Jump to content
Willa Mercier

A Bit of 'Light' Reading

Recommended Posts

Willa Mercier

Willa sat at a table her nosed pressed into a copy of The Muggles who Stumbled upon Magical Plants and What Happened to Them a half finished Herbology assignment laid next to her. She’d been planning on signing the book out for a bit of bed time reading but the temptation had been to much. Just a little glance at the introduction she’d told herself setting her quill aside and then she’d continue. Of course, she’d immediately been absorbed in the book currently reading about Jane Washington who found herself covered in flowers following an incident with a Puffapod.

 

Willa had arranged to meet Steph in the library for a study session. Both girls were performing well in classes, but it was nice to work together. They often came up with interesting theories or discovered links to topics they hadn’t discovered yet. Their naturally inquisitive natures bounced off each other. Willa was glad to have a friend like Steph who she completely geek out with.

 

Willa was looking forward to a good catch up with her friend. Between lessons, homework and reading they’d had little more then light conversation over meals. Steph had challenged her to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 9 days and Willa had been determined to do it in eight. But to do it in eight without her study’s slipping had forced her to keep a strict schedule. She’d only read at weekends, once all her homework was completed. So even though it had been over a month since she’d acquired the book she’d still technically reached her target.

 

Footsteps making their way towards her table distracted Willa from the Ministry’s attempts to track Jane down. She looked up to see Steph approaching the table her features breaking out in a smile. “Hey Steph,” she said marking her place in the book and placing it to the side. “Woop’s I guess I got a little distracted.” She added looking guiltily at her Herbology homework. She wasn’t too worried she still had a few days to complete it. “I finished Lord of the Rings last night, it was amazing!”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Steph had been looking forward to a catch-up with Willa. With everything that had been going on lately, she had little time for a social life, and she certainly welcomed the opportunity to spend a little time with her friend. It wasn't as though school work was getting on top of her either. She was achieving well in all he subjects, especially Transfiguration. She was perhaps one of the few first year students that Knaggs had never complained about, and that in itself meant she was doing something right.

 

Now though was not a time for study, it was a time for a much-needed chat with Willa. Steph walked purposefully into the library; the place they had agreed to meet Clearly her friend heard her coming though, as she looked up as she approached "Hey there, Willa" Steph smiled, taking an empty seat at the table. . Willa apologised and tried to move her book out of the way, but Steph caught a glance at the title. "Let's hope those poor muggles didn't stumble across Devil's snare" she commented in a soft voice. As usual, Steph had read ahead, and she knew about a number of magical plants, including Devil's Snare. "Don't we put muggle repelling spells around areas where we grow our plants?" she pondered. She didn't think it was possible to guard against all occasions, but surely incidents of muggles discovering magical plants would be quite rare.

 

It didn't matter in the least that Willa was working on her homework. "I'd probably be doing the same thing" she admitted. She was always keen to make sure she stated on top of her homework, and that she put as much work into her assignments as possible. It was not uncommon for her to write twice, or even three times as much as would be necessary for an Outstanding grade. "How are you getting along?" she asked. She was sure someone like Willa would have no trouble finding what she needed, but Steph was more than happy to help out her friend if necessary.

 

Willa then told her that she had finished The Lord of the Rings, and offered a one-word appraisal. It had been a month since she had bought Willa that book, but Steph didn't comment on the eight day promise just yet. She had been snowed under with work, and she was sure Willa would have been the same. "I'm really glad you enjoyed it" she smiled "The Lord of the Rings is seen by muggle fantasy authors as the pinnacle of the genre, they use it as a benchmark when they create their own stories." She hoped that Willa would offer some more insights than merely 'Amazing' though.  "I don't think anyone has ever gone into so much detail when creating their own world." It wasn't just the book itself, and the appendices, but other writings too such as the other books she had mentioned. "What do you make of hobbits?" she wondered. She recalled that Willa had asked her what a Hobbit was. That book clearly answered her question. "How about elves? They clearly aren't house elves." Tolkien's elves were tall, majestic, beautiful and wise. Could you use all those attributes when describing a house elf? "Were there any characters you particularly liked?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

The book had appealed to Willa due to her interest in muggles. Since meeting Steph many of her question’s about how the muggle world worked. Steph was always patient with her assault of queries regarding everything from electricity to transport. She even offered information up to her when she thought Willa might find it interesting. “I hope not! So far, I’ve only read about one woman’s encounter with a Puffapod which is pretty tame by comparison. She kept the ministry busy though she travelled all over the world visiting different muggle doctors to try and find a cure.” She nodded as Steph asked about wards put in place to prevent muggles entering areas where magical plants were grown. “Yes, we do, in fact we have them around our home because of all Mum’s plants. Of course, the Ministry don’t know the location of every single plant. In this case the muggle woman had moved into a house which had once belonged to a witch who’d planted some Puffapod’s in the garden.”

 

Willa knew her, and Steph were alike in many ways and homework was one of them. Willa liked to start and if possible finish hers the same day it was assigned. That way she had plenty of time for her own independent reading. She didn’t mind spending a full evening in the common room or library working away. Most of the time she actually enjoyed her homework, even more so when it was returned with a pleasing grade. “Fine, it’s only Herbology I’ve got an 11 year start on most people. I could probably sit the OWL now.” Willa wasn’t bragging, with a mother who worked from home and studied plants for a living Herbology had a been a big part of her life growing up. She had read through her Herbology books before starting Hogwarts and had experience with almost all the plants they would be studying. She might have to practice a little more in some of her other lessons but Herbology just came naturally to her.

 

“How are you finding Herbology?” she asked Steph. Knowing Steph, she wouldn’t be struggling in the subject but still the plants would be new to her. “I think Herbology lessons are the most fun, but I think Transfiguration is my favourite even if Knaggs is...” she thought carefully on how to describe Knaggs. She didn’t want to say anything to mean about her teacher, you never knew who might be lurking behind a bookshelf. “Well he has an interesting method of teaching.” She finished diplomatically.

 

Willa planned to read The Lord of the Rings again over Christmas. She’d read it slower this time taking her time to dissect every little detail. “I read it in 8 days, though I had to spread them out so as not to fall behind on homework. It was pretty much 4 solid weekends of reading.” She could certainly understand why it would be used as a benchmark. It was one of the best books she had ever read. She had actually been a little annoyed she’d had to rush it, though it was only her competitive streak forcing her to do this. “It was a truly wonderful story. Tolkien’s descriptions of the world are so rich I felt like it was a real place and a real history. The maps were a nice touch they really help you to envisage the journey.”

