Podcast Question of the Week – Episode 60

Time for another question of the week! This episode, Eric & Laura are wondering what’s going on outside of classes at Hogwarts.

In this chapter, the characters scramble to find partners for the upcoming surprise Yule Ball. This event is the only dance to occur as a scheduled event at Hogwarts and, consequently, none of the characters are particularly in practice. Apart from the void in school dances in the Harry Potter books, what additional school activities that you have experienced would you like to see transferred to Hogwarts?

Leave us your response below & we just might read them on the next episode of Alohomora!

  • Erin Southam

    I think there could be a pretty outrageous “Spirit-Week” at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! Think about the possibilities for “Crazy-Hair” day in the wizarding world. Everything from hair that changes color every few minutes to Medusa-esque snakes for hair. On “Twins” day, you and your friend could transform into actual twins via Polyjuice potion or a transfiguration spell. For “Mismatch” day you could take it to the extreme and transfigure half your body into another species! Human on the top, acromantula on the lower-half, and the like. And what day would they have as part of spirit week that’s unique to the wizarding world? Maybe a “Spirit Day” where everyone hangs-out with the Hogwarts ghosts for a day.

    • Knight GryffinPuff

      Woah, you made that sound awesome. This has my vote!

  • Ryanne Adams

    I think that on every year on May 2nd there could be a carnival and a party going on. Obviously this would only happen after Deathly Hallows, but i always thought it would be interesting. They could have a farris wheel or a rollar coaster (which i thought could be in a shape of a basilisk). There could also be diffent booths that the students could run and have a performer come and perform. They would set everything up around the quidditch pitch and then have a huge quidditch game where the parents could come and watch. This gives the students of Hogwarts another day to see their parents and also celebrate May 2nd.

  • James Mahoney

    This is GhostHeart from the forums.

    Since I was homeschooled for most of what would have been my high school years, I can’t talk for all that many school activities. I do know that the pep rallies at my high school just sucked, and I never got the point of them anyway, though any pep rally at Hogwarts would be insanely fun. Since the Houses never really mingle all that often, I suppose something like a yearly dance would be something it’d have been nice to do for the older students. Really, that’s all that comes to mind. Now I know why I should have stayed in high school, to get more answers for this question of the week.

  • centennialstar

    I’d love to see some magical community service! I can totally imagine a bunch of Hufflepuffs getting together and making Christmas cards for St. Mungo’s patients.

  • DolphinPatronus

    I had all of these ideas already listed at my school & would like to see these played out in a magical setting. In particular a “Spirit-Week” would be interesting. I think magic would make all of the different theme days extremely interesting. The magical community service idea also intriuges me. I think seeing Draco do any kind of volunteer work would be quite humorous.

    • DolphinPatronus

      I’d like to add cheerleaders! Each of the 4 houses could have it’s own cheer squad to support the quidditch team. I think it would be interesting to see a magical cheer squad.

  • Elvis Gaunt

    The first thing I thought about on hearing this question was something that actually exists at Hogwarts: the Slug Club. Not only do these “elite” members get to interact with each other and have parties where they can come with their dates, they also meet former members of the club (the only time we see Hogwarts student interacting with outsiders within the school other than during the tri-wizard tournament) . I seem to remember there was vampire at one of those parties.

  • Leah McCurdy

    This may seem more “cluby” than social but I was on my high school Yearbook staff and loved it. A magical Yearbook would be even more fantastic, with moving photos and I can imagine Wesley quill products that offer different ways or outcomes for signing yearbooks. One year we had a ‘tag your it’ theme in our Yearbook where we asked people questions and then they tagged someone for the next question. Imagine using magical printing to capture this type of creative idea in print format. Not to mention that the Yearbook would be a great way to introduce photography as a pursuit for Hogwarts students. I’m not sure whether Yearbooks are a tradition of UK schools though. A newspaper or magazine group also comes to mind but the school is pretty small and the Daily Prophet seems to have a pretty strong hold.
    As far as purely social gatherings, what about Slughorn’s parties in Book 6. Maybe Sprout invites all the hufflepuffs or any student interested in Herbology to have a cup of tea and discuss new species or something. I think there is also a mention of at least Lavender and Parvarti hanging out with Professor Trelawney so there are ways to socially interact already built into the story. I don’t think there would necessarily have to be school-wide social activities. On that note, we have another example – Dumbledore’s Army- that is actually inter-house. The DA is not purely social but certainly served as a social gathering, especially as the students were having a harder time than normal that year.
    I would also like to mention the trips to Hogsmeade that surely provide a chance for social engagement and outside the school, so probably more freely social. When Harry went, Madame Puddifoots certainly had a lot of traffic so students interested in dating have some opportunities to get together. It is understandable that permission to go to Hogsmeade begins at third year (13-14 years old) so that students are somewhat mature enough to handle themselves without supervision.
    On the whole though, I think the students at Hogwarts would make their own fun, as we see with common room parties and not let the lack of organized events stop them from having fun and dating.

