jennifer (luckyyjennyy) wrote in _belong,

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Phantom of the Opera

1. Name:
Jennifer Stewart

2. Age:
eighteen summers

3. Gender:
female.. last time I checked..

4. What are your hobbies/interests outside of HP? How do you feel these hobbies/interests contribute to your personality?

One of my longest running passions has been choral music, which I have studied and performed for the majority (10+ years) of my life. My experiences within choirs and ensembles have afforded me opportunities to expand my musical tastes, to travel, and to study a form of art that is known and understood all over in the world. Working within a group has also taught me invaluable lessons about myself and others. I have learned that when you work hard and focus you produce something beautiful, whether it is an “A” on a test or a beautiful requiem that brings tears to people’s eyes. I have been given the opportunity to work with peers both in and outside of my school, state, and country and because of those experiences I have learned more about people and the world then I ever could have in a class room. The friends you make in chorus are friends for life, which is perhaps the best thing that has come out of my love of choral music.

I love reading *coughdramionefanfictioncough*! Some of my favorite books are Jane Eyre, The Raging Quiet, and of course Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I enjoy crafts like scrap booking, and painting ceramics and wood (so I can still be artistic without having to express my pathetic drawing skills haha). Baking is another hobby that I enjoy immensely. It appeals to me because as long as you follow the directions you will end up with the desired result. I feel that cooking requires too much intuition and has too much variation to be truly enjoyable. I suppose this philosophy applies to my personality. I’m a kind of laid back, go with the flow type of person. Pop it in the oven, and thirty-five minutes later it’s done.

5. Which Harry Potter character do you feel you can relate to the most? Explain. Which character is your favorite? Again, explain.

I relate most to (as cliché as it sounds) Ron Weasley. In his group of friends he supplies the sarcastic/funny comic relief. Unfortunately he hides behind this particular persona. Like Ron I am complacent and comfortable in my mediocrity. I have the potential to be so much better if I applied myself fully to my tasks( like Ron and his keeper duties). Also, like Ron, I have a bit of a temper and can be irritable if I feel stressed or attacked. If confronted by a snotty Malfoy I too would probably provoke a (verbal)fight instead of maturely ignoring him like Hermione.

My favorite character is Remus Lupin. He is an incredibly smart individual who could be a great contributor to society but is ostracized for reasons beyond his control. The discrimination he has experienced in his life is enough to turn anyone into a self pitying, bitter individual. But for Remus Lupin life moves on, and he does the best with it that he can, all the while looking beyond himself to help others. I feel compassion and pity for him, so by making him my favorite character I guess I’m trying to say, “Keep your head up Remus, I’m on your side.”

6. Give us the reasons for and against you being sorted into each of the houses.

a. Gryffindor
Well I am quite brash haha. I am a brave, nervy person. I suppose I could be described as courageous. If there is a cause I believe in I will stand up and fight tooth and nail for it. I feel comfortable voicing my opinion not just to my peers but to those who would be considered my “betters“. Not to say that I’m not a little scared when I do, but I think real courage is feeling that fear and then getting past it.
I’m too much of a realist to make a completely idealized Gryffindor. I tend to look at what there actually is or what can feasibly be done as opposed to having “the sky’s the limit” mentality most common in the lion’s den.

b. Hufflepuff
I’m actually a very agreeable person; I don’t really know anyone who really thinks ill of me. I try to get along with everyone mostly because I believe in the Hufflepuff ideal of being just. I do judge people (like everyone else) but I am able and willing change my opinion, and even if I don’t like someone I am always cordial and never outwardly rude. When inspired I can be a very hard worker.
I do not automatically see the good in everyone. I also wouldn’t be comfortable with the general sense of passivity in the Hufflepuff house. I’m far too brash and loud to be the quintessential “good little Hufflepuff”. Plus, I think I would annoy Professor Sprout.

