Muggle Studies

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Thestral Teachings  PV Maya Galim   Closed 

@Maya Galim

Date: September 7th (?)
Time: Immediately after first class of Muggle Studies

Staying behind after class was not something Ruka usually made a habit of. He didn't think he'd ever really stayed behind to talk to a teacher, had no real connection to any of the Hogwarts staff aside from maybe Professor Jensen, but he had assumed her to have her hands full with the students of her own House and he didn't want to be bothering her this early on in the school year already. Instead he had been looking for a different teacher to ask his questions to, and Professor Galim seemed like a good choice.

Having elected Muggle Studies as one of his Third Year classes to learn more about the Wizarding Perspective of the life he had grown up with, Ruka had spent his first class listening attentively rather than actively participating in the discussion about the differences between Muggles and Squibs, Non-Wizards and Non-Witches. It lightly brushed a topic he wanted to know more about, so it seemed reasonable that Professor Galim might have the answers he was looking for.

Packing up his messenger bag much slower than the rest of his peers, Ruka hovered around his seat and table as if he was seeing something incredibly fascinating there, until he heard most of his classmates' footsteps leaving the room until he was the only student left in it.

Finally happy with the privacy he had been hoping for, Ruka looked back up again, running a hand through his hair. As it had been for the past two days already, it was still the same colour as Jack's; the result of a forgotten about hair colour changing spell he had used out of boredom and to confuse people into mistaking him for his brother. He doubted that game would ever fail to entertain him.

"Professor Galim?" he asked as he approached the Muggle Studies teacher, deciding not to let her red cloak and general demeanour intimidate him for the moment. If she showed signs of not wanting to talk to him he could always leave again, though he knew from Jack that the Slytherin himself had also approached her about his Muggleborn Club the previous school year and that she wasn't quite as scary as most students seemed to think she was, so Ruka wasn't particularly worried.

"I was wondering if I could ask you about something?" He shuffled his feet across the floor, coming to a halt in front of her desk, arms crossed behind his back as he offered her a small smile to show he wasn't meaning to cause any trouble or waste her time in anyway. "It's about Muggleborns," he clarified before a frown settled on his face and he shook his head at his own words. "I think, at least." It was only a theory after all and he couldn't be very sure about how true it was.

Humming quietly to himself, he waited to see if Professor Galim had any protests against him asking his questions. If she didn't, he would tilt his chin up and take a step to the side as if changing his position cleared his head for a better flow of thoughts. "Is it possible that maybe..." He would stop himself as he contemplated the wording of his question, trying to figure out if there may have been a better way to ask it, though he could find none. "Is it possible that they can't see some things that people with at least one magical parent can?" He would pull his face into a little grimace as if not quite satisfied with how his words sounded. "I mean... If you are a halfblood or pureblood, might you be able to see some things that are just... invisible to muggleborns?"

~Hell is other people~ - Jean Paul Sartre

Stamina: 7 ~ Evasion: 9 ~ Strength: 4 ~ Wisdom: 12 ~ Arcane Power: 6 ~ Accuracy: 7

Thestral Teachings  PV Maya Galim   Closed 

"Please complete your homework by next class time. Remember to find a definition of 'Muggle' that does not contradict itself," she reminded the students as they began to trickle out of the classroom. It was always nice to have a new batch of third year students who wanted to learn more about the Muggle world and chose her class as their elective.

As they were leaving, Maya turned around and grabbed a chalkboard eraser. She banged it on the bottom ledge to make sure it was clean of chalk residue. She then began to wipe the board clean.

"Professor Galim? I was wondering if I could ask you about something."

Maya heard a voice from behind her. She quickly finished wiping down the board before turning around. A Gryffindor boy, @Ruka Burnett-Tân, stood before her. Maya looked at him with a very small smile. "Well that's what I'm here for," she replied.

Maya put down the eraser on the chalkboard ledge and listened to her student's question. It seemed to be so troubling to the boy that even the question was a riddle itself. Maya tried to untangle his words in her mind.

"Magic is magic, Mr. Burnett-Tân. Bloodline does not make one type of person able to see more than the other," she said, walking towards the nearest desk to lean up against. Her legs were aching from standing all night during patrolling and all day from teaching. She never gave herself the rest.

"What is it that you think muggleborns are unable to see?" she asked, wondering where his question was coming from.

