January 22, 2021, 12:10:19 AM

Author Topic:  [Alchemy] You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)  (Read 251 times)

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Gideon Salinger [ Board Mod ]
37 Posts  •  33  •  played by Inga
Gideon had been teaching at Ilvermorny for a few years now. His students knew him, knew how he usually taught. They knew that he liked to show them fun experiments, that he let them try joke potions after they had worked well in class. Probably some, if not most, were aware that he was actually on their side and would do anything to support them if any of them needed help. Gideon liked to see himself as an older brother or maybe a cool uncle for his students. He was reliable in his unpredictability, which he considered a great asset. He had always given his best to try and make his students appreciate the variety of the subject and enjoy his lessons. The man was easy going and absolutely against punishment no matter what his students did.

What had worked for years did not seem to work today, though – Gideon clearly didn't feel like covering what he had originally planned and he definitely didn't want to let his students play with joke potions today. He did not feel like joking anyway. Since he had run into Dottie in the kitchen the other day, he had only switched from being drunk to being hungover back and forth. The man had felt so overwhelmed with the news and so furious that Dottie hadn't contacted him for twelve years that his brain had switched to autopilot and that meant, in his case, that a coping mechanism was started that meant that he'd drink as much every night as he needed to feel too numb to think anymore.

He was tired now, his head was aching, but as a semi-responsible professor he still made his way into his classroom. He was wearing yesterday's clothes but he didn't care, actually he wasn't even aware of that. He sank down on the chair behind the teacher's desk and watched his students coming in. He covered his mouth with his hand as he yawned for what probably was the first time ever in class. His hand remained in his face and he rubbed his chin, realising that he hadn't shaved in days and the stubble was likely not looking very good now. He shrugged it off and cleared his throat.

“Morning class,” he said, his voice lacking its usual energy. “I know I've told you to read the chapter about Baruffio's Brain Elixir but we'll cover that at another time.” He nodded as if to emphasize this statement. “I find it much more important that you know about another potion. It'll come in handy if you ever are foolish enough to get into a relationship...” his voice trailed off and he rubbed his forehead.

“Would anyone be so kind and sneak into the kitchen and get me a cup of coffee?” he asked, looking hopefully at his students. “A large cup, please. I'll award you five cranberries for it.”

He closed his eyes briefly and then flicked his wand to close the curtains in the front so that the part of the classroom where he was sitting wasn't so bright anymore. “Where was I?” he muttered and then nodded. “So who can tell me a potion that might come in very handy in a relationship?”
« Last Edit: January 17, 2021, 01:00:42 AM by Samm »

Isis Arceneaux [ Thunderbird ]
73 Posts  •  12  •  dancing!  •  played by Carys
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2020, 09:08:43 PM »
Alchemy. One of the subjects Isis had discovered a flair for during her first year, she was looking forward to learning more advanced potions and techniques now she was back at Ilvermorny. Besides, Professor Salinger was always good fun, sometimes a little too crazy, but that just meants his classes were memorable. Isis rarely worried if she didn't write something down in alchemy class because even if she forgot something while doing her homework, there was always going to be someone who remembered it all afterwards.

Today there was no reason why anything should be different, so she fairly skipped into the classroom, taking a seat near the front where she would have a decent view of whatever was going on (yet not right at the front, because she'd seen the effects of a few joke potions last year and had no desire to spend the day with green hair or a different coloured ink in her quill). "Hi Prof..." she began, and then the words died on her lips. Was Professor Salinger sick? Normally he'd be waiting at the door to greet everyone, or chatting as they came in, or maybe actually brewing a potion that they would all be interested in. Not sitting at his desk looking like he hadn't slept at all last night.

Worried and unsettled, Isis looked around for an older student to ask if they thought someone should go to the hospital wing or just ask the professor if he was okay, but then the lesson began. That wasn't right either though. Isis knew what they were meant to be studying and had her book in front of her, but apparently Professor Salinger had changed his mind...and there was something about the way he was talking that felt weird. At twelve, Isis as yet had no interest in dating, but she wasn't sure whether...what?

