(1939-11-24) Horse With No Name
Details for Horse With No Name
Summary: A 4th Year Care of Magical Creatures Class
Date: 1939-11-24
Location: Training Grounds, Hogwarts
Related: Wild Wild Horses

<FS3> Angus rolls Creature Lore: Great Success.
<FS3> Angus rolls Creature Lore: Good Success.
<FS3> Angus rolls Creature Lore: Good Success.
<FS3> Angus rolls Creature Lore: Great Success.
<FS3> Angus rolls Creature Lore: Failure.

<FS3> Sierra rolls Creature Lore: Success.
<FS3> Sierra rolls Creature Lore: Success.
<FS3> Sierra rolls Creature Lore: Success.
<FS3> Sierra rolls Creature Lore: Success.
<FS3> Sierra rolls Creature Lore: Good Success.

<FS3> Amber rolls Creature Lore: Good Success.
<FS3> Amber rolls Creature Lore: Good Success.
<FS3> Amber rolls Creature Lore: Failure.
<FS3> Amber rolls Creature Lore: Success.
<FS3> Amber rolls Creature Lore: Success.

It's a cold, crisp, autumn day, as the Care of Magical Creatures class gathers in the training grounds. Mostly there's stamping of feet, and whilst robes are in their usual ubiquity, most sensible students have also put on something warm and practical underneath. The Professor, Silvanus Kettleburn, has briefly shown himself, and headed towards the groundskeepers area, telling the class to stay still, and leaving them wondering what is in store. Never a loquacious individual, he's positively taciturn on this class.

Some of the foot stomping is due to Sierra - who's taken the opportunity to show a few of her friends some step-dancing moves. "Alright, so you're up on your toes for this one, yeah? So one foot's in front of the other, and you put your weight on the forward foot, then onto the back, then onto the forward while kicking up with the back foot - and bring it forward to the front. Then you just do it again, yeah? Only with a new front foot. I'll show you." She demonstrates while counting 'one two three' and encouraging others to join in. Maybe she can have the whole class dancing before Kettleburn comes back!

Amber is game for that! Although her keen dark eyes do wander after Kettleburn initially, her attention is quickly drawn to Sierra's creative means of keeping warm in the nippy Autumn air. It's a welcome distraction. She watches, curiously, and she makes a few cautious tries at following the other girl's movements in an attempt to mimic them. It makes it easy to forget about the cold and the highland wind blowing down from the mountains. Besides, it's a great passtime until the professor returns to the class.

Angus considers this for a long while, and sets, as for ceilidh dancing, and follows the general gist of the movement. "Och. Might steal that, aye?" He gives a cheeky grin.

"Can't steal what's given!" Sierra answers cheekily, grinning at Angus. She demonstrates a few more times, and once she feels everyone's got it well enoough she adds, "Alright. Now hopbacks, yeah? Still up on the balls of her feet 'n our toes. You sorta bounce on one foot three times, yeah? First bounce you point the other foot in front of you, the second bounce you're swinging the pointer foot back, and the last bounce, you're setting it down behind. Then ya switch feet, yeah?" she explains, showing the next move.

Amber struggles a little with the movements. She's not known for being much of a dancer at all - not yet, anyway. Besides, fourteen year olds with a propensity for hanging around in the great outdoors aren't liable to be tops at grace and charm. However, she can just enjoy the trying.

Bobbling a bit, the girl almost loses her balance at one point; but, this only serves to make her laugh. It's all in good fun.

And at this point, there can be heard a faint 'clip clopping' noise, as the Professor returns, leading on a simple rope halter what appears to be a white horse. Entirely normal. What on _earth_ is so special that this should be a 'Care of Magical Creatures' class?

Angus turns, considering the creature briefly, and starts to look away, and then double takes, "Are they _wings_?" He's having to peer a bit, so he isn't sure.

"You've almost got it!" Sierra encourages Amber with a broad smile. "You've got good balance, overall. With a little more prac- Oh, great, I've been waiting for this!" she exclaims happily, turning to admire the horse as the Professor brings it towards them.

