Harry Potter, like nothing has ever done, brings people together. Through J. K. Rowling's work, people of all ages and races are able to reach a place where magic exists and is a part of every walk of life. They reach a place were the lines between good and evil are sometimes clear, but more often than not are slightly blurred, just like in our world. Harry Potter shows us a place where people are magic, but their lives still aren't perfect. The Weasleys may be able to cook with magic, but they still can't solve their money problems. Harry may be able to make things fly, but he still has to deal with the grief of lost loved ones in the same ways we do. It's a magical place that borders so closely on reality that we can almost imagine that it's real. Harry isn't necessarily handsome or particularly strong. He's just a kid, just a boy who's been through some tough situations, and everyone in the world can identify with that.
Potter Profile - Annie
September 14, 2003
How and when did you get in to Harry Potter?
I started the Harry Potter series right before the release of the third book when my mother, innocently enough, bought me the first and second books as a birthday gift, thinking I "might enjoy them." Well, right she was!
Which Harry Potter book is your favorite?
I absolutely adore Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It's the first book in which Harry really begins to become angry at the hand life has dealt him as he deals with hearing his mother's voice and murder. Harry learns a lot about his past and, subsequently, his future. As an added plus, we are given the amazing character Sirius Black, who teaches us that looks and reputations can be deceiving.
What character can you relate to most?
Actually, I'd have to say a mixture of Harry and the Weasley twins. Like Harry, I stand firm for what I believe is right. I won't be bossed around, and when I believe strongly in something, I'll fight for it until there's nothing left to fight. Unlike Hermione and her S.P.E.W. campaign, I know how to pick my battles. I also tend to be a pretty good leader. I pick up the Fred and George aspect because of my sense of humor. I absolutely love to make people laugh in any way possible, whether it's with a practical joke or making sport of myself.
Are you satisfied with the handling of the "boy/girl stuff" in book 5?
I am remarkably pleased with the way that Ms. Rowling wrote the mounting sexual tension in book 5. I mean, let's face it. Neither Ron or Harry are ready for a steady girlfriend, as poor Ron is more likely to remember the starting lineup of the Chudley Cannons than her birthday, and Harry is now, and will always be, straddled with the difficulty of telling the difference between caring and emulation. Hermione, of course, would never compromise her independence at this point in her adolescence so much as to be involved in a relationship. All that needs to happen now are those little sparks and innuendoes that are a part of early adolescence. Of course, Ms. Granger is the master of the perfectly executed kiss-on-the-cheek which we saw in books four and five. You have to admire her for that.
What did you think was the most exciting thing that happened in book 5? What was the most disturbing? What left the biggest impression on you?
I'm not ashamed to say that I was literally reduced to a sobbing puddle of mush three times during book 5. The first was when Umbridge gave Harry the "lifetime ban" from Quidditch. I couldn't believe that any human being, witch or muggle, could do something so completely heartless. Poor Harry, who's had a lousy summer, looking forward to nothing but being back with his friends at the only home he's ever known, is forced to give up a huge part of him, and his Hogwarts experience. The second time I had to dab at my eyes was, of course, when Sirius died. I don't really think that anything needs to be said on that topic, as we all know how profoundly and completely it affected Harry. Finally, my heart about broke when Harry tried to speak with Sirius through the mirror that he had received at Christmas. Enough said.
Was the character that died the one you thought it would be? (Be honest now!)
I'll be honest and say that I had no clue. Now, I will say that it was mostly because I didn't think Ms. Rowling would have the guts to kill of Sirius. It seems so hard-hearted! And yes, I know, she had to do it, but come on! The poor boy's lost his parents, and now the only parent figure he ever had! Not to mention he was my favorite character. I think I may have been in denial...
Which house would you like to be in and why? Do you think the Sorting Hat would place you in that house?
As terrible as this sounds, I think I would probably be headed for Slytherin. No, I'm not evil, it's just that I'm extremely ambitious. I tend to know what I want, then work out a way to get it, no matter what it takes. So far I've never had to stoop to anything illegal, oh wait...there was that one time in Cancun...haha, just kidding. I'm not afraid to write to people, call them, approach them in public places like movie theaters and restaurants, and more or less bug them until I come to my means. I don't think that's a negative quality at all, just rather Slytherin. If not Slytherin, it would have to be Ravenclaw because I'm very into school work. Of course, nothing is a farther shot than Gryffindor, as I've been known to leave my bedroom and sleep in the hall if there's a bug and no one around to kill it.
Do you have any interesting HP stories to share?
I had to read the fifth book much like Harry studies magic while at the Dursley's. When the book came out I was working at a camp for kids who have neuromuscular diseases, and we weren't allowed to do anything for ourselves while the campers were awake, as they need constant care and supervision because of their disabilities. Every night after the kids were asleep I would curl up in the foot of my sleeping bag with a flashlight and read. So, of course, some nights I would be sobbing all by myself in the foot of a sleeping bag, gripping my flashlight for comfort while I read about poor Harry. It was actually kind of nice.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add? Maybe a theory you've concocted, a shout-out?
Don't ban books! I live in the "Bible Belt" and around here there are loads of people who are working to ban Harry Potter from school libraries across the South. I know I'm probably preaching to the choir, but be open minded! Don't follow what others think, but form your own opinions and shout them from the rooftops! One voice can make a difference, if you talk loud enough.