1. You’re walking through Diagon Alley, and a tall man, wearing very expensive-looking robes, drops a small pouch of Galleons on the ground in front of you. He doesn’t seem to notice that he’s dropped the pouch, and it couldn’t be more than enough Galleons to get a few drinks at The Leaky Cauldron. What do you do? Why?
My simple answer: I would loiter!
I would first give a shifty glance over my shoulder to see if he has seen me, whether he is busy and whether or not there is anyone else in the local area that may have noticed the bag dropping. I will weigh up whether or not it is wise to pick up the bag, the last thing I want is some grimy wizard to snatch me by the shoulder and hoist me off towards the rich tall man, and whether or not such a measly amount of Galleons is worth all of this sneakiness. Most likely, I would loiter around in indecision for too long and some other, slightly braver, person would pick up the bag instead. This is because I am rather a fence-sitter when it comes to making on-the-spot decisions. I prefer time to think things over, time which this scenario doesn’t allow me. Not that those Galleons wouldn’t come in handy – I am a student, and quite strap for cash.
2. In his prime, Dumbledore was a very powerful wizard and a wonderful Headmaster. Do you think that the new Headmistress, Professor McGonagall, will make a good replacement? Why or why not?
McGonagoll is strict but fair, and I see many elements of her in the Deputy Head of my school – also a small, Scottish woman who can be severe whilst enjoying the company of the students who work hard. I do think, though, that McGonagoll would snap under pressure and get flustered as the weight of responsibility falls further and further onto her shoulders. She needs someone by her side who can be the Dumbledore-like figure, calm and collective, so that she can see through the impossible dilemma’s and use her acute intelligence to come up with a solution. McGonagoll strikes me as a very pragmatic person, which is a strength when faced with the dilemma’s of a war, but she struggle at times when there are no obvious answers. She’ll find it difficult when traditions have to be broken (like stopping student’s from staying full term) and when make or break decisions have to be made. I’d suggest that the governors play a much more active role in supporting her.
Who would you have chosen for your Deputy Headship? Why? If Dumbledore’s death had happened any other way, I would say Snape because he does have the calm confidence needed to deal with impossible situations. He has a logical mind that when applied correctly could secure the school’s safety and even maintain his double-agency role for Voldemort (he would approach Voldemort saying that it would play to his advantage to gain this promotion.) I do, quite passionately, believe in Snape’s innocence – possibly making my opinion quite biased – but he would be the rock which McGonagoll could lean on whenever the decision became too tough for her.
Seeing as Snape is on the run, I would say the Deputy Head should be Flitwick – I know very little about him but he appears to have quite a sharp mind, whilst not being at all intimidating or threatening. However, I do not see him as the type of person who would approve of the war, and he would take more a backseat (like he does in the books.)
3. The Marauders (James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter) clearly had some excellent magical talents (being unregistered Animagi, creating the Marauder’s Map, etc.). Which of the four Marauders do you feel was the most magical wizard in his prime? Why? Who do you feel was the most successful in life? Why?
This is a tough question. Can’t I pick Snape? I see Remus as the Marauder who studied the hardest and wanted, more than anything else in the world, to come out of Hogwarts with decent qualifications and the ability to be accepted into the Wizarding culture. However, I don’t think that Remus was the most magical, due to his ‘disability’ of being a werewolf, but he compensated for that with the amount of work he put in. Also, I don’t believe that Remus played much part in his friends becoming unregistered Animagi – I see that as something they decided to do themselves, possibly without him knowing, as a way of helping him out. I think Remus may even have objected to it at some point, being the sensible Hermione-like one in the group.
I think the one with the natural flair, the ability to turn lead into gold if he put his mind to it, is James. This is because of the many compliments that Harry’s professors have given his father over the years. It is clear that James was prospering in Hogwarts and couldn’t do much fault. Even more so, Snape’s obvious jealousy makes me believe that James was one of the smartest and magical wizards in his year – threatening Snape’s position, perhaps, as top in the class for various subjects – and whilst Snape only had the brains, James had the charisma and handsome looks to go with it.
