Hawthorne, I’m worried. This is my first year at Hogwarts and it’s just as great as I thought it would be – except for some of the things I’m hearing from older students. One of them wants to hurt me, or said he did, and there are other students talking about how people younger than them need to learn their place. My question is how dangerous is it here really? I know the last thing to do with predators is to let them know you’re afraid; if you show fear or try to run, that makes you prey.
— Far From Home
Dear Far From Home,
If someone threatens you or bullies you, your best course of action is to ignore them; there is no shame in walking away, no matter how hard they might try to make you feel ashamed. Is it dangerous at Hogwarts? Yes. But there are plenty of students around who will all help protect each other. Don’t pay what the older students say too much mind.
People keep asking me to the Halloween dance, but nobody seems like the right one! Am I just being too picky and selfish, or is it important that I have standards? Help!
— Too Much of a Good Thing
Dear Good Thing,
Being popular isn’t always as great as it sounds! Having standards isn’t bad at all, but it’s important you reflect on whether or not you are rejecting someone because of your standards or because of something else. Also, if there is someone you have in mind you want to go with, maybe taking the initiative and asking them, instead of hoping they will ask you, is the best course of action.
What is the protocol for asking out a Prefect or Head Student, if you fancy them and want to go to a dance with them? Because, let’s face it, they can be pretty scary people, and they hold the power of life and death, or at least detention, over us. Should one approach the Prefect/Head Student? Should one allow them to make the approach? Does it matter if they’re a girl or a boy? Are the risks worth it?
— Ruminating in Ravenclaw
Yeah, Prefects and Head Students are scary, but that’s because they have to be! If you are much younger than they are, it might be best to ask someone else closer to your age; but if you are close in age to the Prefect/Head Student, you might be surprised at how nice they are when given the chance!