Customize Your Internet Library with MyWebRoom

I have a lot of bookmarks but I'm not very good at keeping them organized. Which is why I was very happy to accept the invitation to review MyWebRoom; a customizable interface that allows you to organize your e-library.

Ever wish your bookmarks could transform from a flat design to a decorative and interactive archive? Well, after easily signing up to MyWebRoom, choose a decorative wallpaper of a wide selection. Live in the city and wish to be somewhere more quiet, transport your bookmarks into a reserve in a scared forest, or a hut by the beach. Love to travel? There are plenty of cities to choose from to like Morocco, Milan, and New York City. For tv show fanatics, and book lovers like us Harry Potter fans, you can choose from The Hunger Games, Nightmare Before Christmas, and like mine above - Harry Potter.

Placed alongside the room are items where you can store your social networks. Click a television to go to Netflix or Hulu, click on the bookshelf for literature, click on the wardrobe for fashion - and so on. Sort out your bookmarks with various furniture and objects; click and see what websites are there. Not only does MyWebRoom make it wildly accessible to organize your own favorite sites but their lists offer so many more that I didn't know existed.

Perhaps the one crime against my computer I commit on a regular basis, it's probably that I open to many tabs at once. Offering thousands of free apps to all of my favorite websites is practically eliminated with the multi-tasking I can do from my room too.

If you're looking for an easy to use interface that is smooth, organized, and fun, look to MyWebRoom. Have fun decorating your own virtual pad for your all your bookmarks and apps. Share your room with friends and stay connected to your favorite social networks. Live it up online!

Harry Potter Cast set for A Celebration of Harry Potter Event at Universal Orlando Resort

HARRY POTTER FILM TALENT ROBBIE COLTRANE, MICHAEL GAMBON, JAMES PHELPS, OLIVER PHELPS AND EVANNA LYNCH TO APPEAR AT “A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER” EVENT AT UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT 
Three-Day Event to Feature Film Talent Q&A Sessions, a Wand Combat Masterclass, the Sorting Hat Experience and More
Orlando, Fla. (November 6, 2014) – Harry Potter film talent Robbie Coltrane, Michael Gambon, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps and Evanna Lynch are slated to appear at the second annual “A Celebration of Harry Potter” – a special event hosted by Universal Orlando Resort and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The event allows fans to celebrate all of Harry’s adventures, from the beloved books to the feature films.  Creative talent also set to appear includes Paul Harris, the world’s only Wand Combat choreographer, Kazu Kibuishi, illustrator of Scholastic’s re-imagined Harry Potter book covers, and Eduardo Lima and Miraphora Mina of MinaLima, who established the visual graphic style of the Harry Potter films.
“A Celebration of Harry Potter” will take place from January 30 – February 1, 2015 at Universal Orlando. Fans will enjoy three days of incredible experiences, including Q&A and autograph sessions with Harry Potter film talent, special discussions and demonstrations with creative talent, and access to the “A Celebration of Harry Potter” Expo – where fans can enjoy the Sorting Hat experience, pose for a photo in a recreation of the iconic Great Hall set and celebrate their Hogwarts house pride in an interactive Pottermore exhibit. 

Guests can also experience Harry Potter’s world for themselves by visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and the all-new The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Vacation Package guests and those with a park-to-park ticket will also be able to board the iconic Hogwarts Express and enjoy a unique journey as they travel between King’s Cross Station and Hogsmeade Station.
 

