Stan Shunpike’s mum always told him that when he grew up, he could be anything he wanted.
When he was a very young wizard, he went to the library with the other young wizards who weren’t old enough for Hogwarts yet, and the librarians handed around paper and asked everyone to draw pictures of what they wanted to be when they grew up.
“I want to be the Minister of Magic,” Stan said. He drew a picture of himself grown up: a big circle of a face with a huge smile.
“Of course you will,” his mum said. “Anyone can grow up to be Minister of Magic these days.”
Stan went to Hogwarts, where tuition was free, and muddled along with his set of hand-me-down robes, secondhand supplies, and a used wand. At first, he didn’t notice the difference between himself and his classmates—yes, their robes weren’t stained, and yes, they had pocket money for chocolate frogs—but he didn’t realize that his cast-iron cauldron was frustrated at having to endure another generation of badly-cast spells, and he had no idea that his used wand was actively fighting against him.
If he had thought to mention to one of his professors that holding his wand felt like putting two magnets together the wrong way, he might have gotten help. But even at eleven years old, young Stan was already mastering the art of politics—which is to say, diplomacy and misdirection.
“I don’t eat chocolate frogs ‘cause I’ve got allergies,” he said proudly.
“You ate your chocolate cake just fine,” his classmate protested.
“It’s the frog bit I’m allergic to,” Stan said.