Mr. Harry Potter
Dear Mr. Potter,
Greetings from Hogwarts! Has it really been nineteen years since you last strode the hallowed halls of Britain’s finest school of magic? Even without the assistance of a Time-Turner, time truly flies.
A lot has changed at Hogwarts since you graduated. Aldis lamps have replaced owls, golf carts have replaced Thestrals, and safe, reliable lifts have replaced the more capricious of the moving staircases. And what’s that in the library? Yes, it’s the school’s very first computer, a Commodore 64, which I’m assured by those in the know is the very pinnacle of Muggle technology. Huzzah for progress!
And there have been important changes behind the scenes, as well. Long-overdue restructuring at the top has produced a leaner administration that is more responsive to today’s educational priorities, including student safety. Indeed, thanks to stringent new hiring practices, only one out of every three Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers turns out to be an evil imposter bent on murdering students.
But as much as Hogwarts has changed, it remains, at heart, the same school you knew and loved in your youth. Peeves still torments students and teachers alike, the Whomping Willow still exacts a terrible toll on migratory birds, and Moaning Myrtle still haunts the second floor girls’ lavatory despite repeated attempts at exorcism and generous applications of Febreze. And as it always has, Hogwarts continues to rely upon the generous support of former students like yourself.
Such support has never been more important. The recent unionization of the House Elves placed terrible stress on the school’s finances. That stress that can be felt everywhere, even in Hogwarts’ legendary kitchen, where the need for belt-tightening means that each student is now limited to 5 lbs. of pudding per meal. Increases in tuition have helped, but endless fee hikes are not the answer. So until Professor Longbottom’s Knut-tree experiment yields tangible results, we’re counting on the generous support of former students like yourself.
Your support will allow Hogwarts to maintain its position as a leader in magical research. Consider the work of Professor Chang, who has attracted international attention with her groundbreaking research into the mating habits of Dementors (not so different from the mating habits of middle-aged divorcées, as it turns out, only with a lot less crying in restaurants). Without your support, such research may not be possible.
Your generosity will also allow us to keep the lights on and the doors open at the Trelawney Memorial Wellness Centre. Today’s students face many temptations, from old standbys such as Butterbeer to more recent and infinitely more sinister addictions such as Gillyweed, or “Willy G.” as the kids call it (and take it from me, there’s nothing sadder than the sight of a once-promising student lying face-down in a pail of water, “tripping out” on Gillyweed). Without a place to turn, many struggling students will not find the help they need when they so desperately need it.
Finally, your support will allow Hogwarts to remain within financial reach of all deserving students. Scholarships for needy students are always in short supply, and scholarships for dead, undead, and demonically-possessed students are particularly hard to come by. Without your support, many reanimated students may be forced to abandon their studies and go directly into middle management.
So what can you afford to give? Before answering, think back to your time at Hogwarts. There was lots of hard work, of course, but there was always time for fun — chatting with your mates in the Common Room, sneaking out to Hogsmeade to buy sweets at Honeydukes (inevitably followed by hours spent chasing after an errant Chocolate Frog), dancing with your sweetheart at the Yule Ball, and the like. No doubt you have many such happy memories. If not, please check your Pensieve, they’re probably in there. And after reviewing them, I’m sure you’ll agree that you can’t put a price on good memories — but that if you could, it would include at least four figures.
The sad truth, Mr. Potter, is that financial support from your year has always been rather lean. This is not because your classmates are indifferent to the school’s needs, but rather because so many of them are dead, killed by You-Know-Who and his minions, often quite horribly (speaking of which, a few more bits of poor Dean Thomas turned up just last week, a testament to the awesome power of the Fulminare Viscus curse). Now, considering that You-Know-Who was after you the whole time and that your unlucky classmates merely got in the way, it seems only fair that you should do your utmost to make up the difference. I’m sure you’ll agree that your alma mater deserves no less.
Fitch T. Fenwick
Director, Office of Alumni Relations
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
P.S. — If you need one more reason to support Hogwarts, then consider your old house’s Quidditch team. They’re suffering their worst year in generations on account of the sad state of repair of their equipment (the beaters must share a single tattered broom, and the seeker has no broom whatsoever and so must to run around making “whoosh” noises and hope that the Golden Snitch dips low enough to be snared from the ground, which of course it never does). Something to think about the next time you’re at Gringrotts, rolling in your money or whatever it is you do there when the Goblins aren’t looking.