Access to “A Celebration of Harry Potter” is included with regular theme park admission or with an annual pass, with admission to certain activities being granted on a first-come, first-served basis. While most of the activities for “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will be open to all Universal Orlando park guests, guests who purchase the exclusive event vacation package will enjoy certain special benefits and reserved sections for the discussions and demonstrations.
Event details are below:

“A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER” DISCUSSIONS AND DEMONSTRATIONS
Discussions and Q&A sessions will be available featuring Harry Potter film talent and crew, with special demonstrations and discussions for kids. Admission into discussions and demonstrations will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Specific times will be released at a later date.
  • Behind the Scenes: Harry Potter Film Talent Discussion
Enjoy a fascinating and interactive Q&A session featuring some of your favorite actors from the Harry Potter films. Discover what it was like to work on the most successful film franchise in history.    
  • Duelling Demonstration & Wand Combat Masterclass with Paul Harris
Pick up your wand and take part in a live duelling masterclass, hosted by Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, featuring the world’s only Wand Combat choreographer, Paul Harris. Paul choreographed the epic battle scenes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and will be on hand to teach you the technique behind wielding a wand.
  • Creating The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Alan Gilmore, Art Director for the Harry Potter films, will explain how he and his team brought the world of Harry Potter to life from the fiction to the films, and eventually in the two lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort. In addition, hear firsthand from Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team how live shows in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley were created, as well as some of the hidden “secrets” and innovative interactive elements contained within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 
  • Graphic Design for the Harry Potter Films with MinaLima
Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, from the graphic design studio MinaLima, will share insights into their role as Graphic Prop Designers for more than a decade on the Harry Potter movies.  They will discuss and show some of the iconic props they created for the Harry Potter films, including the Marauder’s Map, the Daily Prophet and The Quibbler, amongst others.  Still immersed in all things Harry Potter, they will also talk about their recent involvement in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley.
  • Illustration of Harry Potter with Kazu Kibuishi
Award-winning illustrator Kazu Kibuishi, who reimagined the Harry Potter book covers for Scholastic, will be drawing some of your favorite Harry Potter characters live on-stage in this interactive panel for all ages.
This year’s “A Celebration of Harry Potter” will also include kids’ discussions and interactive experiences such as a special duelling demonstration and wand combat masterclass with Paul Harris, an interactive ‘Dance Like a Beauxbatons and Battle Like a Durmstrang’ experience, as well as Harry Potter film trivia.

“A CELEBRATION OF HARRY POTTER” EXPO The Expo will be held inside a Universal Orlando soundstage and will be open to guests throughout the weekend.  The expo will include the following booths and exhibits that will give guests deeper insight into the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter:
  • Harry Potter: The Exhibition
Sorting Hat Experience
Do you think you are a Gryffindor, or a Slytherin? A Hufflepuff? Perhaps a Ravenclaw? At the beginning of each school year the Sorting Hat sorts new Hogwarts students into the appropriate house, and you’ll have the opportunity to get sorted in a Hogwarts-inspired setting…sponsored by Harry Potter™: The Exhibition.
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
The production home of the Harry Potter film series, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London gives visitors the chance to step on to the actual sets used during filming. ‘A Celebration of Harry Potter’ visitors will get a chance to pose for a photo in a recreation of the iconic Great Hall.
  • MinaLima
Graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima created countless pieces of unforgettable artwork, some of which will be on display including iconic pieces such as the Marauder’s Map, Daily Prophet and Hogwarts school books.  Exclusive to the Celebration, they will be launching their brand new range of Harry Potter stationery, featuring original film graphic artwork. Limited edition prints based on the original prop designs will also be displayed.
 Pottermore from J.K. Rowling
Show your Hogwarts house colors and celebrate your pride with Pottermore from J.K. Rowling. For the millions of fans who have participated in the exclusive Sorting Hat quiz devised by J.K. Rowling herself, here's an amazing chance to take part in Pottermore's Proudest House Contest.  Also, relive the excitement of a year in Pottermore.com and get an exclusive chance to have your say on what is to come.
  • Scholastic
Celebrate Harry Potter and share your message about what Harry Potter means to you. Meet award-winning illustrator Kazu Kibuishi, who re-imagined the Harry Potter book covers and will be signing posters on Saturday, January 30, and enter for a chance to win a box set of all seven Harry Potter books.
  • Warner Bros. Entertainment
Do you have what it takes to defend yourself against a Dementor or soar above Hogwarts castle on Buckbeak?  Step into some of your favorite scenes with this magical photo experience while surrounded by authentic movie props from the Harry Potter films.