However, just to argue against my own argument, at the end of HBP Snape did say that James used Snape’s own spells against him. This could mean that James was somewhat of a parasite and used other people’s magical concoctions rather than his own… possibly making it Remus, or even Sirius, who was the brains behind the Marauders Map.
4. Do you feel that Harry was right in using the Half-Blood Prince’s potions book for potions class (Do not take the spells into account in this question.)?
I believe he did what any normal teenager would do. I’ve used other people’s annotations in hand-me-down books before! Harry needed that extra boost in potions (no doubt having little confidence in the subject after Snape taught him for many years) and saw the potion’s book as a way of ensuring that he got better. Harry has an ambitious career plan, to become an Auror, and so he would need all the extra support he could find. To pass up on the support when it’s written in bold ink before his eyes would be foolish.
What would you have done in Harry’s position? Why?
The exact same thing! I am always reading other people’s essays to see if I can find any useful ideas in them. If one person has done all the research already, what is the point in me re-doing it all just to conclude with the same answers? Whilst I do my own research and put my own work in, I certainly don’t do anything unnecessarily. If, like with the potions book, the theory is already there ready for me to try out – why bother making up another one? The “Half-Blood Prince” identity wouldn’t bother me much either, I would just presume that it was a former student who worked very hard in potions.
Was Hermione right in telling him not to?
Hermione already excels in Potions and so she really didn’t need that extra guidance, and therefore she should have been a little more conscious of the fact that Harry is in a less comfortable position. She is the more cautious, and certainly more rule-abiding, friend and therefore it is part of her role within the Trio to be sceptical towards the annotations. I think perhaps giving him a small warning about the nature of the spells would have sufficed.
What would you have done in Hermione’s position? Why?
I would have peeped over Harry’s shoulder and written down the ideas myself, and then tried a few and made up my own mind whether or not they were dangerous. If each of the ideas worked well, without any nasty side-effects, then I would perhaps add them to my own notes/research. I would possibly bring up the topic with Harry in casual conversation, asking if the book has helped him regain his confidence and whether he’s more optimistic about getting a high grade. If he did express any concern about them, then I would want to look deeper into those concerns and make sure that Harry knows what he is doing with this type of advanced magic.
5. Would you have used the random spells written in the Half-Blood Prince’s potions book (You can't just say you know or could look up the Latin. Imagine that the spells were created in a language you'd never heard of.)? Why or why not?
I would use them – but on objects rather than people. I wouldn’t even transfigure a yarn of wool into a mouse and use it as a lab rat; I would experiment on inanimate objects such as pillows. This doesn’t provide the full effect, but if the pillow exploded you could more or less deduce from that the dangerous nature of the spell. Harry made a fundamental error even in teasing Ron with a few of the spell’s and made a much graver one when using the “against enemies” spell on Malfoy. Nobody deserves to have a spell cast upon them when the caster doesn’t even know what it will do, yet is still willing to cast it. It is quite a cowardly thing for Harry to have done, in fact, because he could claim no responsibility afterwards, act completely ignorant, and blame the effect of the spell on whoever created it.
6. Every day we make many choices. Are you comfortable with the choices you make (large or small), or are you more indecisive? Explain.
I am hardly ever comfortable with the choices I make. Even small ones, which I realise I should have made another way later on. I tend to blame myself for things that go wrong with my life and the choices I make, scrutinising every little thing I say or do in hindsight. I guess it is my way of finding a reason why things haven’t turned out the way I planned, and it’s easy for me to blame myself rather than others. I am still young and I say and do some foolish things at times, ones that I regret for about six months afterwards. Although, I do think that recently I have learnt from my mistakes and taken less risks. I sometimes become scared to make a decision in fear that it will be the wrong one.
7. Hermione created S.P.E.W. even though the other students disagreed with her ideas. Are you able to stand up for what you believe in, even if others mock you for your beliefs? Have your opinions (or outspokenness) gotten you into trouble? Explain.
