Letter to the Editor

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, but I would prefer people not copying my story! :-D

I have just completed my first year at Hogwarts. It was a magical experience with exciting classes and new friends. I would like to tell you about it, but I will not mention names of students, as this is not about the individuals but about something much bigger. You might be able to guess names though. I am writing this with the help of my Aunt, after telling her about my year she suggested writing this together, she had a lot to add.

So, I looked forward going to Hogwarts, by parents made it sound amazing. I was, however, shocked about the hostility between the houses. On the Hogwarts express, I sat in a compartment with five other first-years. We were all very excited and looked forward to our first year at Hogwarts. We all really hit it off, some bonding over Quidditch and others over politics and possible future job options, the topics very many.

When we arrived, we were given a small speech, from the deputy headmistress, professor McGonagall, about how all the houses were well respected and had produced successful witches and wizards. How could it possibly go wrong? Everything sounded amazing! Then we saw the Great Hall, wow! It was breath-taking. The sorting hat sang about all the houses, everyone got and equal amount of attention, it all seemed fair.

Then we were sorted.

The six of us were divided into all four houses, 1 went to Slytherin, 2 to Ravenclaw, 2 to Gryffindor and I alone went to Hufflepuff.

We were also told about the third floor corridor being forbidden, unless we wanted to suffer a painful death… The possibility of suffering a painful death does not put my mind at rest at a school that is supposedly the most secure place in Britain. How come no parents reacted to this?

I fully expected that we would all continue to be friends, that we would tell each other about our houses. But it was not to be. I was told in the Hufflepuff common-room, about the history of the houses, the animosity between the founders, Slytherin and Gryffindor. I did not put much stock into that, why should eleven year old students, today, care about two wizards disagreeing a thousand years ago?

Already the next day I felt the difference, the one who went to Slytherin did not greet me when I said good morning, the rest of the Slytherin housemates looked at me oddly when I had greeted the student, and mumbled something to my supposed friend.

When I saw the Slytherins moving past the two who ended in Gryffindor, also surrounded by their housemates, the Gryffindors immediately started throwing insults at the Slytherins. The Slytherins retaliated and I must admit I looked on in shock. Where were the happy friendly students from the train?

The year moved on and not much changed, I managed to get greetings from the Ravenclaws and the Gryffindors but soon they pulled away as well, I felt I only had the Hufflepuffs left. I love my house, everyone is really friendly, but I feel it is a shame that new students are poisoned against each other.

This is not helped along by the teachers. As far as I could understand Professor McGonagall, head of Gryffindor, was mostly fair, but was faster to believe that a Slytherin had done wrong than someone from any other house, maybe except two trouble making Gryffindors whom I will not mention. The Slytherin head of House, professor Snape would also favour his own house, going so far as to take points from Gryffindor for minor things while ignoring the same and worse offences from his Slytherins, whom he would also reward more willingly with points. In fairness, it would seem that he was trying to protect his own house, as professor McGonagall was not the only teacher who seemed to be quick to judge a Slytherin harsher.

I will mention several incidents which happened during the school year, some I witnessed and some I was told by someone who witnessed it.

The first incident, which was known throughout the school, was the first flying lesson between Slytherin and Gryffindor. I spoke with a few Gryffindors and Slytherins later to verify the rumours. Apparently, one Gryffindor student fell of a broom when it seemed to get a life on its own. (NB: Hogwarts really needs to get new practice brooms, they are just not safe! It is irresponsible to let students ride them!)

A Slytherin student took up an item belonging to the injured Gryffindor, the person had dropped it after the fall. Several Gryffindors asked to be given the item, which the Slytherin refused and flew off with the item. (NB: The students had been told to stay on the ground while the teacher took the injured Gryffindor to the Hospital Wing.) A Gryffindor decided to go after him. Now we have two students in the air, one Slytherin and one Gryffindor, both breaking a clear rule set by a teacher.

After The Gryffindor caught the item the Slytherin threw, they had both landed on the ground. Professor McGonagall had seen, at least one of them flying from a window and came out yelling the Gryffindor's name. She refused to listen to explanations of the incidents, completely ignored that a Slytherin had also been in the air, (it is debatable if she had seen the Slytherin), and ignoring the other students trying to explain simply bidding the Gryffindor follow her.