c. Ravenclaw
I would like to consider myself intelligent and I do enjoy learning. I also have this terrible logical/realistic/practical streak that I can’t seem to kick (haha). The “feminist” in me must also mention that I dig that the “smart” house was founded by a woman.
I don’t really enjoy studying. I’ll do it when I must, but certainly not for recreation. I am also far too spontaneous for a schedule. I’m organized but not to the point where I pencil in my trips to the bathroom. I don’t really seem to take things seriously so I think I would be walloped repeatedly by my housemates in the weeks leading up to N.E.W.T.S.

d. Slytherin
I suppose I could be described as a “bad girl” type. Obviously I don’t commit crimes, but I do have that aloof, superior persona that is so common within the house. I don’t really break rules so much as I side step them, or bend them a bit. It’s all semantics anyway. I also have an extreme capacity for sarcasm which would make me popular in my house and rather unpopular in the classroom haha.
I’m not really ambitious. And when I say not really, I mean not at all. Sure there are things I wish to achieve in my life but I certainly don’t agonize or salivate over them. Also I’m too helpful, and not just to people I know. I’ll help strangers, it makes me feel good. I don’t think that would gel with the rest of the house if I held the door open for a Gryffindor…

7. What was your least favorite moment in HP?

When Severus killed Dumbledore, my world shattered. I never realized how much I had invested into Snape’s character until that very moment. A defensive, insecure teenager, turned death eater who had seen the err of his ways and returned to the light, risking life and limb to aid Dumbledore as a double agent. Cleared and given a home at Hogwarts. This was the man who killed Dumbledore, practically a father to him, with no real explanation why. It wasn’t as if he hopped into the scene with a “mwhaha” and a blustering admission of evil and deceit. He simply walked in, committed the crime and left with pathetic and whimpering Draco. I loved Snape, I loved and pitied him. It felt like a betrayal because I had trusted him so implicitly.

8. What about HP appeals to you (e.g. the romance, the adventure, the friendships, the fantasy, the mystery)?

The complexity of the characters, their emotions, and relationships appeal to me. Within the series there is an entire world with families and history, and stories that we’ve only heard and inkling of. The story we see is only a fraction of the world and we are constantly aware there is more out there. And even though these people are living in a magical society they deal with the same issues that we do. No one there has the cut and dry relationships you see too often in fiction. The growth and change of the characters as they grow and find themselves is both realistic and compelling. The books deal with universal themes ranging from mundane ie difficult teachers and homework to monumental ie the death of a parent. I also think that it’s subconsciously comforting to all of us that these people with these great magical powers cannot simply solve things with a flick of their wand as we all sometimes wish we could.

9. What would you do if your friend was in danger? What would you give up in order to save them? Would you lay your life on the line?

I strongly believe in having a small group of core friends as opposed to several casual acquaintances. For these two people I would give anything, including my life, to secure their health or happiness. And most importantly they know that and feel the same way.

10. Given a choice between fame and money, which would you choose?

Growing up in a household devoid of cash to “burn“, I would probably choose to have money. I realize that if I were to choose fame that opportunities for making large amounts of money would be made available to me, but the whole idea of “fame” unsettles me. Fame is too fleeting, and I fear if I achieved a considerable amount of it, I would be unbearably conceited. Conceit is quality which I absolutely abhor. Money is something tangible that can be saved and invested. Money grows from money and it would be nice to have both my financial struggles and those of my mother’s to disappear immediately.

11 If you could only store one memory in the Pensieve to visit over again, which one would it be? Why?

I would save a memory from April 2005, in my senior year of high school. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining brightly and it was almost hot outside. My best friends Ashley and Claire and I were lounging in Claire’s blue ford station wagon in her parking spot. All the windows were rolled down to let in a warm cross breeze. Claire was in the drivers seat, Ashley in the passenger and I was in the back in the middle. We were listening to third eye blind, and soaking in the sun like turtles. I remember the sun on my face so vividly and I remember thinking I have never been as content in my life as I am right now.

I would store that memory because I associate it with pure contentedness. It was simple, beautiful, and warm.

