Let's Talk about Harry Potter ...

Grab a mug of butterbeer, fire whisky, hot chocolate (or tea if you're that way inclined), this is going to be a long ... hopefully nostalgic, interesting and light-hearted ... post!
Harry Potter Tag

The Harry Potter Bubble

As per 99% of my generation, Harry Potter formed a significant part of my childhood. I am of that age whereby, upon its initial publication, I was able to read the first book independently. I grew up in a wonderful whirl of Potter mania and anticipation ...

- My postman would pretend to be an owl to deliver my pre-ordered book on the morning of its release.

- Birthday gifts were, without question, Potter related. I was the proud owner of a Philosopher's stone ring binder for which, aged nine, I had no meaningful use. Potter top trumps, playing cards, Cluedo (so much better than ordinary Cluedo!), video tapes, pens, Lego and a 'Levitating Challenge' game can still be found in my house.

- Five hundred page books had to be finished in forty-eight hours to avoid the inevitable Monday morning, school, spoilers.

- Weekends were spent taping over family holiday videos to record our own 'Harry Potter and the ...' films - One titled 'Harry Potter and the farmer's carrot' comes straight to mind!

- Boring lessons were spent challenging friends to 'how many Harry Potter creatures can you name?' competitions.

- Months were spent waiting for people to come to cast extras from our school (they actually came!).

- Everyone knew someone who had auditioned for the films.

- My cousin had a pet rat called Doris Crockford.

... you get the idea. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't just an 'everybody loves Potter, so I do too' scenario. I genuinely believe that we all adored it in our own way ... I couldn't articulate my own reasons till I was a lot older, but I'll save all that for another post!
Harry Potter Blog Tag

20 Harry Potter Questions

I don't usually publish this sort of thing on my blog, but I'm going to make an exception because I find the Harry Potter tag just a tad too exciting to ignore. I've seen a few variations of these floating around, so I've chosen twenty of my favourite questions.

First experience of Harry Potter?

At my primary school, there was a boy who would always be sat in the playground, with his head buried in a book, before the bell rang for the start of the day. My dad and I would often chat to him about what he was reading - he always seemed to be ahead of the curve - that's how we first heard of the Philosopher's Stone. By my birthday in spring 1998, I'd been gifted the first book!

Which film have you watched the most?

Given that I've spent my life watching the films back to back, it has to be Philosopher's Stone, simply because I've owned it the longest ... and it's on TV the most often!

What is your favourite Harry Potter film?

Either Goblet of Fire or Order of the Phoenix. I really like the moments when we get to see 'normal Hogwarts' - the students in their lessons, or strolling around the grounds. Those films have the best balance in terms of lighthearted moments and things starting to get darker.

Favourite moment out of all the films?

McGonagall's glee at finally getting to use 'piertotum locomotor' never fails to crack me up. I also love the moment Harry, Ron & Hermione return to Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows Part Two.

If you could be any character, who would you be?

I come from a similar background to Luna, I mean, my mother is dead! I wish I could have her wisdom and general sense of not caring what others think.

If you could learn one thing at Hogwarts what would it be?

How to apparate, it would be extremely useful because I have a phobia of aeroplanes, but of course, I'd have to be outside Hogwarts grounds to learn! Other than that, I think transfiguration would be kinda useful - you wouldn't have to remember anything, just transform whatever is nearby into what you need.

Which house would you rather be sorted into?

Ravenclaw - my mind is my best asset and I don't think I'm brave enough to be in Gryffindor. Plus I think I could learn a lot from the other Ravenclaws.

What is your favourite book?

Goblet of Fire. I found the whole Triwizard Tournament setup intriguing, I liked that we were introduced to other wizarding schools and the fact that Voldemort is back!

What is your least favourite book?

Chamber of Secrets. While the book is wholly original and is paced well in terms of suspense, the Basilisk didn't appeal to me and I used to be sort of scared of being petrified!

What parts made you cry?

Let me start by saying I cry every time I hear Hedwig's Theme! In terms of plot: Hermione using 'Obliviate' on her parents, Harry's reaction to Sirius falling through the veil and when Harry uses the resurrection stone. I can also relate a lot to the Mirror of Erised scene, I guess that used to make me well up too!

Who is your favourite character?

Luna, Hermione, Bellatrix, Lucius, Neville or Umbridge ... but probably Luna for the same reasons as question five.

Who is your least favourite character?

I never warmed to Lavender Brown or Slughorn.

Were you happy with the ending?

Yes! For reasons I'll detail in another post, it was perfect.

Would you rather explore the Forbidden Forest or the halls of Hogwarts?

Definitely the halls of Hogwarts, I'm not really a fan of animals/creatures even at the best of times.

Would you rather enrol in Potions, Charms, Divination or Defence Against the Dark Arts?

Either Charms or Defence Against the Dark Arts. I'd like to say Charms because it's more useful in everyday life, but if there was an imminent threat of an evil attack I'd go with Defence Against the Dark Arts ... I get the impression potions are the sort of thing you could just go out and buy.

Would you rather buy an Owl, Cat, Rat or Toad?

As per question fourteen, I'm not the biggest fan of animals, but if I had to have one I'd go for a cat because I think they're the least grotesque. I would go for an owl because it'd be useful post wise, but I have a complete and utter, irrational, fear of birds.

Would you rather have the Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone or Cloak of Invisibility?

Probably the resurrection stone, the intrigue of being able to see, at least some physical form of, my mother is too much to ignore.

In the final battle would you rather fight against Bellatrix or Nagini?

I think it would be more fun to fight Bellatrix but easier, on both a practical and emotional level, to kill Nagini ... so I guess I have to go with Nagini!

Would you rather be part of the Malfoy or Weasley family?

I actually tend to give the Malfoy family a lot more credit than they appear to deserve. Deep down I think they're good people, a lot of their hateful actions derive from both their own weakness and a need to protect their own. If they didn't live in the fearful world induced by Voldemort I think they'd be a lot nicer. Having said that, surely this question is a no-brainer? ... who wouldn't go with the Weasleys? 

Would you rather fly on a broomstick, Hagrid's motorbike or Buckbeak?

A Thestral! ... then it would look like I could fly.

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