 

She’d especially loved the little hobbit folk, the Shire sounded like a wonderful tranquil place. Willa imagined that hobbits would generally be Hufflepuff’s though surely Frodo belonged in Gryffindor. “I think the hobbits were my favourite’s I wish we could go to a hobbit party they seem like such fun.” Or were the elves her favourites? They were so wise and beautiful. They made Willa want to learn how to use a bow and arrow and grow her hair super long. “The elves were a little different to our elves. I don’t imagine they’d be to happy to live their lives in servitude.” She said with a chuckle.

 

Steph asked her if there were any characters in particular she liked. Willa pondered for a moment. She definitely couldn’t pick one favourite. “Obviously I liked Frodo and Gandalf, but Sam really resonated with me his loyalty was particularly touching. Gollum was also an interesting character he was so complex, and I’d totally have a crush on Legolas if he was real.” Honestly Willa had liked all of the character’s even the evil ones like Sauron. “The only ones I didn’t like were the Ring Wraiths.” She shuddered a little, “They were scary.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Steph listened to Willa talk about the woman and the puffapod. "Those are the ones that multiply exponentially when they are disturbed, aren't they?" Steph had read her Herbology book thoroughly and she had an excellent memory but it didn't hurt to get a ltitle confirmation now and then. She did agree with Willa's comment about not being able to keep track of all plants though. "You are right, that would be near impossible." She wouldn't describe anything as an actual impossibility unless it could be clearly shown that it couldn't be done under any circumstances. Since discovering magic, her perception of what was and wasn't possible had been blurred somewhat, and right now she wasn't sure she was in the best position to judge.

 

It was interesting that Willa apparently was so familiar with wizarding plants that she felt she was ready for the OWL. "Perhaps you could help bring me up to the same level" she requested "I'm familiar enough with most of the plants we will be working with this year, and I haven't had any problems in my lessons." Steph had read her Herbology book many times over, so she felt she was ahead in the subject already, but she was still starting out from a position of not knowing anything at all about magical plants. Willa was clearly ahead of her.

She shared Willa's love of Transfiguration too, despite Knaggs not seeming to even notice how well she as doing. "That plant pot of mine was way beyond acceptable" she snorted. "The Gryffindor boy has some guts, speaking out the way he did." Steph just didn't think it would serve any purpose, telling their professor that he was bullying his students. She doubted that he would listen, and she didn't care for the thought of detention. She sighed "I know I am succeeding though, I d didn't need Knaggs to tell me that." As long as she was getting results, she would be more than happy with her Transfiguration work. She did hope though that someone other than Knaggs would be taking their classes next year.

 

"So you did manage it in eight days" Steph smiled "does that include the appendices or did you just jump straight to Chapter One?" She wasn't trying to catch her friend out. It was just that people sometimes skipped the introductory pages of a book and headed for the main story. It was in the appendices of this book though, that a lot of the back story was fleshed out. She did agree with Willa's description of Tolkien's world. "Yes, I don't think anyone else has ever come close to his level of detail" she agreed "Tolkien not only invented his own fantasy world, but gave it a rich and varied history, and origin story. "You should read another book of his, The Silmarillion. That story describes how Middle Earth came into existence, and where Sauron and other characters originated."

 

"Hobbit parties would be a lot of fun" Steph agreed "but there would be a great deal of drinking and smoking involved. I don't think I'd care for those aspects." Tolkien was clearly an author of his time, she didn't think that the smoking of pipe weed would be considered appropriate in a fantasy novel nowadays. Thinking of hobbits though, Steph thought of a book that spoke of one of their race. "By now, I suspect you have worked out something important that is explained in the book called "The Hobbit." It was a fairly significant plot point after all, which The Lord of The Rings didn't mention in any great detail.

 

She did share Willa's opinion about the elves though. "Those elves are definitely not servants. They are strong willed, powerful, wise yet also nurturing and protective. They guard the old ways and live in harmony with nature."

 

Steph listened as Willa mentioned characters, clearly a number of members of the fellowship were among her favourites. "Frodo really could not have asked for a truer friend than Sam." She agreed also that Gollum was complex. "Gollum is such a tragic character, entirely consumed by his need for the One Ring. If it hadn't been for him though, all would have been lost. Frodo did fail his quest in the end, after all." That fact could be easily overlooked. Frodo took the ring in the end. It was only through Gollum's addiction for the ring that it was ultimately destroyed.

 

"Yes, the Nazgul, the ring wraiths were scary" she agreed "the nine men who were gifted with the rings of their race. Those rings, through the one ring corrupted them, leading them into darkness until they became the hand of Sauron." Steph thought a moment. "Men really are not treated well in that story, they are seen as greedy and weak willed. Take Isildur, for example."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

“Almost,” Willa said gently correcting her friend. It wasn’t often that Steph made a mistake but with hundreds of plants to learn it was an easy one to make. “Those are the ones where the seeds bloom as soon as they make contact with something. And it can be literally anything, which is why poor Jane ended up with flowers growing out of her head.” She giggled a little; though it was probably quite distressing for Jane, the outcome hadn’t been too disastrous.

 

Willa was more than happy to share her knowledge with Steph.  Herbology wasn’t, in her opinion, the most challenging of subjects, but the sheer volume of knowledge required could present its own challenges. “If you like you could come to my house over the holidays and I can show you some of the plants we’ll study in later years. We even have some of the more dangerous ones, though mum won’t let me show you those unless she’s around, just in case.” Willa was sure she’d be fine dealing with any of the plants, but no sensible parent would let their 11 year old show her school friend their Venomous Tentacular without proper supervision.

 

“Your plant pot was perfect, I would have given it an outstanding” Willa agreed. What was most frustrating was Knaggs hadn’t even explained why he’d marked Steph down. “And he marked me down for my candlestick holder being made out of wood, although I agree with him on my material choice I was super proud of myself for turning that book into a candle, they look nothing alike. That was certainly fulfilling the brief even if he had to deduct a few points for the wood.” She gave a little huff of frustration.

