7 Reasons I Love Witch Please

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Hey everyone! I’ve talked a bit about the podcast Witch, Please — a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world, to definitely not quote its own introduction — on this blog before, but it’s just started up again after hiatus and I’m feeling a lot of love for it. Instead of yabbering on to my friends all day, I thought it would be fun to actually voice these feelings and thus convince you to flail about it along with me. (Fun fact: this idea literally came to me as I was falling asleep. I AM SO GLAD I REMEMBERED IT

1. Feminism 

I mean, do you even need any more of a reason? FEMINISM IS THE BEST. For a while I sort of, er, forgot that feminism was a thing because I was going through a bunch of personal stuff but this podcast reminded me that feminism is a cool thing that exists. *nods* I feel like I’ve learnt a lot of stuff and just in general become more engaged with feminism and how I can think about the world and what stuff I read.

2. The hosts are super cool

The hosts, Hannah and Marcelle, are extremely cool badass lady scholars! I admire them a lot! I, too, would love to be such badass scholar one day. The guests that feature in various episodes are also of course very lovely — I mean, to be honest EVERYONE IS LOVELY.

3. Excellent use of sound effects

I mostly listen to narrative fiction podcasts where, like, the audio corresponds to stuff happening in the story, but I think this makes SUCH good use of sound effects! I now imagine owl noises whenever anyone mentions Hedwig. Actually, I just imagine sound effects into my whole life.

3. I’ve learnt a lot

Every time I listen to an episode I feel like I LEARN SO MUCH. I read Harry Potter when I was in primary and although I think I have reread it at some point, I…definitely missed a lot. So it’s cool to revisit the books, sometimes even reread them as well, and then listen to the episodes. However, I not only learn about Harry Potter but also stuff like: how film works! Narrative! Print culture! Advertising! Long words that I can use to intimidate people!

5. I’ve been inspired

I admit, I haven’t been enjoying English lessons at school that much? I don’t really like our GCSE text and I was feeling like it was a bit pointless but this podcast taught me that academia & analysis actually can be fun be fun and interesting. It really inspired me to take more of an interest in reading because I, too, would like to be able to read a book and go LOOK AT THIS, THIS IS INTERESTING. Now sometimes I use things I’ve listened to in episodes in class and feel very accomplished, mwahaha.

6. It makes me laugh

You might not be expecting a lot of laughs from the summary but trust me, IT IS VERY FUNNY. Listening really puts a smile on my face. I also really adore the recurring jokes! And the segments! I spent most of the holiday special episode laugh-crying. Other highlights include character impressions and the ‘sexyy’ sound effect. Just trust me.

7. The awesome Witch, Please community

I love that there’s a really interactive listening community for this podcast! There are many lively discussions and insights from other smart people on Twitter, where @ohwitchplease are the most active. It’s great that you can have a conversations with the creators and other listeners beyond just listening to each episode. ! I actually went to some of the London fan meet-up (although I had to leave early to go to my friend’s birthday, alas) and it was VERY AWESOME.

Just AAAAALL the superlatives, if you couldn’t already tel. I wholeheartedly recommend. You can find all Witch, Please episodes, including the first episode of the new season on ohwitchplease.ca, iTunes, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Is That a Podcast I Hear…? (Maybe)

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Yes! I am here with another some-cool-media-I-have-been-enjoying-lately post. What can I say; I’ve been finding some very cool things recently! Today I’m talking about podcasts. It’s taken me a while to get into the podcast format; I tried Welcome to Night Vale and I feel like I am the only person ever who didn’t enjoy it.  I started listening to Serial this time last year, and I’ve also listened to a podfics, but FINALLY I HAVE SEVERAL REGULAR THINGS I LISTEN TO. Even if now I feel like I’m trying to switch between a bunch of different stories at the same time haha. (My iPod Nano from when I was 7 has suddenly become SUPER USEFUL. I love it.)

