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SUMMER 2021

It's time for a little rest and recuperation. After a tumultuous schoolyear culminating in coordinated attacks upon both Hogwarts and London, magical citizens could certainly use a break. Summer is upon us, and while the immediate danger has passed, not every creature is taking the summer off.

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» 28 JUNE 2021 || SHARP AS GLASS AND TWICE AS BRIGHT, TAG: Ash, Spectre
Levi Lightner
 Posted: May 3 2018, 02:58 PM
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41 years old

Astronomy Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Endure. A simple command: continue, in spite of everything. It did not ask for action; one was not required to move forward or any other such nonsense. Standing still was acceptable, curling up small and tight was acceptable, hiding for days on end beneath a fiery night sky was acceptable, all so long as there was...continuation. A permanence of being and of mind, a presence to face the travesties of the world and acknowledge them as they came. For how else would the universe know pain if not through the eyes of its children as they suffered? For this, Levi was required to watch and to feel.

But how difficult it had become, that simple thing. The silence of the stars, once such solace to him, had become maddening - how could they remain so whisper-quiet, so dead, even as they blazed down on a world ravaged by cruelty? Children had been taken from them, again. And Levi had been powerless to stop it...again. Out on the boats, what could he have done? Even those small ones who had been expressly his responsibility had vanished. The most innocent, the wide-eyed wanderers through Earth’s glorious mysteries...so many of them were gone. And what had he done, their powerful protector on the water? Nothing. Again and again, nothing. It seemed he only acted when it would result in harm; wasn’t that his history? Hurt bred hurt, and now he was a being who could not know anything else and could create nothing else. Nicolette would attest to it.

How had they arrived here, at this point? There’d been a time when he could hear not only her words, but the music that made them dance; her thoughts had been crystalline points of light, clear and visible in an ocean of darkness. And now it was so different - an emptiness stretched abyssal between them, sprung overnight out of seemingly nothing. At least, Levi could not recall the cracks. Perhaps Nicolette would think different; perhaps there had been things she’d seen that troubled her. If so, he would not have been surprised; he was all of him trouble, from beginning to end, and nothing had ever ended any other way.

And so how could they endure? With the students gone there seemed little point - there was no-one left to force Levi into strength by virtue of their own weakness - but they would be back come September, and they would need a castle to come back to. In small tasks he found diversion: in cleaning up the chaos Morrigan had left out on the grounds, in helping tend to traumatised Thestrals, and in always, endlessly mapping the midnight sky. Sometimes he would find other issues to distract him, and these were welcomed…mostly. An owl from Uganda demanding that he visit was met with mixed feelings, but it seemed he had little choice in the matter and so at least the decision was made. The decision of whether or not he should invite Nicolette was much more complex, and therefore found itself consigned to further reflection. And now this...a careless remark by Binns which might have ramifications beyond what the old ghost realised and which Levi was determined to avoid. Tristan Nott had always struck him as strangely precarious...not quite good (at least, not in the Gryffindor sense) and certainly not bad, just sort of grey, liable to come down on either side given a hard enough push. For the sake of the boy’s dignity, if nothing else, Levi would make certain that that push did not come from Hogwarts’ most innocuous spectre.

Everyone knew, however, that Levi was not the most personable of individuals, and Binns was notoriously difficult to communicate with. Therefore, he’d determined very early on that he would require some sort of assistance - an interpreter, if you will, to help him translate angry snake hissing into a calmer format more readily absorbed by mouldy old ghosts. And who better than Ashley for this purpose? Even back in their youth he’d been fascinated by the Hogwarts spirits, and these days Levi had heard that he communicated with them quite frequently. He wasn’t quite sure whether that sort of relationship extended to Binns, but it seemed a safe place to start and so he’d explained the situation and asked the man to come along, if he wouldn’t mind. Ashley never seemed to mind.

