- What sort of profession in the wizarding world would you choose and why?
I've actually been thinking about a particular profession since reading a fic somewhere that involved American wizards. I'd want to be a linguist - right now, I'm about to study it, so where the language we speak day to day is concerned, I know enough (if I do say so myself). What I would like to study is how wizards and witches from different places speak. Not in a day-to-day sense, but rather how spells differ from country to country, or region to region.
Fleur obviously isn't very fluent with English, but there's no denying her proficiency with wandwork. Do they use the same language/language roots (Latin, largely) in their country? Would Americans use different words to cast the same spell? Are there different ways -where linguistics are concerned- to produce the same effect that differ between places? I mean, just reading the book, people obviously imagined the word 'Accio' (for example) said differently. Someone from Japan would definitely not pronounce it the same way a British native would - would this change the way the spell worked, or would the Japanese have a completely different spell? And, if there are differences in the words themselves, can you bridge these differences in any way? I'd like the opportunity to travel and understand the nuances of the different languages involved and spells made.
As to why? I just enjoy language; I enjoy finding out how society creates meaning out of words, and this takes on a whole new level in a magical world. The implications are immense: with these findings, I'd be able to find out so much more about the things happening around us, and I know the knowledge could probably be used in all sorts of ways -wanted and unwanted- but language is still a tool that we should know of.
- You have to venture deep into the Forbidden Forest one night. Pick one Harry Potter character other than Hagrid and one object (muggle or magical), besides your wand, that you'd want with you.
I would choose Neville, without doubt. It's a forest, there are green things surrounding us and who better to figure out these things and navigate the way than the green-thumbed wonder himself? If I got hungry, he'd be able to find me food. If we needed to find a path, he'd probably be more able to identify the plants around us/where they grow/strange plant-y details that I'm not familiar with in general. Not to mention that Neville is ridiculously loyal - if anything did happen, I could be sure that he wouldn't abandon me to whatever evil creature was about to strike us. He seems like the most resourceful person to have around considering the context.
As for an object, probably a broom. It's a sure fire way to escape if the need arises and our wands fail us. I was considering an invisibility cloak, but what I gather from creatures/animals in general is that their sense of smell/hearing is sharp, I doubt I'd be able to hide even WITH one. So, yes, a broom. We can go high and far. Sounds good to me.
- If you had the opportunity to live forever, but your family and friends did not, what would you choose? And if you did choose to live forever, what would you do with eternity?
I wouldn't. My friends and family are going to leave me eventually and I'm good at making friends irl, so that's not an issue really - but if I lived forever, I'd just be going through loss after loss. Eventually, it's bound to get weary just watching society go through the same patterns of living and having life (in the meaning of having something to live for) while I'd be stuck without the latter. Secondly, I don't think it's much fun living without knowing there's an end somewhere down the road. It sounds blase, but I accept mortality as part of life, and living as I do now means something because of death - I have a time limit, so I make the most out of what I have. Thirdly, and honestly, chances are something terrible will happen to you at some point, then you're just stuck with it for literal eternity. Also: I can do more in the next 80 years than I would in 8000. I mean, knowing me, I'd get bored knowing things and learning things after a couple of hundred years; what's the bloody point to it all? (The way things are going now, we're prolly gonna have an environmental melt down in a few centuries, so I'm not keen on watching that either.)
- If you could travel back in time to one point, when and where would you go? Why?
Every time I think about time travel these days, I think of the film Midnight in Paris - my class watched it a long while back, but it set me and a couple of friends thinking. (Spoiler: the movie's about a man who travels back in time to the 1920's in Paris, then we realize that people from the 1920's want to be in yet an earlier time period, and that vicious cycle continues.) The one thing I took away from that movie, and something I try to live by, is that harping on the past doesn't lead you anywhere. If we keep on setting the past up to be something better, we aren't ever going to be able to live in the present like we should. So, my answer (and I apologise if this is a cop-out) is that I wouldn't travel back in time at all. In fact, I don't think it'd be healthy for anyone to be too obsessed with the past, or to make it seem more than the present is.
- What HP character do you identify with most and why?