Witch, Please (listen here) In which two lady scholars discuss the Harry Potter world. OH MY GOD, I LOVE THIS. Every episode is a joy to listen to. As someone who doesn’t especially like literature analysis as school, this actually gets me interested in reading things critically! I feel like I’ve learnt a lot from it, and it also makes me laugh. The hosts Hannah and Marcelle are SUPER RAD. Just in general Witch, Please is completely wonderful and I would wholeheartedly recommend if you have an interest in Harry Potter. Or if you just like listening to cool people. (Also *whispers* Hannah might be coming to London and I WANNA BE ABLE TO GO TO A MEETUP AAH)

The Strange Case of Starship Iris (listen here) This is the only podcast that I’m actually ‘up to date’ on, so to speak — I sort of like not having a large backlog to listen to, even if it means I have to wait for updates. This, too, is QUEER SPACE. (Can you spot a theme haha?) I can’t say too much because #spoilers but TRUST ME, IT IS WORTH YOUR TIME.

The Adventure Zone (listen here) It’s…really weird to go from listening to Witch, Please to this, but THERE IT IS. ‘Four guys play Dungeons & Dragons’ doesn’t really sound like something I’d be interested in, I admit — and the first few episodes required a bit of concentration — but now I just end up walking to school and chuckling to myself slightly. I have no idea what everyone else thinks of me haha. I even kind of enjoy the ad break, which is REALLY WEIRD. I don’t know. It’s cool to have something a bit more lighthearted.

The Penumbra Podcast (listen here) I’m getting through this one a bit slowly because I am super easily creeped out and, like, I don’t want to listen to it when I’m alone in the house haha, but I LOVE EVERYONE. It’s queer space mystery! The characters are super rad! All the voices are SO WONDERFUL, as are the sound effects. In general the production is, like, extremely cool.

do you listen to any podcasts? if so, what would you recommend? (i love new listening material!!)

One Page More! EO3: Fantastic Things About Fantastic Beasts

I PROMISE YOU, I’M STILL MAKING THESE. Even though I slightly broke my schedule. But I’ll hopefully be back for real next month! Life and NaNo have just both been really getting to me and I haven’t had much time to blog or comment as much as I’d like to which makes me sad.

But today I have something which is making me happy! As I’m sure many of you know, the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released this month and I ACTUALLY REMEMBERED TO BUY TICKETS FOR IT WHOOP. Today I’m delighted to be chatting about it to the wonderful Em @ Adventures of a Lost Teen! ❤ The episode begins with some expectations we did at the start of the month — haha, mostly me talking at length because nervous — and then we talked about our actual feelings post-film.

Sorry for the patchy quality of my own audio at times in this one; believe me, I too am pained by it. Next month I'll remember to find my dictaphone beforehand. 😛 But I did compose a new jingle for you guys so look out for that. 🙂

Just a warning: the second part does contain some spoilers if you haven’t seen the movie haha, so please do beware! And as ever, I really hope you enjoy.

Although sometimes doing this whole podcast thing makes me a little anxious, I think it’s been really great for me and I’ve had a lot of fun doing the episodes so far. I really appreciate anyone who’s actually listening to them! And of course if you fancy guesting them please let me know. 😀

My Harry Potter Life Tag

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Hey everyone! I haven’t done a tag in a while, and I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about Harry Potter lately, so I AM DOING A HARRY POTTER TAG. More specifically, a tag about my Harry Potter life which was created by the wonderful Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff. How it works is you pick four books — mine are Six of Crows, Radio Silence, Eleanor & Park and I’ll Give You the Sun — and they help determine stuff about what you’d be like in the Wizarding world.

1. your wand

Open book 1 at a random page. The first noun you see will be what your wand is made of.

My wand is apparently made of PAPERWORK. I love this. HA. I feel like it would be a really grumpy and misunderstood wand. (Shh. Of course I am giving it a personality.) Or just grumpy, because to be quite honest paperwork is a massive bore. Although I don’t know I couldn’t have got a super badass wand like a lockpick wand because HELLO Six of Crows. NEVER MIND I LOVE MY PAPERWORK WAND ANYWAYS.

2. your pet

Does book 2 have animals? One of those animals will now be your pet. If the book doesn’t have any animals, then I’m sorry but you’re petless.

