2. Age: Fifteen
3. Gender: Female
4. What are your hobbies/interests outside of HP? How do you feel these hobbies/interests contribute to your personality?
Outside of HP I'm a sophomore in high school. I'm a huge nerd and I love math and history and writing. I'm taking AP US History this year and the workload is killing me, and a lot of my free time is spent reading my history book. I love the material and I find it fascinating; I just wish we didn't have to sprint throuh it. I'm also taking Creative Writing and I'm enjoying it far more than an English class should be enjoyed. I love academics but not necessarily school, because in school you have to deal with incompetent people and early mornings.
Aside from academics, I'm a cellist. I'm principal cello in an orchestra that rehearses every Friday afternoon, and I get to play God over the three other people in my section. It makes me inordinately happy. I practice obsessively when I have the time, which isn't often, unfortunately. I'm also on my school's ski team, and I go up to New Hampshire most weekends. I'm getting better as a racer (I was pathetic last year, next year I'm hoping for Varsity) but I'm still a huge wimp when it comes to moguls and jumps, which my friends made me try two Saturdays ago. It was, to say the least, interesting. Ski racing has changed me more than I thought it would, because running around in spandex has taken away a good deal of my modesty, and I've become more aggressive and confident.
5. Which Harry Potter character do you feel you can relate to the most? Explain. Which character is your favorite? Again, explain.
Looking back on past applications, everyone seems to relate closely to Luna. I'm going to have to jump on the metaphorical bandwagon with this one, because I love Luna and I share many of her qualities. Firstly, I tend to be clueless. Luna strikes me as very naive and oblivious, and she does not closely interact with her surroundings. She prefers to live in her own fantasy, where mistletoe is riddled with nargles and Cornelius Fudge is out to get the wizarding community. I'm similarly clueless, and my friends insist that I live under a rock. I probably do, for all I know. I also really don't particularly care.
Luna also has a quirky sense about her with everything she does. She wears the necklace of butterbeer caps, and she really doesn't care what anyone thinks about her or about them. She made the Gryffindor Quidditch hat even though she is a Ravenclaw, and she doesn't necessarily follow the team she's expected to. I do things like cheer for Austria in the Olympics when everyone around me is entirely clad in red, white, and blue.
Luna is also my favorite character, very much for the reasons listed above. Tonks comes in as a close second, but she started to bother me a little in HBP. I know she was in love with Lupin etc., but she was too moody for my liking. Mood swings tend to bother me, though I try to let them go. I can be more than a little judgemental sometimes...
6. Give us the reasons for and against you being sorted into each of the houses.
For: I'd like to think I'm brave. Bravery has been defined as the presence of fear, yet the willingness to go through with it anyway. I'm a cellist, but whenever I get up to do a solo recital all I can think of is the time I was performing Saint-Saens' "The Swan" and my endpin slipped from the stage and my scroll shot into my shoulder and I played the entire thing in several different keys with horrible intonation and awful sound. This petrifies me, but I go on with the recitals anyway and usually they go perfectly well. I'm afraid of so many things that I never let on to, but I deal with them because you can't help but do so.
Against. I'm not a rash person at all. I like to analyze and debate internally and go over consequences and outcomes dozens of times before I do anything that's important. When choosing classes, I agonize over which to put down on my sheet (up now: Chem 1 vs. Accel Chem, and Chem 1 won out in the end because I'm petrified of getting C's and sinking my GPA). Then, I agonize over which order they go in (does Russian lit go before or after Early British lit?). Gryffindors always strike me as rash and sometimes hasty, and in a positive light, quick-thinkers. Only occasionally am I able to come up with a solid decision when I have to make one on the spot.
For: When I really want to, I can be hard-working. If it's something I absolutely love, if it's not too early in the morning, if it's worthwhile, and if it's something I know I won't regret, I can throw myself into something and work incredibly hard at it. Orchestra, for example. When I was in eighth grade, it was my first year as principal of my orchestra and my first year in the orchestra at all, and the conductor handed out music. Every piece except maybe two had a cello solo somewhere in the music, and I freaked out. I got home and vowed to not make a total fool out of myself in front of people I'd never met, and I practiced it like crazy and in the end, the concert went really well. When it comes to things that matter to me, I can be obsessive and compulsive. I'm also neurotic about the state of my bedroom and I clean it obsessively, but only when I'm feeling motivated.
Against: In all cases other than the one listed above, I'm the laziest, most unmotivated person ever. I'm fully aware of the fact that I could be doing a dozen more productive things than this application, but I just don't want to. I have a history test to study for, letters to write, the mail to check, and math to do, but I don't want to get up. I've put off this application for a really long time - I was actually going to apply a couple months ago and I never did, and then Petra told me to so I am. It seems contradictory to say that I can be motivated like woah and then say I'm lazy, but it's true and it really does take extreme motivation to get me to move.