I try not to compare myself to the characters -I view HP largely as a form of escapism- but, of course, over the years, I've noticed characters grow and grown my own attachments. This probably won't be a popular answer, but I identify most with Percy Weasley. I don't identify with the parts of him that people normally think of -stuck up/prissy/etc- but other features I've recognized in him (and maybe some of this is just in my imagination - I read too much into characters, so sue me).
For one, Percy's enjoys learning. And I do. Of course, he studies all the time, and I study a month before the exams, but I enjoy learning about the things I like (English, for me). He also had a temper, like the rest of the Weasleys, and I do too. I think Fred and George were quite cruel to him, honestly, and in his position, I wouldn't have been able to stay nearly as calm. Percy's the odd one out in his family - and I am too; in a different way, but the strange one nonetheless. That's why I noticed him, because no one listened when he spoke, people only ever poked fun at him, he was alone in a crowd. In a family like mine, it's easier to fall into that position, and I did for a while. I'm pretty good at pretending to fit in if I need to, though, so by the time I hit teenhood I was a good ole normal girl.
He is driven (intensely so) and I can be too, but only very selectively. I don't, for one, care much for written exams (I ace them, but I don't like doing them) but if I want to get something done - it is done. Whenever I help my mom with her schoolwork, I get more done than she does because I won't get distracted from the task I've set myself out to do. Percy chose academics to get himself recognized, to set a name out for himself because he had ambition; I've got ambition too, even if I choose a different path. Neither of us let things get in the way of this ambition; I think I do it to a larger extent than even he does, my ideas of 'being nice' are flexible when I want to achieve something.
Percy's famously (infamously) known for staying loyal to the Ministry when his family suspected that he only got the job to spy for them. I'm defensive too, just like he is. If someone implies that I didn't achieve something out of my own merit, I'd blow up. He stood up for what he believed in against his entire family, and as someone from a large family that's never easy - so I can admire that stubbornness, that will to do right by your own standards and not someone else's, to some extent. But, when push came to shove, Percy was loyal to his family. And I am too. My family being the people I chose as family, but that loyalty is there. I can't help but empathise with him for all of this - even if most people don't understand it or approve of it.
- What would you see if you looked into the Mirror of Erised?
I would see myself as a successful, happy person with kids around her. Successful because, even as a kid, I always imagined myself a cut above the others in the future. Someone who was acknowledged for her skills. And, the kids because I've always wanted them - screw the husband/wife/partner at all, I want the children. I still don't really know the path I want to take in the future, but those two have always been constants.
- Do you believe that moral actions should be judged by the intentions behind them, or by the consequences they create?
Another cop-out: both. I think it's impossible to separate the two. 'For the greater good' is fine until it's really not: even in the books I was pissed with that rhetoric.
- What was your ideal job as a kid? Has that changed? What is your ideal job now?
I try not to remember a lot of my childhood. Over the years, I've chosen to forget a lot in favour of just moving the hell on and putting myself out there. All I wanted to be was happy (and I don't really remember this, I wrote it down in a primary school diary that my Mom kept). Of course, teachers hate that sort of response (they still do, I wrote the thing in Junior College and got the same expression of 'Oh you aimless fool'). At some age though, as the many canvases will attest to, I wanted to be an artist. I wasn't able to choose between words and pictures - although now I'm a little more certain that it's the words in which I will place my trust. I never had an 'ideal job' though, just that I wanted to carry out this art and become rich and be happy. That hasn't changed even a bit.
Right now, I don't have an 'ideal job'. I'm applying for scholarships so as to be able to go to university overseas, and I'll have to be able to present my 'ideal' job to each scholarship provider as something aligned with their organisation, so I'm leaving my head clear and my options open. If I can convince myself to want that job before an interview, I'll be able to convince them. I think in the short-term, really, I just want to go to university and study my language.
- If you were able to invent one spell, potion, or charm, what would it do, what would you use it for or how would you use it, and what would you call it?