 

Willa had been very proud of Alvis for sticking up for Cosette. She had wanted to but didn’t dare cross Knaggs, although Willa wasn’t sure she could hold her tongue forever. She liked to analyse a situation and get a good understanding of all sides before she made a judgement. The way Knaggs had treated her roommate had made it clear that he was nothing more than a bully. Though naturally a quieter girl Willa wasn’t afraid to confront what she saw as injustice. “Yes, he was very brave. Poor Cosette, Knaggs was really mean to her. I’ve been trying to help her out a little outside of class; she’s never going to learn with him constantly berating her.”

 

Willa had read the book cover to cover, including the appendices and had also spent a great deal of time studying the maps, all of which was encompassed in her 8 days. “Yes, I read the appendices, though after I’d finished the book not before. It was really interesting to see how Tolkien imagined his world so fully that he even had a complete history for it.” She nodded her agreement with Steph. She’d never read anything so detailed. Tolkien’s writing had given her a lot to think about when it came to her own. “Yes, I’d definitely like to read more of his work. I’ll pick it up when we go on that trip to the muggle bookstore that you owe me,” she said with a grin.

 

Willa also didn’t care much for the smoking or drinking aspects of the hobbit world, at least not now, she might feel differently about that when she was older. Steph alluded to something about the book, the Hobbit, that Willa may have picked up on. “I’m not sure,” Willa replied. She may have picked up on certain points but having no knowledge of what the Hobbit contained she wasn’t sure what she should be looking out for. “I gather from the title that it might tell us how Bilbo came about the ring?”

 

Steph gave her own complimentary review of the elves. “They sound wonderful; I think I’d like to be an elf, if I was to be one of the races.” She was pleased that Steph seemed to enjoy the same characters as her, although as she’d stated really, she’d enjoyed all of them.  Steph made an interesting point about Gollum being the one to actually fulfil the quest. “I suppose that make’s Gollum the true hero of this tale,” she said with a chuckle.

 

Willa had also noticed that the majority of men in the book had been painted in a rather negative light, there were of course exceptions such as Aragon and Elowyn. “I wonder why he did that,” Willa thought aloud. “Is it like that in most muggle books? I suppose one might say belonging to that race makes its weaknesses so much easier to see.” She was sure Steph would have her own ideas of why Tolkien had written his human characters in such a way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

"Of course" Steph smiled when Willa corrected her. Whilst she was exceptionally bright, Steph was not infallible and she did get things wrong occasionally. Wizarding plants were an entirely new subject for her, so it stood to reason that she would make the odd mistake, and she was more than happy for these to be pointed out. "Thank you" she added.

 

Willa invited her other during the holidays and Steph felt that was a lovely gesture. "That would be really useful, thanks again" she approved "maybe I can return the favour by inviting you to spend time in a muggle household over the Summer." She was sure her parents would agree to her having a friend over, and she was confident that Willa would have sense enough not to demonstrate magic of any kind around the muggles in the area, or the shop.

 

She sighed "I guess that Knaggs marking us down is something we will have to put up with, for now." she suggested "if it looks like it might affect our actual grades though, we'll have to take steps." It was all very well being submissive in class, Steph would not allow someone like Knaggs to keep her down for long. If necessary, she would go over his head.

 

Willa explained that she had been supporting Cosette outside of class, and she smiled some more. "That was really considerate of you" she approved "poor Cosette is nervous enough as it is, she doesn't need a man like Knaggs to make her feel even worse." She offered a slight suggestion. "Maybe we can work with her together" she offered. Steph was happy to aid in any way she could, but she wasn't sure if Cosette would welcome another face. Nervous people tended to not want to be crowded. "Do you think she'd welcome both of us?" she wondered.

 

Her friend pointed out that she had indeed read the appendices and had been impressed with the level of detail that Tolkien had included in his story, then reminded her about the trip to the muggle bookstore. "Something else we can do over the holidays" she advised "maybe we could use that floo powder stuff to travel from your place to The Leaky Cauldron." That would be the easiest mode of travel, she felt. It would save taking the train although they hadn't yet discussed how Steph would get to Willa's home. "If we left via the main entrance onto Charing Cross Road" she pondered "we could head through muggle London to the nearest bookshop. There is a map tool on my phone that will show us the way." Steph had shown Willa her phone before, but it was blocked by a muggle dampening field at the time. Once they were in the heart of London though, the device would work and Steph could show her some of its functions. Muggles really had invented some quite ingenious technology.

 

Willa offered a suggestion about The Hobbit that was fairly close to the mark, not that Steph was at all surprised. She had every confidence in her friend, and it was a fairly easy conclusion to reach for one who had read The Lord of the Rings. She didn't want to give too much away though. "That may come up" she hinted "as for anything else about The Hobbit, I guess you'll have to read it." Steph was not about to reveal the entire storyline in advance. Willa joked that Gollum was the true hero. "Perhaps, not that he would see it that way" she replied "he just wanted to get his hands on his precious."

 

When Willa wondered it it was common for humans to be portrayed in a bad light in muggle fantasy, Steph shook her head. "Not particularly, no. Many stories show humans as the heroes. Tolkien was a professor of English at Oxford University, born of English parents who were living in South Africa at the time. Both his parents died when he was young, and he later served in the conflict known as the First World War. His trust in humanity may have been diminished somewhat." That was a short account of Tolkien's early life,but Steph wondered if it might explain why he had cast humans so poorly in his story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

Willa was excited to have Steph visit her home. She could show her all her most prized books, her tree house and of course her mother’s ‘office’. She imagined seeing a wizarding household would be an interesting trip for Steph, but Willa was far more interested in seeing Steph’s home. “I would love to come to your house. Do you think your Dad would let me watch him do some glass blowing if I promised to stay quiet? Could we watch one of those documentaries you told me about, I know you don’t really like them, but it might still be fun. Then we could do some baking and use those whizzy mixy things, if you have those.” There were tons of other things she wanted to do, she’d have to research and make a list of all the muggle activities she’d like to try.

 

Knaggs was certainly a thorn in what was otherwise an almost perfect school experience. Willa didn’t necessarily like all her teachers, Professor Fjord seemed like a bit of a loose cannon and Professor Hambledon certainly wasn’t the most skilled wizard, but none of them, other then Knaggs were unpleasant. “I hope it won’t come to that, I’m sure McGonagall wouldn’t allow a teacher to purposefully mark students down, but if it does we should go to Professor Ripley.” Although their grades wouldn’t count towards their overall qualifications Willa wasn’t prepared to achieve anything less than what she deserved.

