(1938-01-25) Sky On Fire
Details for Sky On Fire
Summary: At Hogwarts Professor Lunet conducts a special Astronomy class when a Red Aurora Borealis appears in the skies.
Date: January 25th 1938
Location: Astronomy Tower

January 25th, the night of. The roofs of London, Hogsmeade and nearly every other civilized area has the roof tops filled with hundreds of thousands of millions of people even so far as the east coast of the United States of America up on rooftops all eyes directed towards the skies over Europe as nearly the whole continent is covered in a red Aurora Borealis. It looks as if the sky has caught fire. No one knows for certain what the source of the phenomenon is, but there are tons of rumors and theories flying about. But the majority in this brewing time of conflict are of thoughts turn towards it being a Herald of War.

The sunset on the night of January 25th was spectacularly red, and any students who were braving the cold for whatever reason to be out couldn't help but notice. However, since the rim of the sky often turns red as the sun sinks, while it may have been more intense than usual, there wasn't much to remark on.

However, it had caught, and held, the attention of Professor Lunet, making her late to the evening meal. She was seen to be in quiet conversation with Headmaster Dippet, something else that wouldn't excite much conversation among the students. It was Headmaster Dippet's announcement after dinner, though, that caused the first stir. The announcement that at midnight there would be a special Astronomy class held at the tower tonight. Students who wished to participate should dress warmly, and meet their Heads of House in the common room at the appointed hour to be brought to the tower.

At the appointed time, any of the students in houses with tower windows would see the red glow outside, and already have a preview of what awaited, while those from underground houses would still be in the dark until lead up the castle stairs. The strange, flickering red light made the inside of the castle seem on fire where it came through the windows. Once on top of the tower, the students were able to see the strange lights in all their glory… brilliant crimson arching from east to west as far as the eye can see.

While Astronomy is not among Ivy's favorite subjects, she never passes up a chance for anything that might result in extra credit, especially with OWLs coming up (in five months, but who's counting?). Thus, the Ravenclaw girl is bundled in her warmest cloak, having trouped up to the tower with the rest of those students who've opted to come up for the lesson.

Always one to have an eye on the skies, it hadn't taken a special announcement to draw Mabel to the roof, and, now, the Astronomy tower, with her tools for classwork as well as an odd-looking old wizarding nautical tool with which she's been taking sightings to some end. Her great horned owl, perhaps having sensed something's up, sits on her shoulder, a look on his avian face connoting a certain aloof patience with whatever's got Hawker so excited.

While Ivy doesn't pass up the chance for extra credit, Colton never passes up the chance to be out of bed past curfew, let alone when it'll not get him into trouble. So he's here watching the skies, okay, that's cool! He ooos and ahs genuinely under his breath.

Bundling up to head up to the Astronomy tower this evening, Julian had flowed in behind the rest of his friends from his House… Not far behind them. Adjusting his cloak and quietly looking out over the grounds as the sky is so light up… he furrows his eyebrows a little bit, eventually looking up to watch the aurora dance over the skies. "What a sight," he comments under his breath…

Curiosity killed the cat, but it also brings it up to the Astronomy Tower. Nestling in the folds of Elspeth's heavy Hogwarts cloak, Neko, the fawn colored kitten accompanies her girl to see the strange lights. The golden eyes look up, and are almost black as the pupils grow, and her ears flatten slightly as she hunkers down. For the young girl's part, it was also curiosity that brought her up here, more than anything else, and she stares in wonder.

Claire just got swept up in the tide of Ravenclaws leaving the tower. "What do you think is causing it," she wonders outloud while peering through one of the telescopes. "Damn if we don't have a great view of it, whatever the cause."

"It's quite spectacular," Ivy remarks to her fellow 'claws, mostly because they're closest to her and she's not really raising her voice. "Whatever's causing it must be of some celestial importance, don't you think?" It's a safe assumption, given the special class is Astronomy rather than, say, Divination.

Mabel hrms, to Claire, "Well, the Muggles say it's caused by sunspots. Plays merry havoc with tellyphones and their form of wireless. Assuming this is a proper aurora and not something caused by powerful magic, they may well be right about the connection. But this is exceptional, either way. Even for this far north."

"This is abnormally red for a typical aurora, don't you think?"

Julian speaks between Ivy and Claire mostly… but since Mabel's nearby, she's able to add her input… "I'm no expert, by no stretch of the imagination… But… I dunno. It just seems a little off."

