Fan Focus: June – March 16, 2003

JUNE
Age 50, New Brunswick, Canada

 

I love Harry Potter. Some people love chocolate. I love Harry and I’d choose him over chocolate any day! Even I can’t believe how much I love Harry. I feel a simple, pure pleasure reading or watching any of the stories. It’s an intense enjoyment. I become deeply involved in the adventure, tuning out the world around me.

I think Harry is a wonderful character. I would love Harry for a friend or a son. He is both old and young. Mature for his age, he is learning how to be a young boy, having the chance to experience boyhood away from the cold, restrictive environment of the Durlseys. While not being perfect (what? – Sacrilege!!) he has many qualities that any one of us would benefit from. His loyalty and courage are the foundation he has on which to build. His sense of right and wrong and fairness are well developed. I love that maturity in Harry. It makes him seem wise for his age, having deep thoughts. He has known more of responsibility and expectations than most boys his age, due to his circumstances. I also love Harry’s sense of wonder in things – things amaze him and he enjoys that feeling unselfconsciously and enthusiastically. I love that he is polite, considerate, and sensitive to others’ needs and feelings (Hey, I’m 50!). He thinks beyond himself. These qualities will help him get through what he has yet to endure. All this seems like a description for a singles want ad!

How and when did you get in to Harry Potter?

I first heard of Harry Potter a few months prior to the release of the first movie. I listened as friends discussed how much their kids loved the books and were “wild about Harry”. They explained who he was, about the books and the movie coming out. I was amazed at what seemed like a world-wide craze. I thought it was just another short-lived fad. I happened to catch a broadcast of J.K. Rowling’s public reading of an excerpt of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone at the Toronto Sky Dome. I couldn’t believe the huge numbers that had turned out for this. It piqued my curiosity and when the movie came to my city, I decided to buy the book and read it before going. Expecting to read it casually and slowly over a week, I read it in one evening! I couldn’t put it down. I was fascinated by the imagination and adventure of it all. The movie I enjoyed immensely. I went out and bought the entire book set. I was hooked!

Harry Potter book is your favorite?

It is a toss up as to which book is my favorite. I loved the first one, as it introduced you to that incredible world and the fascinating characters. You experience for the first time the wonderful, imaginative descriptions, the intriguing story of an unusual boy. I also loved the fourth book, because it showed the beginning of changes – in people and circumstances. It showed progression, growth and development of the characters. You felt, “finally, now it starts; the sooner we deal with it, the sooner we can move on.” You have a sense of dread and hope at the same time.

What character can you relate to most?

I think I can relate to Hermione most of all, although I don’t have her qualities to quite the same extent. I certainly don’t have her courage. I would not have drunk any potion with all those bugs and a piece of Millicent Bulstrode in it! I can empathise with her “type-A” personality, being intense, and a perfectionist. However, with age, these have been a little subdued. You learn that while these qualities can bring success, sometimes life is to be lived, not fought. There is enjoyment to be had in life. Both Hermione and I need to live in those moments. I understand how her competitiveness reaps both rewards and pain, and that her impatience can be an irritant. However she is intensely loyal, and is extremely supportive of her friends. Hermione needs to learn how to relax. I can do that!

What do you think of the inevitable boy/girl stuff coming in Book 5?

It’s inevitable. Really, I think there will be a little maneuvering, but right now, probably light in nature. They’re still young, with lots of other, more pressing things on their minds. Besides, Harry and Ron aren’t really into “girl stuff” yet.

Who do you think Harry will “hook up” with in Book 5? What about Ron?

I’ve always hoped for a Harry-Hermione match-up. I think that they would both benefit from each of the other’s qualities. Harry is more willing to push the “envelope”, to be adventurous and have fun for fun’s sake. Hermione adds balance to keep Harry’s feet on the ground when it’s important; that “cool logic” can be important tool. Also, she’s a good example for studying – you’ve got to learn in order to live. Their shared loyalty, courage and ethics would only make them a stronger team. However, I don’t know enough about Ginny. She may, as time goes on, be a better match for Harry. Ron, I’m not too sure about. He needs to grow up a little more. I don’t think Ron would appreciate Hermione as he should. Not knowing the other characters well (Cho, for example) I don’t think looks, glances and smiles are enough to tell if someone would be good in a relationship.

I don’t know. I could imagine Cho figuring larger in Harry’s life, but on a temporary basis (I hope). He has a crush and needs to get it out of his system. If Ginny is going to play a larger role in Harry’s life, that will certainly “set the cat amongst the pigeons!” I think that Ron and Hermione will continue to dance around each other a bit. I don’t think anything permanent will happen in this next book. Who knows? I can predict Harlequin romances, but not a Harry Potter romance!

What character do you think will die in Book 5?

It’s a terrible thought, but I don’t think it could be avoided. It wouldn’t be “real,” because with the upheaval and terrible things that are bound to happen, it would be amazing if only one person died. I think it could be either Mr. or Mrs. Weasley, or Hagrid. I say Hagrid only because he apparently hasn’t signed a contract after the third movie. Also Sirius or Lupin would be likely, as they would be “in the line of fire” in the battle against Voldemort, and both would die to protect Harry.

Which school house would you want to be in? Do you think the Sorting Hat would place you in that house?

I would like either Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, preferably Gryffindor, as it’s where my heroes are! I also like the strength, courage and honor inherent in Gryffindor. I’d ask the Sorting Hat to put me anywhere but Slytherin. I probably would do best in Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw. I know when I was sorted on Warner’s Harry Potter site, I was put into Gryffindor, but I think that’s fixed.

Do you have any interesting HP stories to share?

I saw Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets six times. I would pray a different cashier would be on each time. I mean how many 50-year-olds are repeaters? No dice. The first couple of times, no problem. The third time I went, the cashier just looked twice at me. The fourth time, she gave me a poster, as I reward, I presume. The fifth time, she gave me a wry smile, said “you really like this eh?” and another poster, for persistence, I guess. Maybe she thought I wouldn’t come back. The sixth time, I shuffled in sheepishly, hoping she wouldn’t notice. I didn’t have to open my mouth, her hand came through the wicket with a CoS ticket, took my money, apologised for not having another poster, gave me a movie magazine with Harry in it, and advised me they were changing to afternoon matinees. I think she thought I should just get my name put on a seat!

Do you have anything else you’d like to add? Maybe a theory you’ve concocted, a shout-out?

I haven’t thought of any theories, I am just keeping my mind open. That way you have a clean slate, no preconceived notions to interrupt the story. Besides J.K. Rowling is full of surprises, just when you think you’ve got it figured out, there’s a twist, and you’re back at square one. I know many adults, not much younger than I, who like Harry Potter. Some adults can make you feel as if you should be hiding this “childish” enjoyment and make you feel as if you’re “coming out of the closet”, when you say you like Harry. They are too old and need to get an imagination. 🙂

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