Levi was early, lurking in the corridor outside the History of Magic classroom like an oversized rattlesnake. Truth be told, he wasn’t entirely sure where Binns spent his time, but couldn’t recall having seen him anywhere outside of that classroom. Either way, Ashley would know. Right on time, the unobtrusive sound of soft footfalls caught Levi’s attention, and he glanced up to shoot what was probably an unintentionally ferocious glance in Professor Aasen’s direction. It was a very difficult thing, to modulate one’s expressions, and he’d never been good at it; if he was annoyed, he was annoyed, and could only trust that Ashley knew he wasn’t annoyed at him. “Good afternoon.” He gave a curt nod. “I asked to meet here...but I must admit to ignorance with regards to where Professor Binns actually resides. I trust you would know better than I?

@Cassandra

(@Kris Nicolette mentions)

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Ashley Aasen
 Posted: May 10 2018, 08:29 PM
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41 years old

DADA Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


One week away from the students' departure, and there was still quite a lot to do at the castle for the staff that tended to its many needs. With fewer house elves employed than they had at the beginning of the year, minus an incredibly dangerous magical artefact, and missing a few professors, Hogwarts needed a lot of tending. At first it had hurt to make his way through the library's beautiful stacks. The room was full of Ashley's own ghosts, not numbered among those of Hogwarts. Memories of Danny's stifled laughs trying to draw him out past the shelves and away from severe old Madam Pince caught his attention when a few of the more animated books shuffled themselves back into place. When dust caught the light by the windows, he thought he could remember how Icarus's eyes had looked when they sat there over cocoa and marshmallow constellations. A few tears, the first days, and then it got easier. Always easier, never better. The library got cleaner, and somehow he managed to resist reorganizing the books. Not even his itching mind was enough to disturb centuries of carefully curated texts like that.

His own classroom needed a little looking after too, and the wards he had laid over the castle and grounds needed tending to and reinforcing. He fed the owls in the owlery. All this and he still had time to wish he was not holed up in his chambers until the date he had chosen to be home for the summer. Even that had brought Ash a sense of building anxiety. He had not been home to Bath in a very long time, for any extended visits. Everywhere, there were ghosts; everywhere. Ash only collected more of them as he grew older, and the lines at the corners of his eyes promised him whenever he was unfortunate enough to reacquaint himself with a mirror that he was, indeed, growing older.

Levi's invitation to accompany him to talk to Binns was a welcome distraction even if he did not know the entire story behind the incident the Slytherin Head of House wanted to mention. It was very likely that Binns would look at Levi with astonishment clear in his sleepy tortoise-like eyes, but then again, Levi was a very severe man. Ash had known him as a boy and would never fear him; Levi had been one of his very first breathing friends. Even so, he thought it was entirely plausible that Levi's glare could scare poor Cuthbert directly back onto his old bones and stick him there. He was met with such a glare in the corridor, but Ash simply offered that subtle smile of his and a gentle nod. "Hello, Levi. Here is a very good place to start." he assured the Astronomy Professor, closing the distance between them.

It was his distinct privilege to be among the few living people at Hogwarts with which nearly all of the ghosts would associate. The Baron was one he avoided; especially after the Grey Lady had to save him from being chased down forbidden hallways in his second year by the violent spectre. Other than the Baron, Ashley had always made it a point to attend Deathday parties, to play gobstones and chess with Myrtle and read with Helena. Cuthbert Binns was not personable, but Ash thought he might understand him a bit better than most. His mother had taught him to respect spirits and enjoy learning about them from a very young age.

"I find when he is not in class, he's one of two places. There's the staffroom by the fire--at night, typically. He died there, did you know? Then there's this." Ash tilted his head to the side slightly, indicating what appeared to be a shabby old broom closet. Locked. "It's a broom closet, as it appears to be, but it's magically locked because they keep his bones there, you see. It backs up to the blackboard in his classroom, so he can float through. It's almost like a little home for him--well, bigger on the inside, of course. Shall we try here first? If we call him Cuthbert, he'll know we aren't students come to meet him." His smile grew, a little less faint, and reinforced by the brush of his fingers against the wand at his wrist. "Hopefully."