    • DolphinPatronus

      I love the idea of a magical yearbook! Imagine how excited Colin Creevey would be by this. You could have a photographer from each house so they could get shots from their respective common rooms. They could get great action photos from the quidditch matches. Trips to Hogsmeade & just hanging out on the grounds could be comemerated. And so muggle born students wouldn’t have to worry about getting “busted” by muggle friends back home they could cast some type of spell on the yearbooks so only witches & wizards can see it for what it truly is unless they decide to share it. I’m thinking something like the Marauder’s Map. If the student whated to show their parents they could tap it with their wand & say something specific like the Hogwarts’ Motto & then when they finished tap it again & say the Headmaster of that year’s name. As for the underage magic…we know the ministry knows what spells underaged wizards are using when they use them so they can put that one on some kind of exceptions list.

  • Aradan

    To be honest, I always found it a tad unrealistic that Quidditch seems to be the only sport that wizards seem interested in. I mean, it’s great and all, but it’s just one sport. I feel like it would be better if Quidditch was the equivalent wizarding sport of soccer, the really big one that’s actually world-wide and known and loved everywhere. But there are tons of other sports out there too, and although they vary a lot in popularity and distribution, Quidditch by itself doesn’t seem like enough. I’d love to see other wizarding sports, or wizardified versions of muggle sports.

    Apart from that, I’d guess Hogwarts might have a swim team, and possibly some boat-related stuff (I mean, they have a boat house and I don’t think they only use it once a year to bring in first years). Maybe artists? Painting those moving pictures… possibly archers club and/or sparring even if those are more muggle activities.

    Oh and music. Apart from a band we hear of here and there we don’t see a whole lot of instruments and/or musicians.

    • Leah McCurdy

      You’re so right! They have to have activities related to the lake! And not just the first-year’s crossing at the beginning of term. Swimming, rowing, diving, fishing, sailing…
      P.s. why doesn’t Hagrid ever discuss magical creatures that live in the lake?

    • DolphinPatronus

      But wouldn’t the giant squid make water sports a pain in the butt? In fact come to think of it where was the giant squid during the second task of the tournament? Did it mess with the ship that the Durmstrang students where staying & traveling in?

      • Aradan

        Well, the squid doesn’t ever seem to interfere with the school (like you said, it never showed up during the tournament), so I think it’s safe to say it would generally leave them alone.

        • Subjective Unicorn

          he just likes being fed toast on a sunny afternoon :)

    • froggyhpmb3

      Yeah we saw a small brass band in GoF, a chorus in PoA, and nothing in the books except the whole school sings in SS. Hogwarts has no arts program!

  • Guest

    I remember in Fantastic Beasts, Dumbledore mentioned the Drama Club which was cancelled because a doomed production of “The Fountain of Good Fortune” which went slightly astray, where the actors ended up duelling each other (this was NOT acting) and set the whole of the Great Hall on fire. They could bring that back, how hilarious would that be? I was always arty-farty at school, and loved the school plays. My roles ranged from trees to princes (yes, I’m a girl) to lesbians pretending to be men in order to woo other women. I’m not joking. Oh, and Virgin Mary in Nativity. But I was in nursery then so I don’t know if that really counts….

  • Olivia Underwood

    I remember in “Fantastic Beasts” Dumbledore mentioned that there used to be a drama club at Hogwarts until one doomed production of “The Fountain of Good Fortune” took place in the Great Hall. Needless to say, it ended in a jealous catfight between the two leading ladies (not acting) and ended up setting the whole place on fire. They could have brought that back during the Potter books, I’m pretty sure Luna would have participated. Perhaps Neville too.