For: I consider myself an intellectual person. I'm analytical, perfectionist, and compulsive. I love reading and I read everything, and even if I find it dull at first I'll eventually get hooked. I'm reading Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha (okay, not high literature, but it's really good!) for my Creative Writing class (we got to choose a novel to analyze) and when I put it down last night I realized that I'd read 400 pages in 2 days and pretty much neglected my other work. I get passionate about academic things and books, and I love most of my classes.
Against: Ravenclaws strike me as focused all the time and grounded in reality. I'm clueless about most current events and I'm oblivious a lot of the time and I usually have no idea what's going on. When I was younger my mother used to say I lived on Planet Emily, because of my imaginary friend Raboa, who was born one day and died of old age a week later but kept coming back from the dead to talk to me. I still live in my own little happy bubble.
For: I like power. I'm good at exerting it, and I want to be a lawyer some day. I'm not the traditional power-hungry corporate jerk, but I do like to be in charge through merit. I don't abuse the power, but I love it. A couple days ago my orchestra director called me the Best Bus Captain Ever, and I got to yell at people to shut up while I took attendence. I also made my friend's ex-boyfriend clean up all the trash on the bus. I enjoyed it, in a sick, maniacal sort of way. My other conductor told my section that they had to listen to what I say all the time, and I was absurdly pleased with myself. Playing God is more fun than it should be, and I love it.Being the analytical, introspective freak I am, I decided that I really like to be in charge.
Against: I'm not subtle at all. I tend to be blunt and sarcastic and sometimes cruel, when I'm feeling particularly nasty. I try to be subtle sometimes but it never really works. I'm definitely not cunning, either. On a more canonish level, I'd be the one speaking out against ostricization of Muggle-borns and Draco would probably eat me.
7. What was your least favorite moment in HP?
My first instinct is to say Dumbledore's death, but then I thought about it and realized that, although it activated my highly sensitive tear ducts, it was a really good part of the book and it did what I think writing should do. Thinking further back, I'd have to say that the whole Cho bit irritated me muchly. I know her boyfriend died, but she should know better than to expect her new one to cope with her crying and moping. Boys mature more slowly than guys and he was younger than her and she expected way too much of a guy inexperienced with relationships. THEN he was stupid and more immature than he should've been and it just bothered me in general. It also seemed weirdly placed, and kind of shoved in because Harry needed a relationship to show his increasing maturation. It didn't really contribute to the plot at all, unless something's coming up in book seven, and angsting can be lethal when combined with cluelessness.
8. What about HP appeals to you (e.g. the romance, the adventure, the friendships, the fantasy, the mystery)?
When I first started reading, I was ten and I was still in the impressionable stage where you really genuinely believe that a Hogwarts letter is on its way the next year. When it didn't come I was naturally disappointed, but by then I was addicted. Everything appealed to me - I was a nerd who mostly read the dictionary (yes, really) and my Children's Encyclopedia, and I didn't read much about fantasy and adventure. However, I'm not really into the romance or the RPing, and obsession with the relationships bothers me a little, especially when people look into the movies for clues and call JKR stupid because she didn't pair up their ship. Urgh. So, out of the list, the adventure, friendships, fantasy, and mystery all pull me deeper into obsession. Hurrah.
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 would die for a friend, no question. I don't consider myself noble or heroic or anything like that, but I can't stand to see others' suffering and I would die (or seriously maim myself or suffer huge amounts of pain or go through any other hellish fate) for someone I love, and even someone I don't know. I really don't understand any of my reasoning and I'm fully aware that it makes very little logical sense and is possibly contradictory, but somehow I know that I'd do it. Of course, I'd try as hard as humanly possible to not die, but if it were a clear-cut decision between their eternal suffering/death or mine, I'd definitely go with mine.
10. Given a choice between fame and money, which would you choose?
I would choose money. I remember reading an interview with the guy who does the voice of SpongeBob, and he said something about having the best job ever. He can go to the grocery store and buy lettuce without being mobbed by fans who recognize his face, he can introduce himself and still hold an element of anonymity until the inevitable "So, what do you do?" question rolls around, and his finances are set forever. That just sounds so nice, doing something you love and not being recognized by a nosy papparazzi. Also, you'd be free to give as much money as you want to charities, etc., and if you really felt like it, you could become famous. See: Paris Hilton, Bill Gates.
