(1938-10-10) Internal Compartment Hydrorepulsion Test
Details for Internal Compartment Hydrorepulsion Test
Summary: Arian and Fiona come across Hephaesta performing tests on her mechanical owl, and the three Ravenclaws get to chatting.
Date: 10 October, 1938
Location: Training Grounds, Hogwarts

Training Grounds, Hogwarts

The training grounds is a large flat grassy lawn area. It is where Flying Classes are held for the First Years and is used as a club meeting place when the outdoors are called for. There are some busy places at Hogwarts and this is probably one of busiest what with the flutter of wings and the comings and goings of owls on missions to and from the Owl Tower. As it's an ideal place for it, often times non-broom sports are played here in between classes and on the weekends. While not exactly apart of the Castle proper the Training Grounds are surrounded by walls that really are more a string of very large two and a half story archways separating the Training grounds from the rest of the grounds. Up on high, at the top of the Owl Tower, is a sturdy stone sky bridge that leads to the palisades of the castle.

Though the rainfall isn't terribly heavy this evening, Hephaesta has her rubbers on, and her newly refined goggles to keep the rain out of her eyes. In her arm is cradled Gizmo, her clockwork owl. His chest cavity is open, revealing a space inside, which Phae is peering into, while shielding it from the rain with her sleeve. "Don't fidget, Gizmo. It's not a lightning storm. You'll be fine."

Arian wanted to send a letter to his mother. That's it. Of course, it figures that it would start raining on him as soon as he stepped out of the castle. He's managed to get the letter off, and, thanks to the school's owls, the scratches lining his cheek sting wildly as he walks back across the yard. He's about halfway across when he spots Phae, his housemate, and stops, staring with a puzzled expression at the device in her hands. "What's that?" he asks blatantly, not even bothering with an introductory statement as he approaches her.

Dressed in her favourite dungarees and a thick cable knit jumper Fiona is turning a stone over in her hand. A dash of mud already streaks across her cheek and her hair is damp from the rain but her jumper looks dry, undoubtedly a sensible gift from a mother who knows her child's tendencies for adventure and climbing in the outdoors. Fiona looks up when she hears voices.

Hephaesta looks up from her inspection at the sound of Arian's voice. The current setting on the goggles causes them to magnify her eyes impossibly large in the lenses, giving her an owlish appearance of her own. She blinks a few times. "What's what?" The mechanical owl whirs and chitters in her arm. "Oh. This is Gizmo. He's my owl. I'm conducting an internal compartment hydrorepulsion test on him."

Arian raises an eyebrow at Phae when she uses her big words on him. "A hydro-whatsit?" he asks. Wow, those fresh scratches are really starting to sting… With a scratched hand, Arian raises the hood of his cloak. Much better. He eyes the Gizmo is Phae's arms. "Is that an owl?" HIs interest is piqued, and he moves closer. "D…Does it work?"

Oooh Ravenclaws. Fiona picks up the pace and skips over to the older students. She eyes Gizmo curiously, the stone slipping into her pocket. "Neat." She leans her head closer, peering at it. "What powers it?" Her head turns towards Arian and she grins, "No mustache yet, I see."

Hephaesta slides the goggles up to her forehead to give Arian an incredulous look. "Of course he works. I designed him," he says, as if that should explain it entirely…but then adds, "mostly." The arrival of the First Year brings a bright smile to Hephaesta's face, as does the question. "He's clockwork. I have to wind him every few days."

The arrival of Fiona is greeted with a quick wave. Then, the comment about the mustache comes and it brings an awkward grin. "I.. well, I haven't decided whether or not I want a mustache yet," he tells the first year. He decides to bring the conversation back to the mechanical owl. "So does that mean he can deliver letters? Without, you know, scratching the person wanting to deliver the letter?"

"If you are nice to owls and give them mice they won't scratch," says Fiona. She wipes her fingers on her jumper and reaches out a finger to touch Gizmo. "Did you make him?" Bit of hero worship there from the firstie. "Are his parts magical so he can work here at Hogwarts?"