@Drakky
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Levi Lightner
 Posted: May 14 2018, 06:54 AM
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41 years old

Astronomy Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Levi listened attentively as Ash explained the ins and outs of Cuthbert Binns. Cuthbert. Somewhere in the back of his mind he’d known a first name was a given, but he’d never afforded it much thought - truth be told, he’d never afforded Binns himself much thought. There wasn’t real cause for the Astronomy and History of Magic Professors to encounter one another, particularly since the latter had moved on from needing sustenance some decades ago, and therefore did not attend meals; back in his school days, he’d paid Binns about as much attention as any other student, which was to say, none whatsoever. If you wanted to pass History of Magic, you read the assigned texts and moved on with your life, and that was about it; only the excessively studious or undecided took it past OWL level anyway.

”There’s the staffroom by the fire -- at night, typically,” - Levi nodded, confident he was on certain ground with this. Contrary to popular belief, he did descend from his Tower on occasion, and sometimes even at night - mostly to sweep the corridors for unsuspecting malingerers who should have been in bed. Such nocturnal efforts generally required a base of operations, and so he’d often encountered the sleeping form of Professor Binns piled all in a ghostly heap in his armchair in front of the roaring fire. Why was not immediately clear; force of habit, he supposed, since as far as he knew ghosts could feel neither warm nor cold. Either way, he’d been careful to never disturb him, and indeed very few people actually ventured to use that armchair even in the daytime. It just felt…eerie.

The broom closet was more of a mystery; he turned to eye it in deep suspicion as Ash spoke, only to let out a sort of strangled noise and retreat half a step upon hearing what it contained. “His bones? Why in Merlin’s name would they-...” all at once he stopped and forced himself to remember where it was he was working. A three-headed dog locked in a small room off a third-floor corridor in his first year, a gigantic snake out for blood in his second year, werewolves in his third year...the list went on and on. Comparatively speaking, bones locked in a broom closet were on par with pumpkin juice at breakfast for shock value. It’s all just a matter of perspective, he thought as he relaxed; the perspective here being that everyone was quite mad and apparently quite proud of it.

After a moment spent straightening out his robes, he turned back to Ashley (keeping half an eye on the broom closet at all times). “I suppose I should inform you of the situation, before we go in. It’s nothing serious, I believe, but a slip which must be rectified to prevent further instances of the same. Professor Binns appears to have mistaken one of my students for…Tom Riddle.” His lips twisted in a show of displeasure. “He is doubtless ancient and probably demented, but such talk can have unforeseen consequences, particularly for a Slytherin. I would like to set him straight. And remind him of the current year.” Eventually, he supposed, all those thousands of students merged into a sort of amorphous blob in the mind of one such as Binns - still, said blob definitely should not have looked like Riddle, of all people.

His course of action decided, Levi stepped towards the door and raised a fist confidently...only to falter inches from knocking and glance back at Ashley with an expression of bemused uncertainty. “So, ah...do we...knock? Or just...is there a ghost etiquette involved?

@Cassandra

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Ashley Aasen
 Posted: May 22 2018, 10:55 PM
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300
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41 years old

DADA Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Ash turned, struggling to suppress an amused smile at the startled noise that drove Levi back just slightly from the broom closet. "It's something like a house for them, having relics or items that remind them of life around after they've passed. He's never spoken to me about it personally, but I wonder if his body was his first proof he'd died--after all, he simply never stopped showing up to lecture. I think he likes having them around and secure, and I believe their presence assists him with manifestation with as much regularity as is required for a professor." His thumb traveled to his wrist, pressing against his own pulse. How strange, to sometimes require a reminder of a thing everyone else took for granted...and yet he felt he knew that if he neglected to check he would have suffered some immediately horrible fate. "I suppose bones just turn into items like the rest, after we're done using them anyway." He had meant it as a bit of reassurance for Levi, if he even needed such a thing. More likely than not he wouldn't, and Ash had never been very good at it anyway.