 

Although Steph and Willa had taken to magic easily Cosette hadn’t been so lucky. She seemed to believe she wasn’t capable of performing magic, which of course wasn’t the case. Half the struggle was just getting Cosette to believe in herself. It was kind of Steph to offer to help but Willa thought that two girls who were excelling in their classes might be more of a hindrance than a help. “Although another perspective might help I think the two of us could be a little overwhelming, maybe even intimidating.” Still, she’d let Cosette make up her own mind. Willa felt that between her and Steph almost anything was possible, and it would certainly benefit Cosette to have more time with her peers instead of her sketch book. “I’ll see what she thinks though. If she’s not keen on working with the both of us maybe you could help her on your own. I think just knowing there are two people here rooting for her would be a big help in itself.”

 

“Yes, I can’t wait to go to a muggle shop, I’m going to ask my parents to give me money for Christmas, so I can buy loads of books!” Steph went on to tell Willa they could locate a bookstore using her phone. “How do you fit a map inside a phone?” She asked. Maps were generally large, and Steph’s phone wasn’t. Willa supposed you could maybe fold one up really small and put it inside but that seemed like a strange thing to do. Surely there were more useful things to carry around then a map. “Is it a really tiny map? Does the phone work like a magnifying glass?” As Steph planned their trip Willa realised they hadn’t taken into consideration how Steph would get to her home in the first place. It wasn’t like Steph’s parents could just drive her there, the wards around her home would make them feel an urgent need to leave. Maybe they could meet outside of the wards, but she didn’t even know where Steph lived exactly. “Um, I just realised, I don’t actually know where you live. We’ll have to figure out a way for you to get to my house. We’re in Hastings, do you live anywhere near that?”

 

Steph provided no confirmation on Willa’s assumption, something Willa was grateful for, if a little infuriated. Although she wanted Steph to describe the book to her it would be better to discover it for herself. “I hope I’m right! I think I am, but thanks for not confirming either way.” Her comments as to whether Gollum would see himself as a hero had Willa pondering the conflict that was Gollum’s character. “I suppose that’s one of the things that makes him so interesting. I think there is a part of him that would think he was a hero. The same part of him which was so devoted to Frodo at one point. If Gollum had embraced that personality instead of letting his darkness win, we might have had a similar ending, only we would be seriously considering him the hero of the tale.”

 

Steph provided some insight into Tolkien’s life and Willa could see why maybe Tolkien would be disillusioned with humanity. “Maybe, though I suppose the Hobbits are also quite human in a way. Maybe Tolkien projected his disappointment with the human race onto his humans and gave their best qualities to his Hobbits.” Willa supposed she could probably find a book in the muggle book store which would analyse all these themes, the book seemed deep enough and Steph had told her it was incredibly popular. She’d like to read that first before starting her second reading of the book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Willa was clearly excited to see her home, and Steph wasn't at all surprised. Her friend seemed baffled by gadgets such as her phone, and televisions which to her were mundane and ordinary. The inner workings of a muggle home must be a great mystery to her. Steph was also curious to see Willa's home. Having spent time at Hogwarts, magic did not seem quite so miraculous to her as it had at first, but she was still interested to see how magical families like Willa's used magic in their everyday lives.

 

She nodded when Willa asked if her father would let them watch him work. "I think so, but we should stay out of his way" she advised "it is hot work, and generates a lot of steam. I wasn't even allowed in the workshop when I was younger." This rule had been strictly enforced as well, her father had kept the door to his workshop locked at all times, she she couldn't even sneak inside. "Of course we can watch a documentary" she nodded "I'll ask mother to record a couple of them for us." The trouble with relying on the television schedule was that you could not be entirely certain when a particular programme would be shown, and certainly not more than a week in advance. Luckily, they could record TV shows onto an internal hard drive so they could watch them later. "Do you have any particular subjects in mind?" There were so many documentaries, on so many topics. Steph wanted to show her friend one that she would be interested in watching.

 

She nodded when Willa said she was prepared to go to Professor Ripley if necessary. "Hopefully it won't come to that. I've managed to work around Knaggs so far, but I won't let him jeopardise my grades." Steph was here to fulfil her potential, and she would not let a professor like Knaggs get in the way of that.

 

Willa explained that Cosette may not appreciate another high achiever being around her, and she could see her friend's point. She fully supported Willa's suggestion that Cosette should decide for herself. "Of course. I wouldn't want to intimidate her" Steph agreed "you can let her know that she has my support though." Steph was confident that Willa would be able to judge the best approach to take with Cosette.

 

She was not surprised to hear that Willa planned to buy lots of books over Christmas, but the concept of a map within a phone confused her. "No, it isn't written on parchment. Muggles have learned how to record information on their devices, like maps for instance. This map is shown on the phone screen, like a picture is shown on a television." Not the whole map, just a section of it. "The screen shows a small part of the map, my moving your finger over the screen you can tell the phone to move to show other areas." She felt it would be easier to demonstrate than to explain, but she couldn't use her phone whilst they were at Hogwarts. "I'll show you sometime when we are away from the school" she advised. Perhaps on the train home for the holidays, or during her visit to Willa's home.

 

Steph smiled a little when Willa pointed out that she didn't know where she lived. "No, we are some way from Hastings" she shook her head "The family business is Eckland Glass, it is in the heart of York, in North Yorkshire. We live above the shop, and father's workshop is at the back." The shop and workshop took up most of the ground floor, and their home was the top two storeys. "You'll usually see mother in the shop, serving customers. She'll let me know you are waiting."

 

Willa offered some more insights into Gollum. "I'm not sure if the idea of being a hero would even occur to him" Steph pointed out "Gollum was completely consumed by the ring, whilst he still retained part of his original self in the form of Smeagol, Gollum had only one desire, and that was to keep the ring for himself." Could Smeagol have been a hero? He had murdered his own brother from a desire to take the ring, even before Gollum had emerged. That did not come across as particularly heroic.

 

Steph nodded when Willa described hobbits. "They do come across as a decent folk" she agreed "they remind me in a way of rural Englishmen. They worked the land, and enjoyed simple pleasures." They had also built their homes within holes in the ground, but perhaps that was also a part of the Hobbits' love of nature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

Willa knew she would have to be very careful if she was allowed in Steph’s fathers workshop. She didn’t know much about glass blowing but had established it would be a dangerous task if not taken seriously, still it would be fascinating to watch how muggles created art from glass. “Maybe we could just watch for a little bit and then watch a documentary on it. I’m sure you or your dad could fill in the gaps for me.” She realised Steph’s parents might not appreciate a young witch quizzing them on all the aspects of their muggle lives, “That’s if he doesn’t mind of course.” Steph asked what other documentaries she’d like to watch, Steph had been able to clear up a lot of Willa’s musings around muggles. “I’d like to learn more about muggle healing and their government but I’m happy to watch whatever really.” She laughed and gave her friend a little nudge, “you know me, I’m fascinated in all things muggle.”