He shrugs his shoulders lightly, glancing between the two other Ravenclaws. "Admittedly, Astronomy isn't my strongest matter…"

"It is certainly not being like what I expected from reading in books. I thought it was supposed to be being many colors, greens and yellows and other colors," Elspeth muses. Her slow turning walk with her eyes to the sky brings her bumping lightly into Julian's shoulder, and she gives a little gasp in pain when her balance is upset and Neko digs claws in. "I am being sorry," she says quietly, although it may just as well be the cat as Julian that she is apologizing to as she returns her eyes to her immediate surroundings for a moment.

Mabel is nodding slowly, but startles a bit when Elspeth gasps, drawing a little extra line in her little log, inadvertently, with one of those ink pens Ophelia made to be little replicas of people's wands, before spotting the kitten. "They're commonly mostly green, actually, but there's often more colours as well. Don't know what to make of this, but it's surely not what sailors mean by 'red skies at night' being about good weather tomorrow across the Pond, don't you know."

"Certainly not." Julian just shakes his head a little, biting his lip slightly as he looks back toward the sky for a moment. When Elspeth bumps into him, his hand goes out and he helps to steady her, a hand lightly placed on her shoulder as he also catches himself. "You're all right," he comments to her as she apologizes, shaking his head a little and smiling.

"What's that contraption you've got there, Hawker?" Ivy asks of Mabel. One can only stare at the eerily-lit sky for so long, after all. She's keeping her voice respectfully low, but Mabel's close enough that it shouldn't be a problem.

Mabel ohs, to Elspeth, offering the funny brass mechanism over. "It's just a Self-levelling Sextant, really more use on the water, but I'm just trying to get a rough idea if there's a particular spot all this could be coming from."

Giving Julian a quiet, grateful smile at his assistance, Elspeth decides to not mix walking and looking up. The mention of a contraption pulls her attention, and she gazes over curiously. She glances to Ivy when Mabel offers over the sextant. "That is being very interesting. Do you really think you can be finding that out?"

Mabel smirks over to Elspeth, "Not really. Obviously somewhat dodgy to even try, really, but if it's clearly off, we might know something. It's probably better not to find anything, though, really."

"If it's related to sunspots," Ivy suggests, sounding only a little uncertain, "wouldn't the source have something to do with the sun?" It sounds logical to her, anyway, but then maybe that's why Astronomy's not her best class, since it's not entirely about logical things.

Mabel nods. "So it's presumed. Perturbations in the atmospheric waves, of some kind, perhaps."

Up the stairs and into the astronomy tower proper enter Eibhlin and Conall. Perhaps after a brief patrol to make sure students weren't using the outing as an excuse to nip off to other parts of the castle. The Ravenclaw Prefect has her hand tucked into the Hufflepuff Prefect's elbow. "The sky looks amazing," she's saying as they approach the other observers, "but it's a little eery."

Conall is silent though nods to Eibhlin's words as they come along as well. Glancing to the others and offers a bit of a nod and a smile to them. Finally speaking when they come to a stop. "It is interesting at the very least."

Right now, Julian's just kind of letting everyone else talk amongst themselves with regard to the Aurora. He's busy watching it, though. Just kind of tilting his head, leaning against one of the desks near one of the larger windows. "Either way, it's quite a sight," he finally comments broadly, just a little bit absent.

Ivy tugs a scrap of parchment and a quill from a pocket of her cloak, easing toward a pillar to use it as a makeshift writing surface. "Good evening, Eibhlin. Quinn."

"Have you heard any word about what it might be?" Eibhlin asks of those already pleasant. She tucks her hand further into Conall's arm, linking elbows. She's dressed warmly, but possibly not quite enough so. She has her winter robe on, but forgot gloves or a scarf. She nods towards Ivy, smiling to her dormmate.

Conall nods to Julian's words as well as looking to Ivy as she greets them. "Good evening, all. Winterbourne." He offers and nods to Ivy in return to her greeting. Letting Evie do more of the talking after that though, as he just listens to what the others might be able to offer.

As usual, most people don't seem to really know that Elspeth is still there, since she is quiet and solemnly watching all that is going on around her. She's paying attention to Mabel's fiddling, Ivy writing, Julian just being there, and the two prefects arriving arm in arm. She's found a quiet spot to watch the sky and the people… it's something that you can't look at too long, but you can't really look away, either.

Professor Lunet has been very busy with her own instruments and telescopes. Off in her own world out there somewhere she's been allowing the students to gaze and discuss amongst themselves. A couple of students were tasked into research. They sit looking extremely bored and put out that they've been taken away from gawking.

Mabel looks over to Eibhlin, from her chartings, "Well, it's the Northern Lights, by the look of it, natural or not. I suppose we'll see about the rest of it."

