Photo by Persephone Vitrac
Article by Adam Fletcher
Having entered the castle on the eve of last year it was perhaps pointless to write on O’Keeffe before she’d managed to unpack her things. But now that she has a few months under her belt perhaps it is time to shed some light on the woman dressed in shadow. Fret naught though, o faithful readers, as we now walk the path of enlightenment – or at least, the path O’Keeffe allowed me to walk until I felt I had run out of questions.
“I talk of paths when I teach, you remember?” She asked me. Her path to Hogwarts, or perhaps back to Hogwarts more appropriately, was a long one (at least twelve inches long when written down). For most of her life Aoife O’Keeffe (try saying that quickly five times) worked in the Ministry of Magic, working through several offices within the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. Starting in Accidental Magic Reversal O’Keeffe eventually wound up with the title of Senior Minister for that entire department.
One might see her move to Hogwarts as something of a step down from such a position, but O’Keeffe argues not. She does not see a prestigious wizarding school full of students with potential as a downgrade so much as a new path to tread. For O’Keeffe her position at Hogwarts is no less challenging, but simply a new flavour – and perhaps slightly more rewarding than obliviating muggles who have conversed with a talking toilet.
“To open minds, to strengthen abilities, to hone the future of the wizarding elite.” Those are O’Keeffe’s aims for her time at Hogwarts. “But she doesn’t hold any classes” I hear you whine. Does she need to though? Not every lesson comes in a classroom. O’Keeffe, despite her stern posture, is readily available to aid the development of any student. Should a first year have troubles using their wand or a seventh year struggle with an advanced text our dear Deputy would stop at nothing to see those struggles overcome. And of course, from her position as Deputy Headmistress we can rest safely knowing that the professors here all have her seal of approval (though how Bellingham remains is anyone’s guess – perhaps she feels sorry for him).
Despite her icy front it is abundantly clear that Professor O’Keeffe cares deeply about each and every student in this castle. And should she ever offer to share tea with you, endeavour to make hers black, with one sugar and a small slice of lemon.