The Folklore classroom was a lecture theatre fitted with five rows of dark wood desks and benches. At the end of the room was a grand desk and a blackboard, and painted on the wall was a beautiful mural, from the perspective of somebody out at sea. The castle was visible on the cliffside, water crashing below, and the White forest faded away onto the west wall. Here, before the seats began was an alcove window, the panes a mix of clear and coloured glass, the view an oceanic horizon.
On the upper border of the mural was a painted inscription, the Sanctuary motto, which read:
TUERI SOMNIANS, SOMNIO ESSE - To protect the dreamer, to be the dream.
When Will slipped into his seat on the third row beside Tayna and Andrel, he noticed that blank nameplates placed at each space were magickally written with their full names. Their professor, Mrs Calibrase was renown as the most forgetful woman any student had ever met. The school council had commissioned nameplates after she constantly forgot her class' names, calling several of them 'Wilbur'.
The students slowly reached their seats, racing up and down the sloping stairs to each other until Mrs Calibrase entered through the back doors. She was wearing a old, vine green robe, embroidered with fleur-de-lis patterns, buckled beneath her bust. She was a thin woman with a slight hunchback and long, spindly hands. Her grey hair was tightly permed, and she was well over retirement age. Still, she would always blame her trips and falls on loose nails or invisible carpets, never on her deteriorating state.
She looked cold and strict as she dropped her books onto her desk, admonishing them in a strange, calm tone as she picked up her trusty cane from its mount. 'The time of learning is nigh, children,' she said, turning to the blackboard and writing the title, 'my class began approximately two minutes ago, so I would implore you all -,' suddenly, she dragged the metal tip of her cane down the board, the blood-curdling shriek echoing from row to row, '- to settle down!'
The children silently seated themselves, took out their ledgers, and arranged their stationary in the desk holders. Will turned around and saw the Twins shadowed at the back of the room. They leant up against the walls with their legs on the desk, Marinia saw his observations and smirked at him. It irritated him that the Twins were constantly excused from their behaviour by professors - were they scared too?
After we visit the library, he consoled to himself, I'll be ready.
Mrs Calibrase's expression softened for a moment at the class' attentive behaviour, until she saw that some of them had laid their wands in the holes of the desk, slotted diagonally, the handle up for easy use.
'If I haven't told you enough,' she barked, 'put away your wands!'
The children hesitated and looked confused, but did as commanded. 'Dear me,' she continued, 'I don't know what to do with your generation, it's unbelievable. You simply cannot rely on your abilities to get you through life. You may be Draíochta, and therefore magick users, but there is no point in being the most powerful magus in the world if you are inept to the world itself! No, no, no, whilst you are in my class, there will be no shrieking pens, fake door-knocking or flying board rubbers.'
Andrel prodded Will and rolled his eyes, this sort of lecture was common from Mrs Calibrase in and out of class, usually in passing in the halls when she would tell them of how she managed in life without relying on magick.
None of the children took her seriously.