Author Archive

A Fond Farewell From Hollie…

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Dear Everyone,

Today is my last week in Canada, and after that, my husband and I are leaving for Hong Kong! We are traveling there with friends to teach English, see the world, and pay off some hefty student loans! Because it is such a big move, life has been rather hectic and unpredictable lately. So, I say with a sigh and a knot of regret, I have to take a pause from the Pensieve. Although I will not be on the podcast for a while, I will continue to post blogs and interact on the Facebook group. I can’t completely stay away from all of you lovelies, the rest of the fandom and our precious Potter! Until I settle and return to podcasting, I’d like to thank all of you for being faithful listeners, insightful readers, and enthusiastic fans who really keep this fandom alive! You guys are awesome! I’d like to especially thank Adam, Thio, and Emily for many great conversations and episodes. I will miss them, sincerely. Finally — NOBT! XOXO

Hollie

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Category: Uncategorized  | One Thought

Ginevra: The Betrothed

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Ginevra Molly Weasley was born in the dog days of summer under the sign of the Lion. A true Gryffindor, there is no doubt. On this day, the Weasley family was blessed with a baby girl; the first to be added to their family tree in a wizard’s age. Our Harry Potter canonry insists this is evidence that Ginny was destined to become a gifted witch. If her Aunt Muriel predicted such a thing, we know she would have been right. So why are we often “meh” about Ginny Weasley? I will attempt to answer that, perhaps uncovering the jewels of her true being, something I think we should all take the time to discover. Ginny may not be my absolute favourite character, although I do have a great amount of respect and admiration for her. If we just knew her a little better, I think we’d love her like the daughter, sister, friend and lover she has become right before our eyes.

Ginny’s antique name could be of great significance, and I don’t mean the curious kind; Ginevra is a Welsh (or Italian) derivative of Guinevere, and we all know who that is, don’t we? Queen Guinevere, the fair and noble wife of King Arthur, the true and fierce lover of Sir Lancelot – the exceptional lady who brought the Round Table and one-hundred knights as her dowry. Although not altogether wholesome, Guinevere is of noble character, withstanding the challenges faced by a Queen ruling in a rugged (not to mention bloody) era of Britian’s history. if decidedly mythical, she was a ‘real woman’, one that we can cast a contemporary light on: she did not lead a virtuous existence, but she certainly stayed true to her heart and her beliefs. Like Ginny, Queen Guinevere was destined to lead an exceptional life. It seems trivial, but Ginny’s father’s name is Arthur. It is worth mentioning!

Is our Ginny a Guinevere? Not precisely, no, but we can draw similarities, as I’m sure Jo has. For one, Ginny Weasley comes from a noble, pure-blood wizarding family. Despite their lack of wealth and social status, the Weasleys are courageous, kind, and of the highest moral standards. They would serve any kingdom admirably. To add, they descend from a line of brave magical talent, so it seems, and have proven themselves to be amongst the most unyielding of Voldemort’s opposition. As members of The Order, they are like knights – they fight to save their ‘world’, and while doing so, sacrifice the comfort and joy of their home, their namesake, and their lives. As wise and selfless people, they seek no alternative, pressing on through the years of the Dark Lord’s reign.

Ginny may be the precious family jewel, and like any stone, she is lovely, but has an amazingly tough exterior. And like a precious gem, she is formed from the elements of nature, having purpose and strength that the ordinary eye fails to see. Jo once told us that Ginny is “…a fairly forceful person (and always has been…)”. We know we are not dealing with a mousy little sister who tags along with her brothers. In fact, she has learned much from them: “The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” (OP29) In turn, Fred and George come to realize the awesomeness of their youngest sibling:

“Yeah, size is no guarantee of power,” said George. “Look at Ginny.”

“What d’ you mean?” said Harry.