11 If you could only store one memory in the Pensieve to visit over again, which one would it be? Why?
I would store the memory of a Halloween party I had, where everyone got together in my basement and we watched movies and ran around in my yard in full costume the day before Halloween and we kidnapped my friend's standup of Harrison Ford and dressed him up like Santa and we had an amazing time. If I were sad or hurt or angry, then revisiting a time where we were all giggling uncontrollably and playing Ring around the Rosy could be immensely helpful. Usually when I'm in a bad mood, rereading old LJ entries and talking to people and realizing how much we love each other can make me feel, if not better, less cynical. Cliche, yet true. Woo!
12. What excites you the most in life? Where do you get the most joy and fulfillment?
I have so many different interests it's hard to keep up with myself sometimes. I love academics and learning about history stimulates my curiosity and it just makes me happy. I love England, particularly Jane Austen and her time period. I love reading about Victorian times, because you can completely remove yourself from your own situation and imagine yourself with servants and prilly dresses and a lover (Mr. Darcy, swoon). I also love Russian history and language, and I want to learn Russian at some point. I'm absolutely fascinated by the Romanovs and Rasputin.
Music is one thing I could never, ever live without. Classical, pop, rock, country, jazz, musicals, whatever. I love it. Playing something well on my cello just makes me love myself and the world and everything around me and when I listen to music it transports me. It's kind of bizarre, really. Whenever teachers would play music to help us concentrate in elementary school, I always got so wrapped up in the music, I had no idea what was going on in class. I desperately wanted to be a pianist when I was younger, but my piano teacher dumped me and I took up the cello. A senior last year put as her quote in the yearbook, "Without music, life would be a mistake." I agree wholeheartedly.
I'm also passionate about writing. I can express myself so much more on a piece of paper or with a computer than I can verbally, and I love it. I would never be able to say what I've said here while speaking - I tend to mix up words and forget what things are called, but I can just type and write and the words flow. It's amazing. In my Creative Writing class we have to sit down and write, and it's been really good for me. It's incredibly fulfilling when you can sit down and read something you wrote and realize it's actually good, and you have talent.
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?
Harry has previously viewed his father's group of friends in an entirely innocent way, not quite understanding that they have to have had bad qualities as well, being human. I think that everyone is more humanized after this incident, and it's not just a good vs. bad, James vs. Snape thing anymore. I'd view Peter as I always had, because he deserted people and ran off and joined the Death Eaters and nothing can really change a view of Peter as an awful person. James, however, would become less of a hero in my mind. Harry always imagined him as a harmless joker who sat around doing heroic things and dating his mother and being a fantastic person, but now he knows that his father was cruel at times, and his mother practically hated him. Sirius, I think, was always portrayed as a prankster who didn't always know how to stop. There's nothing specific in the text to verify this, but his mentality suggests that, as a teenager, he could've done some rash, immature things. Harry's view of him will always be somewhat tainted, but his prejudices will win over and he'll go back to loving him more than anything else. I think I'd respect Lily a little more than I did before, just because I didn't know anything about her beforehand. Watching her stand up for the underdog and reject the popular, "cool" James would be pretty damn cool. Snape is more complicated than anyone else here, I think. Now there's a reason for Snape's dislike of James Potter, but I'm still not sure what made him absolutely despise him. Book seven, maybe? I hope so.
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?
First, I would sit there in utter disbelief. I wouldn't believe it at first, unlike Tom Riddle. I've always viewed myself as ordinary, with no real desire to be "special." I'm not sure I would believe it until I saw something with my own eyes. I'm a very literal person and I'm not quite sure I could deal with real magic in the world. Then, I would jump up and down a lot and moan to my mother about not being able to tell my friends. I would be incredibly excited and happy... and then I'd realize that this meant I'd have to leave home, my friends, my school, and Muggle subjects like math, which I love. I would go through a period of deep depression that lasted for about five minutes, and then I'd jump up and down again. That night, I'd go to bed conflicted and confused and worrying about leaving and fitting in.
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 use it to study for tests. I'd like to give myself as much time as possible to study, and I'm a hopeless procrastinator. I wouldn't, however, go back and change the answers on my tests, if it were logistically possible. I'd be wracked with guilt for the longest time, and I wouldn't be able to deal with it and I'd go and confess to my teachers and bad things would happen. I'd also use it to spend more time with friends, or practice the cello, or just do anything that requires more time than is in the day.
