Like many teachers, Estelle had complaints about curriculums. She regularly took advantage of her position as one of RMI’s long-standing professors to bend the IWCE’s guidelines into topics that were in her field of interest or just plain interesting - everything from Ancient Egyptian currency to Muggle shoe designs. (This was helped by the fact that the majority of RMI’s Heads over the years weren’t academics themselves and hadn’t cared what she did.) However, there was one aspect of the IWCE curriculum that she viewed fondly. With a school of RMI’s size it only came around once every few years, and she savoured it every time.
Notices had gone out the week prior that today’s Cultural Studies class was mandatory for all of the older students. When they arrived to the Lecture Hall, they would find Estelle already standing in front of the podium, hands on her hips, decked out in army-green khakis and a white blouse embroidered with tiny red lobsters - her subtle way of dressing up for what was basically Christmas. “Sit down and shush,” she ordered impatiently as the last stragglers drifted in, flapping a hand to slam the door shut behind them. “I’m sure you’re all wondering why you’re here. Well, the answer’s pretty simple.” The hand that was flapping now snapped fingers, and the students were treated to two large posters unrolling at the front of the room with diagrams of typical male and female bodies. “Welcome to Sex Ed!”
The first half of the class was all talk, accompanied by the charmed posters shifting and expanding to highlight the relevant body parts. Estelle started with a straightforward explanation of the physical act before diverting from the basic cishetero-normative technique. Talking about all the other ways people might choose to engage with each other led to a strongly-worded lecture on consent, at one point encouraging the entire class to shout “no” loudly enough to be heard on the Quidditch pitch.
Then it was time for consequences. Hooray! Estelle covered some of the common STIs and STDs - there would be opportunity to go into more detail in later classes, but she made sure to pull up some fun graphic posters to drive the point home, because 100% guaranteed some of the older students had had sex already without thinking about any of this. She complemented this with instructions about how to properly use various forms of Muggle and magical protection, before finally arriving at her favourite part. The fact it was her favourite might’ve been given away by the wicked smile that had appeared on the brunette’s face.
“And the biggest consequence of all, lads: you might wind up accidentally spawning.” With that verbal cue, Mimsie the house-elf popped into existence beside her, balancing a large baby carrier on her head. Estelle leaned over to scoop out Cambrian and presented her to the room, Lion King-style. She’d pulled this trick before when her sons were infants, and it brought her just as much satisfaction the third time around. (Not enough to make her want a fourth, though. She was very done with being pregnant.)
“This is the reason why I was off work part of last term. Say hi to Cambrian,” she instructed the class, bouncing Cam in her arms to ward off any crying at this unasked-for introduction. “She’s already almost a year old and still can’t do anything more than eat and poop. Looking after a baby and raising it to be a functioning adult is a full-time job. Maybe you want babies one day, but today’s probably not that day, ay? But sometimes, even with all the protection in the world, surprise babies happen. Life is magic like that. So consider this your prep time.”
Balancing Cambrian on her hip, she stared along the rows of students, noting that many of them were with their normal seatmates. Nope, that wouldn’t do. Estelle wanted to challenge them to get outside their comfort zone… er, more than they already would be. She started calling out names. “Mr. Skahill, slide on over to Mr. Park, thank you. And Miss Rosse, hmm.” She changed up a few more pairings - deliberately mixing genders, Houses, year-groups, and her perception of where friendship allegiances lay.
That done, Estelle wandlessly levitated a few boxes of dolls to drift along the rows of chairs. “Every pair should take one doll,” she instructed. The dolls had blank faces; they were enchanted to take on features of their ‘parents’ upon being touched, and from there, realism charms allowed them to come to life, with everything from crying to diaper changes. Extra charms would alert the professor to any neglect. “Congrats, new parents! You’ve got the rest of class to get acquainted, figure out a day/night schedule with your partner, that sort of thing. From now until Midterm, your mission is to balance school and childcare. We’ll have twice-monthly classes like this to check in and learn more valuable life skills.” Bellamy had insisted on adding a lesson about investing and taxes, which she’d agreed to only because he offered to teach it. She pitied the students already.
“Before you leave today, head down to the front and we can get you set up with supplies.” There were more boxes beside her filled with cradles, high chairs, toys, diapers, formula, and soforth - all shrunken, the miniature supplies would grow to regular size once tapped with a wand. Theoretically the students would wait to do this after they got back to their dorms, but Estelle was half-hoping at least one would do it early and have to lug a rocker down the hall. “That’s all! Divide the work evenly. Come see me with any concerns. And don’t kill your baby.”
OOC: Aren’t you excited?? I expect some quality mayhem, so have fun with it. Also, feel free to mention your babies in other posts between now and Midterm - I’ll be keeping an eye out and you’ll get extra house points!