Hephaesta nods to both of the other Ravenclaws. "I designed him as a post owl. See this compartment? It's for holding letters and parcels. Eventually I intend to put an Extension Charm on it, so he can carry much larger things. But he works just fine here at Hogwarts. He hasn't got any electrical parts, you see. Eventually I should like to have some sort of auto-winding charm on him. But I'm really much better at designing machines than spells."

"So, if I gave him a letter, I wouldn't have to have a mouse to keep him from scratching me?" Arian asks, sounding genuinely interested. He decides to take a seat by Hephaesta, spreading his cloak under him so he's not sitting directly on the wet ground. "So you make things like this all the time? For fun?"

Fiona doesn't get what Arian has against owls and it shows in the look she gives him. Boys! She shakes her head and then looks at Gizmo again. "It would be neat if we had smaller ones that could zip around inside carrying notes. I heard that they have flying notes at the Ministry."

"Of course," Phae assures Arian. "Gizmo doesn't scratch. He doesn't eat, either." She beams proudly at the owl as she pulls an envelope form her robes and stuffs it into his chest cavity. She swings the little door in his chest shut, twisting a knob to lock it in place. "I do make thing like him all the time. Well, not exactly like Gizmo. He's my greatest creation. Though…I suppose I must admit that I did have some help. I never quite got him to work until I apprenticed at Macnair Manufacturing two summers ago. They were able to come up with the automation charms that make him seem so alive." As if to demonstrate, the mechanical owl clicks and chitters as it rights itself on her arm, fluttering its metal wings.

Arian notices the bit of a cold shoulder he's getting from Fiona and he gives her a look. "I just had my face scratched out by one of the school owls," he mutters, half to himself. "So, I can use him sometime, right? D…Do I have to give you something to use it?" The bit about the manufacturing goes completely over Arian's head. "That's, um, very interesting…" Feeling a little out of sorts, he reaches into his pockets and starts toying with a few of his juggling balls.

"Don't you have an owl of your own?" Fiona hadn't considered that. She blinks. "Is that what people with no owls do? Use the school owls? I bet they are cranky, all those people who think 'Oh no I'll get a cat' or 'I bet a frog would be a lovely pet' they all have to use the school owls don't they?" The small girl shakes her head, "Fools. Should have got an owl. Sensible." She looks at Phae, "Are there no spells in the library that would help with the winding? I bet if we researched it we could find one."

Hephaesta shakes her head. "He's not ready for proper post work yet. There's still a lot of testing to do, like today's hydrorepulsion test. If water is getting into the parcel chamber, he won't be able to do his job very well, will he?" She looks directly at Arian's face, perhaps only now really seeing it for the first time. "Oh my word. You should go see Madam Spleen about those scratches." She lifts her arm up, and with a light shake, commands, "Gizmo, fly!" With a click and a clank, the mechanical bird spreads its wings and launches into the air, circling higher and higher above their heads. Phae slips her goggles back over her eyes as she looks up after Gizmo. "There are shockingly few spells that are designed to interact with Muggle-type machinery," she informs Fiona. "But there have been a few forward-thinking wizards that have done so. Perhaps somebody has developed something like that, and I just haven't found it yet. Though I do try to keep up on magic of a kinetic or locomotive nature."

Arian looks at Fiona with a look that's partially incredulous, but mostly irritated. "No, not all of us can afford to have our own owls. But thanks for asking." His look turns to a scowl, and he shoves the juggling balls back into his pocket. He doesn't feel much like doing his muggle magic show now. He glances up at the mechanical owl, now with only a partial interest. "That's pretty interesting. Let me know if you ever finish testing him." As for the comment about the scratches, he tells Phae, "I'll be alright. It's just a couple of scratches. And it's not like this face was doing me much good without them anyway."

