Welcome to Amortentia! We're a unique personified animation site set in the HP universe. The second semester is in full swing, the Yule Ball is finished complete with our royalty poll, the Goblet of Fire ceremony has been conducted, and our champions for the Triwizard Tournament have been selected! The first task will be under way beginning in March. In the meantime we are wrapping up a Valentine's Hogsmeade Weekend and the champions are preparing themselves for the first task. The effects of an illegal truth serum finding its way into the punch bowl at the Yule Ball have rippled their way through the populace, resulting in the firing of two staff members and friendships made and broken. So fall into place and let your own stories unwind!
Yoko- or Ms. Littner as her students had been calling her, since "professor" was far too formal for her- hadn't been teaching at the school long, but in the classroom it isn't too hard to see who is performing well and who isn't. It just so happened that one of her little Gryiffindors was just... not too good when it came to stealth. Anytime he cast a spell that was meant to be whispered, he shouted it. He would jump about or stomp his feet when casting spells that were meant to be performed swiftly, and it was beginning to get painful to watch. He seemed dedicated, really. Landon just needed some... direction. This happened every class, and today was no different. With explosive energy, he would shout the invisibility spell that was supposed to keep him hidden.
As the students packed up their books and papers and quills, she watched them one by one as they filed out. She singled out the boy when he passed her, resting a hand on his shoulder to stop him from advancing. "Landon. Do you think you could stay behind a few minutes?" She said it quietly so that she wouldn't draw attention to him. After all, she didn't want the kid to feel embarrassed. Her amber eyes were sympathetic, and she gave a small smile to assure him that he was not in trouble.
God did Landon feel hopeless. Yes, he knew the spells, yes they actually turned out the way they were intended, but his classmates' looks? Cringing. Nearly every single time.
Spell knowledge or not, Landon didn't know how exactly he was supposed to be stealthy. Living with his grandmother, you had to be loud enough for her to hear you. And well, sis you had to be louder than to be heard.
He figured 'the talk' was going to happen sooner or later, because his high homework scores couldn't keep his grade up forever. Not by a long shot.
A hand stopped him from leaving to go to lunch. Yup. It was about to happen. At least he didn't have a class after lunch. It was his free period. "Sure thing Ms. L." Was she going to kick him out of the class? Was she going to flip? Landon had no clue. He didn't know Professor Littner well enough to tell what she'd be feeling when she told him what was up.
Yoko watched the line of students as they left the classroom, some of them looking back on the pair. She waved a hand as an ushering signal to them, and once the last was out of the classroom, she turned back to Landon. She felt bad, honestly... Landon looked so defeated, like a sad little puppy. Being so tactile, she had to repress the urge to envelop him in a hug or pat him on the head, but knew that it would be seen as extremely unprofessional. So she'd only safe that if he like.... cried or something. Yoko silently prayed that he wouldn't be that sensitive, knowing that she herself was a sympathetic crier.
"I'm not mad at you, hun," Yoko started, brows pushed together with concern. "But I'm sure you know why I'm pulling you aside." She motioned for him to pull up a chair and join her at her desk. There, the young professor pulled out a file full of student grades. She licked her forefinger and flipped through the files until she found Landon's and slid it to him. "Your grades on paper are excellent, you always participate, and your effort mark is very high. But your execution of these spells... leaves something to be desired." She paused again to give a concerned smile, checking to make sure Landon wasn't too upset or anything. Confirming a lack of tears, she scooped up her pet rat from her bag and placed the sleepy brown furball on the desk. In case he needed a little animal-therapy, Boota was a pretty calm rodent and receptive to petting or scratches on the head.
Being a professor was more stressful than she thought. Even delivering the slightest bad news was difficult. She wanted everyone to excel, especially students like Landon who were trying very hard. Thinking about it, it should be trivial compared to the stress she experienced in her previous career... but there, she had never been invested in the emotions of anybody. Every assignment was the same: get a target, follow them, eliminate them. But now she was looking after 270 little ducklings- well, students, but they were all so endearing (wow did she need to stop thinking of the kids as animals). At least most of them were. There were a few bad apples looking for trouble, but she'd deal with those ones later.
Okay, so Professor Littner wasn't mad. This was good. Mad teachers were scary teachers, and you didn't want to mess with scary teachers. Landon preferred not being in detention, and or losing house points. But... "Yeah...I figured." he said, rubbing the back of his head. He had taken this class so he could get better...but besides the spells he was still the same as he had been when he had first entered the classroom the first day of term.
"I have absolutely no clue what I am doing wrong. I know the spells, and everything...but..." Landon didn't even know how to explain himself. He just wasn't that stealthy. Was that something he could be taught? Or was there some unspoken prerequisite that you had to have some form of stealth already.
Landon kept an eye on the little brown creature as the professor put her rat on the desk. He never understood why Hogwarts allowed students to have rats as pets. Rats just creeped him out. And no matter how nice people said their little pet rodents were, he always ended up getting bitten. Without fail, every single time.
"So what exactly am I supposed to do so I don't flunk out?" Landon asked, barely looking at his grade sheet. He knew how bad it would look in the 'practical' section. The cringe looks and knowing how the others did it compared to him was enough.
O-kay. So he wasn't an animal person. Yoko scooted the chubby rat out of Landon's sight. "Sorry, he's been cooped up all day. I promise, he's not dirty or anything, though." She noted Landon's less-than-pleased expression, a twang of malice in her tone from taking it just a bit too personally.
"Anyway, you're not exactly failing. But I can see a gap between what you know, and... how the knowledge is executed." Yoko rolled her hands in circular motions as she tried to circumvent the issue. "I think that the introductory chapter of the textbook is worth another read. I know it doesn't have any spell content, so I imagine that a lot of students skimmed or skipped it, but it should give you some direction. Do you have yours on hand?" Yoko held out her hand, palm up, as an invitation to give her the book.
--- [notes: yup, i know~ i just wanted to see if i could get a rise out of landon pffft]
Landon visibly relaxed, and then felt slightly guilty. "Oh no, it's not like that. I'm just not fond of rats...or hamsters." Come to think of it, he wasn't fond of a bunch of animals. Birds had some vendetta against him. Cats hissed. Snakes and the like thought he was evil.
Horses though. Horses were amazing. And wolves. There was something about them that was just cool. They were loyal to one another, and they were their own family.
Not exactly failing. It still felt like failing to him. It wasn't good enough for him. He had no problems with his other classes, potions was fine, even quidditch was alright, and he didn't even get graded in that. "Err, yeah. One sec." He did remember to bring it right? Right?
Right at the bottom of the bag. Good thing too. It meant he didn't have to do 'the walk of shame' (for lack of a better description) back to the tower to get it. And with his stealth skills, everyone would know it was him too. Landon pulled out the book and handed it over. "I did read it a bit." Maybe that was some of his problem. 'A bit' meant 'I looked over it leaving from Diagon Alley because my ride from The Leaky Cauldron was late.' But usually Landon only needed a bit.