Numbers are a part of our lives every day, but for some people, numbers became so ingrained that it begins to affect how they feel about themselves. They design their worth by their weight on the scale, how many friends they have or parties they get invited to. In the muggle world it's likes on this thing called the Book of Face. Arithmancy tells us that numbers can tell us about ourselves, but nowhere does it say we are limited to what the numbers predict. They do not determine value or worth. They only show us circumstances for our awareness.
For the longest time I've had a love hate relationship with numbers. They have a way of flipping on me. Much like a person who sees words backwards, numbers like to play tricks on my brain and do the same. One day in the potions classroom, I added double the amount of a certain ingredient to my cauldron and it started bubbling horribly. I knew something had gone wrong, but before I knew it, the concoction splattered out of the cauldron onto the floor. The potions master was not happy with me, but somehow, I still managed to leave unscathed.
"There aren't enough of us. You have to see that!" His eyes were wild as he met those of his king. "We have to surrender."
The king looked across the field. It did indeed not look good. The enemy - all clad in black and menacing to look at even at the best of times - did have the advantage of numbers. But, what he also saw, was that their positions were better placed. "Not yet" he said with greater calm than he felt. "Numbers aren't always the only thing that determines victory or defeat in a game of chess. Keep playing."
"Number thirteen." The lady surveyed the hall, then repeated herself before putting down the plastic piece with the number on.
Daena put down a piece as well, covering the number on her plate. Her eyes were drawn to the table with the prizes, kindly donated by the supermarket she worked at. She wondered if any of the others here knew she worked for Mr. Jules; might she in fact be breaking some rule by being here. But surely as long as she didn't say anything, no one would know. And she really needed that prize. They had to eat something.
Darkness, then bright red light before a boyish face grinned at the camera.
“Welcome Army to another video,” he started. “My name’s Gleeraptor and this video’ll be a little different than my singing covers. It’s the time I reach 10 million subscribers,” Gleeraptor trembled with excitement. He reached towards the camera and turned it to a computer screen, where the counter fluctuated: 9,999,987 then 9,999,993 hopping to 9,999,999, falling to 999,999,997.
The number finally settled on 10,000,000.
“That is it for this time Army, join me for the next video when I’ll be unboxing my diamond play button! See ya!”
I tapped my fingers against the shiny, black keyboard, staring at the screen. It was my first match after returning from the mandatory hiatus, so understandably, I was nervous. I noticed people chatting, but I never could get into it, too much distraction.
As the minutes flew by, the game started and I was ready for it when the question finally came in a Ravenclaw Beaters versus Gryffindor Chasers.
How many points does McGonagall award to Gryffindor immediately after she returns from St. Mungo's at the end of book 5?
Without even realizing, I quickly tapped out the answer: 250.
Not Over Yet
Last weekend, I was at platform 9 ¾. The queue to have your picture taken with the sign is immense but in a way, that just makes it more magical. Standing in line with countless other people who care enough about the same thing to stand there and wait with you...
When I got to the shop, it was near impossible to move because of the sheer number of excited people. I often worry that the magic of Harry Potter is fading: that the comradery is slipping away. Those numbers taught me to have more faith. It’s not over yet.
The Universal Truth
“How can you not like this?”
“How can you?” I countered.
“Doesn’t the knowledge that everything has an answer that’s out there to find captivate you?”
“No, it terrifies me.”
I shrugged. I’d tried to tell her before: to tell her that it was too much like everything being decided. Like living my life according to patterns I didn’t understand. That I liked there never being a totally right answer, because that meant you were never entirely wrong. But however I phrased it, however much I championed the freedom of multiple right answers: the maths homework still needed doing.
Prof. Gustavo Flores
Numbers in my life
One is my sister, two are my dogs, three are the evening hours I teach. Four are the HOL classes I teach. Five are the friends I consider the best. Six are the number of groups I teach. Seven is lucky, days in a week, seven new opportunities to live a dream. Eight are the hours I try to sleep but barely succeed. Nine are the songs on repeat in my mind. Ten times ten is 100, the perfect grade in every task. And so my life goes by, surrounded by numbers, till I reach a 1,000 or even more.
Prof. Gustavo Flores
Numbers are around us, whether we like it or not. So subjective as the time, or so precise as the recipes you cook, numbers are just there, watching you, judging you. Numbers count the years in a lifetime, and the months to wait for a special celebration. Numbers count the days in the week, the hours artists rehearse, and the seconds a hug can last. Numbers also count the miles you have traveled, the goals you have achieved, illusions and dreams to complete. Love them or hate, numbers are with you, do not ever feel lonely, numbers will accompany you.
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Poetry poetry poetry! This is where submissions get a bit more creative than most, and it's a wonder how many HOLers (particularly the eagles) are filled with fabulous artsyness.