Hm, I'd like to create a potion/charm for people who speak different languages to understand one another. This is partly rising from my stint volunteering in Cambodia, where the language barriers were thoroughly exploited by the 7-year-olds who pretended not to understand 'Sit down'. Also, I think that as this world becomes yet more integrated, interlinking over so many layers, it's becoming increasingly necessary. Even though people refer to English as the global language, there's still a long way before that becomes fact, and to aid in this process, this potion/charm would really help. I have potion/charm because both would work well - although charms seem safer; people, especially foreigners, tend not to be trusting consuming random potions. It would allow people to understand other languages, interpreting on spot. I'd probably call it 'Globish', after the attempt to create a Basic English.
- If you were to face a boggart, what would it turn into? And what does it turn into when you throw the counter-spell, Riddikulus?
I'd probably have my family members all telling me that I'm a giant failure and casting me out of their lives or something. When I got the courage to cast the counter-spell, it'd probably make them turn into kids or something; whenever kids start ranting about anything, I start laughing. (I learned this about myself after watching that stupid show with the kids in pageants, lol'd so hard at them going on about how 'they were the prettiest' and stuff.)
- What do you look for in a friend?
Hmm, I have a steady give-take relationship with my friends. You've got to be able to put something on the table; be able to spend some time with me, talk to me, be more than that passive person who nods at everything I say. On the flip side, understand that sometimes I just like to be alone and back off. You have to be enjoy the process of learning. I don't have shallow friends. They'd need to be able to talk to me intelligently on different subjects -and not just smart one liners- or at least be willing to learn more about different topics with an open mind. They need to have a passion for something - people who are 'whatever' about life annoy me to no end, so I wouldn't keep them around. Above everything, I need loyalty in my friends. I think everyone makes mistakes, and just as I would accept those in any friend of mine, I expect the same in return. This takes time though, which is why I think most friends are made as just passing friends - people who, frankly, don't stick around long.
- What trait most annoys you about other people?
People who don't want to think beyond their own self-constructed little box. I cannot stand it when people
1. Refuse to consider other points of view. I'll be the first to admit that I'm extremely loyal to some ideas, but I will still consider your ideas if you present them in a clear, rational manner.
2. Are unable to explain their ideas. Do not give me arguments like, 'I believe in the Bible because the Bible told me so'. I've gotten this so much here in Singapore, it's beyond frustrating. And, when you say something like, 'That's so gay', be ready to answer when I ask you why that word is being used as an adjective.
3. Just don't give a shit about anything beyond the things around them. There are things happening beyond the place you live in, the ideas you've been taught in school, the people you've met - find these places, hear these ideas, meet these people. So, yes, expand your horizons, won't you?
- What do you think are your top five abilities or qualities?
And in no particular order:
1. I look forward, not backwards. Like I pointed out earlier, I've chosen to move on from a lot that happened in my childhood and just live in the now. Of course, I've gone through my fair share of 'bad things' in general, but after learning what I must about them, I've filed them away because they don't matter any more. My mom worries that it's me not dealing with my issues, but I honestly do feel that lingering on the negative doesn't help anyone - I almost picture these events on a screen sinking into the ground with any vindictive emotion I attached to it, and I come to grips with things, and that's that. That doesn't mean that the next time I see the jerk, I'll be nice, I just won't let it interfere with my life - I move on.
2. I'm Scout. Nah, I'm just able to "climb into a person's skin and walk around in it", to paraphrase the quote. I'm quite good at understanding where other people come from, and tolerating it. I have a friend who believes that homosexuality is a sin, and as a bisexual I clearly have qualms about her opinion. But, I understand that she's been raised a certain way; I read her Bible to understand where she was coming from; I talked to other Catholics in my school about their opinions (and all this at 13, I almost feel bad for my younger self xD). I might not understand her opinion, and I don't agree with it in the least, but I treat her with the respect she deserves as someone with a stand.
3. I am stubborn, which has its pros and cons, but I lean towards the pros for now. Related to the point above: regardless of the torrent of anti-LGBT sentiment I face, I keep to my own judgments of ideas and people. I've yet to hear an opinion that I can't find some flaw with. Related to the earlier point, even though my friend tries her hardest to set me on the 'right path', I teach her to be more accepting. I might listen to different points of view, but at the end of the day, I make my own choice and stick to it.
