1. Name: William
2. Age: 23
3. A) Have you read all of the Harry Potter books that are out currently? Yes.
B) How many are there (excluding the two books done for charity)? VII
C)Which one was your favourite? Explain. My favorite book was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. One of the reasons that I loved the book was due to all of the fascinating plot twists. For example, for most of the book, everyone was afraid of someone named 'Sirius Black', who was supposed to be a deadly mass murderer. However, at the end of the book, when we finally met Sirius, we found out that all he wanted to do was get to know his godson. Similarly, it turned out that the true deadly murderer was none other than the beloved and innocent-looking Weasley family pet rat! Even though we already knew quite a bit about the Wizarding world by the start of PoA, this book also introduced quite a few new quirks and 'characters' that would seem out of place even by Wizarding standards. As early as the bus ride to school, we get introduced to dementors, which are among the scariest beings I have ever seen. Comic relief is provided by boggarts; as Hermione demonstrates in her DADA exam, the hardest thing by far to do in order to defeat a boggart is recognize that it is a boggart.
Finally, in most of the book it appears that Hermione is faced with a schedule which seems impossible even for her; most of her classes all meet at the same time, as do many of her final exams! We do not find out how this is possible until a seemingly unrelated scene at the end of the book which involves saving Sirius Black. However, the means by which Sirius is saved and Hermione can take her multiple classes, a Time-Turner, is an amazingly useful tool which I would love to have in my life because in college I had the same problem with class schedules as Hermione!
4. A)If you attended Hogwarts, what would be your favourite subject? Either Arithmancy or Potions
B) Why? I have loved doing mathematics for as long as I can remember. In fact, I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in that subject! Even though Arithmancy has been barely mentioned in canon, its references in fan fiction seem to suggest that it is just like a math class, complete with theorems and proofs. Consequently, if Arithmancy is even remotely like the mathematical subject I imagine it to be, I suspect I would love it.
However, as there is next to no information in canon about this subject, I want to choose a subject which we have actually seen and know stuff about. Among those subjects, my favorite would have to be potions. I loved chemistry almost as much as mathematics in my student days. In fact, my love of chemistry made it through an entire year of organic chemistry! The theory of chemical reactions is almost as satisfying as mathematical equations. What's more, I love observing the way two chemicals can combine to produce something totally different. Sometimes we can take two deadly chemicals, such as hydrochloric acid and lye, and when we put them together, what ends up is completely innocent salt water!
5. If you could store one memory in a Pensieve, what would it be? Explain. I would store the memory of the June Feast in Churchill College in 2005. During the school year 2004-2005, I studied abroad for a postgraduate year at the University of Cambridge; the June Feast was my College's official celebration of the end of the year. The food and wine was fantastic, even without any magically refilling plates like we would find at Hogwarts. In addition, I was able to celebrate the fact that I had just come in first in my year despite having come in much less prepared than the others.
This meant a lot to me because it vindicated the scheme that I had come up with throughout the year. Most people spent their time trying to truly understand and learn the material; one of my friends had tried to take a Hermione-like total of ten classes even though she could only be examined in six. However, I spent more time studying the test structure and choosing the 'right' courses which would be easy for the exam. Knowing that I knew how to take these tests because I could do everything on the practice exam, I was free to take a two-week vacation the month before while nearly everyone else was cramming twelve hours a day. However, the ultimate dividends of this strategy paid off on the day of the June Feast, when I found my results; the feast allowed me to celebrate this triumph!
6. If you were to face a boggart, what do you think it would it turn into? Explain why you think this.
My biggest fear is of losing both my mental and physical capacities at a relatively young age. In fact, when I was in undergraduate, my workload had been so intense that I had to completely let myself go physically, reaching a peak weight of 179 pounds! Although I have since regained my form, largely thanks to my year in England, I still fear returning back to those college days, when I felt like a ball of blubber and struggled to maintain an A-/B+ average.
Therefore, my boggart will likely take the form of a worn-down future version of myself in his mid-to-late twenties. This future Willy will have so much work to do that he cannot sleep or exercise, so he will look worse than I did in my college days. Worst of all, however, he will be unable to succeed in any of his tasks; his 16-hour days will be barely enough to avoid the chopping block each week!
7. What do you think you would you see in the Mirror of Erised?
Consider that I have been in school for two solid decades out of just 23 years of life. The last seven of these years have been focusing on mathematics; taking classes, solving problems, and writing research papers. In fact, right now I am in the middle of a tortuous PhD program in the subject! Therefore, I would likely see myself having just received my PhD after having finally discovered a solution to one of the most famous unsolved problems in the study of analysis on metric spaces. This would have the nice side effect of finally being able to shed the status of being a lifetime student and enter the real world!
