– By Magnus Laufreyn et al.
I do not know how to begin this. Golovin was like another father to me and his passing pains me like Thor smashing Mjölnir through my ribcage. Much has been speculated about my former Headmaster’s death, and much was misunderstood about his life. I write this not to capitalise on tragedy or scandal, as is the way of gossip mongers.
I write this, and collect the words of others, to show you a glimpse behind the iron curtain of former Durmstrang Headmaster, Matvey Golovin.
“In my seven years as Headmaster I have tried to pull Durmstrang into modern day. So we are no longer thought of as evil school, as outsiders. I open our doors to new students who would never have chance to learn of magic otherwise. I do this because I believe in Durmstrang. I believe in all of you. We are mighty Durmstrang, we will win glory! My boy Lars might be just one Champion, but he is not alone. He fight for all of us, so we must fight for him. And together we show world Durmstrang’s power. Da? FOR DURMSTRANG!”
-Matvey Golovin, in his own words
Reflections by Lars Stangeland (a letter, translated from German)
I was told you are looking for stories about Golovin. Here is mine. Well. Ours. I trust you will have someone translate it properly, because my English is too poor to do it justice:
It was during our third year. We were in casting class. As everyone in Durmstrang knows, this is nothing like charms class in Hogwarts. It is a class that consists of casting the same spell, again and again. Hundreds and hundreds of times, until it is second nature. I remember even the spell we were casting, it was the ‘Shoelace Spell’, we were tying and untying our boots for hours.
Well, the Professor stepped out for a minute and left Engström in charge. You and Katzen immediately started winding him up, tying his shoelaces together so he could not walk. Nordholm was doubled up laughing, I remember, and Gaard was panicking about the Professor’s return and telling her to be quiet. I had done this spell over fifty times now, and I think I was a little annoyed the Professor had picked Engström to be in charge instead of me, and probably even more annoyed that he was doing such a poor job at it, so I stepped forward.
I must have cast some painful jinx on you, because I remember you cursing loudly, and running to punch me in the nose (it is still to this day broken). The Professor walked in on us wrestling on the floor, with Katzen going, “Kämpfen, kämpfen, kämpfen!”, Gaard going, “Hold op! Idioter! Hold op!”, Nordholm cursing me out to the gods for hurting you, and Engström jumping over as well as he could manage with his tied-together laces.
Engström, Katzen, Nordholm and Gaard were given a weeks detention, which I think was a diet of stale bread and water, and fifty laps around the grounds each morning.
But you and I were sent to Golovin’s office immediately.
Now, Durmstrang is not like Hogwarts. If you are sent to the Headmaster’s office, you are liable to get cursed with what they call ‘unforgivables’ here in England, and if you recall, we were both shaking in our well-tied boots.
Golovin opened the door and sternly bid us entry (I am sure you were crying at this point, Laufreyn, though I know you will not admit it). I remember his words as clear as day: “Boys, it is my duty to punish you in line with Durmstrang tradition. Who is going first?”
We both said, “me” at the same time. He laughed and told us it was good that we showed such loyalty and bravery to each other, that this is what Durmstrang was truly about. Then he had us flip a coin, I took heads and you took tails, and it landed on heads, so I was first.
I remember the sheer disbelief I felt when he stepped aside and revealed a big cake on a plate. I remember your badly-suppressed snort of laughter behind me, as Golovin told me I had to dunk my face in it. I remember actually doing it, and then you doing it, and I remember us both leaving that office covered in cake and giddy with relief.
We did not fight in that way again, but not out of fear. Out of respect for the man who had saved us from torture. Respect for his school, his ideas, and for him.
Golovin was a revolutionary.
Reflections by Gabriel Engström (from Vafþrúðnismál, poetic edda)
“Fjölð ek fór,
fjölð ek freistaðak,
fjölð ek of reynda regin:
Hvat lifir manna,
þá er inn mæra líðr
fimbulvetr með firum?”
“Ey manni þat veit,
hvat þú í árdaga
sagðir í eyra syni;
mælta ek mína forna stafi
ok of ragnarök.
Nú ek við Óðin
deildak mína orðspeki;
þú ert æ vísastr vera.”
“Much have I fared, much have I found,
Much have I got of the gods:
What shall live of mankind when at last there comes
The mighty winter to men?”
“No man can tell what in olden time
Thou spak’st in the ears of thy son;
With fated mouth the fall of the gods
And mine olden tales have I told;
With Odin in knowledge, now have I striven,
And ever the wiser thou art.”
Reflections by Jamie Noel Koslarevic
It’s amazing how many memories of Headmaster Golovin I could collect in the short time I have known him. Starting from the best Bon Jovi entry in the history of the band, to the excitement over a cake he had baked with so much love that he forgot to remove the eggshells. I still cannot look at our Whomping Willow without thinking of his smile when speaking of her and am glad he will remain to be a part of her. And ‘Gory Gory’ will never be the same without his booming enthusiastic singing.