4. I'm caring. A lot of people have trouble believing this until they either see me with kids or land themselves in trouble. I'm good with kids; I volunteer to teach them here, and I've always been good working with them. I'm good to the people I like. I will go out of my way to help them; I've lent a friend over three hundred dollars (and yes, this means a lot to a student not working) because she needed it, and I let her stay over if she needs to. I would move and heaven and hell for my family and the people I really trust, but that almost goes without question, because I don't doubt that they would too.
5. I'm loyal and confident about it. I will stick to the people/believes that I have and have no qualms sharing it with others. I do well with crowds (I have to, as a debater) and if I feel that you deserve my loyalty, I'm not going to hide it. I've never understood people who were embarrassed at having their parents meet their friends, or hid who their friends were for the sake of popularity. I've never had the need to be in the 'in-crowd' (just as long as people knew me as the girl to be wary of cause she's got a sharp tongue, of course). I don't think success equates to popularity - just the type of people you keep around you.
- What do you think are your top five weaknesses or worst qualities?
Again, in no particular order:
1. Related to the last part of 5, I'm bitchy. Or at least, I can be. I don't go around spreading nasty rumours about anyone, but I've got a bit of a temper about certain things. So, if you insult people I care about, expect to have me speaking to you, well, harshly. I can be manipulative with this, and I don't even mind that I do, really. I can recognize that as a bad thing, but it's too valuable for me to let go off.
2. I can be judgemental (I clearly am). I'll listen to your opinion and all that, but I will treat you differently based on this. I get that feeling of superiority when I skipped a years worth of literature classes but still topped the level; I try to gather a sense of who you are based on your appearance and will treat you different for it; I would hate it someone did the same to me, and I can't stand this about myself, but hell if I know how to switch off my mind about some things.
3. I hold grudges. This may seem contradictory, but even though I don't let negative things influence my life, I keep it at the back of my head. A list of people to just stay away from because they're douchebags. And the list only has a handful of people on it, but I will not let myself forget it. It's a bit like letting yourself forgive the person, but not forgetting about it. I move on from whatever happened, but having learned from it, I make a mental note to be cautious about the persons.
4. I have my moments of utter selfishness. These are moments where I don't care who I hurt and what I say, where my temper gets the hold of me and I'm raging. After this happens, I almost always inevitably regret it, but at that moment? Nobody else really matters. I've never actually let this go unsolved though - I make sure to make amends with whoever I hurt as soon as possible so that we can both go on with our lives as per normal. When I do feel it though? I can be terrible. I take a sort of vindictive pleasure out of those moments, I think, a venting release that calms me till things stabilise again. And, on a day to day basis, I put my needs above most people. It's a very 'I do what I want' approach to things; an 'I will get what I want' mentality to life. I can't say this is bad, because ambition drives me. But, the temper bit I regret.
5. I have a jealous streak. This has a lot to do with my desire to be, well, a special snowflake. I want to be successful and known - and how can I achieve this if so-and-so is better/prettier/nicer/whatever-er than I am? It's immature, of course, but it's still there. It's not limited to the academics or work or anything, it's superficial and sometimes completely unfair (see no 4?) but honestly, I have it. I don't like admitting my flaws, so this more often than not just gathers in me until I convince myself to let the damned thing go - it can take years, and I try to work through this stuff every day, but it's hard not to be jealous when there're so many people in the world (or in my family alone, even) who always seem to be just that shade more.
- Define in your own words the following key traits:
- Courage: Courage is fear. It sounds like double-think, but I think all courage is borne out of fear. It is understanding this and still acting that marks courage for what it is.
- Loyalty: I think loyalty is understanding that you don't always have to be there for a person, but choosing to every time. I think it means that you understand the best and worst in somebody but make the choice to have their six.
- Intelligence: To me, intelligence is the ability to be curious about everything in life - about life itself, even, and taking the opportunity to seek knowledge wherever you can, regardless of the circumstances you may be placed in.
- Ambition: Ambition is you creating a set of never-ending standards for yourself, and then proceeding to trash each one.
- Courage: Courage is fear. It sounds like double-think, but I think all courage is borne out of fear. It is understanding this and still acting that marks courage for what it is.
- Name: Mia
- Age: 18
- Where did you find out about us? ONTD
- Do you plan on being active in the communities once you are sorted? Definitely, I'm waiting for university, so I've got a few long months of doing, well, nothing.