“You’ve never been on the receiving end of one of her Bat-Bogey Hexes, have you?” (OP6)

She’s rare – the youngest and only girl, often in the protection of her parents, brothers, or Harry himself, but perpetually proving her own power as a witch and cleverness as a young woman: “I’m three years older than you were when you fought You-Know-Who over the Philosopher’s Stone, and it’s because of me Malfoy’s stuck back in Umbridge’s office with giant flying bogeys attacking him – ” (OP33) Throughout the series, we come to know and respect Ginny Weasley for her wit, moral character, talents and strength. However, I’ve noticed a lot of us have a hard time uncovering a whole image of her; she is always in the picture, but never at the centre of it. I have an inkling that this is the cause of fans’ difficulty accepting her as Harry’s betrothed. I use the arguably outdated term because I find its concept is entangled in the tale. A prominent hint is the resemblance of Lily and Ginny in appearance, attitude and reputation. Jo comments on Lily’s school days, saying, “Like Ginny, she was a popular girl.” And like Ginny, Lily had no problem working for the underdog, voicing her opinion, and maintaining independence. Both women possessed natural magical talent, and both were brave and strong in fighting evil with love. Like Slughorn says, they are equally “lovely…”.

Aside from Hagrid, Ginny and her family were the very first to befriend Harry in the wizarding world. He quickly becomes an honourary member of the Weasley clan, connecting him to Ginny at a tender age. There is something quite sacred about this, and it is impossible to ignore the circumstances that solidify their relationship. The shared adventure and family gatherings, as well as the sharing of burdens, milestones, successes and failures naturally weave their lives together. To Molly and Arthur, Harry is “…as good as” a son to them. In my point of view, nature has betrothed the pair, and in the end, they find each other independently, and by choice.

Getting a bit tired of fairy tales? Let us look at a modern point of view: Ginny is an exceptional witch, quite worthy of both our and Harry’s adoration. She is an incredible role model to readers, and here’s why: from a young age, she has been able to keep up with her brothers – not because they are boys, but because they are basically insane. She laughs with them on many occasions, not garnering the attitude of her mother (who thoroughly disapproves of their antics). Her own sense of humour is unrivaled, even upping the ante for Fred and George – she is so clever and dry, it would probably be difficult to discern her jokes from mere commentary at times. Ginny’s humour contains the same wryness as Harry’s, making for a smart pair. We really can’t forget her unforgiving mockery of Fleur. I think it would be difficult to gain Ginny’s respect as a future sister-in-law, unless you were rugged, great at Quidditch, unnervingly brave, and downright sarcastic. Not too much to ask, right? Looking past the epilogue, it’s easy to see that Ginny puts her intelligence to much further use, becoming a sports journalist. In a rather male-dominated industry, I’m sure it would have been refreshing to see her bright face and fresh perspective dawning the pages of the Daily Prophet. Besides, she does have her credentials in check: a former member of the Holyhead Harpies. Imagine having their poster on your bedroom wall, then having the gumption and skill to become one of them. A dream come true for a young woman, indeed. In all of this, she is lucky to share her life with someone who is equally as passionate about her. Remember the unnamed beast summoned inside of Harry? Only Ginny could conjure such a thing!

My favourite thing about Ginny Weasley is, in the end, her compassionate soul. She seems to understand Harry, Luna, Hermione, Neville, and many other characters in their time of need. She does not dote on her popularity, and seems quite unabashed by it. It is quite clear that her friends are her true friends, no matter their status. She takes Neville to the Yule Ball when I’m sure she could have had her handpick of dates. She befriends Luna despite her oddities and social awkwardness. She loves Hermione as a sister, making her part of the Weasley family as much as Harry is. It is easy to picture Ginny as a wonderful mother and wife someday: creating a sanctuary with Harry, enjoying a career as a writer and role model, and continuing to ward off evil with her good spirit.

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Hollie’s Summer Series: Ginny Weasley is Next!

Monday, July 25th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Hey y’all. I am currently writing what I hope to be a great post about one of our faves, Ginny.

