leaving hogwarts

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of John Williams’ music for the Harry Potter movies, specifically the end track to Sorcerer’s Stone:

“Leaving Hogwarts.”

(Okay, my sweet fellow Puffs. I know you’re worried and you’re soft, and I love you. Put a snack in your backpack, because it’s time for us to go.)

I’m still a big YA reader, so, even at 30, I find myself still relating often to my beloved teenage heroes and protagonists out there. Because I still feel like a kid. I still feel safest when I’m being instructed, when I’m being led, when I’m being taught, trained, counseled, offered advice and suggestions on what to do and where to go.

But I’m 30 now.

And that doesn’t mean that I don’t still get to yearn for advice and counseling and support and HELP, but also…

My loves, it is time to leave the castle and head into the woods. We have Horcruxes to find.

(And my Gryffindors and my Ravenclaws and my Slytherins and my Muggles, too. We have to be in this together.)

Because this is the vow we made, dear hearts, all those years ago. Staying up past our bedtimes to read just one more chapter, please:

(I am loathe to quote you, Albus Dumbledore, you know that. I am loather to quote you, J.K. Rowling, but I believe we have universally decided that you taught us better than this, and that this does not belong to you anymore. Thank you kindly.)

“Dark and difficult times lie ahead, Harry. Soon we must all make the choice between what is right, and what is easy.”

We are each one of us operating on different wavelengths of ability, of privilege, of stability. Do what is right and well for you, even if that isn’t today or tomorrow or many tomorrows from now. If all you can do is to muster kindness in your heart, well, thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.

I do not have much in the way of money right now, so on Monday, I go to donate blood. I will share information and resources as best I can. I do not drive, but if you need me, I will figure out how to get myself to you.

We each of us matter. We each of us can and will do good. I did not choose to be anyone like a doctor or a lawyer, and I oftentimes wonder, “What is the point of me? How can I help?”

I believe in the power of stories. And I believe in you. And, so, if all I have to offer you is a story, I hope it will make you smile and buoy you up with sunshine for these tough days ahead of us.

Professor Keating now, as always: “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” 

You are good. You are enough. You are worthy. Please take care of yourself, because we need you. And I do not say this to put pressure on you, only to remind you that you are, in fact, part of something. You are not alone. We are in the Great Hall, and we are packing our bags together, and we are going to walk out of the castle, lessons in our back pockets, hand in hand.

We will never be as prepared as we wish. It’s okay.

(You’re okay.)

It’s time. Remember what we’ve learned, classmates:

We do not let bullies win. We do not accept hatred or bigotry. We find courage within our friends.

We are fucking magic.

Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it, and it is time for us to do some of the answering.

We are fucking magic. 

 

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