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Potions Learn how to "bottle fame, brew glory, and put a stopper in death..."

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Old 10-12-2019, 09:28 PM
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Default Potions Lesson 1 - who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?



It's a clear, bright January day, and the low winter sun is warm through the numerous glass windows in the main potions classroom at Beauxbatons. You're greeted by the now-familiar clean white walls and rows of granite-topped work-benches, each sitting ten or so students on high stools, with laboratory sinks at either end.

Behind the large demonstration desk at the front is Professor Noble, wearing navy robes and his usual resting boss face. The trays on the work surface in front of him are unusually sparse for an experiment, appearing to hold only spare paper, ink and quills alongside three clear bottles of liquid.

Had the syllabus been changed, perhaps? Was there a post-holiday examination today after all?
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:25 PM   #51 (permalink)

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As someone with a keen hand for baking, potions was one of the lessons that Carsyn usually faired alright without much effort. Just don't ask her what potions required leeche river water. But if you give her the recipe and told her to brew it, Carsyn usually found not much difficulty in following a recipe.

What the fourth year was unsure about was forensic investigations and what THIS had to do with potions?? A crime to solve? Detecting a document? Were they going to singlehandedly solve the mystery about the mist plaguing Hogwarts? If so, why could they not do that LAST year??? Instead of having to be at a foreign school?

Chromatography. Oh. It sounded from Professor Noble's instruction KINDA like photography. Not the digital kind, but the OLD DAYS. The actual development of film onto paper. This actually sounded kinda cooollll ... not as cool as the fact that she could have had a cookie (UNLESS NOBLE stole the cookies as part of this lesson?!??) Eying the Potions master curiously, she frowned, heading up to retrieve two pieces of paper.

Pencil. Got it. Probably something to do with the chemical reaction in lead?? And two dots the size of a ten pence coin, to which she carefully shaded in using the pencil point. And a line that connected the dots. Along with five more dots along the line. Wait. Did the line have to be PERFECTLY straight, cause looking at the one paper ... her line wasn't?? Kind of crooked? Squinting, she paused a moment before continuing onto the second piece of paper.
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:52 PM   #52 (permalink)



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This was going to be SO COOL!

Cecelia felt like a REAL investigator and she couldn't WAIT to find out who the cookie thief was. Truth be told, she WANTED to accuse the headmistress, because the woman was NOT in her good books as of late, but she SUPPOSED the evidence would speak for itself. The ink would tell all.

She made quick work of retrieving the pieces of filter paper and then returned to her station to set up everything she'd need. She hadn't used a pencil for school work much, but she liked to draw, so she DID have a few on hand. A pencil AND ruler were used to create the lines, which looked pretty great, if she did say so herself. Nice and straight and ready for use. NEXT it was time for the ink dots. Five dots, so that meant five suspects, right? She was careful not to drip, spacing the dots along the lines on each of her papers. Then she was done, and trying very hard to sit still. She was eager to get on with the next step, and the next, wanting the mystery to be solved.

Waiting was hard.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:26 PM   #53 (permalink)

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It was as the first students came up to get the inks, that Noble realised that he’d neglected to mention something. And whilst he might have put the small circles of ink on his filter paper in the same order as the bottles that come from, he wouldn’t be surprised if at least one student had thrown logic out the window and put them in any old order. “Make sure to label which ink is which using pencil under the line you made. Surnames will be sufficient, given the limited space.” Otherwise they could do the whole experiment, and have a beautiful chromatograph, but not actually identify the true cookie thief. And that would be a shame indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suspects’ inks, left to right
Beryl
Burke
Sandhu
Schmoe
Trent
That said, he glanced around the room to check how people were getting on. For the most part, things seemed to be going well. Noble certainly appreciated Cecelia’s attention detail with her ruler, and Bernadette, Valencia, Blake, Dalia, Claudine and Patrick all seemed to finish the first step easily enough. Noble did give a bit of a look at Kaiser, however, who seemed to be doing a whole lot of rummaging in his back after affirming he was okay. Hopefully the boy would settle again soon.

Someone else who got a look? Carsyn. What was the girl doing, drawing huge circles in pencil like that? Had the girl been listening to or watching his demonstration at all? He grumbled at the fourth year, and non-verbally summoned the filter paper from her desk. “I suggest you come look at the example and try again, Carsyn. I said one line of pencil.” What a messy waste of graphite.

Leaving her to catch up, Noble moved on to explaining the next step. “To separate the inks into their component pigments, we need to use a solvent. Not all inks dissolve in all solvents, which is why we’re going to use both alcohol and wizarding solution today to compare.” He held up each respective bottle of solvent from the tray the front as he mentioned it. “You will need to collect two beakers from the cupboard under the window. Label the first alcohol, and add 1cm depth of alcohol to it. The second you should label wizarding solution, and add 1cm depth of wizarding solution to.”

All easy so far, right?