A cup of coffee? For a brief moment the thunderbird wondered if they would be using it for a potion, but then another memory came to her. Her grandpapa, the day after the no-maj quarter of their town had celebrated Thanksgiving, and how he'd tried to send Isis out to buy him a coffee as well. Isis still remembered her mother's anger that her father in law had tried to send a four year old to a no-maj cafe alone and No I will NOT stop yelling, I don't care how bad your hangover is pops. It felt like that. Had Professor Salinger been...drinking?

But Isis was twelve and didn't know how to deal with this, so instead she concentrated on the other question. "Well my Daddy snores, so sometimes Mom mixes up a sleeping potion so he won't wake her up in the night. He tried taking one that stopped the snoring, but it made him sneeze instead and Mom said that made the bed shake like there was an earthquake and he was never to try it again, so I guess that one wouldn't be very useful at all..." she admitted, hoping that was a suitable answer.
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Adam Nguyen [ Wampus ]
81 Posts  •  18  •  played by lianne
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2020, 12:36:17 AM »
Mr. Salinger was, shall we say, in poor shape today. Dishevelled, unshaven, Adam was pretty sure that was the same outfit he'd been wearing last night at dinner, sitting slouched behind his actual desk instead of greeting them at the door like a golden retriever the way he usually did. Adam took his customary seat (next to the door; he'd been duking it out with upperclassmen for five years to get this seat and finally, finally, he was an upperclassman himself) and slouched almost as low as Salinger was (God, that was outright impressive, and Salinger was like four inches taller.)

If he wasn't mistaken, Salinger was hungover. Adam could have grinned. (As it was, a smile was tugging at the corners of his mouth; it was boundlessly satisfying to have a reminder that professors were just as messed-up and pathetic as the rest of mankind.)

Being closest to the door, it probably should have fallen to him to go get the large cup of coffee, but then he'd miss out on all this gossip, and he wasn't about to do that, so he glanced sideways but didn't move to get up. Nobody in their right mind would think of Adam as a suckup who'd run errands for professors of his own free will, anyway.

It was a relationship, and not a bad date, that this all appeared to be about, which was even better. He hadn't even been aware that there was a woman in Salinger's life. Some part of him had assumed that there never had been and never would be; being a high school teacher that treated students like friends was just such a loser thing to do regardless. Even Adam didn't think Salinger was cool, and Adam kind of liked Salinger. It seemed like this mystery woman had formed the same opinion.

What was the most useful potion for a relationship? To Salinger, at present, the answer was probably, "Hangover potion?" It occurred to him after he'd said it that Salinger might have been banking on nobody having the guts to call him out, but that was Salinger's problem, not Adam's.


my heart says yes but my mom says no

Ilya Denisov [ Thunderbird ]
10 Posts  •  16
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2020, 04:01:51 PM »
When Ilya entered the classroom he immediately saw that something was not quite as it usually was and he wondered if to be amused or concerned. He decided that the former was better than the latter. Besides professor Salinger was an adult. If he had a problem he surely knew how to handle it himself – at least adults always seemed to pretend to know how to handle everything. He took a seat and was actually quite interested to see how this lesson would turn out.

Professor Salinger asked if anyone would get him a cup of coffee from the kitchen and Ilya was torn – should take the opportunity to get out of one of his least favourite classes for a while or would he miss out on something fun if he left. He decided to wait, at least for a while, and see if maybe one of his classmates was eager to suck up to the teacher. He didn’t want to seem too eager anyway and it was actually rather interesting to see a member of the teaching staff in this state. Ilya assumed that he was hungover. It reminded him that professors were actual people, people who had their own lives to live (and their own problems to deal with).

He grinned at Adam as he suggested Hangover potion as a potion that was useful in a relationship. Clearly it would be useful for professor Salinger now but somehow Ilya doubted that was what the man had been referring to.

“Amortentia, maybe?” he suggested with a sarcastic grin, “if the love of your life does not love you anymore you might try that to win her back…” His voice had a taken on a mocking tone and he had a faint feeling that this comment might not be too well perceived. He, therefore, quickly got to his feet. “Well then, I’ll get you your cup of coffee. I take it, while I’m on it, I can also get some cupcakes for the whole class, right?!” he said and hurried to get out of the room before professor Salinger could tell him off for his previous statement or object to his idea to get some treats for the class.


