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aug_linusvaisey in augury_rpg

WHO: Linus, Sturgis.
WHERE: Muggle Studies.
WHAT: Extracurricular interest in Podmore's Muggle Studies.
WHEN: Friday 11-7-1997. After class.
STATUS: Closed.

It has been a singular fixation for Linus since Sturgis Podmore had so silenced the debate with an equally effective demonstration. That had been a couple of days ago. Linus had sat back and observed the debate of ideals raging in the 6th year Muggle Studies classroom. Linus had taken this additional burden of a mandatory class with his already heavy workload as a grave irritation. He'd enjoyed the heated debate that raged in his class- Muggleborns and some might as well be Muggleborn halfbloods passionately defending Muggle society while many of the hardcore Pureblood supremacists smelled blood in the water. They were finally going to have a little of their come uppance.

But when that gun went off in the classroom, it was alien. It scared a lot of students. Linus naturally startled himself, but quickly slapped his blaise mask of muted interest back into place. But the truth of the matter was, he was intrigued. Quite intrigued. There was something so barbaric and yet simplistic about the weapon.

Linus had heard explosions before. There were plenty of idiots out there who couldn't mix two potions together without that result. Thunderclap charms were a first year level spell. But oh, this thing. This gun. It was fascinating. And worse, Linus knew of it to be only the tip of the iceberg. This was a basic Muggle weapon, apparently.

Inevitably someone brought up that such weapons were easily deflected or dismissed. They were a thing and things could be destroyed. Things could be blocked. Things could be disarmed. Or... and Linus thought this with an amused curl of his lip, things could be experienced. Linus wasn't so much interested in the lethal aspect of the weapon, but the amazing potential it had to garner attention and respect.

That room had stopped when Podmore fired that gun. You could have heard forty year-six heads swiveling in unison in the direction of the weapon. At once, every single soul in that room was at attention and vulnerable. They knew it too. Now that was power.

It was almost erotic. Which is what brought Linus to stay after in class. He looked busy but moved relatively slowly as the others bustled around him. He slipped books into his bag, eyes on his tarot deck. He shivered at Theodore's less than subtle reaction to his reading. Once the room cleared, it was he and Podmore. This was a man Linus both feared and respected.

Comments

Sturgis had been collecting some of his teaching materials from the front desk when he glanced about the room and realized there was a straggler left behind. He continued his task, only his eyes lifting to look at the Slytherin boy.

"Is there a particular reason why you are still in my classroom?" he asked in a neutral tone. Only the boy's response would decide if he merited anything more.
"Would I have stayed if there wasn't?" Linus remarked back, a single hawkish eyebrow placing itself questioningly on his forehead. His humor was amusement at Sturgis was evident. Students didn't tend to linger in a classroom unless they had a question.

Linus' line of sight moved from Sturgis to his desk. "I was impressed by your display the other day."
"Perhaps you might have forgotten something, or were waiting for me to leave in order to meet a fellow student for some sort of 'assignation'," he replied, countering the boy's attitude.

"You were, now were you? And what in particular impressed you?" The last of the pieces were gathered and he slipped them into his briefcase.
Linus maintained the rise of his eyebrow, its bemusement unabated. "Indeed. Those are possible." Linus bobbed his head in this acknowledgement. Linus dryly advanced on the man, his look one of casual scrutiny of his facial features and character. "But not in my case." Linus adjusted the shoulder strap of his bookbag.

Linus' fingertips dragged across the wood of Sturgis' desk in casual fashion. "Many things," Linus added. "The gun was effective." Linus added, his eyes flashing his betrayal of interest. "And you say thats the tip of the iceberg?"
Sturgis nodded as he snapped his case shut, then leaned a hip against the desk as he looked down on the boy with his arms crossed over his chest.

"What some purebloods might tell you is that Muggles are inferior. That is a lie. Muggles aren't inferior - they are dangerous. They have made such advances in technology over the years that they are capable of killing thousands of people with a single weapon, launched from such a distance that you would not even know of its approach until it was too late. A coward's way of killing if there ever was one."

His lips quirked up in humour at the boy's evident interest. "We will, of course, be going over that and more during the coming classes."
Linus' eyes dropped to the desk and he nodded, feeling the man's eyes upon him. They lingered for a moment there on the laminate surface before rising with equal vigor in their denim orbs. "Well if one is going to kill, one should at least have the common decency to look one's victim in the eye before doing so."

Linus' mouth barely seemed to turn to hint at whimsy. "There danger is evident. Both to themselves and to us. Did you know, for example, that almost fifteen witches were killed when the Americans bombed Nagasaki? And eight when they leveled Hiroshima?" Linus visibly smirked. "And that doesn't count those in this country killed by the London Blitz. They're dangerous, and they are reckless."
"My sentiments exactly," Sturgis replied with some surprise. He looked upon the boy with new eyes, wondering if perhaps he might be a good candidate for 'further study'. The Dark Lord would be pleased to have another wizard until his banner, even one so young.

"There were more than that, in fact," he said, nodding at the boy's research. "Something that is not often mentioned is that there was a group of independent researchers on the East side of Hiroshima studying a species in the rivers that they suspected were somehow related to grindylows. Furthermore, there was family in both cities of Half-blood and Muggleborn wizards at the Japanese school for witchcraft and wizardry."