It’s a little in-depth, and I want to make sure it’s perfect, so you will most likely find it posted tomorrow afternoon.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer; my husband and I are working, mostly, in preparation for our big move overseas! So, um, I’m sorry that I am not blogging as much as I’ve promised. My series will have to extend into the Autumn (and maybe even Winter) months! Look at it this way, there will always be another post to read and then discuss with me!

Besides, it’s the era of “new things to look forward to”. Hello Pottermore!

Always grateful to be part of this fandom, yours til the end,

Hollie

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Hermione, the Heroine: Part I

Monday, July 11th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

I am not a pretty girl

that is not what i do

I ain’t no damsel in distress

and I don’t need to be rescued

so put me down punk

wouldn’t you prefer a maiden fair

isn’t there a kitten

stuck up a tree somewhere

~Ani Difranco, 1995.

For me, Hermione Granger is the witch that will give our summer series the perfect kick-start. The reason behind my choice is obvious – she is the ideal contemporary heroine. Courageous, loyal and honest, her work ethic and moral standard give any Average Josephine a run for their wand. Despite her brilliance, she possesses the attributes of a knight with true modesty, revealed early in Philosopher’s Stone: “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things — friendship, and bravery.” (16) Let’s not forget her spirit for adventure, blossoming with her thirst for knowledge. But wait – aren’t we forgetting about those envious characteristics most classic heroines come by naturally? How about incomparable beauty?  Not unless you count the bushy hair and abnormally large front teeth. Countless suitors pining for her heart? Besides Viktor Krum (with his surly uncouthness), and Cormac McGlaggen (who feels like something out of Varsity Blues), Hermione remains overlooked, until her and Ron’s love grows into its own. Is she graceful; full of poise? Regretfully, her shrill, insistent tone isn’t always pleasing to the ear, and she was never able to mount a broomstick properly let alone play a match of Quidditch. Beyond that, does she come from a long line of regal witches and wizards? Interestingly enough, no, yet Remus Lupin remarks that she’s “…the cleverest witch of [her] age [he's] ever met…” (PA17) And in the end, she does not give excuses or apologies for who she is. All wrapped up, we’ve got an incredible role model for today’s girl. Note that I didn’t say a ‘perfect’ one. Take it from the young woman who, other than J.K. Rowling herself, knows Ms. Granger better than anyone. In her recent speech at the Deathly Hallows: Part II Premiere, Emma Watson shines a light on one of the most beloved female characters of all time, claiming the on-screen Hermione is “…every bit as strong and beautiful and brave as she is in the books.” She’s ‘real’ in a ‘not-so-real’ world, and we dig that. We need to relate to her, or at least some aspect of her, and for many people that is easily done. Some readily admit this (or embrace it heartily) while others would rather attach themselves to Ginny, Luna, or even the likes of Bellatrix Lestrange (understandable – she’s a knock-out in the films…until she opens her mouth to reveal those rotting Azkaban teeth. The outside truly reflects what’s within, doesn’t it).  All that said, let’s dig deeper into Hermione’s character and decipher if we admire her for who she is, or perhaps for who she isn’t. Myself? I believe it to be a wondrous mix of characteristics that, when melded together to make our Hermione, always saves the day.

*Stay tuned for my next installment where I go into a bit more detail about the current culture of feminine standards, a real life feminist icon, and what we can learn by peering through Hermione’s perspective, even if it’s just for a moment.

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Bewitched: A Summer Series

Wednesday, June 01st, 2011 | Author: Hollie

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”

– Virginia Woolf

She’s right, you know. Ever since Father Time pressed “start” (or was it Mother Time?), women’s contributions to society have been shrouded. In centuries past, female writers were either advised or reared to believe it was their holy duty to assume the pen-name “Anonymous”. Despite living in contemporary times, our brilliant JK Rowling decided it was best to take on an androgynous one – a reflection of lingering attitudes toward women, no? Amidst all this, it is difficult to imagine when literature did not celebrate the role of women in society, and for the past twenty-odd years, scholars have been uncovering women’s history, discovering the layers of our true role in the people’s histories, ancient to contemporary. The result? Boundless veins of evidence that, without women and girls, the world would have ceased spinning by the time we reached the Dark Ages. You’re thinking, “Duh, we knew that!”. Sure, and I’m glad you do, but please consider this: people have failed to acknowledge women’s roles properly, fully, and with due respect.

