What HP character do you identify with most and why? When I was younger, most definitely with Hermione Granger. From her obsessive reading till her a bit awkward social skills and her bossiness at the start of the series, I related to her very much. But she is also bold and outspoken, much more so then I am, and has quite a temper. I'm more of a 'behind the scenes type' then the one on the barricades (S.P.E.W., anyone?). When I consider this question now, I think I might go with Luna Lovegood. I do relate to being the odd one out (though maybe not quite as odd), and she's not as assertive as Hermione but more of an observer. She's also quite friendly to everyone she meets but at the same time I think doesn't show her personal thoughts very easily. Plus I identify with her non-judgmental attitude. I always try to see different sides of things that happen, but especially of people, to not just judge them on the first thing that stands out.
What one moment in the books was the most meaningful to you? Back when I was reading the series for the first time: the death of Dumbledore. I feel very ambivalent about his character now, after reading the seventh book and now that some time has passed, and I'm not sure he would be the one I'd name my kid after if I were in Harry's shoes. But when first reading The Half-Blood Prince, his death came as a major shock and I cried over it back then. It also brought home that the safe times where definitely over, and that no characters where safe from being killed off. And this is not a moment from the books, but there's one moment in the movies that also keeps being meaningful to me, whenever I rewatch the Deathly Hallows movies. It might seem a bit insignificant in the context of all that happens in the whole series, but it's that moment when Harry pulls Hermione up to dance, trying to raise her spirits after Ron has left. I find that scene such a beautiful reflection of their friendship, that we've all witnessed growing over the years. The goofy dancing, the so fitting music, the whole range of emotions on their faces and things unsaid but so visible. For me it shows what makes this series so special, the amazing characters that Rowling created, that we can relate to and empathize with. That we can see grow through the years, and that we grew up with together.
What would you see if you looked into the Mirror of Erised? Myself surrounded by family and friends, hugging with my partner all of us healthy and happy. He has been having a rough time these past few years, and if there's one thing I desire it's to see him untroubled again. This year I've been buying quite a few lottery tickets, and when day dreaming about what I'd do if I'd win millions, I've realized that what I would mostly want is to help out others with it.
If you were to become headmaster at Hogwarts, what is one thing you would change about the school or how it operates? Add more classes, and more teachers. As has been pointed out before, it does seem a bit strange that wizards apparently don't need any language skills, math or biology, or to learn about the world outside of magical Britain. Then there's only flying lessons for first years and nothing even remotely physical after that. No chances to develop any skills after the regular school hours, except for by yourself. Clubs and sports after the regular hours might also help closing the divide between students from different houses, which would be healthy for the school I think.
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? Red Taurus potion. The drinker would feel the effects of a good night sleep, without actually having to sleep, effectively being able to skip a night without the negative side effects. I need quite a lot sleep to function at my best, and you would be able to do so much more in a day if you didn't need to sleep at night. I have a full time job with quite the commute, and it would be great to have more time to spend with friends and family, more time to "recharge" so to say, and work on other skills as well. I've been learning photography recently, but really should spend more time on it to really work out manual shooting, and I've been wanting to learn another language (Russian, didn't get much further than the alfabet and a few random words). And I'd like to pick up making graphics again.
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. Newt Scamander would a great help with all the beasts and creatures living there, and he would probably make the trip enjoyable as well. It would be great to learn from him about everything that lives in the forest, and to see how he handles the beings he comes across. A portkey would be a good addition, since things do seem to get out of hand at some point with him around, and that way we'd have a quick escape route. Just in case.
What was your ideal job as a child? What is your ideal job now? Do you think it would be the same in the Wizarding World? As a child: being a veterinarian, or a teacher. My mom was a teacher so that's probably where I got that. Plus I was a bit bossy when I was somewhere around 10 years of age, probably because I was the oldest child in the family (which ties back to younger me relating to young Hermione), and we liked to play 'school' back then. After that I developed an interest in becoming a vet, growing up on a farm and loving animals. But I grew out of it with the years, realizing that science subjects weren't my strong suit and that I was a bit squeamish about certain things. Right now I'm a journalist, which was never what I imagined myself becoming as a child, but which fits me very well. I'm not sure I'd call any job ideal, I'm not so sure that an 'ideal' jobs exists but then again, maybe I just haven't found it. But I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing right now. The wizarding world seems to have a strange view towards journalism. At the one hand, my hands would be itching to help the Daily Prophet evolve in a newspaper that actually reports independently on what's going on, and stays away from gossiping like a tabloid. Now that I think about: the wizarding world's view on journalism might be so skewed as a reflection of Britains real life tabloids, which is quite a different media culture than that we have in my country. But, back on track, I'm not sure that I'd enjoy working as a journalist for any of the media as portrayed in Rowling's world. Facts don't seem very important there. And while I can relate to Luna as a person, the Quibbler is not a great example of that either.
What kinds of decisions are the most difficult for you to make? What to eat for dinner? I seriously think I have more trouble with deciding the smaller things on a day to day basis, like choosing dinner of some sort of home decoration (spend quite some on choosing decoration for our Christmas tree for example, only now after three years being satisfied..) than with making larger decisions in life.
If you had the opportunity to live forever, under what conditions would you accept? And if you did choose to live forever, what would you do with eternity? I don't think I would accept, forever seems like a long time. Possibly under the condition that we'd evaluate at some point? Plus that it isn't just me, but the people I love as well, and that we wouldn't physically age? But honestly, even if it was possible, it doesn't seem an attractive choice to me. If we're talking about outlandish ideas like these: alternatively I'd rather live a normal lifespan, with a healthy body that doesn't age too much.
