Hogwarts actually accepted me! That was, to put in the humblest of the available expressions, mindblowing. I had just returned after spending a year with the Beauxbatons school of Magic, and was in a natatory stage with the memories of the likes of Fleur Delacour. While I surfed the Leaky Cauldron for purchasing essentials for my entry to Hogwarts, various people stood with mock respect, which probably led me to believe that the top of the world had been already achieved, though I was treading along somewhere in central India. As the Hogwarts express left its usual platform, rumblings in the stomach and thumpings in the heart followed till the point I made the entry into the magical palace.
The humble welcome
Our days began with the morning rounds of the forbidden forest (for the couch potatoes). Surprisingly, the plump Madam Sprout and the handsome Cedric Diggory were leading the sessions. Cedric Diggory was there for pretty obvious reasons, but of course the reasons themselves were conspicuous by their presence in terms of cardinality. Later in the day, when the tall and charming Professor Dumbledore shook hands with me, asked my name and introduced himself, my jaw hung in sheer awe of his sheer humility. Later, in a meeting of the freshers and the professors, Remus Lupin, who was humble, and Filius Flitwick who called himself the “aspiring politician” yet humorous. His very persona sounded “Wingardium Leviosa”. The charming Ms Pince from the library was another wonderment who spoke more than a language or two. Gilderoy was present too and he was, if one may forgive the expression, silent!
A few from the freshmen kept on asking whether I had really been to the Beauxbatons school for a year before I had joined Hogwarts! The curious people wanted to know if I had really encountered Fleur Delacour the quarter-veela from that college. I had a tough time answering the curiosities and trying to impress them with my french at the same time!
Snape and his symphonies
Professor Snape made his presence felt in a remarkable fashion. He was infamous for his brutally exaggerated criticisms of people who were unaware of healthy practices and had ambitions of being managers rather than being magicians. He often opined that they were muggles or brought up by muggles. However, on the other hand was of the most amazing personalities in the college. magic just lay in his delivery, and he would practically romance with whatever he taught. Percy Weasley and his classmates often recount his interactions with him while at Hogwarts. tells me about the stories that he wove with the beams and bricks and their interaction in the group named G9. Professor Snape, in the following years, surprisingly turned sweeter. At a certain point of time, Professor Snape became so student friendly, that he decided to pay extra efforts to students and the facilities required for them. Unfortunately, for strangely unknown reasons he decided to apparate to another magic school, when he was nominated for the best teacher award at Hogwarts.
The buzzing bumblebees
One of the famous initiatives of the Fat Friar were to bring the bumblebees from various colleges of magic to Hogwarts. He thought that it would be nice to increase the future students of Hogwarts and would help some poor muggles to turn into excellent wizards. The bumblebees would always turn up each summer in different colors, shapes and sizes. They were always the favourites of Professor Snape who would always entertain them with his jokes, even giving them names of the feline creature, in case someone wished to appear for a C.A.T. Examination. Sometime Professor Minerva McGonagall would also turn up to give a motherly touch to the entire process of training the bumblebees. And it was amazing how multiple versions of Hermione Granger, Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley and Luna Lovegood would turn up each summer, though a couple of Dracos would appear once in a while. Over the years, they would always fly international class, either with a big dream or a doctoral scholarship. The Ron Weasleys were severely missed on such occasions, though Neville Longbottom made himself quite available. After 28 days of rigourous training on the various aspects of magic, the bumblebees would ritually create a pool of tears before departure.
The Professors' Putterers
Each semester, the Professors were given some Putterers to help them in the courses of magic. Of course, as expected, there were three kinds of them. Firstly there were ones who were the Gryffindors. Secondly, the Ravenclaws and lastly, the Hufflepuffs. One or two amongst them did emerge from Slytherin, but they were negligible in number. The Gryffindors were always putting in an extra effort and were always assisting in courses and the O.W.L.s, The Ravenclaws were the intelligent ones and were making themselves useful in the activities of the college while the Hufflepuffs were rather, to put in the least strongest of words, good for nothings. They would go to any extent to make an idiot of themselves, especially when special help was expected of them. The “pegs” and “arrows” would invariably appear similar to them.
The Hufflepuffs were also had a special group amongst themselves. The misuse of Hogwarts artifacts group was the most infamous in the college. This group actively participated in calling names for female students, whiling away their time in browsing publications seeking connubiality in the Daily Prophet or over the Wizarding Network.
Gaddings with the Gilderoys
“Gather around, gather around. Can you all see me, can you all hear me? Excellent....!”
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
If pomp and show were anything to go by, the Gilderoys were the example. Equipped with a dainty grin, their initial days at Hogwarts were spent in the quarterage of the Fat Friar and Professor Snape. In the later years, they got so apparently and incredibly busy in making themselves popular by going cock-a-doodle-do, that they forgot their own apprentices. Their apprentices became slowly timourous about the ramifications of not telling Gilderoy and attending someone's charms class, the wizard or witch might end up with a red and black seal on the scroll. The one reason that the mandrakes shrieked when someone crept up near a Gilderoy was this.
Wonderings with the Weasleys
A bespectacled guy, Ron Weasley turned up a year later than me to the Hogwarts castle. Timid by appearance, but the heart of an Indian tiger, he came along with Jeanne. Jeanne was rather shy to make an appearance at public meetings, but was knowledgeable enough to make an impression. Like Harry, Ron too got stuck with one of the Gilderoys, for some time. Ron wanted to tour around, get out of the Hogwarts castle and was keen to get himself known for good reasons. Life would of course have different plans for Ron. His ventures for adventures were repeatedly blocked by Gilderoy in favour of Fluffy, the three headed creature. Alas! If only he had listened to Harry, regarding the realities of the college and Dumbledore's kind heartedness.
The only place where I found myself comfortable was the athenaeum. In the mornings when the rays of the morning sun bathed the athenaeum, people like Collin Creevey used to rush out to catch a glimpse of the same with their wizard rolls. The fountain that lay close by in the form of Hedwig, was a reminder of knowledge to all who were interested, and a reminder of Lavender to all those interested in the arrows of cupid and its potions. It was also one of the favourite places of Nymphadora and Lupin. Lupin tells us that he used his handkerchief and the love potion to make Nymphadora fall in love with him.
Warm in winters and cool in summers, it was an excellent place to be in. One could go to the reference section or to the restricted section and read books to one's heart's content. In fact, if there was any place in Hogwarts where one could obliviate the memories of worldly sadness, the athenaeum was that.
Vivacious Voldemort was intelligent, convincing and held the power of hypnotic talk to convince any person who had the courage to oppose him intellectually. Interestingly the Fat Friar, Professor Snape, Repus Lupin, and the Gilderoys were all under the hypnotic influence of the Vivacious Voldemort. Probably, they were under the influence of the imperius curse.
However, Voldemort was a previous student of Hogwarts, and it was proud of him. He had implemented several positive practices with which the student were fearlessly able to critique and question the system. He had once famously commented “If you have no solution, do not complain”.
As I gently plan my exit from Hogwarts to possibly move into other magic schools, I would not greatly regret being here for sometime. I would take back the memories of intellectual friends and good books … and pray not the Hufflepuffs!
Author's note: This is an article in figurative language with caricatures copiously borrowed from the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling. Although, the series deals in the world of magic, the author has experienced that similar reflections happen in the real world. A millions of thanks to Ms. J. K. Rowling for writing those seven nice books, which are an example of exceptional story telling.
I guess, I too had been in this Hogwarts once...
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