Stamina: 11 || Evasion: 7 || Strength: 7 || Wisdom: 20 || ArcPower: 15 || Accuracy: 10

Thestral Teachings  PV Maya Galim   Closed 

@Maya Galim

Detecting at least the hint of a smile on Professor Galim's face, Ruka immediately felt more reassured in voicing his question to her, his own posture becoming straighter, expression showing an eagerness for her answer as she leaned against a desk, causing him to make a few steps forward to stay close enough to be heard without having to raise his voice.

Slightly thrown off by her use of his new last name, Ruka frowned for a moment. He supposed that was the name showing up on the register for him now, though it was still strange to hear people say it out loud. He wondered if he would ever really get used to it. Once he had shaken that thought, he focused on the Professor's words again, lifting a hand to rub at the back of his neck as he contemplated what that meant for his theory. "Is that a fact?" he asked curiously, eyes wide as if trying to see a satisfying answer somewhere between them mid-air. "Or has the correlation between bloodlines and what people can or can't see just never been sufficiently researched?" Were there people actually working on researching those types of things? Magical Research, was that a job field one could get into after Hogwarts? Perhaps Jack would be interested in pursuing a profession like that.

Shaking his head off the thought, Ruka raised his gaze from where he had dropped it to the ground for a moment, looking at Professor Galim with childlike curiosity.

"It's, uh," he started, avoiding eye contact for a moment as he brought to memory the sight of the creatures, black and skeleton-like, with massive wings like the torn robes of death. "The horses." He let out a faint chuckle and locked his gaze with the Professor's again, crossing his arms behind his back to improve his posture. Despite having grown a little over the summer he was still quite short for his age so he had learned to focus on standing up straight in order to seem taller, more confident even. "The horses pulling the carriages to Hogwarts. I've seen them from the start but." He shrugged his shoulders lightly and tilted his head to the side. "My brother doesn't see them at all. There's nothing there for him, like the horses don't exist."

Maybe calling the creatures horses was not quite the term to describe them with, but Ruka had no idea what else to call them, didn't think he'd seen anything on them in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, so it was the only term he could think of using to bring across what he was talking about.

"I can't think of much that makes him different to me, except... His parents are both Muggles but... As far as I know, my mum was a witch." For a second he considered how strange it had to sound for him to be talking of his brother's parents like they weren't his own, but the Burnetts themselves had never used the term "adoptive" for the sake of not making him feel alienated, so Ruka wasn't going to explain the details of his family status either. "I didn't think there was any other explanation aside from our differences in blood, but if that's not it..." He frowned, sighing as if disappointed with the disproval of his theory. For a second he lifted his hands to rub balled fists across his eyes before looking at Professor Galim again. "Can you see the horses, Professor? Do you know why he might not be able to?"

~Hell is other people~ - Jean Paul Sartre

Stamina: 7 ~ Evasion: 9 ~ Strength: 4 ~ Wisdom: 12 ~ Arcane Power: 6 ~ Accuracy: 7

Thestral Teachings  PV Maya Galim   Closed 

It wasn't new when a teenager questioned her intelligence. This was the prime age of all children who would question the information spatted out at them. While there may be some adults who find this tedious, Maya invites such inquiries. People are only able to grow intellectually if they question everything around them.

"It is a fact that I've learned and experienced," she replied. Maya knew that it was a magical thing and not a bloodline issue.

"The horses."

When those words came out of his lips, Maya took a deep breath. It was definitely going to be one of those conversations. The horses he was referring to were the beautiful midnight creatures called Thestrals. While there are many of these creatures around the world, only a selected bunch were able to see them--including Maya. It wasn't a bloodline issue at all.

The child standing before Maya had witnessed something most tragic. But it was more than that. He had witnessed someone's last and final breath before their eternal sleep.

Maya crossed her arms and looked around the room. She looked to the far corner where there was a bookshelf filled with many books and a large gray couch.

She cleared her throat while walking over to the couches while also listening to his realization of such creatures in comarison to others. Was it his brother? Friend? Perhaps Maya wasn't listening too hard as she had to figure out how to communicate with him on why he was able to see Thestrals. What was the right way to tell a child? Call it out, sure, and then what? Perhaps it was someone close to them that they saw die and her words didn't sound sincere. It was all too much.

"Come. לשבת (Sit)," she said, almost sounding a little demanding, but meant well in her wanting him to be comfortable. Maya sat at one end of the couch, leaning into the armrest and pointed to the other side of the couch for Ruka to sit on.