BRIAN THE DOG IS MY PET YES YES THIS IS ALL GOOD. Although people who have read Radio Silence: you feel my pain, right? I may or may not have chosen this as book 2 specifically so I could see Brian again. *coughs* Of course not. Anyways, where even are the dogs at Hogwarts? Dogs are awesome. They would be awesome at Hogwarts. (Everything would be awesome at Hogwarts.)

3. your hogwarts house

Open book 3 at a random page. Whatever House you think the first character you see belongs to is your House.

I got Eleanor! I think Eleanor is firmly a Gryffindor, so I’ll head there too. And I love her so that’s all good. (Though never fear, I still have Ravenclaw blood in me too. However cool Eleanor is, I wouldn’t abandon you guys like that.

4. make your golden trio complete

Open book 4 at a random page. The first two names will be your best friends and complete your squad. If there’s only one name at said page, open another random page.

Well, er, for this one I got Guillermo Garcia and Jude’s mom. mum but that’s how the book spells it pfft Although the page was narrated by Jude so maybe she counts…? I mean, I think it’d be rather an odd trio considering the massive age gap but Guillermo Garcia is awesome. So at least I have that. 😛

5. your head of house

Open book 1 at a random page. The first name you’ll see will be your Head of House.

YAS IT’S INEJ. I feel like Inej would be a really cool Head of House — although she’d definitely take House Points from us if we did bad stuff. I guess being fair isn’t too bad though. But YES that is a very good one. *nods*

6. your ‘draco malfoy’

Naturally you’ll need your arch nemesis/school rival. Open book 2 at a random page, the first name you’ll see will be your enemy.

Oh no, it’s Aled Last! *hugs* My tiny son, it shall be fine. We will get through this. We are definitely not going to be enemies forever.

7. your patronus

Open book 3 at a random page. The first living creature you’ll see will be your Patronus.

My Patronus is apparently Park. That’s cool. I can work with this. I mean, Park basically kind of is me. (Or at least we’re very similar).

8. will you win the house cup?

How many pages does book 4 have? That’s how many points you’ll House have at the end of the school year. If the book has more than 400 pages it will have won the Cup, congrats!

371 PAGES NOO SO CLOSE. Although obviously we are still coming in second. (Or maybe first. The first house might be, like, disqualified or something.)

Thanks so much to Michelle for creating this tag! I had a lot of fun doing it — even if I did end up with some weird choices haha. Don’t at all feel like you have to do it, but I’m tagging Em and Victoria!

Harry Potter: Exploring the Unforgivable Curses

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Today I’m delighted to be participating in the Potterhead July blog festival, hosted by Aentee @ Read at Midnight. All through this month many other wonderful bloggers are writing about a wide variety of topics to celebrate the release of the Cursed Child script! You can check out the full schedule here.

I decided to write about something which I have a deep interest in — Wizarding law! Even though you might not think it features a lot in the books, there’s a LOT of fascinating material to look at. *nods* (If you couldn’t tell: I am nerdy when it comes to Wizarding law.) But the whole of Wizarding law is rather a broad topic, and neither you nor I would have the willpower to read and write a massive sprawling paper on it. Although I am  kind of sad not to be able to write about werewolves. But ANYWAY. In this post I’m focusing on the Unforgivable Curses! I’ll be looking at the reasoning behind them, their flaws, what they mean for morality in the Wizarding world.

As I’m sure many of you know, there are three Unforgivable Curses: the Imperius curse, the Cruciatus curse, and the Killing curse. (AKA Avada Kedavra. For ease that’s what I call it most of the time. SORRY, TECHNICALITIES.) Imperius makes the victim unquestioningly follow the will of whoever cast it — i.e. mind control — Cruciatus causes extreme pain/torture, and Avada Kedavra instant death. The penalty for casting an Unforgivable Curse is an automatic life sentence in Azkaban.

“And they are so named?”
“Because they are unforgivable. The use of any one of them will….”
“Earn you a one-way ticket to Azkaban. Correct.”

(This is from the movie of The Goblet of Fire, by the way. Not actual canon, but I though it was a rather nice explanation.)

