We can learn a lot from Professor Pomona Sprout, resident Herbology whizz and Head of Hufflepuff house – a truly eccentric inspiration. Here’s just a few tips, inspired by the lady herself, on how we can live our lives in a more Sprout-y way.
As the Herbology Professor at Hogwarts, Professor Sprout naturally had an affinity with the magical side of flora and fauna. The concept of magical gardening may not be as initially grabbing as, say, Defence Against the Dark Arts, but we quickly realised how deeply important the lesson was.
Without Herbology, the victims of the Basilisk in Chamber of Secrets wouldn’t have had the help of Mandrakes to restore them to help. Without Herbology (and a little help from Dobby...), Harry wouldn’t have been able to use Gillyweed to help him succeed in the Triwizard Tournament.
The power of plants (be they magical or otherwise) is something Professor Sprout knew how to utilise well – and something Neville Longbottom quickly realised he had a talent for too. Even at the Battle of Hogwarts, Sprout suggested using exploding Snargaluff Pods to cause havoc rather than the more traditional hexes or curses – and it worked to great effect. After all, what’s a greater force than the force of nature?
‘I am sure Dumbledore would have wanted the school to remain open,’ said Professor Sprout. ‘I feel that if a single pupil wants to come, then the school ought to remain open for that pupil.’
Professor Sprout, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
As Head of Hufflepuff, Professor Sprout exemplified the house’s traits of compassion and tolerance. While the other Hogwarts houses favoured intelligence, bravery and determination, Hufflepuff house simply welcomed everyone – as long as they worked hard and were loyal. Professor Sprout is the physical embodiment of these traits – and gave us that wonderful quote above about Hogwarts school staying open to all after Dumbledore’s death.
Championing education and inclusion just makes the world a better place in general, really, and we should follow Sprout’s example as best we can.
Despite a no-nonsense attitude in the greenhouses, Professor Sprout was fierce, but also fiercely positive. Her encouragement of Neville, in particular, led to the once-nervous student excelling in her subject – maybe if Snape had been a little nicer in Potions, Neville would’ve done better there, too.
Not that Professor Sprout was a pushover – she would still tell the class off for dawdling, and as we mentioned, an instrumental force at the Battle of Hogwarts. So just remember, you can still be compassionate and kind without having anyone walk over you!
Known for her flyaway hair and eccentric personality, Professor Sprout was always unabashedly herself. And so she should be!
Who’s got time to brush hair when there are life-saving Mandrakes to be taken care of? If you want to pop on a battered hat, embrace dirty fingernails, and just focus on your passions in life, then do exactly that. Or if you want to wear a slightly nicer hat, do that too! Nothing should be off the table. Just be like Sprout – and be yourself.
Who cares what anyone else thinks? If you do over-worry, maybe now is time to turn over a new leaf. After all, Professor Sprout loves leaves. (sorry).
‘You realise, of course, that nothing we do will be able to keep out You-Know-Who indefinitely?’ squeaked Flitwick.
‘But we can hold him up,’ said Professor Sprout.
‘Thank you, Pomona,’ said Professor McGonagall, and between the two witches there passed a look of grim understanding.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Sprout knew better than to simply follow instructions and keep her head down. During Voldemort’s ascent, Professor Sprout was fearless, along with her fellow professors, and made sure the castle was defended at all costs in her own unique way. Sprout was smart at the Battle of Hogwarts – using her knowledge of plants to gain an advantage in the fight. We’re not asking you to throw Devil’s Snare at anybody, but be inspired by Sprout’s off-kilter ways of thinking about things, rather than leaping for the obvious solution. Sometimes there are other ways to make a difference.
After all, Pomona Sprout was one of a kind, and so are you!