Title: everybody loves aleks
ALEKS JAMIE NIKOLAE - May 17, 2011 05:38 PM (GMT)
Ancient Runes. Possibly one of the hardest classes to get through at Hogwarts. But with the help of Aleks Nikolae, even a class that seemed impossible was well within the reach of even the dimmest lightbulb. Aleks was somewhat of a miracle worker when it came to his students. He managed to turn people from the level of troll to exceeds expectations. That was probably the reason that Dumbledore had hired this eccentric character and kept him on the staff despite rumors of him sleeping with a student spreading through the school like wildfire.
At this moment, Aleks was in the middle of teaching, his hands gesturing wildly while he explained the history of a specific rune, motioning towards the board where the rune was written, enlarged for students in the back of the class to easily read. He was coming to the crescendo of his lecture when the bell cut him off, his lips forming a frown that was so out of place it was almost comical. His smile returned to his lips as he hushed the class, “Alright! Read your books; write down the rest of the history of the rune. Turn it in… What the hell. Next week?” He waved them out of class, plopping his bum onto his desk.
He watched the students file out of the classroom in pairs and groups, each chattering or talking amongst themselves. He hated to watch his students leave, especially since this was the last class of the day. Despite the fact that everyone knew him to be a fun teacher, he never really got a lot of students to make as many classes as oh, say, Snape had. It was always a downer to see that his classes were only half-full compared to what he felt they should be. If he had it his way, he would be teaching classes full and make his class just as required as Defense Against the Dark Arts and Charms. Hell, he thought that his was surely more useful than Transfiguration at least.
But of course, Dumbledore never saw it that way. Most people would never use ancient runes in “real life,” but he knew that they were useful. He’d told his students so many reasons that they could use runes in everyday life. They could use it to pass secret notes among one another, or to write stories that their parents would never decipher. Runes were versatile; they weren’t forced to be used for just one thing. Hell, he was even having his students read children’s stories in ancient runes. They were more than just symbols, they were… Words. They had meaning – they had meanings that the writer could decide. They were private, ancient, and unchanging.
And what wasn’t to like about secrets?
Aleks grunted and strode into the small room next to his classroom that served as his office, grabbing a cup of coffee off a platter that the house elves so lovingly provided for him after each class.
Katherine E. Bell - January 2, 2012 07:53 AM (GMT)
The entire idealism of sitting in a desk and doing nothing was far too illogical for Katie Bell. What was the reasoning for doing nothing in a classroom when she could just as easily do nothing from the comfort of her own dormitory? Or even the Gryffindor Common Room, where she envisioned a comfortable armchair nearest to the crackling fire calling out her name.
She had been marching across the grounds all day, moving from Care of Magical Creatures to Potions then back across the grounds to Herbology. She was quite hopeful that dinnertime would be here quick on accord of the rumblings that echoed throughout the pit of her hollow stomach.
Aside from the eating and sleeping necessities, quidditch was the third and final thing on her mind. She nearly always sat perfectly still throughout all of her classes, gazing out the nearest window and simply wishing she could be on the pitch rather than wherever she was. Only in potions had it proved to be a somewhat difficult task, with the lack of windows looming about in the corridors of the dungeons. That would call for her head down, doodling aimlessly with her quill clutched tightly in her hand. It was daydreaming, to a certain extent.
The hours of the day had ticked on very slowly and as her last class finished, dinner was on her mind. It seemed as if a misplaced frown had found it’s way onto her visibly pale features as she recalled one finally thing in need of tending to before she could happily stuff her face with the scrumptious table length of food in the Great Hall.
McGonagall had probably cornered the blonde at least twice this week, lecturing her on the poor performance she was displaying academically. She assured her that her quidditch abilities were just brilliant, but they would be hindered and grounded if she continued to display negligence toward her grades. As much as it pained her, she needed to acquire help from a few of her professors. She had already approached Snape who merely waved her away, sniggering and murmuring about how she acted like the typical ‘foolish Gryffindor.’ She wasn’t entirely sure what that meant, but she ignored it and wandered off toward Ancient Runes.