To remedy these wrongdoings and illuminate truth, it is important to look closer and examine the ‘who, what, where, when, why, and most interestingly, how’ of women’s roles. As a fellow woman, role model, family member, friend and colleague to many amazing ladies, I need to have that conversation, and I believe you do too. As a Harry Potter fan, I’ve studied the intriguing female characters of the series – many admirable, most eccentric, a few disappointing, and others downright horrifying. As women and witches, these characters have a duality; a remarkable element infuses their feminine nature. For me, this mirrors the powerful and gifted women of  ’the real world’. I would like you to join me in discussing how Jo Rowling’s witches shape and influence the wizarding world.

Over the summer months, we’ll philosophize over our most beloved female characters in the series. I will attempt this from a personal and informal point of view, so I will not be referencing MLA style (sorry,

sticklers).

I understand and value the importance of citation, but this is for fun – so let’s leave out the formalities. I want you to feel free in expressing your opinion as well, and I encourage positive and critical feedback. In the end, no witch will be left unanalyzed!


My intention in writing  this collection of essays is to inspire all of you you to converse with each other about the nature of women, the wonders of witches, and the world in which they forge and dwell. Going forth, let the world never disgrace women and girls, and let us celebrate the mystery and magic of womanhood, which burns like a restless flame in all of us.

Jo – thank you for being a voice for women and girls everywhere. This one’s for you!

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Scrumptious Snippets!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

After viewing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One at least seven times (I don’t lie), I’ve decided to give a textual play-by-play of my thoughts on poignant snippets and scenes in the film. Perhaps another blogger can continue on where I’ve left off, and we’ll have some fun with it!

Here goes (linear fashion):

Rufus in da house - Love the close-up. It says “We’re sweating it out here.” All business, he is. However shaken, he continues to push forward admirably. I don’t like the way he says “strong” – too much for my brain, but I enjoy his enunciation, especially when he comes to read Dumbledore’s will. Yeah?

Hermoine, when she says “Coming, Mo-om” - It clearly conveys the sadness and finality of what she is about to do.


Snape, workin’ it - The strut! He’s just so fabulous in his billowing cloak, isn’t he? I want to be a screaming fan on the sidelines of the Malfoy’s garden. Picture me: “I love you! You are my world!” Okay, not really, but he gives me goose-bumps, and as a 28-year-old, I would seriously contemplate a bedroom poster if my husband would allow it. Since we are supposed to be grown-ups, only real photos or works of art allowed. But what about his sports memorabilia? He wants a “man cave” when we finally buy. Does that mean I can have a “Potter pen”? That sounds icky. Am I off topic?

Lucius, in his desperate state of affairs - The choked, muted speech; the wincing, the disheveled locks – the curling of the finger at Voldemort’s touch! I can barely watch it. Even after knowing exactly how this scene plays out, I still turtle with irrational fear. I’m terrified that Voldy is going to reach out and bite him. CHOMP! You feel for Lucius here, but all sympathy dissipates after he encourages Draco to reveal Harry’s identity. Twit!

Harry, saying goodbye to his his cupboard under the stairs- Oh, Harry. Look how far you’ve come. For me, the dusty old toy symbolizes a fading memory of “Just Harry”, which holds such meaning for him, yet contrasts wonderfully against “The Chosen One”. Classic.

“Haven’t done that before, have we?” – Ron. The fact that my husband, who is not an avid Potter fan, yet watches the movies with me (incessantly, and without complaint) – laughed out loud at this made me love Ron all the more! Ron’s character is portrayed so charmingly by Rupert, and this line is the beginning of a stand-up performance.

