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"Angelica" Warrington for Myles Warrington.
I hold my peace, sir? no; No, I will speak as liberal as the north; Let heaven and men and devils, let them all, All, all, cry shame against me, yet I’ll speak.
He has touched my ankle and seen me with my hair down (not intentionally, of course!), so I'm pretty sure I already know what it feels like to be married.Helga Scamander in Helga's Boy Book
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Post 3+ times in three or more class threads during the course of a school year. Must all be done with the same character, be they a professor, student, or school portrait or ghost!
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Sunday in the Park
#1
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Sunday, July 12th, 1890 — Padmore Park

Gideon had been sparing with the details when he'd mentioned this outing to Billie. Partly that was because he didn't want her to be unduly nervous, and he wasn't sure exactly whether Ms. Robins had the particular brand of celebrity that might be likely to make Billie nervous. He knew she liked Quidditch, and suspected she had probably not had the opportunity to interact much with professional players of any variety in the past, so it was possible she might be slightly star-struck by meeting a woman who was on the British National team for that year, and who regularly played for the only all-female Quidditch team in the professional league. The other reason he'd held back on telling Billie much about their meeting with Ms. Robins was that he wasn't sure she would even want to talk to her. He knew that she still wasn't feeling entirely secure in her decision to attend Hogwarts as a girl in the fall. Would she be open to talking with a stranger about it?

As uncomfortable as that concept might be, Gideon was aware that he was woefully unequipped to handle many of the fears and doubts that his daughter was grappling with. As empathetic as he tried to be, he didn't actually know what it was like to be a girl at Hogwarts, particularly one who defied expectations and ran roughshod around the castle with the rest of the boys. He thought that she would probably benefit from someone else's perspective on the situation (and on life as a girl in general), so he was hoping this meeting was a productive one. He knew nearly nothing about Ms. Robins except for the barest bones of her career particulars. He was a Quidditch fan when it suited him, but had never gone out of his way to support the Harpies, and would not have had much of an interest in them at all if it weren't for Billie's interest in Quidditch (and her belief that being a girl would prevent her from playing). He might have written to any of them, and had only started with Ms. Robins because she was on the National Team — but it was a good sign, he thought, that she signed her letters Gus.

Gideon had only seen her picture in the paper a few times, but was easily able to pick her out on the edge of the lake by the shock of red hair. "That's the person we're going to meet," he told Billie as they approached. When he reached the Quidditch player, Gideon offered his hand in greeting. "Ms. Robins, thank you again for agreeing to come out. Ms. Robins plays Quidditch for the National team," he explained to Billie. He opened his mouth to continue the introduction, but was stayed by sudden uncertainty. He had already told Ms. Robins in his letter that his ward was a young woman, but to call her Miss now seemed too strange — and it might be viewed as a betrayal, he thought, since he hadn't told Billie that he was sharing that particular detail.

"Go on and introduce yourself," he said instead, putting the ball in her court.

@Billie Farrow @Elias Grimstone @Augusta Robins
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#2
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"Why won't you tell me?" She asked for the seventh time since they'd left Ollivander's.

Billie wasn't the best at keeping it together when it came to surprises. She'd asked Gideon about a thousand different questions about who they were meant to meet, but, to her disappointment, he'd remained vague. She assumed such secrecy meant they were likely to be meeting with someone important. It was with that in mind that Billie had actually deigned to comb her hair and be sure her face was at least free of crumbs. She didn't want to embarrass Gideon.

When he led them through Padmore Park and closer to the lake, Billie's face scrunched up with confusion. Why were they going by the water? Wasn't a bench somewhere usually a more typical meeting place?

Just when she was about to burst with queries, it seemed they found the person they were looking for. As they drew closer, Billie realized she recognized her. She was about to rack her brains as to why when Gideon filled in the blanks, and she was altogether left with her mouth hanging open.

"I've seen you in the Prophet," she blurted out, in awe that Gideon had arranged for her to meet the only female player on the National Team. She looked up at her father with wide, excited eyes and then back to Gus.

"It's nice to meet you! I'm Billie."


