I am trying to do many interviews now! And this is my third already this year! This week, I talked to our very new Magical Theory Professor, Fergus Ramscraig! He was kind enough to talk to me without any warning at all, and I think that is very brave because in these interviews I lay bare the very deepest nature of a Professor’s soul for the whole world to dissect, subjecting that Professor to profound scrutiny and critique of each and every character flaw or imperfection. At least, that’s what Joe Housemate told me to write that I did. I just talk to people and write down what they tell me. But Joe thought that would be a fun thing to say, so there it is. I am not really sure what it means, but it sounds important.
What is your full name?
His full name is Fergus Lanrick Ramscraig. And he said that his parents liked to beat the sides of things off or something like that. Or had sides that were off-beat? I was not quite sure. It seemed a strange thing to say, and I am not sure I wrote it down right. I asked him, but he said to ignore it. Anyway, it is probably an English thing. Sometimes English are very confusing.
Does everyone call you Fergus? Or do they call you something else?
He says that people on a good side call him Fergus, but an X did call him Fergie, but it did not last. I am not sure what that means. But I think it means maybe someone can call him Fergie and that is okay. I think there was once a famous Muggle called Fergie, so maybe that is a nice thing to call him.
Where did you grow up? Did you grow up in a Magical family?
The Professor is from Scotland, from a little town called Beauly that is near Inverness. It is not very far from here! He is a Highlander for many generations, but his parents were Muggles. He is the only wizard in the family.
What do your parents do?
Professor Ramscraig said that his father is an engineer, but I did not know what that was. His mother was a school teacher, but has transitioned into a post-vital state. Which means she is dead.
What is an engineer?
The Professor said that an engineer is someone who does things with Muggle things like trains. Maybe it is because they have engines, and engineers do things with engines. He used a lot of long English words, but he said they make things work. So I suppose they fix things. It sounds like Muggles must break a lot of things if there are people whose only job is to fix things to make them work. Or maybe the things they build are just no good so they need engineers to keep them working all the time. It all sounds terribly fussy and confusing. Maybe they get very mad because none of the things Muggles make work so they have to stand over them all the time making them work. It sounds like a sad and terrible life.
You grew up in the Highlands. Does that mean you wear a kilt a lot?
He says that he wears a kilt when he needs to, such as for formal times. Maybe he will wear a kilt to Sunday lunch! But he also said that his family was very modern, and I do not know why that matters with kilts. He said he also likes to scare people with his kilt. I do not know why a kilt would be scary. Maybe Scottish people know more about why a kilt would be scary when worn properly. I thought maybe it is because they wear something scary under the kilt, so I asked Joe Housemate what is worn under a kilt. But he only said that everything is in fine working order. That confused me. Still, I was curious why the Professor said he was modern, so I asked him:
How were you modern, then? You were not like other Scottish families?
And he said that Scotland is very modern. So I was even more confused. And then he talked about how the Wizarding World is not very modern, I think, and how now Muggle things are confusing to him because he is a Wizard now, so he understands why Muggle-borns are confused when they come to Hogwarts. I was still wondering if something is worn under kilts to make them scary. Maybe something modern. But if like Joe Housemate says, everything is in fine working order, then they at least do not need engineers to keep the scary things down there working.
When were you at Hogwarts, and what House were you in?
The Professor said he was in Hufflepuff House, and he was here between 2012 and 2019. So he left ten years ago. That is a very long time ago!
What did you do before you came back as a Professor?
Professor Ramscraig was an apprentice wand maker. He trained for two years, but quit to become a baker in Paris. He made magical cosmic baguettes in Paris. At least, I think that is what he said. He said it in a French accent. But then he decided he wanted to learn more about wandlore, so he traveled as he looked for wandlore. And he wrote articles about Magical Theory too. And that is why he got the job here at Hogwarts. Though I do not understand why being a magical baker in Paris was good for Magical Theory, but I do not hire the teachers here at Hogwarts. Because of the history of his making baguettes in Paris, I asked him:
Did you like the food in Paris?
He said he loved the food, especially the pastries, which makes a lot of sense because he was a baker. He ate too many pastries, so he walked it all off in forests in Germany and Scandinavia. He said to go see some parts of Paris, but most of it you should avoid, except the food.
What is your favourite colour?
The Professor likes tea blue or forest green. I do not know what tea blue is, because I do not think tea comes in blue. It is usually brown. People say that there is green tea, but it is actually brown. Green tea is a lie. I think blue tea is a lie too. I do not know why Professor Ramscraig likes tea blue if it is not real. But then again, he is a Wizard and he is a little strange. He was wearing a blue coat. Maybe the Professor is colour-blind, and can not tell blue from brown.
Why do you like Magical Theory?
