(1939-01-05) Arithmancy and Other Things
Details for Arithmancy and Other Things
Summary: Ilyan and Elizabeth talk about classes, Grindelwald's book, and the possibily of war with muggles on the horizon.
Date: January 5, 1939
Location: Leaky Cauldron

It is a winter night. The weather is cold and snowing.

This cramped, angular room is the taproom of the Leaky Cauldron. A long bar runs along one side of the room, plain wooden stools set out before it. Smoke from pipes and candles fills the air. The patrons of this curious little bar, many of them elderly, sit hunched over their mugs at the tables. Waitresses, sometimes coined "wenches", bustle back and forth bearing trays of food and mugs of ale. Many of the people seem strangely out of place, dressed in cloaks and floppy hats, as if they stumbled out of another century. Notably absent are any modern Muggle devices or electricity, the lighting all provided by lanterns and chandeliers.

The Leaky Cauldron is a small but warm pub, cozy and inviting to all who visit. It was comfortable. And while others may be partying, Elizabeth has secluded herself to one of the tables at the Leaky Cauldron, A few books stacked neatly, and papers spread out before her as she the self-inking quill in her hand moves smoothly with the girl's handwriting. Every once in a while she pulls one of the books towards her and flip to a precise page, her pale gaze narrowing at it from behind her wire-frames before she calmly closes it and returns it to her place once more. Ignoring the half-drunk mug of cider and oblivious to the quick, almost frantic murmurings of wizards at the bar.

Ilyan walks into the Leaky Cauldron, his straight posture and deliberate gaze suggesting confidence, even when surrounded by adults. He looks around the room twice; the first time, he frowns slightly, as if not seeing who he was looking for. The second time, his eyes linger on Elizabeth, a fellow fourth-year, and he smiles slightly. He walks over to her table. "Hey, Dweedle," he says casually, "extra Arithmancy homework?"

Elizabeth blinks up as she hears her name, powder blue eyes blinking quickly as she habitually reaches up to push up her glasses on her nose. Frowning subtly, she glances over Ilyan for a short moment before she recognizes Ilyan. He wasn't in her house, but she does remember seeing him in her classes, now that she thinks about it. Though she doesn't quite recall ever talking to him much outside of classes. "Ah. Greengrass." Elizabeth lifts a brow at the mention of Arithmancy. "Not quite. This is just some theories of mine I'm getting on paper. Cross referencing and such."

"Theories?" asks Ilyan, interested. He is a good enough student (he remembers Elizabeth from Arithmancy in particular, one of his best subjects), but he has yet to do any original research. "Like, on magical theory? Or history? Or are you inventing a spell?" Here, he looks distracted, and mumbles, "How do you invent a spell, anyway?"

One of the pages that's partially visible is a map of England, with several lines crossing over it. As he asks what she's working on, however, it gives Elizabeth a moment of hesitation. "None of the above, actually. Mostly they're my theories about what magic may be, among other things." Rather serious business for a student, let alone a fourth year. After a moment's pause she gives him a curious look. "Were you looking for someone? Just now?"

About what magic may be? Ilyan stares at her parchment curiously. In response to her question, Ilyan nods. "My dad. He gets off work at the Ministry soon, and he said to meet him here." He looks around the room again, but no one enters. "I've never thought about that sort of thing before—what magic is." He fingers his ring, engraved with a seven-point star, and his thoughts turn to Arithmancy. "I mean, what if the world is an Arithmatically important size or shape? Could something like that create magic?"

"Ah." Elizabeth thought he may have been meeting someone here of course. She dips her chin with a small nod. "I don't think many really have, to be honest." And it isn't surprising to her that wizards just take magic for granted for the most part either. "Mostly right now I'm trying to determine if there's anyone else that have the same theories that I do. But so far what I've come across has been the application of magic, rather than what it is itself. Though curiously, I do think that the world we live in has something to do with it, among other factors."

Ilyan grins. "That makes sense. We're much more interested in what we can do with our powers than why we have them. I've just started getting interested in magical theory, and that's only because I want to invent spells, because that would be amazing. And there are some things that need to be done that need new spells… I read Grindelwald's book, and I think he's right, a big war is coming, but I think creative spellwork is a better answer than 'let's just subjugate the Muggles!' It's all applied magic, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Unspeakables know more. Have you ever thought about becoming one?"

Spells. Exhaling a small breath, Elizabeth sets her quill down and calmly folds her hands in her lap. "War…" she says the word softly, hinted with sadness even that the prospect. "The only war I could imagine being on the horizon would be pure-blooded wizards against those that are not." The young woman gently shakes her head though. "But I also believe that that is won in small strides. Showing through my actions every day that I'm not against anyone's way of life." Elizabeth lifts a slender brow when he asks her about becoming an Unspeakable. "Actually, I have." she answers, though sounding surprised that he had even figured that much out. No one has really asked before. "I'm rather a wiz at runework." No pun intended.

"You always know interesting things in class. You'd make a great Unspeakable. I wish I'd taken Ancient Runes, though," says Ilyan. "It looks fascinating, but I've already got three electives. Maybe I could drop Divination or something." He shrugs. "The only divination I put much faith in is real prophecies, from Seers. That's the one thing that Grindelwald says that I agree with, there are prophecies about a war coming, a Muggle war, with deadly Muggle weapons that even wizards aren't ready for." He takes a deep breath. "I was talking to Bran Reese and Madeline Evans; they're both Muggle-born, they know more about this sort of thing. And there are already terrible Muggle weapons, like gas and bombs. Frankly, I don't know why Grindelwald even thinks we're capable of subjugating the Muggle world, even if we wanted to."

Elizabeth openly gives Ilyan a confused frown for several moments, as he guides the topic once more to Grindelwald. And he seems to talk allot. Exhaling a light breath, she uses her fingertips to adjust the bridge of her wire-frame glasses on her small nose. "I believe… that placing labels on people is what encourages segregation, elitism, hatred, and fear. Personally, I find it difficult to believe that we will be having a war upon people that don't even know we exist."

Ilyan nods. "My worry is that the Muggle weapons have a large area of effect. They could easily hit wizards by accident." He shrugs. "I hope we can maintain peace, too. Maybe we still can. The Magizugend at Hogwarts seem peaceful enough, so far, unlike their Durmstrang counterparts." Noticing Elizabeth's confused frown, he tries to restrain his zeal for this topic, so it doesn't carry him away into another speech.

"If they do hit wizards then by accident, it would mean that they're not waging war on us, but against other muggles." Elizabeth murmurs easily. And the mention of the Magizugend merely earns a light shake of her head. "Again with the labels." She arches a brow at him. "The only label I've found even remotely accurate thus far when it regards myself is 'bookworm'. And that isn't even literal." There a small, faint smirk. But it's there.

"Well, 'Magizugend' is a label they've chosen for themselves, too," Ilyan responds. "Bookworm is a label with a long and honorable history," he continues, grinning, "but I do think labels about blood are rather silly. I mean, a person's heritage is far too significant and complex to be categorized by blood alone. My dad is a Squib, and he does more for the magical community than most witches and wizards. And there are more important things to pass on to your kids than magic."
At this point, a middle-aged man walks in and waves to Ilyan. Ilyan waves back and smiles. "There he is. I guess I'd better be going."

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