Yes! One thing that I am is outspoken. In class I’ve been in debates where I am the only person who believes in something and yet I fight my case until the bell rings. I am quite opinionated and I have many critiques of modern society, being quite a traditional person who doesn’t believe in some of the pro-choice issues that people are exploiting. I sometimes play devil’s advocate, and argue something that is miles away from my own belief, because I have an interest in that particular topic.
I wouldn’t say that I have been in serious trouble, but I have had people turn around and give me a quick lash of their tongue. I even had one person call me evil and immoral once, whether she meant it or not I am not quite sure. It doesn’t bother me, though, because my opinions are only my opinions and unique to me. I will voice them if somebody is infringing on them during debate, but I do not go out to intentionally cause trouble with them. One example would be a couple of weeks ago, two lads were arguing about how atheists shouldn’t be allowed an education in a religious school. Being an atheist, I argued back saying that everyone has equal rights to an education and I didn’t chose to go to the school, my parents did, but I didn’t then go on to criticise his personal religious beliefs, despite him insulting mine.
8. Are there any courses at Hogwarts that you feel should be mandatory, regardless of a student’s chosen career path? Why or why not?
I do think that one course should be mandatory that isn’t even on the Hogwart’s syllabus; that is lessons regarding personal relationships, ethics and society. Why? Well, I think that it is important for every young adult to know how to be respectful and how to compromise. Whether you are going into self-employment or your working for the Ministry you will need to work with other people and treat them justly. One of the problems that Wizarding England is facing is due to racial and social divides, and if they’d been taught how to deal with these issues in school then there wouldn’t be such a large problem. Hogwarts is divided into four parts and because of that, one may say, there emerges four different types of people. If they were taught more about why wars have been waged and the mistakes that people have made, and probably will make in the future, it may make some older teenagers think twice before joining the Death Eater’s.
9. If you were going to teach at Hogwarts, what course would you teach? Describe it for us.
This is quite hard! I am not a practical person and most of the courses do require an element of practical discipline. Although it does sound bland, perhaps History of Magic because it is one of my strongest subjects as a Muggle and so I know I would have the capabilities to teach it, perhaps making it more interesting than Professor Binns. I would include group activities, allowing them to do presentations to the class and join in debates about key historical events. However, I also think that I would be quite enjoy teaching Transfiguration, as this is a course that combines together both practical and theoretical elements and something that would keep me far more interested than History of Magic. I would use a teaching technique that divides the lesson up half into practical and half into evaluating what they’ve learnt.
10. What class do you think you’d excel in at Hogwarts (take into account the teacher and their grading policies, class work, what you’re good at now, etc.)? Why?
It wouldn’t be History of Magic because I need a subject to continually spark my interest and keep me motivated, a problem that I am having with one element of History at the moment.
I would have to say that the way Snape criticises and puts down work would keep me going, motivating me to the point where I force myself to be good at the subject just so I can prove him wrong. One of my teacher’s disliked me and marked me very harshly and I spent all year pushing myself to prove that I am more capable than what he claimed I was. In the end I reached a very high mark. I would overcome my weakness at potion brewing (I am terrible cook, so I know that this would be a weakness) because I wouldn’t want to be humiliated by the cantankerous teacher. I think that I would become too complacent in any subject that gave me too much praise; I would not bother to excel. This is why Potion’s would perhaps come out on top.
11. What would your schedule look like at Hogwarts? Would you request use of a time-turner to take loads of classes? Would you take the bare minimum? Explain.
I know my limit, unlike Hermione. Whilst I do like to stretch that limit, year after year, I would never overload myself because then it ends up becoming much less productive. I work best when I have reachable targets which I stand a chance at exceeding rather than simply meeting, and I do award myself with breaks after I have reached a tough deadline. I am very self-disciplined when it comes to my private study and, if needs be, I will motivate myself in a subject that I find monotonous. However, sometimes less is more, and I would rather have four Outstanding N.E.W.T.S than seven at Acceptable. This is because I work better when my mind is focused on only a certain number of disciplines rather than having to spread out to many different types.
12. Professor Trelawney tells you that the thing you are dreading will happen on the 23rd. What is the thing you are dreading? Do you believe her? How does this affect you? Explain.