“Then you’ll need to collect two paperclips and two splints.” Hopefully they all remembered that splints were the thin wooden strips that could be used to light the burners without magic. Most of them probably hadn’t used them since first year. “We’re going put the paperclip on the top of the paper, that is, the opposite end to where you drew the line and dots, and then hook that over the splint placed horizontally over the top of the beaker to suspend our filter paper over the solution. And this is the important bit…we want the level of the solvent to be above the bottom of the paper, but below the pencil line. It should not touch the dots of ink, and you may need to adjust your paperclip to ensure that it doesn’t.” He demonstrated using one of his pieces of filter paper, carefully lowering it into the beaker of alcohol, and hooking it over the splint.

“Do that twice – one filter paper in each solution. Got it?” He looked around the room to check. “If there’s no questions, you may start the next step. Once you have the filter paper in the beaker, be careful not to knock or move it in a way that the liquid might splash.”

SPOILER!!: diagram of how things should look


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Old 10-21-2019, 12:20 AM   #54 (permalink)

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This task was pretty detail oriented for Phoebe, requiring a lot of little steps that had to be done just so in order to make it to the next step. It required the first year, who tended to do all the steps at the same time, to force herself to break everything into pieces and finish every step to absolute completion without paying attention to whatever was next.

It mostly worked, although she was getting a bit behind. She had her two pages with pencil squares, she'd filled her two beakers with solvents (well labeled), and now she was struggling through folding the paper over the splints and attaching the paperclips.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:51 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Claudine carefully and neatly labelled the names of the suspects: one under each dot and in the order of which Noble had them on the board. She was all caught up now and pleased that she had followed the instructions to the letter. Who wanted to be chided in front of everyone, anyway? Then again, she wouldn’t have cared if she did- she wouldn’t be embarrassed; it was just that she liked to be out of the spotlight.

Her gaze fixated on the bottle Noble was telling them about and she tried her best to memorise all the instructions. They were so much at once that they overwhelmed her. Claudine tried to quickly jot them down before hopping off of her seat to collect two beakers. Still using her pencil, she scribbled alcohol on one and wizarding solution on the other. Next, she grabbed the ruler and slowly, meticulously poured out the required amount of liquid into the corresponding beaker.

Two splints two paper clips? They were now in her possession. Now it was onto the tricky part. Claudine hoped that the papers would be where it needed to be when hung over the beakers. Then again, she had done everything right so far so there was hope.

The snakette slipped the first slip of paper (opposite end of all the writing) then secured it on one of the splints.which was already set horizontally over the beaker. To her delight, the paper became situated exactly where it was supposed to be. The steps were repeated for the second slip of paper. This one required her to adjust the paperclip but in the end, it was sitting above liquid as required.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:52 AM   #56 (permalink)


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Wow, that was a pretty big word that the professor wrote on the board. Alexandre carefully copied it into his notes, but then didn't write anything underneath it because he didn't actually know what it meant and the professor had not said anything yet. The next part of what the professor was saying sounded much more fun. Cookies? He wanted cookies. Wait, there weren't actually cookies. It was a ransom note. Oh, this was fun! Alexandre tried to think like a detective. He wished he had a costume. Or a magnifying class. That would make him look like a real detective.

Oh they were doing something fun. He only processed about half the instructions but the example was something that he could follow. He hurried up to the desk and grabbed two pieces of the paper. He took out a pencil and drew a line two inches from the bottom. Then he took the sample inks and put one dot of each along the line. Under each of the circles he wrote the surname of the professor of whose bottle the ink had come from. Then he repeated the process on the other piece of paper.

Okay, next step. He went over to the cupboard to grab two beakers. He carefully labelled one 'alcohol' and measured exactly 1cm of alcohol into that one. The other one he labelled 'wizarding solution' and added 1cm of the wizarding solution of that to it. He carefully brought the beakers back to his station and then went to fetch two paperclips and two splints. Once back at his station he paper clipped one of the pieces of paper to one of the splints and carefully lowered it over the beaker of alcohol. He lined it up so the solution was touching the paper but not reaching the dots of ink. Then he did the same with the other piece of paper in the beaker of wizarding solution.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:41 PM   #57 (permalink)
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This particular lessons was rather detail orientated. Was an 11 year old boy suppose to know what in the world was going on here? But Blake if nothing else could follow directions. So once again, following the Professor's exact directions have everything set up. And he said not to move or bump it.. okay check... Blake went to rearrange his desk in front of him to insure no such thing would happen and he bumped his beaker himself with his elbow ... not alot... but the liquid in the bottom did slosh around a bit ... hopefully no one noticed ....
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:15 PM   #58 (permalink)


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Alessandro remained silent on the topic of forgeries. He had nothing to say on the matter. Yes, he had thoughts on the subject, but the lovely thing about thoughts is that they never had to be voiced.

As the professor started to outline their task for the day, he began to complete each of the steps, and quietly thought of several other ways to detect perpetrators. His hand itched beneath his glove.

To begin, he acquired the two sheets of filter paper at the front of the room. When he was back at his desk, he fished out a pencil from his bag and drew each of the specifications on the paper, using each ink when appropriate. He even identified each of the inks by professor, as instructed.

Again, his hand tingled. He flexed it and went back to work, collecting two beakers from the back of the room. And when he returned to his seat, he labelled each beaker and filled them precisely...