8 Movie Moments that Deserved to be Bookslapped

How does a major studio adapt seven books to the big screen? Only Warner Bros. really holds the magic antidote to curing that toxic book adaptation genre. The Harry Potter film saga did what most other franchises could only dream of accomplishing. One of the single greatest literary phenomenons transformed into the biggest film franchise in history with its essential cast portraying the same characters for nearly a decade.

However, as much the movies are revered, it's not easy for Potterheads to avoid ruminating over what went wrong. The faults of every book adaptation is open to interpretation. The cast may be perfect to some but mismatched for others. Colossal moments of the story can be entertaining while small details are entertaining but opened a can of plothole worms. Sometimes something just looks cool and it fits with what the movie is going for. And there are just some moments that need to be Bookslapped. For this list, there are ten to be exact:

Lumos Maxima
The third installment of Harry Potter opens to the young wizard in his relative's home practicing magic on his bed. A glow warms from his wand and fades in and out as he chants "Lumos Maxima". It's a wonderful tribute to us muggles (non-magic folk) who have all sat in our beds way past our bedtime reading comic books, listening to music, or whatever.

BookSlapped: It breaks one big rule in the wizarding world: Wizards under the age of seventeen are prohibited from doing magic outside their training at Hogwarts. If you use it, the Ministry of Magic will know about it through a trace. There is some debate over whether this rule strictly means in front or involving muggles, however the guidelines are pretty clear: Magic formed accidentally through intense uncontrolled emotions are the exception; deliberate use can land you in pretty hot water. Minutes later when Harry blows up his aunt in front of his muggle relatives, he doesn't and won't get into trouble. His uncle cries out, "You can't do magic outside of school!" It's a little confusing when the rest of the movies then try to explain away that you can't purposefully use the smallest hint magic because Harry is underage and under the trace.

P.S. Could we have replaced this opening with a scene explaining the Marauder's identities and connection to the map?

Twin-Speak
The Weasley family feels like our own kin with a majority of fans loving the jocular twins Fred and George. Their quips towards others and each other are fast-paced and clever, and they are pretty much attached to the hip.

Bookslapped: That didn't necessarily mean every time they spoke it had to be unison. It's like the script didn't have time to allow each twin to be their own person, so they were compiled to talk about everything at the same time. This could be argued that the always knew what the other one was going to say so that's why they joke collectively, but it's one of those small moments where you wish more of the twin's escapades were used instead of being so condensed down.

Maze Obstacles
In Harry and the Goblet of Fire, the fourteen year old wizard is forced to partake in a deadly maze. Throughout this cinematic portion Harry spends most of his time spinning around corners of the maze while his opponents are bewitched. He inevitably reaches the end alongside fellow Hogwarts student Cedric Diggory, who together beckon each other to take the coveted victory cup.

Bookslapped: The maze is filled with obstacles; one of several includes Harry answering a riddle by a Sphinx blocking his path. A small hiccup within the movies is that Harry's actual intelligence wasn't exhibited that often. Answers sort fall into his lap or he's directed to a solution by another character. But this one scene among many reminds us that he could intellectually hold his own quite well.


Burrow on Fire
In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry stays with the Weasley family at the beloved Burrows residence over the Christmas holiday. During his stay, Bellatrix Lestrange and a host of other deatheaters swarm the house and set it on fire. It's mostly an action sequence showing that not only are these guys purely evil but that no one can hide from them...