The reasoning behind them is essentially that these spells are so evil that you can never be forgiven for using them. (The clue is in the name.) They’re some of the — if not the — worst crimes a witch or wizard can commit. It seems fairly logical; after all, in the Muggle world we usually have strong penalties for murder, torture and slavery. (There isn’t a completely direct Muggle Imperius comparison, but that seemed most fitting .) In many places people can go to prison for life for these crimes.

However, if you look into them a bit more then the concept becomes rather flawed. Firstly, the inconsistent reasoning behind the Unforgivable Curses themselves. Although many people would call them the ‘worse’ of the three Curses, Cruciatus and Avada Kedavra are both rather problematic. Like I said earlier, there isn’t a direct comparison to Imperius in the Muggle world — you can’t get the same effect in any other way. But the results of Cruciatus and Avada Kedavra can be achieved fairly easily via non-Unforgivable means, whether that’s with other curses or through Muggle means. The penalty is placed on the method rather than the result.

Avada Kedavra has the weakest argument, to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very strongly against murder! But there are many other ways to be killed in the Wizarding world and the same punishment isn’t meted out, particularly in reference to Aurors. It doesn’t figure that only people who murder using Avada Kedavra should be punished with the Unforgivable penalty. So the first problematic element to the Unforgivable Curses are their inconsistency.

The second problem is the automatic sentence to Azkaban. It’s unclear whether this includes a trial or not, but as you might now the Wizarding judicial system isn’t exactly trustworthy. *coughs* let’s hope they did some reforms Normally a judge would decide the punishment. But it seems as though with the Unforgivable Curses, the caster is given no option but to go straight to Azkaban. (Which is especially unfair if that’s without a trial.)

Following these rules, several characters we see as good — including Molly Weasley and Harry himself — should be in Azkaban. In the books they did escape this, but what of those without fame and some form of trust from the establishment on their side? It’s far more fair and logical to hold a trial, consider the situation and evidence and then punish the caster. Considering the horrific conditions of Azkaban, you don’t really want to be sending the wrong person there. (Although that seems to happen, er, fairly frequently.) (Okay, I know this post isn’t a discussion about the prison system, but we should probably consider whether Azkaban is actually a useful place for criminals to go. I mean, it wouldn’t be beneficial for the world if Harry Potter was locked up in prison, so…?)

As well as these two major problems, there are also many other terrible fates out there in the Wizarding world that aren’t branded Unforgivable, such as the Dementor’s Kiss. It just doesn’t make sense to single out these three for particular attention and then disregard others.

The strong penalties aren’t even very effective. Many wizards seem unafraid to cast Unforgivable Curses. Like I said before, this includes many characters we’d see as good, and brings into the equation the question of their own morality. Ultimately, the governing system is still very flawed and practices violence despite their laws. And, as Hermione might point out, they don’t have very good relations with non-wizard magical beings. It’s pretty unclear as to what the law is concerning Unforgivable Curses in this manner. You’d think it would be the same, because a lot of the phrases are to do with the method rather than the effect, but the Ministry of Magic seemed pretty content with killing Buckbeak so it’s difficult to say.

In summary, although I find the concept of Unforgivable Curses very interesting, I think that they’re a rather flawed concept and — like many aspects of Wizarding life — require changes. If you fancy reading up on a bit more, then it turns out there are some rather excellent legal articles out there (by actual law students) about Harry Potter! Yes, that’s an actual thing. 😛 I found this one by Aaron Schwabach extremely useful, but this is also great if you want some broader information about the Law in Harry Potter.

what do you think about the unforgivable curses? are they fair? are you participating in the potterhead july festival?

Chronicles at Hogwarts: Epilogue – Indira Marshall


I can’t believe the Story Mash Up has come to the end! I’ve had such a fantastic time reading everyone’s chapters and seeing how the plot developed. Especially since I had such a different idea of what might happen to start off with! 😛 But before I have to let these characters go (*sniffs*), we’re each going to be posting our epilogues following the events of the day.