12. What excites you the most in life? Where do you get the most joy and fulfillment?

I fully believe in, and endorse the saying, “variety is the spice of life”. There is nothing I love better than a change in scenery or activity. After all how can you really enjoy your life if you don’t try to experience as many things as possible? My favorite way of attaining this variety is through travel and emersion in another culture.

As cliché as it might sound, I get the most joy and fulfillment simply by being with the people I love. I am happier spending the afternoon with my best friend doing absolutely nothing than I am visiting a new place or going to a party.

13. If you were in Harry's position during the "Snape's Worst Memory" incident, how would you view Peter, James, Sirius, Lily, Remus, and Snape differently? Why?

If I were Harry himself then I would view them all in the same light, how could I not? Of course I would see my father and godfather as being rakish heroes giving my most hated teacher his comeuppance. I would see my mother as a kind woman who was nice to everyone. I would see Peter as a worthless clinger on and Remus as the indulgent authoritative figure that I already knew him to be.

However if I were still me, and were in Harry’s place, my perspective on them would change drastically. I would see James and Sirius as the stereotypical class assholes. Both terribly attractive, and terribly arrogant. Smart but unwilling to apply themselves to anything other than preening, sports and torturing those who they deem as lesser. Like Lily, I would pity Severus. But unlike Lily, I wouldn’t let his sour behavior offend me. He was obviously a lonely, troubled guy who was too proud to accept help or kindness from others. Anyone could see that the “mud blood” comment was not made out of actual malice, but instead stemmed from the actions of an insecure child attacked into what he saw as a corner. Peter wouldn’t have made too much of an impression on me because I wouldn’t have seen him as someone of interest. I would have been highly disappointed in Remus neglecting his duty to retain order and respect and protect his fellow peers. His doing nothing was almost worse than if he had joined James and Sirius. I don’t care if you don’t like a person or feel they have something coming to them. You never go out of your way to hurt them or allow them to be hurt when you are in a position to stop it. It is not only juvenile, but cowardly.

14. Imagine you were an eleven-year-old Muggleborn witch/wizard who did not know about magic and had just received your Hogwarts letter. How would you react to leaving home and going to a magic school?

Honestly? I would first question my sanity. How would anyone react if you told them that the stuff of Halloween and fairy tales was true and that they were about to be thrust into that world blindly for the rest of their lives? I would probably ignore the letter and dismiss it as a hoax. I would keep ignoring it until Dumbledore himself walked through my door and told me personally. I would probably make him demonstrate copious amounts of magic to prove to me that it was all real. Once my sanity was confirmed I would be upset. Not about any magic related thing, but because I wouldn’t want to enter into that new world alone without my friends or family. Something of that magnitude I would want to share with everyone because why should I be gifted with such a talent and not my mother? Because I like to know what I’m getting myself in to I would read everything I could get my hands on (much in the style of Hermione). I would agonize about manners and customs because I hate to appear ignorant in a new setting. I would have a niggling doubt in my mind for as long as I got to diagon alley. I think that seeing wizards function in normal society would allow me to relax and feel brave enough to explore a bit. Once I relaxed I think I would still be scared but terribly excited. But I believe I would always feel a little guilty that I got to exist in a world that my friends and mother could never hope to integrate into.

15. If you had access to a time turner and there were no regulations regarding its usage, what would you use it for and why?

I would travel back to Europe in 1870, particularly France, and go on an art spree. I would principally go to as many beautiful opera houses as possible because the late 19th century was the golden age of opera’s opulence and popularity. I would also spend my days commissioning and buying art. I would buy paintings from Monet, Renoir, Degas and maybe some Van Gogh if I made it up to the Netherlands. I would definitely commission a sculpture of myself from Rodin. Not because I’m particularly narcissistic, I just would like to see myself through my favorite artist’s eyes. Of course in the meantime I would purchase whatever work he had lying about haha. I would bring all this back to the future and loan the paintings and sculptures to the North Carolina museum of art. I would also donate a large, floral monet to the battered women’s shelter downtown to do with as they wish. And then I would probably keep a couple small paintings for myself to display in my home. The experience of meeting these influential artists would be invaluable and the art would not only serve as keepsakes, but as avenues of betterment. Obviously betterment for me in financial terms, but also betterment for my city and state by expanding my local museum’s collection and providing the shelter downtown with means to help more women and families.