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#3
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This was rather an unusual turn of events, even for a quidditch player (- she supposed, technically, that being one, she had fans -) and while she hadn’t hesitated in replying to the letter or in showing up to the lakeside, in the last few minutes loitering here Gus had cursed her own tendency to take everything at face value. Or her tendency not to think.

But if this was just some joke, or trick from the press, it would be odd to use the Ollivander name, she supposed; she couldn’t say she knew the family herself, but she had walked past the Hogsmeade wand shop enough to know that everyone and their pet cat had heard of him. And this was him now, apparently, and indeed with his young ward in tow.

She shoved down the sudden disconcerting feeling that perhaps she might have prepared a proper speech or some sort of thing for the young girl going off to Hogwarts rather than showing up empty-handed like this - and her hands had been crammed in her robe pockets until she removed them to shake Mr. Ollivander’s hand. She had smiled good-naturedly at the man as he introduced her, though he made her sound a little formal and a little more impressive than she usually felt; but when Billie introduced herself she broke into a broader grin, and stuck her hand out to her as well. “Well, I hope they didn’t say anything too abysmal about me,” she began cheerily, “and I’m very pleased to meet you too, Billie, but you’d better call me Gus. Everyone does.” She shot a mock-reproving look at Mr. Ollivander, because Ms. Robins had done no favours - and the point of this was that Billie might actually want to talk to her, after all! Ms. Robins made her sound a terrible bore. She cupped her hand to her mouth to make this confidential, as if the Prophet hadn’t likely already given her away. “It’s Augusta really, but -” She pulled a face to properly advertise her disgust.
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#4
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Billie seemed pleased with the revelation, and Gideon breathed a sigh of relief. This had been a risk, but evidently one that had payed off, at least so far. He felt suitably abashed at Miss Robins' criticism regarding the way he'd introduced her, and it showed on his face, but he doubted he would feel comfortable calling her Gus regardless of how well this meeting went. He was already anticipating that he'd be interrogated by Billie later on that day regarding how he'd made the Quidditch player's acquaintance, and thought referring to her so familiarly would only further excite the girl's curiosity on that front. He wouldn't have any satisfactory answers, of course, because he really didn't know Augusta Robins at all. Hopefully Billie didn't think he was trying to hide something... though the truth, that he had written to her out of the blue and proposed they meet at a park, honestly sounded like the sort of story he might have created if he had been trying to hide something.

"Maybe you can ask her about Quidditch at Hogwarts," Gideon suggested, finding it easier to direct the conversation through Billie than to address Miss Robins directly. He had two distinct social personalities that he was used to wearing: one, which had become more and more disused since he'd taken Billie under his roof, when he was drinking or gambling or flirting with the sorts of women who didn't much care about their reputation — in the sorts of circumstances, in short, where there were no expectations regarding the proper way to behave; and a second which he used when attending dinners and parties and meeting people who were recurring figures in wizarding society, where he played by the rules and was reserved and respectable. Augusta Robins, at least as he currently perceived her, existed in a sort of grey area between those two categories, and as a result he wasn't sure how he ought to interact with her. Had she come into the shop for a wand, he would have had no trouble whatsoever, but in a casual conversation, he was a bit at a loss.

"I assume that's where you started playing?" he asked Miss Robins, because it would probably seem strange if he only talked to Billie from here on out.
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#5
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"They only say bad stuff in Witch Weekly, but everything they write is rubbish." Including at least two articles about female Quidditch players. The only reason she ever read that terrible tabloid was when people were abuzz about something controversial; she hated being out of the loop. Even if they were outright lies or exaggerations. Better to be informed about what people were saying so as not to be blindsided by it later. Gossip could be just as powerful as the truth.

Billie grinned widely, much preferring to call people by less formal names, though she would do so if that's what a person wished. Billie went up on her toes and whispered back, trying to pretend as if Gideon absolutely couldn't see or hear what they were saying. "Gus is a way better name than that. Mine's worse." However, from the scrunched up look on her face, it seemed Billie wasn't about to reveal what it was. Nothing was as terrible as Wilhelmina. Not to mention, she was hovering in a weird limbo between her decision and actually broadcasting to the world that she wasn't, in fact, a boy. She had yet to work out how and when to ease into that.