Levi turned back to him and Ash lifted his stare from his wrist to settle once again on his friend--could he call him that, after so many years out of touch?-- ready to listen to the description of the incident. Even Ashley's eyes became more owlish when he heard Levi mention the name Riddle. None of them who lived through the Second War would ever forget. "Oh. Em. Well. Yes of course. I will do my best to help you get through to him, if any help is needed." After a beat, Ash shifted his weight and adopted a gentle furrow of his brow. He was concerned, but only vaguely. Levi was a very competent professor and Head of House, and he knew he would see that the student was well, but it seemed appropriate to ask anyway. "Is everything alright, aside from Binns's slip? With the students, I mean. I'm certain you can remind him of the year with particular effectiveness." Another slight smile made its way more to Ash's eyes than anywhere else. Levi could be exceptionally harsh and extremely grouchy, but the world required all sorts, and Ash appreciated, especially among his friends and co-workers, all sorts.

He stepped to the side and gave a little nod. "I would knock, yes. Loudly as well. I'm not certain if he's actually hard of hearing of mostly oblivious to his surroundings. I'll get the erasers as well, it's easier to see him outside of class with their help." It had been Ashley's experience that Cuthbert often forgot to make his presence entirely known outside of his classroom. Maybe that was why no one would sit in his chair? Ash turned his attention to the blackboard. This could be an unpleasant experience for Levi, or one that might actually be a little fun, depending on which the man had in mind before the two of them set about it. Binns still maintained the old chalkboard in his classroom despite never using it, and so it had become a drawing surface for misbehaving students and, of course, Peeves. As a result, there was plenty of chalk to wipe away.

Nodding toward the door for Levi to knock, Ash slipped his wand from the bindings at his wrist and summoned the old erasers. They'd been used only by those caring for the castle to clean up various inappropriate scrawls, but still managed to be covered in white and pale yellow. He could have knocked them together with his wand, but this was one of those cases where it was much more fun to complete the gesture physically. "Here I go, then." he warned, and clapped the erasers together, their muffled collision generating a cloud of fine, white dust in the air before them.

@Drakky
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Levi Lightner
 Posted: May 24 2018, 01:24 PM
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183
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41 years old

Astronomy Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


The bones were still a disturbing concept, regardless of Ashley’s elaboration on the topic of manifestation and other similarly spectral terms. Levi hovered where he was, arm half-raised to the door, glaring sideways with narrowed eyes at the room which apparently held human remains - right here in the castle, where he slept and ate and taught. On reflection, it really should not have been so surprising; after all, who knew how many unfortunate explorers of Hogwarts’ secret passages had met their end somewhere in the bowels of the castle, never to be retrieved and there to remain as a collection of motley bones. The Chamber of Secrets, for example, was practically knee-deep in skeletons, if rumour was to be believed. Whether these were human skeletons was a point that remained unclarified, but among all those bones who could tell the difference? This castle was a weird, ghastly place sometimes.

Items,” he murmured, incredulous. He supposed it was accurate enough, in a sense, and to be honest he very much hoped not to have any further need of his bones once he passed on. The process of becoming a ghost was probably more Ashley’s area of expertise than his own, but nevertheless he recalled that there was an element of choice in it: one was afraid of moving on, in some cases, or there was business left unfinished in the mortal realm. Either way, it was not a choice Levi would be making - once he was dead, the world could forget all about him, because he would certainly be forgetting about it.

The students were a far more immediate and pressing concern. Levi gave a light shrug at Ashley’s question, and let his arm drop back to his side as he considered it. “The student in question did not take him particularly seriously, I think. It was Tristan Nott, who of course takes nothing very seriously. Things are also never well with him. I sometimes feel as though he’s dragging me bodily through an overwrought period drama.” He adopted a deeply pained expression, as of one who’d suffered far too much both mentally and emotionally. “Purebloods. How much simpler it is to be born of nothing at all.” As for the rest of the students...well, they were not at all alright, of course, but Ashley knew that as well as anyone. The parameters of ‘alright’ had changed after the year they’d had: now, just being alive was more than good enough.

