I never know how to start these. Do I say hello? Do I say something else? I do not know. Anyway, hello reader. For Owl Club this time, I interviewed Professor Rask. She teaches magical maths (Arithsomething) and is the Head of Slytherin House. Wobble was happy to take my letter to her, and brought her reply back to me. So I went into the dungeons again to go visit Professor Rask in her office. This time I did not ask if she lived there, because Professor Esper said he did not and she did not have a bed in there either. However, she had these windows that looked out into the Lake. I think it was the Lake, anyway. But they were underwater. And that was weird. It was a little scary, but she did not seem to mind. Then again, Professor Rask is a witch, and witches are a little strange. I am a witch too, so that must mean that I am a little strange too. But I think that is okay. I am in good company. So are you.
So here is my interview with Professor Rask.
What is your first name? I am sure your parents did not name you ‘Professor,’ because that would be mean.
She said her parents were not mean, and also were not Seers, so they did not think to call her Professor. Instead, her name is Valyria. I am glad she spelled it out for me, otherwise I do not know what I would have written. It is a name filled with vowels and flowy sounds, and this is very strange to a Welsh speaker. However, it is also like my name (which is not really Welsh). This is why everyone calls me Timmy. It is much more Welsh than Timocleia, which is very long and fancy. So anyway, I asked her,
Is there something others call you too? Like maybe Valley or something?
The Professor says that people call her Val, or Vee. These are very simple, and I like them. But I would not want to be called Tim. That is a boy’s name.
Where did you grow up?
She grew up in London. Her stepfather was unspeakable, so it sounds like he was pretty bad. And he was unspeakable in the Department of mysteries, so it must be really bad. She did not even know what he did, he was that bad and unspeakable. But she lived in a house hidden from Muggles in London. She played in the streets a lot, but was not run over by cars. Which is good or she would be dead today, and that would make it very hard for her to teach us maths. So next I asked her,
You teach Magic maths? What do you like about the maths?
She said it is Arithsomething, but I did not know what it was. So I found our textbook and of course it is Arithmancy. But I still think that is a very difficult word. I like ‘Magic Maths’ better. It sounds like what it is. But we must say ‘Arithmancy’ instead because that is fancy. Or something. Anyway, she said she liked doing the magic maths because she can do it and nobody else can. So I suppose that is a good reason to like something. She also said she was a curse breaker, and she liked curse breaking for the same reason and that she never liked it at first but she got into it because she is a Slytherin and I suppose they have a lot of curses over there and she said they could do all sorts of unthinkably bad things to you. She says she needed it. So watch out, Slytherin First Years. There may be things they have not taught you yet about curses and breaking them. And they could do unspeakably bad things to you. Sorry you can not change Houses now. But I do not think Hufflepuffs have anything like that. They are very friendly.
You are also Head of Slytherin House. What does that do?
She makes sure that the Slytherins stay out of trouble. This sounds very difficult. She also makes sure they have what they need to succeed at Hogwarts and in the Great Beyond, so maybe she helps them break the curses that can do unthinkably bad things to you. Hopefully she does not help them learn the curses that do unthinkably bad things to you. Because that would be bad. Slytherin sounds like a scary place. But she said that if anyone at Slytherin needs something, and they can not get it by themselves, they should go talk to her and she will give them stuff.
Have you been at Hogwarts a long time?
Professor Rask started as a Professor here at Hogwarts three years ago. It is so long she can not remember, but she said it has not been particularly long. Maybe she is a little weird in the head. Then again, she is at Hogwarts, and many people here are a little weird in the head. So she fits right in.
What did you do before Hogwarts? You were a curse breaker? Where was that?
She was a curse breaker for Gringotts. She was in Egypt, but then was in America, in Mexico. Which I suppose is part of America. Or I did not hear it right. Also the Equator but it sounded like a place, and Peru, which is also part of America. If I heard it right.
What was it like, working with goblins? Were they nice?
She said they were fair. But they were not out of their way or something like that. Pleasant was a word she said, I think. Then she said some other long English words, but said she was friendly with some of the goblins. She said that her curse breaker teams were all wixen, not goblins. They found the gold. Others went and got it.
What is your favourite sweet?
She says it is watermelon strips, but they change a lot. This is very strange to me, because I do not think they change much. Or maybe she changes. Or something.
What do you like most about Hogwarts?
She said it always feels like home: there are always new things to discover. I do not discover many new things at home anymore, but maybe she had a different childhood than me. Maybe her house is much bigger on the inside than on the outside and it has many, many rooms. I did not ask about that, because sometimes people get sensitive about stuff like that. Like Flutterby being raised by wolves.
What is your favourite colour?
Pink. Just pink. It is not green. It is pink. But there is nothing pink in her office, and she was wearing all black. Even all her earrings were black. She has many earrings. In each ear. It looks painful. I would not want that many earrings in my ears. I do not want to get my ears pierced, because I do not like needles. I think it would hurt.
What do you think of detentions? Do you give a lot of detentions?
She does not give a lot of detentions, and does not take house points very much. She would rather sit on them and talk to them until they stop. But sometimes tossing them is necessary when in detention. Professor Rask is not a very large woman, and her arms are thin. But she looks strong enough to maybe toss a student. Maybe she uses magic to toss them when in detention. Because it is necessary sometimes.
Do you have anything you want to say to the students of Hogwarts?
Do not spend your time here wishing. Seven years goes by quicker than you realize. Or maybe it was about not wishing your time away? Anyway, maybe she is talking about time going by when you are having fun. So if you are having fun, then you will spend less time here at Hogwarts. Do not do that. So no fun. But she does not seem like a ‘no fun’ sort of Professor, except for the tossing students in detention. And the curses that do unthinkable things to Slytherins.
Do you have a pet?
Yes: a cat named Pounce the Lion, or Pounce de Leon or something like that. He is an orange tabby. I looked for him, but I did not see him.
Can I make a picture of you? I have a camera.
She said yes, so I made a picture and here it is. But I noticed that she had marks on her hands. So I asked her,
What are the marks on your hands?
They are tattoos, for various magical things with divination. But the ones on her hands have to do with something called a weejee board. She called it a planchet or something like that, but it has a hole in the middle of it, and her hands do not have holes in them. She has the whole weejee board tattooed on her chest, she says. So you could do the weejee with her, but you would have to cut holes in her hands to make it work, and that would hurt and she would get very mad if you tried that because she does not want holes in her hands and then she would cast curses that do unthinkable things to you.
Professor Rask seems like a nice person. People call her Val or Vee, but of course we should all call her Professor Rask. She is a little strange in the head, but then again so are many people here, so she is not strange for Hogwarts. She was a curse breaker, and she likes doing the maths because other people cannot do the maths. She has a weejee board tattooed on her chest, and those things tattooed on her hands, but do not try to use her for the weejee because then you would have to cut holes in her hands and she would get very mad if you tried that. And she would cast curses at you that would do unthinkable things to you. She likes some goblins, but she tries to help Slytherins in the scary house where there are curses that can do unthinkable things to you. She does not like to give detentions, but she will toss people around in detention, maybe with magic. So do not do bad things in her class or she might give you detention and then toss you around. So she is maybe kind of weird, definitely very scary, but nice all the same. And she has a cat.
We still need more owls in Owl Club. Wobble likes taking the letters, but he gets lonely in Owl Club meetings.