But the memory that is that of a brief chat in which I asked him for help. His barking laughter when I mistook him for a much older age and the humor he took it with are edged into my mind, such a good humored reaction to the mistake of a small child. Despite the busy time of the Tri-Wizard Tournament he patiently listened and gave me the feeling that what I had to say was important. The promise to remember my name filled me with pride and his kind and warm words about his own students lingered with warmth until today. The words I will never forget are ‘I am happy to speak with any student when they need. Is what good leaders do, da?’.
His warmth and joy of life and those around him is how I will remember him, always there for those in need and making sure they knew how important they are, no matter where they came from or who they are. It’s what I hope I can carry with me and learn from in the years to come and I hope that where he is, he knows that he is still here with us bringing people together.
Reflections by Dominik Katzen (a poem)
Bark or Bite
* A tribute to great HeadMaster Daddy Golovin*
Where can you be?
We look on the hill,
There is angry tree.
Roust about in the breeze,
You give lift with a squeeze.
This man saw you first standing there,
Over time you made him to care.
He thought you rival right at first,
Obsessed with fight and for it thirst.
Both came to this strange type of love,
And to put on the boxing glove.
With his emotion on his sleeve,
We all knew that he wouldn’t leave.
Something evil to take him away,
else he be with you even today.
I keep this bark right now in my pocket,
Since my elbow twist out of its socket.
To ease some pain Ms. Meli give me a piece of you,
Now I know a little of how HeadMaster felt too.
In memory I keep it and now not so saddy,
It was a great man we lost that was like a daddy.
The man he died but not without your love,
He looked upon you as a turtle dove.
What can we do,
We come from Durmstrang.
And, now we love you.
Reflections by Seraphine de Vaucaquelin
When I close my eyes and remember Headmaster Golovin, it is not his face that I recall first, nor his warm voice and easy manner; it is not his inspirational manner of speaking or his obvious affection for his students, the Saule Cogneur, or the song he and the students of Durmstrang so often sang together. It is a different song, one I heard before I had seen his face, and yet in those first few bars I developed a sense of his spirit that remains to this day.
There were no lyrics to the song while I listened from the Beauxbatons’ carriage but, still, I knew. Those familiar with the Non-Magique band Bon Jovi and their song ‘It’s My Life’ will not need to be reminded of its message. For the rest, I offer a few lines of verse:
This ain’t a song for the broken-hearted
No silent prayer for faith-departed
And I ain’t gonna be just a face in the crowd
You’re gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud
It’s my life It’s now or never
But I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, “I did it my way”
I just want to live while I’m alive
It’s my life.
Headmaster Golovin was the manner of man a person is lucky to meet once in their lifetime, if ever. Mourn him, miss him as you will, but do not forget what he meant to each of us.
Reflections by Magnus Laufreyn
From the time I first met him, Golovin would say “Magnus, you are fond of the girls, da?” and chuckle, with his hands upon his belly. And if he found me in conversation with a girl, he would often give me what is known in the English tongue as a ‘wet willy’. This would be distressing to me and very amusing to him. But it was our way. I suppose he wanted me to remember myself and behave as a gentleman. So this was, we assume, a way of ensuring behaviour befitting a student of The Institute.
There were times I was braiding Tor Nordholm’s hair, or singing for Zelda Summerland, or standing awkwardly with Dagmar Gaard awaiting the wrath of Lars Stangeland, and Golovin would appear out of nowhere. Usually with a jest, sometimes with a threat, and almost always with some near unbearable task for me to perform. Again, we believe this was a test of character. Even if it may have appeared to an outsider that he merely enjoyed embarrassing me in front of girls… or watching me get hit by a tree branch… or trying to digest one of his infamous culinary creations.
Golovin was an unconventional man, full of wisdom and great teachings such as these.
He was a man who liked to settle disputes with arm wrestling and other feats of strength. At these things, I managed to hold my own… and when I would win, he would call me his son. Gabriel Engström and I were rarely missing home because we felt part of Golovin’s family. We were all sons and daughters of Durmstrang and of Golovin, if you will.
On the night we lost him to an act of evil, he was proud of me for winning a friendliness award. He called me his son. It was one of the last things that he uttered. Other than lyrics to Blood Upon the Risers… which he now sings, in several languages, for all eternity… while dancing through the halls of Valhalla and feasting on eggshell-filled cake with the Gods.
Dansa, rektor Golovin. Dansa, du mysteriska man, in i evigheten… och vet att dem du lämnat bakom dig sörjer din bortgång. Jag kommer göra dig stolt. Din son, Magnus Laufreyn.
Parting thoughts and remembrances
We all hope for a dancing ghost. – Cardan Duarte
He forced me to wear a foolish paper hat and his food made me ill. He will be missed. – anon.
I stopped Vilhelda from poisoning him. And for what? – Dagmar Gaard
When will you get to sing so gloriously with all of your brethren next? It could be a while… – Zelda Summerland
I TRIED to get it so he wouldn’t bake another cake, BUUUUTTTT NOOO. – anon.
We could always make a new tradition in honor of Golovin and throw that reporter over the side. – Nicolai Alexander Petrov
I will not miss that song. – anon.