Sitting in the Ancient Runes classroom, Rowan chats with Andrew Abbott while they wait for Professor Babbling to arrive. Not long after the petite witch in dark blue robes sweeps into the room. Her crooked dark hat still remains just as crooked as her button nose. Still, a tad pale, her coffee-colored hair was neatly pulled back as she gazes at them with her blue and brown colored eyes.
"I'm certain that all of you did your homework and read the assigned chapter. I will collect the rolls of essays at the end of class," Professor Babbling said. "Now that, all Hallow's Eve is approaching better known as Samhain, we shall study on how to draw symbolic rune pentagrams to speak to those that have passed and ask for answers."
Seeing the puzzled looks on a few muggleborn Hufflepuffs, Professor Babbling says, "Unlike the muggles who once celebrated as we did, we do not actively seek to speak to the dead as that is considered necromancy, a most forbidden and rather foul branch of magic." The muggleborn faces quickly change with fright as they shake their heads.
"However, divination is considered a common feature that still practiced in some families," Professor Babbling explained. "Mostly it's simple things such as who will they marry or when, how many children will they have, and so forth. It is better not to ask too much of the future as sometimes the answers that are given are not at all well received by the requestees. And so, please never ask a question that you do not wish to know an answer to. That is not a joke, children, but a stern warning." Even some of the Slytherins gulp at that and decide it is better to not try to tempt fate.
Professor Babbling draws first the symbol of the unknown also representing the number seven on the chalkboard. "Much like a pentagram, that which is unknown is placed in the middle to be known. Then four runes must be selected to represent the north, south, east, and west. Each rune that is to be selected must mean something to the individual no witch or wizard will ever have the same circle as each rune is quite unique to the caster," Professor Babbling said.
"Now then, please draw a runic circle for yourself and turn in the assignment by the end of the class."
Everyone hurries opens their rune textbooks as Rowan stares at her parchment in thought. To the North, she did not what lay before her, but many multiple paths. With a steady hand, she drew the symbol of the Runespoor. To the South is danger, an Acromantula. To the East is the unseen, a Demiguise. And to the West is hope, a Unicorn.
Finished, Rowan glanced around to find that most of the class was finishing up as she carefully gathered here things and waited for the class to end. Professor Babbling not long after says, "Time is up, please turn in your past homework and today's in-class assignment."
Professor Babbling gathers all the class homework and in class assignments and sees them out. A bit tired, she heads downstairs to the staff room for a quick cup of tea to fortify herself, before grading the student's in-class assignment. Those would be the easiest while the rest of the grading could wait after her last class of the day and dinner.
The staffroom is a long, paneled room full of old mismatched chairs that had seen better days. Professor McGonagall was sitting in a corner with a steaming teapot of tea as she read through some of her fifth year's essays. Tsking every now and then she'd write a comment or make a correction to the assignment in the margins.
"And how are your 5th years doing this year, Minerva?" Professor Babbling asked as she took the seat across from her.
Professor McGonagall made a face as she said, "I fear that some of them won't even able to pass at this rate."
"Surely they're not that bad," Professor Babbling teased as she took a sip of the steaming hot tea. Which felt quite good with the chill that had begun to set in.
"And you, Bathsheda?" Professor McGonagall politely asked.
"My fifth years aren't as many as yours, Minerva," Babbling murmured. "Nor do I expect many of them to advance any further. But those that will, I am most happy to keep."
"That's quite the optimistic view, Bathsheda," McGonagall mused as she pursed her lips.
Babbling shrugs her shoulders, before reaching into her bag and pulling out the stack of that day's assignment. With ease, she either docked or gave points based on the precision of the drawn rune and well it coordinated with the rest. One could tell if careful thought had gone into the assignment or if the student had merely gone ahead and picked runes willy nilly in order to finish the assignment as fast as possible.
Babbling furrowed her brows as she read the assignment of one particular student. The runes were all drawn correctly and ordinarily, she would have even docked points for the rune circle. But the way, every single rune seemed to have been drawn suggested otherwise. This was no mere joke, but what was believed to be an accurate description of themselves.
"Minerva, what do you make of this?" Babbling said finally, extending the parchment over to the Transfiguration professor, but not before hiding the student's name.
McGonagall raises her eyebrow and takes the roll of parchment from her. "You do realize that I am the Transfiguration professor and it's been years since I've studied runes, Bathsheda?"
"I am aware, but I'd like your honest opinion on it," Babbling argued.
"Very well," McGonagall said in resignation, before reading the rune circle. And even though it had been years since she had studied Ancient Runes, she still recognized all those written on the parchment. None of them were minor runes, but carefully chosen powerful ones.
"Whose is this?" McGonagall finally asked after a long silence.
"I'm not at liberty to say," Babbling admitted. "But did you receive the same impression as I did?"
"That this student's reading was surprisingly accurate and true," McGonagall quietly said unable to remove her eyes from the outstretched parchment before her. "What year was this for?"
Babbling shakes her head and says, "I won't answer that. But suffice to say that I am a bit concerned now."
"It could always be youthful nonsense," McGonagall suggested as she handed over the parchment back to Babbling.
"I can only hope that is a youthful phase," Babbling said with a weak smile, when all of a sudden, a tired damp owl burst into the room with an envelope in its beak. The tired, wet owl fluttered over to McGonagall and let out a shriek, before rushing away to the owl roost to rest.
McGonagall flushes as she takes the envelope as Babbling squints her eyes to read the address and wax seal. Seeing the address and seal a knowing gleam entered Babbling's multi-colored eyes. "Another letter from a member of the ministry, Elphinstone Urquart?"
McGonagall flushes and says, "It's merely business, Bathsheba!"
"Oh, yes. And that's exactly why he asks all the professors out to dinner or for a walk through Hogsmeade," Babbling teased.
McGonagall draws herself straight up and ignores the confounded witch for the rest of the hour until her next period. Of course, that did little to remove the smirk and occasional snicker that was heard from the pesky witch. Still, McGonagall found herself stroking the letter in her pocket subconsciously. And whether she admitted to herself or not, Elphinstone had long ago begun to slowly creep into her heart.