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Students & Teachers in HP

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Please note that this topic is about PLATONIC teacher/student relationships ONLY. Thank you! 

Has anyone else become morbidly obsessed with a fan of the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text over the past year? No? Just me? (It's amaaaaaaazing - and I am not usually a podcast person. :twothumbsup: )

I was just re-listening (I told you I was obsessed) to the episode about CoS chapter 7, where Draco calls Hermione a mudblood, and then the trio retreats to Hagrid's. Hagrid is very kind to Hermione in that scene, and it made me think about how, in PoA, Hermione is initially the only one of the trio who is really there for Hagrid during the allegations against Buckbeak. I think that if the stories were told from Hermione's point of view, Hagrid would actually have an even greater presence in the books than he does in Harry's experience. He doesn't just support Hermione - she supports him, too. They have a very caring and genuine teacher-student relationship, and I had never really thought about it before.

Teacher-student relationships in HP don't seem to get a lot of attention in the fandom (with the exception of Snape's loathing for Harry), even though some very important characters fall into this category.

For example, I would love to know more about the relationship between McGonagall and Neville. In the scene where she does career advising with him in OoP, she is clearly very supportive, and able to see strengths in him that most people don't notice. On the other hand, she can be dismissive of him and find him embarrassing. The relationship between Snape and Draco is also fascinating, in both similar and different ways. And then there are some we don't know anything about at all. Who was Luna's favorite professor? Or Oliver's?

Is anyone else interested in this? (As a teacher, I may well be biased :P)

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Ahh, this is such an interesting topic! 

I wanted to say, immediately, that I don't really think that you could compare Draco and Snape's relationship with anyone else's. I mean, Snape literally made an Unbreakable Vow with Draco's mother--their shared past and their common situation indicates that their relationship is a little different from other student-teacher relationships. 

I definitely agree with you in that I wish these sorts of relationships would be considered more often in fandom. The character that I'd want to explore the most would be McGonagall's relationship to her students. I hadn't really thought of Neville until you mentioned it, but as I started thinking about it, I'm a little conflicted about how McGonagall feels. See, I'm assuming that she knows Neville's parents and thus feels some pity for him--but because she knows his parents, she must therefore have high expectations of him. McGonagall is, after all, the sort of professor to demand excellence from all her students, to not coddle them, but to help them be the best they can be. So I think you're right--she's supportive, but can also get embarrassed and maybe disappointed a little in Neville. I think that in the end, she acts as a sort of mentor to Neville, but perhaps indirectly? In like a tough love kind of way? 

You mentioned Hagrid, and the more I think about it, I realize that I never really considered him as one of Harry's professors primarily, but rather as one of his friends, and I think that's something that's common in a lot of Harry's, and I'm sure other students', relationships with their teachers--they often evolve beyond just a student-teacher relationship, into mentorship and mutual friendship. I think this is definitely shown in Harry and McGonagall's relationship.

This is something that I wish was explored more with other characters--referencing back to Neville, I'd love to read a fic about his relationship with Professor Sprout! 

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Yes, I definitely agree with you that that is interesting. Now that I think of it, I subbed once in a boarding school and there were clearly closer relationships between teachers and students than would be in an ordinary school. I was only there a week but if another teacher came into my classroom to give a message, students would greet them in a friendly, rather than formal manner and there was occasional joking, like one day a first year class (think Hogwarts 2nd years) were being really annoying and one of the teachers was joking with one of the older kids about how "your brother was driving me crazy today." And most of the teachers there didn't even live in the school - there were three or four who did. Add in the fact that the wizarding world is pretty tiny and we know a lot of the teachers know family members of students (Remus being friends with Harry's father, Snape fancying Harry's mother and attending school with both his parents, Snape's conflicted relationship with the Malfoys, Neville's grandmother and McGonagall) and you have a really interesting mix. The teachers aren't just teachers but also almost parental or at least aunt/uncle/grandparent/older sibling figures.

 

You should definitely create a challenge about this. I would probably write a story for it if you did. I have actually planned teacher-student relationships to play a big part in year 6 of my next gen series, but since I'm stuck at the beginning of year 3, whether or not I'll ever even write that is questionable. And a lot of the characters are OCs anyway. 

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Honestly I love the professors so much!! I wrote a fic about McGonagall and Harry's relationship (a very platonic one of course) - and it just gave me the chance to explore so many headcanons. What I love about fanfics is when they don't bash teachers and look at them doing their job. Take Minerva: strict, yet fair, doesn't cross a line where they become altogether extremely friendly...but everyone respects her. I'm not too familiar with the books these days (it's probably been 8 years since I read them) but I bet even the slytherins respected McGonagall. Like one of my favourite parts of the entire series was when Minerva promised to train Harry so that he'd become an auror, day and night if she had to...and I think in OotP she actually did?! She didn't say that out of her dislike for Umbridge....she said it because she was such a dedicated teacher and I think she knew that Harry didn't have a lot of people left? Like he only really had Sirius and Remus, and he didn't /see/ them. He had no female role model, no mother figure - so while McGonagall didn't want to mother him, she kind of took that guidance upon herself. 

^that's one of many scenes between Harry and McGonagall that I could talk about (the snape and mcgonagall fight scene, the 'would you like a biscuit ' scene, and so many quidditch based scenes)

I also think that relationship would've gone two ways. Like as McGonagall got older, if she ever needed any help once she retired and was no longer independent, Harry would definitely help Minerva. She'd refuse to move in with him and Ginny, but he'd visit her house every other day to see how she was. 

 

Another platonic relationship I like is the idea that Snape is generally protective of his slytherins in his own...snape-ish way. He's never been one to love or care for people openly, but I imagine as head of a slytherin house he'd have to actually help his snakes. There was a fanfic I read once where Hermione (yes it was snamione however did u guess ahaha) asked Snape if there'd ever been any muggleborns in slytherin while he was head of house- and he said no, but being a half blood himself he'd explain things to any first year half bloods. Whether they chose to hide it or not and that he would help. It was done in such an in character way, like he wasn't warm or charming but it worked!! I imagine that he'd be really insightful with the older students, career meetings and grade discussions. But in that way that's so Snape, like I don't really care either way - but you should care so here's a sly suggestion but if you don't follow it I'll continue to go about my business. 

 

This opened up so much for me because I hold the Hogwarts Professors very close to my heart <3 

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