This is Day 2 of my fulfilling Short Story Long‘s 30 Day Harry Potter Challenge. Check out previous questions at the end of the post!
Day 6: Which house would you want to be in?
This is the most important question in the universe. For a long time, I thought I would be sorted into Ravenclaw. Being smart is my thing. But when I signed up for Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s official Harry Potter website told me I belonged in Gryffindor–and thus began a mild existential crisis. I never really wanted to be in Gryffindor, because that’s where everyone wants to be, but…what if I was wrong? After all, I can’t argue with Queen Rowling herself!
The kicker came when my friend Lindsay gave me a Gryffindor Quidditch t-shirt for my 27th birthday (getting older but never growing up). I asked how she chose the house. She said she was debating between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor, but while I value my intelligence, she thinks I have a stronger desire to be brave. And she was totally right. So. That’s the extremely long answer as to why I, a Ravenclaw, would definitely be sorted into Gryffindor (like Hermione and Remus Lupin).
Day 7: Favorite female character and why?
Hermione Granger! This is kind of self-congratulatory, because I identify very strongly with her. We both went through very awkward teenage phases with frizzy hair and buck teeth. We both love books and cats. We both tend to think that we are right and everyone around us is dumb for not agreeing with us. And we’re both loyal to our friends.
But she goes beyond me, and not just because she can perform magic. She’s bossy, and she doesn’t change to make people like her. She refuses to act on her attraction to Ron until she knows that his passions align with hers. She cares deeply about the underprivileged, and again, she does not care even a little bit that people mock her for this. She is amazing.
I also love Professor McGonagall, Luna Lovegood, and Mrs. Weasley.
Day 8: What’s your favorite lesson from the series?
Ohhhh no, everything! I mean, there is the ubiquitous lesson that love is the most powerful thing in the world, capable of saving lives and empowering others, whether in romantic or platonic relationships. I’ve always liked Dumbledore’s quote after Harry becomes infatuated with the Mirror of Erised: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
But maybe my favorite lesson is when Rowling goes meta and assures us that the lessons in Harry Potter are worth taking seriously. When Harry is “dead” and sees Dumbledore in King’s Cross, he asks if this is all happening in his head. Dumbledore says, “Of course this is all happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” Just because fictional stories live in pages and in people’s imaginations does not lessen their power.
Day 9: Who’s your least favorite male character and why?
Peter Pettigrew. I can tolerate, even become fond of, villains if they’ve got passion and a good reason for their horrible actions. At least then they are interesting. But Peter is evil for the most mediocre self-glory. He doesn’t want to take over the world, but he will betray his friends just to be with the in crowd. Gross. The Shoebox Project went a long way toward making me empathize with him-it can’t have been easy being the boring friend of the group. But ugh. He’s a worm. With a tail between his legs.. Rowling named him well.
Day 10: Horcruxes or hallows?
Would I rather have three super powerful magical objects that allow me to be invincible and invisible while reconnecting with people who have died….or would I rather shred my soul to bits by murdering people so that I become less than human? Hmmm, tough choice.
Day 1: Your favorite book?
Day 2: Your favorite movie?
Day 3: Is there anything in the film adaptations that annoyed you?
Day 4: Least favorite female character and why?
Day 5: Favorite male character and why?