“Just trying to ease the tens-ION!” – Fred. Or George. Whoever you are, you’re ballsy-funny.

Mad-Eye, on his broom-cart apparatus, flying past Harry and Hagrid – Bad-ass! Mad-Eye’s last hurrah makes me want to hop on my four-wheeler and rip down the road, dead serious expression in tact. Rest in Peace, you cantankerous old warrior.

Hagrid’s “look” – After he and Harry land in The Burrow’s swamp, he side-glances Harry with a soft, almost parental expression that only he and Harry would be able to understand. It’s like he’s saying, “Here we are, fighting the old battle.”

Fred and George’s ‘holey humour’ - The twins are endearing here, especially when Fred says “Pathet-ic”, in a wondrously British accent. Without much said, the bond between brothers is sweetly conveyed. If it weren’t for Fred and George, the grimness of defeating Voldy would be unbearably grimmer.

I’ll stop here for now, but if you’ve got any favourite snippets and scenes, post them below!

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An Open Letter to Lord Voldemort

Monday, February 07th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Dear Tom Riddle,

Yeah, I went there. You know, if people had refused to call you Voldemort from the very beginning, they wouldn’t have put up with any of your crap. Remember in Chamber of Secrets (film) when Hermoine came out with the ‘fear of a name’ cliche? That must have really ticked you off. I bet you created another horcrux just because she said that. You were so mad, you were like, “I’m splitting my soul again, for spite.” I know you, and that’s just something you would do. You knew everyone was freaked out by your freaky new name, and you rode that coattail as far as it would take you. Clever, but mean, and  downright misleading. You just made that up. You weren’t actually born into this lordship, were you? No one with any real sway appointed you as a lord, did they? No. I bet you’re not even as dangerous as you claim to be. You know what I realized? You would not make a good friend. I would seriously never be friends with you, not even on Facebook.

Another thing, and you can take this with a grain of salt (you probably will, because I don’t think you are a good listener – part of being a good friend is being a good listener): why the flat nose? I mean, I’m assuming you wanted to look snake-like, but why? It’s too obvious, not to mention predictable. Everyone knows you love snakes, and we all know you have a pet snake. You’re a Slytherin, and you speak Parseltongue. Yeah, we’re aware of all that. Enough with the snakes already! It’s like those people who get tattoos on their faces; we get it – you’re daring, and you love being inked, but did you have to go for the face? It’s permanent! If your mother could see you now, she would not be proud. Besides, some of the most evil people in the world still look terrific. For example, Madonna, or Victoria Beckham. They’re as soulless as the Shrieking Shack, but they always look great. You should call them. They’d probably tell you that part of being successful (especially when you’re in a leadership role) is upholding an awesome physical appearance. I mean I get it, you want to be intimidating, but why not do it with a blood-red pedicure (you don’t wear shoes, so people would totally notice) or a crushed velvet cape instead of the commonly worn cotton-lycra? The alarmingly flat nose just doesn’t work for me. It’s like I look at you and think “Wait, where is the nose? It’s sort of blurry. I can’t quite make it out…is it supposed to be like that?” It’s very distracting. I might even like you a little if you looked better. But you don’t. So I hate you.

I know all of this is really harsh, and might hit you like the ton of bricks did at Godric’s Hollow, but you need to hear it. Do you actually think Wormtail was going to be honest with you? I hate to break it down so simply, but he’s not even your real friend. He’s totally terrified of you! And if you think that you and Snape are cool, you’re completely delirious. If you had any intuition whatsoever, you’d realize that he’s not even on your side. Voldemort, Bellatrix is all you’ve got, and I can tell she is getting on your last nerve. Everyone knows she’s a complete train-wreck, so if anything, she’s destroying your credibility. Still in shock over the Snape news? Ask anyone in The Order. Oh wait, you can’t even figure out where headquarters is located. And I thought you were “the most powerful dark wizard of all time”. Pfft!

