Fan Focus: Erin – July 6, 2003

Age 15 – Florida, USA

Well, what can I say about my love for Harry Potter? Harry Potter is my life. Ever since I discovered it almost 2 years ago, my life has been so much better. I can relate to the characters so well too! I feel that whenever my life gets to be too much to handle, I can always escape through the books into the magic world. Seeing the problems these people go through really puts my life into a better perspective and makes me realize I can handle it. Through the books, people are forced to recognize that the problems in the magical world are very similar to the problems in the real world. For example, when the Mudblood situation comes up, it shows that there still is prejudice in the world and puts our lives in a new perspective. Things like that are what mostly make me appreciate the books. My favorite character in Harry Potter is without a doubt, Sirius Black. Many people even know me as “The Harry Potter Freak”. I have so many posters on my wall, and own so much merchandise I could probably open my own store! I even have a bed with curtains decorated entirely in Gryffindor colors! I have dressed up on various occasions in costume (book release, movie releases) and even once wore it to school! After joining a Harry Potter Role-Playing website, I have met so many new friends and was able to appreciate characters I never took a second glance at, as well as gained some of the best friends I have ever had. It has been such a good experience for me because Harry Potter gives me something to hope for. The determination to triumph over evil that the characters possess helps me strive to never give up no matter how hard things get. My attachment to the story has made me a better person altogether and made me appreciate my life for what it is and opened my eyes to a new perspective. Basically, since I truly discovered how magical (no pun intended) the books are, I have become so attached to it, I feel I am apart of it and that my life IS Harry Potter.

How and when did you get into Harry Potter?

I first got into Harry Potter on November 17, 2001. I remember the exact date because it was the day before my sister’s wedding and I was spending the day with my friend Jordan. Her mom had taken us to the nail salon in the mall (I was getting mine done for the wedding) and she said they were going to see Harry Potter after that and asked if I wanted to go. I went with them and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Which Harry Potter book is your favorite?

DEFINITELY Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I am almost to the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and it will be a close call between the two, but Prisoner of Azkaban is definitely my favorite.

What character can you relate to most?

Funnily enough, not too long ago I asked my friends which character they thought I was most like. All but one answered Hermione. I don’t agree, though. I think I am share traits equally with Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. For instance, I am a bookworm and schoolwork ranks very high on my list, which is why I am like Hermione in a way (in addition to having naturally bushy brown [recently dyed Weasley Red] hair!). Honestly, on the outside, I am most like Hermione, but I have a lot of inner traits like the other three. For example, my temper and need for recognition are definitely like Ron; I have a tendency to bottle up my feelings and not want to bother others with my problems which is exactly like Harry; and I have a tendency to trust too much especially in the wrong areas which is exactly what Ginny did with Tom Riddle’s Diary. I have certain traits that are very similar to those of these 4 characters, none any stronger than the other, so I really don’t think that I am like just one character.

Are you satisfied with the handling of the “boy/girl stuff” in book 5?

I haven’t finished the book yet (I am almost to the end), but so far, I think it was handled very well! It shows a lot of what life is really like with the “boy/girl stuff” thrown on top of everything instead of all of the stereotypes you find in other books and movies.

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?

As I have said, I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far, the most disturbing is Professor Umbridge and everything she has done. I can’t stand that woman and she is right up there on my hate list with Wormtail and Fudge. As for most exciting, I would have to say Harry getting to spend more time with Sirius. The part that probably left the biggest impression on me was Professor Umbridge’s constant Educational Decrees. I was severely appalled by this because it shows just how far Fudge is willing to go to deny the obvious. It showed me how no matter how high of a position you have, that doesn’t mean you are right for it. Fudge was willing to set almost any rule to gain control over Hogwarts, which is the last thing the magical world needs. It truly shows how one man’s ego and arrogance and trying to save face can destroy so much.

Was the character that died the one you thought it would be? (Be honest now!)

I honestly thought it would be either Mrs. Weasley or Hagrid, due to various theories I had read. I was completely shocked when I found out (I actually found out who it was before I got to that part in the book). I cried for quite a while and couldn’t go near my book for 2 hours. Still just seeing the name makes me feel sick and start crying again. He was my all-time favorite character and a large part of me died with him.

Out of all the spells used in the books, which one is your favorite, and why?

My favorite? Ooh, that’s a hard one. I don’t know if I can decide! I would probably have to say the summoning charm because so much time is wasted trying to find where you placed things. It would be so much easier to have it come to you than to have to go get it and a lot more could get done.

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

Yes, I would like to give a shout-out to all of my friends who have supported me and especially everyone who is member of Hogwarts Life! And most of all our superb headmistress and one of my bestest friends ever, Sam, and my fellow Gryffindor Big Mouths Katie, Krista, and Joanie!