16. In the Philosopher’s Stone (AKA Sorcerer’s Stone) Neville had a choice: he could let his friends go out at night when they weren’t supposed to and potentially they could lose points for his house, or he could confront them and stop them from breaking the rules. What would you have done in his situation?

I would have confronted them, because obviously no one but them knew about the situation at hand. I would have thought, like everyone else, that they were just out to cause mischief. Even though they were my friends I would have had to put my foot down and make a stand for my house. Who are they to loose points and a chance at the house cup just so they could go on another one their escapades?

17. Who (dead, alive, or fictional) do you most admire? This can be someone from real life or from Harry Potter.

Well, I took about two days to think of an answer to this particular question, and after a lot of pondering, I have decided that the person I most admire, living, dead or fictional is his holiness the 14th, the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. Not only is he a scholar, but also a gifted orator, a strong leader, and a kind and compassionate man. To often, especially in America, do we see intolerant evangelical spiritual leaders who treat learning and exploration of their spirituality as a sin. Where as the Dalai Lama seems very open about his faith, and actually encourages his people to learn as much as they can about their religion. He doesn’t seem to make value judgments on people based on whether they are Buddhists or even spiritual. I feel he is vastly more concerned with the welfare of people in general despite their religion, and that his role on earth is simply to enlighten people and not to “push” a doctrine. I admire him for all these reasons. He has an incredible influence, both religious and political, and yet he chooses to exercise his power to set people free in everyway possible whether it is spiritually, mentally, or politically.

An example of all this can be found in a an excerpt of a speech of his (that I love) that he made at the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, ”Human beings, indeed all sentient beings, have the right to pursue happiness and live in peace and in freedom. As free human beings we can use our unique intelligence to try to understand ourselves and our world. But if we are prevented from using our creative potential, we are deprived of one of the basic characteristics of a human being. It is very often the most gifted, dedicated and creative members of our society who become victims of human rights abuses. Thus the political, social, cultural and economic developments of a society are obstructed by the violations of human rights. Therefore, the protection of these rights and freedoms are of immense importance both for the individuals affected and for the development of the society as a whole.”

18. What is your favorite book outside of Harry Potter? What is it about this book that endears it to you?

My favorite book is Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë. The diction is dense, and the imagery is beautiful so when I read the book, I feel as if I am reading a true account of Jane’s life, almost as if she is speaking to me. The characters are another huge component to why I love this book. Mrs. Reed is absolutely retched, more so when she is trying to absolve herself before her death than when she tortured Jane as a child. Jane, though passive, is highly intelligent, independent, and strong willed. These are qualities within a female character that are not often shown in 19th century literature. Rochester is another unique character in the way that he is not portrayed as being particularly dashing, good looking or fun. He is simply an intelligent man who desperately wants someone to love him despite all of his flaws. He finds this in Jane, and indeed they are perfectly matched. They both share a dry sense of humor, keen intellect, powerful wills, and a quiet, deep love for one another that is both mature and childlike in its neediness. I suppose I have a soft spot for couples comprised of grouchy, broody men and intelligent, willful women.

"My bride is here," he said, again drawing me to him, "because my
equal is here, and my likeness. Jane, will you marry me?"

Still I did not answer, and still I writhed myself from his grasp:
for I was still incredulous.

"Do you doubt me, Jane?"


"You have no faith in me?"

"Not a whit."

19. You're sitting the final examination for a class that has given you a lot of trouble. Your grade is borderline; you really need to do well on this final to get an A. You can see the paper of your friend who sits next to you and who happens to excel in this subject. You've gotten to a question that you're stuck on. Do you glance at your friend's paper to figure out the answer or not? Why?