Bookslapped: The whole sixth book humanizes Tom Riddle's background with understanding his past and then shreds that humanity into a million little pieces. Yeah, in the sixth movie we get that he was a little kid in an orphanage and a teenager digging around for dirt on horcruxes. But, his violently dysfunctional pureblood family and the years he spent ruthlessly making horcruxes is completely left out. Setting the Burrow on fire, or having Harry flirt with waitresses without protection at the beginning of the movie, just to reinforce the Harry/Ginny relationship, does not an interesting scene make. Neglect of what the horcruxes mean to Harry's well-being and defeat of Voldemort doesn't necessarily help the seventh and eighth movies be more easily understood for non-readers either.

Quidditch
The beloved high-in-the-sky competition takes up a very brief portion of the sixth movie. Ron's vision in the Mirror of Erised nearly comes trues: he comes to the rescue for the Gryffindor team, who were facing a huge uphill battle against Slytherin. Gaining a victory over the cunning and ambitious house, Weasley is a king. Luna, sporting her adorable lion hat in support of her friends, becomes the commentator for these series of games.

Bookslapped: This part was meant to take place in Order of the Phoenix. Facing High Inquisitor Dolores Umbridge at Hogwarts, Harry, Fred and George get themselves kicked off the Gryffindor team leaving (the completely deleted) Angela Johnson to find replacements. Not only does it show earlier on Ron's skills on the field but also Draco Malfoy's ruthless taunting and teasing. The really brief sports scenes in Half Blood Prince just seems inserts to what the movie could've covered.

P.S. Could we even replace the Burrow or Quidditch scene with the importance of Severus Snape's true identity as the Half Blood Prince?


Voldemort's Death
When I was first told by an acquaintance that Harry Potter and  Deathly Hallows book is entirely different from the movie, I didn't believe him. And, then I read it. There are a lot of scenes that could be listed here but I think the death of the big bad Voldy is number one.

Bookslapped: Harry just doesn't kill Voldemort quietly in the courtyard where no one witnesses the permanent death of the most evil wizard of all time. Nor does Voldemort flitter away into the air like sunburnt skin shedding itself. Nor does Harry use the Elder Wand to kill Voldemort; he actually uses his own wand and the Elder Wand is beckoned to Harry solidifying he is its one true owner. Nor does it show how Harry becomes the Master of Death by owning all three objects when he faces Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest...Nor - well, we'll just stop there.

Ron is Silenced
There's no secret to Potterheads that J.K. Rowling had admitted she struggled with writing Ron Weasley throughout the series. So much so she considered killing him at one point during the sixth book - which thankfully she chose otherwise. However this doesn't stop the incessant scene-stealing created by scriptwriter Steve Kloves, who admitted to finding Hermione more interesting than Ron.

Bookslapped: For one exampkle in the big twist of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry's life is in danger against prisoner escapee Sirius Black and Hogwarts teacher Remus Lupin. Battered and bruised, Ron defends his friend by declaring, "If you want to kill Harry, you'll have to kill us too!" Instead the line goes to Hermione in the movie. In fact a lot of scenes where Ron comes to his friends' defense are toned down or deleted. Poor, Ron.

GOBLET OF FIRE?!?!?
One of the biggest gripes about the franchise may be the unavoidable cast change from Richard Harris (who passed away between the second and third movie) to Michael Gambon who assumed the role of beloved headmaster Albues Dumbledore. Though personally I prefer Gambon's portrayal to Harris', the fervent disapproval by fans of this scene can't be ignored.

Bookslapped: In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, tween Harry is forcefully entered into the dangerous Triwizard Tournament. Only students over the age of seventeen were allowed to volunteer to compete. With an aging line and preventative spells cast around the goblet for which students entered their name, there is no way Harry could not have entered himself. So Dumbledore asks calmly: "Harry, did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?". It is not: HARRY, DID YA PUT YA NAME IN DA GOBLET OF FIRE?!?!.