When I heard this I admit, I was surprised, McGonagall did not punish a Slytherin. Did she not know about then flying ban by Madam Hooch? No matter what the case it was never punished by other teachers, and I assume they talk about it in the teacher's lounge, especially when looking at the consequence the first-year Gryffindor got from breaking the rules. The Gryffindor was given the privilege of being a seeker on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and given a brand new racing broom, the best on the marked, a Nimbus 2000.

I know, if I had broken the rules and also put my life in danger by flying unsupervised, when I had never flown before, I would not be rewarded by my parents, I would be punished, and given a lecture about how I should value my life more. So while it might not be fair for the Slytherin not to be punished, the Gryffindor was rewarded for breaking the rules and, potentially, putting their life in danger.

At Halloween something happened again, this time professor Quirrell came running into the Great Hall, yelling that there was a troll in the dungeons. Dumbledore decided to send everyone to their common rooms. Now I know for a fact that the Slytherin common-room is in the dungeons… where there supposedly is a troll wandering around, and Dumbledore decided that the students under his care should go there. Moreover, The Hufflepuff common-room is not far from it either.

Then the teachers were ordered to go to the dungeons with him. The questions keep coming; How did the troll get into the school? As far as I know, trolls are stupid and it is highly unlikely that it could come into the 'most secure place in Britain' by itself. Did someone let it in? Who? Why? Did Dumbledore realise that he had let the third floor corridor open to anyone who wanted to take a closer look, by ensuring that the teachers were all in the dungeons? Was the troll a distraction? It was confirmed that there was a troll, but not in the dungeons. Apparently, three Gryffindors had battled it. Three Gryffindors who apparently did not go to their common-room, and was not seen leaving by teachers or prefects.

Such a secure school…

Moreover, how come the minister never came and investigated the incident? A crime at a school should, hopefully, be able to gain the attention of the Aurors, but I did not see one, or hear about one being there.

This next incident is clouded by mystery. It started with rumours about students wandering around the school at night, with a dragon. It does not sound plausible, but it is Hogwarts, and how farfetched is it to have a troll? Then why not a dragon?

Anyway, four students did get detention because of a night time out, it was well known as they lost so many points from Gryffindor that they were hated for a long time.

This also raised the issue about house points, is it fair that teachers let students be hated by other students because of that for an extended period of time? Especially when they have detention as well and thus will get their punishment.

Back to the detention. I spoke with one of those who had detention, a Gryffindor, there were three Gryffindors and a Slytherin. According to this Gryffindor, the detention took place in the evening in the forbidden forest. Now, we were told by the headmaster that the forbidden forest was forbidden. We were told by older students that there are some dangerous creatures who live there. So it makes sense to make it forbidden, though why it is near a school full of students at the 'most secure place in Britain', is anyone's guess.

Furthermore, in the forest they were told to find an injured unicorn, apparently something had been attacking and killing them. (NB: Again where are the Aurors?) According to this student, something dark was in there, according to the gamekeeper, who was overseeing this detention, (so not an actual professor and not someone who could do magic, though still someone who knew the forest and its inhabitants,) the dark thing was something new in the forest he had never seen, and he deemed it dangerous. According to the Gryffindor, another Gryffindor had to be saved by a centaur from this dark creature, because Hagrid had decided they should split up in the forest to look for the unicorn. I am afraid of ever getting a detention. If professors send their students into the forbidden forest in the evening, I would not like to try that! Let me be clear, I do not blame Hagrid, he did what he knew, and he deemed the forest safe, he was not to know something new and dark had entered the forest. Also, a professor should have been handling the detention.

The biggest event happened after the exams. Apparently there was a huge secret, which the whole school therefore knew rather quickly.

Three Gryffindors had figured out the secret about the third floor, apparently it contained the Philosopher Stone, and apparently someone was after it. It had been taken out of Gringotts only hours before the bank was robbed. Then it was placed at Hogwarts 'the safest place in all of Britain'.

Three Gryffindor first-years found out that Dumbledore had left the school. (why did he suddenly leave? Does the headmaster have too many responsibilities for one man? Is the school being neglected by a man with several (too many?) important and time demanding positions?)