 

“I’m just going to wait and see what my final mark is.” She really didn’t want to complain about a teacher but if Knaggs was going to treat them unfairly he wasn’t leaving them much choice. Although she’d probably have the challenge Knaggs first just to make sure he didn’t have any sound reasonings behind his score.

 

Muggles sure had some crazy, but ingenious inventions. The idea of a map inside a phone was a strange concept and how they managed to do it was beyond Willa. She kind of understood what Steph was explaining but it would probably make more sense when she could actually see it. “You’ll have to show me on the train.” She said with a shrug.

 

York was indeed some way from Hastings, Willa knew she had an aunt somewhere in the region where Steph could potentially floo from, but she wasn’t sure where exactly so that could still entail a lot of travelling for Steph’s family. “I’ll send my parents an owl, maybe the can arrange a portkey or something.”

 

Willa had to agree Gollum was no hero, even if one argued he was slightly redeemed by his actions during the times that Smeagol was present it had not been Smeagol who had destroyed the ring. That had been Gollum driven by greed and desire, there was nothing noble in that. “I suppose not, it might have been nice to see Smeagol defeat Gollum but by not giving him that redemption Tolkien shows us how destructive the ring really was to anyone who came into contact with it.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Willa suggested they watch her father for a time, then look at a documentary on glass blowing. She seemed to be under the impression that muggles made documentaries on any subject, but that wasn't really the case. Television companies produced documentaries that were likely to pull in a reasonable audience, and a discussion on glass blowing was not likely to be among them. "I don't think that is a subject they generally cover" Steph pointed out, not wanting to give her friend the impression that documentaries could explain everything. She then thought of something else they might try. "Muggles sometimes make video stories of their own and post them on what we call the Internet. We could look for one of those." Steph felt they would be far more likely to find an on line clip on glass blowing, rather than a documentary. "I'll have to show you the Internet sometime" she pointed out "it is one of the greatest marvels that muggles have ever invented."

 

Willa offered a couple more suggestions, along with a nudge which Steph did not mind at all. "There may be some documentary or other demonstrating the latest advances in muggle medicine" she nodded "but if you really want to know what muggles understand, you might want to peruse some of their medical journals. That will tell you much more than a documentary." Since coming to Hogwarts though, Steph had looked into a couple of books on healing magic, and she had quickly discovered really did not know as much as they thought they did. "You might be disappointed, however" she warned "I'd say magical healing as far more advanced."

 

As for the government, that was easy. "Muggles have a great deal of programming devoted to politics" Steph pointed out "even though very few muggles seem to understand it. There is one channel that shows live the inner chambers of the muggle Parliament." If Willa wanted to study the government, there were a number of options available.

 

Her friend that she should show her the mapping tool on her phone once they were on the train. "Of course" she agreed "and I'll show you how the Internet works as well. You might be impressed." The Internet was such a massively useful tool and information source, Steph was sure her friend would be fascinated by it.

 

Willa spoke of how destructive the ring was, and Steph nodded. "Just look at what it did to Boromir" she nodded "and even Galadriel was tempted by it. Somehow though, Faramir managed to avoid its lure though, and the same with Sam. Either the ring had no interest in Sam, or he was immune to its pull." It seemed that there were some people in Middle Earth who could resist the evil of the ring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

Willa was disappointed that there wasn’t likely to be documentary on glass blowing but soon perked up when Steph mentioned the internet. “Yes, I’ve heard about the internet before, it’s like a giant resource of information right? Like if you want to know something you just ask the internet and it tells you.” Willa wasn’t exactly sure how you asked the internet something or even what it was. She imagined it like a big book that you spoke to and spoke back to you, but she was probably entirely wrong. Muggle technology really was fascinating.

 

Willa wasn’t sure if she would read muggle medical journals. She imagined they might be full of muggle terms which she wouldn’t be familiar with and would take a long time to decipher, plus Steph seemed to think it might not be the most interesting of subjects. “It’s hard to know what is and isn’t worth perusing, there are so many differences. Unless I took some time to actually live as a muggle I don’t think I’ll ever really understand that world.” Although living like a muggle would certainly be interesting Willa didn’t really fancy giving up magic, not when there was already so much to learn in that field.

 

“I suppose the basics would be the same,” she said referring to muggle politics “A bunch of people trying to hold onto their power and not always acting with the best interest of the people they govern.” It would certainly be interesting to see how the parliament actually worked though, something that the Ministry did not broadcast.

 

It was definitely interesting to think why some people were immune to the ring, something to take into consideration during her reread. “Do we know for definite that they were immune to the rings power or were they just better able to resist it than others? As neither of them really desired power maybe the ring was simply less attractive to them?” She was sure Steph would be able to spread more light on the subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Willa offered an explanation as to what she thought the Internet was; some vast information source to which you could ask questions and from which you may receive answers. Whilst even some muggles viewed the Internet that way, that wasn't the big picture and Steph felt she should offer a more accurate description. "In a way, yes but also no" she pointed out "When it comes down to it, the Internet is nothing more than a lot of computers connected together. Computers are devices that muggles use to perform calculations and store information. They work much faster than people; a computer can perform millions of calculations every second." That offered some description of computers, now how to describe the Internet? "Using the Internet you can pass information between connected computers. Muggles use the Internet to play games, to communicate with one another or to search through what is called the World Wide Web. This is a vast repository of information that is stored on Internet-connected devices. Pretty much the entirety of muggle understanding can be researched via the Internet." It was only muggle knowledge of course, the ministry imposed still penalties for anyone posting anything online that the muggles were not meant to access.

 

Her friend seemed to have been put off by her apparent rejection of muggle medicine, and she wondered if she might have given the wrong impression. "What you should consider is that muggles don't know as much about healing as witches and wizards. We have access to plants and techniques that the muggles know nothing about. A lot of muggle medicine either covering the infected area to let the body heal itself, taking pills and injections, or physically repairing the damage. That can mean cutting into the body to reach the part that needs to be fixed." She did offer one suggestion though. "When we are able, perhaps when you visit me at home, we could use the Internet to research a few topics. You can then see if they are worth pursuing further." That might be best; let Willa see for herself what she might want to learn more about.

