Dear Harry Potter,
We wizards must stand together—or, if we seek to stand alone against the seemingly inexhaustible darknesses of this or any world, we shall surely, beset and beleaguered, ultimately fall.
The mutual ‘happy accidents,’ if I may be so bold as to use such a term, of our births mean that we both have birthdays in the month now known as July. As you are the greener of we two, you were absent rather than flourishing in the most recent decades of my-perhaps-too-long-already life, yet know that if you had been, I should at that time, as now, have counted you among those I admire, the lamentably few who work with and achieve mastery of the Art, yet resist its tendency to corrupt.
Nor was I then aware of Hogwarts, that rugged survivor among the lamentably few but thankfully impressively eccentric schools of magic that lie hidden here and there about the multiverse, the linked worlds we understand all too poorly. That failing is mine own, and is, as I’m certain you’ve become increasingly aware, the besetting root flaw of humanity: the lack of full understanding and the empathy that accompanies it, the inability or unwillingness to step into another’s boots, and see their lives and views and problems, and so amend our own conduct and thinking.
Yet from what I’ve learned of your adventures at Hogwarts and elsewhere, in the chronicles so ably told by your chronicler, the esteemed Lady Rowling, I not only like what I see; I discern the independence of spirit, the curiosity, the unerring valuation of what you deem to be right and good and proper and desirable over mere empty authority and indeed authoritarianism, and the desire to Set Things Right and to stand by our friends. I dare to judge myself to cleave to many of the same qualities, and even to know gratification when the result is deemed ‘meddling’ by those who lack understanding or who do not wish us well. Moreover, the hijinks, or what in earlier years was more often termed ‘animal spirits’ here on Earth, I read of in the chronicles of your days afforded me no small measure of amusement. I was pleased to make the acquaintance, along the way, of Nearly Headless Nick as well as the redoubtable Minerva McGonagall and the staunch Mrs. Weasely, to say nothing of the incomparable Albus Dumbledore, and the misunderstood and tortured Severus Snape.
Indeed, as I reflect, there was much sacrifice in your heritage and your own career, and much love at the heart of it, and I know (to just possibly as much personal cost as you have felt) how much that achieves, but also how greatly that marks us and guides us. I note with approval your current life of service at the Ministry, and your ongoing inner struggles—for when we cease to debate with ourselves, we cease to grow and change and better ourselves, and therein lies stultification and unthinking oblivion. In short, the state of all too many Muggles.
Yet I’m sure reading the wheezing pontifications of one more aging wizard grows tiresome for you, and devours time you can ill afford to spare in already busy working days. Please forgive this unexpected intrusion; I hope it, as an unlooked-for change, proves as good as a rest.
So during this July, however tardily, I salute you, and send my fond wishes for your every continued success, at the Ministry of Magic (stars and spells! To think the Art needs a governing bureaucracy! What a fraught enterprise, to be sure!) and in life in general.
Yours in the Art,