Absolutely not. I have huge qualms about people cheating on exams and midterms. The point of these tests is to evaluate how much you have learned in that class. If you cheat, and essentially lie about your ability, what gives you the right to move up with those members of your class who worked hard, and studied? Furthermore, why would you want to cheat on a final examination? Having to rely on someone else to get you through would rob the joy and sense of accomplishment of finishing the course. What good is the “A” if you didn’t actually earn it? Furthermore, if you are cheating to get an “A” instead of a “B”, more needs to be looked at than just your tendency to glance around the room during a test.

20. In Goblet of Fire, Harry was chosen for the Tri-Wizard Tournament even with the age-line. Ron was unable to enter because of the age restriction even though he really wanted to be a part of the Tournament. Was Ron right to be jealous/angry at Harry? Were Harry's reactions appropriate? Why?

I think Ron’s initial feelings of jealousy and anger were completely justified. Ron had already expressed his wish to enter, only to find out that his best friend a) entered without him and b) didn’t tell him. We all know that Ron is subconsciously terribly jealous of Harry, and for another seemingly amazing and wonderful thing to happen to his friend and not him, sent him over the edge. Also, Harry not even bothering to tell him that he entered was a serious blow. Ron had experienced so many things already at Harry’s side, and to have him not be included in this venture was really hurtful. However, Ron should have taken a step out of himself for a moment after his initial anger to listen to Harry when he told Ron that he didn’t enter. Harry’s initial reaction was to tell Ron that he didn’t enter, which I felt was very appropriate. But when Ron got angry, Harry just gave up because he didn’t want to “deal with it”. Once Harry gave up the “feud” between them began, where they both acted both immature and stupid.

21. Which class would you look forward to the most at Hogwarts? Which classes do you/did you excel in most at school?

I think my favorite class at Hogwarts would be Defense Against the Dark Arts because it is a nice mix of charms and history, with some activity and practical applications thrown in. Sure, it would be a little difficult due to the constant rotation of teachers, but hey, if the subject is interesting then why not? I think that DADA is one of the most important classes one could take at Hogwarts, because principally it’s a class that will teach you how to save your ass, but also because it teaches you to think on your feet and to be creative.

At school the classes I most excel in are Physical Anthropology and English. Both require a mesh of common “book knowledge” with personal vision, ingenuity, and a certain amount of creativity. You have to have a plan or vision for a paper as well as when you are reconstructing a skeleton. It takes a creative mind to come up with plot twists when writing stories, and to determine a cause of death when only given a skull. These are my favorite classes because they both employ a lot of different mental faculties to come up with the “full picture”.

22. What would be the first place you visit during a Hogsmeade weekend? Why?

Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes would be my first stop in Hogsmeade if Gladrags didn’t have a particularly fetching window display. I’m not really a prankster, but I do think I would pick up stuff to keep me amused on the days when paying attention in class is not an option haha.

23. In the wizarding world, all 5th year students are required to pick a career to focus on going into their 6th and 7th years at Hogwarts. What career path would you choose? Why?

I think I would do something along the lines of curse-breaking in Egypt like Bill Weasley. Not really curse breaking per-say, more like curse studying and development. I would be more interested in the origins of certain types of magic and how they related to modern spells. What better place to do that than in the tombs of Egypt? Perhaps my study of old magic and it’s relation to modern uses would inspire me to create a particularly creative hex, so that I may be immortalized in a quite funny way “ha-ha! She just hit you with the Jennifer Jinx!“

24. In the Wizarding world, some pure-blood wizards consider Muggle-borns "filthy" and "horrible." In our world, people are categorized by their wealth, racial background, and appearance. What are your opinions on Muggle-borns? What are the qualities that you value in others?