"The creature that you see is called a Thestral," she began, "they are invisible to many others, but not because of bloodlines. Mr. Burnett-Tân... Have you experienced something you wish you hadn't?" she asked, forming a small smile to the child.

Stamina: 11 || Evasion: 7 || Strength: 7 || Wisdom: 20 || ArcPower: 15 || Accuracy: 10

Thestral Teachings  PV Maya Galim   Closed 

@Maya Galim

Ruka hummed contemplatively at the teacher's words, a small frown creasing his forehead as he tried to take in what she was saying. "A lot of people learn and experience things," he pointed out carefully, head tilted to the side. "That doesn't make it a fact, does it?" He shook his head to himself before looking back at Professor Galim with a slightly apologetic expression. "I don't mean to question your knowledge on these things, Professor," he pointed out quickly. "I'm merely wondering. Things are talked about as a fact too often, and it seems they're rarely as, well, factual, as they're made out to be." He offered a sheepish smile, rubbing at the back of his neck as he took a small step to the side.

The deep breath the teacher took when he started talking about the horses wasn't lost on Ruka and his eyes widened curiously as he watched her moving away from him. For a moment he thought he had brushed a topic she was so uncomfortable with she just needed to leave, but when he realised where she was heading, he quickly followed her to remain within earshot.

Maybe, he thought, she was just tired and needed a seat. He had noticed how she had been leaning against the desk before as if needing to steady herself. Perhaps standing all day while teaching children who were just comfortably sitting by their desks was more straining than he could imagine.

Once she had sat down, she turned to talk to him again, using a word he wasn't familiar with as she did so. It didn't sound English, so Ruka tried to repeat it but it was like his tongue was refusing to cooperate with the sound. From context clues he could at least assume that she was asking him to join her on the couch, so he slowly settled down on the other end of it, dropping his messenger bag by his feet as he made himself a little more comfortable. It was strange, in a way, to be in such a casual setting with a teacher, but he supposed they were just people too and they weren't in the middle of class right now, so there wasn't such an excessive need for formalities.

"Thestrals," he repeated quietly, slight awe lacing his voice. He was glad to finally have a name for the creatures he saw. Despite their terrifying appearance, Ruka had been quite fascinated with them from the start, hadn't been able to keep himself from trying to feed them and make them feel comfortable with his presence. Thus far, none of his attempts at offering them fruit had been very successful.

"Something I wish I hadn't experienced?" he asked, looking up from where he had gotten lost in thought for a moment, returning the Professor's small smile with one of his own. "Hasn't everyone?" However minor the experience may seem to someone else, everyone had something they would claim to rather not have lived through, didn't they? Ruka himself probably had more of those than the average person, but what did that have to do with him being able to see the Thestrals?

Humming to himself as he tried to see more reason in the Professor's question, Ruka leaned back further into the soft backrest of the couch, letting the material swallow him for a moment. "Do they become more visible with bad experiences?" he asked curiously. It didn't seem to hold up either, though. Jack had had his own host of bad experiences and was still unable to see the creatures.

"I'm afraid I'm not sure exactly what you're asking me, Professor," he admitted, hanging his head in something like shame for a moment. "Things haven't exactly been easy before Hogwarts. Or even after. There's a lot of stuff I would have rather not experienced." Starving days and cold nights, hard work and tears. Life hadn't been particularly kind to him up until the second half of his last school year. "You might have to be a bit more specific with your question."

~Hell is other people~ - Jean Paul Sartre

Stamina: 7 ~ Evasion: 9 ~ Strength: 4 ~ Wisdom: 12 ~ Arcane Power: 6 ~ Accuracy: 7

Thestral Teachings  PV Maya Galim   Closed 

Perhaps Maya needed to be a little more specific. It was a very vague question that she asked the Gryffindor. She just didn't want to hit a trigger for the poor little one. Maya could feel for those who can see Thestrals, especially those who are young.

Maya was able to see Thestrals when she was 18 years old. She was in the army in Israel and they were in the middle of a war. For a split second, Maya began to think of the rockets that shot from Lebanon and made their way down in her general area. Luckily, for her, she was spared, but her closest service members in her unit, were not. She witnessed more than one soul taken at the same time. She even tried to rescue one-- a service member that she was closest to-- Rivkah. Maya shook the image out of her mind with a few blinks and focused her attention to Ruka.

@Ruka Burnett-Tân seemed confused in what Maya was meaning by "experiencing something he wished he hadn't" and Maya knew that she needed to reword her question and perhaps a bit more straightforward.

