By Timocleia Gwilym, Third Year, Gryffindor
Anyone who knows me will know that I love the outdoors. I am Welsh, and it is in our blood. This is particularly true for people in North Wales, and for Welsh people from Snowdonia, where I am from. The last few weeks have been particularly difficult for people like me because we have been kept from going outdoors. And we are all going a little crazy. So here are some ideas for things you can do that might be something like what we love to do outside.
The last Flying class had us on brooms in the Grand Staircase, looking at portraits there. That was brilliant! A variation on this is to ignore the portraits and just do laps around the Grand Staircase, up and down, up and down, dodging the moving flights of stairs. This has the benefit of being actually quite dangerous, enough so that we have to really pay attention to what we’re doing. Staircase flying could even be a new sport, and it would likely be less dangerous than some sports in the Wizarding World.
I love hiking in the mountains. We do not have mountains indoors, of course, but we do have halls and staircases. And because this is Hogwarts, we have rather a lot of them. So strap on your backpack, fill it with books and other heavy things, put on your boots, and go hiking! Want to gain altitude? Go up the stairs! Take a secret passage down, then do it all over again! Go hiking through the long hallways of Hogwarts. If you do not know the halls terribly well, then all the better! You can get lost in the halls just as one might get lost in the mountains, but you’ll be able to get back out a lot more easily. Probably.
Jogging and Running
Some people like to jog and run. Hogwarts is big enough that you can do it indoors as well as outdoors. All you have to do is not run into other students, suits of armor, flying owls, or Jeeves. So it would be a bit like dodge-running, which could be more challenging than regular running and even more dangerous as well!
Mountain climbers use crampons and ice axes sometimes, or other aids to ascend rocky and icy faces. Here we are surrounded by rocky faces: the walls of Hogwarts! We can drive pitons between the blocks to help our ascent, and do not forget to wear the right boots and crampons. Or we can use Glacius charms to create ice walls on the rock walls and properly use ice axes. Just remember to keep casting as you go, or the wall might melt.
Sailing and Boating
This will require the creation of a lake somewhere inside the castle. We have some floors that are large enough, at least for boating on a very modest scale. One will have to build walls for a pool of sorts, and then use Aguamenti Charms to fill it with water. And then one can use a canoe or other small boat to get around. Probably we can not really sail, unless one has friends on the side using Ventus jinxes to provide wind. The Long Gallery might be particularly suited to this sort of activity.
Bird Watching/Animal Watching
One of the things people like to do a lot is watch animals in the wild. I like it too. This is particularly true for magical beasts. There is no reason we could not also do it indoors as well! This will require releasing various magical beasts into the castle for us to go and watch, so we will have to approach the Professors for help with this one. I suppose we could do this with our pets as well, but for most of us this will just mean watching everyone’s owls, cats and rats follow us around. It would be much more fun to have actual magical beasts to watch. Of course, we must be very careful about which beasts will be released into the castle because the hallways are narrow and dangerous beasts will be much closer than they are in the wild. I have seen dragons in Wales, but they were very far away. Seeing a dragon in a hall would not be as fun, though it would probably be very exciting for a very little while.
Another way to think about this would be to expand our definitions of wildlife to include the Professors and other Adults here at Hogwarts. So that instead of trying to find Snallygasters or Unicorns, we could be on the lookout for the elusive DADA Professor or the mysterious Librarian or the incredibly dangerous Transfigurations Professor. We could even give them a Ministry-like classification of X through XXXXX.
Running from Professors
Many of the suggestions here will require cooperation from the Professors of Hogwarts, or at least a convenient way to hide from them if caught, and a very quick way to clean up the mess we would make doing any of these things. Of course, doing these things without permission would increase the danger, and might therefore increase the excitement of doing them. Going outdoors is all about excitement and exercise, and getting caught can provide just this opportunity! Running from Professors that you did not get permission from would not only provide a great deal of excitement, but also exercise as well. This will also provide excitement and exercise for the Professors as they chase you, which would mean that it is a benefit to both students and Professors at the same time. After all, Professors will benefit from greater fitness as well, and they are just as locked in as the rest of us.
We are all trapped here, stuck indoors. This can be a great cause for suffering, but provides unique opportunities for new kinds of excitement and adventure. The school is already so dangerous that even the more dangerous ideas here would not be a great increase in the overall danger, and so could be well worth undertaking. Whatever activity you decide to try, try to get friends involved as well: outdoor activities are usually enjoyed best with friends, and doing them indoors is no exception. I would say ‘good luck out there,’ but since we are all trapped in I will instead say ‘good luck in there.’
By Timocleia Gwilym, Third Year, Gryffindor