 

She nodded when Willa gave her thoughts on muggle politics. "Pretty much, yes. It is all about towing the party line and presenting the right image. Very few politicians are really concerned about what is best for the people. This, in turn has causes a lot of people to become disillusioned with politics."

 

Willa asked if those people were immune to the ring's power somehow, or merely better able to resist it. Steph thought for a moment. "Probably more likely they weren't easily corrupted. Let's consider both examples. Faramir was despised and neglected by his father, Denethor who clearly yearned for the ring to return to Gondor. Sam was not ambitious; he was hard working, decent, and his only desire was to marry Rosie Cotton. The ring would not so easily tempt either of them as it might some others." She considered another of the characters in the book. "Then we have Gandalf" she offered "a good and wise man, also a wizard. He wielded great power, He knew that if the ring corrupted him, he could cause great harm. He too resisted, and in a way I suspect he was also afraid of what would happen if he ever gave in to temptation." Of all the fellowship, Gandalf was most vocal in his rejection of the ring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

It seemed her initially view of what the internet was, was way off base. She’d seen pictures of muggle computers before and though they weren’t large having lots of them connected together would surely take up quite a bit of space. “So, do most muggles have an internet at home, or do you have to go to a special internet shop to use it? Are all internet’s the same?” She recalled that Steph had mentioned she had the internet on her phone, but if the internet was computers connected together how could that be possible. “When you use the internet on your phone to you have to connect lots of other phones to it?”

 

Steph came up with a solution to Willa’s indecisiveness, that was typical Steph! If Willa was struggling with an issue she could rely on Steph for some sound advice. “That’s a good idea, maybe you have some suggestions on what I might find most interesting?” Willa figured Steph knew her well enough by now to know the sorts of things Willa was interested in.

 

Willa nodded as Steph provided her own opinions on political systems. “I imagine you’d probably find the same patterns all over the muggle and wizarding world.” She supposed power was an attractive ideal to some people, but it held no allure to Willa. “It isn’t something that appeals to me, it seems like a lot of work for very little benefit. Even if you did do a good job you’d never keep everyone happy. I’d be much happier spending the rest of my life researching.”

 

Steph was able to provide interesting insight which made Willa all the more eager to begin her critical rereading. “I wonder how the story would have panned out if it had been Sam rather than Frodo who carried the ring.” Willa supposed in a way Sam had both literally and metaphorically when he had carried Frodo up Mount Doom. “He was maybe the only character who was truly tested by the ring and able to willingly give it up.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Willa asked a question about how Steph's phone connected to the Internet, and it seemed to Steph that Willa had taken that notion of 'connected' quite literally. She shook her head. "No. My phone sends and receives internet traffic in a similar way to how radio works. My phone sends and receives radio wave signals, it communicates with a device called a mobile phone mast, which passes the communication on to other masts. Not all Internet devices are physically wired into each other. Muggles can access the Internet virtually anywhere includling computers, handheld devices, on their phones, even in some cases the watches they wear on their wrists." Having said all that, she felt the easiest way to show how easy it was to access the Internet was to offer a demonstration at the earliest opportunity.

 

Her friend asked for some advice on matters she might like to research. Steph thought a moment. "Whilst muggle medical knowledge is way below our own, there are other areas where I am not sure the difference is quite so profound, Astronomy for instance. This is a question we might want to ask Professor Forchheimer but muggles have been studying the heavens for some time. They don't use magic of course, their telescopes use lenses to bend and direct light, but they do also have observatories; giant telescopes with significant magnification factors."

 

That was something Steph would like to look into, but she wasn't sure how interested Willa might be. Considering the kinds of questions Willa had asked her, she didn't feel she had to look very far for ideas. "What really defines muggles in recent times is their technology" she explained "inventions such as cars, planes, televisions, phones, computers and of course the Internet. This technology has brought muggles together when they used to be fractured into small communities that rarely spoke to one another. In medieval times, most muggles were farmers, labourers and traders and literacy was reserved for the clergy. They have made a number of advances since then, but I would strongly recommend looking closely at muggle technology." Steph also knew that Willa was interested in muggle fantasy novels, but the best way to look into that was to read the novels themselves, so she didn't immediately recommend it as a subject she might want to research over the Internet.

 

Willa was not impressed with politics and Steph had to admit that she felt much the same way. "I wouldn't want to run for political office either" she admitted "but I do like to keep an eye on what the politicians are doing. I feel it is important to stay informed, especially when the time comes to vote." Even though she was part of wizarding society now, Unless the ministry prohibited her, Steph was sure that when she was old enough, she would be able to vote in muggle elections. She would also need to look more closely at the ministry. Did witches and wizards also vote for their representatives?

 

When Willa asked what would have happened if Sam carried the ring, Steph thought for a moment. "Whilst Sam did refuse the ring, he didn't carry it very far. Frodo bore the ring all the way from the shire to Mount Doom, and it only claimed him at the very end. I'm not sure, maybe his strength of character would have carried him over the line." When Willa suggested that Sam was the only character who was tested and gave up the ring though, Steph wasn't convinced. "How about Galadriel?" she countered "Frodo offered her the ring, and she was tempted by it. When she refused, she herself admitted that the ring had tested her."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

It seemed that Willa had misunderstood Steph’s explanation taking the words to literally. Willa imagined it must be as difficult for Steph to explain muggle technology as it was for her to understand it. There was so much that would be normal to Steph that she had never encountered before. She was envious of those students who had grown up with muggle born parents, they would have the best of both worlds. “Ahh, ok that makes much more sense.” Willa said with understanding, “I know how the radio works, wizards use the radio too.”

 

Steph suggested that she might find the differences between muggle and wizarding interesting, but Willa shook her head. “I didn’t find Astronomy interesting at all, I wish I didn’t have to take it at all. I certainly can’t see the importance of the subject when compared with the other mandatory subjects we have to take.” She wasn’t surprised that Steph hadn’t suggested they took to Fjord, Willa didn’t imagine they’d get a straight answer out of the woman. She did agree however that muggle technology would be interesting, the whole concept of technology was fascinating, and Willa couldn’t wait to be outside of Hogwarts where Steph had promised to show her how her phone worked.