It would probably be a certain someone leaving my life for good. It is difficult to elaborate without giving you a chaptered story but someone has to leave my life soon, there is no disputing that, and it’s a case of sooner or later. I’ve been holding onto him for so long and fearing the day when I have to say goodbye, but I can count the months now on one hand. Either I will leave for Uni or he will leave to get a new job, and either way it means that I have to find a life without him. It’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever had to experience, especially the dread, because I know it’s going to happen and it’s completely beyond my control.
13. Would you bring a pet to Hogwarts? Remember, it can only be a rat, toad, cat, or owl. Which would you choose to bring? Why?
Yes I would! I would bring a cat, more specifically Cocoa the cat, who is my guardian angel throughout all my troubles. He cares about me unconditionally and I can use him as a comfort whenever I am upset. Why? Do I need a reason other than him being one of my closest and longest friends? I just wish that Uni would accept him…
14. Would you rather have money or fame? Why? What would you do with the money/fame?
I would rather the money. As much as I crave attention sometimes I am not a limelight-hogger. I would get quite stressed out if I were constantly under the scrutiny of the public eye. Also, fame doesn’t always mean money, many people are put in the tabloids when they’ve hit rock bottom and the public pry into their private lives and poke fun at them. It is quite an ugly thing that human’s feel the need to do. Something, quite frankly, I do not want.
Why money? Well I’m not materialistic but getting my family out of their financial dilemma would help to soothe our home life and perhaps allow me to re-establish a relationship with my parents before I leave for University.
15. For each house, give an argument for both why you should be sorted into that House and why you should not be sorted into that House, regardless of your actual opinions of the Houses. Basically, explain what traits you have of each House, and which traits you don't have of each House. Do not just give an explanation of what each House is and isn't.
For: Honesty is perhaps the only thing. I can’t lie to save my flipping life! Not even about the smallest of matters. It’s the one thing that stops me from being a Slytherin… because cunning and slyness goes out the window along with my inability to lie. However, I am “brutally honest” – if you ask me whether your bum looks big in the skirt, I will tell you that it is and not bother sugar-coating the matter. Honesty does have many definitions – I would describe myself as a fair person who tries to act justly whenever possible. However, there are times when I am just downright selfish.
Against: I am not a Hufflepuff! I don’t think I’ve earned the right to be called a Hufflepuff seeing as I don’t possess any of the virtuous traits of this house. I am not an outwardly friendly person, in fact many people in real life see me as quite cold and distant. I find socialising difficult, especially real life interaction (relationships are different online and I believe my strongest friendships have come from the internet), and am currently suffering mild depression. Loyalty isn’t a key virtue of mine either; during this Christmas break I have neglected my family, especially my mother, and I do feel guilty about that. However, I don’t feel committed to many people. When I leave for Uni next year I don’t intend on staying in touch with many people. Perhaps Sophie but even her, my closest friend, I am not too sure about anymore. I am not very close to even my immediate family and, although it isn’t entirely my fault, I don’t feel compelled to remedy this situation. I drift away from people and, perhaps due to severe bullying during my school year, I have always been “the social outcast.” However, don’t let this effect your judgement of me as an online friend, as I am much more open and trusting online and have built friendships that have lasted for years.
For: I am ambitious. I work in school so that I can get a place in a decent University and then get a degree, which will lead me to a prospering and interesting job. I have always been competitive in a Slytherin way rather than a Gryffindor way – I want to win sometimes for the sake of winning, not for the prize or nobility that comes along with that. I prefer to work alone rather than in a team so that I can gain all the credit for my achievements. I do have quite a cunning mind that can manipulate situations to my favour when I want them to, and enjoy solving difficult puzzles. I know I’ve bigged him up quite a lot during this application, but the character I do most relate to is Snape!
Against: I am too honest for my own good. If I truanted a lesson and the teacher asked me about it, I wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face and lie convincingly. I am not two-faced either, which is something a Slytherin needs to be in order to be successful. With me, what you see if what you get, I do not try and deceive anybody by my appearance nor do I pretend to be any better a person than what I am.
