As we settle into a new year, it’s always a good idea to get to know your professors a little better. Remember, professors are people too! (Even the scary ones)
I reached out to professors, caretakers, even the Heads of our school, to see what I could find out. Who knows, they might be bribable for extra credit if you bring in their favourite sweet!
Arianna Von DrachBlume is one of our herbology professors. She was raised in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and attended Ilvermorney school. She was sorted into Pukwudgie house. She moved to her mother’s family’s cattle range in the Blackhills of South Dakota after graduating from a no-maj college, Oklahoma State University, with degrees in Botany, Teaching, and Agriculture.She’s of the Lakota Nation, Bluefeather family. In addition to being the Head of Herbology, she’s also the Keeper of the Keys and Grounds, and lives in the Groundskeepers hut with Professor Eastwood. In school, her best subject was Herbology (no surprise!) and her worst was Magical Creatures. As for pets, she has Edna, (though she doesn’t count her as a pet) and a screech snap, Twoie, who unfortunately passed away in the hut fire at the end of last term. On the ranch, she has a Paint horse named Jialepa and an Appaloosa Aethonan that was a birthday present from Professor Eastwood!
Professor Eastwood, our Dragonology professor, is also a graduate of Ilvermorney! He hails from the Thunderbird house and grew up in the Catskills Mountains of New York. His best subject was Care of Magical Creatures, and holds a Doctorate in Magical Beast Zoology (Magizoology) and is a Bestial Behaviour Specialist. He has worked at several dragon reserves, most recently the one in Romania. He is one of the leading experts in dragons and dragon behaviour, and is also well versed in thestrals, working with the herd at the castle. He is also quite knowledgeable in other kinds of magical animals! He and Professor Dracheblume did not date at Ilvermorney, but she was his sister’s best friend, and he was friends with Professor Dracheblume’s older brothers. As for pets, Professor Eastwood has, “Several lizards in the hut as well as a Jackalope Dracheblume got me for my birthday, her name is Trix. Former professor Blackwell gave me an Emu egg and it hatched and the bird now guards the chickens, his name is Doctor Strange. And well Remy the thestral isn’t quite a PET…but close enough. I have a three headed dog named Fenton Back at Ari’s house at her family ranch. I have a few other critters there too. Her family takes care of them and her plants while we’re here.” As for advice, he gives some which I am most inclined to take. “Respect and love magical creatures, but by no means think they are safe or gentle and you can make them into pets. Most of them are not suited for either.”
Professor Vikander – our newly appointed Gryffindor Head of House, as well as Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, hails from London. His favourite spell is Stupefy. Predictably, his best subject was Defence Against the Dark Arts, and his worst was Arithmancy. His favourite Quidditch team is Gryffindor of course. He claims to not have a favourite type of candy, but I know I’ve seen chocolate on his desk before, usually of the Feathersweet variety. He doesn’t have any pets, but there’s a cat who has him, in his own words. His largest pet peeve is students sleeping in class (who would dare?) His best advice for students is short and sweet, “Don’t die.”
Professor Green is one of our Potions professors, as well as Ravenclaw Head of House. She says her favourite spell is Scarpin’s Revelaspell, which shows what ingredients are in a potion, which helps her with identifying if a potion was brewed correctly. She’s not particularly fond of Transfiguration, but her favourite would be Gemino, because it’s a great prank! (Making note of this!) Her favourite subject was actually Charms, not Potions, and she had the most trouble with Divinations in school. She’s particularly biased toward Ravenclaw Quidditch team of course. Professor Green doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but she does appreciate things that are butterscotch flavoured. She has one pet kitty, a gift from one of her Ravenclaws last year. When asked which spell represented her, she then returned the question as to which I believed represented her. Through the entirety of my writing, I have been giving it thought, and I’ve arrived upon Magnus Sensus. I can only speak for myself, but Professor Green has enhanced and enlightened the way I think of potions, a subject I struggled with terribly before attending her class. Additionally, any of the shield charms would also apply, as it is no secret how fiercely protective she is of her Eagles. Even professors have spells go wrong sometimes. As Professor Green recalls, “One time, when I was just a little girl here at Hogwarts, I believe it was during duelling class… yes. I was up against a pimple faced Gryffindor who couldn’t tell the tip of the wand from the handle. I thought I could show off, you know cast above my year… before I knew it I was shot backwards off the stage with my own bones missing! Imagine me! Just a blob on the floor! It was absolutely horrific.” Growing up, she had the idea to be the Minister when she grew up! As for pet peeves.. “Oh dear, you don’t have enough time to hear about my pet peeves. We’d be here all day.”
Professor Banks, our Magical Careers professor, comes from London, where her family home is. She is a Hufflepuff alumni. Her advice for students is; to work hard and strive for their dreams. Never let the status quo be your standards. Her best subject in school was Charms, while the one she struggled with was Defence Against the Dark Arts.
Rachell Phoenix is one of the Healers here at Hogwarts (not to mention my mum). She was born and raised in Ireland, and still resides there to this day. A graduate of Gryffindor house, she has a particular fondness for Potions and Charms, but struggled with Divination and Magical Creatures. She’d rather be in her greenhouses than almost anywhere else, and enjoys experimenting with new potions and healing salves. When asked for advice to give students, she states, “Just be yourself. Nobody will do it better than you, after all. Do your best and find the things and people who make you happy. Oh, and watch out for that trick door on the fifth floor.” Her favourite food is anything chocolate, but she also has a particular fondness for sweet coffees and teas.