The erasers were something of a mystery to Levi, but he chose to ignore them for the moment. The ways of ghosts and Ashleys were not always clear to the ignorant masses. At his colleague’s signal, he rapped on the doorframe - a little too gently, at first, and then harder once he realised that Binns could more or less sleep through an earthquake. Did ghosts sleep? Hibernate through an earthquake, maybe. Ashley was busy pounding up an absolutely enormous cloud of dust, to which Levi reacted by hugging the wall and glaring balefully at the fine haze, ready to throw up a shield should it so much as extend a single particulate finger towards his lungs.

@Spectre @Cassandra


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Spectre
 Posted: May 25 2018, 10:00 AM
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Professor Binns





Professor Binns awoke with a cough. He'd been dozing, immaterial and transparent, in the chair behind his desk, when a sudden rapping sound startled him into wakeful opacity. With much blustering, he opened his eyes to take in the cloud of chalk settling in a fine snow over his classroom - not that Professor Binns paid much mind to signs of age and dust, but it was rather unusual when they formed clouds like spell-fire. It was only as he began to sink through his chair that he remembered he could not actually choke, and so he straightened with a clearing of his throat, regaining his spectral approximation of furniture occupancy, and squinted about.

"Vandals!" he intoned hoarsely, feeling for his glasses where they might have fallen onto his chest before realizing they'd just slipped down to the end of his nose. He pushed them into place and continued to squint. "You're late. I'd fallen asleep. Who gave you permission to play with the blackboard? Take your seats then, and I-" His eyes moved from Levi to Ashley as he continued to adjust his glasses, angling around his chair to get a better look at the professor half-obscured by billowing chalk. "You're not students. Come now, be professional, gentlemen."

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Ashley Aasen
 Posted: Jun 7 2018, 11:41 AM
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41 years old

DADA Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


"Items." Ash agreed, nodding along in peaceful response to Levi's incredulity. "I, for one, hope I'm cremated. There's no chance of rising as an inferius, that way." What might normally have been no more than the morbid musing of the awkward DADA professor felt a little too close, even for the man who had spoken it. Ash shifted his shoulders uncomfortably, brushing a thumb along the inside of his wrist in a slow count. What happened when the creations of a paranoid imagination suddenly became a reality? Not for the first time, Ashley was glad that Morrigan had not opted to raise the students they had lost that year, and they didn't have to learn how poorly any of them would bear it. "Ah, sorry." A gently uttered apology for the way he had turned the discussion caused Ash to adopt a tiny frown, and he shook his head in an attempt to change the subject. "Right. Your student."

He knew Nott as well as any of the core students, but not so well as his Head of House was obligated to do. Still, it was easy to agree with Levi's assessment--which was funny. His expression softened to a smile, part sympathetic, part amused. "It's certainly a very different perspective, to be born into a family without signet rings and ancestry books, isn't it? My father was a stonemason, and everything magical mum and I did was an absolute wonder to him." Ash smiled, the creases at the corners of his eyes deepened in fond remembrance. He missed them still, but it was not at all difficult to talk of how they lived. "I'm very glad Mr Nott was unperturbed, but you're right of course; it would be better to be certain Cuthbert won't make the same mistake with any of the more sensitive ones." It did not need to be said that Ash believed almost all of the students among the more sensitive ones when compared to the boy in question.