Her sense of awe at seeing the mechanical owl take flight flouders as the boy tells her off. Fiona looks contrite and she tries to make it up to Arian. A hand slips into one of the many pockets of her dungaress and she pulls out the stone she was carrying earlier. "I'm sorry," she says and thrusts the stone at him. "You can borrow mine sometime if you want. He's very nice. He likes oatcakes and he doesn't bite or scratch."

Hephaesta spares a moment from observing the wet-weather flight test to gives Arian a maternal sigh. But she keeps her silence for the moment to let her housemates sort things out. Besides, she has a clockwork owl to keep an eye on.

Arian accepts the stone with a confused glance. He eyes the stone for a while, not really sure what he's looking at. There seems to be some sort of fossil in it, but what is that supposed to mean? "Well, thank you," he says, still slightly confused. "Wh.. what am I supposed to do with this? Does your owl like to eat rocks or something?"

"It is an ammonite," says Fiona. "It is millions of years old. You don't do anything with them. Well I suppose you can sell it. It is your's now." She looks up at Gizmo and then mumbles something about being cold. The small girl shoves her hands into the pockets of her dungarees and turns to head towards the castle.

Hephaesta gives a shrill whistle, and Gizmo begins to descend. She holds up her arm for the owl, but turns her eyes to the other two. "That's a royal gift." She calls out after Fiona. "Hey! What's your name?" As usual, Phae has been a little too preoccupied to learn the names of all the new Ravenclaws."

Arian takes another look at the stone and nods. "Thanks," he says quietly. "That's really nice." Carefully, he deposits the stone into his pocket. He watches the girl leave. "Her name's Fiona," he tells Hephaesta, unsure if the first year is leaving or not. "She really likes candy. Like me. And she thinks that I should grow a mustache to get a date."

"Fiona Donnelly!," calls back the small girl and then she runs off, just in case she is in trouble. One can never tell with teenagers.

Hephaesta smirks with subtle amusement as Gizmo lands heavily on her arm. She lifts an eyebrow at Arian, peering curiously at him. "You're a little young to grow a moustache, aren't you?"

Arian rubs his face sadly. "Yeah," he mutters with a frown. "I can't even get any peach fuzz going right now. Fiona thought that I could try a tonic or some kind of spell, though." He pauses, then looks over at the girl and her owl. "Do you think a mustache would make me look better, though?"

Hephaesta lifts her goggles to her forehead again and squints at him. "Personally, I'm not very fond of facial hair. Which is strange, as my father has a very full beard. But he wears it well." She shakes her head. "Anyhow, you're too young. It would look strange on you."

Arian nods quickly. "Yeah, yeah, that's what I thought," he says. "I mean, besides, it would look ridiculous if I cut off some of my hair and pasted it on my lip, right?" There's a nervous laugh, as if Arian's trying to gauge Phae's reaction. "So, um, how're classes this year?"

Hephaesta chuckles softly at his joke. "Everything is lovely, thank you. I'm very much enjoying this year's Arithmancy course. It's my OWLs year, so it's getting quite challenging. What about yours?" She turns the knob to open up Gizmo's chest compartment, reaching inside to feel the envelope within. "Oh, brilliant," she says with satisfaction. "Completely dry."

Arian nods. "Yeah, I'm not sure that I'm really ready for OWL year," he tells her. "Classes are going alright. I'm getting by in most classes. History of Magic is still as sleep-inducing as ever. But I'm doing well in divination." Suddenly, a thought hits him and he stands. "Bloody hell, I forgot that essay…" He gathers himself and starts making his way toward the castle. "I need to head out. Um, maybe we could talk again sometime. Um, maybe at Hogsmeade weekend? You can tell me more about your owl. And your OWLS…"

Hephaesta smiles, amused at her younger housemate, and nods. "Very well. Go take care of your essay. Do Rowena proud." She lets Arian hurry off ahead of her, taking her time returning to the castle in solitude.

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