 

“Yes,” Willa agreed, “Its important to stay informed on political goings on.” Willa wondered if muggles encountered the same issues that Willa did in that regard. “We get most of our political knowledge from the Daily Prophet, there are other newspapers and magazines which discuss it, but people tend to trust the Prophet the most. That means they have a great deal of power in shaping how we view certain legislations, my Dad’s always moaning about it.”

 

Steph offered her own opinions on her thoughts on the subject bringing up a point Willa had overlooked. “I suppose Galadriel was tested, though she admitted she could not posses the ring so its not exactly the same. Are there muggle books which discuss these sorts of things or are they available on the internet, I think I would like to read those.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Clearly explaining that mobile phone signals worked in a similar way to radio had worked. Willa explained that wizards used radios as well. "I imagine your radios would work a little differently, since muggle radios are powered by electricity" she commented. She suspected that magic would play a significant role in their operation. "Do you listen to the same radio stations?" As soon as she said that, Steph realised that Willa probably wouldn't have the first clue which radio stations muggles tuned in to.

 

Willa wasn't keen on Astronomy. Steph was a little disappointed to hear that. "I wonder if that might be in part because the professor can't move past our own solar system" she pondered. Why was it that now in their second year of study, they hadn't explored beyond their own family of planets? "When you look out a little further, you see a bigger picture. You see vast nebula; clouds of gas and dust where stars are born. You also see the death of stars in huge supernova explosions. There are black holes, gamma ray bursts and all sorts of different phenomena." There were other uses of Astronomy as well. "Because light travels through space, if you look out far enough you can observe the distant past. Muggles have also discovered what they call Cosmic Microwave Background radiation and the image from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe or WMAP. These are remnants that are leftover from The Big Bang; the origin of the universe itself." Steph had read books on Astronomy and Cosmology in her local library.

 

Her friend's insights into the power of the press was true as well. "The muggles have a saying: He who controls the information controls the world." She thought she had heard of some other wizarding publication somewhere though. "I've heard of one called The Quibbler. Is that worth reading?" She wondered as well if wizarding radio also reported the news, "Do you get any news on your radio?" She didn't have to look far to see the power of mass media. "The muggle governments in some countries are so corrupt, they restrict access the the Internet, and control what is reported in the news. The people see nothing but government propaganda." As soon as she said this, she thought of something else. "There is a book called Nineteen Eighty Four, by a man named George Orwell. It is set in a dystopian future. Yes, I know that year is long past but the book was written in 1949. It is a fictional story in which the people are under constant surveillance by a government which controls everything. The news is whatever the government says it is." She wasn't sure if Willa would be as interested in that book as she was in The Lord of the Rings, but since they were discussing governments and media, it seemed appropriate.

 

Willa offered her thoughts on Galadriel, and steph responded. "She admitted she could not possess the ring after she was tested, and refused it. It wasn't that she was not physically able to take it, she even saw a premonition of what would have happened if she had claimed it." When Willa asked if there were any books or if there was anything on the Internet which discussed these ideas, she nodded. "There are a number of fan theories on the Internet. We can look into these at some point."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

Willa frowned a little as Steph wondered how wizarding radio’s worked. “I must confess, the thought had never crossed my mind before.” The radio was such a common place thing in her home it barely crossed her mind, not when there were so many other pressing questions. “I suppose they must be charmed in some way, but the specific charm used I’m unsure of.” She made a mental note to ask her parents when she saw them. “We tend to listen to WWN, the Wizarding Wireless Network, though mum occasionally listens to something Gardeners Question Time on something called Radio Four. She’s says sometimes the muggles have idea’s which can be applied to magical plants as well.”

 

Willa did wonder whether her dislike of the subject was linked to her dislike of the professors teaching methods. “I may feel differently when we study under Forcheimer.” Willa didn’t feel even Forcheimer could spark a real interest in the subject for her. She felt much happier in the greenhouses or practicing wandcraft then she did in the astronomy tower. Maybe because these things had had a far greater presence in her life than the stars. It seemed Steph however had a keen interest in the subject and even in those few sentences seemed to teach Willa more then she’d learnt all year. “I suppose it might get more interesting as it gets more advance.” She replied with no real conviction.

 

“That seems like a very true saying.” It seemed to echo the thoughts of her father who wasn’t keen on the current editor of the Prophet. She pulled a folded piece of parchment from her bag, a letter to her parents, and quickly wrote Steph’s saying at the bottom of it, finishing it with this is a muggle saying that I thought Daddy might like.

 

Steph asked about the Quibbler and Willa thought it wasn’t the easiest question to answer. “The Quibbler’s known for publishing conspiracy theories and articles about animals most wizards believe to myth and other oddities, most people see it as a bit of a joke.” There was a history to the Quibbler though that Willa felt she had to explain before Steph could make a true decision on the magazine. “During the war the Quibbler was one of the only reliable publishers, both before and after the takeover of the ministry. Some of the creatures it mentioned were also later discovered to be real.” The history of the Quibbler gave it a somewhat legendary status and in times of strife was the first place some people looked to for truth. “Right now, you’re probably better off with the Prophet, but if things start seeming a bit strange it may be worth taking a look at what the Quibbler has to say.”

 

“We get some news on the radio as well.” She confirmed, “but most people take the Prophet as gospel. My parents use different news sources and try to look at things from as many angles as possible.” It was good that they had lots of different voices, so they could try to pick out the truth from the biases. Willa couldn’t imagine a world where there was only one voice. “That sounds awful, but I’d definitely be interested in reading a book where that discusses that idea.” She would read any books that Steph suggested, she’d been spot on with her recommendation of The Lord of the Rings. Even if it didn’t seem exactly like fantasy the concept still seemed interesting.

 

Willa wasn’t sure that Galadriel could have taken the ring without being claimed by it, but she supposed that fiction allowed for different interpretations. “I suppose when I read it again I might have a different view on that interaction. Though I once heard a saying, no one ever reads the same book, so we might always have different opinions on how the characters would act had the situations been different.” Only Tolkien would know for sure what would have happened if Sam had carried the ring, or whether Galadriel could have carried it for a time without being consumed by its power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Steph listened to Willa talk about wizarding radio. She figured that it would be controlled by magic. Since electricity was such an alien concept to pureblood families, it was clear that they had never encountered it before. She wondered how this Wizarding Wireless Network was broadcast, it would have to be something other than regular radio waves or muggle radios might pick it up. Maybe the signal was masked somehow in a way that only wizarding radios could decipher. It was curious that Willa's mother listened to muggle radio stations as well. Steph had tuned in to Gardener's Question Time occasionally too. "I guess plant life is plant life, whether or not it is magical. All plants require sun light, water and nutrients to some degree."

