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by: Tabora
April 18th, 2012

What the Europeans called a school was a monstrosity to the Nagual visitor. Everything here was so centralized...their government, their education, their housing...plop. Right in one or two places. Tabby didn't understand how it could have lasted for so long like that. The Mayan Empire survived because the Spaniards had not been able to flush out all of the hidden pockets of the wizarding power in South America.

Then again, she mused as she idly flipped through Hogwarts: A History, the Mayans didn't have any monuments to creative stupidity quite like a castle. There were the temples. The palaces, too....but those were cultural centers! They weren't wantonly complex stone warts on the countryside.

An illustration in the book caught her eye. The Hogwarts Library, sketched in sepia toned ink, depicted shelves upon shelves of books, some of the shelves two or three stories high. Books were a luxury in the Empire. They had codexes for religious purposes, but books were a decadently foreign thing. Yeah, she could read, but that was for work purposes. Leisure reading was an opulent and luxurious thing. And they gave a library like that to children?

Maybe the castle wasn't a stone wart after all...As she read more about the library, she also discovered about the art repository that was inside the stone walls of Hogwarts. Hundreds of thousands of paintings, all made by masters who could do the life-simulation spell with their paints...what was that like? Slowly, the Nagual flipped the page and stared in wonder at the picture that depicted the stairwell with the moving staircases and opulent tapestries and oil paintings. THAT was their school? She'd gone to classes in the branches of fig trees, sitting under the spreading limbs of mahogany, and deep into the forest through the bromeliads. Her own rural experiences in learning to cast spells paled in the wonder of wizarding engineering. Little did she know that her own exotic schooling would have been the envy of any of the students...

Tabby carefully closed the book and stared again at the looming castle, reconsidering her earlier opinion.
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