Professor Kettleburn returns with a breathtakingly beautiful white horse in tow, and Amber pauses mid-step in her attempt at follow-along dancing. Slowly, her raised foot lowers to the ground, and she finds herself staring at the creature with wide-eyed wonderment, like so many other students. Although she remains silent, hushed "Ohs" and "Ahs" ripple through the class as all attention turns to the teacher and his charger. All the Rowle girl can seem to think at the moment is: It has WINGS!

Kettleburn keeps hold of one end of the halter of the h…. winged horse as he leads it up towards the class. Probably just as well, for it's shifting uneasily, and letting out little whinnying noises, whilst the wings occasionally partly unfurl and give small half hearted flaps. The powerful man gives a jerk to the halter, "Aye. Right. This is a horse with wings, Lads and Lasses. Care to make a guess as to what we call it?" There's a harder flap, and the man pulls hard on the rope to land the horse, "Hold, y'bugger!"

Angus shoves his hand _straight_ up in the air, "It's a Peggy Soos, Professor!" He is looking at it with decided interest.

"A Peggy-Sue?" Sierra laughs with amusement. "Isn't that an American name?" She watches the horse curiously, wanting to move closer - but it seemed nervous enough as it was, and she without a single apple on her. "Aren't they often just called 'Winged Horses,' sir?"

Amber's mouth has been gaping open until now, but it snaps shut as Angus chimes in with his answer. Smirking, she crosses her arms and glances sidelong at the boy: "Peg-a-sus" She pronounces in a very precise, correct way, keeping her voice quite low. She's not being a snark about it, just… being herself. Some of the family's literary proclivities had to filter through to the girl, after all.

Raising her hand, Amber speaks up: "It is an Abraxan, sir."

Kettleburn gives the horse another firm pull, "Settle down, lad!" Then he turns back to his class, "Aye. A winged horse. A Pegasus, as Mr MacMillan sort of says, and Miss Rowle gets right. And more specifically, aye. It's an Abraxan breed. Lovely beasties." He turns to give the neck of the 'horse' a firm pat with the flat of his hand. "Will eat apples from your hand, and everything. And take a bottle of malt with never a nip at you."

Angus shoots a glare at Sierra. "Peg-a-soos. Nae Peggy-sue. D'yae nae know aught, Quine?" He rubs his hands together and… well… is inching towards the beast slowly, making low 'clicking' noises in his mouth. "He's beautiful, sir. And strong, I'm reckoning, aye?"

"Bottle of malt? You give it liquor?" Sierra asks in surprise. She rolls her eyes at Angus - then as she starts to move in towards the horse, reaches out to put a stopping hand on his arm. "He seems jumpy enough. Shouldn't we let him settle in a bit before we crowd him? Those hooves aren't to be joked with, ya know."

Despite the cold, Amber can't help but feel the warm flush of self-satisfaction in her cheeks as she gives the correct answer about the winged horse's specific breed. That's about as close as anyone gets to hearing a word of praise from the Professor at any given time.

Nodding to Sierra, she remarks soberly: "Yes, and this one's not even full-grown, yet. I've read that they can be about the size of an elephant when they're full size!" It's mind-blowing to imagine the size of an Abraxan's hooves when fully grown, if that is truly the case. One would almost need a half-giant to be the caretaker.

Angus digs in his pockets and produces an apple, "Aye." he says to Sierra, "But d'yae nae ken? I'm ANGUS MACMILLAN!" And he starts to edge closer, "Can I try and give him this, Professor?"

"…yes. I'm sure the shouting is setting the little beastie at ease," Sierra answers, but makes no further attempt to restrain Angus. She does put her hand on her wand, though. Maybe if the horse tries to brain him, she could sieze-and-pull him out of the way in time?