8. Would you have put your name in the Goblet of Fire? Explain your reasoning
I would have put my name in because the idea of participating in the Triwizard Tournament sounds exciting. Further, although there is risk in participating, I know that only one person could be chosen from each school. Therefore, the only way I would actually be participating and chosen by the Goblet would require me to be the most qualified person and truly able to represent my school! Consequently, if I were not worthy of the Goblet, there would be no consequences for me putting my name in; my only costs would be the fifteen seconds it takes to write my name on a piece of paper and drop it into the Goblet!
9. A)Would you use an Unforgiveable Curse, and if so, under what circumstances would you use an Unforgivable Curse?
I think that I would have no problem using Imperius to defend myself or save a loved one. However, I would only use Avada Kedavra when absolutely necessary, such as if it would be the only way to save my life. Further, I could not imagine myself ever using Cruciatus.
B)Why? A properly used Imperius does not seem to have that much of an effect. Not only can the curse be lifted at any time but the victim will actually enjoy him/herself while under its effect! The worst thing about that curse seems to be the fact that someone can go wild with it and use it, for example, to assemble an evil army. Despite this, Imperius seems to be the only one of the three that can be used benevolently.
As for Avada Kedavra, it kills the recipient - which is something that I would obviously not want to do lightly. However, if someone was in the process of killing me or someone close to me I would rather stop them from doing so by killing them than let them commit the act. This would also hold if it seemed that the person in question wanted to kill a large number of innocent victims. That being said, in most cases, of course, a well-placed Imperius would work just as well, and whenever possible, I would use the less lethal Imperius instead of Avada Kedavra.
However, I feel differently about Cruciatus because never-ending torture, in my opinion, is a worse fate than death. This is so because I feel that death at least provides an end to one's suffering. Further, torture does not seem to serve a useful purpose. Even in its primary purpose to acquire confessions, Veritaserum or even Imperius are much more efficient without the side effect of inflicting excruciating pain. Finally, it seems that whenever characters from the HP universe actually use Cruciatus, the purpose is to either showcase how evil or angry the casters are. An example of an evil Cruciatus would be when Umbridge was trying to extract a confession out of Harry; an example of an angry Cruciatus would be when Harry was mad at Snape for killing Dumbledore.
10. Put the following words in order of importance to you: Adventurous, Ardent, Acute, Crafty, Benevolent, Accommodating, Burlesque, Drive. Please explain your top three and the one you place last.
Why is everything so early in the alphabet?
Acute, Burlesque, Crafty, Ardent, Adventurous, Drive, Benevolent, Accommodating
"Acute" is first because of my desire to ask probing questions, together with love for and possession of a sharp mind. For example, seven years ago, when it was time to begin the process of choosing a college, I was visited Brown University. During the question-and-answer session, I was the only person who dared to ask, "What exactly do you need to get into Brown?"
"Burlesque" encompasses parody and mocking, both of which I think are valuable pieces of a strong sense of humor! Plenty of examples of my use of burlesque can be found throughout my journal; for example, http://mmailliw.livejournal.com/46387.h
As for "Crafty": I think that coming up with clever, sneaky schemata to achieve a goal, be it acing a test, impressing someone, or proving a theorem has to count as crafty! My successful plan to ace Cambridge, for example, was a great showcase for the crafty side of me.
"Accommodating" went to the bottom because I am who I am; this is not something I am going to give up just for the sake of someone else! For example, even if I were to live with someone who believed that relaxing and having fun were 'wasteful' and inefficient, I would have no problem playing video games or pursuing other forms of leisure in front of them.
11. Please follow this link. Find your zodiac on the list and copy and paste the following paragrah in this question. After doing so, please bold which qualities you feel describe you and strike out the qualities that do not. You may add an explanation if you wish afterword.
A few of the traits only partially describe me, so I both bolded them and struck them out. For example, although my desk drawers are messy (which would suggest that I'm not organized), my schedule and future plans are often meticulously planned out nonetheless.
12. What single quality do you feel goes the furthest in defining who you are? Explain why. I would say that my intelligence goes the furthest in defining who I am. If I lost any other part of my body, it would not be nearly as bad a loss as it would be for me to lose my brain. This is because the decisions and thoughts of my brain have more to say on what I do than just about any other characteristic or quality. In fact, I would go as far as to say that everything I do is strongly influenced by the machinations of my mind! After all, no matter which choice I make, whenever you make a decision, my brain is always going to be the agent which determines it.
13. What makes a person deserving of your respect? I would say that a person is worthy of my respect if they are capable of thinking for themselves and making their own decisions. It seems like too many people merely believe whatever others tell them to believe instead. As I feel that the usage of one's mind is the defining characteristic of a person, not thinking for yourself amounts to giving up what makes you you in my book! By contrast, if you do think for yourself, I can understand who you are as a unique individual as opposed to a mirror for someone else.
