Editor’s Note: This is part one of a series we will be releasing over the next short while that takes a closer look at our Heads of Houses, introduces us to them and their accomplishments and goals. Thank you to the Heads of House for being so forthcoming, and a huge thank you to all the students who have worked so hard to make this series what it is!
Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Katie Smith and I am one of the newest additions to the OWL post. For my first article, I’m being joined by another OWL writer and fellow Slytherin Rosalie Sauniere, to give you an exclusive interview with Professor Laurie Gothly. She is currently on a mission to save the Slytherin house, and restore its’ reputation. I truly believe that if there is a way to save Slytherin, I am convinced that Professor Gothly will find it.
Now, with no further ado, we present the interview with Professor Gothly!
“Did you always want to be professor?” Rosalie asked as she sat in front of Professor Gothly’s desk, giving the professor a sweet smile.
“I didn’t actually, but I always wanted to learn magic. Magic and its deepest secrets have always been a particular interest to me. It’s something I studied with my work with the Ministry.” Gothly replied, as her voice echoed through the office.
“You worked for the ministry?” Rosalie said with an eyebrow raised and her curiosity peaked, ”Can you tell us what sort of work you use do?” Rosalie questioned, curiosity seemed to be getting the better of her.
“I worked in the Department of Mysteries. I can’t speak much about what I did there, however.” Gothly replied, fixing the curious Rosalie with a warm smile. Her face seemed rather curious, and wondering where this question was going. What sort of answer was the young student expecting out of her?
“I understand, I won’t question further,” Rosalie replied as she moved on to her next question, knowing the professor was hesitant in explaining herself and her involvement in the ministry, “How would the other professors describe you?”
“On that, I would have no idea. The fellow professors and I are friendly more or less.” Gothly answered plainly and directly, it was clear by her expression that she had no clue whatsoever about what they thought of her.
“Did you attend Hogwarts when you were a young witchlet?” Katie asked as she turned to the professor and began her own series of questions.
“Yes, I did as a matter of fact.” Professor Gothly replied with a calm smile, “To be Head of House you have to be from Hogwarts. I went through the same sort of things you two are going through now.” Gothly replied, full of pride being a Hogwarts alumni herself.
“Could you explain that further? For example, what was it like for you when you were in Hogwarts, or what house were you in?” Katie asked cheerfully, keeping eye contact with Professor Gothly.
“It was different, and at the same time the very same. I was Slytherin, just like the two of you are. We had troublemakers and students who wanted better. Slytherin is a house of pride, and we strive to make achievements we are proud of. One of my many roles as the Head of House is to give this house something to be proud of.” Gothly answered with a faint smile, remembering the glory days back when she was in Hogwarts.
“How much work load do you usually have?” Rosalie said at the mention of the Professor’s duties as the Head of Slytherin, “On top of being a professor, and Head of House, how do you manage to squeeze in time for your house and the other students?” Rosalie asked, knowing that words could barely describe how busy Professor Gothly must be between her classes and duties being the head of house.
“I’m behind on homework for my Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. I’m rather busy these days, mostly due to certain students of the house.” Gothly posed, “Being called a Slytherin doesn’t entitle you to be an antagonizer, and it will not be tolerated so long as I am head of this house.” Gothly announced with a serious tone of concern in her voice.
“Speaking of Slytherin, what makes you qualified to be the Head of House Slytherin?” Katie asked with a casual air.
“Besides being alumni here at Hogwarts, I’ve had extensive dealings in the magical world. I’ve spent many years in the Ministry, and have been an active professor here at Hogwarts for some years. I wouldn’t know what doesn’t make me any more or less qualified than any other.” Gothly replied, her voice clear through it all and filled with pride.
“Do you see yourself as an ally to students, especially those who are in Slytherin?” Katie asked, hearing the many rumors that buzzed around the house about the professor, “Is helping Slytherin part of your career goals?”
“I consider myself an ally to those Slytherin students who wish me to be. Thus far in my career I would say I am on track with my wishes at this point. I do intend to help mold the Slytherins of the future, there are few other goals that matter more to me than that.” Gothly answered, her voice full of sincerity.
“What do you think Slytherin students think of you so far?” Katie asked, worried about what the students thought of her, especially after events that happened in their house, her classes.
“I think some will see me as strict and unnecessarily unfair. I think others will see me as a way to help Slytherin be what they wanted to be when they joined the house. Others may not know me well enough to know either.” Gothly answered in a deep, serious tone that was full of wisdom.
“Most people think Slytherins are trouble makers, do you believe that’s true?” Katie asked, her tone changed from being carefree to being rather serious in the matter of moments.
Gothly shook her head, and said bluntly, “I do not, I think people just need a purpose to use those energies. Students should be rewarded for being wise about what they do, and punished for being dull. There is a lot of danger outside these walls, Hogwarts is a place where you can learn things in a safe environment.” Gothly answered in a rather tired voice, but her words tumbled out in a breathless stream.
“Do you feel guilty when you have to punish a student, especially ones of your house?” Rosalie asked, in a kind voice, trying not to sound like she’s being sarcastic.
“No, every punishment is deserved. Any Slytherin who deserves punishment will be punished harder, not lighter. Students who reside in Slytherin, and their actions not only reflect on the house, but also on me in the end.” Gothly’s voice changed from being tired back to being serious.
“Can you share a story of you helping one of the students in our school?” Katie asked, hoping to see a different side of Professor Gothly.
“I helped a student who was covered in blood near the Great Hall not too long ago. Apparently he had a run-in with a certain cat near the Whomping Willow. It was quite the sight.” For the sake of anonymity, we were requested not to use the name of the student. “[Another student and myself] took them to the Hospital Wing to get patched up. The injured student left me a note actually, in regards to the incident. They are doing fine, and the circumstances which got them into the situation won’t happen again.” Gothly answered, her voice sounded more motherly than scolding.
“How did you feel accepting this job after the Hag incident happened?” Rosalie asked while she wrote down the answers given by Professor Gothly. It was clear the professor had stepped into this role, knowing very well the circumstances behind the former head of house.
“That is in the past. If you stay focused on the past. you can’t press forward to the future. You learn from the past, then you move on the best you can. Things are the way they are here because of many reasons, but I wanted the opportunity to make things better.” Gothly replied, not wanting to pursue the matter further.
“What are your views on older years bullying the first years?” Katie asked, but showing some strain in her voice. She tried to calm her heart down, but it would not cooperate.
“That it’s quite prominent, and I plan to stop it.” Gothly answered with a serious yet stern tone.
“Are there any final words you would like to share with your students, or perhaps those in Slytherin?” Rosalie asked, hoping for a favorable conclusion to the interview.
“There are many changes coming to the house. Be prepared.” Gothly said, rather clear about her position on the subject. Despite the serious tone in her voice, Professor Gothly flashed a sincere smile for the first time and it felt genuine and almost inviting.