The Story Mash Up is a collaborative writing project hosted by Joan @ Fiddler Blue where we all write a chapter following the lives of our characters at Hogwarts. (Which I sadly do not own. So copyright JK Rowling!)  You can read all the previous chapters here:

Chapter I: Indira by me @ here
Chapter II: Aislin by Joan @ Fiddler Blue
Chappter III: Min Hye by Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff
Chapter IV: Yokitori by Tasha @ The Bookgasm Blog
Chapter V: Percy by Ash @ Teabears & Co.
Chapter VI: Dalton by Vineeth @ The Lousy Design
Chapter VII: Ashley by Kaycee @ Kaycee K

I’ll be linking everyone’s epilogues here once they’ve been also been posted. 🙂

{Ashley} {Yoki} {Indira} {Aislin} {Min Hye} {Percy} {Dalton}

epilogue: indira

Indira hovered in the door of the hospital wing, watching the visitors drift out to head to the Quidditch match. The stone walls were dappled with sunlight, but it didn’t do anything to ease the tension in her clenched fists. Breathe, she told herself.
“Hello?” Emily asked, voice hesitant and quietened by the distance. Because obviously her bed was all the way across the other side of the room, forcing walk in front of all the other patients to reach her. Indira didn’t see why scratches on the arm required the patient to be bed-bound. She couldn’t even

Indira hovered in the door of the hospital wing, watching the visitors drift out to head to the Quidditch match. The stone walls were dappled with sunlight, but it didn’t do anything to ease the tension in her clenched fists. Breathe, she told herself.

“Hello?” Emily asked, voice hesitant and quietened by the distance. Because obviously her bed was all the way across the other side of the room, forcing walk in front of all the other patients to reach her. Indira didn’t see why scratches on the arm required the patient to be bed-bound. She couldn’t even understand why Emily was even still in the hospital wing. It was a waste of space –

She took another deep breath, released her fingers from their fist, and stepped out of the shadows. She kept her eyes down walking all the way over to Emily’s bed.

She looked down at Emily’s crinkled brows. “Hi.” Bloody hell, it would have been better to do this when there were more people around, not less; her voice echoed so unpleasantly in this empty room.

“So,” Emily said, fiddling her own hands in her bedsheet. “Who forced you to come?”

“No one forced me to come,” Indira said sharply, then tilted her head and relented. “Well. Maybe – maybe it was the Ravenclaw girls and Min Hye. But they didn’t exactly force me.”

“You’re missing a Quidditch match.”

Emily’s voice was pointed. Through the crosses of the window, Indira could see the Quidditch stands and hoops. Her team captain usually got too carried away to take notes on tactics by the end; she could be losing Slytherin the Quidditch cup for this.

She sighed. “Believe me, I know. I…they thought it would be better to come if it was, you know. Quiet.” You are going to do this well, she repeated to herself for what must been the twentieth time this morning.

After a moment’s pause, Emily said quietly, avoiding eye contact “You know that I’m sorry. I – I didn’t…”

“You didn’t mean to reveal that I was a werewolf to the entire school?” she sneered. Her voice must have been loud, Emily’s eyes darted around at the other inhabitants of the hospital. “It’s fine. They were going to figure it out sometime. It might be better – oh, Merlin.”

Indira really had wanted to not turn this into a bitter revenge speech. She rubbed her temples, trying to recall the somewhat severe list of how-not-to-mess-up Min Hye had given her. (The Hufflepuff commentator have appeared sweet, but she certainly wasn’t the pushover Indira had anticipated.)

“Okay, I’m just going to start that again. I have literally no idea what you thought you were doing and I don’t think it was alright, but – anyway, I’m supposed to be forgiving you.” She swallowed, and her eyes drifted to the light silver scars on Emily’s arm. She said a little quieter, “That doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven you now, but I’m probably going to.”

As soon as Indira finished speaking, Emily shook her head with vehemence. “No, it – it shouldn’t be you doing this. I acted awfully. I was just tired of all the stupid Muggleborn stuff. I mean….Slytherins aren’t always the most welcoming lot.” She looked up at Indira, giving a weak and hopeful smile. Indira could feel her walls crumble like a stale biscuit.