You suck,

Hollie

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Category: Fun  | One Thought

Additionally Yours, Hallows Scenes. XOXO

Wednesday, February 02nd, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Potterheads! How are we all doing? Digesting excessive post-Hallows media and feeling bloated? Let me suggest (I’m totally fabricating this) that you’re avoiding the lingering scent of Hallows and instead, digging for that dog-earred copy of Stone your grandmother bought you in 1998. Don’t lie – you’re already envisioning PS perched on your dusty night table as it enjoys a well-deserved comeback. No? The least you can do is humour me.

In my opinion, we’ve been bombarded with media hype for the film, and yes, you might just be part of the fandom who is tiring of it. No, you’re not betraying the Trio – or Dumbledore – if you feel like you need a break.

How have you been you been dealing, Hollie?

Listening to super old and moldy Pottercasts from 2005. They’re awesome. The earliest episodes offer lengthy canon conversations amongst fans, Leaky Lounge moderators, and of course, Melissa, John, and Sue. It takes me back, you know? Remember when all we could do was squee over what was to come? However, during these eps, I find myself missing Frak’s divine comedy. Final word on archaic Pottercasts – I miss Sue Upton. I MISS SUE UPTON! Yeah, I’m yelling at you. Adam will excuse my outburst because he misses her too.

Ok, where was I? Totally went off topic. Actually, I’ve yet to really introduce my topic. Stephen King does this and he doesn’t get in trouble, so why should I? Oh, alright! I’ll round to the point:

Hollie’s Hypothesis: Despite being tired of post-Hallows film coverage (that gives me an overall feeling of yawny impatience), I am overjoyed over the ‘additional scenes’ that will be featured on the DVD! Like you, I’ve recently discovered a concise little list of said scenes on Mugglenet. You can check them out here!

Let’s talk about it.

Scene 1.The Burrow’s Shed: Ron Discusses Radios with Mr. Weasley

The Burrow makes me feel fuzzy inside. Adding a bonding moment (full of solemn anxiety or not) amongst Weasleys is something I can hopefully cry over.

Scene 2. The Dursley House: Harry and Aunt Petunia As They Leave House

Any vivid showing of Petunia’s remorse will be celebrated by me.

Scene 3. The Dursley House: Harry and Dudley Shake Hands

Like my feelings for Petunia (or, ‘the ugly flower’), justice for the case Harry Potter Versus The Dursleys is welcomed by me. Wholeheartedly. Eagerly. Savagely!

Scene 4. The Granger House: Death Eaters Search Deserted Home

Hermoine deserves the press. And, our decade-long curiousity for the Grangers is desperate for nourishment! We all want a nosy look at their abandoned home while choking back a silent sob.

Scene 5. Ministry of Magic Lifts: Harry Tells Arthur He’s Being Tracked

Ou, Tension. I always enjoy a ‘kick-ass Arthur’ paired with a ‘kick-ass Harry’, especially when one of them is pressed for time and desperate for answers! In the words of our beloved Slughorn, “These are dark times…truly… mad!” Or something like that.

Scene 6. Tent: Trio Discusses Destroying The Locket

Usually I would be slightly bored with this; the visual interpretation in the film explains the absolute evil nature of the locket. Right? And when it comes to additional footage, I’d rather pour over more insignificant details (like portraits on a wall, or specific dishes served at a feast. I’m very annoying in that way). Yet, I’m interested in this addition. It could reveal meaningful information about Horcruxes – something we can all be reminded of. Yes?

Scene 7. Rabbit Chase in the Forest

Someone remind me what the hell this is all about.

Montage: Ron and Hermione Skimming Stones

Absolutely every moment they shared had me blubbering like a baboon – I just could not stop crying. I crave more misery and joy. Mixed. Together. In a sea of magical emotions.

How could I permit myself to write one more word after that ridiculous sentence?