Harry Potter Alumni Director Helming Fantastic Beasts Trilogy

The Harry Potter universe had thought the film series had ended with the release of the final installment Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in summer 2011. The last movie marked the epilogue to Harry Potter's longtime rivalry against his villain Lord Voldemort. Surprising fans and critics J.K. Rowling was announced to be penning the script to the movie adaptation of her best-selling companion book Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

As news continued to be mulled over by the media, it was at first rumored that Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron would return to the magical series. It was news that was quickly denied by the studios and the director himself.

We finally have confirmation from Variety that Harry Potter alumni director David Yates will be helming the next Harry Potter related franchise. The director worked on the last four films of the series including Order of the Phoenix, Half Blood Prince, Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Slated for release in November 2016, the series centered around magizoologist Newt Scamander who documents his findings and adventures of magical creatures in the titled book. The first film will be one of three over a planned trilogy. There is no word yet on who has been or will be cast as the main character, but has explored several potential rising stars for the job.

What do you think of David Yates as the director of the new franchise?

LeakyCon Day 4: Leading as a Lady, Charming a Witch, and The Process Porn Panel

Leading as a Lady with Amber Benson, Scarlett Byrne, Mary Kate Wiles, Joanna Sotomura, Alain Huffman.

These talented women have made a name for themselves playing versatile and interesting characters both in movies and television. With a focus on how and what it takes to be a leading lady in an often-male dominated business, these spirited actresses shared their experiences of what inspired them to become actresses, how women are paving the way both in front and behind the camera to create empowering entertainment, what to do with rejection as a professional actress, and maintaining space between their personal and professional lives.

Amber Benson  with a lot of gusto and enthusiasm shared some inspiring words about how women today can forge their own creative paths and declared her want of seeing versatile female characters in television, movies, and books.

David Martin
12 Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches, Lessons from Ron's Wooing of Hermione
The variety of Harry Potter panels at LeakyCon was nearly endless with subjects ranging from Severus Snape's motives to JK Rowling's headline-making announcement in 2007 about Dumbledore's sexuality, and wandlore.

David Martin pursued another aspect of the Harry Potter fandom; the transformation of Ron Weasley when brothers George and Fred gave the young lad a book for his birthday. It wasn't just any book, but a guide of how to charm witches; a penchant for understanding his female peers that young Ron lacked.

Every seat in the conference room was filled as Martin, with chocolate in hand to reward fans who answered questions correctly, guided us not only through the transformation of Weasley's relationship with Hermione from friend to boyfriend but also specific lessons in what he personally thought might be offered in 12 Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches.

The cirriculum Martin posed Weasley learned included listening, taking action, letting his beloved witch to make relationship decisions, and being a knight in shining armor when the appropriate moment to called for it. The panel was humorous, filled with insight over the relationship changes between Ron and Hermione, and even inspired attendees to implore Martin to offer a published version of his book online. Only time will tell but it was surely a memorable experience.

Lev Grossman, Rainbow Rowell, Holly Black, Malindo Lo, and Varian Johnson gathered together for The Process P*rn panel.

No, it had nothing to do with mature bedtime activities. Instead the authors shared their experiences of what they went through to begin their stories, massage their characters into outlines (or not outlines), researching, and superstitions pertaining to following routines, being comfortable while writing, and editing.

A favorite story offered during the panel was when Rowell confessed that while writing her books at a local coffee shop, one of her superstitions formed over sitting in the same booth every single day allowed her ideas to flow. When she came to sit at the shop one day to begin her writing day, she was shocked to see that the decoration of the shop had changed. It inspired her and her husband to take measurements of the booth she liked to write in and have it recreated and furnished for her own use at home.

As an aspiring writer it is easy to read guides about "what it takes to be a writer" and get caught up in all of the different suggestions that blogs offer. With five published authors appearing together (rather than a  one-on-one Q&A), it was refreshing to hear how much the answers ranged widely for each guest over whether their characters "talked" to them to how they managed a full-time job as a homemakers or journalists. Walking away from the panel, a new perspective was born that not all writers use the same methods to fuel their creativity.

