Yes, Ivy Leaguers, we understand that your cafeteria bears an unbelievable resemblance to the Great Hall. NYU may not have Gothic architecture/turrets/castle-like features to compare, but in all the important ways, our school really is Harry Potter.
1. Switching Staircases
Walk into the Silver/Brown/Waverly stairwells, and you never know where you might end up. Like moving staircases at Hogwarts, or Floo Powder that pushes you through the wrong grate, modes of transportation in that building can be shaky at best. (Not counting the elevators, which really do shake.) There’s no Fluffy here, but if you’re an English major lacking protective eyewear, stay away from the chemistry labs.
Percy Weasley’s advice: “Keep an eye on those staircases. They like to change.”
2. The Counseling Office
We empathize with Harry’s plight in Order of the Phoenix. After casting one Patronus (to save his life! And that unappreciative Dudley!), he’s slammed in a courtroom to await possible expulsion. We know the feeling: After walking into the Health Center complaining of a cold, then being referred to the Counseling Office, we’re a little suspicious of our own bureaucracy.
“Oh, I don’t think any of us believe the Dementors were there by coincidence,” said Dumbledore lightly.
3. Filch = The Timekeeper
Ah, our trusty Timekeeper. If we grumble about his presence, it’s only out of love. How would we stay in line (and on our way to class) without him? Filch and the Timekeeper are exaggeratedly proud of their duties, believing themselves to be the only authorities keeping us all in check. We just wish that the Timekeeper had a cat.
“STUDENTS OUT OF BED! STUDENTS OUT OF BED IN THE -”
“They are supposed to be out of bed, you blithering idiot!” – Professor McGonagall
4. The Law Library
Though our resident gingers snuck into the Law Library, it’s an unlikely gamble. Admission to the library comes with, well, admission to the law school itself, or express permission (bought bribery?) from the guard. And if you do manage to finagle it, you won’t shake off the heart-thumping worry that’s got Harry dodging Filch and Madame Pince in the Restricted Section. Only the best of the best (or Malfoy, thanks to Severus Snape) are easily granted access. Procure a signed slip from Gilderoy Lockhart – I heard he’s still in Mungo’s – and you should be OK.
Madam Pince: “What are you looking for, boy?”
Harry Potter: “Nothing.”
Madam Pince: “You’d better get out, then. Go on – out!”
5. John Sexton = Dumbledore
If you offer the 24-hour-sentry outside of our president’s office on the 12th floor of Bobst a lemon drop, I hear he’ll let you in. Promise. And while you pull it out of your bag, you have to narrate what you’re doing – say “lemon drop” – so he’ll understand you’re in the club. Also, that elevator that goes up to the 12th floor? It actually turns into a stone griffin during the ride. And speaking of Bobst elevators: They must have come from Diagon Alley, because they open in the same slow, shuddering way as the brick entrance does outside of the Leaky Cauldron.
“‘Sher-sherbet lemon,’ he panted at it. This was the password to the hidden staircase to Dumbledore’s office- or at least it had been two years ago.” - Harry Potter
6. Malfoy = James Franco
Sorry, James, but really? You complained so much about a D that the professor was fired? We know, we know, NYU had its reasons. But Hagrid wasn’t really suspended because of a hippogriff accident, either.
“- he’s complained to the school governors. And to the Ministry of Magic. Father’s got a lot of influence, you know.” – Draco Malfoy
The same head-turning that accompanied Harry’s arrival at Hogwarts happened at the beginning of this year when freshmen Dylan Sprouse, Cole Sprouse, and Dakota Fanning matriculated. Tumblr exploded with whisperings of, “Did you see them today? I know someone who knows someone who sits behind him/her/them in lecture!” Take tips from Ron: chill out, treat celebrities like everyone else, and you might eventually accompany them on a best-friend journey to search for Horcruxes.
“It’s true, then, what they’re saying on the train. Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts.” – Draco Malfoy
8. Rats In The Park
Gross, right? We didn’t like Scabbers too much, either, though we would never say this directly to Ron. Anyway, you have your pick: We’re sure the rat family in Washington Square Park could spare a few members. Just stay away from the ones missing a toe.
“Twelve years! Curiously long life for a garden rat…” – Sirius Black
9. Our Beloved Bobst Flags…
…look a lot like the Hogwarts House flags in the Great Hall. On the right side of the lobby, there’s even one of a creepy, unnecessary snake. (Explain to us the significance, Bobst decorator. Explain it!) Whenever NYU sports teams beat another sports team, the flags change to the other school’s color as a sign of dominance. That’s why you’ve never seen them any other color but purple.
“Assuming that my calculations are correct, I believe that a change of decoration is in order.” – Professor Dumbledore
10. Leaving School Early To Find Horcruxes Is Totally Fine
We can’t tell you how much Hogwarts pride we felt when the Beauxbatons girls were brats, the Durmstrang kids were possible Death Eaters, and Hogwarts kids remained entirely normal and awesome. Hogwarts swings its own way, and so do we.
Harry and his friends had bigger plans for their senior year – like saving the world – and that was just fine with us. Our recent almost-grads include Sarah Silverman, Lady Gaga, and the Olsen twins, who left to pursue their careers.
Ultimately, we’re proud to go to a place that fosters such originality and talent. NYU is really a “school of the city/world” (we cringe at the quotation, too) that understands its place in modern life. It’s a tough world out there, but it’s also a tough world here, and we know how difficult it is to make it in the city. But we try. And Harry, and Neville, and Hermione, and Ron, and Luna all try too. We like to think that we share similar characteristics: that it takes the same thing to survive at Hogwarts as it does to succeed at NYU.
Even if we lack those turrets.
[original meme; image via]