“I’m not going to argue with that,” she said, returning the smile with what she hoped was warmth. They kept smiling at each other, and Indira stared a little helplessly for a second before looking back down at her hands. The knot that had remained in her stomach for so long felt like it was finally loosening. And it was wonderful. “Although it would be good if you could, like, not try and reveal me as a werewolf in the most humiliating way possible again.”

Emily pushed herself up so she was sitting against the backboard. “I’m not going to argue with that.”

If Indira was going to try and start this year anew, now was her chance. “So…” she said, her eyes drifting out the window again to the Quidditch players swooping around the pitch. “Do you want to come to Hogsmeade after the match with me?”

Emily fixed Indira with a serious glare before pushing aside her bedsheets. “Madame Pomfrey must never know.”

I’ve had SUCH an amazing time with this project and it’s been wonderful to meet so many lovely new people! I’m really looking forward to reading all the epilogues, and I hope you are as well. 🙂

Story Mash-Up: Chapter I


i. premonition

The dissent grew quietly, lodging itself between the laughter and the crackling fires and the gentle hum of work. Indira might even have missed it – hell, she would have, because she was too stupidly focused on Quidditch and trying to avoid any remnants of last year. Even consciously thinking about anything before the summer sharpened the dull ache sharpen.

It didn’t matter. She could get by well enough on chatter with the people in her lessons, even if they didn’t really have anything in common besides a surname towards the middle of the alphabet. In some ways it was a blessing, anyway; it wasn’t like she didn’t have training to do. And there was no way in hell Ravenclaw were winning the Quidditch cup again this year.

Two weeks into term, the amount of people turning up to Quidditch training was still suspiciously small. They’d gone through the whole fiasco of try-outs – they’d gained a second year Beater, and there were a few others who could be decent with practice – but several of the players from last year hadn’t yet turned up. Although Indira knew that not everyone would get up in the mornings for extra training like she would, the team was close-knit; she had at least felt like they were friends. (Well. You had to be. After all those hours.)

Indira entered the common room and dumped her broom by the door, rubbing her hands together and trying to get at least something that resembled feeling into her fingers. Apart from the other players filing in from practice behind her, the common room was unusually quiet; the candles meant it was pretty difficult to do homework here anyway, although some people still tried it.

Emily was across the room, sitting on one of those melodramatic throne-like chairs that dwarfed anyone who sat in them. A textbook sat limply in her hands. Her eyes were unfocused.

Indira strode towards her. “Oh my god, please don’t tell me you quit the team to focus on studying,” she said. She had barely seen Emily at all…now that she both was a fifth year and no longer playing Quidditch as it seemed, Indira only spotted her in snatches at the dinner table.

The clouds only lifted from Emily’s eyes in part. Indira drummed her hands across the carpeted arm of the seat. “If you don’t play, we’ll have to recruit some awful first-year to play Seeker.  You don’t want to embarrass us like that, right?” She cracked a smile.

“I can’t play,” Emily said flatly.

Indira’s fingers stopped moving. “What?”

“You won’t be able to train soon, anyway.”

“What?” Apparently Indira wasn’t capable of doing anything but echoing the same word. Multiplying it. She stared. A bubble of quiet had fallen across the surrounding areas. (As soon as Indira turned around, they’d be reading again, but she had done this often enough herself to know what a listening sort of silence felt like.)

Emily’s hands tightened around her book. Indira look down; it was Ancient Runes. The same page had been open for their entire conversation. A black wire curled out from under the pages and into the back of the seat.

Her gut clenched. “Oh,” she said tightly, and started to turn away to retrieve her broomstick. “I get it. You’re too busy playing with you Muggle toys. Don’t blame us when we lose all our matches.”


As soon as she got up to the girl’s dormitory, the tension in her body released like an elastic band. God. It nagged at her that Emily had quit the team for, of all things, her weird obsession with trying to get her Muggle electronics. (God knew what had happened to the rest of the team.) But she shouldn’t have said that. People would talk. The House divides weren’t nearly as strong as they used to be – but despite that, Slytherin still had somewhat of a reputation. And some words stuck, you know?

She dropped her broom beside the bed and dug inside the bottom of the drawer to find her lunar calendar. Maybe it was a full moon. She could have lost count… The run-up to school had been so rushed. It was possible.