...before he was back up and collecting more items for the project. He wished the professor had tasked them to collect all of their things before the lesson began. All of the back and forth was only excuse to be run down by little first years.

With the items in-hand, he sorted the paperclip and each of the papers. And then, waited for more instruction.
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Old 10-22-2019, 01:04 AM   #59 (permalink)
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It was only when Noble wrote a word on the board that something clicked in Lucas's head. Chromatography! This included chemicals! It was all starting to make a lot more sense now that Noble had said that, even if he wouldn't normally go for chromatography at first. He'd probably be a little too focused on being upset.

But not today!

Getting up from his seat, the fourth year wandered over to the front of the room and grabbed two sheets of filter paper before returning to his seat. Now he just needed...... a pencil, right? Searching through his things, he took out the first pencil he came across and returned back to the two sheets of filter paper. Two centimetres? A two centimetre line. He wasted no time in drawing a line with the pencil of, approximately, two centimetres.

He hoped.

Now, what did he need? The inks.

Getting up again, Lucas walked over to the front again, holding both pieces of filter paper flat on his hands. Reaching the front, he placed the paper down first and made a start with the inks. Five inks, spaced out along the 2cm line. He would measure it to make sure it was equal but this didn't seem like the time to get into that. He was trying not to look around but he had the funny feeling that he was a little behind. Uh..........

When he was done with the inks, he quickly moved onto what Noble had said about labelling them. With pencil, of course. It was probably for the better because he was sure that he would mix up each of these inks if he left them blank. Would probably come to the wrong conclusion, too.

Next? The solvent.

Lucas got up again - there was a lot of walking today, wasn't there? - and walked towards the cupboard under the window to collect the two beakers. These beakers also got a label for similar reasons as the dots: one with 'alcohol' and another with 'wizarding solution'. And then, they just needed to be topped with 1cm of each solvent. Easy.

Taking the two beakers, he headed back to his seat and placed them there for safe-keeping. And then he spun round again to get even more supplies. This time, two paperclips and two....... splints? Uh, okay. It was a bit of an odd choice, wasn't it? They hadn't used splints in a while.

Retrieving the items, Lucas wandered back to his seat, this time much slower than before. This really was a lot of walking, wasn’t it? Gladly reaching his desk, the Gryffindor places the two paperclips at the top of the pieces of filter paper. Not at the end with the ink dots, because that would be a waste of time.

Hooking the splints were easy, really, and he even held the two pieces of paper up by holding onto the splints. There. That didn’t look bad, right,

And now came the moment of truth.

Carefully, he held onto one of the pieces of filter paper and gently started lowering it into one of the beakers. The alcohol solution beaker. Noble said not to let the liquid touch the line, right? Yeah. That was why he was placing the paper inside slowly. He was probably even going to do the same with the other paper and the wizarding solution beaker.

With both papers in their respective beakers, Lucas took a step back and away from the experiment. No splashing, no messing with the results.

And now they wait?
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:05 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Chromatography, of course! How had she not guessed that? Tina was mentally kicking herself as the word appeared on the board. She blinked, unsure what to make of the cookie "mystery". It seemed a little over-the-top to her - though she would give it points for creativity - but then again, she supposed most of her classmates weren't like her and probably wouldn't find analyzing chemical compositions fun on its own. She paid careful attention to Noble's demonstration, jotting down each step of the directions in her notes so she wouldn't forget anything.

As Tina looked over her notes, a thought occurred to her. Would it hurt if her line wasn't exactly 2cm from the end of the paper? She could probably get away with eyeballing the measurement, but she wasn't taking chances. This was a skill she needed to know for her chosen career path, and she wanted to do it perfectly! She rummaged through her bag for a ruler, which she primarily used as a straight edge for artwork, and picked up her pencil before leaving her seat to retrieve the other necessary materials. She picked up a couple of pieces of filter paper from the desk up front and using her ruler, measured exactly 2cm from the short end of the paper. Once she was satisfied that her measurements were on point, she drew a straight line across, then repeated the measuring and linework process for the other piece of paper.

She was about to start applying the ink dots when Noble’s reminder about labeling caused her to momentarily look up from her work. Okay, noted… not that she actually needed to be reminded; she was already meticulous about labeling things. With that in mind, Tina went back to what she was doing. She placed a small dot of each ink sample along the line she’d drawn on each sheet of paper, using her ruler to make sure she got the spacing perfectly even, She’d just finished labeling the samples: Beryl, Burke, Sandhu, Schmoe, & Trent when Noble gave the next set of instructions. She looked up, listening intently as the professor talked about solvents. Oh, so that was why they needed two pieces of filter paper! She had been wondering about that.

Eyes glued to Noble’s demonstration, Tina made a note of the materials and steps involved. She made quick work of gathering two beakers from the cupboard and neatly labeled one alcohol, the other wizarding solution. When that was done, she filled each beaker with its corresponding substance, checking and double-checking the levels until she was sure there was exactly 1cm of liquid in each beaker. She returned to her seat, carefully setting the beakers on the table in front of her, then without sitting down, she turned around and went to get the splints and paperclips. She wasn’t the least bit bothered by all the back and forth; it was for a worthy cause!

