(1938-04-01) Speaking With History
Details for Speaking With History
Summary: Wanting to know something about history, Ophelia goes to the individual that was there when history happened.
Date: April 1, 1938
Location: History of Magic Classroom
Related: Plot: Forgotten Shadows

History of Magic Classroom, Hogwarts Castle

Maps and charts cover every square inch of wallspace, making it impossible to tell the color of the walls beneath. Across the maps and charts, lines and graphs and figures slip into one pattern or another, articulating the tide of ancient battles, armies and territories - the walls themselves bleeding history into the minds of those who enter whether they wish it or not. Pictures of famous persons stand out in noble detal while infamous villains' seem to depict themselves as their faces come into view with sneers of contempt or the ambivalence of disdain. A particulary nasty-looking goblin cracks its knuckles in a gesture of open hostility for the unfortunate student who wanders too close to its depiction. Timelines cross over each other, blend together and tumble apart - they circle the room to the bottom of the clerestory window, close to the ceiling that lets in the ambient light. In the History of Magic classroom, the founders of the school were truly merciful - yes, even Salazaar Slytherin - sparing the students an actual view of the often more-appealing outside world during the tedium so many feel at journeying herre, the droning of seemingly-endless names and dates and facts and figures. Facing the large front teacher's desk, a rising semi-circle of study desks lay out a lecture style of seating, complete with excellent room acoustics to make sure everyone in the room experiences every detail of every fact and figure and name and date in perfect detail and little comfort. Not only can the History Professor be heard to the last row in this arrangement, of course .. but any snoring or the rustle of love notes can be heard by the Professor, and the entire class.

Despite the general lack of students, most of them having left Hogwarts for the Easter Holiday, Professor Binns sticks firmly to his daily routine. Of course, this means that during what would normally be time for lessons, he is found in the History of Magic classroom, going over lesson plans and mumbling what might very well be a lecture on the Goblin Rebellions.

For the first time in all her years at Hogwarts, Ophelia elected to stay at home for a holiday. And so it is that she is able to slip into the History of Magic classroom, a couple of her most recent books and a few scrolls tucked under one arm. She glances around, smiles a little when she hears the Professor's mumbling, and makes her way to his desk quietly. Once there she clears her throat, "Uhm, excuse me, Professor?"

Binns murmurs, "…in this very vicinity, in 1612…eh?" The translucent form of the ghostly professor swivels in midair, first scanning the empty desks before taking note of Ophelia standing nearby. "Miss Summerbee, why are you out of your seat?"

Ophelia glances around, taking a minute to rtry and decide her answer. "Ahhh… its the spring holiday Professor, don't you remember?" But already worried that it will be too confusing, she hurries on, "I have a question professor. I was wondering if you know anything about the Heart of Gold?"

Professor Binns blinks a few times, surely out of mere habit, as his eyes need no moisturizing. "Spring…yes, of course I remember. What this, then? Heart of Gold? Which one?"

Ophelia blinks. "Ah. The, ah… er, how many are there?" Reaching behind herself, she pulls a chair closer so she can take a seat and take notes, just as though they were in fact in class.

Binns looks to his lesson plans, then to the empty desks, then to Ophelia, appearing momentarily disoriented. But he finds his thoughts and continues on. "Ah…well, many, I suppose. A heart of gold might refer to a person, a piece of jewelry…eh, perhaps some context would help, Miss Summerbee."

"Oh, I'm sorry… " Ophelia hurries to glance over her own notes, looking for what solid information she has on the Heart. "I believe… it is an actual item. It was referred to as an 'it'. Also, I know that in the… the sketch I saw of it, it was shaped as a heart that has been twice bisected, like this… " Rummaging a little more, she finds the slightly cruder sketch she made of Gabrielle's carving on the wagon, from memory after she had returned home later. The sketch and notes scribbled alongside are quickly passed to the Professor.

Binns simply points to an empty place on his desk, passing his hand incorporeally through the offered notes to demonstrate his inability to touch them. But he does bend over to examine what she has, frowning curiously. "Where did you come across these references?"

With a nod, Ophelia sets the paper down where directed. "Ah… from, ah, a vision, actually. Not mine, but another student." She bites her lip, both worried and encouraged by his reaction, "Do you know which one that is?"

The History of Magic professor seems rather nonchalant at the news of a student having a vision. "It could be nearly anything," he says in his monotonous way. "A vision is an unreliable resource for serious research."

"Which is why I'm here, professor." Ophelia frowns. "I'm hoping to find something concrete. I've found many references to what might be this Heart, but I'd like to know more. Please, professor, do you know anything about a Heart that looks like this one? I think it may be important."

Binns lets out a sound that might be a sigh, but has that classic quality of a ghostly moan. "If I were to take your drawing in the most literal sense, I would suspect it could be a legendary artefact crafted by the alchemist Dragostus and the artificer Opiferus Mulciber. I do not know of any description of it that suggests it is bisected, mind you."

Ophelia nearly chokes, "M-Mulciber?" Eyes wide, she leans back in her seat, her back hitting the chair with a soft 'thud.' "Oh, Merlin." Her rational mind takes control a few seconds later, reminding her to hurriedly lean forward again and quickly write down the names given. She glances up with a curious frown, "No? I assumed that to be a part of the design. Thank you, professor. Do you know of… " Oh, wait, no, she knows where it is now. "Do you know what it does, exactly? How it works?"

Professor Binns furrows his silvery brow, perplexed at her reaction. "Surprised? The Mulcibers have been connected to a great many powerful artefacts in the last many centuries. I believe there is a young Mulciber attending Hogwarts even now…" He pauses a moment, searching his memory before focusing on her question. "How it works? It isn't really my area, Miss Summerbee. Suffice to say that accounts speak of it as a tool for transmuting emotion into raw magical power. Though whether a device could achieve such a thing is questionable, at best."

"Only…. I shouldn't be." Ophelia offers a small, wry grin, "I just… didn't even think about Phae being connected to all this. And I should have. It was stupid of me." Her eyes widen as his description, however vague, and she nods slowly. "Its alright, I just thought you would be more likely to know than anyone else. Thank you, Professor."

Binns nods, "Yes, naturally I do." Immodest, he may be, but he doesn't make a show of boasting, either. "Is that all then, Miss Summerbee? I do have a class to run." He gestures absentmindedly at the vacant room.

Ophelia glances around, almost expecting for a minute to see a class in session. She blinks, shaking her head as she remembers, "No sir. Thank you, I'll… get back to my own class now." Or something like that. Gathering her things, she stands and steps toward the door, her face already taking on that particular 'in her own world' expression.

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