(1937-12-18) Size Matters Not
Details for Size Matters Not
Summary: Professor Viridian gives Maeve some extra instruction on the nature of things, including herself.
Date: December 18, 1937
Location: Charms Classroom

First Year charms is over for the moment, but, as the other students thunder out into the hall, there's one tiny Gryffindor staying behind. Maeve has been showing a great deal of curiousity and interest in the class, and, thanks to some tutoring from her friends in Ravenclaw, has even been doing quite well. At the moment, she's practicing her 'Reparo," by breaking a twig, then casting the spell on it.

Professor Viridian waves his wand over the blackboard, causing the writing upon it to vanish in broad swaths with each swish. When he turns to organize the papers on his desk, he catches a glimpse of little Maeve still at her desk. A smirk of amusement form on his lips. "Miss O'Brian," he says in his usual drawling tone, "Class has been dismissed."

Maeve looks up, and smiles. "Oh, I know, Professor. I just was practicin' a bit more. I want t' make sure I get these charms down." She looks back down at the twig. "Reparo," she says, wand waving, and the pieces quickly and seamlessly meld back together.

Viridian nods approvingly. "Very good. Are you meaning to challenge yourself? You'll have an easier time with the Mending Charm if you use a subject with a more defined form. Something easier to picture in your mind. A twig is, by nature, a broken piece of a tree. Though, I must say that you seem to be handling the spell quite well."

Maeve nods. "Actually, I'd like a bit o' a challenge. Especially if I'm gonnae foul up like I did a few weeks ago, and drop m' harp from Gryffindor tower…"

Viridian tut-tuts, "Oh dear. I do hope you were able to get it put back together. Well, if you are looking for a challenge…" He gets a broad grin, and sweeps over to a cabinet, swinging the door open with a wave of his hand. He pulls out a few drawers, searching, and finally plucks something out with an, "Aha!" Returning to her desk, he sets a piece of stone on Maeve's desk. It was clearly once part of some piece of masonry or carving, as there is still an edge and two flat surfaces to it, one of which is covered with knotwork designs. But the other side of the piece is cracked and rough. "See if you can mend this."

Maeve nods, as she looks the stone over, fingers running over the rough sides. "Are there any more pieces, Professor? I dinnae want t' do an incomplete job…

Viridian lifts an eyebrow, his grin never faltering. "That is all that remains of it." He crosses him arms, watching her with great interest.

Maeve nods, and once more, her fingers start to run over the piece of masonr, exploring it in detail. After a moment, she closes her eyes, concentrating, then opens them once again, raises her wand, and flicks it. "Reparo!"

The stone wiggles a little with her casting, and a few tiny cracks even seal up. But other than that, nothing happens. Viridian just looks on curiously, watching her reaction, but saying nothing.

Maeve frowns slightly. Once again, she starts to explore it with her fingers. Then, she tries again.

The Professor nods his approval, even as the stone remains unchanged. "There is nothing wrong with your spellwork, Miss O'Brian. So tell me…why is the stone not repaired?"

Maeve sets down her wand. "Simple. Th' stone is nae enough t' repair on it's own. As ye said, there were nae other pieces. Ye cannae repair it if ye dinnae have all th' parts.

Viridian strokes his goatee thoughtfully. "That is one possibility. But a powerful enough Mending Charm can overcome such obstacles. I can assure you that even if I possessed another piece of the wall this came from, you would be unable to reconnect them. Why is that, do you think?"

Maeve thinks for a moment more… "Perhaps because the wall has already been mended?

"Another fine theory. But, when using the Mending Charm, and most any spell for that matter, you must have an understanding of the nature of your subject. Think about the stone. What is it?" Viridian's eyes sparkle with the thrill of expanding a young person's mind.

Maeve looks at it again, frowning. It takes her a few moments before she does, but at last, she gives up, and looks towards the Professor, completely lost. "I wish I could, but I've nae idea..

Viridian picks up the object, turning it about in his hand, and showing it to her. "What is it?" he repeats. "What am I holding?"

Maeve sighs, and shakes her head. "I'm sorry, Professor. I jus' dinnae see it. Ye're holdin' a chunk of stone from a wall. Maybe I'm missin somethin' because I'm muggle born…"

Viridian scoffs. "What nonsense. I am Muggle-born, and that hasn't prevented me from mastering this field. I do hope that nobody has tried to tell you otherwise." His brow furrows disapprovingly, but he swallows the urge to go questing for bullies…for now. "But you are starting to see. Is it a chunk of stone? Or is it still a wall?"