With all her materials arranged neatly in front of her, Tina set to work placing the two splints over the tops of each beaker. Then she picked up a paperclip and clipped one end to her filter paper at the opposite end from the line she’d drawn earlier. The next part was a little more difficult, but she managed to hook the other end of the paperclip over one of the splints without accidentally dislodging it or sloshing the liquid inside the beaker. She scrutinized the levels with a critical eye. Was the paper hanging straight? Was the liquid level above the bottom of the paper but below the line, just like Noble said? Maybe she should adjust her paperclip a little bit… okay, that looked about right! Once she had her first sheet of filter paper clipped into the correct position, she moved on to the other one, attaching it to the paperclip and then to the splint over the other beaker. The process went a bit easier the second time, and soon she had the other piece of paper positioned as well, When she was done, she looked up, awaiting further instructions.
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:23 AM   #61 (permalink)
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That hint of a smile did not go unnoticed by the Slytherin and it did nothing to keep his head from inflating more than it already was when it came to this particular subject. But it also left him feeling as though he had reached his quota for answering in class and he had earned the right to remain silent for the next one.

Which was precisely what he did as his classmates speculated about ways to distinguish falsified signatures and he was, reluctantly, in awe that that one Ravenclaw knew what carbon isotopes were. Likely where his own thoughts would have gone if he had given the question posed much thought. Instead, he wrote 'Chromatography' neatly at the top of his parchment and was pleased when the lesson moved on to more practical matters.

The ransom note...was not inspiring. Did he want cookies? No. Not in the least. He shunned them so there went his motivation to help solve the crime in terms of a physical reward. But it was salty sentiments that were soon gone once Professor Noble got into the logistics of the task to be performed and he had hopped up from his desk to collected the necessary supplies before the man had even finished his instructions. Back at his seat, Eiji's practiced hands drew two perfectly straight lines without much fuss and he had not needed the Potions Master's additional clarification to label the dots of ink according to professor - that simply was common sense to him.

Honestly, if he was going to cast any premature suspicions he would against Professors S'more and Sandhu. Though he questioned whether Professor S'more would actually take cookies hostage rather than just eat an entire jar on accident.

But anyway...Eiji was feeling a bit cheeky with the whole thing and had half a mind to question the professor on why his own inkwell had not been included. Though that was mostly him poking fun at the set up considering this was the man's lesson.

But still...why rule him off the suspect list?

"What about your own inkwell, professor?" he asked casually as he passed by (with a boyish hop to his step) to collect his beakers for the next step. Labeling those accordingly, the fifth year returned to his desk and set to the whole paperclip and splint situation. Making adjustments as necessary, Eiji hunched over and peered so closely at his beakers while setting the paper that his cheeks was practically pressed against the glass and resulted in his pieces of paper just barely dipping below the surface of each solution...and then his arms were resting against the table, one hand atop the other and his chin set on top of those, while he WATCHED each absorb the liquid.

Slowly...slowly...up up up it went towards the dots...
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:09 PM   #62 (permalink)



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Cecelia's eyes widened slightly, realizing SHE'D almost forgot to label the inks so she could tell which professor went with each ink spot. She felt SILLY about it and she quickly scribbled each educator's surname under the dot that belonged to them, doing the same thing on the other sheet of filter paper. PHEW! That was a CLOSE one.

Moving on...

Oh. So there was a LOT to do and even if it WASN'T the most complicated series of tasks, Cecelia still had to take a moment and wrap her head around everything they'd just been told ALL at once. Uh..so first she needed to collect some supplies. Yeah.

Beakers first! The first year hurried over to the cupboard, waiting KIND of patiently for it to be her turn and trying REALLY hard not to tap her toes impatiently at the kid in front of her, 'cause that was rude and she KNEW it was. Thing is, Cecelias had trouble waiting sometimes. When she finally DID get her beakers back to her work space, she labeled each and then started to fill them with their correct liquid. Alcohol went in one, wizarding solution in the other.

The paperclip splint swing creation they were meant to create NEXT was fun and Cece really liked building things, so she managed EACH creation fairly quickly. She DID have to adjust the one hanging into the alcohol solution a bit when the paper started to slip, but luckily she'd avoided disaster.

NOW was the guilty professor going to be revealed?!!
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:08 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Would. You. LOOK. AT. THAT! Just look at it!

Schmoe was a suspect!!!!!!!!

"I bet it was Schmoe," Bernadette declared to those nearest her table, quietly continuing to set up her beakers and paperclips and parchment and whatnot. "Schmoe WOULD steal cookies from the poor house elves." Even THOUGH he was SUPPOSED TO KNOW how to bake his OWN biscuits, being a MUGGLE STUDIES SCHOLAR and all that. She hmmph'd and continued, pouring the correct amounts of alcohol and solvent out and all that. Um, the alcohol went in one beaker and the solvent in the other, right? Bernie checked her notes and assumed that was right, and carried on, DETERMINED to see that Schmoe did this WITH THE HELP OF SCIENCE!
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:47 AM   #64 (permalink)
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Right right right. Labels. Kaiser added names next to the dots of ink, and was so far away from the present moment that he didn't even theorise as to who the likely culprit was. Didn't matter. Didn't care. He just wanted to get through this and get out of here.