One good thing about being an American is that I haven’t really grown up with the vestiges of an old class system. The “American Dream” is an integral part of our society that says you can come from nothing (ie no money, no social connections) and eventually (through hard work), achieve everything. Granted this ideal mostly applies to white Christian males, but still the dream is out there. My opinion on the matter is, it doesn’t matter where you come from, what is more important is who you are. Money and good breeding amount to nothing if you aren’t a worthwhile contributor to society, case in point: Paris Hilton. Though she is rich, famous, and comes from a “good” family, she has achieved nothing, earned nothing, and therefore I cannot be bothered with her. I have more respect for a Mcdonald’s employee who goes in everyday and makes minimum wage. They might not be rich or be of “good” breeding, but at least they contribute something to society by providing a service. Show me someone like my mother, who despite growing up in a trailer park worked her was through dentistry school alone while raising a daughter. Race, creed, sex, and blood “purity” aside, if you are a contributor to society (whether business executive or hotdog vendor) I will not look down on you. And if anyone does, I will defend you until the end.

25. You have stumbled across five magical wells. One is the Well of Common Sense and Logic, the second is the Well of Creativity, the third is the Well of Optimism, the fourth is the Well of Physical Strength, and the fifth is the Well of Beauty. You can only drink from one well, but once you do you will be endowed with that ability for the rest of your life. Which well do you think you would definitely not need, and which do you think you would want to drink from?

The Well of Common Sense and Logic would be the first well I would dismiss because I already believe that I am far too logical for my own good, and if I already have both in abundance why should I need more? The same applies to the Well of Creativity. I wouldn’t consider the Well of Physical Strength because I have no heath problems that would impede my acquiring the strength on my own with good old fashioned labor. Not to mention, what good would enormous strength be if you didn’t actually work to attain it?

I would wish to drink from would be either the Well of Optimism or the Well of Beauty for the same reason. There is a large disparity between my confidence dealing with my intelligence and my confidence dealing with my outer appearance. I’m no hag mind you, but all my life I have had difficulty maintaining my height’s “ideal” weight, meaning all my life I have been slightly heavier than other girls. Because of this I have always had trouble in relationships and have doubted the reasons why guy’s dated me. The reason I would choose to drink from either of the wells would be to correct this insecurity and to fully let a guy “in”. If I drank from the well of beauty, then obviously I would slim down and shape up as per our societies standards of beauty. My being the epitome of beauty would dismiss any niggling thoughts that “he” could do better or that I wasn’t good enough for him. The more politically correct Well of Optimism would create the same feeling of “worthiness” by giving me a more optimistic look at the men I choose to become involved with. If I could look on the brighter side and focus on what “he” loves about me as opposed to what I hate about myself then I wouldn’t let my insecurities rule both myself and my relationship.

26. In Half-Blood Prince, we witnessed Harry force-feeding Dumbledore the potion that weakened him, even though it pained Harry to do so, because he promised Dumbledore he would do whatever he wished. If you were in Harry's position, would you have stopped feeding Dumbledore the potion, or would you have continued? Do you think it was right for Harry to do as Dumbledore wished? Explain.

I cannot lie, I would have stopped feeding Dumbledore the potion as soon as he began to babble and moan. I do not think I would have the strength to follow through with Dumbledore’s orders if he was in that much pain. To see such a powerful man flailing and begging would scare me more than anything in the world. I very much admire Harry for having the strength and fortitude to carry out Dumbledore’s wishes, especially since he looked at Dumbledore as a father figure. It seemed harsh and cruel but Harry and Dumbledore understood that there were more important things at stake than their comfort. They realized there was something bigger than themselves on the line and that the physical pain of one man and the emotional pain of one boy was nothing in comparison to the threat looming over both the muggle and wizarding world.

27. Anything else you want to tell us before we sort you? Also, please tell us where you heard about this community. (Members who refer new applicants receive points, so please try to be as specific as possible.)
I like to sing in the shower, but then again who doesn’t? I’ve always found that your voice sounds amazing within the confines of the bathroom and coincidentally just like the singer on the radio haha. But seriously, even if I’m not approved for the community im glad I took time out to fill in this questionnaire. It was very thought provoking, and it was fun pondering answers to the hypothetical situations you presented here.
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