The three Gryffindors had figured out that with Dumbledore gone, and someone knowing how to get past the obstacles guarding the stone, it would get stolen that night. Apparently they had tried telling professor McGonagall, who did not believe them, so they decided to take matters into their own hands. They were not thinking about imploring professor McGonagall or going to another professor. The three first-years managed to defeat obstacles set by their professors, obstacles that were supposed to protect the Philosophers stone. How difficult could they be if three first-years could manage to get through them?

Apparently, Professor Quirrell was the one trying to steal the stone. One of the Gryffindors managed to defeat him, something about touching him and thereby burning him, it is a little unclear. What is clear, however, is that apparently Voldemort had possessed Quirrell. There was another head sticking out of the back of his head, covered by the turban the professor wore. That is creepy! How could the Hogwarts wards not have picked up Voldemort being in the castle? Also is he not completely dead?

One should think that this would get the attention of the Aurors, but still nothing. Where is the investigation? Is anyone researching Voldemort's specter form? Why is no one doing anything?

The three Gryffindors were hurt, especially the one facing VoldeQuirrell, but Dumbledore managed to save the student in time, good timing.

I hope Aurors will be collecting memories, some might not take the word of an eleven-year-old, but memories never lie.

The last episode worth mentioning took place at the ending feast.

It was clear from the points that Slytherin won, Ravenclaw second, Hufflepuff third and Gryffindor fourth. The hall was decorated in Slytherin banners.

Now with three Gryffindors breaking a bunch of school rules and putting their lives in enormous danger, when it could have been avoided, surely they would be punished, right? Well I had not seen Gryffindor losing any more points during the days they recuperated in the Hospital wing, and detentions were too late to hand out. Maybe the teachers had decided that the scare was enough.

But no, Headmaster Dumbledore decided that a few last minute points were to be given out. He gave two of the Gryffindors, who went to the third floor corridor, 50 points, the last Gryffindor 60 points. They were now tied with Slytherin in house points. I thought that is was really unfair, both to, again, reward Gryffindors for breaking rules and risking their lives, with no punishment, but also to make the Slytherins share their victory, a victory they were obviously happy about. But no, Slytherin would not be sharing their points, the headmaster decided to award ten more points to Gryffindor because one of them stood up to their friend.

In front of the whole school, decorated in Slytherin colours, Dumbledore decided to take away the winning from Slytherin. He metaphorically ripped the trophy right out of their hands to give to Gryffindor. Apparently, others found this fair, as Gryffindors cheered loudly, Ravenclaws and most of the Hufflepuffs joined in. I did not, I looked stunned at the headmaster, how could he crush a whole house like that, and in front of everyone? No one seemed to care. I then looked to the Slytherin table, some looked on the brink of crying, while others looked angry and betrayed. I did not blame them, a headmaster is supposed to be unbiased and fair.

It is apparently rewarded when you break the rules, as long as you put your life in danger while you do it. What an example to set to children, what a message it is; break the rules and you will be rewarded, as long as you risk your own life while doing it. If not you will be given a nightmarish detention.

It is not so weird that the houses are openly hostile, not when the professors and even the headmaster is openly biased towards one house or another.

I find it ridiculous when I hear Slytherins call all Gryffindors stupid, and I find it ridiculous when I hear Gryffindors call all Slytherins evil. Honestly, what kind of school would accept children just to make them evil? And how can children be evil?

Yes, Slytherins tend to say nasty things, but should the professors not be wise enough to know that they are imitating their parents? That they do not have enough experience to form their own opinions? They should take the opportunity to make sure they get as many chances as they can to form their own opinions. Teachers should not condemn students based on their family and what house they end up in.

My first year here was magical, eventful, educational and a roller-coaster of emotions. I look forward to come next year. I do, however, hope that the professors and students would take a look inside at see their own behaviour before they start judging others. I will be back at the 'most secure place in all of Britain.'

Now I will enjoy my summer holiday – The Happy Hufflepuff

This letter was published the next day in the Daily Prophet. It created quite an uproar, especially in the home of fellow Hufflepuff Susan Bones, whose Aunt had read the prophet and decided, as Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, to visit Hogwarts to have a little chat with Headmaster Dumbledore.

A/N: I was reminded of the ending feast the first year at Hogwarts and I felt myself get annoyed with Dumbledore, so I had the inspiration to write this little one-fic. I should have continued my chapter fic "Virgin Pregnancy", but I was distracted. Oops.