The explanation about what they were doing - the science and everything - ultimately went in one of Kaiser's ears and out the other. He listened out for the instructions and that was about it.

Once he had the beakers, Kaiser added each of the solutions to them and returned to his workstation. He really wasn't, at this point, paying a whole lot of attention to what he was doing, so it was anyone's guess whether he labelled the beakers correctly.

Then he grabbed the paperclips and splints, not caring enough to be irritated about all the unnecessary getting up and sitting back down again. Back at his workstation, he set up the filter papers as instructed, so that they were just dipping into the liquid in either beaker and said liquid was not above the line.

Staring at the beakers, Kaiser sat back and clenched his fists, digging his fingernails into the palms of his hands. As much as he wasn't interested in this, it was much better when he was physically doing something. Once he stopped... well, it just wasn't great fun.
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:56 AM   #65 (permalink)

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All seemed to be going well…perhaps suspiciously well, although perhaps that was just the advantage of having bubbling cauldrons over an open flame in this class. Claudine, Kaiser and Alexandre looked pretty much set up, with Bernadette and Phoebe not too far behind. “You’ll have an easier time if you put the paperclip on the paper first, and then hang it on splint,” he guided the first year Slytherin. Folding could work, but he much preferred this method.

Unfortunately for Blake, Noble did notice that beaker getting so carelessly knocked. “If the liquid went above the pencil line, you’ll need to start with a clean piece of paper. I suggest you hurry up and check, unless you want to staying here over afternoon break.” And Noble would know if Blake tried to pretend he didn’t need to when he did.

Alessandro perhaps wasn’t the only one wishing that Noble had instructed them to get all the equipment at the start. The Potions Professor watched Lucas zig-zag across the classroom for a moment, hoping the Gryffindor was paying attention to his surroundings as well as his work. The boy could be a little lax sometimes, and Cecelia looked just a tad impatient standing behind him to collect her beakers. Someone who was much more attentive in her potions work was Tina, and she seemed to be right on track today. He might have commented as much, if Eiji hadn’t voiced that question.

Noble smirked slightly at the fifth year Slytherin. “You’re welcome to test it if you wish.” He gestured towards the inkwell and quill by the planner on his desk. “Though I’m intrigued why you think I’d implicate myself, rather than just swap out my ink.” Given he knew exactly the evidence they’d be looking for in their mini investigation, it’d be easy enough to make sure the inks didn’t match.

With the experiments all ready and set up, it was time to explain the what and the why. “To recap so far: we’ve taken samples of ink on filter paper, and suspended those samples in two different solvents, alcohol and wizarding solution.” And if they didn’t have that set up in front of them by now, what had they been doing for the last twenty minutes?! “I previously said that ink is a mixture of different dyes and pigments, and that we’ll separate these using the solvents. We’re using two different solvents, since not all inks dissolve in the same solvent. A common example is ‘permanent’ pen. This usually means the ink is soluble in alcohol, but not in water…and therefore won’t just wash off in every day use.”

“Now, if you take a closer look at the filter paper, you’ll notice that even though we were extra careful to ensure that the top of the liquid stayed below the pencil line, the paper above the line is wet.” Hopefully they could all see what he was talking about. “As the solvent creeps upwards, it pulls any dissolved ink with it…and the different pigments in the ink move at different rates. Some, like the heavier or less soluble ones, will get deposited nearer the line…whereas other will get dragged much higher towards the top of the paper. The resulting image, showing the spectrum of colours separated vertically by the solvent, is known as a chromatograph.”

Noble moved to pick up two sample chromatographs from near the ransom note, and held them up. “Earlier, I took samples of ink from the ransom note, and made chromatographs in alcohol and wizarding solution just like you are at the moment. In a few minutes, when yours are ready, you can compare the traces of the colours on your chromatographs of the suspects’ inks with those I made of the ransom note. Any the match are strong evidence towards identifying the culprit, and finding out who stole the cookies. In the meantime, does anyone have any questions?”

He knew that was a lot of theory, but hopefully it’d be worth it. There were cookies on the line after all.


ooc note: if your charrie doesn’t have questions (or even if they do!), they can go ahead and compare the chromatographs between the ransom note and inks from the suspects. If all has gone to plan, it should look something like the pictures below. If it hasn’t…then feel free to be your awesome creative selves!

SPOILER!!: chromatograph comparison and results


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Old 10-23-2019, 06:34 PM   #66 (permalink)
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SPOILER!!: Bernadette and our fearless leader
Quote:
Originally Posted by BanaBatGirl View Post
Would. You. LOOK. AT. THAT! Just look at it!

Schmoe was a suspect!!!!!!!!

