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Tue, May. 25th, 2004, 01:57 am
sacred_tide: My Application

Hi, my name's Olivia. I'm not exactly sure if this community is still running, as it seems the mod's LJ has been deleted, but I think there might be a chance that she simply got a new account and username. Assuming that is the case, I would like to be considered for membership -- I rather like the idea of this community and hope the activity picks up. If not, oh well. I like filling out questionaires. Um, this is verbose, just a warning.

1) Your name and age: Oliva; 17 (18 on the 27th ^_^ )

2) What house do you belong in and why: I am debating between Slytherin and Ravenclaw. On a superficial level I consider myself Ravenclaw because I am an academic at heart (i.e., a nerd). I am going to study Latin and ancient Greek in college, and, depending upon my performance, I might stay in academia for the rest of my life. I'm not sure if I have the makings of a great professor, though, as I am far from a good speaker. On the other hand, if the Sorting Hat were to look much deeper, I think it would consider sorting me into Slytherin. I have a lot of pride, which I find extremely hard to swallow, and I think it's the same sort of trap that Snape has himself in -- he is far too proud to cope with James having saved his life, and I imagine also that his pride is tormenting him because of the ghastly mistake he made in joining Voldemort. I've made at least one comparable mistake in the past, and I know not a day goes by without the memory of it hurting me. I think it is much the same with Snape. Also, I have a weakness for power. It would take a great deal for me actually to seek power for its own sake, but I've noticed that in my writing (I write original fiction, or try, as my procrastination gets in the way half the time) my best characters are powerful to an unusual degree. I am fascinated with the notion that power can corrupt, and I'm currently struggling with the widely expression notion that power is an evil. I would, however, put myself in Slytherin because I like power; my protagonists have it, and seeing it in another's characters excite me. Might I make a slight digression on the subject of Slytherin House? I don't get the feeling that we see the whole side of Slytherin in the books, and it bothers me a lot because I don't believe in "pure evil" in the sense that Voldemort wants to take over the world simply because he's a Very Bad Guy. There is more of Tom Riddle's background revealed, but I think Rowling keeps coming back to the theme that evil comes from people with an evil nature. She does say a lot about people being comsumed with power, but I think her representation of the Death Eaters is, by necessity of her medium, a bit childlike or naive. I think more along the lines that everyone acts in a way they think is good -- they just have different definitions of "good." If I were any good at philosophy, I could probably cite some moral philosophers. But philosophy is hard. Anyway my point was that we do not see Slytherins as sympathetic characters very often, and I know there are. The whole house is not comprised of monsters. I also wonder, before placing myself in Slytherin, if they all agree with the Malfoys about purebloods vs. mudbloods. I am not racist by any means, and certainly not within the HP fandom. I have a problem with the way the sorting at Hogwarts goes -- somehow I don't think that people are so clear-cut that their personalities fit into neat little categories. If I could choose, I would like to be in Ravenclaw.

3) Who is your favorite young character and why: Gah. So many choices. I've recently developed a new appreciation of Harry. While I was reading the books for the first time this past fall (and seeing the movies for the first time as well -- I was a bit out of the HP loop and skeptical that something so popular could actually have merit... er... yeah, I'm not a fan of pop culture), I didn't develop any attachments to the children. I watched COS not too long ago, and it was the culmination of an assessment of Gryffindor qualities (actually, it was an assessment of what makes a hero, and I just related it to HP and some other fandoms) -- I finally understood this chivalry and bravery that Harry has. I like that core of iron that the Gryffindors have -- really, it's present in all my favorite characters, most of whom are warriors in some sense (I'm referring to people outside the HP fandom). But really, I must say that I am most fascinated by Draco Malfoy. I keep getting the feeling (or really, this intense desire for this to happen) that Draco will rebel against his father. There's an issue of indoctrination going on in the Malfoy family, and I wonder how an only child could stand the pressure that Lucius forces upon him. As a child I truly do believe that Draco swallows everything his father tells him, but I imagine there could be this catastrophe within the Malfoy family that tears whatever sort of bond there is between father and son and completely turns Draco's world upside down. I really want him, Draco, to be something akin to Snape (and this would make sense -- think of the parallels there are between the Marauder generation and the current one; who else would make a suitable Snape parallel?), and not stay the immutable tower of evil in the school ranks. But then I don't know if Rowling will do this. I know that that's what I would do, if I were writing the books.