"Those… aren't usually visible this far south," Eibhlin says towards Mabel, a bit confused. She moves towards the windows, bringing Conall along with her. To get a better look. "And I thought they were usually… ah, more colorful"

"That's what I keep saying," Jules responds, still kind of absently looking out the window. It's like… a train wreck. It's almost terrifying to some degree that it's such an ODD color… "It's -far- too red in appearance," he continues, shaking his head…

Rolling the scrap of parchment and tucking it into her cloak, Ivy steps back and sighs. "It's a puzzle." There's a distinct note of disapproval in her tone, as Ivy is not a fan of things that can't be properly explained. She moves to join the other students who are doing research, as if she expects to find an answer that way.

Conall seems thoughtful as well as he nods to their words, "Perhaps something having happened to it as it started spreading perhaps? Magic involved maybe?" He suggests with a bit of a shrug. Glancing between everyone present.

Colton is face down on the book Lunet was forcing him to research. A pool of drool smudging the Andromeda Galaxy into the Medusa Cascade.

"It'd have to be a pretty powerful spell for it to be magic," Jules responds carefully, glancing over toward Conall as he's somehow shaken out of his reverie. "I mean… this is probably being seen as far south as… I dunno," he glances back toward the window. "But it's pretty far reaching…"

"It could be a few people working in tandem, instead of just one spell…" Eibhlin suggests, tucking her robe in more firmly about herself. She squints out at the glowing sky, thoughtful. "Or…" A shake of the head as she ponders, trying to sort it out.

Conall nods to Eibhlin's suggestion, "Possible. If enough powerful witches and wizards gather then they could create something quite big." He shrugs a bit as he isn't sure about what to think about it all.

Ivy wrinkles her nose at Colton's face-down drooling, and reaches over to liberate the precious tome from the careless boy. She's careful about it, more out of concern for the book than for the Gryffindor, but she ends up having to yank it free with a little more force than she'd originally intended. "Augh. That's disgusting." She pulls a handkerchief from her cloak and begins swabbing the pages.

*THUMP* "Ey' come off it!" Colton owws as he head meets hard wood. He rubs at the side of his face with a pout and then reaches over to poke Ivy in the side. "Weren't me fault I was bored to death." Still drowsy the Irish Traveller doesn't school his accent very well and it comes out thick and quick.

"Why would someone bother?"

Julian's remark is honest enough. "I mean… other than it looking… ~pretty,~" he remarks, waving his hands lightly for effect as he says 'pretty,' he glances between Evie and Conall both. "What's the source doing that's causing so much… residual, if it's magic?"

Gabrielle comes quietly into the tower. She's not masking her presence, but it's announcing either. She has her sketchbook and a pack of nice colored pencils in her arms. She'll slowly make her way over to a window to have a look.

Eibhlin glances over towards Ivy and Colton, smirking a bit. She shrugs in response to Julian's question, glancing up at Conall next to her. "I'm not sure… some spells have residual effects. A large enough spell… well." There's a bit of a grin, "Or perhaps some northern wizards had a huge party and went a bit overboard with their fireworks display."

Conall shrugs, "We don't know anything about it. What if it is more than just pretty?" He asks finding it to be quite interesting. As he spots Gabby Conall will offer a smile and a nod to her, perhaps having heard some of the rumors about her. THen he does grin as he looks to Ivy and Colton as well. A chuckle to Evie's words as well before shaking his head.

"Hands off, if you please, Higgins," Ivy says primly, shifting away from the boy. "If you're going to fall asleep, you could at least have the decency not to drool on the book. You've smudged the ink." She turns the book so that the offending smudge is plain for everyone to see.

Colton wipes his chin with the back of his sleeve. "C'moffit. It'll be fine in a little bit, all'm Hoggies books are enchanted. Ain't the end of the bleedin world Ivy. Or…well it's nah cause some drool got on a book. Tha thing 'owevah." He points up to the fiery colored sky. "..jus' maybe."

Gabrielle nods back to Conall with a small smile. She'll pull out her sketch book, and after a small bit of shuffling with the colored pencils, will use her wand to light the book for her to sketch what's going on with the sky.

The hand that is not on Conall's arm lifts and Eibhlin stifles a giggle at the interaction between Ivy and Colton. She tugs at the Hufflepuff's arm a bit, gesturing with her chin a little. To try to show him what's going on. This does bring Gabby into view and she nods slightly at her housemate.

Ivy lifts her chin a bit, glancing down at the book to make sure the text is correcting itself. "It's still no excuse. If you're tired, then perhaps you should go back to your dormitory for some apparently much-needed rest?"