"I bet it was Schmoe," Bernadette declared to those nearest her table, quietly continuing to set up her beakers and paperclips and parchment and whatnot. "Schmoe WOULD steal cookies from the poor house elves." Even THOUGH he was SUPPOSED TO KNOW how to bake his OWN biscuits, being a MUGGLE STUDIES SCHOLAR and all that. She hmmph'd and continued, pouring the correct amounts of alcohol and solvent out and all that. Um, the alcohol went in one beaker and the solvent in the other, right? Bernie checked her notes and assumed that was right, and carried on, DETERMINED to see that Schmoe did this WITH THE HELP OF SCIENCE!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermygirl View Post
All seemed to be going well…perhaps suspiciously well, although perhaps that was just the advantage of having bubbling cauldrons over an open flame in this class. Claudine, Kaiser and Alexandre looked pretty much set up, with Bernadette and Phoebe not too far behind. “You’ll have an easier time if you put the paperclip on the paper first, and then hang it on splint,” he guided the first year Slytherin. Folding could work, but he much preferred this method.

Unfortunately for Blake, Noble did notice that beaker getting so carelessly knocked. “If the liquid went above the pencil line, you’ll need to start with a clean piece of paper. I suggest you hurry up and check, unless you want to staying here over afternoon break.” And Noble would know if Blake tried to pretend he didn’t need to when he did.

Alessandro perhaps wasn’t the only one wishing that Noble had instructed them to get all the equipment at the start. The Potions Professor watched Lucas zig-zag across the classroom for a moment, hoping the Gryffindor was paying attention to his surroundings as well as his work. The boy could be a little lax sometimes, and Cecelia looked just a tad impatient standing behind him to collect her beakers. Someone who was much more attentive in her potions work was Tina, and she seemed to be right on track today. He might have commented as much, if Eiji hadn’t voiced that question.

Noble smirked slightly at the fifth year Slytherin. “You’re welcome to test it if you wish.” He gestured towards the inkwell and quill by the planner on his desk. “Though I’m intrigued why you think I’d implicate myself, rather than just swap out my ink.” Given he knew exactly the evidence they’d be looking for in their mini investigation, it’d be easy enough to make sure the inks didn’t match.

With the experiments all ready and set up, it was time to explain the what and the why. “To recap so far: we’ve taken samples of ink on filter paper, and suspended those samples in two different solvents, alcohol and wizarding solution.” And if they didn’t have that set up in front of them by now, what had they been doing for the last twenty minutes?! “I previously said that ink is a mixture of different dyes and pigments, and that we’ll separate these using the solvents. We’re using two different solvents, since not all inks dissolve in the same solvent. A common example is ‘permanent’ pen. This usually means the ink is soluble in alcohol, but not in water…and therefore won’t just wash off in every day use.”

“Now, if you take a closer look at the filter paper, you’ll notice that even though we were extra careful to ensure that the top of the liquid stayed below the pencil line, the paper above the line is wet.” Hopefully they could all see what he was talking about. “As the solvent creeps upwards, it pulls any dissolved ink with it…and the different pigments in the ink move at different rates. Some, like the heavier or less soluble ones, will get deposited nearer the line…whereas other will get dragged much higher towards the top of the paper. The resulting image, showing the spectrum of colours separated vertically by the solvent, is known as a chromatograph.”

Noble moved to pick up two sample chromatographs from near the ransom note, and held them up. “Earlier, I took samples of ink from the ransom note, and made chromatographs in alcohol and wizarding solution just like you are at the moment. In a few minutes, when yours are ready, you can compare the traces of the colours on your chromatographs of the suspects’ inks with those I made of the ransom note. Any the match are strong evidence towards identifying the culprit, and finding out who stole the cookies. In the meantime, does anyone have any questions?”

He knew that was a lot of theory, but hopefully it’d be worth it. There were cookies on the line after all.


ooc note: if your charrie doesn’t have questions (or even if they do!), they can go ahead and compare the chromatographs between the ransom note and inks from the suspects. If all has gone to plan, it should look something like the pictures below. If it hasn’t…then feel free to be your awesome creative selves!

SPOILER!!: chromatograph comparison and results




Darn ... his sloshing about didn't go unnoticed... trying hard not to roll his eyes he did a double check on his paper. "I think it's okay." He added triple checking that they liquid did not go about the pencil line. It hadn't at least from what he could tell.

And then he hard Bernadette ... I mean who couldn't hear here every time she talks. "You got it out for Schmoe or what?" He added thinking the Professor was rather nice ... what was Bernadette's problem? And then the paper's started to show results ... and after all ... it did look like Schmoe .... now what??
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Old 10-23-2019, 09:26 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Tina had finished the second set of steps moments before Noble started speaking again. She looked up, her curiosity piqued. What was the next step going to be? She listened intently, jotting down notes on what the chromatograph was supposed to do, and… it looked like there was no next step. Well, not a complicated one anyway. How hard could it be to watch her chromatographs work and compare the results to Noble's samples?

Surprisingly harder than she thought. Tina Dantes was not a particularly patient person, and there was nothing she hated waiting for more than answers to a question. Uncertainty didn't sit well with her! It felt like time had slowed to a crawl as she watched the liquid slowly inch up the paper until it met the ink dots, and a spectrum of colors began to materialize. For a brief moment, she worried when she didn't get a result for Sandhu's ink using the alcohol. She thought she'd done something wrong until she remembered Noble said not all inks dissolved in the same solvent. Whew!