"I think we'd all rather you didn't become THE LATE Angus Macmillan," Amber replies smartly, giving a roll of her eyes as the boy decides to just go-for-it and feed the massive horse an apple. The reactions of other students vary between a desire to come closer, and the natural human instinct to draw back. Amber seems to stand somewhere in the middle ground of just staying put for the moment.

Kettleburn just gives a little nod, giving the little Scot an appraising look, and the moving to stand alongside the creatures neck, patting it gently.

Angus pads closer. No more loud announcements of his name and fame, just soft coo'ing noises, which the sharp eared will identify as, "Are yeh noo a bonny wee beastie? And d'yeh no know it. Aye. Yeh do. And what's this? Forebye d'yeh think yeh've earned an apple, eh?" And the apple is carefully extended, on a flat hand, as the boy inches closer.

Amber's comment earns a laugh, and an appreciative look from Sierra, before her attention returns to Angus and his slow approach to the creature. At least he isn't being a complete idiot - though she has to admit she hadn't expected he would be. This is the one class he actually does well in, after all.

Still. Best to keep her hand on her wand - just in case.

Amber's dark eyes sparkle with hidden mirth, and she flashes an impish grin at Sierra when she laughs at her remark about Angus' mortality. However, her attention is quickly snatched back to the boy, the professor and the large, young Abraxan close at hand. She's good at hiding how nervous she actually does feel about the situation.

It may be an unnecessary question, but, Amber raises her hand again: "Sir, where do they come from, originally?" That, she does not know from her reading.

Kettleburn gives a thoughtful nod, but from his answer it can be seen his attention is actually elsewhere "Aye. Well, when a mummy winged horse, and a daddy winged horse…." In anycase, the class gives out a dutiful titter.

"They have winged horses at the farm down in Hogsmeade, don't they? Do you know what sort they have, Professor?" Sierra asks, without taking her eyes off of Angus - and after giving a quiet laugh at the 'origin' of little winged horses.

Amber seems to be very much taken aback by the professor's answer. In fact, her cheeks burn red with an embarrassed blush. "That's not what I meant at all," she mutters under her breath, ducking her chin and crossing her arms very tightly. A few sidelong glances shot at her classmates clearly say: Oh, go boil your heads! Not that she would dare make such an undignified outburst in class. But still, that one threw her for a bit of a loop.

Angus keeps sneaking up to the horse, but at the 'gag' he too gives an earthly little chuckle, glancing around to see his friends reaction to the quip, and… WHUMPH. One minute his hand is holding an apple. The next his hand is empty, the Abraxan is chewing contentedly, and Angus is starting to complain about the horse drool _all_ over his hand.

Kettleburn starts to jerk on the halter then realises no harm is done, "They're Aethonans at the farm. And Abraxans are native to most of Europe, Rowle." Yep. The information is there, as well as the smart remarks.

Sierra lets out a quiet laugh. She knows the feeling of horse drool all over her hand - and shoulder, and hair, and- well, they seem to get it just about everywhere, at one time or another. "Aethonans. Thank you, sir. They're a lot smaller, though, aren't they? How many months old is this one? A spring birth would put it at… maybe eight months?"

The real answer is given, and the snickering attention of the class becomes redirected at Angus - now somewhat covered in horse drool. This comes as a welcome relief for Amber, whose cheeks continue to burn with a hot blush. However, her sulky demeanor begins to lesson slightly, and she loosens her tightly crossed arms slightly. "I think you've found a real friend, Angus." She says with a grin.

Finally getting over her former hesitance to approach the animal, she boldly steps forward to meet it now. She's not a great horsewoman, but she does know to turn slightly sideways to not appear threatening to it. And when she comes near, she leans close to its nose, breathing softly to mimic the sniffing horses do to one another in greeting.

Angus has taken the chance to step in, and is patting at its neck, reaching up to the maximum level to get a good stroke, "Och, he's just a wee bairn! He'll do anything fur an apple, will ye no?" The Abraxan, hearing the 'magic' word lowers its head to sniff at Amber, checking her for aroma-de-pomme.