"Mr. Burnett-Tân..., she began. "Thestrals can only be seen if you've witnessed the death of another human being," she said, careful with her wording. "Did you witness that?" she asked.

Maya was at the ready to jump up if needed. Just as Maya was sucked into a memory of when she first witnessed death, she wouldn't be surprised if the boy in front of her would, too.

Stamina: 11 || Evasion: 7 || Strength: 7 || Wisdom: 20 || ArcPower: 15 || Accuracy: 10

Thestral Teachings  PV Maya Galim   Closed 

@Maya Galim

For a moment it seemed like Professor Galim had been lost in thought, a memory so strong it was glazing over her eyes and prevented her from seeing the confused boy in front of her, but fortunately she had snapped out of it again before Ruka could grow particularly restless.

When she started again it was like she was dancing on egg shells, like the matter was so delicate that one wrong word could startle a flight instinct out of him that she wanted to avoid at all costs, and once her question was actually voiced, the Gryffindor could understand why she had tried to keep it as vague as she possibly could. Within a second of her finishing her words, Ruka's gaze dropped to his hands folded in his lap, jaw slack as he recalled the first time he had witnessed a death. He had been no more than seven years old when he had watched a kid pass away in the flicker of a street lamp before his dad had pulled him away from the scene.

The memory had been mostly suppressed until he had woken up to his own dad's lifeless body next to him in his summer vacation after his first year at Hogwarts, but especially now, being confronted with the Professor's question, it all seemed to be overflowing his mind like a tidal wave.

"I did," he said quietly, swallowing heavily as he lifted his gaze again to look at his teacher, face even paler than usual, green eyes bright with unshed tears. When he had first seen the Thestrals he had thought them to be terrifyingly beautiful, but never had he considered them to be connected with the witnessing of a death. What did that make them, then? An omen?

Hardly. They didn't seem to be a warning for an upcoming death but rather a sign for one that had already happened. Maybe, he thought to himself, it was a form of self-protection. They only showed themselves to people who had already witnessed a death because those were the people who would be able to deal with seeing such sinister creatures. The people who had already witnessed much worse than that.

Blinking away the threat of tears, Ruka offered Professor Galim a slight smile of gratitude before taking a deep breath. "Do you know... why? Why they're only visible to people who witnessed death?" Perhaps the Professor knew more about the creatures than she was telling him so far so there was no harm in asking for a little more information, was there? "I, uh... can you see them, then? Have you... have you witnessed someone dying?"

~Hell is other people~ - Jean Paul Sartre

Stamina: 7 ~ Evasion: 9 ~ Strength: 4 ~ Wisdom: 12 ~ Arcane Power: 6 ~ Accuracy: 7

Thestral Teachings  PV Maya Galim   Closed 

While it was not a surprise for @Ruka Burnett-Tân to have seen someone die, just hearing his voice acknowledge that she did was hard for Maya to hear. No one as young as him should have witnessed death. It just was not natural unless cultural. However, from how troubled the little Gryffindor was, this was not cultural at all.

Within seconds, his face turned pale. He was reliving it. It was more than just a memory, it was a scar. It was a memory that can never be removed, nor can it ever be changed with every time repeated in the mind. These memories are so raw as though they just happened and just seeing Ruka's expression staring back at her made Maya's stomach drop. She wanted to ask what happened, but was now the time? Perhaps solitude was the time.

"There's more to it than just witnessing death," she said, "You also need to accept it." Maya paused for a second and her gaze locked in with the boy. "How long ago was it?" she asked, wondering if it was a childhood memory or if it was just something recent. Typically, Thestrals were known to be in herds rather than out and about anywhere around the world. If Ruka was a third year, then it meant that it could have been pretty recent considering that there were many Thestrals that roamed the outskirts of Hogwarts.

Maya's gaze left Ruka's and she looked down to her red cloak. She nodded with a small smile. "I am older and therefore I have seen much," she said, her Israel accent thick. She witnessed more than one death. Some were tragic events, but most, unfortunately, were by her hand. It was the life of being in the military during a war. But the little one did not need to know that-- not many understood military life in Israel. It was all or nothing. An approach different in Europe.

"At first glance they can be terrifying, but Thestrals are actually very beautiful creatures," she added, not really answering his question verbally. All he needed to know was that she could see them.

Stamina: 11 || Evasion: 7 || Strength: 7 || Wisdom: 20 || ArcPower: 15 || Accuracy: 10