Was her chromatograph done yet? Tina checked it again. It looked like the ink had stopped moving up the paper, so it seemed safe to think that it was finished. Now all that was left was to compare her results to the ransom note. Her dark eyes darted from her own papers to the samples and back again, scrutinizing the ink stains carefully. Hmm… this was interesting! She had a good idea who the culprit was - spoiler alert: it was Schmoe! - and it wasn't the person her initial hunch led her to suspect. Then again, that was why you don't accuse someone based on nothing more than a hunch… a lesson some people in this school had yet to learn.

So what was she supposed to do now that she'd identified the culprit? Was she supposed to record her results and hand them in? Surely she wasn't supposed to go and confront the professor in question with the evidence, right? She was dying to know, but she had just enough self restraint not to raise her hand and ask. She was sure Noble would tell them what to do when he was ready to move on, and she didn't want to get into trouble for getting ahead of herself. For the time being, she sat quietly, prepared to listen for further instructions.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:27 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Claudine found it interesting, that bit of information on permanent pens very interesting.She actually wrote down the fact. Who knew… it may actually come in handy someday; for exams, let’s say. Now, she focused her attention on the paper. Indeed, she could see what Noble was talking about: above the line she had drawn was now wet. Also, there was definitely a wider variety of colours present than the boring old colours from the ink samples.

Claudine was still very much in awe at how things had evolved during this lesson. More so, she was proud of herself to be able to follow the instructions to a slightly complex practical. How did she know she had done well? Because upon comparing her papers with Noble’s, it was easy to see that they matched.

All that was left to do now was to figure whom the wrongdoer was. And so, the first year looked from paper to paper in an effort to determine this. Her keen dark eyes darted from one to the other as she focused.

Bernadette was definitely right: Schmoe was the wrongdoer. Poor Schmoe. Claudine actually liked him now and for the rest of his life, he would be known as the cookie thief.
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:54 AM   #69 (permalink)

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Those colors creeping up the paper were SO cool, and Phoebe oohed and aahed as each new color was revealed. She glanced briefly at Bernie as she accused Schmoe of cookie theft, but as the colors continued to creep upward... well.

"Bernie is a Seer," Phoebe gasped as she stood back up. "It was him. How did you know that, Bernie?" She leaned in, then again stood back up, then did a little excited dance, although she was careful to keep her arms from flailing and knocking anything over. "Professor, are there really cookies? Or is this hypo.. hippo... cratic?"
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Old 10-24-2019, 01:41 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Bernadette straightened her splint and paperclip just slightly, and tried to be as patient as possible as she watched all the ink split into different colors. It was kind of fun to watch, if not a little slow. Was there a spell for speeding this up, she wondered?

Bernie's eyes flicked over to her arch-nemesis/perpetual partner, Blake as he spoke out. He just always had something to say about her, huh? "WELL," where did she begin on the topic of Schmoe? "He IS a suspicious person... and he knows about Muggles, so you'd think he would know how to bake his own cookies instead of stealing them..." Sure didn't know how to build his own furniture though, THAT was for certain. "Look at the pocket protector he always wears... maybe... just maybe... it's there to protect a POCKET FULL OF COOKIES?!?" HUH BLAKE?? Had anyone considered THAT?

Bernie leaned up out of her seat a little to peek at the professor's beakers, which were much further along than hers. She noticed Phoebe doing the same thing and hinged on the topic of SEERS. Which, duh, she totally was. What was a seer again? Someone with good eyesight? "SEE," the first year exclaimed, all traces of her pout from earlier fully erased. "SEEEEEEE, it WAS Schmoe!" EVERYONE LOOK, LOOK AT HER DIVINATION SKILLZ. AND.

"Right, professor, that's what the colors mean? Because Schmoe's match the ransom note?" RIgHT? RIGHT? The first year glanced to the professor for confirmation of her TOTALLY AWESOME DETECTIVE AND SEER SKILLZ!
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Old 10-24-2019, 04:35 PM   #71 (permalink)



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Slowly but surely, the colors were appearing on each piece of filter paper, each ink dot producing a different combination of colors. It was actually REAL pretty, but that wasn't the part that made Cecelia surprised, OH NO. It was the fact that SCHMOE was the thief! Hooooonestly, she didn't think he had it in him! "I know cookies are delicious, but stealing from those adorable elves? That's a bit extreme.."

She pauuuused, and then added, "I THINK the word is hypotheatrical." Seemed legit.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:26 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Gunnar was quiet, but he was merely keeping to himself in order to stay on task, and he was working hard. He thought the topic of today's lesson was fairly cool, but he couldn't help to wonder when he might ever have the opportunity to use this. It seemed awfully specific.

But he continued to work and label his paper with names under the inks, looking up when Noble instructed them on how to assemble everything in order to decipher the information. And that was fairly straightforward. Gunnar added alcohol to one beaker and wizarding solution to the other, then set about assembling his filter paper with the paper clips and splints the way Noble said.