Katie had even ran into her friends who attempted to drag her away with them, but she had to explain to them where she was off to. Almost instantly, they all snickered and made remarks about being alone with Professor Nikolae and how ‘more rumors’ may spread ramped through the school, like wildfire, if she wasn’t too careful. At that very moment, she felt absolutely disgusted. A queasy feeling seemed to begin, her stomach churned sickly and she dragged her feet down the corridor without exchanging another word to anyone.
In reality, the remainder of the walk toward his office wasn’t that long. But, as she was alone with her horrific thoughts, every stepped seemed as if it was a mile. She couldn’t shake the thoughts from her mind. She’d never thought about it much before and was never too bothered by the rumors because of it, but now as she reluctantly knocked on his office door, opening it and stepping inside, she couldn’t help but wonder how and why something like that would happen. She scrunched her face up as her light colored eyes fell upon her Ancient Runes professor, an awkward silence lingering before she spoke.
“Erm, professor… I, uh, need help,” she explained hastily, her discomfort so evident upon her features.
Aleks J. Nikolae - January 4, 2012 05:09 AM (GMT)
When Aleks was sure that no student from his past class was going to come walking in to ask for help on their homework assignment, the male plopped himself down into the comfortable chair behind his desk. He opened up his copy of the Daily Prophet, skimming through the articles with mild interest. He wasn't really searching for news, more just hoping that he wouldn't see the mother of his child in there saying that she'd been arrested. For some reason, the woman had been on his mind a lot recently. He didn't miss her, that was sure, but he often wondered if his daughter's life would be better with her Mom in the picture.
It had been years since the woman had even tried to be a part of Sonya's life. Either she had believed that he truly would kill her if she ever came near their daughter or she was busy cooking up something much worse for the man, hoping that she could turn their daughter to the path towards the Dark Lord. He ran a hand through his hair, feeling the weight of responsibility on his shoulders. He would never go back and make it so his daughter wasn't born, but he sometimes missed how simple things had been back then.
He often dreamed of how things were before he'd met Karja. She had been a beauty unlike any other in his home country, and he had truly loved her with all that he was. But he wasn't by any means ready to commit to just one person. Not to mention there was something in her that was ugly enough to make her outside steadily more and more repulsive to him. It had been the black, seething, gnashing hate that was in her heart. He was amazed that the woman had shown any care towards their child.
Aleks sighed and rested his head on his desk for a moment, trying to clear the woman out of his mind. She was the past and he needed to think of the present and the future, not just for himself, but for Sonya. Sonya would need him more than ever now that the Dark Lord was rising again, and Aleks was very sure that it was true that he had come back. He could feel that pit in his stomach tighten at the very thought of it. His daughter shouldn't have to live in this type of world. She shouldn't have to worry about whether she would live or die...
It took a while, but he finally lifted his head from the desk, his usual smile coming to his lips. Aleks was good at putting the past behind him and keeping his cheer up. He just had to tell himself that everything was okay in the end. If it wasn't okay, it wasn't the end. He messed his hair up into its normal casual style before taking a sip from his cup of coffee, which he'd almost forgotten about. It was still warm, so he was a happy man.
He had just picked up the Daily Prophet again when he heard footsteps outside of his office, his attention going to the door. It was a student in one of his upper classes, his gaze looking over her. Her name was... Katie. Bell. Yeah, that's what it was. She looked nervous about something, which was unusal. Normally students didn't have a problem talking with Aleks seeing that he was such a laid-back teacher.
"You need help? You've come to the right place. Come on in, take a load off." He said, motioning to one of the chairs set in front of his desk. He set down the Daily Prophet, holding his cup of coffee instead. "And don't look so nervous, dear, I don't bite... Hard." He teased, giving her a playful wink. He felt that students felt more comfortable when he made jokes, so maybe he could make her feel more at ease if he didn't look so intimidating.
Aleks already had a feeling about what the girl wanted to talk to him about. He'd seen her grades start to slip and he figured she'd want something extra credit to give her the little boost she'd need to pass. He wouldn't have a problem giving her a few quick and easy assignments, but there was also something else he'd want to give her. He'd want to give her someone to talk to, because it worried him that she was slipping like this. The girl had been doing so well in his class when the year had begun. What had happened?
