1994-09-08: Exceptions To The Rule


Oswald_icon.gif Melissa_icon.gif McGonagall_icon.gif Julian_icon.gif Ella_icon.gif Derek_icon.gif

Scene Title Exceptions To The Rule
Synopsis Transfiguration introduction.
Date Sep 08, 1994
Watch For Kittykitty, the five(six) exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration, zombies
Logger Mickey-G

Transfiguration Classroom

Derek runs into the class room and looks around, he sees his fellow first year but no teacher so he not in trouble yay, he grins and takes a seat in the back of the class. Derek takes out his paper, pen and ink well and places them on the table so he's ready for his first Transfiguration class.

Julian prefers the front of the classroom. Off to the side, but somewhere near the front. He slides into his seat quietly, looking around to try to see if the teacher is here somewhere. Maybe it's a test. He frowns, and leans back in his chair to wait, short legs dangling.

Oswald is already sitting in the back with his things out. Then turns to see Derek come in which he gives a grin to. "Have to admit what you did in class yesterday was classic." Chuckling to himself then turns forward to front of the class.

Derek grins and nods. "Thanks, I learn from the best, my two older brothers. They do stuff like that all the time mostly on me." he leans back in his chair some and wonder what Leon and Noel are doing right now, proble in another class pester other students.

Ella rushes in, a bit too fast, tripping over her cloak and spilling all of her items she was holding onto the floor. She hurries to pick it up, afraid that she will get docked points for it, that is before she realizes that the teacher isn't even there. She then sits down near the back row, and sits down her stuff gently, looking down at her desk.

Julian snorts quietly at the other boys and their mention of the antics. Bean wasn't too sure about offending the teacher like that, but he thought it was pretty bold. "You sounded like a Gryffindor, though…" He taunts softly. He watches Ella, making no move to help. "Watch out. That first step's a killer."

Oswald turns to Derek again. "I wouldn't know I was only child. Raised mostly by the house elf,just as long I stayed out of my folks hair. But that did little to stop me from making trouble."

Derek blinks "Oh you has a house elf, your so lucky, all my family has is a few chicken in the backyard and then wild animals around my house."

Ella listens to them talk about the misdeeds that happened within the school recently, enjoying hearing that she wasn't the only one in the school who's thought of doing something slightly mean and dangerous for a change, even though her tutor and family made it sound unappealing with there talk of the consequences.

Julian gives a curious expression at the mention of House Elves, but says nothing about it, just watching the other children for a long moment. He rolls his neck around and scans around the room again. "Where is that teacher? Isn't she the one who led us into the Great Hall for sorting?" So, he should recognize her. Right? He doesn't see her anywhere. "Maybe we're supposed to read our books."

Oswald shrugs "Well she's a house elf we got from my granfolks. Sneeda, is constantly harassing me don't do that you'll get into trouble. I mean whats the fun in putting a few firecrackers down a pair of muggles pants to see them explode and them running around like they got kicked in the pants." Turning back around to get his books, inks and parchment out.

Derek laughs at that. "you put firecracker into a Muggle pants? Oh man now that's good."

Oswald grins to himself "Well according to the Muggle Protection Act, you can't harm muggles through use of magic but nothing says you can't through other means."

With the continuing absence of the teacher and the comments degenerating quickly, Bean pulls out his Transfiguration textbook and begins reading it. Again. He scowls at the mention of Muggle-baiting, but keeps silent. After all, too many pepole know already.

Melissa sighs, disliking the way the conversation is going, particularly after how much pranking hurt Hagrid earlier.
Derek grins and nods. "I got to try that then, but i bet my brother bet me too it." he sighs and grits his teeth and his brothers the Slytherin version of the Weasley twins, but not as bad, i mean nobody can be as bad as the Weasley's twins there legends in there own right.

There is truly something amiss when the professor is… missing. At least, it first appears that way for the gathering of the class, after the students file in and get situated. For those few minutes of chatter, Professor McGonagall's absence does not go unnoticed by some, fortunately for them. Not so fortunate for the little Slytherins that are accidentally getting themselves into trouble.

From the chair behind the desk, there comes a creak-creak of the swivel of the seat, followed by the sudden appearance of a silvery, finely-marked tabby cat onto the crest of Minerva's desktop. A pair of bright green cat-eyes level out at the classroom, and the feline sits itself down on the edge of the desk, tail curling over her front paws and eyes lidding at the first years. The class has not technically started as of yet, and so the teacher in her Animagus form simply waits for the time to come.

Oswald raises a eyebrow at the cat. Taking another look at her, as if studying the animal. "I take it thats McGonagall's pet there?" he asks Derek behind him.