4) Who is your favorite adult character and why: I think it's sort of obvious by now that I would say Snape. I am fascinated by whatever inner torments he has and how he deals with them. I somehow didn't like the explanation that Rowling gave of why he disliked Harry so much -- that is, that James saved Snape's life. Perhaps this is a big part of it, but I also think that his time spent under Voldemort really warped him in some fundamental way. Once someone goes through something hellish, and knows that it's all his own fault, the aftermath is almost unbearable. To face his peers again after such a shaming event, and with as much pride as he has, Snape must feel bitter, angry, must curse himself whenever the memories surface. I know the feeling -- I would very much like a penseive at times. And still he stands, still he applies (I assume) for the DADA position every year, even after being denied repeatedly. There's a strength to him, somewhere, even though he is in a way a weak person, to let his past consume him so much. I think that his haunting memories of serving Voldemort have something to do with his reaction to seeing the saviour of the wizarding world. And on a completely frivolous note, I'm a huge Alan Rickman fan. If I had to pick someone else, I'd have to say Arthur Weasley is a close second. He isn't a major character but he strikes me as a sweet man whom I'd love as my father, and he has an almost innocent fascination with muggles so uncharacteristic of a pureblood family. "So tell me, Harry, what exactly is the function of a rubber duck?" I like how the books contrast the loathing we see for the man from Lucius's point of view, and then the esteem shown the Weasley family that we see later on among the members of the Order.

5) What is your favorite HP class and why: I'm not sure. I would be inclined to say Defense Against the Dark Arts. Though I think I would enjoy the Duelling Club more, even if it isn't a formal class. I think the more practical side of DADA, then, is what I would prefer -- the things that Dumbledore's Army did are what I would love to learn. I thought the entire DA sequence of events was exciting, so I take that as a sign I would make a good DADA student. Also, I would very much like to learn about the History of Magic, even if Professor Binns is dead in more ways than one. I could just daydream in class and enjoy my history textbook later. The reason I say this is I've always loved history, and I see no reason why history wouldn't be one of my favorite subjects at Hogwarts, either.

6) What relationship intrigues you the most among the HP characters and why: Um, I'm assuming you mean we can talk about non-romantic relationships as well. I think the Snape/Dumbledore relationship is quite intriguing, although I'm not sure if it tops my list. I've not thought about all the possible relationships at the moment, so maybe I can come up with something else I like better later. Anyway I have always liked how Dumbledore's faith in his staff is so unquestionable. What was it that he saw in Severus? Where is that spark of goodness that brought Severus back from the brink? And why, exactly, does Dumbledore not trust Snape to teach DADA? Does he still believe that Snape has a weakness for power, and that being close to the subject will bring out a lust for power that's been safely locked away? If you meant romantic (someone interpreted it), I expect to see Ron/Hermione in the future.

7) How do you refer to the Dark Lord and why: I say Voldemort, citing the obvious "Fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself." Although I did read something interesting in a fanfic the other day -- Draco was tell Harry that names do indeed have power, and that saying a name invokes that power. The author is working within her own theory of Dark Magic, though, so I'm not inclined to extend it to canon. I have trouble saying "Dark Lord" because it seems cheesy. I almost wish more people would call him "Tom Riddle" because, really, that's his name, and "Voldemort" itself is an obviously evil-sounding name. I have this thing about cliched bad-guy names, but that's just a quirk of mine.

8) Which DADA teacher was the best, and why: Lupin was a brilliant teacher. He taught with a balance of theory expressed and demonstrated through practicums. He could explain things to students so that they understood the significance of what it was they were studying, and he brought a sense of dignity to the classroom that the course lacked before. The fake Moody wasn't bad, but he was unbalanced and strange. That makes him undeniably cool, but not really the best teacher. I think the greatest professors are those with dignity. Heh. But you really can't beat a battle cry of "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!", so Moody was my favorite -- even if I don't think he was the most skilled. I do have a soft spot in my heart for Lupin, though, and I really hated what Snape did to expose him. Snape needed a bitchslapping at that moment.

