History of Magic - Professor Binns - 7th Year Project
50% of overall History of Magic NEWT grade.
The student must pick an object from Hogwarts, surrounded in its traditions, to focus upon in this study.
This object could be anything from the Sword of Godric Gryffindor, to the charm used to enchant the ceiling of the Great Hall (in this case a Charm, or a Ghost, can be seen as an object).
Once the student has chosen the object they wish to study they should inform Professor Binns. Once this has been done they are free to carry out their investigation on the history of their chosen object. If a student is in need of books from the Restricted Section in the library they should consult Professor Binns who will decide if the books are necessary.
The end result should fill no less than 4 feet and no more than 6 feet 4 inches of parchment, and should be handed to Professor Binns no later than the start of the Easter holidays.
Hogwarts wishes each and every student the very best of luck.
There, that was the start. Who would have thought a History of Magic project could be so exciting? Well, I would, Harry and Ron certainly would not have, in fact they didn't.
"History of Magic! When are we going to need that 'Mione?" Ron said as he scribbled down his topic on the only piece of parchment he could find at that moment, the bottom of a potions essay. He chose the charm used to enchant the ceiling of the Great Hall, saying that it shouldn't be too much trouble, and anyway the Quidditch season was far more important.
I don't know how I put up with that boy, actually I do, but that's a whole different topic for another day.
So, I was hoping that Harry might at least put some effort in. But no, he chose the other example given, Godric Gryffindor's sword.
"Hermione, I would have picked it anyway, I mean, I did use it twice, in second year and again last year!"
Yeah, yeah, any excuse not to use his brain. Ok, so I shouldn't be too hard on him. This year looked to be the end, and it was. And it did take a lot of his time, ours too, but mostly Harry's.
What did I pick? I was just getting to that. The Sorting Hat. Now you're thinking, how interesting is an old hat going to be? That's where you're wrong. That hat determines the life of every student to pass through this school. Also, Harry was able to pull the sword of Godric Gryffindor from it back in second year.
The Hat has always fascinated me, for those reasons and more. But I had never before had the time to study it. 'Hogwarts: a History' only gives a brief paragraph on it's function, and that it was a gift to the founders of the school on its opening. That such an important part of the school only gains one paragraph hinted to me that my search would be long, but hopefully fruitful at its end.
After a week of searching the library and finding no more than repetitions of the paragraph in 'Hogwarts: a History', I returned to Professor Binns to gain access to the Restricted Section.
The only time I ever saw Professor Binns even slightly motivated on his subject, or anything else for that matter, was when I informed him of my topic and when I asked for access to the Restricted Section. It was, as you can imagine, quite shocking to me to see this (and even I can admit this)totally boring Professor come to life, though not literally.
There were in fact several books that contained much information on the subject within the Restricted Section. It was in these volumes that I discovered the fascinating story of the Sorting Hat and was able to fill all 6 feet and 4 inches of parchment.
The Hat has a long history, even further back than Hogwarts. It was not, as I had imagined, filled with charms to perform its function at Hogwarts. No, each Headmaster had to ask it politely to perform its duties each year; it has not once refused this task.
No, its history began long, long ago, in a galaxy far... sorry; I'm still a muggleborn underneath it all.
The Sorting Hat did in fact begin its existence in another dimension, known only as 'Discworld'. Very little is known of this dimension other than what is known on the origins of the Hogwarts Sorting Hat.
This 'Discworld' also has magic, wielded by both wizards and witches, although their magic differs greatly from each other and from our own magic. The wizards of 'Discworld' also learn their magic in an institution of education, the Unseen University. Only the seventh son of a seventh son may become a wizard, in fact, must become one.
The wizards of this dimension also make use of wizard hats, although in this dimension they pick up what is known as "morphic vibrations" or magical vibrations from their users.
The Sorting Hat is said to have been the hat worn by each successive Archchancellor of the Unseen University until Archchancellor Ridcully refused to wear it and had a new hat made.
The reason Archchancellor Ridcully refused to wear the hat was due to it soaking up so much magic from each successive archchancellor that it had developed its own personality. Archchancellor Ridcully then decided it should be removed from 'Discworld' but should not be destroyed. It is said he crossed dimensions purposefully searching for a new home for the hat. However, one account recalls that this search was very much accidental, yet fruitful.
Archchancellor Ridcully arrived in this dimension as Hogwarts was being built. At this time the school's founders, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw were still puzzling over how the students should be separated into each house. Archchancellor Ridcully offered them the solution of the Sorting Hat. The Hat agreed, as long as it was asked politely by each Headmaster of the school.
I found this all very interesting, however, Ron, Harry and the others did not, and in the end they would turn the other way if I looked to be beginning a conversation on my project.
My project was completed just in time for the deadline, though its lateness was due mainly to our troubles with Voldemort, who as you know was defeated by Harry just before Easter.
The marks for the NEWTs are posted at the end of the summer term, unlike OWLs, so that what to do next may be decided and confirmed over the summer. I gained the highest grades possible in all my subjects, some higher than those possible, as for the History of Magic project I gained the mark of 60%, 10% over the available marks.
Harry and Ron both passed with reasonable marks and will both be playing Professional Quidditch for the Chudley Cannons and England when the new season begins.
I on the other hand will spend a year gaining a teaching certificate and will then return to Hogwarts as an assistant to Professor Binns and will eventually teach first to fifth year classes.
Although as heroes in the fight against Voldemort, I doubt Harry, Ron and myself will ever fall into obscurity. I do hope this story serves to remind you, the reader, that fighting the dark is not all that my year filled its time with during our years at Hogwarts.
Headgear picks up morphic vibrations. Quite a lot of trouble had once been caused in Unseen University by a former Archchancellor's hat which had picked up too many magical vibrations after spending so much time on wizardly heads and had developed a personality of it's very own. Ridcully had put a stop to this by having his own hat made to particular specifications by an Ankh-Morpork firm of completely insane hatters. - Lords and Ladies - Terry Pratchett.