  • Knight GryffinPuff

    So, I was a Math team and Model U.N. kind of guy in school. Yep, total hit at all the parties. :)

    I think the former would transfer best as a class related club that could be competitive and would allow for field trips to other schools for competitions. Obviously, a Dueling team (Defense Against the Dark Arts) would fit. Is it just me or would stories of Harry, Ron,and Hermione taking field trips to other schools to compete in dueling competitions sound awesome? They could start off using basic spells, then advance to tougher stuff. Maybe even get into experimenting with creating their own spells. We could hear about other schools. Lots of material to work with here. A Dueling club is slightly in the stories, but underutilized in my opinion.

    Transfiguration team? Charms club? Both Iffy. They don’t seem like they have much competitive potential. Ahem, not voting for an Arithmancy team — the best part of Math team was playing Euchre on the way to and from meets. Potions team? Perhaps. It could be competitive, at least. Compete for speed, efficacy, etc.

    As far as Model U.N., that would be right up Percy’s alley!

  • crookshanks11

    It would be cool to see a sort of Tolo/Sadie Hawkins dance where the girls were supposed to ask the boys! Haha who do you think Hermione would have asked if this took place instead of the Yule Ball?

  • froggyhpmb3

    I bet the trio could have benefitted from some gym or life skills classes when they were traveling in DH. You know, just some basic survival skills or like a Health class for later in life. If muggles have to take a mandatory health class so should wizards!
    The other thing Hogwarts could use would be foreign language classes. It said in the books that Crouch knows over 200 languages but where did he learn them? Not at Hogwarts!
    Also these might sound like boring classes but finance, law, business classes? These were extra curricular in my school and I know that they sound very muggle but don’t wizards need them too?

  • ArchdukeSeverus

    The fact that Hogwarts only has one dance during the year isn’t that odd but the fact that this is the only social occasion (with an exception of Slughorn’s parties) is a bit odd. It may be that in the past there were more special occasions such as parties (in Slughorn’s time) and school plays (the fountain of fair fortune) but in the case of the plays they were cancelled due to danger (the ashwinder). Also if you look at the teachers at Hogwarts (until Slughorn arrives) they do not seem like the type of people to organize special events. Also any momentous occasion seems to be celebrated by a feast. These feasts could be the wizarding substitute for special occasions. Also things like balls are generally for people that aren’t that familiar which makes them more suited for muggle school occasions. The sit down dinner/feast is more of a family thing which could be why Hogwarts has them as they all seem to be one big family (or maybe four) as they are constantly together. This could be why we see occasions like the ball happen in the fourth year as this is when the other schools are here and people aren’t as familiar with each other and a ball is a kind of suitable thing.
    Also for formal occasions people will usually spend time getting themselves ready at home so that they can go out and impress there friends. You can’t really do this at Hogwarts as you are quite likely to be getting ready in the same room as your friends. Also maybe Hogwarts is such a magical and fun school that these types of occasions aren’t needed to have fun.
    All Harry’s years at Hogwarts are quite eventful as well so the staff don’t have much time to organize special occasions. The exception to this is possibly half-blood prince which is mainly a less eventful year for Hogwarts. In this year we see things like Slughorn’s Christmas party (although this is only open to particular students).
    The students don’t really need occasions organized for them though as they are quite good at this themselves as we are shown multiple times during the series at the quidditch after-match parties. The only parties we see are those of Gryffindor which raises the question of whether the other houses party as well. They probably party in different ways. I can picture the Ravenclaw common room after a successful match with a lot of people sitting around with butterbeers chatting. It doesn’t seem likely that they would have as full blown parties as the Gryffindors with scenes such as that between Ron and lavender more of a private matter. There may be some Ravenclaws that will prefer to read instead of party but the main Ravenclaw characters we are shown do seem quite social e.g. Roger Davies and Cho Chang. This just shows the vast range of Ravenclaw students there are likely to be as there are a lot of different forms of intellegence and I would think that all of these would be accepted by Ravenclaw.
    I see Hufflepuff parties as very organized and enjoyable affairs. The Hufflepuffs are all hard workers and would probably put a lot of effort into setting up the party beforehand with food tables, set music and what not. Also if the Hufflepuff parties were not that enjoyable then I can see it as the type of situation when everyone is too nice to say anything and they all just hang around seemingly awkwardly. Also if the Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 is to be believed there would be a lot of music involved. Hufflepuff parties would be pretty tame as well and not likely to get as out of hand as Gryffindor ones.
    Slytherin parties would be interesting. They may be similar to those of Slughorn. I see them as sitting around the fire relaxing with a Butterbeer enjoying everyones company. Slytherins seem to be the most united house as they are all loyal to each other. Also the fact that Hogwarts seems to discriminate against them could cause them to be more united. I see Slytherin as one big family. I think there parties would be the least likely to get out of hand and that they are more like (not the same as) dinner parties or a gathering of friends.
    Hogsmeade visits could also be considered as a special occasion of sorts.
    It would be great to see something like an awkward year 1 and 2 social in the three broomstickes with McGonagall and Snape residing over but I think that it is unlikely that anything like that would ever happen. It would be interesting to compare the situation at Hogwarts to that other normal boarding schools, which I can’t do as I attend a public school, but I also just expect there are no special occasions at Hogwarts because writing them in would increase the size of the books a lot. It would be interesting to find out if Jo has written any special occasions like socials and just not included them because of their irrelevancy.