Conall glances to the interaction and grins a bit at that. Though it is only for a moment before he is looking between Eibhlin and Gabby. Wondering perhaps. But for now he will just stand and glance up towards the red sky without saying much. Hearing the conversation between Ivy and Colton though.

Colton makes a face, a yappy mocking mouth opening and shutting face when Ivy tucks into him. "It's nae meh fault Lunet picked me and not yee to be bored to tears over this rubbish. Dinnae need 'rest' just need something more exciting by /normal/ people's standards." He looks at Ivy pointedly making it clear that he doesn't think her religious level fanaticism over a book is said 'normal'.

Gabrielle will glance back up, an after a moment, nod back to Eibhlin. that should be safe. She'll start sketching the sky, frowning slightly at the weirdness of it all. She'll try to just ignore whatever is going on with Colton and Ivy.

"It's lights in the sky, Higgins," Ivy says primly. "It's not going to get any more exciting than that." She's aware of the audience, the other students paying attention, but she's not playing to them. Her attention is fixed on the Gryffindor boy. she gives the book another once-over, passes the handkerchief over the cover, then closes it and offers it back. "Honestly, what were you expecting from an Astronomy class?"

"Pretty girls going doe-eyed over the colors in the sky, I imagine," Eibhlin quips to Ivy, smirking a bit in Colton's direction. "Guess Gryffindor lads need their beauty sleep though."

Colton rolls his eyes, "Can't exactly see the lights up in the sky wif meh nose down in a bloody boring book, now can I? I thought yee was supposed to be clever. Bossy an' uptight more like." He tsks in clear disappointment of the girl. "Were ye made a prefect wiffout anyone knowing? Well I think I knows where ye be 'iding tha' badge if ye were."

Then comes the airy voice of the Professor just clearing her throat and it's a good thing to because Colton's slight harshness looks like it was going to turn full blown berating towards Evie who instead just gets a glare along with Conall then back to Evie. But he just shoves his clenched fists in his pockets and heads over to a telescope to look through it.

Conall just raises a brow to Colton but not saying anything and his attention shifts towards Gabby. Seeing her sketching, "How's it going? Your sketches are always quite good." He tells her and also turns for a second to smile at Evie's words before looking back to Gabby. Perhaps starting to ignore Colton and Ivy, as long as neither start to seem sad, since he doesn't do well with sad people.

Gabrielle Will glance over to Conall, "Mabel thought it wold be a good idea to get some sketches of this…" She's having to switch around pencils,as she's using her wand to light the page, with her left hand, and is sketching with her wand and a pencil in her right.She'll give a small smirk, "Well, I hope they're ok, or my career choice is a bad one…"

Ivy doesn't deign to reply to Colton, instead wiping her handkerchief over the table he'd just been faceplanted at before taking his place now that he's vacated. She has no problem with staying awake while her nose is in a book, after all.

Eibhlin blinks slightly at the glare from Colton. She bites her lip for a moment, looking thoughtful. There's a shrug finally and she turns back to the window, leaning a little into Conall as she does. Might as well go back to enjoying things. "Things like this make me wish I could paint," she admits quietly. "So I could… save the moment, y'know? Exactly as I see it out there."

Mabel continues to look on in general fascination for the sight, but smiles to Colton, "If you'd rather look, Higgins, I could spell you at that."

Colton is bent over looking up into the eyepiece of a telescope and mutters, "Don't that figure." As the phenomenon seems to be fading.

Lunet as well makes a little sound of disappointment and claps her hands. "Very well class. Collect your things. There will be an essay due by the end of the month, two scrolls worth. Class dismissed."

Gabrielle will stay where she is, tying to capture the last bit of the sky.She assumes Evie's comments were directed at conall.

With a sigh, Ivy closes the book she'd just opened and makes her way toward the exit. She's not in any particular hurry, but she's certainly not going to linger, either. There's more studying to be done.

As Lunet wraps things up, Eibhlin murmurs to Conall something about 'that's what we get'. Homework. For attending to watch the astronomy event. It is a good excuse to spend more time together, since two scrolls is a fair bit. They leave and soon part ways to help ensure their respective houses get back to the common rooms.

Gabrielle stays till there's nothing left in the sky.And will slowly pack up and leave, hoping to not run into anyone.

Colton glowers at Evie and Conall as he doesn't linger one bit. He slides on his winter robes and scarf, looking much to bundled up to be heading to the common room that's very close to here. Gives Mabel a wink and heads out himself.

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