Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has faced very difficult times ever since a series of scandals, murders, and mysterious disappearances rocked the famed British school of magic. Not only is attendance way down as parents no longer deem the establishment safe enough for their children, but educators are also rather reluctant (and understandably so) to accept a position on the faculty.
Rattlemore Humperdink, the school’s new Headmaster, recently traveled to Maine to discuss the school’s future with the state’s Wizard and Witch community. While in town, he sat down with this Modern Philosopher to talk about where things are headed.
“You have to understand, Austin, that running a school the size of Hogwarts is a very expensive endeavor,” Humperdink pleaded with me as he enjoyed a bottle of Moxie and a whoopie pie. “Do you know how much it costs to maintain the Quidditch program alone? Do you want to hazard a guess as to the annual fee to insure a school that houses teenagers, teaches Magic and the Dark Arts, keeps magical creatures on the grounds, and counts ghosts as members of its faculty? Magic can only take care of so much!”
“When I took over, I sat down with the Treasurer and posed a very simple question: ‘Who pays for the students to attend this school?’ Do you know what I got for an answer?” the tiny man with the long beard stared at me awaiting an answer, but all I could do was shrug my shoulders. “He told me he didn’t know. All these years, and not a single tuition bill was ever mailed. Some people assumed the Ministry of Magic was footing the bill, but even if that were the case, those folks have fallen on harder times they we have. They won’t be writing any checks in the near future.”
I could tell that my guest was very upset, and offered him something harder to drink than Maine’s famous soft drink, but he declined because of the need to apparate in the near future. “We all know about the horrible things that happened at my great school, and now that the dust has settled, many people expected Hogwarts to rise again like the mighty Phoenix, but that has not been the case,” the Headmaster lamented. “The sins of the past weigh mightily upon the present, and our school no longer seems to have anyone to champion its cause. I hate to be harsh, but I’m just going to say it…just because a certain someone decided she no longer needed to tell our story, doesn’t mean that we no longer have a story worth telling!”
Amen, brother! So how does the school keep its doors open and fight off creditors? “I had to sit down with the board and tell them that after much soul searching and talking with trusted advisers, the only real option was to open our doors to Muggles. I know it doesn’t seem right, but if the true future Wizards and Witches are to continue to receive a proper education, we need to expand the student body to find someone to foot the bill.”
What does this mean in regards to entrance requirements? The Great Wizard sighed mightily before he answered that question. “The applicants need to demonstrate some ability to do magic. By this I mean, they can show us a card trick, pull a rabbit out of a hat, or do that thing where they pour milk into a newspaper cone and then turn it over and nothing spills out of it. If they can do something like that they’re in, just as long as the check clears. And mind you, it is not a small fee to attend Hogwarts. These Muggles are footing the bill for the entire school, so their parents are writing some rather hefty checks.”
Humperdink had one small request to make of my readers. “Please don’t think of this as our selling out or belittling the importance of the work being done at Hogwarts. Rather, look at it as a necessary evil. The Muggles aren’t going to cause any trouble, I will personally guarantee that. The one bit of magic they are going to learn, though, is how to transform a crumbling school into an even better version of its once glorious self. Their money is going to save Magic.”
He also told me that he was in town soliciting donations from the Magic community, and had received a hefty endowment from Stephen and Tabitha King that should help ensure that a fully qualified faculty awaits the students in the fall. If anyone would like to make a donation to the Hogwarts Scholarship Fund, they can email the Headmaster directly at RHMagicman11@Hogwarts.edu.
What do you think, Modern Philosophers? Do you think a school like Hogwarts can be saved, or should Magic students turn to online programs like Hocus Pocus University or Nobody Beats the Wiz Online? Do you believe Magic still has a place in this world? Would you like to see the stories of Hogwarts continue?
Fill my sorting hat with your comments, and I promise to get to them all…