Maeve suddenly gets it. "I wasnae seein' it as a wall. I was still seein' it as a piece o' th' wall!

"Ha!" Viridian barks excitedly. "You are starting to see, yes. It is not a wall. But do you think you could mend the entire wall from this little piece?"

Maeve thinks again, for a moment. "Nae… There have ta be limits on what magic can do. Perhaps a bit more, but nae th' entire wall.

"Oh, I do love to see a young mind at work," Viridian chuckles. "Now, consider the nature of an object. When does a piece of a thing cease to be that thing? Everything in the universe has a nature…an identity. Whether that identity is 'Maeve O'Brian,' or 'wall,' or 'stone.' It is important to learn to recognize the nature of a thing. This stone was once part of a wall. But it has been long separated from the that wall, and the wall itself is now nothing but rubble and dust. Can we repair something that no longer truly exists?"

Maeve shakes her head again, this time knowing the answer without having to think. "Nay. It's impossible. Ye cannae repair it if it's nae longer there." She grins. "Ye know, I was startin' t' think tha' maybe t' ones who were callin' me Mudblood were right…"

Viridian nods, "It has taken on a new nature. It is now a carved stone. Nothing more, nothing less. So you have already repaired it as much as it can be repaired." He sighs, his features hardening now. "But let us set this aside." He places the stone on his own desk, and laces his fingers, looming over Maeve. In a dry tone, he grows, "Now, tell me who has called you 'Mudblood'."

Maeve sighs. "Isobel Nott an' Arachnus Mills were th' only two who did. Nott's been behavin' hersel' pretty well of late, an' she's even civil t' me in Duelin' club. But Mills takes every opportunity he can t' make fun o' me." She shrugs, as though she doesn't like it, but accepts it to some extent.

Even as she speaks, the names of her tormentors start to appear in red chalk on the blackboard in Viridian's fine handwriting, though he moves not an inch. "Indeed." He licks his lips, and takes a deep breath. "Keep me informed if this continues to be a problem, Miss O'Brian. Meanwhile, keep your chin up. You are a witch, and no amount of so-called 'pure blood' will make any witch more talented than you. Often enough, it just makes them lazy. You, however, will know the fruits of hard work and dedication. Stick to your studies, and one day you will show them all what real magic is."

Maeve nods. "Oh, I'm lookin' forward t' it, Professor. An' t' be honest, it doesnae bother me. But it's some o' th' other first year Muggle Borns. I've been dealin' wi' bullies all m' life. It comes of bein' small, after all. But, say, Sammie Thompson. She's so shy. And Mills started in on her even before we were at school…

Viridian's eyes darkens, as a sharp underline appears under Mills' name on the blackboard. "Yes, I see. You have spirit, O'Brian. That is good. It will serve you well. You look after Miss Thompson, I trust?"

Maeve nods. "Aye. I've been tryin' t' look after her ever since we met. She…" Maeve sighs and looks down. "She doesnae have anyone else, but th' Ministry Liaison."

Viridian's smile softens, as does his general demeanor. "She has Hogwarts," he explains. "Hogwarts will always help those in need. But she is especially lucky to have you."

Maeve smiles, blushing slightly. "Thank ye, sir… That means a great deal comin' from ye." She reaches up, and scratches her head. "I've been readin' yer books since I got here.

Viridian chuckles aloud. "Oh, is that so? Do try not to get into too much mischief, then." He grins devilishly.

Maeve giggles. "well, I'll nae do anythin' t' attract Mister Pringle's attention, I assure you." She does smile. "But ye've become somethin' of a hero to me, I ha'e t' admit.

Viridian gives another light chuckles. "Ah, you flatter me, my dear. But do not be too quick to place anyone on a pedestal. Look to yourself for heroism and great deeds."

Maeve blushes at the words. "Well, they say tha' it's th' hallmark o' Gryffindor. But I dinnae feel particularly heroic? I mean, a little snip o' a thing like me? How can I be?"

"Ahhhh, but Miss O'Brian, heroism is the measure of the size of one's character, not one's stature," Professor Viridian explains. "Never was there a hero who was meek of heart, but they have come in all shapes and sizes."

Maeve smiles, and nods. "I.. I ne'er thought o' it that way." She is about to say more, when her tummy suddenly rumbles. "Oh! I almost forgot." She stands quickly, and grins. "Thank ye, Professor. Ye're a brilliant, wonderful person…" Scooping up the harp case by the door, she waves, and quickly runs out.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License