Fan Focus: Ashley – August 1, 2010

23-year-old Ashley from the United States


First off, how did you become a Harry Potter fan?

My brother, who HATES to read started reading the series. He came to me and told me that I would love Harry Potter and that he was unable to put the books down. I knew that it must be incredibly poignant if it could hold his attention even for a day and was I instantaneously hooked!

It has been over three years since Deathly Hallows came out and we found out how the series ended. Do you have the same reaction to the ending now, as you did then?

I remember the first time that I read the ending, so many things stuck out for me. The King’s Cross chapter was exactly the enlightenment that I, and the millions of other fans, needed. It explained everything that people may have missed, or had been confused with. My favorite line from the entire series (with a very close second and third of: “The trouble is, the other side can do magic too, Prime Minister.”-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Other Minister, Cornelius Fudge. “If you wish to leave with your students, we shall not stop you. But if any of you attempt to sabotage our resistance or take up arms against us within this castle, then, Horace, we duel to kill.”-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Sacking of Severus Snape, Professor Minerva McGonagall.) is the very last line of the chapter when Harry says: “Tell me one last thing, is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?” And Dumbledore responds with: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth would that mean that it’s not real?” This quote means so much to me, because it means (to me) that it doesn’t matter if something is in your head, it can still hold significant truths to you. Harry Potter has gotten me through the worst of times, because at the end of the day, it eases your pain to immerse yourself into an alternate world where good conquers evil, and true love and friendship prevail. I think my favorite Harry/Ginny moment is when Harry goes to the Forbidden Forest to meet Voldemort and his last thought is “Ginny and her blazing look and the feel of her lips on his.” I feel that they have a true love story, not some hair-trigger infatuation with a man that can’t be in the sun for fear of what the Muggles would see. I still have the same reaction to Deathly Hallows, the only difference is that I fall more in love with the adventurous series each time.

Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was screened in Chicago to a very lucky audience, including some MuggleNet staff members! If you read the reviews, what did you think? If you didn’t read them, why not?

Unfortunately and regretfully, I was unable to attend the screening, and those who attended are extremely lucky! I read the 5th review that the most informative and on point website that I know ( provided. I read this review because it was the most lengthy and helpful. I’m happy that he gave such an in-depth review. I can’t wait to see the movie!

The Deathly Hallows movie split was announced this month via Entertainment Weekly. If you read the spoiler, what do you think? Where would YOU split the movie?

I read the spoiler, and when I originally heard that the movie was being split, I was so happy. Some people complained that WB was just trying to make more money, which is obviously a reason, but I couldn’t care less! Honestly, I would sit through a 6 hour Harry Potter movie (weed out the Johnny Come Late-lies!), but I’m pleased that this phenomenon will be stretched out just 1 year more. I love the hype and the feel of euphoria after another fantastic movie. Prior to my knowledge of where the split would actually occur, I thought that it would be a good place to split the movie when Ron leaves Harry and Hermoine. But the more that I think about it, I’m very pleased with the division!

WWoHP had its 1,000,000th visitor this month – already! Have you visited the park, or have plans to? What were/are you most excited to see/visit?

Well, obviously WWoHP would hit a million visitors in such a short time! I haven’t visited the park, but I plan to for Spring Break. I’m so excited for Hogsmeade! I can’t wait to try the butterbeer, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the Owl Post and it will be so incredible to stand in Dumbledore’s office! I feel like my IQ will jolt up to 154. I had originally intended to hone my British accent, move to Orlando and apply to work at the park, but alas, not all works out as we wish.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition announced that it’s final US stop was going to be Seattle! If you’ve made it to the exhibition, what did you think? If not, are you excited for the Seattle stop?

I’m buying my plane ticket now! I wrote to them to plead for them to come to Dallas, and it hurt to be rejected 🙁 It would be such a huge deal for me to be able to experience that! I did hear that Malia and Sascha Obama were privileged enough to take the Harry Potter tour in London with J.K. Rowling, and I think that would be the highlight of my lifetime to go on that with Mrs Rowling!

OMG! Emma cut her hair off! Love it, or dislike it?

I think that anything Emma Watson touches or does is gold. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of hair cuts on girls that short, but I think she looks stunning! There is always one exception to every rule, and Ms Watson is clearly this exception.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It appalls me when I hear that people still think that Snape is evil, and although they didn’t discuss it in the series, I believe that Dudley spent the rest of his life in search of a witch to marry or befriend. I have to give a few shout outs to make: Firstly, to Neville for growing into the man that every girl dreams of, to my best friend, Katie Afflerbach, for always supporting and encouraging my Harry Potter lifestyle, to my brother, Tyrus Borck, for introducing me to the love of my life (Harry), to my Harry Potter soulmate, Lauren Carter, (and my Harry Potter tattoo partner in crime), to Laura Davis and Heather DeVries for always thinking of me when it comes to Harry Potter and admitting that it is better than a different popular series, to my boyfriend, Gerard Van Tol, who doesn’t understand my ways but always puts up with my exclamations (such as, “Oh, it’s so cloudy, it looks like the dementors are out!”), to my Mother, Yvonne Borck, because without her I would not be alive to have such love for Harry and his adventures, to Shawnacee Coyle, Amelia Johnson and John Garces, who have always declared me to be the biggest Harry Potter fan, and to our puppy, Buddy, for always being my reading-cuddle buddy.