Once she was flat on her feet again, she looked up at Gideon and bobbed her head in agreement about a topic of conversation. She smiled up at him gratefully and took about 5.7 seconds to round up what she had decided were the most pressing questions. With a good amount of word vomiting in between.

"Yeah, didja play the whole time you were there? What team were you on? Were tryouts really, really hard? I think I wanna try. Arnie's brother has been teaching us to fly and play, but his old broom is sh--" Billie quickly glanced up at Gideon and then back to Gus, catching herself from swearing. "But I'm gonna buy my own broom. I've been saving and saving!" Which would likely be news to Gideon. She had yet to mention to him what exactly it was she had been saving for with all the extra odd jobs she'd been doing the past year. "You're a chaser, right? Did you always play chaser?"

The kid took a deep breath. Sometimes, her endless streams of questions sucked all the air out of her. Billie was blissfully unaware that her badgering could be overwhelming sometimes, so she just fixed Gus with a winning smile, clearly just very excited. Gideon received a double eyebrow raise as if saying 'like that?'
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#6
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This was still suitably strange, as encounters went, but if Mr. Ollivander was having reservations here (- it was only a hunch, but he didn’t seem entirely comfortable -) Billie was more than making up for it in her barrels of enthusiasm. Cute name. Cute kid, too.

She didn’t spend much time with young children these days - she didn’t really know many - but the cascade of questions didn’t bowl her over. What struck her dumb, if something did in that first minute or two, was how terribly familiar Billie seemed: gawky and restless and overwhelmingly overexcitable. Was that all children, or particularly Billie? Gus was fairly certain that had been her exactly, when she was that age. Hell, she was fairly certain that her failing to grow out of those gawky days (or grow up at all) was the reason she had ended up here.

No sense in holding back, if she had changed so little in the last fifteen years. “That’s right,” Gus replied - to a few of the questions at once - and she cracked a wide smile, taking as big a breath as Billie had in order to dive right in. “I was on the Hufflepuff team, and always a chaser, couldn’t see the snitch it if were right in front of my face,” she began with a chuckle, not really joking. “But you can try out for as many positions as you like, the captain won’t stop you. Mind you, they don’t always take first years,” she warned, looking as serious as she dared, which lasted about a split-second before dissipating. “But it’s good practice either way, and by second year you’ll probably be golden. Especially if you’ve got your own broom! What position do you think you want to play?”

Getting her own broom had been the highlight of her childhood, so Gus wasn’t judging in the least; rather, she thought it was sweet of Mr. Ollivander to be so supportive of his ward’s quidditch dreams as this. She glanced between the two of them, wondering how she was doing so far.



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#7
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Gideon was learning a lot in this conversation, as it turned out. Billie read Witch Weekly? She was saving up for a broomstick? And who was this Arnie fellow whose brother was apparently teaching her how to fly? Teaching them how to fly — whoever them was. He'd always given Billie a good deal of freedom. He couldn't have done otherwise, since she had been entirely independent before she'd come to live with him. Now, however, he felt almost negligent in his role as a father. Was this brother that had been teaching her to fly an older child, or an adult? Billie would have known better than to go spending long periods of time with strange men, wouldn't she?

No, of course she wouldn't have. He had been a strange man before they'd figured out he was actually her father. Not a strange man will ill intentions, but still. The fact that she'd been presenting as a boy so long did provide some security, but it wasn't security she'd have much longer if they followed through on the plan for her to attend Hogwarts as a girl. He'd have to have a talk with her about that, either to establish new boundaries or to at least ensure they were on the same page about what constituted reasonable risks when it came to her safety.

This, of course, was not the time or the place. Besides, he didn't really want to admit to Ms. Robins that he was, evidently, failing as a father in even more ways than he'd previously known.