14. What character from the series do you most relate to? Explain.
Even though we don't know too much about him, I would say that I relate to Bill Weasley the most. On a very superficial level, we are both firstborn children named William. More importantly, his job as a Curse Breaker at Gringotts appears to be the Wizarding equivalent of my dream job. In addition, he seems to love to travel, which can be seen when he decides to work for Egypt, but is willing to move back home for love. Finally, after he gets attacked by Fenrir Greyback, he shares my preference for rare steaks!
That being said, though, we don't know much about Bill Weasley's personality other than the one word 'cool'. Therefore, if I had to pick a character whose personality we know from canon rather than someone who doesn't even have a developed personality in fan fiction, I would instead go with Severus Snape. As the teenage 'Half-Blood Prince', he knew that there were better ways to make potions than the methods offered by the textbook. Therefore, he analyzed everything to come up with better ways to make the results instead of just worshipping the Almighty Textbook. By doing so, he was able to improve upon just about every potion! His improvement of the potions textbook is pretty much identical to the way I treat mathematics textbooks; knowing that there must be a better proof than the one offered in print. Further, Snape was able to hide his true goals and desires from just about anyone. This enabled him to gain the confidence of both Dumbledore and his arch-enemy, Lord Voldemort. Similarly, I myself must use Occlumency as a graduate student so that the department will still think that I want the austere life of an academic more than anything else. Doing so allows me to get treated well by the department and earn my Ph.D., while I am simultaneously learning financial economics so that I can branch out from the halls of the Academy. Therefore, one can see I have quite a bit of Snape in me as well!
15. Please describe the four canon houses in your own words. (The houses have been ordered alphabetically by their mascot.)
The traits of Hufflepuff are hard work, justice, and loyalty. One way to analyze these traits is to observe how typical Hufflepuffs act. The most powerful undercurrent one sees in doing so is a group mentality dominant among Badgers epitomized by the loyalty concept. For example, in Chamber of Secrets, all of the Hufflepuffs in Harry’s year, who had previously been very friendly, simultaneously turned on Harry when they thought that one of their own, Justin Finch-Fletchley, had been attacked on Harry’s orders. Two years later, in Goblet of Fire, the entirety of Hufflepuff again turns on Harry because they feel that Harry’s nomination as a fourth Triwizard Champion undermines the status of their own Cedric Diggory, whom they view as the ‘real’ champion. Even though Cedric himself is completely modest and fully supports Harry’s right to compete, he still cannot shake off the swarm of Hufflepuffs protecting him.
Canonically, Ravenclaws are supposed to be intelligent, clever, witty, and have a passion for learning. However, the Sorting Hat’s actual choices tell us that Ravenclaw is not just the house for the smartest students. If that were the case, then Hermione Granger, Cedric Diggory, and Severus Snape would all have ended up in Ravenclaw instead of being sorted in Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin, respectively. Therefore, what sets Ravenclaws apart is not their actual intelligence and book smarts, but rather a desire for learning, such as those present in academics and scholars, and the open-mindedness that goes with it. Although Luna Lovegood may be a poor ambassador for her house, she definitely epitomizes her Ravenclaw traits well. Even though her passion for learning primarily involves imaginary creatures, which tags her as ‘weird’, she obviously loves learning for learning’s sake, which makes her as much of an eagle as anyone else.
The lions of Gryffindor possess bravery and chivalry, much like traditional heroes of medieval tales. We get our first taste of how these traits join together in heroes around Halloween in Sorceror’s Stone, when Harry and Ron put themselves in mortal danger to save Hermione from a troll in the girls’ bathroom. Example after example of Gryffindor bravery continues to be shown right up until the final battle scene, when Neville Longbottom defies Lord Voldemort’s offer of a prized position in the new regime and instead musters up the courage to pull the sword of Godric Gryffindor out of the hat, killing Voldemort’s snake Nagini in the process. While badgers and lions are both known to fight fiercely, making them great soldiers, there is a substantial difference between the two. I have already noted that badgers fight passionately when trying to protect a person that they care about. However, it is ideals and morals that drive lions in their actions, ranging from Hermione’s formation of the Society for the Promotion of Elvish Warfare to Harry’s ability to cast Cruciatus to avenge a Death Eater spitting on Minerva McGonagall’s face, but not to avenge the death of his beloved Headmaster or godfather.