Gideon Salinger [ Board Mod ]
37 Posts  •  33  •  played by Inga
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2020, 02:01:53 PM »
Gideon had closed his eyes and massaged his aching forehead. If nobody got him a coffee soon then he was afraid he’d probably drop with his head onto the desk and doze off and… snore? What did he hear about snoring? The man forced his eyes open again and looked at little Isis. Isis was a nice kid but somehow Gideon had to focus hard to understand where the girl was coming from.

“Not very useful at all,” he echoed distractedly. “and not what I was looking for... but a nice story anyway,” he muttered and stifled another yawn. “Sure she didn’t slip him a joke potion?” he asked but regretted the question as soon as he voiced it as it meant that Isis might feel obliged to keep talking about it now.

“Hangover potion is not what I was looking for either,” Gideon responded as Adam spoke up. “That’s something we should cover in class sometime soon though! Thanks for the suggestion,” he leaned back on his chair, almost forgetting what he had asked in the first place and wondering how many minutes had passed since the start of the lesson. They were definitely still at the very beginning of it. This was going to be tough…

He frowned at Ilya as the boy suggested Amortentia. It was interesting what the students came up with, though. None of them had so far made the correct suggestion but Gideon assumed that his question had been rather cryptic anyway and since none of them knew the situation he was in it probably wasn’t easy to guess what he was referring to.

“No, Amortentia certainly is not what I was looking for. I hope none of you really deems this an option anyway...” He just wanted to force his brain to produce something sensible to add about how dangerous that potion was when Ilya already got to his feet and told him he’d go and get the coffee as well as cupcakes. Somehow the boy was out of the door already before the professor could respond. He just watched with a bemused look on his face as the door closed behind the Thunderbird student.

He turned to face the rest of the class again, feeling slightly disoriented. “Where were we?” he asked his students. “Ah right! a potion that might be useful in a relationship…” he said, thus answering his own question. “Well, let’s get to that later. What do you deem the most important factors in a relationship?” He looked at the teenagers sitting in his class and suddenly felt a little foolish. Most of them had probably never really had a relationship, at least not a serious one. They could hardly relate to the problems he was facing. None of the boys would be told by a girl that they had a kid that was now starting at Ilvermorny anyway. It was simply impossible.

Isis Arceneaux [ Thunderbird ]
73 Posts  •  12  •  dancing!  •  played by Carys
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2020, 08:06:46 PM »
"Oh, no. Mom doesn't make jokes like that. She always says that the best jokes are the kind that everyone can have fun with, not just one person" she said, before trailing off uncertainly. This was awkward. All around her, Isis fancied people were shifting uncomfortably in their seats and she could definitely hear scattered whispers.  Then the Nguyen boy - it always seemed to be him - said what nobody else was daring to mention aloud. The second year's eyes widened and she waited for the inevitable detention or loss of points, but instead...

They were going to cover it in class? What did kids need to know about a hangover potion for? Did Professor Salinger imagine that they were all going to drink beer or something crazy? Isis's lips pursed into a worried expression. She'd tasted beer, and it was horrible, so why anyone would actually drink it for fun was beyond her.

Then Ilya said he was going to get the coffee and would bring cupcakes back for everyone, and Isis relaxed because that would be something to distract them from...well, whatever was happening here. She decided to look up Amortentia in her textbook because so far that was literally the only vaguely sensible thing anyone had mentioned, and then instantly regretted it because she didn't want anyone to think she actually wanted to know how to make a love potion. Quickly she flipped over the page and pretended to be interested in the Angel's Trumpet Draught which was hardly better because it was poisonous, but at least it didn't have a big warning in red letters at the top of the page about being illegal.

Now what? They weren't even talking about making potions now? Isis glanced towards the door, but there was no rescue in the form of coffee and cupcakes to be had, and it was clear that they would be sitting here all day if someone didn't speak up. "My Mom says talking to each other is important, because two heads are better than one" she offered "and my Dad says...well, it means kind of the same thing, but he says 'never go to bed on an argument, stay up and fight', but he's joking...uh, anyway. People should talk to each other" Isis finished innocently.
X

Adam Nguyen [ Wampus ]
81 Posts  •  18  •  played by lianne
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2020, 06:12:34 PM »
This was likely the best day of Adam’s life. Salinger was completely incoherent -- any moment now he was going to give up. He already sort of looked like he was falling asleep. Adam grinned -- thanks for the suggestion -- hopefully Salinger would forget that before he actually did a lesson on hangover potions. Adam didn’t want to get Salinger fired. Though if Salinger was enough of a moron to do a lesson on hangover potions that was kind of his own fault.