"Hopefully not beater," he said with a mild chuckle. Bludgers went after all the players, of course, but he'd prefer if his daughter didn't go intentionally flying into their way.
#8
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Billie listened to Gus with rapt attention, eagerly hanging on her every word. She giggled about how Gus would have been a terrible seeker. She hadn't exactly given it much thought as to what position she would like the most. "That's okay if they don't take first years! I heard there's a club for quidditch and one just for flying. Even if I just get to do one of those, that would be so much fun." It was when she felt the most free. "I'm not sure. Maybe a chaser like you! I'm pretty quick, even if Arnie's broom likes to just keep drifting left." She'd at least learned how to anticipate it and correct it. Hopefully, on a working broom, she wouldn't do the same.

Billie beamed at Gus, deciding immediately that she liked her; she was very easy to talk to and didn't just lean toward the 'weather' or other nonsense topics that some women did. Even some female children did the same, and it drove her nuts. "You must be really, really good if they let you on the national team with all those boys! How did you get so good?"

She looked back at Gideon and beamed at him again, clearly excited that they were meeting Gus. She was blissfully unaware that she had just dropped quite a few bombs on him. Thankfully, Arnie's brother was an older teenager who had left Hogwarts after a few years. He was a second string hopeful. Though, Billie was friends with quite a few adults. She didn't make it a habit to tell her father everyone she spoke to. She didn't realize it was something she should be doing. Her mother had never particularly cared where she went or whom spent her time with, as long as she didn't embarrass her.

"I don't think I'm big enough to be a beater," she stated with a laugh to Gideon. She had just finally cleared four feet thanks to Florida Man. "I bet you could be one, though, Gideon! You're pretty strong."
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#9
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“They certainly do,” Gus agreed, at the mention of clubs. “And all practice is good practice,” she added cheerfully, “and besides, depending on where you’re sorted, the house teams might all be full up for a while.” Or full with prigs who wouldn’t entertain the thought of girls on the team, or older students who wouldn’t give the young’uns a chance.

“Oh, I’m okay,” she said, waving off the words even as she beamed at them. “Ten years playing for the Holyhead Harpies has probably helped, but I’m bad at nearly everything else to make up for it,” she joked airily, still slightly surprised she had made it to the first string at all. “And I’m a little bit stubborn, so I wouldn’t have stopped until they let me!”

Gus glanced away from Billie at her last remark, pretending to size Mr. Ollivander up. He was tall, looked fairly solid, and already had the slight air of dishevelment practically every quidditch player possessed. Not that that was the deciding factor.

“You could be a beater,” she echoed teasingly. “Did you ever play? You’ll have to train him up, Billie, when you’re back from school,” she said, nudging Billie conspiratorially, half-aware that she was definitely overstepping the bounds of five-minute old acquaintances to do it.
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#10
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Gideon had been quite content for the conversation to spin off into Quidditch details and leave him behind, and was surprised to become the focus of attention a moment later when Billie brought up the idea of him playing beater. "I'll stick to flying club, thank you," he said with a chuckle and a shake of his head. He had played beater a time or two during pick-up games of Quidditch back at school, but he hadn't been very passionate about it; he'd play whatever spot needed filling, really, with only very modest skill at any of them. His brother had been better at Quidditch when they'd been schoolmates, he thought (or was it just that Gervaise had been older and stronger than him at the time?) and Gideon's leisure time had mostly been spent elsewhere. Boxing had been his hobby of choice, but he wasn't even sure that it was the athletic aspect that most appealed to him; when he'd been a teen and young man he'd been more enraptured by the atmosphere. Every time he'd boxed he'd been surrounded by drunk and mildly violent friends. It had appealed to him at the time, but less and less since he'd taken in Billie. Realizing that there had been consequences for some of his youthful follies — consequences that had been mainly felt by his daughter, not by him — had taken the fun out of much of that sort of behavior.

"Do they have broom racing for women?" he asked Miss Robins speculatively. It was another of those leisure activities that filled the same niche as boxing — mostly practiced, in his experience, by hot blooded young men who had had a bit to drink. He couldn't imagine that there was a respectable version of broomstick racing that women could indulge in — but then, some people didn't think it was very respectable for women to play Quidditch, and they had their own team, so anything was possible. "Broom racing seems like the sort of thing you might like, Billie," he added. "If the Quidditch teams are full."
#11
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"That's okay if they're full up. So long as I get to fly somehow," Billie stated, confidently. She would, of course, be incredibly disappointed if she didn't make the team, but it didn't sound like that would be the end of her chances at flying or playing recreationally. Her unfailing optimism was, sometimes, a godsend. She would have turned out to be a much more bitter and subdued child, otherwise.

