Apr 08, 2020 10:57 AM
Demon Cam in the Potterverse
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He asks portraits for library directions.

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The portraits can get him to the library! It has a relatively consistent location and librarian who stares at him like she's expecting him to do something nefarious at any moment. In fairness, she stares at the handful of other patrons exactly the same way.

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"Good morning. Do you have anything on the recent history of wizard-Muggle relations, politics, secrecy, etcetera; the interaction of magic and Muggle technology; snakes in general; time travel and/or alternate universes; and the Philosopher's Stone? If books are only available to students I can make do with title recommendations."

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"My, that's a list. You want History for most of those--third shelf from the left. Snakes would be in Magical Creatures, that's on the far right in the front. I don't think we have anything on, what was it, time travel and alternate universes? Alchemy is that shelf over there. Don't damage anything and stay out of the Restricted Section."

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"...what's up with the Restricted Section?"

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"Access to the restricted section is permitted only if you have a signed note from a professor."

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"...okay, I'm just curious if it's magical hazards, age-appropriateness limitations for the kids, something else..."

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"Some of both, plus spells it's easy to hurt yourself practicing."

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"Cool, thanks."

He browses according to her directions.

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Hogwarts seems to think "recent history" is everything from the last three hundred years or so, including the Salem witch trials, which didn't kill any witches but did make a lot of them nervous. The most notable event of the period was Grindelwald's War, which was very similar to the World War 2 Cam remembers except that Hitler was being mind-controlled by wizards the whole time. It's notable both as a major war and as the closest wizards have come to losing their secrecy; reading between the lines it looks like there was some brinkmanship with both wizarding sides trying to influence the outcome of the muggle war without being blatantly obvious about it. Albus Dumbledore, yes that one, was already an adult at the time and a major player, first on the "stealthily helping Churchill" side and then killing Grindelwald in a duel shortly before the fall of Berlin, enabling same. There's also some more recent material featuring Voldemort (who many of the books refuse to name even once) and Harry Potter (about whom many of the books speculate wildly).

There are lots of kinds of magical snakes, including one with three heads, one that spontaneously generates in fires, and one that moves by biting its own tail and rolling like a hula hoop.

Alchemy is an extremely complicated and just plain weird discipline; it resembles a cross between chemistry, a pun competition, and a four-year-old's imagination games. Ingredients are sometimes treated as substances, sometimes as metaphors for concepts, and sometimes as interchangeable with their names; one of the simpler recipes involves cooking down pears until they turn into peas and harvesting the extra "r"s for a later step. The philosopher's stone is speculated about, both as an object and as a symbol of moral and intellectual perfection. A couple of the books mention Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel as the six-hundred-year-old creators of a real one, but they never explained how they did it.

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Gosh.

It seems impolite to eat in the library so he wanders out when he wants lunch.

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The hallway outside the library has decided to look like it slopes up despite not actually doing so, but that shouldn't stop him.

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When he's back in the library, a slightly scruffy-looking man drops by his table.

"Hello."

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"Hi, can I help you?"

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"Well, I'm curious about whether you're a teacher or a student. And also how you pulled off the wings; they look extremely hard to do safely."

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"I am neither a teacher nor a student. I am a magical creature here via accident and our shtick includes wings. Optionally. I picked this style out of a catalog, I take no credit for the design."

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"Sounds like things haven't gotten any less exciting since I was a student. I'm Remus Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher; pleased to meet you."

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"I am so glad there is a replacement! Please do not try to memory charm any children. Or any adults for that matter."

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Weak chuckle. "I can't think of a reason I would need to. That's generally only done when a muggle sees something they shouldn't."

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"...ah-huh." Cam writes this down. He can't use his computer but he doesn't have to use a pen; writing just appears.

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Blink. "That was impressive. Is it enchanted paper?"

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