He hadn't even gotten in trouble for the hangover joke -- score.

Ilya Denisov’s suggestion had been sort of sketchy but not in a way Adam really cared to call out, so he sat even lower in his chair and folded his arms and propped one foot on the textbook basket under the desk in front of him. Stay up and fight was about the worst advice he’d heard in his life -- if his family had ever tried to resolve all their arguments before bed he was pretty sure they’d just never sleep. You couldn’t fight fundamental differences.

Besides -- what was this? This was totally unprofessional. Again Adam didn't raise his hand, just blurted, “Oh my God. You can’t seriously take love advice from a twelve-year-old. No offense,” he thought to add appeasingly (directed at the twelve-year-old, not the professor.) He felt just emboldened enough by having gotten away with "hangover potion?" to say, “Can we just have like, a free period if you’re not gonna teach us about the brain elixir? You look like you need one.” Adam did -- he’d decided last night to do his Cryomagic homework at lunch.


my heart says yes but my mom says no

Ilya Denisov [ Thunderbird ]
10 Posts  •  16
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2020, 03:57:08 PM »
As Ilya reached the kitchen he wasn’t entirely sure how to put his plan into action. Getting a cup of coffee for a professor would probably not be a big problem, but how should he get a tray full of cupcakes as he had promised? He approached a house elf and told him that he needed a large cup of coffee for professor Salinger and then added something about cupcakes that Salinger had promised as a reward for good contributions in class. Somehow the elf seemed hesitant at first but soon enough another one appeared that seemed a lot more forthcoming.

The boy made his way back to the classroom with a large mug in the centre of a silver tray that was surrounded by about a dozen cupcakes. Not quite as many as he’d have liked to get but beggars couldn’t be choosers and so Ilya had still thanked the elves for their generosity.

He reached the classroom just in time to hear that Adam asked for a free period. Well, Ilya wouldn’t particularly mind a free period himself. He could go out and fly for a bit or, what would be infinitely more sensible, he could do some of the homework that had piled up. However, the boy had a feeling that this class with a hangover professor could actually be fun.

“Your coffee’s here!” he said deliberately louder than necessary as he put the tray down right in front of Salinger and snatched a cupcake from the tray before returning to his seat.

“What have I missed?” he asked no one in particular before taking a first bite of the cupcake with its pink icing. “Wow,” he mumbled, “these elves really know how to make cupcakes.”

Zeke Heller [ Thunderbird ]
3 Posts  •  14  •  Heterosexual  •  played by Taylor
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2020, 03:43:58 AM »
october 2003


Whose bright idea was it to sign up for Alchemy this year? Oh yeah, his.

Nothing against Salinger; he actually heard from a lot of his housemates that he was their favourite teacher, but he didn't really want anything to do with him. He knew from the moment Gideon Salinger first did roll call and a funny look appeared on his face when he said Zeke's last name — which is a dead giveaway because let's be real, how many Heller's has Ilvermorny had in the recent years? Probably not that many — that this was a mistake.

There was nothing that said social death more than unnecessary time spent with a professor. Of course you were sort of a hero if you got detention, and everyone kinda just gloss over that, but Zeke wasn't risking being called into his office or pulled back after class so they could talk about Brian Heller. Because nothing says fun like talking about your dead brother with someone who's supposed to determine whether you'd pass or fail, and if there's one thing he hated more than being the outlier it's pity.

Stumbling into the classroom almost late with his fellow housemate Ryan, they grabbed a couple of seats at the back, nodding at Ilya on the way as greeting. It's been a month since school started and so far he's been doing good at avoiding any extra attention. Just lay low and scrape by, that was his motto for Alchemy this year. He wasn't even paying attention to what Salinger, who looked worse than he felt, was saying, but he perked up a little when Adam said hangover.