What is one thing you would never want said about you? A lot of negative things I'm afraid, referring you to my answer to the top 5 weaknesses or worst qualities about being quite insecure about what people think of me. Things like that people would found me incompetent or stupid, or even just that they didn't like me as a person. I'm also quite a private person, so even a lot of more personal but not necessarily negative things I wouldn't want to have said about me to everyone and their uncle.
Do you believe that moral actions should be judged by the intentions behind them, or by the consequences they create? The intentions behind them. If the intentions where good but the result not so much, then you can try to turn the effect around. But if the intentions where never good in the first place, the consequences might be alright by accident at some point, but overall nothing good will come of it. Of course, intentions might be misguided, and for an outsider they are hard to decipher, but I do think therein lies the real worth.
What do you look for in a friend? On the most basic level: that we click, that we can have fun together, talk to one another and trust each other. For me it is very important that someone is genuine. I'm not that good at more casual friendships I guess, I only have a few close friends and if someone doesn't come off as genuine I find it difficult or impossible to deepen the relationship. I find a certain loyalty important, if there's one thing I hate it's people say one thing to your face and another behind your back.
What trait most annoys you about other people? Well what I dislike in other people I pretty much mentioned here above: someone who appears not genuine and disloyalty. It feels a bit petty but a trait that I'd call more of an annoyance but not really something bad is when people keep chatting on without really having a conversation, holding a monologue without saying anything of substance. I have a colleague that does that constantly, which keeps both annoying me and making me feel guilty for feeling annoyed because they're a really nice person otherwise.
What do you think are your top five abilities or qualities? - Empathy. Where some of my friends and family, and even co-workers are more quick to judge, I usually try to understand other people's motivations and see where they might be coming from. I find it valuable to know where other people are coming from. It also usually helps to get somewhere together if you can understand the other's position. Sometimes empathy for me might make my view of people a bit rose coloured I guess, I always try to reason out why there might be legitimate reasons why someone does what he does, and what their actions are motivated by. - An analytical mind, that serves me well doing my job, always looking for the bigger picture and searching for facts and connections. I'm also always analyzing people's interactions and relationships, which I find very fascinating. - I'll add curiousity to this list as well. When in a discussion and we hit on something neither of us knows, I'll be the first to start looking things up. I've always been very curious in general, reading about a lot of different topics, and it helped me gather knowledge on all kinds of topics. - I think I've always been quite adaptable to situations changing, but it's an ability that has increased in the past few years as I've grown older and find it more easier to go with the flow. When I was working on an article a couple of years ago, I could be hard pressed to let a certain angle go even when I wasn't moving forward. Now I find it comes easier to me to let it go, take a step back and reevaluate. In more personal situations, I'm very comfortable with making last minute plans, or changing plans at the last minute (always have been). When I was in college I studied a semester abroad, going from the farm life, countryside culture, and a more sheltered family life to a big city in a foreign country, to which I could adapt quite easily. - Independency probably ties in with the quality here above. I was the oldest at home, and always got used to figuring out quite a lot myself. Because I was always doing pretty well, my parents mostly let me. At work, I thrive in an environment where I have a lot of freedom. In the past few years I've travelled a bit for work, on my own and to a few countries that people wouldn't usually visit for a holiday. I enjoy figuring these things out on my own.
What do you think are your top five weaknesses or worst qualities? - It's not a bad quality, but I'm an introvert by nature and I do see it as a weakness sometimes. I need a lot of down time to recharge, and I'm not as sociable as I'd like to be at times. Where I do value spending time with friends very much, I find it hard to go to social events where I hardly know anyone, and they cost me a lot of energy. A quote of Mr Darcy came to mind when I was trying to describe this: "I certainly have not the talent which some people possess, of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done." I can identify with that statement very much, and as Elizabeth admonished him, I do try to practice. - Even a year ago, I wouldn't have described myself as such because I always thought of myself as quite secure in who I am, but: insecurity. I've learned a lot more about myself last year, and while I'm am quite secure in the person that I am, I discovered that I can be very insecure about how I appear to others, and that I'm more busy than I'd like with what others think of me. It's not a quality that I'm very content with, I'd rather not care quite so much about what other people think of me. - I can be quite a worrier, and keep going over and over something in my head. Mostly about interactions, I can take things too personally. I've started doing yoga last year, and started meditating, to try to keep myself from stressing out over things quite so much. - I'm a notorious bad planner, always have been and although I've tried to improve, that doesn't seem to come along so well. Whereas I'm quite adaptable to changing plans, others in my close circle aren't like that, and I'm afraid I drive them up the wall sometimes with being late or forgetting things. I also drive myself crazy with it sometimes, when a deadline is looming and I need to do write something last minute that I frankly could have finished days or weeks ago. - I can be very impractical in day to day things. A while ago my partner was going on a short trip, and I was trying to fill up one of those small travel bottles with hair product (hair gel, from what I've understood it's very typical Dutch for men to use this haha). The bottle had a very small neck, and I was trying to get the gel in there with a teaspoon, and it just all got stuck in the neck and was taking ages and not really getting me anywhere. My partner came in, just squeezed the plastic bottle so that all the air got pushed out, held it in the gel and let go, where it just in one move sucked in a whole load of the product (hope you can understand what happened by the description..). I felt like such an idiot, not thinking up a more practical solution but just to keep going with that teaspoon.
Where did you find out about us? I used to be on LJ and was looking for a community similar to this one.
Do you plan on being active in the communities once you are sorted? I do plan to, but not sure. I just returned to LJ and hoped to start making graphics again as well.
I hope you guys are willing to overlook any textual errors. I'm not a native English speaker and while I did spend a semester in the UK; that was quite some time ago and I found out while filling this out that my English has become a bit rusty. Another good reason to become active again on LJ I guess!