"I'm listening, anytime you're ready." He told her, giving her a bright, wide smile.
Katherine E. Bell - January 11, 2012 03:25 AM (GMT)
She scrunched her face in mild discomfort as he spoke, entirely unsure as to how she ought to respond to such a remark. She half-smiled and nodded as she averted her eyes away from the professor and quickly began to fidget with the strap of the bag that hung across her shoulder. "I hope you don't bite... at all," she murmured knowingly as she continued to fiddle with the strap of her bag.
Quickly, Katie began to fish around in her bag for a folded up parchment. Upon pulling it out, she scanned the words once more and reluctantly handed over the letter signed by McGonagall. "I... my grades aren't outstanding. Far from it, actually. She... well, she's threatening me with quidditch now and Ancient Runes is one of my hardest classes."
She pursed her lips, staring sadly, as she completed her thought. Her blonde hair appeared to be ruffled, only enhancing her somewhat disheveled appearance. Her teeth dug lightly into her bottom lip as she stood awkwardly. She had developed somewhat adequate social skills, but being the way she was... she hadn't ever needed to use them.
In the past, her life had solely consisted of eating, sleeping and quidditch. She wasn't ever alone though because Fred, George, Alicia, Angelina and Oliver all share the same agenda as she. Now though, times had changed. They had all graduated and moved on with their lives and Katie was still there. Trapped within the walls of Hogwarts and living what she could only describe as a nightmare.
Quidditch was the last thing that made her happy and if McGonagall was about to take that away because of a few poor grades, Katie hadn't the faintest idea how she would manage to live through the very prolonged remainder of her seventh year.
"Just, professor, quidditch is... well, the most important thing in my life It's my love and I know I've sort of been slacking off a lot and I'm sorry. Really, I am, but I don't want to lose my spot on the team over a few neglected classes so if you could help me... well... please, I'd really appreciate it." She was still staring downward, as if she was afraid to look about, which all reality was somewhat the truth. She merely chewed on her inner cheek, a million thoughts racing through her mind with the highest hopes that he would at least comply.
Aleks J. Nikolae - January 14, 2012 10:12 PM (GMT)
Despite all of Aleks' attempts to make the girl more comfortable with him, all failed to put her even slightly more at ease. The girl's discomfort seemed to increase, actually, her body speaking more than she. He didn't like the possibility that it was him making her more uncomfortable, his smile twitching just a bit. Had he said something to offend the girl? Surely not, he'd joked like this with many students before...
He decided that something else besides him was making her uncomfortable, a problem that was rooted deeper than just her grades. If it were something too serious, he'd have to talk to Dumbledore... And already he was jumping to conclusions. Maybe the girl was just too shy to talk to him without being uncomfortable... It was hard to tell what exactly was going through her mind.
"Just a joke, I assure you." He said, trying to get her to at least calm down a little, motioning again to the chair, "Please, Miss Bell. Take a seat." His voice was gentle, almost soothing. He didn't want to seem like she was in trouble or he was about to play some mean, god-awful teacher role. No, that wasn't Aleks in the least bit. In fact, he would be more likely to act like one of the students...
He listened while the girl explained what exactly her problem was and almost smiled just because he'd been right. It was impossible to miss that the girl was obsessed with Quidditch. He had no doubts she would try out for a team outside of Hogwarts one day and probably would get famous from it. She had talent, yes, but she tended to forget there were other things in life besides just Quidditch. This was a result of her simply not knowing that and it was sad that she had to learn things the hard way.
Aleks seateed himself back behind his desk again, tipping his coffee cup to his lips for a moment. He watched her body language, trying to figure out the cause. When he set his cup down, he smiled at her, "I'm willing to help you, but we need to have a talk first." He said, "Because I'm seeing a problem besides just your grades slipping, Miss Bell." It was a blatant way of picking out her anxiety, but he couldn't really think of any other way to approach this. It wasn't something he could brush under the rug.