Julian sees the cat. "Hey, does that cat belong to someone?" He knows some of the students have feline pets. He stands up, and moves toward the desk, frowning, reaching into his pocket. There's always some small piece of food there. Today, it just happens to be bacon. "Here, kitty." He holds out a small bit of the meat. "Do you know where the teacher is?" I mean, after all, maybe she's a really smart cat.

Melissa looks at the cat with interest. "Looks just like my cat, Della… But not quite the same."

Derek shrugs as he looks at the cat, don't worry kitty your safe from evil Derek this time seeing he's out of firecrackers and his brothers found out about what he did with the last one and hide them in a better spot this time. "Don't know, it's not mine though, I have a owl and it's in the owlery right now."

Ella stares at the cat that just walked right in without a moments notice, wondering how it got into the classroom so easily and who was it's owner.

The cat, true to cat form, ignores Julian's offer. Cute, but not quite what she was prepared for. After a few seconds of going over the sheer ridiculousness in her head, the cat sits up straighter all of a sudden. Before you can say 'blast-ended skrewts', there is no more cat. Instead of a disinterested tabby, the Transfiguration Professor is there, leaning into the side of her large wooden desk.

Her green eyes are burning holes into the first years talking about firecrackers. "Fifteen points from Slytherin, for your irresponsibility and lack of judgment, mister Rimmer. I will ask your house prefects to confiscate what other destructive bits you may still possess. As for you, mister Silvertop- while I cannot punish something outside of my jurisdiction, remember that you have made yourself into someone to be watched." One hand lifts to her temple, where she taps her pointer finger to signal that she is already doing so. McGonagall's eyes turn over the classroom as well now, her sharp, yet thick voice cutting over the expanse of the desks. "I do not want to hear my students celebrating misbehavior, nor will I tolerate it. Is that clear?"

Oswald holds his hands up "Perfectly clear… I have nothing to hide…And that happened over 6 years ago. Gone, in the past and forgotten."

Derek mumbles as he gets points taken away. "Yes Prof. McGonagall." he mumbles as he ducks his head behind a book, he so needs to a class on sneakiness.

Julian moves to sit in his seat, the shock on his face clearly evident. He's learning how to control his outbursts at all this weirdness. It takes him a little longer than it might, and he sticks the bacon back into his pocket extremely embarrassed. Sorry, teacher. He didn't know. However, after a long moment, he schools his expression into the careful mask he usually wears, and waits to hear the cat — or the teacher, rather — continue the lesson.

Ella tries to hold back her laugh as best as she can, until she realizes that his actions meant even more points away from her house, and the urge to laugh fades from her mind completely. She grits her teeth softly and looks up at the teacher, ready to earn back the points that he just lost.

"Well, mister Silvertop, I never forget. Consider yourself warned." That is that.

Professor McGonagall stands, taking a few short steps and pulling out her wand. The blackboard nearby skips to life, animating itself with an unlabeled diagram of the most common transfiguration processes- inanimate to animate, and vice versa, as well as the token 'one form into another'.

"Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts. Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned." Something she tells them all.

"Now, which one of you-" Her eyes lie momentarily on the first year Slytherins, probably steaming at the ears about Derek's point loss. "-can define 'Transfiguration' for the rest of the class?"

Oswald raises his hands up then replies. "Transfiguration is the changing of one thing into another and back?" Just taking a educated guess to the teachers question. Pulling his book out to place it on his desk.

Derek mumbles from behind his book and raises his hand in hope you call on him and he might get some points back.

Julian raises his hand into the air, remembering this part from early lessons and watching others. He waits to be called on, if she will. Otherwise, he'll sit and listen to the other responses. Gotta earn those points back somehow. He listens to Oswald's answer with a satisfied smirk. That sounds pretty much like what he would have said. Derek's soft mumbles get a frown.

Melissa nods. She knew the answer but figured they needed a chance for a comeback… they can't all be jerks, can they?

Ella doesn't know the answer in the slightest, so she keeps her hand down, but looks up at the chalk-board, looking very intent and trying to at least fake knowing about the class.

"Please wait to be called." Yet another warning, but unlike Snape- there are no points lost for being seemingly overeager. "That is the most common of definitions. Transfiguration is the area of magic largely defined as changing one thing-" Her wand lifts carefully towards her desk. "-into another."

"Porcus!" Can you guess what is going to happen? Possibly. A yellow cloud pops straight out of Minerva's wand, enveloping her desk in a wave of mustard gold. As it disappears, there is a loud, squealing cry- and then there is suddenly a large, mottled pig standing there instead of a hardwood desk. It turns its head to peer around lazily, very much alive and very much confused.

Derek gasps as he watches the desk turn into a pig, he claps at the sight of it and wonder if we will behaving pork for dinner tonight.