9) Which of the characters we already know would make the best new DADA teacher: I don't know about the best, but I would really like to see what Snape would do if he were given that course for at least a year. I don't think his role as substitute for Lupin was representative of what he would do -- I think he simply abandoned the goal of education and used the opportunity to expose Lupin as a werewolf. That's the Slytherin in him -- use any means to his end. But if he had no childhood enemy to dispose of, how would he teach it? The time as a Death Eater surely must give him a terrifying perspective of the dark arts. He has the potential to teach the students so much. Unfortunately I think there is a very good reason that Dumbledore will not give him the job that he clearly wants. The best new DADA teacher would probably be Tonks or an Auror we haven't necessarily met yet, simply for the obvious reason they she/they are qualified and experienced due to their profession, and someone who has been through Auror training will necessarily be responsible, intelligent, and practical in their teaching style. I doubt a trained Auror would put up with teaching the children purely through theory, and they would know how important it is for students to be able to protect themselves against the coming darkness.

10) Which scene from each book was your favorite and why: This isn't going to be a very accurate record of my tastes because I currently don't own the books (I got them from the library -- but they're on my birthday list), and I have a poor memory for specific events in books that I read more than a couple months ago. But here's my best shot, and don't hurt me if I get something wrong. These are mostly just my reactions to how entertaining stuff was, nothing really that deep.

1. Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone: This is my least favorite book, mostly because it's the most childlike. That's not an insult, but it is more simple and less dark than the others. I would have to say, however, that I like the part where the Weasleys first meet Harry. I'm not sure why, but the family's reaction to him is nice.
2. Chamber of Secrets: Oh, by far the flying car scenes. Anything related to that beloved automobile. I love how Rowling described it as a wild beast once it ran away. I just thought Rowling shined as a writer in these scenes. EDIT: I just thought of something even cooler. The fight between Arthuer Weasley and Lucius Malfoy at the beginning. Go Arthur!
3. Prison of Azkaban: I'm sorry, but I only have a vague recollection of the events. I know what happened, but not scene by scene. I'm planning to re-read everything this summer before I go off to college. Um, well I'll probably say that I like the point at which Harry realizes that now, through Sirius, he has a real loving family member and a possible future. It is so bittersweet when Peter escapes and Sirius goes into hiding -- Harry's hopes of escaping the Dursleys are dashed.
4. Goblet of Fire: This is another victim of my sucky memory. I thought the last action sequence, starting with the labyrinth through Cedric's death and the return of Voldemort, was exciting. The beginning chaos of having the Dark Mark displayed was interesting, as well as the Ministry's reaction.
5. Order of the Phoenix: People spoiled the fact that Sirius died in this book for me. They didn't tell me outright, but they saw me reading it, and no less than five people said something like, "Oh, that's such a good book! But it's so sad, because of who dies." I have enough of a grasp of the artistry of writing good fiction (I hope) that I was able to figure out who would make the most artistic sense to kill off. So by the time I got to the end, I knew that Sirius was a goner. If people had kept their mouths shut, I would probably say that the last battle and the fall of Sirius was my favorite. But really I read it with a half-disappointed feeling of having been cheated out of the suspense and surprise. I also loved Snape's Worst Memory. I think, overall, the whole sequence of events about the Ministry's interference with Hogwarts is fascinating and utterly frustrating. Seeing the teachers (especially MacGonagall) and their reactions to Umbridge and the rest of Ministry policy showed a new side to Hogwarts -- politics. Oh, and Dumbledore's Army. Brilliant. You really get to see Harry enjoying (to some extent) the role of leader.

11) Make a prophecy about Book 6 or 7: I think I already made one about Draco. I really get the feeling that somehow he's going to play a more important role than the stereotypical spoiled brat villain/bully. If he doesn't, then I'll be disappointed. But I suppose that's what fanfiction is for. This is more of a wish on my part than a logical deduction of Rowling's thinking. Additionally, a lot of people say they think Harry will die. I must say that would be a great way to end the series -- but I don't think it will happen. I heard a tiny news report on TV last year that said that Rowling was considering extending the series beyond the seven books, even though she previously said she wouldn't, and that the books might include a possible love interest for Harry. So if she made that remark, I really doubt that she'd kill him off. But something could have changed, and at the time I heard it I wasn't much following the fandom. In fact I've never read or seen any internview with Rowling, except for one a couple years ago that I hardly remember. On another note, I very much agree with what other people have said about Neville coming into his own. It's just the natural extension of what Rowling has written so far, and by the way she's developed characters I can't see any other way for her to take it. I like Neville.