She flicked past September three times before she found it. There was still another ten days to go in the cycle.

It would have been a lot easier if she could blame this on the wolf, wouldn’t it? That’s what normally caused this distinct feeling of wrongness. Because that’s what it was: there was something in walls of the castle that wasn’t right. That didn’t fit in with everything else. And Indira didn’t understand any of it.


*cackles* I’m evil. I’m an evil person who is really invested in Christmas and Harry Potter right now. I’m actually about to break up, yay! I still have two essays due in tomorrow, though… Ahem. I’d better get on with those. 😉

This post is the first chapter in the Story Mash-Up, hosted by Joan @ Fiddler Blue. She’ll also be the next to write, so keep an eye out on her blog! I also need to write a disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of JK Rowling, but all the characters and text from this project belong to their respective authors. 🙂

Take Note, Muggles | Wizarding v Muggle Issues

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I’ve got to admit it, if I found a wormhole to Hogwarts I would totally go. IT’S FREAKING HOGWARTS. However, outside of my flailing-and-desperate-checking-the-post-for-my-Hogwarts-letter, I do have some Actual Real Problems with the wizarding world. And I realised that most of them had something in common: they’re also actual problems that I have with British society today.

So! I present to you a list of some of the difficulties of the wizarding world that occur throughout and beyond the HP books, and how they’re actually pretty relevant. (Mostly to Britain, because that’s where I live, but you don’t at all need to have an in-depth knowledge of British politics. *looks down at self and coughs* They’re pretty broad ideas.)

The government is corrupt. Hurrah. The system is a villain.

Aside from the Death Eaters taking over the government for a teensy while, the Ministry isn’t that bad. There are lots of worse fictional examples. See an annual televised fight to the death.

yay hunger games

But: Umbridge. Umbridge. There are people who like Draco and Snape and Voldemort, but to be honest, I’ve never seen anyone who likes Umbridge. (Let’s face it, she is the scariest character.) Whereas Voldemort is the Big Bad Villain to be Defeated In Battle By The Good and Pure Hero, I think Umbridge is more frightening because her brand of fear is more real. Plenty of people have been caught out by the system which is supposed to protect them – I mean, the law isn’t perfect. Though I’m not saying that, like, the entire government is corrupt, many people of high status (and wealth) get away with nasty stuff. There is still a ton of prejudice and bias – heck, Parliament isn’t even all that representative of the people. At least 20 MPs – out of 650 – were educated at Eton, and there’s no way you can tell me that’s proportional. I just feel like we were really screwed by the 2015 election. Ugh. The seats did not at all correlate to the percentage of votes so maybe the voting system actually needs to change??? Speaking of which:

The education system revolves around tests and, frankly, it sucks.

Okay, this is another Umbridge thing that thankfully was resolved after The Order of the Pheonix. I find it interesting how the Ministry’s reach for more testing and less practical work was kind of villainised by JK Rowling, because that’s pretty much what’s happening now in the UK. Our children are doing worse compared to the rest of Europe? Give them tests from age 5! Get rid of coursework! Let them spend another hour in the exam hall defining their future with their ability to use keywords from a mark scheme!

I really dislike the current education system. Learning shouldn’t be something that make you sick with anxiety. I mean, I get that I’m going to have to work but it’s not learning that I inherently dislike. I enjoy gaining new skills. But you know what? Not everyone works well in exams, and that doesn’t mean they aren’t clever. Likewise, there are plenty of occupations that can’t be prepared for simply with written work. You can’t learn everything from textbook. :/

People cannot be categorised with a word.


I dislike what the Houses have become. Sorting people based on qualities they value makes sense, right? You’re probably going to achieve more and be happier. What I feel the Houses often become is a sorting of people based on their personality.

