by Jayden Lukas
Death is inevitable. It is as certain as the first breaths that are taken by a newborn. Magical and non-magical alike are subject to the circle of life. This is an accepted fact. What is not accepted is when one’s life is taken by another through violence. This is what those from Durmstrang have had to wrestle with since the death of their Headmaster at the Yule Ball. Grief and loss had cast a shadow over those who were left to carry on. While I cannot speak for the students of Durmstrang specifically, I can say that I would want answers and justice for the fallen Headmaster.
So when I saw the former Headmaster appear in the stands overlooking the watery depths below, I recognized that the Headmaster had chosen to remain due to some unfinished business. I wanted answers and I am fortunate that the former Headmaster agreed to speak with me. The following is a summation of what he had to say.
The first question I asked had to do with the tournament itself. The Headmistress of Beauxbaton had given the Durmstrang a four for his performance in the event. I wanted to hear what the former Headmaster had to say about it. Golovin had this to say,
“Well, really I think is tactical voting by other judges. My son Lars very mighty and impressive in first task, must have scared competition so they punish him in second. Is only explanation, da? And maybe Madame Elodie still upset about loss of Matvey. Who can say?”
It very clearly looked to me like his ghostly eyes twinkled and I had to press forward and ask if he and Madame Elodie had a ‘special relationship’ that would exclude her as a suspect in possibly causing his death. There was a pause of several moments and then the former Headmaster let out a booming laugh. In fact I was not aware that a ghost could laugh that loud.
“Madame Elodie and me, special relationship! That is very good joke, /very/ good!” He shook his head as he wiped away make-belief tears. “No, is no way Madame Elodie is killing me. We… Had rivalry, but I think we were friends too. Friendly rivals, safe rivals, is all. No special though, just… Friendly rivals, da.”
His laugh was contagious and I shared the laughter with him as I moved on to ask my next question. As a Headmaster Matvey Golovin had instituted several new revolutionary and forward thinking policies for Durmstrang. Change is not something that everyone wants and I could imagine that he had made enemies during his time as Headmaster. I asked him about his thoughts on this and how he feels knowing that his work is as yet incomplete? The laugh lowered as the former Headmaster became more serious finally answering the question,
“I met many many people who were against my policies. For every person wanting to create change there is another person who wish for no change. Is how world is. Sometime, less on one side than others. At Durmstrang, I mostly alone in wanting change. I live in lion’s den for seven years. Is hard to face all that sometimes. Eventually, I lose. As to who beat me? Ideas but I do not know. I do not wish to know either. Fight is over now. I lost! Is up to next generation now.”
Yes it is up to the next generation to find justice for the fallen Headmaster and to continue what he had started. I remembered that ghosts were frequently gloomy. That could explain what I saw as a somewhat resigned attitude. That would prompt my next question. I asked if he had any words of inspiration for Lars and for the students of Durmstrang. What is the legacy that he would leave to them? His answer came as he waved an airy hand sending a chill through the already frigid air of the outdoors,
“Is no need to seek justice. My fight is over, is no need to seek justice. All is needing is to go forth and learn from mistakes of my generation. Da. As I tell Lars before, it is like phoenix. My generation, my fight, it leaving everything in ashes, but now, my son, my children, they rise from those ashes, and do it all /better/. I give them the tools, I hope.”
A legacy to do it better and to learn from the mistakes of his generation. As I pondered the words coming from the floating apparition before me I found that I wanted to know who had committed this crime. While the criminal was no longer a threat to the former Headmaster, they were still a threat to those who still breathed. We live in a society that has certain rules that all must follow for the good and safety of all. The fact remained that the former Headmaster was killed for his policies and his desire for change. This was not something that should be allowed to stand in any civilised society. The former Headmaster had said earlier that he had ideas about who might be responsible. I asked him if he would share those ideas now? After a rather long pause Golovin shook his head,
“My ideas is just ideas. I cannot say what ideas are. How good is dead man’s word? Is not fair. I think whoever is responsible, it will come back to them. If I am right in what I do, then it will come back to them. If I was wrong, well, I lose already, da?”
The former Headmaster shrugged and sighed deeply. It was clear that he was concerned about the safety of his Durmstrang. His following statement indicates to me that he believed that they could handle themselves. After all as their Headmaster he knew their strengths best having watched them grow over the past seven years.
“Future is in good hands I think, it will go the way it is meant to.”
I have developed my own respect for the students from Durmstrang. They fight courageously and have a love for life. They are presently behind Hogwarts by only one point in the overall rankings. I have no doubt that they will find justice for their former Headmaster. I directed my next question asking if he had any thoughts or opinions about the Headmaster who succeeded him, Dragomir Gvozdic. I asked if he had any words for him that he wished to share. It looked to me as though the spectral Headmaster scratched his chin before answering,
“From words I hear, Dragomir is very good for Durmstrang. He is supporting the Champion and the others, and I know him to be very formidable and capable professor. His methods is not how I would do things but is happening, da? Matvey is one of kind, of course Dragomir will be different!”
As I looked upwards at the hovering form of Matvey Golovin, I could not help but be reminded of another Professor and Headmaster who was also one of a kind. Headmaster Fox had given his life for this school. I was fortunate enough to have known him during his tenure as the Headmaster. I feel fortunate that I was able to meet this former Headmaster as well. I said as much to him as I proceeded to ask what was to be my final question. I asked him if there was anything else that he would like to say to the students of all the schools gathered here for the Triwizard Tournament?
“All I say is, is big competition, da, but main focus is the relationships made between schools. Connecting together, learning from each other, growing side by side, is the most important things. We should not be forgetting this, even when Lars wins tournament.” The former Headmaster grinned as he said this before he continued, “But, da, the competition is never as important as the bonds we are making.”
I thanked him for taking the time to speak with me. I feel certain that this is one Headmaster whose lasting impact would be felt for years to come. Change is coming and Headmaster Golovin would be remembered as the one who started the process for Durmstrang. He had left this writer with much to think about as I watched him drift in the direction of the Whomping Willow for yet another battle with the Great Tree. One could hear the refrain drifting across the wind the booming voice of Golovin joining in:
“Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
Gory, Gory, What a helluva way to die
He ain’t gonna jump no more.”
The death of Headmaster Golovin would not stop the change that is coming for Durmstrang or the wizarding world. The future belongs to all of us. We hold the keys that will unlock the future for future generations. Let us never forget the lives given to protect that future. Their deaths have not gone in vain. They walk beside us into a bright and wondrous future.