  • Elvis Gaunt

    Hogwarts has a student exchange program. Ron mentions during the Quidditch World Cup that Charlie had a pen friend in Brazil whom he had planned to visit but could not because it was expensive. There seems to be a lot going on actually. Gobstones club and Charms Club are mentioned in the series. Its just that Harry always has a lot on his plate that he notices them only when he is forced to be a part of them (Slug Club) or it is totally in your face (Lockhart’s Valentine’s Day celebrations). The only exceptions are Quidditch and DA (this too was Hermione’s idea initially).

    • Elvis Gaunt

      As for my preference, I would love to be a part of DA.

  • Subjective Unicorn

    It seems to me that it is up to teachers to start and promote the clubs. If none of them are interested and Dumbledore not so much either, we there will be no activities otherwise. It seems that Dumbledore is more interested in figuring out Tom Riddle’s riddles than encouraging students to explore their artistic skills or other talents. Maybe he is a Plato supporter and believes that all art is there to deceive the students from proper knowledge. Him banning the drama club made me think that.

    • DolphinPatronus

      Headmaster Dippet is the one that actually imposed the ban on theatrical performances & I think it was more because it was an absolute disaster than any support of Plato.

  • HallowsMaster97

    I am currently at school and I run the ‘Free the Children’ organization at my school, it’s a sort of charity that helps children around the world. I’ve been part of this organization for 4 years now and I really discovered some interesting things about myself. It’s quite a learning experience.
    It would be nice to see a charity organization at Hogwarts where students can do different campaigns and such to raise money and awareness for specific problems.
    I suppose S.P.E.W should count for something but that didn’t really take off too well did it? ( No offense Hermione)

  • arel

    Art club? Presumably someone has to learn how to paint all the portraits that they hang everywhere and since there is seemingly no traditional muggle lessons (see maths, english, etc), I guess that one can surmise there would be no art class in the formal curriculum. The only time art is ever mentioned is in relation to Dean. Maybe if his character had been expanded (as planned?) we would have found out more about art in the wizarding world. Although I suppose, given the pottermore info on portraits, it could be inferred that a muggle painter would suffice since: “the degree to which they can interact with the people looking at them depends not on the skill of the painter, but on the power of the witch or wizard painted”. So does this mean that if I were to paint a witch or wizard the portrait would be able to talk to me? (Kind of contradicts the need to develop photos in a special potion…). Sorry, I’ve rambled off topic a bit!

    • Elvis Gaunt

      I like the idea of art club. But, I always assumed Dean learnt drawing in the muggle world, probably before coming to Hogwarts or during summer vacations.

      • WatchSky181

        I agree, but you are a long way from developed in any skill at 11 and practice is obviously required. Also its a great way to show house pride at Quidditch matches like Dean with his banners.

  • I’ll Be In The Library

    So, I had this thought that connects to Erin S.’s idea of a Hogwarts spirit week: an old-fashioned field day. I imagine that it would include both individual and group events like broom races (instead of foot races), capture the flag-type events, etc. Just imagine the fun that the students could have with three-legged races (I think that pranksters like the Weasley twins would take this literally and transfigured themselves into three-legged creatures.). The possibilities are nearly endless. Plus the students would have the opportunity to group up in more “untraditional” groupings (I.e. All seventh years, Harry’s fan club, boys v. girls, etc.) rather than just the same house-based groups. I love this question because it seems like the things we don’t see while at Hogwarts has the possibility to be the most fun. Keep up the great podcasts!