For: I have a courage that is buried underneath the surface. I believe that if I had been sorted when I was eleven I would have been a Gryffindor. Back then I had to stand up to a lot of bullying and criticism from my teachers, and whilst I never once acted nobly or correctly, I did have a strength in me to keep enduring it all. I have always stayed true to myself, no matter how many times I’ve been put down. I wear what I want to wear because it reflects who I am and I behave how I feel it is within my nature to behave. Furthermore, I will defend other people if I believe that they have been treated unjustly. I’ve stood up for someone recently who everyone else turned their back on; even though what she did wasn’t right, I believed that she deserved forgiveness. When push comes to shove, I will be brave and I will find it within myself to help those who need it and put my own needs to one side.
Against: I am not trustworthy, nor am noble, nor am I that heroic. My definition of a Gryffindor is someone who you can out on a pedestal and say “Look what this person has done for our community!” I think people would be throwing tomatoes at me if I was put up there!
For: The philosopher in me! I do think that now I’ve entered adulthood I have become more of a Ravenclaw. I love to learn about new ideas and challenge those that have been accepted throughout the rest of my life. I get a rush of excitement when I am studying a new topic which I’ve previously left untouched, a thirst for that discovery, and I like to broaden my mind with new concepts. I am a contemplator and a dreamer, whilst also enjoying solving logical puzzles, even those that are beyond my capabilities to solve. I’ve become quite reserved also, which I believe is a Ravenclaw trait (not too sure), and I do prefer an evening sat alone reading a book than out socialising. I also have quite a witty and sarcastic sense of humour. I hate vulgar jokes that have very little depth to them, but I do like to counteract them with my own clever response.
Against: I am more of a creative than analytical person as a whole. My imagination is the part of me that really defines me. Also, I do tend to get easily stressed out in difficult situations and sometimes behave irrationally because of that. I do have my giddy moods where I act hyper and silly. Also, I lose interest in some topics of study quite easily and have to motivate myself to carry on learning. I hate doing research!
16. If you were participating in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, who would be the one you’d miss most? Why are they so special to you? Explain.
My mother. I have been quite worried about her recently because I believe she is even more stressed out and depressed than I am. She’s overworked and is taking her “Slytherin” ambition too far. Because of this I want to reach out to her and find ways to comfort her, but I do not know how. Every time we talk we end up arguing. Obviously all the other reasons – she cares for me, finds time for me even when she can’t find time for herself and has always forgiven the many hurtful things I do.
17. Why do you get up in the morning? What is your purpose in life? What is your passion? What makes you who you are? Explain.
Wow – we are getting philosophical now! Well, I believe that all life is sacred and you must embrace it completely, appreciate it and savour each moment of happiness because the fact we exist is such a huge stroke of luck that we cannot allow it to be wasted. I do waste many days (I would say today has been wasted!) and sometimes I do lose the will to keep on trying.
There is no actual purpose to my life. I don’t believe in God and so, for me, there is no divine reason for us being here. What I would say though is that it is up to use to create a purpose for ourselves, nobody else can create one for us, and it is up to us to carry it out. I would say at the moment the purpose of waking up is to get on with my studies, to pass my next exam and prepare myself for University.
My passion is my imagination and my creative writing. I write fan fiction at the moment (Harry Potter, on MNFF *uses this time to do shameless self-promotion*) and through this I release all of my inhibitions and find ways to explore aspects of human emotions that I cannot do in real life. My stories are never conventional or IC to the books, but I use JKR’s characters to open doors into the many issues of life. This fuels my main ambition, which is to become a professional writer!
18. Is there anything in your life that you just can’t live without? Would that answer be different in the Wizarding world? Explain.
A pen and paper. I sometimes have the twitching desire to write even when I am somewhere completely inappropriate for writing – like at a restaurant or during a night out clubbing. I carry a notepad around with me to quite a few places so if I do get the desire to write something I can do. I don’t think this would change because I’ve always had a creative mind from being very young.
19. If you had to change one (and only one) thing about yourself (personality, not physical), what would it be? Why? Would you change more things if you could?