Sierra grins as Amber moves in towards the horse, giving a nod of approval. She watches to see how it's faring with two students so close - and starts siddling up herself, though she stops several feet back to watch the 'little' colt for his reaction to yet another stranger moving into his space. Maybe between the apple, and Amber's polite greeting…?

Keeping her movements slow, cautious and deliberate, Amber does her best not to spook the beautiful horse. Being a youngster, he's bound to still be a little jumpy at things. "I'm sorry, lovely," she murmurs apologetically. "I didn't bring anything for you to eat. See?" She shows the animal her empty pockets briefly, and it seems to comprehend the gesture to a degree. Fie on visitors who don't bring any goods in their pockets!

The Abraxan tosses his head a little and then focuses his attention on Sierra with ears pricked forward. Amber takes the opportunity to hazard a chance on reaching up to stroke along one of his wings - just to see what it feels like.

The Abraxan seems to be settling, with the stroking from various directions. He doesn't seem inclined to immediately bolt. Kettleburn is looking approving. And makes a beckoning gesture to Sierra, before putting his hand up in a 'stop' gesture to the rest of the class.

Angus is stroking away at the Abraxan's neck, and occasionally leaning up to whuffle at the nose, when it dips down. "Och… Pro-fessor, I dinnae suppose there's any chance of a wee… y'ken… ride?"

"I know how to ride bareback," Sierra volunteers after Angus, siddling in closer to breathe softly on the horse's nose - and allow it to blow air back onto her as well. "Regular horses, not winged ones, though. And you didn't say how old this one is? Do you think it'd be alright, riding him - when him still growing and all?"

Kettleburn considers this, "He's ten months." And he gives the children a thoughtful look, "Maybe. Maybe not. Let me think, aye?"

Angus almost _pouts_, but he keeps going with the stroking, "Mebee if I were tae give him more apples later…." He shoots a glance to his co-conspirators, and then over towards the groundskeepers area thoughtfully.

"Yes, Professor," Sierra answers, reaching up to stroke the horse's neck. "Oh, he's beautiful, isn't he? I wish we could have beauties like this pulling our wagons…" If not for that pesky 'statute of secrecy' thing… "Is it possible to use spells to hide their wings from Muggle eyes?" she wonders.

Angus says matter of factly, "Aye! O'course it is! And the size!"

Again, Amber's eyes sparkle with mischief as she glances over at Angus. Oh, she's game for that, alright. She'd love to come around later and slip some more apples to the gigantic winged horse - away from the madding crowd, as it were.

"Owners of these have quadruple X rating with the Ministry." Amber remarks to Sierra when she expresses a desire to have them pulling the wagons. "I think they've got to cast Disillusionment charms on them regularly - people that own them, I mean."

"Quadruple X? How do I get that? And is that only for the Abraxans, or all the winged horses?" Sierra wonders, moving down towards the horse's shoulder, and gently stroking the wing as well, watching to see if the animal pulls away from the touch.

The Abraxan gives a little 'whuffle' noise, and leans in to the touch, putting some of its considerable weight onto the nice human leaning posts.

Angus gets with the stroking theme, and turns around to say to the Professor, "Horses need brushing, do they no, Professor?" It's with the air of one who's seen it done, but never has.

The sharp Autumn wind begins to pick up once more, causing a sudden burst of air through the area. A large quantity of leaves and debris are picked up along the way and carried on the wind's back. Then, it swishes by, swirling around the Abraxan's ankles and causing him to jump and prance a bit in momentary fright. He also reflexively holds out his wings sharply. Amber, being located nearest the one wing, only narrowly dodges getting knocked on the head by ducking under it. Phew, that was a close call!