LeakyCon Day 3: Hogwarts Alumni Association, Guiness World Record Attempt, and Book to Movies Panel

The Hogwarts Alumni Association
Scarlett Byrne (Pansy Parkinson), Ellie Darcey-Alden (Young Lily), Robbie Jarvis (young James Potter), Nick Shirm (Zacharias Smith), Charlotte Skeoch (Hannah Abbot)

Six Harry Potter actors united for the Hogwarts Alumni Association panel to reminisce what their experience was like to be apart the biggest franchise in movie and book history.

The cast discussed visiting the newly opened Diagon Alley theme park and their excitement of visiting the theme parks, which exceeded all of their expectations. Actor Nick Shirm actually witnessed an engagement proposal during his visit to Universal Studios Orlando. He also talked about attending music school and sang Maroon.

While sharing the auditioning process the actors underwent, Jarvis shared an exceptionally comedic story. During his audition with other James' in a big room, they were encouraged to play a game of tapping other actors on the head. Jarvis noticed five people sitting down alongside one of the walls and immediately went over to tap them on the head to win the game. Upon ending the auditioning and getting a call back, he learned that the studious-looking guests he had tapped on the head were apart of the casting and production crew; one of which was director David Yates.

In regards to the scope and passionate love for the series from fans around the world, all of the actors were grateful and thankful towards the journey of being apart of the Harry Potter films, and remarked how their participation has allowed for their lives to take different paths they may not have taken otherwise.

2014 Guiness World Record Attempt

In 2012 Leaky Con goers donned their finest footie pajamas in an attempt to make history Gathered in one of the main halls at Orange County Convention Center (the home for LeakyCon this year), attendees attempted to break a Guiness World Record: most people to wear a paper crown for a full five minutes. The spotlight and pressure was on for so many sporting head furniture of all colors and decorations, but we made it; history that is!

The Book was Better: Having Your Books Made Into A Movie
Robin Wasserman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Holly Black, Gayle Forman, and John Green

As passionate readers we are often frustrated when books are made into movies, and there are a lot of essential details that not make it to the big screen Maybe it's a particular detail of a character or an important scene that deepens for his/her journey, and often we feel robbed when particular scenes or chapters aren't adapted. Gathered together for a panel, five published authors revealed the process of what it takes for one of their stories to be made into a movie.

In most cases, such as Green and Forman whose books recently were recently released into theatres, they were both satisfied with how the books were adapted. Their involvement is truly more limited than we often consider in adaptations. Authors are not often sought out by the production to get approval for how the movie will be made, and usually once the deal is made for the rights of the book to be sold, they have no creative control. They might be able to share ideas and opinions about how the movie was cast or which scenes should not be cut out, but the production really has the final say over the final product. 

Universal Orlando Celebrates One Million Riders on the Hogwarts Express‏



The new Universal Orlando theme park Diagon Alley has only been open for one month, and already the Harry Potter expansion is celebrating it's first milestone. A new and popular attraction that journeys guests from Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, and vice versa, commemorated its one millionth rider. Congratulations to the lucky witches and wizards who will no doubt remember this special day!

Can you pledge allegiance to a Hogwarts house?

Recently I touched on another sorting hat subject where I expressed doubts of being sorted into Gryffindor. The question I posed was how does a modern-day muggle fit into the criteria of Gryffindor when there are rare many wizarding acts of bravery to perform. My lack of conviction made me question whether I belong in other houses such as Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw (though not Slytherin - sorry!).

Which prompted me to ask another question: can we pledge allegiance to one Hogwarts house?

At eleven years old young Potter and his friends understand that the sorting hat takes their choice into account during their initiation into Hogwarts. Specifically, Potter had the option of being Slytherin but through pleading with the power of that be, he was sorted into Gryffindor instead. Through and through, Potter is a staunch member and representative of this house. Despite his arduous and challenging journey and battle against Lord Voldemort - despite all the crushes, friendships, and deaths,  Potter bleeds red and yellow.