"Well, it's good you were stubborn then! 'Cause otherwise you wouldn't be on the best team." By that, she meant the national team. She also highly doubted Gus was bad at nearly everything. She didn't think people survived into adulthood if they were like that. Unless they were obscenely rich, but she was fairly certain quidditch players weren't wealthy.

When Gus nudged her, Billie started to giggle and peeked up at Gideon with pleading eyes, "Yeah, I'll help you practice! I bet you're pretty good already, anyways." She hadn't really babbled at him overly much about quidditch, but she assumed that her father was automatically good at most things. Not that she would ever say it out loud, she really looked up to him. It was likely for the best he hadn't mentioned boxing; she might have latched onto that instead.

Hearing Gideon's suggestion, she raised her eyebrows with interest. Broom racing sounded right up her alley. "Are there...um...obstacles in broom racing? Or do you just get to go really, really fast?" Both options sounded amazing. She was very good at foot races, if she did say so herself.


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#12
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She tamped down her smile at the two of them interacting, amused by their antics and the obvious fondness they had for one another, though for the first time wondering how they had come to be together. She had called him Gideon and nothing fatherly, obviously; perhaps an uncle, or some other relative? Or - something else entirely. She had no idea. He had said guardian, that was all. And what had he said about the story behind it, in his letter? ‘Long and convoluted’, apparently. They were an interesting pair.

Her grin stretched a bit wider again at the best team - well, they would see later this summer if that was completely true, but she could hope! - and turned to the topic of broom races with as much enthusiasm as them both. Well, she wasn’t sure anyone could quite match Billie’s enthusiasm. (She may as well sign her up for the Harpies second-string now!)

“As long as broom racing exists, there’ll be broom racing for women,” Gus countered easily, and she might as well have said ‘as long as brooms exist’. Besides a short unfortunate stint at the school, quidditch had been ahead of the rest of the world in that aspect - although in some ways it fell short, and she would hardly go so far as to say women were considered equals in the sport. But they were in the sport, and that was good enough for her. “Mostly fast, but there is one annual broom race in Sweden where they make everyone fly through a dragon reservation,” she told Billie, with a wide-eyed look. “Apparently,” she added, because as it stood she had never been to Sweden herself, let alone competed.

If this was what Mr. Ollivander had wanted her to do today, it was much easier to be a good role model than she’d expected. “You’ll definitely have to make sure there’s an annual Hogwarts Broom Race in flying club when you get there,” Gus affirmed cheerily, determined to be an influence in that regard, no matter if it were good or bad. Trying a little harder for good now, however, she asked: “What else are you looking forward to at Hogwarts?”



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#13
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"A dragon reservation?" he repeated, taken aback. Had someone just sat down and tried to think of the most dangerous place they could possibly hold a race? Thinking of Billie involved in such a thing made his head spin — but a part of him did see the appeal. He'd been young and stupid once — for years, actually, until quite recently — and he knew what it was like to do something just to get one's heart racing. He liked adrenaline. Hopefully Billie hadn't inherited that from him.

Not that he could hope she took after her mother when she got off to Hogwarts; he barely knew the woman he'd fathered a child with, and nothing Billie had told him about her was admirable. Presumably the woman had some good qualities — most people did — but he had no idea what they might be.

"Learning magic?" he suggested as Miss Robins changed the subject. "You've got quite the wand to grow into. I imagine you'll be shooting spells off left and right by Christmas," he said cheerfully. Technically, he supposed, that wasn't allowed — but he thought the regulations against underage magic were silly, honestly, so he was hardly going to try and enforce them in his house. And who from the Ministry would bat an eyelash at unexpected magic at a wand shop?
#14
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It was a good thing that Billie had long ago threw away any notion of being ladylike, for her mouth was soon hanging open. "Holy flippin heck, dragons?! She cursed, the words falling easily and well-practiced from her mouth. She was so startled by the broom race that she hadn't even realized she'd done so, or she might have at least shot Gideon an apologetic look. She figured Gus must hear a good deal of curse words since she was a quidditch player.