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 confront my friends. On a school trip to DC, I learned that I can be confrontational, even if I was just asking strangers the way to the Jefferson Memorial. I'm petrified of losing friends because of rule-breaking, and for a couple minutes I was scared to death that one of my friends was drinking, until I figured out she was kidding. I'm a stikler for rules and although I joke about them, I wouldn't be able to break them and I wouldn't be able to watch other people break them. Losing house points would be an inflated issue in my mind, seeming more important than it actually was, and I'd desperately try to justify my interception of my friends to make it seem as noble as possible. Of course, I'd probably be stopped in the end, like Neville was by Hermione's jinx.
17. Who (dead, alive, or fictional) do you most admire? This can be someone from real life or from Harry Potter.
I admire the cellist Jacqueline du Pre. Just about nobody has ever heard of her, but she was an amazing musician in the 60's and helped to popularize classical music. She was absolutely amazing, but she was diagnosed with MS in the prime of her career and had to retire. She died fifteen years later, but she's practically idolized by most cellists. She put so much passion into her music, and she almost became the music she was performing. She didn't neccessarily overcome adversity, like some people think, but she made the best of a bad situation and become a spokesperson for MS research and played the drum in Hyden's Toy Symphony and she didn't want to let anything get in the way of her life. This, of course, happened before she started to deteriorate mentally and then lost her to speak and control any part of her body.
18. What is your favorite book outside of Harry Potter? What is it about this book that endears it to you?
I absolutely adore the Princess Bride, by William Goldman. My copy is literally falling apart, and it's covered in plastic and duct tape and it is, to say the least, well-loved. Anyone who can be sarcastic in a book is fantastic, in my mind, and Goldman conveys sarcasm without making it blatantly obvious, if that makes any sense. I love the way the two plots are woven in, one a fractured story about the narrator (based almost entirely off the author) and one a cliched, wonderful, cheesy fairytale. Fezzik makes rhymes and he's wonderful, Inigo is a hotheaded Spaniard and I love him, Buttercup is a woman who thinks she's self-empowered but really isn't, Westley comes back from the dead, and it's just a fantastic love story. I love that it's in some ways a fairy tale, and in some ways the antithisis of a fairy tale. I love the random bits you don't catch until your fourth rereading. The movie was all right, but I absolutely hate it when someone says, "Oh, I saw the movie. There's a book?" YES. And it's wonderful. So go read it. ^_^
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?
Not on your life. I have that whole guilt thing going on, you see. More than once I've been tempted, but I've never actually had the guts to go through with it. I know I'd be tortured forever in my head, and I know I'd feel incredibly guilty about a grade I didn't deserve, and I'd be haunted by what I'd done, and I'd be petrified that the teacher would see me looking, or my friend would see me looking at their paper. In seventh grade my teacher was absolutely insistent that I cheated on every math and science test he gave out (and lots of other people did - he had us correct our own tests, and he didn't look at anything on them but the grade on top!). He called my mom and there was a huge ordeal and I was sitting there going, "I was tempted, but I'd never actually be able to follow through with it!" Humph. I'm still bitter about it... I try not to hold grudges, but I do anyway.
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 don't think Ron was neccessarily right to be angry to the extent that he was, and believe that his friend had essentially deserted him, but he certainly had a right to be jealous. Ron wanted the fame and power and glory and Harry always gets it instead, even though he doesn't even want it. I think he overreacted because he snapped and he just couldn't take being friends with someone like Harry, who always seems to get his way. He wasn't right to be jealous or angry because negative emotions like that are never right, but he was definitely justified, though to a lower degree.
Harry's actions were, I think, appropriate for the situation, but they carried on for a bit too long. If a friend you thought trusted you didn't believe that you were innocent, you'd react poorly. It's natural. I do think, however, that Harry should've tried to talk to Ron instead of ignoring him and being nasty.
21. Which class would you look forward to the most at Hogwarts? Which classes do you/did you excel in most at school?
I would excel in transfiguration, which strikes me as very mathematical and calculated. Everyone who knows me can testify to my math nerddom and I love making the long, complicated strings of numbers short and cute. I would also do well at charms, because they seem fun and short and instant gratification in the form of something tangible that you still had to work at strikes me as incredibly appealing.
22. What would be the first place you visit during a Hogsmeade weekend? Why?
Honeydukes, hands down. I love candy and chocolate and I have minimal self-control when it comes to eating junk and it really is a testament to my metabolism that I'm not hugely fat. Also, it seems like the obligatory Hogsmeade shop to go to, and faced with large groups I tend to move with them and not branch off into my own thing. After a while I will and I'll move at my own pace, but initially I get paranoid. I'd move onto Zonko's if I had time and I'd probably fall in love with the Three Broomsticks. I love being in large groups of people, but I also love intimate settings, and I love hot beverages. The Three Broomsticks sounds like a wonderful place to catch up with people and just hang out, which is something I don't get to do enough.