Sierra leans back, hard, as the horse leans into her and gives him a light smack on his side. "Oh, shove off you oaf! You're a bit bigger 'n me," she chides him. Once she manages to push him off of her, she takes a step away. "You brush them with a curry comb, dandy brush, and body brush," Sierra confirms. "And of course a hoof pick - do winged horses need their hooves picked as well? Is the hoof structure the same? If we can't ride him - can we at lea- whoa!" She also has to duck the wing that flares out. "Hey, hey. It's alright there…" she coos soothingly.

Angus gets knocked sprawling by the shoulder, as the horse prances, but he rolls to his feet, grabbing for the bridle. "Och! Enough o' that!" He's moved before Kettleburn has even reacted.

"Angus!" Amber exclaims, ready to rush in and help… but, of course the incorrigable boy doesn't need any. Straightening up, she backs off and pretends that never happened. He's just as right as rain and back on his feet in no time. A furtive glance at the rest of the children says it all. Nevermind the sudden outburst of caring and concern! The class saw nothing.

Sierra likewise saw nary a thing. She's busy focusing on the horse, stroking it's neck, blowing air calmingly towards its face - getting her foot stepped on by a large hoof. "Ow," she lets out quietly. That probably bruised. "Careful, you lout. You're okay. You're okay."

Angus is also getting on with the comforting of the giant horselikecreatureofwingedness. He's also, somehow, got his hand more onto the bridle than Kettleburn has, so he's very much more in control. Or at least, feels he is. And perceptions matter, don't they?

As for Amber, she fearlessly approaches the horse once more, and kindly brushes her hand along his still slightly rigid wing. Slowly, he begins to relax and close the wings back to his sides with a little shake. Well, it starts as a little shake, but turns into a momentary ground-shaking rumble as he shivers the excitement out of himself. Then he lapses into licking and chewing calmly, and softness slips back into his eyes. For her part, Amber speaks soft and low in French. It sounds a good deal more calm and relaxing than anything she could say in English.

"There you are, beastie," Sierra says approvingly as the horse settles. "Does he have a name, Professor?" she asks. "Could we groom him?" She runs her hands over his wings, then asks curiously, "Do his wings require special care? Do you brush them as well? With the body brush?" It being the softest of the three grooming brushes.

Angus stoops down, and gently taps one foot. Slightly slowly, but obediently it comes up, and Angus peers at it. "Och, it looks like a foot. Nae spikes or anything."

Kettleburn chuckles, "What were you expecting, MacMillan? That I'd bring in some sort of flesh eating demonic horse from hell, with talons and huge pointy teeth?" There's a pause. "That's next week."

The reaction from the class to Kettleburn's remark is decidedly varried. Some chuckle, others gasp in shock, while some few (like Amber) seem to light up at the idea: "Oh, really?!" The words slip out before she can stop them from escaping. Well, a girl can HOPE, can't she? A flesh eating demonic horse from hell sounds rather marvelous.

Kettleburn continues, "You brush the wings with a soft brush. The rest like a regular horse. And if you want to know his name, you'd best ask him, hadn't you?" He gives a chuckle. "Alright. Class dismissed. Don't tell the Headmaster I let you go early. Them as wants to help me take him back, can. Rest of you, scram."

"Still hurts if he stomps on your foot though, Angus. You want to try?" Sierra counters, sticking her tongue out at the other boy. The idea of swinging up onto the horse's back is abruptly quite tempting - it's probably a good thing that it'd be rather high for her to manage with no stirrup and nothing to step up onto. She wouldn't make it, it'd be embarrassing, and she'd get in trouble. Not worth it.

In response to Kettleburn's words, Sierra says something that may never be heard again. "I'll help, Professor."

Angus gives a nod, and lets the leg go, "Och, I'm too fly tae get trod on, Higgins, y'ken?" And he too makes it clear he's heading for Giant-Horsie-grooming

"I'll come, too!" Amber pipes up, not to be left behind or outdone by Angus or Sierra. She has every intention of helping to take care of the enormous winged horse for as long as she's given half a chance. However, she does hope that helping doesn't somehow wind up including taking her hand to a pitchfork to clean the stall. That would be a pretty monumental task.

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