Welcome to a new year of History of Magic.
Yes, I know, you didn’t expect a new professor. Binns’ career could be a History of Magic lesson in itself. But after a discussion with Headmistress McGonagall, he finally decided it was time to retire.
I’d like to start this year with a question, students. A simple question, but one you may not have considered. Why history of magic? No, don’t hold your breath; I’m not the one answering. If you’d come pass out these quills from my desk, Miss Madley? Yes, here you are. They’re charmed for anonymity, you see. Clever little trick. Makes your handwriting looks like print. Useful when you’re getting sloppy at the end of an essay…but in any case, I am passing them out so there is no pressure when you respond.
Take out a piece of parchment, take your Anonymity Quill, and write the following: those who do not study history—
And then complete the statement. As briefly as you like, or as much as you can fit into the next ten minutes. Honestly, please. Above all, honestly. Those who do not study history have more time to devote to their other OWLs. If that is what you think, write it down. Those who do not study history are lucky gits. Go ahead. Say it. I’d be pretty happy to see those who do not study history are missing out on a great deal of excitement, but there are no rewards here, and no punishments. Anonymity Quills, students. Take advantage of them. You won’t get off of putting your name to your ideas in this class for long.
Now, as you might guess, I could outline for you many reasons to study history. I could use entire class periods. I won’t do that. But I will give you one important reason—a reason which several of you, I see, touched on. Muggleborns, I suspect, because this is a Muggle adage. A very wise one, too.
Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.
Students. Friends. We have been living history, some very tumultuous years of history. I think it is safe to say that none of us wishes to repeat what we have seen and faced and done.
So let us study history. Let us strive to be the wiser for it.
And though we shall always make mistakes, let them be new mistakes in future.
Homework is the introduction to Garius Tomkink’s History of Wizarding Society, which we will be using in addition to Bathilda Bagshot’s History of Magic.
Mandy Brocklehurst, Professor of History of Magic. Would-be recent Hogwarts graduate, but is instead teaching as a ghost after her death in the Battle of Hogwarts.