Thoroughly convinced it was for the best that they ought to scare up one Professor Binns, Ash couldn't help but hide a mischievous smile behind his guilty, eraser-holding hand when Binns materialized under the cloud of chalk dust. "Here he is then. Hello, Cuthbert. School's out for the summer; we might relax the rules just a little until the students return." The reminder was issued softly, primarily because he knew it was difficult for Binns to get a handle on what...decade it was, let alone the season and where (or when) his students happened to be. "In any case, I'm happy to clean up after myself, and happy to have your attention. Are you well? And would you mind speaking with Levi about an issue that's come up regarding one of the Slytherin students?" Ash glanced toward Levi, knowing the question was at this point, only a formality. He didn't imagine Levi cared much what any of them did or didn't mind when it came to how seriously he took his position. It was a small wonder he seemed so personally affronted at the idea that Nott would take nothing at all very seriously.

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Levi Lightner
 Posted: Jun 8 2018, 01:20 PM
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41 years old

Astronomy Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


Levi did not trust ghosts, and this was a prime example of why. One moment there had been an empty chair, the next it was very full of a blustering, wrinkly old spectre with memory issues. Who knew which chairs were safe? Might he drop into bed that night only to find that Peeves had taken a particular liking to his mattress? He shuddered at the very thought, but at least it wasn’t the Bloody Baron; there was an apparition you didn’t want anywhere near you during unconsciousness. True, he obeyed Levi and brought him whatever information he might happen to request, for the most part, but that was only because he must have been bound to defer to the Head of Slytherin. Rigorous examination of the Library’s Hogwarts-related texts had proved fruitless in this regard. Maybe the Baron thought it was proper, maybe he was magically compelled to obey - either way, it suited Levi just fine.

Binns, who was decidedly not compelled to obey, would present more of an issue. “I have taken no part in this eraser foolery,” he retorted icily, before recalling that he was not a student and therefore had every right to take part in eraser foolery should he so desire. He drew himself up to his full height then (which wasn’t that impressive) and took a couple of steps forward to glower down at the old ghost through the rapidly-clearing miasma of chalk dust. Cuthbert. Levi would not be addressing him as such, he decided. First-name terms had to be earned, and the situation was still very much one of tension and righteous indignation, as far as he was concerned. And anyway, he wasn’t entirely sure of the specifics regarding whether or not Binns counted as a colleague in the traditional sense. After all, he was a ghost.

Professor Binns,” he intoned, each word precise. “I am Professor Lightner, Astronomy and Head of Slytherin, and the year is 2021.” It was best to get any points of confusion well out of the way right at the start, and Levi was nothing if not efficient. “Voldemort was defeated decades ago, and Tom Riddle has not been a student at this school for approximately eighty years.” He paused to take a breath and to maintain a certain degree of calm; the last thing he needed was for Binns to get agitated and vanish back to his old bones or something. Merlin, those bones. With a shudder, he pressed on. “I must therefore insist that you attempt to refrain from referring to members of my House by his name. Many of them are young and impressionable, you understand. I would not want them to suffer at the hands of their schoolmates for such appellations, and I would also prefer that they do not get any ideas which we might all live to regret.” The last thing anyone needed was another Slytherin Dark Lord; this time, Hogwarts might actually abolish the entire House, and then what would Levi do with himself?

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Spectre
 Posted: Jun 16 2018, 09:38 PM
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Professor Binns




Professor Binns seemed to be having a hard time deciding whether it was easier to see Ash through the lenses of his immaterial glasses or over the top of them, and so for a moment, he sat caught in a strange bobbing of his head - eyes growing wide as he titled his chin downward to peer over the rim before narrowing to a tight squint as he lifted his nose to look through. It wasn't until Ash indicated Levi where he'd taken up his post near the door that Binns settled for pulling the spectacles all the way down to the end of his nose again, focusing his incredulous stare on the professor across the room.

"Am I well?" he responded belatedly, and somewhat alarmed, to Ash's question. "Merlin, dear fellow, I'm dead." Professor Binns was often forgetful, but he had only just remembered his spectral state a moment before, and it would be at least another nap - or perhaps the first few hundred words of his prepared lecture on the start of the goblin rebellions - before he forgot again. "Levi, who- what's this then?" He asked, only to straighten with an appearance of mild alarm as Levi began his formal summary of the current state of the world.