He couldn't quite remember the reason for doing this both ways... had Noble said? Because when he looked at both samples, it was pretty clear which one matched on each. It was... Gunnar looked up when that first year girl loudly announced who she thought it was. Yeah, him, Schmoe. Did he really steal cookies or was this just a hypothetical?
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Alexandre stared at his papers as the solutions soaked into the papers. They were making colors, which was really cool. They all started out as black ink and now there were colors. But just looking at those colors didn't really mean much to him. They were just colors, after all. Oh, Professor Noble had the colors of the ransom note. Alexandre looked at it and then looked back at his papers. Those were the same colors as the color of Schmoe's ink! That must mean he was the one who wrote the ransom note! Right?

"Aha!" He declared. People were already saying it was Schmoe so he didn't really feel the need to repeat them. What were they going to do now? Were they going to go get him and confront him? That was what a proper detective should do probably. And he wanted those cookies!
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:59 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Kaiser... wasn't really listening. Still. Obviously. His emotions had floated elsewhere but his thoughts kept on circling back to the whole crime thing, and he had found himself in a horrible thought loop. He had just about the vaguest presence of mind to wish they were doing something as simple (or, more preferably, as complicated) as brewing a potion, so that he could at least have something else to focus on. Though, granted, trying to brew a potion in this removed state would have been likely to end in disaster. But that was beside the point.

Colours had spread upwards on both of the filter papers, which was a little unnerving, because Kaiser was certain that only a second ago they had still just been spots of black ink. Did it really work that fast or was he really, really not paying attention? He looked up and around at everyone else, and then at the samples that Noble had provided, and then back at his own set-up.

Yes... yes, he supposed one of the streaks of colours labelled 'Schmoe' on each of his filter papers matched the ones on Noble's samples. So there was that. But Kaiser still wasn't really on the ball enough to realise he'd labelled his solutions the wrong way around - not that it seemed like it mattered.

At that point, Kaiser suddenly spoke up, taking himself by surprise given the fact that he had made no conscious decision to do so. "What if it was a student who used the same ink." It came out as more of a monotone statement than a question, and he'd blanked on the hand-raising thing and completely forgotten to do it. He hadn't even been looking at Noble, but at the colour-streaked filter papers on his workstation, though he did glance up at the professor a moment after the question was out of his mouth.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:45 AM   #75 (permalink)

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“It better be, Blake,” Noble replied to the first year Slytherin. The Potions Professor didn’t take kindly to indolence or inattention. He also didn’t appreciate shouting in his classroom, so Bernadette soon got a stern stare. “Accusing Professor Schmoe is not an emergency, Bernadette, and therefore there is absolutely no need to shout,” Noble said sternly. She should know the rules of his classroom by now. “Three points from Gryffindor.”

Someone else risking losing Gryffindor points? Phoebe. Whilst he somewhat appreciated the enthusiasm, he had no desire for dancing in his lesson…however carefully it was practiced. “Butt on stool, please Phoebe,” he said sternly. The corner of his lip twitched upwards at her next question though. Hippocratic would be relating to Hippocrates, an Ancient Greek healer. Hypocrite would refer to someone putting on a false appearance of virtue or principle.” His amusement widened as Cecelia chimed in. “…and I guess hypo-theatrical would mean something under or less than theatrical in nature, hypo being the opposite of hyper.” So…he was pretty sure none of the above were what Phoebe had been trying trying to ask. “I think you mean hypothetical. And whilst yes, the scenario is hypothetical - no cookies were actually stolen - the cookies are indeed real.” They were delicious and edible and everything a good chocolate chip cookie should be.

And he’d get to where they were in a moment, after responding to Kaiser’s question. “You raise an important point.” Really, he was surprised it had taken anyone this long to raise such concerns. “By looking at the chromatographs we have evidence suggesting a suspect uses the same ink as our culprit did. However, that by itself isn’t the proof I referred to earlier…many people could use the same ink, or the culprit could have borrowed someone else’s to do the deed. Doubt remains, and we’d need other evidence to make a proper prosecution in court. This is just one tool a forensic potioneer has at their disposal when building a case.”

He glanced at his watch, showing it was close to the end of the lesson. Tina and Gunnar certainly looked done. Meanwhile it seemed like Alexandre had his breakthrough moment comparing the different colour profiles to the ink from the ransom note going by the 'aha' he'd heard from that direction.

“When you have your chromatographs, please write your name and which solvent it was suspended in using pencil at the top, and leave them laid out on the bench under the window to dry ready for marking. Any solvent you have left can go down the sink, and beakers can be left in the washing up tray at the back.” Someone in detention could deal with those after dinner. “When you’ve cleared up, you are dismissed and can quietly and sensibly go see if your suspicions about the culprit are correct. Visit their office, and you might find a tasty treat.” Assuming Schmoe hadn’t managed to much his way through an entire plateful in the last hour or so. And somehow, Noble wouldn’t put it past the man...though more fool him if he had, facing the wrath of sugar-deprived students.


ooc note: That's a wrap! Thank you so much for joining me in this whodunnit. I'll leave the thread open a little longer for anyone who wants to catch up, and feel free to go find the cookies in Schmoe's office as a follow up!
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