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Category: Uncategorized  | 12 Thoughts

What’s Yo’ Name, Cho Chang?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Since we’re still discussing Azkaban on the podcast, let me indulge in one of my favourite character contemplations – Cho Chang. From first read, I’ve always been intrigued with Cho. The character’s ethnic roots alone serve as an example of Jo’s culturally conscious (and accurate) depiction of British society. I’ve yet to fully answer the question “Who is Cho Chang?”, which is undoubtedly where much of my fascination for her stems from. I’ve thrown her into several groupings that might serve as a predictable, overly-analyzed categorization of her person, if anything at all. Please feel free to settle anywhere between a disagreeable scoff and a nod of agreement. I love to take a not-so-main-vein, enlarge it, and then analyze the crap out of it. Shall we?

1. The Mysterious Vixen – Some might say Cho’s role is simple: she serves to get ‘The Beast’ (Harry’s heart and hormones) all fired up. Before this, The Beast was simply an unhatched egg – a zygote waiting to be released into the wild wizarding world. Despite all of the action we’re fed, there is definitely room for lust, and until now, we’ve been slightly starved for it. What? You know you were pumped when you read about Harry’s stomach jolt upon his and Cho’s first unofficial meeting.

Cho is ultra-pretty, mysteriously exotic, athletic, seemingly popular, and harnesses the potential to be sort of kick-ass. Her Ravenclaw membership card gives her an intimidating edge, validating that she is at least academically inclined, and could just be witty and clever (all virtues worthy of envy). We’re not so sure of her personality rating, but that (for now) allows her to remain alluring for Harry. As Emily would say “He’s freakin’ Harry Potter”, so opting for ordinary just isn’t in the cards for him.

2. The Competition – At this point in the series, whether you were once dangerously rowing towards the Hermoine – Harry ship or not, any suspicions or hopes you had for Harry’s love life are at least temporarily squashed during your first read of Azkaban. Cho is on the scene, and we didn’t see her coming. She is suddenly in hot, albeit annoyingly elusive pursuit of Harry’s attention. She’s having a blast playing with his attraction, and she knows that she’s got him. She proves that in “Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw”, doesn’t she? Giving him those eyes, and playfully vying for the snitch. Her game is admirable, and I enjoyed seeing Harry engage in teenage normalcy. It gives him a break from the dramz of being The Boy Who Lived, and we’re all “Gasp! Where did Chang come from? Who is this attractive, interesting girl? We were expecting someone else. Weren’t we?”

3. The Ideal Teenager – Come on, you know the real reason you despise Cho: it’s because she’s perfect. I mean, she’s that girl in school who you can’t help but like, and so you end up disliking because of…liking her. You know? To put it simply, she’s the type that nabs at the (not fully healed) scabs, most commonly called adolescent insecurity and self doubt, commonly mixed with, or caused by low self-esteem and inaccurate self-image. See? All of those unhealthy feelings during teenagehood are completely normal, even though your Health Ed. teacher once made you feel ickishly alienated for harbouring them. At least we had Cho to validate those feelings, and then lash out on her for smartening our wounds.

4. The Purpose is the Plot – I’m not as keen on analyzing plot like the rest of the podcasters. It’s probably because I’m not clever in that way. I’m like, “What are we talking about, guys?” I find my eyes glazing over and my thoughts gravitating toward my fridge (mmm…leftover macaroni and cheese). But um. What was I talking about? Oh yes, plot analysis. I think Cho is just another interesting twist. If anything, our hero’s immediate attraction for Cho serves as a foreshadowing into the competition and comparison between Harry and Cedric Diggory, which serves to both amplify Harry’s heroic qualities (because Harry excels at keeping up with Cedric’s athleticism and honourable virtue), while illuminating his own teenage insecurities. Let’s face it, Cedric is like a white knight while Harry is, in contrast, more of a dark horse (at this point in the series, anyway). Don’t get me wrong, I love me a dark horse, but they are always filled with internal struggle that often acts like a firey hell, blazing in the way of potential achievements. Harry can be a clear example of that, no? Wait – was that just a character analysis? I was going for plot. You see how it fits in, though!