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?
That always struck me as odd, choosing a career at fifteen. I know it's good for the way wizards do things, but I'm fifteen now and I would hate hate hate having to choose a career. I think I want to be a lawyer, but I'm also considering being a high school math teacher or a conductor. I'm terrible with decisions.
In the Wizarding world, I would probably pick a career path similar to what I want to do in the Muggle world. Working in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement would be incredible because of the variety and the challenge, but it would also be lots of hard work. Still, it would be stimulating. Being a Hogwarts professor would also be fascinating, but they don't let teachers come on directly after their seventh year, as we saw with Tom Riddle. I would probably do some research if I wanted to follow that path, and come up with new theories and ideas before applying for the position. Working in a shop in Diagon Alley would also be really interesting, just because of the variety of the shops and the people.
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?
I hate bigotry and prejudice and I really don't think things like skin color or wealth make you a different person. Even though I hate them, though, I also hate it when people try to make ammends for slavery and persecution and give black people or poor people an advantage in getting into college, etc. Equal should be equal, and if people are pressing for equal rights, they should be given an equal shot, not an advantage.
In others, I value good company. It's great if someone's intelligent and can carry a stimulating conversation, but laughing over stupid things with the not-so-bright is pretty amazing, too. I just want to have a good time, and whether the good time is debating Lincoln's plans for Reconstruction in 1865 or making noises and giggling, I love when I can do it with someone else.
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?
I don't think I would need the Well of Optimism, because although I have my moments, I'm generally a happy, cheerful, optimistic person. I always try to look on the bright side of life (and death, just before you draw your terminal breath... yay for Monty Python references!) and I think I'm a better person for it. I have a good friend who is always being cynical and unhappy and it gets irritating at times and because of it I've drifted apart from her, and I strive to not let that happen to my relationships.
I would also not need any from the Well of Physical Strength. I'm not particularly strong and I can only do about 10 push-ups at a time (more than most of my friends can do, actually) but I really feel no need whatsoever to be physically strong. I like to work out because of the way it makes me feel, but I would never drink from a well of physical strength, even if I could drink from all of them. It's like those questions on surveys that you get sometimes - if plastic surgery were pain free and money was not an issue and there was no risk whatsoever, would you do it? I always answer no. I hate the idea of changing who you are by artificial means, especially your appearance. I'm mostly an intellectual person and physical strength isn't required for much of what I like to do.
My same reasoning applies to the Well of Beauty. I'm pretty enough in my own quirky way even though I'd much prefer to be awkward looking, because I somehow attract sexual molestation (long story). I would never drink from such a well.
My final decision would be between the Well of Creativity and the Well of Common Sense and Logic. I'm a fairly creative person already, but more would be incredible. I have very little common sense, though quite a bit of logic. This may seem like a contradiction, but I can apply logic to complex situations and not my own problems and life. In the end, I'd decide to drink from the Well of Creativity because drinking from the other would change too much of who I am, and I hate changing myself too much. I wouldn't be the same person as I am now, but with additional creativity I would be a better person, a better cellist, and a better writer. The change would be real but not transforming.
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.
Were I in Harry's position, I really have no idea whatsoever what I would do. I'd like to say that I'd have Dumbledore keep drinking the potion until he finished it, and I'd like to say that I'd remember the bit about infiri hating water, but I've found my perceptions to be warped when I'm under pressure, and I tend to panic. I think I would probably have him drinking the potion, but I'd stall for time as much as possible, trying to dump the potion out and such. I have no idea, though, and as analytical as I try to be sometimes, I can panic sometimes. In theory, however, I would keep feeding Dumbledore the potion.
Harry was absolutely right in doing as Dumbledore had requested. Dumbledore knows Voldemort better than Harry, and he knows that he will likely react badly to the potion, and he fully understands how dangerous it is. He requests that Harry feed him the potion because he knows that the Wizarding World at large will benefit from it, and Harry understands this.
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. Most people do, actually. The accoustics are wonderful, and it's all warm and soapey and happy. Also, I was a Ravenclaw at hat_sorting but there was controversy and it got confusing and I was Head Boy and Quidditch Captain and the only active Ravenclaw and it got to be too much for me to handle, so I'm looking for a place where I don't have to carry the weight of an entire House and where I can just enjoy myself. Also, people were being uberly uberly mean to cryptic_design because of a grammatical error, which I thought was just stupid. People need to get over themselves. Ugh. lycsailingisluv told me to join on a bus going to Wendy's the other day, and people look so much nicer here than they are at hat_sorting.