He took a long moment to just observe this curious boy. "You have done some research already, I see. This subject obviously intrigues you. It will be a pleasure to have at least one student enjoy my class. Was there anything else you wanted to ask?"
"Whats more interesting to me is how much the Muggles realize how dangerous they are," Linus added with an unreadable expression. "They try to limit their worst impulses with treaties and international law. But they constantly are breaking their promises or crying foul." Linus' eyes flashed with his dark interest, "Are you familiar with the Muggle theorist Darwin? Most especially the works that came from his theories... Social Darwinism?"

Linus listened intently, hand resting upon the desk. "I hadn't heard that. Either of those. Then of course there was Hitler's attempts to capture occult artifacts for his own purposes. Muggles think he limited his interest to the Bible but no."

"I was curious." Linus said, tracing his bottom lip with a brush of his finger, "What did it feel like to fire that weapon?"
"I have heard the theory," Sturgis admitted, "though I don't put much stock in it myself. It is, however, interesting..."

He paused as the boy asked about the feeling of firing the gun. "What it feels like for me is likely not what it would feel for anyone else," he began. "This weapon has a particular significance for me because... I saw it in use myself at a very young age. To me, it represents the worst of the horrors that Muggles can inflict upon people, and witches and wizards in particular. When I fire it, I... remember, and the memories are not good ones. But I do it in warning, so that nobody else ever has to suffer in the same way again."
The Slytherin boy leaned on the desk enough to tense and rise his shoulder. "It makes some sense to me. And I think many Purebloods might agree. That society has it's superiors and inferiors, which nature has created. Wizards are gifted with a more natural way of doing things. To compensate, Muggles have created contraptions. But in the process they have disturbed the natural order. Now they are a danger to themselves and us. And clearly since they are dangerous to everyone that they have not evolved enough to wield such power responsibly."

Linus hesitated to ask what horrors had been inflicted upon the man. he could in no way sympathize or comiserate. Linus had lived a life largely distant from Muggles. He decided that he must choose his words well. He had to mask his inner desires to see the weapon, touch it and feel it's power. His interest was in the power it denoted.

"So you took a horror and loss and turned it into a conviction?" Linus finally suggested. "Have you ever had to use it on someone? Or is it just a symbol? I noticed how powerful it seems. With one-" And Linus mimicked the pulling of the trigger, "-You had the attention of an entire room."
"And wizards are not?" Sturgis countered. "Could you honestly tell me that no wizard is threatened by another? Because I could give you five examples off the top of my head. It isn't a matter of any supposed 'natural order' - which, by the way, is often a phrase used by richer purebloods to keep themselves above those of lower class, though identical blood status. It is a matter of who has the power and who does not. Muggles outnumber us. They are a threat because of their numbers and the level of their technology. But do not delude yourself into thinking we are superior - we aren't."

His lips tightened at the further talk of the gun and its significance. "It is not so much power in this room, as it is unknown. Muggleborns and many Half-bloods know the risks inherent in such an object, but Purebloods and the rest, they would not know how to protect themselves. That is my concern right now, making certain that everyone is aware of the risks."
Linus raised his eyebrows in a gesture that was not dismissal but agreement. "Of course we are. But we can't kill 100,000 people in an hour. I could run amuck using the Killing Curse and in the space it takes for a bomb to fall to Earth, I couldn't do a one-thousandth the damage a Muggle can. Like you said, its how they do it. Their methods and the scope of damage that they can do."

Linus absorbed the man's word dutifully. "And so the new focus of Muggle Studies- quite rightly- is how to potentially defend ourselves from them? Learn what to expect from their technology and their points of view in the hopes of keeping ourselves safe." It sounded like Defense Against the Muggles to Linus- which is probably what he wanted in the first place. He did not actively dislike Muggles, but he still had his fears and interests in them.
"That is one way to put it, yes," Sturgis agreed with a nod. "To make everyone aware of the dangers, and thus the necessity of precautions to ensure our own survival."

He pulled away from the desk and reached out to grab his briefcase. "If there is nothing further, Mister Vaisey, then I will see you in class next week."
Linus' only detraction, which went uncommented as he was running short of time to get to class was, "But is that not the treatment of the symptom and not the cause." The young man stayed quiet, with an interested tilt to his head. He nodded to his professor , denim eyes upon him.

"That is all, for now," Linus confirmed with a quick nod of his head and a quick twist of his lips. "I'm going to be late for my next class." Linus adjustyed his bookbag and slipped away from the desk. "Good afternoon Professor. Enjoy your weekend."
Sturgis watched as the boy slipped out of the room en route to his next class. He would have to keep an eye on the boy and his ideas. Some could prove more than helpful to the class, and others...

One of the failings of the average Slytherin was that their ambitions could sometimes prove to be unrealistic, such as eliminating all of Muggle society. Sturgis, on the other hand, preferred to concentrate on more logical methodologies, such as assessing risks and judging what could and could not be done about them.

Only time and the progress of classes would tell what this new development would bring. But one thing was for certain - the boy had certain caught Sturgis' attention.