Valyria Rask is one of our Arithmancy professors. She was also raised in London, then became a cursebreaker immediately upon graduating from Hogwarts. She then spent a few years in Egypt. Afterwards, she spent time in Central America, particularly in Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador. She’s travelled all over the world, and invites students to stop by her office for a cup of tea and a chat about cursebreaking, metaphysics, or anything else that might be on their mind! She has an orange tabby cat by the name of Pounce de Leon.
Professor Idylwyld, our Charms professor, comes from Bath, in England. She grew up with her grandparents, who inspired and encouraged her love for violin and classical music. They passed away a couple of years ago, at which point Professor Idylwyld began teaching at Hogwarts, with the hopes that the school could become her family. Some advice she has for first years (which I can completely agree with!) is to never feel down when they struggle with a spell. “I promise, it will always seem as though it is impossible at first, but it never, ever is. Enough practice and studying, and you will eventually get the hang of it. Some just learn faster than others, and that is perfectly okay. The amount of first years I got last year who thought they were invited to Hogwarts by mistake is simply astounding! It is never a mistake. You are magical, and don’t you /ever/ forget it,” Professor Idylwyld said. Fantastic advice that even older students might learn from. Her favourite spell is Expecto Patronum, and uses Orchideous to conjure up pretty flowers, especially around the holidays. Her worst subject was Arithmancy, and best was Charms of course! Her favourite candy is a rose-flavoured turkish delight, with extra powdered sugar. This pairs exceptionally well with hot chocolate, she advises.
Our Deputy Headmistress, Abaddon Blightly replied to my request as well! She resides in Mould-on-the-Wold, England. Before coming to work at Hogwarts as Deputy Headmistress, she was the Hogwarts High Inquisitor, as well as part of the Department of Magical Education. And before that, she was a Ravenclaw student who particularly loved potions and Ghoul Studies. She gives some excellent advice to students, “If I had any advice to the new batch of first years it would be to never change yourself in an effort to obtain acceptance from your peers. You will find yourself wildly uncomfortable as you hide behind a mask and hugely disappointed as they reject you anyhow.” If she were to choose a spell to represent herself, it would be the Gemino curse!
Professor Hellstar, who teaches Muggle Studies, says their favourite spell is Infragilis, that it is very useful for avoiding bad situations. Their favourite transfiguration is Fons Vinum. History of Magic was a favorite class, yet Flying was never a strength of theirs. They do support Quidditch, however, favouring Russia or Bulgaria. There is an old Muggle candy called Warheads, which makes your tongue feel like it will fall off. (And Muggles think magical candy is weird!) He gets them from a Web World, because they don’t sell them nearby. He’s got an owl named Mr. Feathers, and has had him since his fifth year in school. And if you want to stay on his good side, don’t be lazy or disrespectful!
Professor Coal is our other Arithmancy professor. She was raised in Kentucky, (in the States) as well as in Wales. She is a Ravenclaw alumni, and has a Muggle degree in Mathematics, as well as a Magical Mastery in Arithmancy. She loves riding horses. Potions was her worst subject in school. Her favourite Quidditch team is the Harpies. She has a chomping cabbage named Audrey!
Professor Reuter, our Magical Theory professor, is rather fond of the Patronus charm. His draw to this charm is the ideology behind it, and the resources a wixen must seek within themselves in order to cast it successfully. His favourite branch of transfiguration is Switching, finding it highly useful in day-to-day life, as well as emergent situations. His best subjects in school were transfiguration and magical theory, though Divination was a struggle. The Bigonville Bombers of Luxembourg are his favourite Quidditch team, and his uncle was a chaser for this team for many years! Belgian chocolates are a treat for him, as well as pear drops that can be found at Honeydukes! The only pet he has at school is his owl, Esme. However, at home, he has droving and herding dogs! Currently, he has two Bouvier des Flandres, two Tervurens, and a young Keeshond! When asked what spell or charm would best represent him, he stated, “This is a most difficult question. I imagine that this changes with time and mood for each person. At the moment, my inclination is to say Specialis Revelio in a most metaphorical sense. The reason for this is that in the currently circumstances, my strong desire to to uncover darkness and injustice before it can infect us. I wish to be known for identifying the darkness well enough in advance to bring it back into the light with truth, love, and justice. We ought not to wait until it consumes us before it consumes us, after which out only tools left are violence and force.” Another funny story was shared when asked about a spell backfiring. “Eh bien, I am perhaps a little cautious in my old age. This was not always the case in my younger years. I recall an incident with a very close school friend of mine, now the former Belgian Minister for Magic. We were practicing our duelling skills with a little added humour. Due to my own lack of concentration, it recall that my attempt at the levicorpus spell instead resulted in him being rather embarrassingly suspended without his trousers from the roof of school tower. Alors, we were but 17 so I had to wait a further year to supply firewhiskey as a most profuse apology.” As for pet peeves, he most dislikes unproductive uses of magic, in that those which are petty, frivolous, or destructive. A gift such as ours should not be wasted, a notion I most agree with!
I would like to thank everyone who took the time to answer my questions, and hopefully this will give us all a little insight as to our professors, Headmistresses, Healers, and more!