It’s so difficult to box people up into four different types. There’s always dissent about Sorting of fictional characters, and if you think about Sorting your friends or even yourself into Houses…it’s pretty hard. We all have different facets. We are not defined by one trait. And we certainly don’t remain 11-year-old self for the rest of our lives. (What, people change? *gasps* -_-)

The HP books almost exclusively from the viewpoint of a Gryffindor, which means that a lot of stereotypes are perpetuated. Gryffindor not the only House worth being in. (Or a bit of Slytherin if you like villains.) Gryffindors are not all awesome. As this excellent Tumblr post says: Cedric Diggory did not die for all the good Harry potter merch to be Gryffindor and Slytherin.
This is not okay. ALL HOUSES MATTER. Hufflepuff is NOT the freaking potato house. Not all Slytherins are evil. Ravenclaws have actual personalities beyond intelligence. Gryffindors are not always the heroes. (Another nice post about this.) Many people could probably fit into more than one house. You have choice.

I know that you can be moulded by the people you surround yourself with. I don’t want that to happen to all the ickle new first years. (Though! Non-Hogwarts schools also yessss.) So many stereotypes exist around us, sometimes based on things that aren’t even our choice. They need to go.

Prejudice? Stereotypes? Yeah, I’m not done with this.

I don’t feel that strongly about Snape but I absolutely do not forgive him for Lupin. Lupin was awesome, and also he was an awesome teacher. He’s the teacher we all wish we had. Obviously he is not?? a? danger????

In my opinion, Potter isn’t that good at diversity. I mean, plenty of fans write and draw and imagine it diverse, using the relative freedom it gives, which is super nice, but. It’s so widely read that I felt such a difference could have been made. Instead…yeah.

But I think we can probably agree that Lupin definitely didn’t need to leave, and the prejudice against werewolves is not cool. Prejudice is not cool, full stop.

Is loss of free will equal to loss of life?

Ah, the 3 Unforgivable curses. You probably know them I find it fascinating that those three were chosen to be Unforgivable – with punishment as a life sentence Azkaban – because most people rank Avada Kedavra as the worst, then Cruciatus, and finally Imperio. Why did Rowling choose to make crimes different in the eyes of many the same in the wizarding world? Should using Imperio get the same punishment as Avada Kedavra? Okay, this isn’t a problem per se, but I find it interesting JK Rowling chose it to be this way.

This thing about the Chosen One. What.

The concept of a Chosen One is strange. I just…do they start off like that? Hell, why is one person even chosen to be more special than the others? It just feels weird to me. It’s used in so many texts yet I feel like that one person is so removed. It sounds pretty lonely. Where are the effect? In this moment of promotion for my favourite mages, I present to you a reason why I am HELLA EXCITED FOR CARRY ON. Exploration of this yesss.

In conclusion, I have found that complaining whilst listening to the Harry Potter soundtrack is a great way to pass the time. *coughs* Ahem. What do you guys think of issues in books and issues today? Do you know your Hogwarts House?

I’m collecting my blog survey results soon – thank you so much for all your responses so far! – so if you haven’t already filled it out, this is a pretty great chance to make my blog more awesome. 😉 It will only take up a tiny portion of your internet browsing time, I promise!

What I’m Loving This May

What I'm Loving this may

Green Tea – I’m drinking it whilst revising.
The Body Shop Cherry Blossom Fragrance Mist – It smells of Spring. I love it.
Lindor Chocolate – I finally finished all the Lindor chocolate lying around my room. It was delicious.
Petroleum Jelly – I’m using this massive tub of not-Vaseline for my cuticles and nails.
Body Shop Peach Lip Gloss – this smells good enough to eat. And I do eat it.
Throne of Glass – As ever. How could I not?
Michel Mercier hairbrush – I got this new hairbrush, and it works a lot better than my old one. Plus, it looks awesome.
Assorted Harry Potter Merchandise – I went to the Harry Potter studio Tour on Monday and it was AWESOME! This is what I bought at the shop. I’ll love you forever, Dobby.
Carnegie Book Shadowing (not pictured) – I’m currently reading the books on the CILIP Carnegie shortlist. I haven’t finished yet, but my favourites so far are Blood Family, All The Truth That’s in Me and The Bunker Diary.

I’m hoping to make this thing a monthly feature at the end of each month, and it will include books, movies, beauty stuff, hair stuff, food – anything, really! It’s basically May Favourites but that sounded too boring, so I changed it.