 

Willa was clearly unconvinced by Astronomy, despite what Steph was telling her. "Ultimately, it is up to you of course" she conceded "all I would say is don't throw in the towel yet. There is far more to Astronomy than what we have been shown so far." Then again, would Willa end up feeling the same way about Astronomy as she did about Divination? "I've read a number of books on Astronomy from my local library, and I've seen documentaries that describe space phenomena. That's why I am a little disappointed that Astronomy classes seem to be moving so slowly."

 

Willa then scribbled a note on a piece of parchment before she spoke about The Quibbler. "So essentially it is the tabloid press; more concerned with sensation than printing the truth." If that was the case then she wouldn't be in a hurry to take out a subscription. "Even self-respecting muggles don't care for tabloid newspapers" she pointed out. What Willa said about The Quibbler during the war was worth considering though. "When regular news sources are no longer reliable, it is necessary to find alternatives. The Prophet has strong links to the ministry doesn't it?" All news sources were biased. If the ministry was trying to put out misinformation, then of course a paper like The Prophet would report it. "Do you think I could subscribe to The Prophet over the holidays, Maybe they won't deliver to muggle homes." Would that be a violation of the Statute of Secrecy?

 

She was pleased to hear that Willa's family tended to consider the news from multiple angles and didn't just rely on a single source. "I try to look at multiple sources as well. I read newspapers, and catch bulletins on the television and radio. What is important is that you consider the source and learn to read between the lines." She had to agree with the scenario that was described in Orwell's book as well. "I wouldn't care to live in that world either, but it is still an interesting story."

 

She listened to Willa's latest thoughts on The Lord of the Rings. "It is always worth a second read" she smiled "but it doesn't really matter if we see things a little differently. That is what makes these discussions interesting."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willa Mercier

“We have lots of muggle plants in our garden as well as wizarding ones, some for potion making like daisies and St John’s Wort, but mostly for ornamental purposes. Mum gets tips for those, but they also might suggest pruning a plant in a certain way or using a specific type of fertiliser or soil. Mum then tries applying these techniques to some of the magical plants that she thinks might be similar. Her gardening article is all about how to care for trickier plants so she’s always trying out new things.” Willa had tried listening to muggle shows on the radio herself but found them very confusing. There were so many terms and ideas that she didn’t understand and with no one to explain them or the ability to pause and research for herself she found the whole thing frustrating. “I think I might try listening to some shows myself over the holidays. I understand so much more now and anything I don’t know I can just ask you.”

 

Willa agreed that it was too soon to really make a call on Astronomy, they had only just covered the basics and once lessons became more challenging she may feel differently about it. “I’ll keep an open mind” she agreed. “I may find that once the lessons amp up and we have a more serious professor I feel differently, and if not, then at least I’ll know I gave it a chance and I’m not missing out.” Steph was clearly very interested in the topic and seemed to already be leagues ahead of their class, not that that was surprising. “I suppose they have to start with the basics. That’s the only problem with reading ahead, sometimes the classes can be a little tedious.” Willa had only found that with a few of the lessons as she enjoyed the practicalities even if she had already mastered them.

 

Steph provided a very succinct description of the Quibbler which had Willa nodding along in agreement. “Yes, although I must confess on the few occasions I’ve read it I did quite enjoy it. Not as a legitimate news source of course but it was interesting.” Steph wondered if she could subscribe to the Prophet. There was always the statute of secrecy to consider but as long as Steph took necessary precautions that shouldn’t be a problem. “They can deliver them anywhere in the country, and the owls would come to you directly. As long as you don’t leave them lying around in your parents shop I can’t see why it would be an issue.”

 

“You have to read between the lines,” Willa agreed. “Everyone has their own biases even if they try not to make them known its nearly impossible to not be opiniated in some way when reporting on events.” Willa took some interest in politics, but it wasn’t her favourite subject. “To be able to make any real judgement you have to read things from all angels and try to piece together the true facts from that, however I’d much rather research or read a good book.”

 

She smiled back at Steph as she mentioned their differences in opinion. “It’ll certainly make the reread more interesting, I’ll be able to use both our perspectives to decide which ones I agree with and which I don’t.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephanie Eckland

Willa pointed out that her mother kept muggle as well as magical plants, and Steph nodded. "Muggle plants can have their uses, they are not all merely decorative" she pointed out "even some muggle plants have healing or medicinal purposes. Menthol; a rubefacient is derived from a species of mint for example, an analgesic called morphine is taken from poppies." When Willa said she could ask her about anything that she didn't understand, and Steph smiled. "Any time" she agreed "even during the holidays, feel free to owl me if you have any questions."

 

Willa agreed not to give up on Astronomy just yet, and that was all that Steph was really asking of her. She too felt some frustration about starting with the basics. "I know what you mean" she grinned "it seems that having the foresight to read ahead can be a hindrance somehow." She spoke a little about how she knew as much as she did. "I've seen a number of documentaries on space exploration and cosmology" she explained "I have also read a number of Astronomy text books in my local library." She would like to show Willa that library, she had discovered so much about the world and about science there; far more than she had from any of the documentaries she had watched.

 

Her friend confessed to reading the Quibbler on occasion and enjoying it. "If nothing else, it will give you another angle." She confirmed that the Prophet would deliver to her at home, but that she should take precautions. "That's not a problem" Steph nodded "I don't take any of my Hogwarts books downstairs either, and I have written to my parents and explained about wizarding secrecy. They've promised not to leave anything lying around. I'll ask the owl to only come to the upstairs windows, not the shop."

 

Reading between the lines was useful in every area of reporting; not just news put also politics. "Indeed" Steph agreed "and politicians have a habit of never telling you the whole truth. It is worth hearing what they do say though. There is a programme I watch sometimes on Thursday nights, called Question Time. They invite a panel of politicians into the studio for an hour to answer direct questions from the audience. That can be quite interesting." As for reading a book, Politics was one area where Steph felt that television had the edge. "In this case I think it is better to see them face-to-face, and judge the responses they give." Politics was far too current to be able to rely on books for your information.

 

She definitely supported Willa re-reading The Lord of the Rings, and not just because it was a great story. "Absolutely" she agreed "and I am sure we will have many more interesting discussions on the topic."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.