I’m sure there are so many other things we could take from Chitty Chitty Chang Chang, but I’ll leave that to you, or I’ll simply leave it to rest. In the end, most of us are fed up with her and Harry’s relationship, which doesn’t really go anywhere (because it’s not supposed to), and becomes tiresome, tediously sad, and downright awkward. Bring on Ginny, I say, and let Cho live on as the ‘meh’ ex-girlfriend who wistfully saunters into the background, never to become relevant again.

Amen.

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Category: Canon, Fun, Uncategorized  | 9 Thoughts

Welcome Home, Me.

Friday, January 07th, 2011 | Author: Hollie

Man, this week has been stressful. Before I divulge, let me give you an update into my very un-Potter lifestyle that I’ve been leading as of late. Wait, what’s that – do I hear boos echoing in the backdrop? I deserve it.

Right, so Happy New Year, everyone! 2011 is already turning out to be eventful, what with all the environmental and political turmoil still churning worldwide, we’re bound to have an exhilarating, albeit slightly frightening year ahead of us. What? You know shiz is getting scary out there. Maybe it’s just me – I’m a little paranoid about the whole apocalypse thing.

On to better news – I’m an aunt! Yes, me, Auntie Hollie. My lovely sister-in-law gave birth to the most precious and beautiful child, Mya, on January 2nd. I must say, it was a joyous experience for the family. I’m already planning on purchasing every Harry Potter audio disc for her enjoyment. She needs some good listening material for the car, and what better way to start? I have fantasies of reading her the entire series. I hope she loves it as much as I do! My luck, she’ll refer to me as “My Cooky Aunt Hollie – you know, the one who is creepishly obsessed with those Potter books”.

Besides that, I’ve been swept up in a sea of cheerleading. Yes, I’m a cheer coach, and a damn enthusiastic one at that. We are prepping for our competition season, which is just underway. I have the most hard-working, good-natured, and persevering team there is – not to mention adorable. Yet, it’s a stressful business, being a coach. I love it, and would never change it, but there are days when my teeth are gritted and my knuckles are white. Along with my teaching, living in teenager-land isn’t always the epitome of pleasant. Oh, hush teenyboppers. Leave me alone – you know I’m right! It’s one of those days, folks, and no one said it was going to be easy.

Okay, so what is the point of this diary entry, you ask? Since when did I hijack the blog, beginning a new terrible regime called The Hollie Pensieve? All of my mumblings lead to this plain, yet tragic fact:

Through all my hustlings and bustlings, I’m left Potter deprived! Cold, shivering…alone.

Yes, I’ve a thirst for pumpkin juice, a longing for Hagrid’s choppy, yet endearing vernacular! I feel a desperation in my chest to see visions of Hogsmeade, the grounds at Hogwarts – even Privet Drive for God’s sake. Anything! I would even take on a virtual date with Voldemort if it meant reconnecting with my long-lost world. I’d hang out with Wormtail for the day if it meant I’d get some insight into what has been happening within the fandom. Even in my busiest days, I try to recall whisperings of Jo’s lofty council – bits of wisdom from interviews past. My mind fails me. I feel so far gone from Potter, it’s like I’m on the outside looking in.

Okay, I have to log on to Leaky and get researching, but there’s so much information! Where do I start? What do I do? *Wails with overwhelmed angst*…

I’m so ashamed *whimpers*

….

Okay, after I’ve calmed down, I think I can return to our favourite world with a new perspective. No longer will I take The Trio for granted, or think that the Weasleys always be at my fingertips. As life goes on, it gets busier, messier, and more complicated. Through it all, Harry Potter has never had so much importance for me than it does now – it’s my refuge, and happily, I have returned. So without further adieu, open that Burrow door, and say it with me:

“Welcome Home!”

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