He likes Magical Theory because you ask questions, and you get to discover things. And he said more about asking questions. Apparently the Professor likes to ask a lot of questions. Students will want to be careful to pay attention in his classes because he might ask you a question. Anyway, he also said you get to think a lot. And he said there is adventure in it too. This confused me a little, but then I remembered that his idea of adventure is to walk off the pastries he ate in Paris. To be fair, I like walking in forests too. Professor Ramscraig likes wandlore best of all, because he likes thinking about how they work and because of long complicated English words that I did not understand.
What do you like most about Hogwarts?
It is different now from when he was a student. Back then, it was because he thought it was full of adventure. And I suppose that is true, though sometimes the adventures here are not much fun, like being attacked by Dementors in Hogsmeade. I suppose they did not have Dementors back then. But now that he has had so many adventures walking off his Paris pastries, he now says that it is the community here. It feels like coming home. Many Professors have said that! Maybe that is why they come back here. So I asked him:
Do you really think of Hogwarts as home?
He actually does, at least a little bit. He said he might feel differently if he had gotten a real home or gotten married, but he never really stayed in one place too long. I suppose he did not really like being a baker in Paris very much, so maybe do not ask him about his Paris years because he might be sensitive about things like that. He also said he did not feel this way about Hogwarts until after he left, but now it is almost inescapable. So if you never get married after Hogwarts or find a good place to call home, you might want to come back someday because it will be the best home you remember. I do not know if that is a good thing or maybe it is something to worry about.
What is your favourite sweet?
Sugar quills! He gets them at Honeydukes. He even gave me one, and I like them very much too.
What do you think about detentions? Do you give a lot of detentions?
He has not given any detentions yet, and does not want to. However, he said he could be lying, basically. Sometimes he is strict about things, and he said that he will try to be creative about detentions. He said that does not mean they will be easy, but I did not think so anyway. I think when Professors say they want ‘creative’ detentions they mean ‘very very scary’ detentions. So beware. In order to get a better idea of what he had in mind, I asked him:
What does a creative detention look like, then?
There will be a lot of moving around. And you will learn a lesson. If you were wondering if ‘creative’ means ‘very very scary,’ then I think you have your answer. Maybe he will make us dodge hexes or dangerous magical creatures while we read books.
Is there anything you want to say to the students of Hogwarts? It can be anything!
You should take a seal of learning with you when you leave Hogwarts. I suppose at some point we will be offered these seals. We will probably have to take care of them and feed them fish. I had not realized this was one of the things you get from Hogwarts, because we never had seals at Caermynydd. But he also said the word strangely. It was more like ‘zeal.’ It sounds like an English thing. But he said you should read everything, join every club, and bother our Professors with questions. We will not know how lucky we were to be here until we leave.
What would you change about Hogwarts?
He likes the house rivalries because you learn about winning and losing, but he thinks maybe people go too far with them.
Do you have a pet?
No pet right now. But he said he had dogs growing up called Shetland Shepherds, or Shelties. And he had rats when he was traveling. Maybe that is why he stopped being a baker in Paris. Because maybe the rats got into things. I was going to ask him about that, but I forgot. He says they both died in Norway while he was walking off the pastries from Paris. And that is very sad. But he said rats do not live years and years, and his rats were very happy and had full, adventurous lives (they walked with him, I suppose). Grief is the price we pay for love. When I asked him if he would want a pet, he said he would want a Phoenix, but you can not just go and get one, so he maybe wants a dog instead someday.
Can I make a picture of you? I have a camera for the Owl Post?
He said yes so it is at the top. I had to stand on a pile of books, but he was still taller than me. Sorry that you have to look up his nose, but even though he was sitting down, and I was on the books, I am still very short.
You are wearing rings… Does that mean you are married?
He said he is not married. He just likes rings.
Our new Magical Theory Professor is Fergus Lanrick Ramscraig, but maybe if someone is brave they can call him ‘Fergie.’ He is from Scotland and he wears kilts because he likes scaring people. But kilts are not scary so he must wear something under the kilt that is scary. I do not know what is worn under the kilt that could be scary, but Joe Housemate tells me that everything is in fine working order, so I am confused about men and kilts. Maybe someone can ask Joe what that means. He would only smile and not say anything when I asked. Fergie was an apprentice wandmaker in London, then a baker making magic, cosmic baguettes in Paris. It sounds like very good bread, but he decided he did not want to do that either so he went walking in Germany and in Scandinavia because he ate too many pastries in Paris. His pet rats died in Norway while he was walking, and then he came here. He seems very nice, but even though he has not given detentions yet, his ideas for detentions sound very scary. So do not do bad things in his class or you might be dodging hexes or maybe magical creatures while you read books and learn a lesson. The Professor might be colour-blind because he thinks tea is blue like his coat, but he also thinks Hogwarts is home because he never got married. So maybe that is something to think about as we ponder our future life decisions.