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those who do not learn from history

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Luca Caruso’s first love is history. It only makes sense, he supposes. Both of his parents are historians, after all. They had even met in university when they had been assigned to work together in a group. Both of them still say that it is the only positive experience with teamwork they have ever had during their education.

So from a young age, Luca and his siblings are taken to museums and given detailed explanations to the things of his parents’ expertise — The Republic of Venice in his dad’s case, and the Latin American Wars of Independence in his mom’s. But that’s not all they know, and many of their friends also know about so many things about different topics. Between all the tales they tell, it’s pretty close to impossible not to develop an intense fascination for the past.

So it’s only logical that when Luca learns about the existence of magic, he gets incredibly curious about how magic plays into history. Maybe magic was somehow responsible for the Island of Bermeja and why no one can find it. Or with the disappearance of the princes from the Tower of London. Or any of the other unexplained mystery that historians are still trying to figure out.

When they get to Diagon Alley, it doesn’t take any convincing to get not just the required history textbook, but more. A History of Magic and Hogwarts: a History by Bathilda Bagshot, yes. Additionally — for no reason other than their own curiosity — they also bought The Scars of Salem: Essays on the Witch Trials of 1692 by Carlos Eduardos, A Brief Summary of Magical Italian Trade by Luigi Machiavelli, and The Effects of European Colonization on the Magical Societies of South America by Asunción Pareja, as well as several others where the authors seemed to be unknown, like Modern Magical History or Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century.

It was enough for the first load. They’d come back for more at a later date — that much was certain — for now, however, they had no more time to browse the shelves that were sorted in a system unfamiliar to them. Maybe magic somehow made efficient sorting superfluous or something. It wasn’t like any of them knew enough about it to figure it out and their chaperone had left them here at their last stop, so it wasn’t like they could ask her — Professor Sprout, that was — either.

But they had enough books for all five of them — that is Luca, his parents, and his sisters — to read until the new school year started.

And Luca couldn’t wait.

On the train to Hogwarts, Luca sits with a girl called Alice Tolipan. Her skin is a dark brown, her hair is tied in cornrows, and she comes from an entirely magical family.

It’s very exciting to hear about, just like Alice is very fascinated by his own non-magical background. They talk to each other for the entire train ride and only after the sun disappears beyond the hills they get to the topic of Hogwarts.

“So, what class are you looking forward to the most?” Lucas asks.

“Astronomy. The stars and the universe and it all is just so fascinating and I can’t wait to learn how it all influences magics. Beyond things like the full moon’s influence on a werewolf or the sun’s influence on vampires.”

That all does sound interesting, Luca has to agree. He tells her as much and adds. “You know, non-magical people have been on the moon,” he informs her. There wasn’t anything about wixen achieving such a thing in Modern Magical History , but for all Luca knows that could be because they had made it to space before modern times.

Alice’s reaction makes it more than clear that this is not actually the case. Her eyebrows rise up and she lets herself fall back into her seat. “Holy Merlin they did that? That’s incredible. We haven’t even figured out how to do it with magic and they went and did it without.”

“I’ll write to my parents and ask them to dig up some articles and stuff if you want to.”

“That would be amazing.” Alice nods enthusiastically. “Please do.”

“I will,” he confirms. “And if I forget, remind me.”

“I certainly will not forget,” Alice assures him. “Anyway, what subject are you most excited for?”

“History of Magic. Both of my parents are historians and they infected my sisters and me with their love for the topic; me probably the most out of the three of us. You can never know enough history and I’m very interested in learning about what magical people know that non-magical ones don’t and what mysteries are caused simply by the fact that the magical side is hidden.”

Alice’s wince is not very promising.

Luca raises an eyebrow, prompting her to elaborate.

“I really hope you won’t be disappointed. It’s just... I’ve heard bad things about the history teacher. He’s a ghost-”

“But that sounds amazing !” Luca interrupts. “Actual eyewitness testimony from a time there may not be other sources? I know people who would give an arm and a leg for that at a moment’s notice!” And Luca really does. There’s a friend of his parents that’s looking into the American continent pre-Columbus and if she ever heard about a chance to figure out more from people who actually lived in there, she’d be at the doorstep within a day.

“Hogwarts is filled with ghosts, but I’ve heard that Binns is incredibly dull from pretty much everyone I’ve ever talked to.”

“Many people aren’t as excited as I am for history for reasons that I personally do not understand at all. I’m sure he’s not going to be all that bad.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

After the second lesson with Binns, Luca wants to destroy something — preferably Professor Binns. He has held back the first time — because maybe Binns is just incredibly bad at introductory courses. But the second lesson has proven that that is not the case.

“Are you kidding me?! Are you absolutely fucking kidding me?!” he raves to his fellow Ravenclaws the very second he is out of the classroom. “They let him be a history teacher?! I’d say that he couldn’t show less enthusiasm if he was dead, but oh! Wait! He is!”

“That’s kind of rude,” Alice comments.

“His apparent lack of concern for anything other than the goblin wars is way more than rude. I’m not denying their importance. I’m sure they’ve shaped the world we live in today to a degree, but they’re not the only thing you need to know about. History is too important for that.”

“It’s been two lessons, mate,” another student Luca doesn’t know the name of points out. “I’m sure he’ll get to it eventually.”

“If he does, my brother has been lying about his history class for the last three years,” Roger Davis comments.

“Your brother stays awake?!” a girl in a hijab exclaims in surprise.

“See? That right there is what I am talking about! History tells us where we come from and why we as people are the way we are in each individual society. It tells us where we have been and from that, we can try and figure out where we are heading. Bring out a few arguments from ethics, and we can learn from it so that we can avoid committing the same mistakes and atrocities again. We can avoid causing hurt again! But no, instead of someone who can bring out the enthusiasm history deserves in a decent amount of people, we get Binns, who’s probably put an entire class to sleep at once before and failed to notice. I’m not saying that history should be everyone’s favorite class, but it should be someone’s.”