Julian is once again shocked out of his mind. He heard the incantation — recognized the Latin for 'pig', but didn't expect a real, live pig to show up. "Wow." He frowns, raising his hand and then going ahead and asking the question, since it doesn't seem to incur penalties. "Can you just do that with anything, or are there limitations?" His mind whirls with the possibilities. What could he do being able to turn one thing into another? Trash? He could like a king.

Ella watches as the mysterious yellow mist completely engulfs the desk, scooting closer in her chair to see what is happening under the mist. When the pig squeals she jumps back, tipping her chair and making her tumble out of it. "W-wow.." she murmurs softly, before she realized what just happened and standing up, quickly sitting her chair back up and sitting into it. She looks straight down at her books and parchments on her desk, her face glowing red.

Melissa smiles, looking impressed with the professor's work.

The pig nearby sniffs at the floor, debating walking away just seconds before Minerva lowers her wand to tap it between the eyes. Moments later, the desk is back, having grown back from its form as a hog.

A smug look comes back to McGonagall's features, and it seems that showing these children what they could one day possibly do brings her a certain measure of accomplishment. "For those of you that have played Wizard's Chess, that process is also part of transfiguration- animating the inanimate. Excellent question, mister Legume, and my next question. Have any of you familiarized yourselves with 'Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration'?"

Oswald ponders as he bites his lip. Clearly haven't heard of Gamp much less his law of transfiguration. Having nothing to say he simply shrugs feeling a bit out of sorts.

Ella Raises her hand, knowing what it was from one of her many holiday studying sessions she gave herself during her childhood.

Julian read it, and understood it mostly. "Insufficient magical matter…" Bean reads aloud, pondering what that might mean. "You can't change just anything into just anything else… there has to be some sort of connection, right?" He hopes he's right. "At least in your mind?" He frowns, realizing he's spoken out of turn again. "And there's something in there about food and drink. Which doesn't make sense, because a pig is food…" He realizes that he loves this class. It will be a definite challenge.

Melissa has her own questions, now that she thinks about it. She raises her hand hoping to have her questions answered.

"Very close to what I was expecting, mister Legume. Perhaps you can help in elaborating, miss Porch?" McGonagall motions for Ella to speak, taking note of Melissa with her eyes.

Oswald raises his hand as he has a somewhat educated guess of what is ment. Sliding his book forward to sit up straighter.

Derek raises his hand. "can we learn to transfigure people too?"

Ella coughs softly, and begins to recite as best she can from her memory. "The law covers what can and can not be done with magic concerning creating and destroying matter, but there are some exceptions. Like you can't just make food appear just by waving your wand, but you can make food multiply as much as you want as long as you have it in front of you. I know there are…four? more exceptions but I can't think of them right now…"

Julian listens to Ella's word-for-word recitation of the text. Yeah. That's what it says, but what does it mean? He frowns, listening for a long moment, then laughs at Derek. "Of course we can. Didn't you see that cat?"

Melissa nods. "But… what happens when the animal turns back into an object? Isn't that like killing it?"

Derek looks at Melissa. "but they weren't really animals to begin with so it kinda balances itself out I think."

Melissa frowns a little. "I suppose… but you could just leave it the way it is, couldn't you? I mean, not in this case… you do need a desk after all…"

Ella seems to lose some sparkle in her eye when she realizes that she didn't do as the teacher had asked her to do, all she basically did was repeat what was already said. She looks down slightly and decides to hush up for now, not wanting to seem any dumber then what she just did.

Ella did much of the talking for McGonagall, and Julian's disappointment in not hearing what it means is seen to. The teacher nods curtly to the classroom. "The law itself is essentially the outline of what one cannot do, rather than what one can do. Magic is very broad, and so writing word for word what one can do with it would take more years than is reasonable. I will explain the other four exceptions to Gamp's Law momentarily, as I see some questions popping up. Yes, human transfiguration is very possible, however if I were to turn one of you into a bird- you would not retain your sentience. In other words, you would 'be' the bird. The form you saw me possess earlier is much different. Normally, we do not cover conscious transformation until a later year- I am an animagus, which means that I am capable of self-transfiguration without losing my self-awareness." That is how she heard Derek's confession.

Minerva does try to be as short-winded as possible, though in some places she simply is not able. "Transformation into another person is not possible unless one is born a metamorphamagus, or one creates a Polyjuice Potion." Just as she is ready to call on Melissa and puts her eyes on the girl, she seems to take it as a signal to ask her question.

"That is one of the exceptions of Gamp, which fortunately- I am about to continue covering. The exception you bring to the fore is 'true' life. Magic cannot create true life, however it can do its best to simulate it. In that vein, Derek is correct. The hog was a simulation of life created from the matter that had been my desk. The third exception, after food and life, are items of true value, such as money and precious metals. There are minor exceptions to this third exception, but if you wish to learn about those, I suggest you pursue that in your spare time."