"I believe I am the History professor around here, young man," Binns said with a somewhat indignant straightening of his jacket before giving his glasses a rough shove back up to the bridge of his nose. Apparently, he'd finished with the use of whatever farsightedness their absence afforded him. "No need to go reciting facts to me. I may be a good deal older than most of the professors on staff, but I should say I know how to run my own classroom. None of this eraser clapping to generate effect or pumping young ones full of 'regrettable ideas,' as you put it. Only the facts." He took a moment to look out across his classroom then, as though expecting to find it full - a brief moment of confusion clouding his features as he discovered it empty.

"What's this about young Riddle, then? Is he one of mine? I'm afraid I don't know anything about bullying, gentlemen. No, no, I insist that sort of behavior be left out in the hall."

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Ashley Aasen
 Posted: Jun 25 2018, 10:43 PM
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41 years old

DADA Professor

Hogwarts
Hogwarts Staff


"I can attest to this; the eraser foolery was entirely my doing. You know I've got to find new and interesting ways to rustle you up from wherever you discorporate. I hope you are well in addition to being dead." Ash stated softly. He was perfectly willing to accept whatever grumbling his two considerably more grumbly companions had to offer for his behavior. With the need to always keep his hands busy, Ash began to clean up after himself, first sending the erasers back over to their resting places to sleep for the rest of the summer, then siphoning up the lingering particles of settling chalk dust. He smiled faintly as he turned them in a gentle spiral before their inevitable banishment. With his task completed, Ash allowed his wand to settle between his two hands, running his thumb along the spirals carved in the wood.

Levi began to explain himself and Ash remained silent at first, noting that Binns seemed to take offense at what was no doubt meant to be simply a necessary reminder of the basics of their present. Unfortunately, Cuthbert was often in need of exactly this sort of reminder. It was understandable that Levi should provide one, even if his method was a little unfriendly. Well. Perhaps more than a little, but Ash did not believe the man had to be friendly to be worthy of friendship. Binns indignant retort spoke even more plainly to Ashley of the ghost's confusion, and he watched him as he surveyed his empty classroom with a hint of concern before reminding himself that this was Cuthbert Binns, and this was quite normal for him. A few gentle, leading suggestions might move the ghostly professor closer to where Levi wanted him and further from belligerence brought on by disorientation.

"The students have gone for the summer, so we will not be interrupted. Do you mind if I sit, Cuthbert?" he asked, before moving a chair a little closer, almost in between the Slytherin Head and old Binns. Ash fidgeted at the hem of his sleeve, then laced his fingers together to still his restless hands. His incorrigible staring habit currently prompting him to search the spectral face of their colleague, Ash allowed his mild concern to show when they were asked about Riddle. "Ah, no, not for some time, I'm glad to say. Riddle was a student of yours in the...late nineteen-thirties, early forties. Of course, while it's not especially common to refer to Voldemort that way, at the very least the Slytherin and Gryffindor students will be well aware of his birth name." The hint was offered as a way for the senile old spirit to save a little face, if he could locate it.

Pressing his thumbs against the knuckle of his first fingers, Ash fell silent then to allow Levi to take the conversation where he needed it to go. From the way Binns had started, he wasn't certain that the old professor had even heard the issue, and Ash turned to look at Levi to search his face and see if he, too, had come to that conclusion. An uphill battle for them, then. Fortunately, Ashley was a patient man.

@Drakky @Spectre.
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Levi Lightner
 Posted: Jun 28 2018, 05:04 AM
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41 years old

Astronomy Professor

Hogwarts
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Levi’s eyebrows rose incredulously; it had been a while since anyone had called him ‘young man’, although he supposed if anyone was in a position to do so, it was Professor Binns. Ghosts did not age, however, so Levi was privately rather disapproving of any spirit that kept counting its years past death date. If he’d died at eighty, or whenever it was, then he was eighty and that was it. Young man indeed. He straightened up a little, doing his best to look as tall, imposing, and generally mature as possible - something he really should not have had to do, given that he was forty-one and the Head of Slytherin.

