to humanity, if you will." He grins, then, nodding lightly and stretching his arms. "Walk back down t'the common room? We can talk shop on the way," he remarks, still grinning. It's a legit attempt at outreach!

Hephaesta nods firmly, clearly thrilled to be talking to somebody that understands her gibberish! Limping along down the stairs with him, she immediately engages in the beginning of a lengthy discussion, grilling him on whether any of his Muggle books can explain how bumblebees can fly.

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