When the students entered the lecture hall for History of Magic today, they found each desk set with a sheet of parchment, blank except for the words Your name here under a rectangle at the bottom of the page. After the students filled their names in, the instruction would disappear and new lines and boxes would appear for them to fill in the names of their parents and siblings and aunts and uncles and so on, with options to dismiss boxes they didn’t need. The paper was very smart and would rearrange boxes so that everything fit. Professor Samuel Boot was not entirely certain how, but it meant that the family trees would be very neat and he wouldn’t have to decipher students’ scribbles and arrows and jagged lines. If he wanted to do that, he would teach Ancient Runes!
When Samuel decided that everyone had arrived, he began. “The history of magic,” Samuel said, with an emphatic waggle of his magnificent eyebrows, “is the history of people. So today we will be taking a look at your peoples’ history. Some of you are descended from talented witches and wizards. Others are the first in your line to have magic, but are descended from clever Muggles.” He assumed that at least one of those things was true for all of the students. Most Muggles were clever. They had never triggered a goblin rebellion.
“Both are important. In front of you, you have a seedling of a family tree! It is your job today to fill it out. Don’t worry where on the page you put the information. This is a history class, not an art history class…” He chuckled at his own joke. His laugh sounded like the wind rattling through ancient trees. “The paper will sort itself out. You can put years if you like, but years are irrelevant. Instead, I would like to see interesting information or perhaps an amusing anecdote about some of your family members.”
Samuel had not yet decided whether he would read the amusing anecdotes. He had quickly realized, though, that some students would not have very many names to write, either because their families were small or because they didn’t remember (this was completely fair, as Samuel had begun to write an example family tree and only gotten as far as Samuel Boot before running out of names. He thought there was a Jerry Boot but he could not quite recall which branch Jerry would hang from in relation to his own), and then the lesson would only take about five minutes. Samuel wanted the lesson to last the entire class period. Hence, anecdotes.
“Oh, yes, and you are allowed to talk while you’re doing this,” Samuel added as an afterthought. Perhaps this would help jog some students’ memories about their family members, and above all, stop them from bothering him when he had a very interesting book about The Stationery Wars sitting on his desk.
[OOC: You know the drill! Bonus points for amusing anecdotes about your characters and their family members.]