Which is your favorite Harry Potter book?
Prisoner of Azkaban. I love it because a lot of stuff happens, but it’s still really tightly written. GoF has a similar amount of action, but it’s three times as long - I think JKR does an incredible job of getting a lot across in a little bit of page real estate.
Which is your favorite Harry Potter movie?
Hmmm…Can I wait until after I’ve seen HBP to answer this definitively? So far, I think Cuaron did an amazing job with PoA, but I also think a lot got left out, and I think Newell did good work with GoF (I cried and cried when Cedric died, because he was so much more real for me in the movie than he had been in the book). Columbus was really true to the books, but they were so clearly kids’ movies that I think more could have been done. And I think all the movies spend too much time showing off their flying special effects, when they could be spending that runtime (and budget) on things that advance the plot.
Who is your favorite Harry Potter character?
Hermione Granger. Sometimes I feel just like her - I was an outcast (and really, really poor) as a kid, and I think the feeling that I had coming to Harvard from an impoverished background is the closest I could ever come to the feeling of entering a world of magic as a muggle-born.
And to transition the love of
I heard about it first term, in the Harry Potter Lovers group, and I figured it would be something fun to do, to help me finish things more consistently, and to get ready for the movie release.
What is your favorite part of the House Cup?
I love seeing what everyone chooses for my class! I think the Imperius assignment (in January) was my favorite assignment - the enthusiasm, the number of different projects people chose, and the hilarious “Imperiused” posts that people contributed got me through a really difficult exam period. (Although I also really loved the Patronus assignments, and finding out what everyone identified with!)
You’ve identified yourself as a Slytherin. Why?
Well, when I originally signed up, I said I would be happy in either Ravenclaw or Slytherin. Ravenclaw was an obvious choice for me, because I’m a student, and I’m totally brilliant (kidding!), so I do identify with that house. But Slytherin really resonates for me, too, because I do want more from my life than what I have (so I could definitely be described as “ambitious”, and I am pretty ruthless in the pursuit of that. And I have no qualms at all about doing things that are…let’s say “not super-nice”… if it’s what’s best for me or the people that I love. And I am vicious toward people that cross me. Fortunately, it’s easy to get on the “People I Love” list, and hard to get on the “People Who Will Rue The Day” list.
Also, I look really good in green.
After the first term, I felt like I needed to be more involved in the Cup in general, so that I could help Slytherin do better. I think a lot of us felt that way, which is why we had three Slytherin professors. I actually originally hoped to do Arithmancy, but when Onica suggested DADA, I was totally excited (although a little bit worried, because…nobody wants a cursed position!) I was 100% on board to come back for the Spring term, partially because I’d had such a great time last term, and partially because I still had a lot of ideas for assignments.
What makes a student’s project stand out to you?
Well, I’m the one that always gives the points for making me laugh, so…a good back-story, a funny description, or an unexpected project in general is guaranteed to get bonus points from me. I also admire people who go for the gusto and turn in a giant shawl after only a month, or something like that.
And a little bit about you…
Do you knit, crochet, spin, or some combination of the three?
I knit, mostly. I’ve started to crochet, largely because of the Cup (it’s so much faster!), but I’m not particularly adept at it. I have a spindle and some roving, but I’ve spun, seriously, like 20 yards of exceptionally inconsistent singles, and then let my spindle sit around for the next five months, so…I don’t spin. I do sew, though, and I also do other kinds of garment construction - just last weekend I created a floor-length skirt made with only playing cards and brass paper-fastener brads as part of a Queen of Hearts costume for a school fashion show.
Last, but not least, what’s the story behind your Ravelry ID “Scarlettb”?
Okay, so…my dad has two sisters…and 16 brothers. All his siblings have sons. There hadn’t been a girl born into my father’s family in 41 years when my mum got pregnant with me. So they figured I was a boy, picked out a name (Matthew Stephen), and got on with it. When I was born, they were…surprised. And totally unprepared. And my mum figured that she wouldn’t get another chance to use any of her favorite names for girls (and was on a lot of drugs, most of them administered by her doctors), so she…got a little crazy. My full name is Julia Elizabeth Mary Louisa Eleanora Scarlett Lucinda Rebecca Cordelia Belladonna Lastname. My little sister, born three years later? Emily. No middle name. Mum was out of ideas.