Basically my Hogwarts graduation speech
Not much is told about the Hogwarts graduation, of how the ceremony consisted of leaving the castle riding the enchanted boats – exactly the ones that took us into Hogwarts for the first time in our first years. And the huge wave of nostalgia that just hits you, like you were struck with the an unforgivable curse.
I remember my first train ride. I remember packing my things after my first O.W.L exams because I was pretty sure I’d get a ‘Troll’ on every magic-related test. (or worse, Expelled)
I remember the long breaks on our NEWT years. I remember spending most of my existence in the Ravenclaw common room, with its midnight blue carpets and ceiling donned with the night stars. I remember not ever wanting to get our because a.) calling it Home was an understatement and b.) because I’m afraid of never being able to answer the eagle’s questions by the door.
I remember how my first question took me almost an hour to wait for someone to answer it for me, ‘What caused the inter-country apparition to be banned?’. I remember how the eagle on the door ignored my answer ‘because they need to have a passport’ (that was so muggleborn of me!). I was *this* close to googling it, and then I remembered how muggle devices go haywire inside the castle. I remember how the Ravenclaw prefect saved me. The answer was extreme flinching, by the way.
I remember faking a prediction on Divination class like I faked my illness on the day we had to practice on slugs during Transfiguration. I just can’t with slugs. I remember staying up ’til midnight on Wednesdays because Wednesday nights mean Astronomy classes and I just couldn’t get enough of the Universe – magical or no.
I remember having to polish the candelabra on the great hall as part of my detention because I was consistently late on my first period (which was almost always Defense Against the Dark Arts). I never had the chance to discover the escape routes of the detention chamber which I would’ve gladly shared.
And I also remember gaining house points because I was outstanding in Muggle Art (an extra-curricular activity) by simply creating caricatures of witches and wizards (something of which muggles artists can always do better at). I say Muggle art because Art in Hogwarts’ context consisted of magical tools and paint.
I remember how it made me double proud as it was the year we won the house cup as well. I remember the night we celebrated every house victory, of how our common room stank of butterbeers and of how we woke up on the common room floors the next day. I couldn’t count the number of times someone slipped on the staircases to the dormitories because they transformed into slides quite a lot that night (this happens when an opposite sex tries to enter the opposite sex’s dorm rooms, fyi).
I remember the screams we cheered on every quidditch match, I remember how they grew louder when there was an inter-school game. Though I’m positively convinced they were mostly fan-girl screams for the Durmstrang guys. I remember how I only had eyes for the Gryffindor prefect during our 5th year (hi, Remil!).
And I remember how Hogsmeade trips break me financially, but I’m glad I always had a friend to share Honeydukes expenses and goods with (Hi, Jatin!); and emotionally by seeing that Gryffindor prefect in Madame Puddifoot’s with a girl too cute an accent. I remember buying socks to send them to my dad, I didn’t know they screamed when they get too smelly. Imagine the heart attack it gave my mum and dad.
I remember making new friends over Tomen and scrolls: Kaitlin the Slytherin girl, Charmaine Inah who reads too much she must be a Ravenclaw, Raisa who gave us Zonko’s treats (I should really check if they’re safe), Ashley the proud Hufflepuff, Cherie and Patrice both over-achieving prefects – of which I never really knew their houses..and a lot more whose faces I only knew.
I remember how meeting up with the lot on Diagon Alley at Forlean and Fortescue’s became a routine before we head to our respective houses as the term starts. I remember the familiar faces with the same fascination I have with Scribbulus – the wizard writing implements shop, and I remember always having to pick secondhand wardrobes – and I’m not even complaining.
I couldn’t thank Hogwarts enough for making me the person I am today, although I never really excelled in its craft and I never figured out Arithmancy. I was almost always cramming spells over breakfast til my 7th year and I never really got used to ghosts floating through walls, like I will never get used to leave the place that has been more than home.
I remember hugging everyone (regardless of house) on that fine graduation day; of fifth helpings of treacle tart and having our moving pictures taken. I remember how we raised and lit up our wands with respective house colors and threw our caps in the air as we sang the Hogwarts hymn on that final day.
I remember the castle fading into view, I remember refusing to take one last look behind as I got out the enchanted boat.
Because I was pretty sure I’d only to see and old ruin with a sign over the entrance saying ‘DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE.’ Because it makes me remember how only those who have not received their Hogwarts letter can see what I refused to see.
Shoutout to Jatin, my fellow Ravenclaw, for insipring me this idea to write. Here’s to trying to open the chamber of secrets assuming that Parseltongue was said in our native language.