"I want to see a dragon one day, but maybe not like that." She couldn't even imagine being chased by such a monstrous creature on a broomstick. It made bludgers seem like insects. "Okay, I'll make sure to join Flying Club right away!"

Gus's question had her immediately blurting out an excited, yet unsure, "Everything?" Though, Gideon's suggestion seemed appealing. "Yeah! I can't wait to do spells. Especially fancy ones and useful ones." Which was incredibly vague, but she didn't yet know too much about spells, save for the ones Gideon often used around the shop. "I wanted to do creature classes, but Arnie says that's not until third year." If she made it that far, she left unsaid. Billie's stomach churned anxiously, terrified that she wouldn't do well at school. She had never engaged in anything remotely resembling formal education.

"Are you good at spells, Gus?" She chirped out with interest. "Gideon is really good at 'em! Right, Gideon?" Then again, she was convinced he was good at everything. Except making sweets and cooking. Quin was best at that.


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#15
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Right, so maybe she shouldn’t have mentioned that tidbit about the dragons. They both seemed appropriately startled; Gus only hoped she wasn’t giving anyone ideas! That would not quite be the pep talk for which she’d been enlisted.

But Billie’s exclamations and carefree vocabulary made it easy enough not to care about talking without a filter - it was fortunate, really, because if Billie had proved a shy child or Mr. Ollivander more strict, Gus would have been squirming, and might have had to throw herself into the lake to get out of this.

As it was, she was enjoying herself a great deal, to the point where she wondered whether it was entirely normal to feel quite so much on a level with an eleven-year-old. What had happened to Gus since Hogwarts? What had happened to maturity? Where had that gone?

No matter. She grinned at Billie’s suggestions. “I always liked Care of Magical Creatures!” She chimed in with a laugh, “but nah, not me, I was always getting my spells mixed up! Charms was fun, but nowadays the only ones I remember are for cleaning,” she joke-grumbled. She had enjoyed the practical lessons mostly for the scope of making people laugh when spells went awry, but there had come a point when all the theory had gotten too much to get her head around. She pulled a face, waving a hand Mr. Ollivander’s way as if to say better not compare us. “Oh, I’m sure! I definitely couldn’t have cut it as a wandmaker.” He must know far too much about magic for that.



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#16
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Fancy ones and useful ones encompassed, Gideon thought, the entire range of spells, so it was hardly narrowing things down. He merely smiled at the comment, though, and let Billie ramble on. He wasn't sure what he'd done to give Billie the impression that he was particularly good at spellwork — the comment seemed, to him, similar to saying someone was good at breathing. Everyone did it all the time, and unless you were obviously bad at it, how on earth would you ever know? Still, the praise (and the echoing affirmation from Miss Robins) made him grin.

"You'll be just terrific at them, Billie," he assured her. "Don't you worry a bit about that. I'll bet you'll know more jinxes than anyone in your class before the year's over. Whether you learn the ones you're supposed to learn may be a different matter," he joked. A good charms teacher ought to start with some things that were interesting to eleven-year-olds, he thought, and then phase in the more practical things after their interest was piqued and they had the basics down. Who knew what they were teaching in schools these days, though; it had been nearly two decades since he'd been a student himself.

"Care of Magical Creatures is one of the best classes they teach," he agreed as the conversation turned. It had been one of his three electives, and by far his favorite of the three. "I use what I learned in that class all the time when I'm finding wand cores. But there are lots of jobs that deal with magical creatures, not just wandmaking," he continued. While he would have been ecstatic if Billie had shown an interest in learning to make wands, she hadn't done so yet and he wasn't pinning his hopes on the idea that she might. "And even if you end up playing Quidditch and you don't do anything with creatures, it could still save your life if you meet a kelpie in the woods at night."


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