This week The Daily Prophet had the chance to catch up with Slytherin’s Head of House to discuss pressing matters inherited by Slytherin’s tenebrous history and how the magical communities socialization standards may no longer be advantageous to the student body at Hogwarts.
Reporter: Professor Loughran, can you please tell me what it means to you to be the Head of House for Slytherin?
Professor Loughran: I take an extreme amount of pride in being the head of Slytherin. I worked incredibly hard to become Head of House and aim to make changes within the house that will affect the long term relationships of the student body and the pessimistic disposition that has been attached to its name since the inception of Hogwarts and even long before.
Reporter: With that said, what are your goals for Slytherin house members as it pertains to disrupting the stigma that has been attributed to your house?
**Professor Loughran pauses and then lets out a crooked smile from one side of her mouth**
Professor Loughran: My goals are indicative of what it’s always meant to be a Slytherin – to be strong-willed, ambitious and a natural leader. Slytherins are usually only noted for their demeaning qualities rather than the exceptional display of character that can be developed in such a class of individuals. It’s my duty and responsibility to help our teachers at Hogwarts prepare Slytherins for this hostile belief system and encourage them to rise to every occasion with complete excellence.
Reporter: You’ve made some excellent points that should be taken into consideration by contemporary witches and wizards. Would you mind elaborating?
**Professor Loughran sighs**
Professor Loughran: Sure. The state of affairs and view of Slytherin students are unjust. Most of our students and past Wizards and Witches tend to act a certain way because that’s simply what people have come to expect. For instance, you’re a great writer and will make me look good, right?!. **Says Professor Loughran in an exigent tone** People demand that of you and thus you deliver it. In the same sense, the world of Magic presupposes that is what Slytherins will deliver. If you’re surrounded by the manifestation of these dark assumptions, and no one reaches out to help you, more times than not if the individual is not strong enough, they will succumb to their self-fulfilling destiny. One of the many reasons I agreed to meet with you is to shed light on this area, so please forgive me if I am coming off as contentious or bitter – it is a soft spot for me when it comes to my students.
Reporter: Thank you for the explanation, Professor. I will take that into account. Another excellent response! In relation to witches and wizards inherently going bad from the Slytherin House, do you think house segregation contributes to this at Hogwarts? Wizards and Witches have mentioned that the separation of houses is a very old system that doesn’t allow for the integration or diversity of all character types to learn from each other in a socially sustainable environment.
**Professor Loughran glares at me with a pensive look for seconds**
Professor Loughran: Yes, I think it does. Our students grow at an exceedingly high rate from the first year they are introduced to magic at Hogwarts, until the time of their graduation ceremony. When individuals are stuck in a system that is not catering to their individual needs–which may differ from their direct peers–they lack the opportunity to grow and come into whom they naturally are and desire to become.
Reporter: How so?
Professor Loughran: Are you familiar with Severus Snape?
Reporter: I am, why?
Professor Loughran: Severus Snape was a Slytherin who may have been sorted into the correct house, but didn’t necessarily display all the characteristics of a Slytherin House Member. It is possible that because house segregation was even more prevalent back then, this led to his affiliation and association with Lord Voldemort. Imagine if the houses of his time had been geared towards socialization between the different houses. It is possible to speculate that the positive qualities he possessed would have been tended to by the students of other houses, and in turn, may have prevented him from ultimately becoming a Death Eater. In the end, however, it must be recognized that his allegiance was not with whom he swore it to because it was never who he was, but whom the world saw him as. Simply put. Younger classes need inter-house socialization. The sorting system stifles that.
Reporter: Thank you for that very detailed explanation and example. I think it’s a very important topic that should be discussed more. Professor, I must ask – is Hogwarts experiencing the same acclimation issues as the muggle world, with transgender and non-binary identification in adolescents and underage witches and wizards?
Professor Loughran: It is. At Hogwarts, just like in the rest of the world, there are children who feel out of place and are trying to finding themselves. We accept everyone and are very accommodating. It’s known that the dorms are spelled to adapt to kids who are non-Binary or who were assigned one side of the dorm but feel they should be allowed on the other. We also allow changes to the uniform to make students feel more comfortable. While this is a new obstacle for Hogwarts, we feel we are doing everything we can to make it fully inclusive.
Reporter: Speaking of fully inclusive systems, what is the temperature between half-blood and full-blood witches and wizards at school?
Professor Loughran: Bloodlines have long been an issue in Slytherin’s history. Slytherins are infamous for slandering Half-bloods and Muggle-borns. Hogwarts’ staff continually strive to eradicate blood prejudice and educate students on the importance of blood diversity in strengthening magic. However, no matter how diligently we work on building this positive attitude, this derogatory mindset against Half-bloods and Muggle-borns is rooted in a deep history–far deeper than just the Slytherin house–that is continually passed down from generation to generation. It is difficult to counteract the teachings of parents who are stuck in out-dated mindsets. Therefore, I do not doubt that these prejudices persist. However, bullying is not tolerated on Hogwarts’ premises.
Reporter: Doesn’t it always start with the parents and social upbringing, Professor?
Professor Loughran: Indeed Selevas, Indeed.
Reporter: Professor, I would like to personally thank you for your time. I know how busy you must be. The Daily Prophet and I extend our gratitude for this opportunity.
In conclusion, sitting down with Professor Loughran was an extreme pleasure and brought to light ongoing concerns that have affected her house for centuries. Her forward-thinking ideas and approach may, however, be the much-needed change that helps amend the perception of Slytherin.
One thing remains for certain, however – it is always better to be hated for what you are than loved for who you are not.