There is a lingering smell of citrus around the pile of this week’s edition of ‘The Owl Post’… Even the copy you pick up smells faintly orange-y… Maybe you should read it somewhere warm?
1. Let’s start off with the basics: Who you are and how you came to teach at our school. Can you give us a bit of your history? How about family life?
Well I was born in Mould-on-the-Wold, my birthday was actually on Sunday, and I was educated at the Durmstrang Institute. I suppose what attracted me to Hogwarts was the fact that I did not attend the school – my father didn’t particularly approve of the admittance of Muggle-borns. He doesn’t really approve of anything so that does rather make him quite qualified for his job at the Ministry; my mother you would probably have heard of: Mila Venom, she’s a rather famous spokeswitch and former model. And then I found my little Alekto about a year before I came here and she’s been my familiar ever since.
2. Why Mythology?
My family has its roots in Egypt and the Byzantine so it’s always been in my blood. After I had finished school I travelled around the world, living in and around the cultures that have prominent mythologies. I spent a long while in Greece which is probably my strongest subject, as well as Italy, Egypt, Australia, China, Japan, India, Peru, Norway and Sweden, and areas of America and Canada. I may have picked up a slight mix accents from school and abroad – but I doubt it’s all that noticeable!
3. What do you normally do when not teaching?
Usually I’m working in my office, or reading in my quarters. I like to keep up-to-date with Muggle archaeological discoveries relating to mythology; some Egyptian artefacts – statuettes of the god Sobek among others – from the Graeco-Roman period were discovered recently in the Nile Delta, for example, giving us some fascinating insight into religious practices of the time. And if I’m feeling a little crowded in and around the castle (it’s certainly bigger than Durmstrang’s), I head off to Hogsmeade for a drink and a wander.
4. What was the worst punishment you’ve ever given?
I once sent a student on a fool’s errand, counting and cataloguing every portrait and painting in the school, for the librarians; she didn’t know they’d already done that weeks before. The Grand Staircase alone took her about four hours. I managed to waste her entire Saturday. Although, there are those times one or two students have come close to being turned into pigs.
5. Would you ever actually turn someone into a pig?
Who says I haven’t?
6. Are you married? Or seeing anyone currently?
There was someone, a long time ago. I’d rather not speak about it.
7. If not a teacher, where do you see yourself?
You know, I thought about what I would be after school a lot when I was there. The answer scared me a great deal at the time. Now, though, I couldn’t see myself doing anything other than teaching; I love being able to pass on my knowledge and see students taking an interest in a subject people can often dismiss as ‘boring’ compared to practical magic. I would suppose Curse-Breaking – there was the briefest of times where that was a viable option until… Well that doesn’t matter; most likely I would have ended up being shoehorned into the Ministry by my father.
8. Any professors here you mainly get along with? How about some you don’t? Same with the students?
Draco and I have butted heads once or twice but he is quite charming otherwise, and I have found Hannah quite impressive ever since I first met her. I would say I get along quite well with Laurie too – we have somewhat similar mindsets – and I do rather like Danica and Juniper. As to students, I like anyone who makes an effort in my class is welcome – Jayden Lukas, Eric Hyland, and Sila Warrington among others; and anyone who doesn’t will earn my ire. If I were to name those names: [Gryffindor name deleted by editor] does try but then he goes and opens his mouth; and [Slytherin name deleted by editor] is a bit of a special case – she reminds me a lot of myself at her age which is certainly not a good thing.
9. There’s been a few rumours about you in the past. Would you like to chat about them now?
You mean the ones about me hexing students and giving a whole year detention? Utter rubbish. That one about my shoes? That’s another story.
Personally, I find that joke in the Sunday Funday from a couple of weeks ago more annoying than silly rumours. It’s that lack of respect issue that’s going around – and if I ever find out who wrote that…
10. Last question, what do you hope to see with our school? Any changes? If so, what and how would you like to see these happen?
Perhaps a little more respect from the students towards their teachers. Attitudes like that would never have flown at Durmstrang for sure, you can ask Frau Weber if you don’t believe me; and maybe for those students who attend elective classes like mine – only to mess around and disrupt those actually trying to learn – to find something better to do with their time. There may be one or two other things I’d like to see but I’d hate to get your paper in trouble.