Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fast, loose and aria-belting: Professors after hours

by Laurel Garver, Ravenclaw

HOGSMEDE, INVERNESS--Think you know your professors here at Hogwarts? You just might be surprised what they get up to in their off-duty hours.

According to Cooper Bingley, golden-curled inhabitant of a Flemish-style portrait in the faculty dormitory, our professors get up to some pretty surprising stuff when away from the classroom.

Transfiguration professor Minerva McGonagall has never made any secret of her skill as an animagus. But you might be surprised how playfully she flaunts it when no one but the portraits are watching. Skinny Minnie, as she was known in her schoolgirl days, loves to stair rail surf in her fluffy slippers. While we're all tucked in our dormitory beds, she can usually be found sliding slipper-footed from staircase to staircase, top of the castle to the bottom, only to POOF--transform into her tabby cat form for a perfect landing every time.

Divination professor Sibyll Trelawney might have the gift of the inner eye, but her outer eye? Not so gifted. In fact, her eyesight is so bad, she's been caught not once, but a half dozen times snogging the portrait of Sir Cadogan. Granted, he is a dashing figure in his shiny armor, but surely his painted face could not have felt quite right.

Laughter might be the best medicine, but it is music that soothes the savage breast of our hospital wing matron Poppy Pomfrey. Both portraits and castle ghosts alike confirm that she loves to sing in the shower. Indeed, the ghosts gather three times a week to hear her belt out Puccini and Mozart arias.

"Madam Pomfrey's voice is an utter marvel of mellifluousness," said the Fat Friar, Hufflepuff house ghost. "It is a tragic loss to the musical world that she suffers such petrifying stage fright. "Alas, only we ghosts, portraits and occasional house elf ever have the joy of experiencing her tremendous talent."

Laurel Garver is Thestral Gazette's editor-in-chief and communications secretary for S.P.E.W. She sings in Hogwarts choir, dabbles in Mermish poetry and tirelessly campaigns for an intramural Pegasus polo team.

Which professor's off-hours activities surprise you most?

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