Ash proceeded to take a seat, but Levi found that he preferred to remain standing; he was not the tallest of people, and felt very much that the situation called for him to be present at his full height. This may be the History of Magic classroom, but Professor Binns would fast remember how to speak to his colleagues, if Levi had anything to say about it. He remained silent as the other man attempted to tease some sort of sense out of the tangle of the old ghost’s memories, but whatever Ash said or did, Levi could tell that this was going to be very much an uphill battle. He shot Ashley a pained glance as he concluded, then heaved a sigh and stepped forward a little to grab Binns’ attention.

Profes- Cuthbert,” he amended, not wishing to be mistaken for a student. “Perhaps we may try this again. There is currently a student in your class by the name of Tristan Nott - a fifth-year, I believe, in Slytherin. Sometime over the past few months, you mistakenly referred to him by the name ‘Riddle’, which may be understandable as he is in Slytherin and does bear some passing resemblance to Tom Riddle in his younger days. However, I’m sure you recall that Tom Riddle is long since deceased, and committed such unspeakable acts in his time that I am not entirely comfortable with one of my students being mistaken for him. Nott is thick-skinned, but has a tendency to fight in corridors, and I do not wish to encourage other students to cause problems with him...for their sake, and mine.” This last was said with an air of long-suffering patience, as Levi was fairly certain that his days of breaking up Tristan Nott’s fights were far from over. Perhaps that new girlfriend of his would calm him down a little; Dominique Weasley was one of his more level-headed students - it was a pity she hadn’t taken Astronomy.

His piece said, he rocked back on his heels and clasped his hands behind him, staring at Binns expectantly. He had no real hope that any of that had penetrated that spectral skull, but perhaps if he repeated himself often enough, something would get through. In reality, he wasn’t entirely sure why he was bothering; Tristan certainly didn’t seem to care, and anyone who would pick a fight with that body was somewhat beyond help, in Levi’s opinion.

@Spectre @Cassandra

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Spectre
 Posted: Jul 19 2018, 07:33 PM
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Professor Binns




Professor Binns' face passed through a range of expression as he listened first to Ashley and then his companion. Beginning in a sort of wrinkled squint, forehead creased and eyes scrunched into what seemed to be an intense attempt to focus his gaze, Binns softened considerably as Voldemort's name was repeated, apparent realization crossing his features. This sudden surprised understanding was promptly followed by a slight grimace of sheepishnes before all of it was ultimately smoothed away in an attempt to save face. Cuthbert Binns had passed from the realm of the agile minded even before he'd passed from life, and so, despite the disorder of his recollections, it seemed he had adopted a muscle memory of sorts - the instinct for sniffing his way out of a corner.

"Alright, alright," he said, nose rising somewhat haughtily, lower lip jutting outward and nostrils flaring in an expression of veiled embarrassment. "I see your point. Better not to go speaking of Dark Lords and all that. Not that it would hurt our students to hear the history of a war among wizards for once, but I'm not much in the habit of teaching current events anyway. Wouldn't want them getting over-excited." Looking away, Binns raised a hand to his face, straightening his spectral glasses before reaching out to shuffle the papers on his desk. His hands passed right through them, and he paused to frown before settling for straightening his tie instead. The papers looked quite dusty, and it was hard to discern exactly how long they'd been there.

"I'll not be known as an instigator of rough-housing. This is a post to be respected, after all. A prestigious institution." He shot a sideways glance at Ashley, as though to suggest his own behavior out of line with this fact. "To that end, I hope you'll excuse me gentlemen. I do have another class to be preparing for." Standing from his chair, an action which appeared more like a sudden levitation as it seemed his lower half had not been made privy to the same visibility as his upper, Binns made again to take up his papers - this time succeeding in rustling them slightly - before letting out a small huff of irritation. Without further dalliance, he turned and glided directly through the blackboard, disappearing from sight.

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