By: Jayden Lukas
I honestly had no idea what to expect when I set out to interview one of the citizens of Hogsmeade. Previously, I had only seen Mister Alistair Rook while on one of our Hogsmeade weekends. If you have never seen him his appearance can be rather intimidating and at first glance he might even be mistaken for being a vampire. I set out to do this interview to dispel such notions and to learn something about one of our neighbours.
While Mister Rook is not a native of Hogsmeade he has been in the area for close to twenty years. He was originally from Ashenhold, a small wizarding village west of Liverpool. He was not shy to say that he is a proud Alumni of Hufflepuff who graduated Hogwarts in 1999. I actually found this surprising as I had expected him to say Slytherin or even Ravenclaw. This just goes to show that appearances can be deceiving.
His appearance, I would learn, was the result of an accident that affected his eyesight several years before. Mister Rook is an Experimental Potioneer by trade, which as he would explain is both his passion and a very dangerous line of work. The healers were unfortunately able to heal his eyes due to both the nature of the potion and the accident. The glasses he wears permit him to see in conditions that he would otherwise be unable to see in. As he explained during our conversation in Hogsmeade he is not blind but he does ‘see’ differently from other people. He gave his assurances that he is certainly ‘NOT’ a vampire. He is of the opinion that vampires are misunderstood due to their reputation and that many vampires are really not that bad. Since I have not known many vampires except the ones that were encountered here at the school this past autumn, I really cannot say how “not so bad” they are.
My curiosity was peaked and I tried to learn just what it was that he was trying to make that caused his accident. He was quite adamant when he shook his head and explained that any potion able to inflict such damage should be permanently shelved. This is in fact one secret that he would take with him to his grave. Relaxing some afterwards he went on to say that there is no higher calling in his life than the creation of new potions. He had considered teaching Potions in the past but felt that it would take too much time away from his brewing, though taking on an apprentice was possible. This had me excited to know more as he explained that apprenticeships are multi-year endeavors after graduation.
His own goals for the future are to continue making potions in what is a very competitive field with a high demand for new potions. Mister Rook leads a quiet life at his home in Hogsmeade where he enjoys spending time with his only son, a second year Ravenclaw, when he is home from Hogwarts. Though he did confess that his son and he are on opposite sides when it comes to Quidditch. While he follows Hufflepuff and the Vratsa Vultures really enjoying the excellent game that the team puts on, his son follows Ravenclaw and the Montrose Magpies. Besides that he enjoys tending his garden and reading. Obviously very well read, he is multilingual and can speak both Russian and French.
While I am certain that Mister Rook has been through many challenges in his life he has stated that his biggest challenge has been and I quote, “Understanding that things change. Nothing can remain as it is now. Even if that change is difficult or frightening, it needs to be taken. I think I’ve been learning that lesson my entire life.” This is a lesson that it would be good for us all to keep in mind. His advice to students is to never stop being challenged. Don’t just think that you can lean back and ‘rest on your laurels.’ Even if you are the best and brightest of your year there is no guarantee that you will remain that way. Natural talents may give one a good start, but it is hard work that will help one to reach their dreams. Very good advice and words that I will take to heart as I continue in my own studies here at Hogwarts.