Oswald thinks for a moment. "Is there a part of that rule of equal mass and size as well??" Vaguely remembering hearing that being discussed from some where as well.

Julian nods, listening to the exceptions. Even with those exceptions, there is still a lot of room for things. And 'things of value' is a relative term, beyond the common things like money and jewels. "That's a lot of room for change. Does it take more … effort to change things into improved stuff?" He wonders if that book he found on science comes into play at all.

Derek nods as he is writing all of this down in some paper, he dips his feather into the well and clean it off before going back to his writing metamorphamagus, or one creates a Polyjuice Potion. "umm I have to ask Prof snape's about that potion."

Ella nods slowly, taking in all of the information as best as she could and writing down every single detail that she can onto her parchment, trying her best to keep pace with the rest of the class.

"Only in some cases does the mass of a transfiguration come into play. Many times with inanimate objects into other inanimate objects." McGonagall is methodical in her answers, if anything. "Transfiguration is achieved through concentration, precise wand movements and the proper pronunciation of an incantation. For the more complex transfiguration spells, it certainly does take a great deal of added effort."

"The fourth exception to the law regards the creation of magical objects, such as wands, potions, and broomsticks. Mister Ollivander would be out of a job if we could simply make our own." A tiiiny, tiny attempt at a joke, but it is said with such scrutiny that it comes off as extremely serious. Perhaps a part of it is. "The fifth exception to the law is information. One cannot conjure a book and expect to open it and to find the answer written there. You cannot make anything that you do not already understand. And lastly, there is one other thing that I find worth noting when I go over the exceptions to the law…"

"There have been many arguments over whether or not there is a presence of a sixth exception. Some say that it is already explained in the exception that True Life cannot be created, as Life implies the same as a Soul, and a Soul implies Emotion. Yet, there are some that believe that this other exception to Gamp's Law of Transfiguration is so powerful that it should be considered its own. Can any of you tell me what this supposed sixth exception is?"

Oswald ponders for a moment. "Bringing back the dead?" Just guessing as to what the answer is. Chuckling quietly to himself about the joke the teacher made.
Derek shakes his head on this one, and somebody get McGonagall some water before she faints with all her long winded talking.

"Is it like wishing for more wishes?" Julian heard somebody say that, and thought it was funny. "You can't give yourself more power or something?" He has no clue, didn't catch that part, but guesses wildly. The other exceptions are noted, written down in an abnormally neat hand, with small notes beside each one. Multitasking. He can do it. Oh. Good answer Oswald. He looks over at his fellow Slytherin and nods. That might be it, too.

Melissa nods to Oswald. That seemed to be clearly the right answer in this case.

Ella decides that if she is going to get her answer out, she should not just wait to be called on, as it seems no one is doing that, only her. "Is it love?" she chirps out quietly, almost too quiet for anyone to hear, proof that even thought she looks confident, she still is afraid of being wrong again.

Even though Oswald's answer is innocent enough, and a rather good one at that- Minerva cannot help but feel the chill travel up her spine, a small register of rigidness coming up behind her eyes. Inferi are hard to forget.

As Ella pipes up that meager answer, Professor McGonagall nods solemnly. "Love. Some believe that Love should be categorized as the sixth exception. Five points to Slytherin for thinking outside of what has already been memorized." And for the next few seconds, the professor waits to see if a question crops up.

Oswald raises his hand to ask a question. Waiting his turn this time, which seems to be a rare thing.

Derek smiles at Ella, yay now they just need to get back the 15 he lost at the beginning of the class. Derek let's out a sigh.

No wonder Bean wasn't able to get that one. Love. That's a mystery to him in most of its forms. He copies it down, staring at the parchment, thinking. He doesn't have any questions now, at least none that the teacher would want to hear now. He purses his lips and looks back up, nodding at Ella for the points awarded.

Melissa nods, though she doesn't see how someone could even try to transfigure something into love… it's not even physical.

"Yes, Mister Silvertop?" McGonagall calls him out with his question. Oh look, he raised his hand.

Oswald gets a bit philosophical question. "So another words you can't make someone love if they don't. Even though use of a love draught can make a person feel it. But its not true…. So another words according to the sixth law its something that has to be felt within yourself?"

Derek keeps writing all this down so he's very quiet right now.

Oh, look. His classmates are getting all existential. And Bean is getting bored. He starts reading ahead in his book, half listening to the goings on around him. He'll remember most of it anyway.

Ella keeps writing down everything that the professor says, knowing that this class is going to pose a great challenge to her one day, seeing as it already is knocking her off her feet, both literally and mentally, already.

McGonagall nods just once. "Love can be simulated, but never truly created."

"Now then. I think it is time to start the real work." Minerva draws her wand up, and on each desk appears a box of large matches for each of the first years. "We are going to begin with matches into needles."

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