2016 Resolutions: Hogwarts Professors Edition
A little-known fact about a job as Hogwarts professor is the tradition of submitting one’s New Year’s resolutions for the coming year to the Headmaster. An even lesser-known fact is that this tradition was not always commonplace; it was started by Albus Dumbledore during his tenure, supposedly to help his teachers be “self-reflective” about how the academic year was going thus far but mainly because he thought it was “hilarious.”
Here are a few of our favorites, including some from the archives, penned by those who no longer teach.
1. REMUS LUPIN, DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS PROFESSOR
I feel my first term of teaching has gone fairly well thus far, and I’m particularly pleased with my third-year students’ responses to a boggart I threw them. However, I do understand there are some areas in which I can improve. In the coming term, I shall:
- Stop using chocolate as a means to get students to like me.
- Desist from telling students that listening to Top 40 music will make their magic weaker. (Look, Albus, I have wolf-like hearing, as it were. You can’t blame me for trying to stop them from playing that infernal racket in their dormitories, honestly.)
- Stop locking myself in the bathroom during my time of the month when the Shrieking Shack is cold. I understand sinks are expensive, that they are school property, and that I shall have to pay to replace the next one myself should I continue to use my private bathroom as a comfortable alternative for my transformation.
- Stop using my heightened powers of smell to sniff out which students are using illicit substances and more importantly, stop telling them I won’t turn them in if they give me half. I understand that Albus Dumbledore has eyes everywhere and knows everything, though I cannot understand how he bloody well does it.
I write these undertakings of my own free will and not merely to avoid disciplinary action from the school board.
2. HORACE SLUGHORN, POTIONS MASTER
In this coming year, I am going to give up nachos. Or – perhaps just give up cheese and sour cream. Or perhaps I’ll keep the cheese and replace the sour cream with avocado. Oh, Merlin’s beard, why do Muggles have to make their food so delicious?
And what’s all this about cholesterol? I don’t believe in it. One minute you’re fine, living a completely blameless life, and the next, you apparently have this made-up sounding condition called cholesterol, and the only way to make it go away is to stop eating nachos.
Look, I’ve embraced the Muggle world and its ways as much as the next man, but this is a bridge too far. First, they ensnare me with their magical Mexican food, and then they curse me with this cholesterol business that apparently comes from eating the Mexican food.
I, as you know, Albus, do not have Death Eater sympathies. No time for that rubbish. But if the Muggles are trying to destroy us with cholesterol and nachos, people should know! There should be an outcry! How many more innocents must be told by Poppy Pomfrey that they can no longer eat cheese before it ends?
3. POPPY POMFREY, HEALER
Albus, I can resolve as long and loud as I like that none of my students will die this year, but it would help if you stopped putting them in situations where they are likely to die. That is all I am saying.
It makes me look incompetent, and that’s completely unfair when half the time they’re dead before I even get a look-in.
Also, Albus, you don’t have to deal with their parents. I want a response on this! Or the next time one of them dies, I’ll leave them in your office, and you can deal with it.
4. NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM, HERBOLOGY PROFESSOR
Oh, Merlin’s saggy left bollock, you have absolutely no ****ing idea how much compassion I have for Severus Snape right now. I will be happy, Minerva, if I get through 2016 without committing a ****ing violent homicide. Can that be my resolution? Not to go to Azkaban for killing a Potter? The youngest, Minerva, the youngest is something else. He’s so distracted all the time, I just want to sic a mandrake on his face. I have no idea how Severus Snape cultivated the restraint needed to not push Harry out of a window when we were at school. ***** ****ing ******, Minerva, the man was a bleeding saint.
Don’t you dare tell his portrait I said that.
5. CHARITY BURBAGE, MUGGLE STUDIES PROFESSOR
Albus, this is ridiculous. I know you want me to make a resolution about preventing the debacle that was last year’s sixth-year Muggle Studies exam from repeating itself, but I can’t, and I won’t. A student cannot give Joy Division lyrics as an example in an essay about music because I simply do not accept that Ian Curtis was a Muggle. Why is that so hard to believe, Albus? That you missed a wizard, that Hogwarts got one wrong, and that he went on to create some of the greatest music of the 20th century?
I’m not sorry, Albus, and I shall tell you now that I will continue not to accept lyrics by Nirvana, the Smiths, or the Smashing Pumpkins either. Or films by Ang Lee. No way he’s a Muggle. Please drop by my office sometime for a full list. Severus will back me on this.
6. SEVERUS SNAPE, POTIONS MASTER
Albus, this year I shall seriously look into kale and getting some of that all-natural eczema shampoo Filius recommended.
Actually, no I won’t, Albus, this is a joke.
I promise not to shop anyone to the Dark Lord this year. That good enough for you, you mad old coot?
7. CUTHBERT BINNS, MAGICAL HISTORY PROFESSOR
In 2016, I resolve to stop ringing the BBC Drama department to tell them about historical inaccuracies they have made in their period pieces. I now understand, thanks to a lecture from Hermione Granger, what “artistic license” is. I also understand that using the argument, “But I was there,” only confuses the Muggles and leads to messy situations with Ministry Obliviators that I am keen to avoid in the future. I give my apologies to everyone affected.
8. ALBUS DUMBLEDORE, PAST HEADMASTER
Do I really still have to do these, Minerva? I’m dead.
Ah, well, I suppose this is my comeuppance. All right then, let’s see:
I shall stop interjecting in Minerva’s meetings from my portrait, even when I am aware that she is wrong.
I shall block people on Twitter, rather than engaging.
I shall stop hiding in portraits in the first years’ dormitories and yelling “boo” at them in the middle of the night, even though, honestly Minerva, they could use some toughening up. Remember back in the day, when we kept animals in the school that could kill people? And teachers who could kill people? And we had a war at the school once?
Those were some exciting times. Mad, but exciting. Jumping out at first years is all I’ve got.
Got a New Year’s resolution yourself? Let us know in the comments!