(1939-10-14) A World without Runes
Details for A World without Runes
Summary: Professor Black invites his class, including Eibhlin and Anthony, to think about the importance of Runes, by imagining a world where they did not exist
Date: 1939-10-14
Location: Ancient Runes Classroom- Hogwarts

Anthony is carving on wood before the class. A nice bit of polished chestnut, and using a knife, which is unusual for him. It seems to be the Elder Futhark, Saxon Runes, in German, rather than with any magical intent.

Anthony casually slides the bit of wood over, _just_ before Professor Black walks in, and gets out his Runes book. He puts on a studious look, and glances over towards the redhead, to see if there's a level of confusion going on

Eibhlin shows up with the rest of the Ancient Rune N.E.W.T. students and promptly splits off to sit by Anthony's side. "What was that?" she murmurs, holding her hand out for the germanic-runed bit of wood.

Anthony slides it over to her, "Oh, you know. Just a few thoughts."

Eibhlin tilts it and begins to read. She stops a couple of times and murmurs a rune once or twice until she gets it right, but then she grins. She quickly hides the grin as Black walks in and she stands, slipping the wood into her bookbag. The class begins and Eibhlin pulls out her book and passes forward her homework. "What do you think we're going over today?" she asks her benchmate.

Anthony considers this as he hands his own essay, along with an attached runestick forward. "Well, he did hint that it was going to be anti-disapparition. Which unless we're going on a fieldtrip seems likely to be rather theoretical, given the wards around the Cast…" He stops abruptly, as the Cadaverous form of Sirius Black enters the room, and stands politely, until the Professor is seated.

"Ladies. Gentlemen. I wish you to do something which perhaps no teacher has done before in your time at Hogwarts. I wish you to…. " The pause draws out, long, and steady, before the Professor completes his request, "…. think! No longer of rote learning. That is behind you. For you have studied Runes, and in runes are ancient truths. We have considered in our overview Anti-Apparition and Anti-disapparition charms, but for now, before studying these, I would like you to reflect on life without them."

Eibhlin had looked SO READY to start writing. But now, no writing. She… puts her quill down and nods as Black instructs benchmates to discuss amongst each other. The low, indistinct murmur of quiet conversation soon takes over the room. She turns to Anthony and grins. "For starters it would be much harder to keep some of the more adventurous fifth years -in- school," she teases, alluding to some of the woes of being Head Girl. "There's also the obvious increase in theft from stores and shops."

Anthony nods, slowly, and then says, "More paranoia, too. No warded locations of safety, where harmful spells are hard to cast. That must have caused chaos! I mean, with all the power, and none of the safety? How would any place like this even exist?"

Eibhlin considers. "What do you say we make a real effort out of this, Anthony? A debate, perhaps? I'll argue in favour of the wards, you argue against them. Eh?"

Anthony ponders this, and nods, "Alright. Although I think you have a somewhat easier task!" He pauses, "Freedom. They interfere with Freedom. My ability to perform my Art is impaired. With a strong ward, it's almost as if you're trying to take my Wand from me!"

Eibhlin grins. "It shows my faith in your abilities?" she teases. Then she considers his argument. "Freedom in a civilised society is not license to do as you please whenever you please, Mr. Rowle. We have laws that govern us, laws of nature and laws of society. Freedom is the option to choose to do the right thing. Unfortunately, there are those who abuse their 'freedom' and as such society has a right to protect itself. The wards are a simple, noninvasive safeguard."

Anthony holds up a finger, "Ah, but a society only has a right to bind a citizen with his agreement. Surely the runes were imposed by some Master of Runes, rather than there being any common agreement to their use! And would we not be happier in a state of freedom, without such restraints?"

"Surely there is something to be said for having a Master do work on behalf of society?" Eibhlin retorts, leaning against the table with her chin in the palm of her hand. "Would you rather have the best Healer in the land advise the Minister of Magic? Or one of the political lackeys who is exceptionally good at winning popularity contests? Besides that, people can apply to have these wards imposed on their home or install the runes of their own volition. One can even customise and refine these wards to allow certain people in and out!"

Anthony considers this, "Ah, you are happy handing over ou…. your security over to one outside your family? If you don't have the necessary skill at runes, obviously."

Eibhlin tilts her head. "Whether I am or am not, it would be moot were the wards not available. Would you sleep better knowing that someone could apparate into your home and use.." She stops herself, changes her words. "..Steal all your valuables?"

Anthony stiffens a little. Then relaxes, as if by visible effort, "Some freedoms require sacrifice." It's almost whispered, and then he says, "But I think we've demonstrated it. A lack of trust. Paranoia. People needing more defenses. Unable to come together."

Eibhlin's eyes are pained and she silently reaches out her hand to take his under the desk. "I'm sorry," she whispers. "I.. I wasn't thinking. Forgive me?"

Anthony squeezes the hand, and releases it, "It's alright. It's in the past." He gives a slight smile, "Just caught me off balance."

Black clears his throat, "If debates are no longer…. occuring.. at a volume I can comfortably hear, then I think it is time to have you sum up." He looks around the room, "Crabbe! Perhaps you could say what life would be like without Runes?"
The spotty youth in question winces, and clears his throat, "We thought, Professor, that it wouldn't really make much difference. Most of the effects can be duplicated with charms, or…." And he tails off, under a steady look, not a glare, just a thoughtful consideration of each molecule and iota of his being from Professor Black.

Eibhlin nods and turns to face the front of the class, listening intently to Crabbe as he wilts. She kind of tilts her head in silent, measured response.

Black lets the steady inventory continue for about half a minute longer than is comfortable for anyone, then looks down, from his great height, to consider other targets. "Ah, Miss Shine. I am choosing to assume that you and Mr Rowle were speaking quietly about something relevant to this class, so perhaps you might speak next?"

Anthony glances towards Eibhlin, smiles encouragingly, and then turns back to look towards the Professor.

As if the Ravenclaws would be speaking of anything BUT things 'relevant to this class'. Eibhlin inhales, eyebrows arching. "Yes, Professor Black. Though, it might be worth noting that Crabbe's position isn't entirely without merit, until one considers how many modern application of charms are based, at least in part, on the theories of magic found in the study of ancient Runes." There's a pause. "Rowle and I took the opportunity to debate the use of runes as a way of deciphering a world without them. Specifically warding runes. Without them, we'd live in a society with fewer checks and balances, one of paranoia, fear, and a society struggling to find ways to provide security. I believe that would lead to more aggressive spells, which would further cascade into other applications of magic."

The professor simply inclines his head, like some sort of Dark Stork or Heron, letting the class ponder that reply for another half minute. The silence draws out, and then he says, "Good. Excellent. On Runes rest Wizarding Society. It is as simple as that. Remember that, when you trace your anti-disparation runes. Which you will do, from the books, now." And he goes to perch on his stool, whilst the class prepares to do precisely that.

Anthony lets out a long sigh of relief, and gets out his own quill and parchments. He also gets out his wand, and lays it on the desk, and adds a virginal sheet of wood, in case tracing turns to inscribing.

Eibhlin allows herself a slight smile of mixed relief and pleasure as she sits back down and pulls out her bookwork supplies. She smiles at Anthony, more fully this time, and gets to work.

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