Finally, the primary traits of Slytherin are ambition and cunning mentioned as primary traits. To me, ambition comes equipped with a sense of determination and self-awareness: snakes know exactly what they want and are willing to do whatever it takes to get there. Even though this ambition can manifest itself in the form of evil masterminds, such as Lord Voldemort’s desire for power over the Wizarding world, it works more powerfully when applied to the purpose of love. Two examples of Slytherins motivated by love are Narcissa Malfoy, who remains steadfast in her desire to protect her son Draco, and Severus Snape, whose adult life is dominated by a love for his classmate Lily Evans. It is worth noting that the Slytherins motivated by love succeed as both Harry and Draco live on, while the Slytherins who seem more driven by power and hatred, such as Lord Voldemort and most of the Death Eaters, fail spectacularly in their aims. Cunning, together with its implied friend subtlety, is the means by with Slytherins achieve their aims. By remaining calm and collected, Slytherins are able to proceed towards their goals without anyone suspecting a thing, putting the element of surprise on their side. This is best manifested by Snape, who managed to help Harry Potter against Voldemort while Voldemort always believed, up until the very end, that Snape was actually helping him defeat Harry.
16. What qualities do you possess from each of the four houses (Please try choosing one from each)?
Gryffindor: Even though my actions tend to be more planned than instinctive, I do feel that I show a bit of Gryffindor bravery. I am not afraid to take risks, as one can see from the fact that last year I left my 'safe' summer job a week early to attend a conference in Helsinki (and don't even speak Finnish)!
Hufflepuff: I am loyal to my friends and more than willing to help them out, be it with mathematics problems or strategies for getting through life, if need be. In other words, if you treat me right and show yourself to be deserving of my respect, you can rest assured that I will return the favor!
Ravenclaw: I am intelligent, passionate for learning, and open-minded. An example of the first two is that when doing mathematics, I want to discover the answers to previously unsolved questions and fully know *why* they are true. One can see my open-mindedness in that I am not likely to dismiss ideas just because they are unpopular.
Slytherin: In a list of Slytherin characterics, ambition is nearly always the first item given, if only because it comes first alphabetically. How can one not be in pursuit of a Ph.D. degree in mathematics while simultaneously learning the economic theory needed for the business world without being ambitious?
17. What hybrid house do you think you would be wrong to be put in, and why?
I think that Huffledor would be the worst fit for me because even though I have traits from both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, these traits tend to manifest themselves in a Ravenclaw or Slytherin way.
For example, my love for adventure and travel is a Gryffindor trait. However, the main reason I like to go on adventures is to discover things for myself and experience them (a Ravenclaw undertone), answering questions for myself such as where to find the most gorgeous sunset. Further, the way I plan my adventures in advance (such as the conference to Finland I mentioned earlier) suggests a more goal-oriented, Slytherin approach.
Further, my determination has Hufflepuff undertones. However, it tends to manifest itself either in a curiosity to learn or discover something, such as an unsolved mathematical problem or a foreign language (pursuing Ravenclaw ends) or to advance my own life such as my nascent business involving exam preparations (which is more Slytherin than anything else).
This contrasts sharply with a classic Huffledor like Neville Longbottom, whose actions throughout the entire series (from standing up to the Trio in the first book to killing Nagini in the last one) show a mix of bravery, loyalty, determination, and idealism that are inseparably tied together.
18. A) If you could change one thing about yourself, would you? Yes!
B) What would it be if you did? Too often, I blank out with respect to the existence and location of small objects. I would make it so that instead, I was able to perfectly keep track of small objects
C) Why? I lose small pieces of paper and keys far too often. If I knew that I would never lose another thing again I would be able to breathe a lot easier! This would also free up my mind to think about what I want to think about instead of having to focus on tedious questions like 'Where did I put my house key?'.
19. How did you find us? If it was from a post say where and who posted it (If possible, please leave a link to the actual post you saw.) It was from Google searches based on the names of hybrid Houses. Like the founders of this group, I find the concepts of hybrid Hogwarts houses more fascinating and representative of personalities than the actual Houses.
20. Have you applied before? If so, can you please leave a link to your last application? No; this is my first time!
21. A) Why should we accept you? Because my eyes are the perfect shade of forget-me-not blue! Seriously, though, I believe my insights on the world of Harry Potter would add to the discussions present in this community.
B)What makes you different than the other applicants we’re reviewing after you? I became a fan of Harry Potter ridiculously late. In fact, I didn't even start reading Book 1 until two days *after* the release of DH! Due to the fact that I read at 1100 words per minute, I was able to catch up. In fact, as I was so completely drawn into Rowling's world, I managed to finish the entire series within a week of starting!
22. How many hours weekly do you expect to be able to put into this community? 3-5
23. Please leave some way of communication (either e-mail or AIM) here. If you do not feel confortable leaving such information open to the public, please e-mail me at email@example.com with the said information, and please state who you are also (meaning giving me your name and LJ name). If you are accepted, this information will be given to your future HoH, so they can contact you if needed. IM: negativezeroes
24. If you are sorted into a House that does not have an Head of House, would you be interested in being one? No; at least not right now.