He jerked his elbow away when he felt Ryan nudge him, and muttered a "piss off," darkly in return. He shrugged off his friend's quizzical look at not getting a reaction out of him at Salinger's question and slouched further down in his chair. He was already in the back row, and there was no way he'd do anything in this class to make himself stand out. He even tried brushing his hair this morning so it won't look as curly– that was dedication.

Still, he couldn't contain that sharp, loud laugh at what Adam said about taking love advice from a twelve-year-old. Crap. Here's to Salinger being actually too hungover and distracted by coffee to react to him. If all else fails, the old 'he started it' should work.

Isis Arceneaux [ Thunderbird ]
73 Posts  •  12  •  dancing!  •  played by Carys
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2021, 06:50:42 PM »
Isis turned in her seat, waited until Adam was looking in another direction and stuck her tongue out at him. She may have been twelve years old and too old to behave in such a childish fashion, but frankly, she was a little offended. If Professor Salinger hadn't wanted her to offer an answer, he would have said "only fourth years and above need answer" or something like that. Though she had to admit that the suggestion of a free period was one of the most sensible things anyone had said so far. Not that she particularly wanted to get out of class, but it didn't look like they were going to learn much today.

Sh was shifting uneasily in her seat when Ilya returned with coffee and cupcakes, which she eyed hungrily. The fact that Professor Salinger hadn't told him off for bringing them told her this was a lesson where anything was acceptable, and after a moment she slipped out of her seat, selected one with lemon icing and sprinkles and sitting back down as quickly as possible. Still, nobody said anything which felt decidedly weird. Isis took a bite of her cupcake, chewed, swallowed, and licked her lips.

"Another thing my Dad says is 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach'. I don't think that's true otherwise men would be falling in love with house elves and that would be icky..." it was probably illegal as well, thought Isis, though she decided not to think about that aspect of it "...but I guess it kind of makes sense because so many people go to restaurants when they start dating..." While nobody else was likely going to appreciate it, she was at least trying to pretend the lesson was somewhat still on track.
X

Gideon Salinger [ Board Mod ]
37 Posts  •  33  •  played by Inga
Re: You can't change the truth, but the truth can change you (all years)
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2021, 11:35:38 AM »
As expected Isis took his comment as an offer to share more about her home life and Gideon stifled another yawn as he tried to comprehend what the girl was talking about. He really wasn’t interested in it now, though, and there was something like an inner refusal to pay attention. He vaguely wondered if that was what some of his students felt when he taught them about the theory of Alchemy.

“Yes,” Gideon said, suddenly sitting up a little straighter again. “Yes,” he repeated, feeling a little more awake again now that Isis had finally offered something useful. “Talking is very important. Very. Maybe not at night, though...” he rubbed his forehead again and wondered why on earth it took Ilya so long to finally come back with his coffee.

Adam now contributed again and Gideon raised his eyebrows in astonishment because of what the boy had to offer this time. Was the boy now trying to tell him off for listening to his younger students? Maybe he should really have skipped this class and given his student a free period rather than talk to them but he was not going to admit that now.

“As far as I remember I haven’t asked for advice at all. I wanted you to think about personal relationships and what is important there.” He paused, forcing himself to think of a way to make it seem like this had anything to do with Alchemy. “I should make clear that I do not approve of slipping people potions at all. However…” his voice trailed off as the door swung open and his mind blanked again at once due to the distraction.

“Oh,” he said as Ilya put the cup of coffee as well as cupcakes on his desk. “Thanks,” he offered, grabbing the cup and taking a first sip. “Damn that’s hot,” he muttered under his breath, only just managing not to spit the hot beverage out.

Isis now snatched a cupcake from the plate, which in Gideon’s opinion was absolutely okay, and spoke about men falling in love with house elves or something like that. The professor decided not to comment on that, it was way too exhausting to try and make sense of what the second year was saying anyway and it was not what he had been intending to talk about anyway.

“You can’t have a free period,” he belatedly answered Adam’s question and then risked another sip of his hot coffee. “Just take a cupcake and give me a minute. Then we’ll get back to my initial question. We’ve already agreed that people need to talk in a relationship. Telling each other the truth, not holding important information back…” He shook his head and lifted the cup to his lips again. The beverage had a good temperature now and he could feel that it helped at least to some degree.

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