Only one thing? *sulks* I would have an entire personality transplant if I could! It’s easier to list the things I would want to keep – probably just my creative flair and sarcastic sense of humour.
My confidence if the one thing though – I have very little confidence and self-esteem. If I could just lift it a little bit I think my life would turn around for the better. I find it difficult to look in the mirror and smile and I am extremely critical of all the choices I make, my studies and the way I behave. I hold everyone in a higher regard than I do myself, but I do find it difficult to respect others when I can’t respect myself.
20. If you could go back and tell your eleven year-old self one message, what would it be? Why?
I would tell myself to shut up! To not speak another word until I am eighteen. It is my mouth that caused my downfall, being too honest and holding my heart on my sleeve. It was very easy for kids to bully me because my weaknesses were all very evidently on show. So I would tell my eleven year old self to do the Slytherin thing – lift my head up high and ignore them! It is a shame that I was such a little rebel back then.
21. If you were the Minister of Magic, what laws would you change? What laws would you add? What laws would you remove? Why?
I would probably do a full investigation into the happenings of Knockturn Alley and it’s web of connections rather than allowing their dark artefacts to be swept under the carpet. I would also do a full report of the staff seeing as many, such as Malfoy and Macnair, have been exposed as Death Eater’s. I would want to know who does what and for what, who they report to and whether or not they hold any access to something that could become a potential threat. In short – I would tighten up security. These aren’t laws though, are they? I do think that many of the laws are sound but they need tightening up and monitoring more closely.
I would also do a full reform of is Azkaban Prison. Firstly, I would remove all the Dementor’s – diabolical things that no human should have to suffer by, no matter what crime they committed – and I would possibly improve standards so that the prisoner’s weren’t quite so embittered. I am someone who believes that it’s the government’s responsibility to cater for the welfare of its entire people, including the prisoners. Although this may lose Azkaban as a strong deterrent, I believe that the advantages outweigh the cost. Azkaban does make the Ministry look quite tyrannical and vindictive.
22. Do you enjoy debating controversial topics? Are you easily offended? Have you taken time to read the rules in the Userinfo? Do you think you’ll fit in with this group of people?
Controversial issues, yes. Easily offended, no. Yes, I have read the rules – your community is quite fair with its rules and I do agree with them. I should fit into the community; I have been in similar ones and made many friends from the experience. The community appears to have a diverse amount of personalities, which suits me because I can blend in better. I don’t look for a certain type of friend and I have friends from each “house” so to speak, each of which I love for different reasons.
23. If you were sorted into a house that you didn’t feel you belonged in, how would you react? Would you live with it and make the best of it? Would you leave the community?
Well there is only one house that I don’t believe I belong to, and I would be perfectly happy in each one. Like I said, I have friends from every house and I believe that a person is a person and shouldn’t be judged by any labelling. I wouldn’t leave the community because that is just cutting my nose off to spite my face. I’ve filled in this application because I want to hear your judgement, and I respect that judgement. If I was just going to stand by my own judgement then I wouldn’t have bothered to do this.
Do you plan to stay and participate in the sub-communities no matter what house you’re sorted into?
Yes, of course I will. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone. I also quite fancy taking on the role of the Sorting Hat myself! *sniggers*
24. What did you like about this application? What did you dislike about this application?
It certainly asks more interesting questions than the other rating communities I have come across. It gave me chance to give honest answers and search deep within myself. I think I’ve used this application to let out some of my most personal feelings, especially in regards to my family. I just hope you don’t think I am loopy.
One quibble though – I wouldn’t ask people’s opinion on the pro’s and con’s of each house. Firstly because it is easy to manipulate your personality traits, or simply lie, to match the house you want to be sorted into. Secondly if a judge was feeling lazy, and I’m not saying that many of you are but we all have our lazy days, they could simply skip to this section and make a judgement from it.
25. And finally, how did you come across this community? If it was an ad from a current student or faculty member, please state their livejournal name and where the ad was placed. (That person will receive House Points for your efforts, so please try to remember.)
I think it was on Mugglenet’s LJ community.