I have no Dursleys to deal with. I do not live in a cupboard under the stairs. I have no prophecies that foretell doom in my future, and no evil dark wizards trying to kill me. (At least, none that I know of.) But for ten days in July and ten more in January, I feel like Harry Potter.
I have my own brand of magic within me, waiting to be mastered and tamed under the guidance of the professors at my school. It has always been there. I just don’t know how to use it. So, I hop aboard the Vermont College Express (better known as Shawn’s car) and take that magical trip north. The scenery changes and the air grows clear. I feel so wonderfully alive, all the way to my core.
I love school. The Vermont College of Fine Arts is as special to me as Hogwarts is to Harry. I mingle with students in all different houses (though we call them ‘semesters’). We hang out in our common rooms, and we all wait anxiously to be ‘sorted’ into our advisor groups. We eat in the dining hall, and sometimes magic even happens there. It’s not usually because of the food, though the NECI house elves try hard. (None of us would be surprised to find pumpkin juice and kidney pie on the menu.)
We learn Charms from Professor Larios, and Professor Darrow helps us with the mystical art of Divinations. We transfigure our rough drafts under the guidance of Marion Dane Bauer, who has been at VCFA longer than McGonagall’s been at Hogwarts. We learn Defense Against The Dark Arts from Cynthia Leitich Smith. (Or it that simply The Dark Arts? I’m so taken in with her fantasy worlds that I sometimes lose track.) And, if we’re very, very good, some times we even get the chance for a jaunt down to Hogsmeade—er, Montpelier.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. School is over, and summer vacation has begun. Unlike Harry, I don’t have months of freedom to do nothing but figure out how to save the wizarding world. I only have a few days before I will be home again. Then it will be time to weave some of my own spells—hopefully, I can transfigure a stack of blank pages into a critical thesis with my wand. If that doesn’t work, my keyboard will have to suffice. Unlike Harry, I will enjoy the small bit of time I have with my family.
Maybe there will even be time to read… Harry Potter, of course.