Rarely are there exhibitions of characters that blur the traits between houses - except perhaps Hermione Granger. Deemed the brightest witch of her age, astute and brave, her sorting hat ceremony experienced a hat-stall; a long rumination made by the sorting hat of where to place the prospective student. Granger tied between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw before being selected for the former. This comes as no surprise to readers as Hermione's dramatic display of intelligence may inspire us to question if she would be a better fit for Ravenclaw because of her value for books and cleverness. Often we overlook her fateful decision in the Sorcerer's Stone of choosing friendship and bravery over anything else, but her ability to look ahead and plan out against obstacles sometimes makes us believe otherwise.

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What strikes me in the Harry Potter series is - as said by Professor McGonagall in Sorcerer's Stone - your house becomes your family. As we know from Potter's experience he found his best friends that last a lifetime in Gryffindor, as well as Ravenclaw with Luna Lovegood, and quite a few enemies from the house of Slytherin. Hufflepuff played a relatively small role but had its greatest challenge when Cedric Diggory died in the Triwizard Tournament. However, a majority of his accomplices in life and his education come from his house.

Repeatedly throughout the series characters define themselves and their house but rarely break the barrier, mold, typecast. A major source of evidence with this is how Slytherin was not given a character who shatters the shackles of their houses' "evil" reputation. The journey of Severus Snape acting as a double agent to protect Harry Potter on the behalf of his love for his mother Lily inspires some to re-sort Snape into Gryffindor, but his motives can doubly be argued that they were more for his own gain than the personal protection of Harry. As much as muggle society is divided into cliques from highschool to the workplace, so is the wizarding world divided into the reputation of the houses.

The case may be best made with the Weasleys and the Malfoys. Easily, we remember and know that both families were separated by vast differences dealing with political power, wealth, and beliefs in half-blood acceptance versus pureblood domination. As the central focus for the former family, the Weasleys are befriended and surrounded by other Gryffindors such as members of the Order of the Phoenix. Having a deeply devoted cause for dark magic and loyalty to Lord Voldemort, the Malfoys join forces with other Slytherins. As much as each family is set in their ways of political advocacy in the wizarding wars, we rarely see them interact with members of other houses in a positive or polite matter; often it is when they are at odds in verbal disagreement and physical battle.


As much as I love the Harry Potter series, personalities are more complicated than a four-trait system - which is where sorting becomes complicated. It's fun to identify yourself and your friends into a house, but how well does that system work when people are so much more complicated.

Occasionally, I find myself leaning towards other houses like Hufflepuff due to my likes, dislikes, and personality traits. My mom would have me sorted into Gryffindor while my sister sorts me into Hufflepuff. Intelligence and learning is something that I value highly, as doing well in school was a main source of comfort when friends were hard to come by. Fellow Harry Potter fans that find themselves a mix of two houses sort themselves accordingly; Gryffinpuff, Slytherclaw, Ravendor, Hufflepin - but I find it hard to distinguish myself into one or the other. How well does the sorting hat truly capture a person's personality if said student is a flavor of more than house?

If we're lucky enough when we are young to be boisterous and proud, our true colors are not afraid to shine through. But as we grow up, we don't remain stagnant. Our beliefs, actions, motives, and sometimes even personality traits can shift, shrink, and magnify. Those who may be introverted when they are younger morph into outgoing and enthusiastic extroverts; some who may be willing to be a follower when they are young can grow into a role as a leader. And yet through all the trials and obstacles that Harry and his friends experience, they all remain idyllic members of their fated house.

In the way that muggles look back on their elementary or high schools by how they were divided or united by groups; popular, jocks, band, artsy, debate, drama, etc. is our sorting something we wholly accept and do not judge? Is it possible to remain a member of one house?

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