I Opened Up A Book

I opened up a book

And got lost in a perfect world

This world didn’t judge me

This world didn’t keep secrets


It didn’t matter what they looked like

They were all beautiful to me

And I was beautiful to them

I didn’t have to hide


When the book came to an end

And I read those final words

I felt sad

But also better than before


Because, for a while, I escaped

Into a world that was beautiful

And dark and complex and tragic

And it accepted that I was, too.




Badgers and Serpents: A Hogwarts-inspired Fanfic

Mia stood on her front porch. She began to pace back and forth, checking her watch at twenty second intervals. She wasn’t sure if she wanted time to speed up or slow down. All she knew was that she wanted Thomas to arrive. She was about to give up hope and refresh her makeup again, when he came walking up to her wearing a charming grin. He climbed up the brick steps that led to the porch, took her hand in his, and kissed her fingers. It took everything she had to ignore the butterflies he sent fluttering through her stomach.

“You look lovely Mia.” He said. She wore a light brown skirt, a crème-colored blouse and a yellow jumper. Her hair was styled in an elegant up-do and her cheeks were dusted with pink blush. Thomas pulled a bouquet of flowers he had been hiding behind his back and presented them to Mia. They were her favorite flower: daisies. She took the flowers, brought them to her nose and smiled as she breathed in their sweet scent. Then, she raised the bouquet up and used them to slap Thomas’s arm.

“You’re always ten minutes early and the day you choose to be a half hour late is the day you agree to meet my parents!” She said. She hit him one last time with the daisies, making flower petals fall to the ground with grace.

“To be fair, I’m only twenty minutes late.”

“Bloody hell, what’s the difference? I’ve been freaking out, my palms are sweaty. I was so worried you wouldn’t show.” She said. He brushed some flower petals from his jacket.

“I’m sorry, love, but I missed my bus. I’m just so used to apparating these days.”

“Then why didn’t you?”

“I didn’t want to risk getting splinched. I didn’t think it would be very charming for me to meet your parents while half my limbs were torn off.” She brushed a loose strand of hair behind her ear and crossed her arms.

“You’ve never been afraid of apparating before.”

“And I’ve never met your parents before, have I? Trust me, you’re not the only one whose been freaking out.” He ran a hand through his dark brown hair and gave her a sincere smile. “I truly am sorry.” She reached over and removed a daisy petal from his hair.

“And I’m sorry for hitting you with these lovely flowers. Oh dear,” She said, looking at the petals that had fallen around her. “I’ve ruined them. I didn’t mean to.” He placed a hand on her shoulder.

“I can fix that.” He took out his wand and performed a silent spell that made the petals swirl from the ground, returning to their proper place in the bouquet. It was as good as new.

“They’re lovely.” Mia said.

“Almost as lovely as you.” He gave her a gentle kiss. She took his hand in hers.

“I didn’t mean to freak out like that.” He laughed and gave her hand a squeeze.

“I’ll admit, I was a bit scared. You’re the most calming person I know. I half expected you to turn my hair orange.”

“Don’t be silly. I would have turned it blue.”

“I could have pulled it off. I’m quite handsome after all. At least, that’s what my girlfriend tells me.” He said. She took a breath.

“Now we just need my parents to approve of you being my boyfriend. Are you ready to go inside?” She asked. He smoothed out his shirt and fixed his hair.

“As ready as I’ll ever be.”



Thomas sat at the dinner table with Mia and her parents. Each of them had plates in front of them that were filled with roast beef, peas, mashed potatoes, and rolls. Forks and knives could be heard against China plates. Thomas felt too nervous to eat, but he didn’t let it show. He cut a portion of roast beef, took a forkful and plopped it into his mouth. It was delicious.

“Thank you for dinner Mrs. Brighton. It’s wonderful.” He said.

“You’re very welcome. So, Mia tells us that you’re quite gifted at Transfiguration. You must be an intelligent young man.” She said. She dabbed her mouth with a napkin and took a sip of red wine.

“Mia has a way of seeing the best in everyone. I’m not sure I would call myself gifted—“

“He’s just being modest. He scores the highest on all the exams. He even tutors other kids who are struggling with the homework.” Mia said.

“Well, that’s very generous of you.” Mrs. Brighton said. Mia tapped her foot against Thomas’s leg under the table. They’re eyes met and she gave him a sly smile.

“Do you play Quidditch?” Mr. Brighton asked. Thomas cleared his throat.

“Yes, Sir. I’m a keeper.”

“And have you won many games?”

“My team and I have won quite a few this season, Sir.” Mr. Brighton poured some gravy on his mashed potatoes.

“Very good. And have you given any thought to your career aspirations?”

“Dad, no need to scare him off. This isn’t an interrogation.” Mia said through a mouthful of mashed potatoes. She wouldn’t normally speak with food in her mouth (at least not under circumstances like this), but her father was playing twenty questions and he simply had to be stopped.

“I’m just getting to know him, angel.” Her dad said. Thomas grinned, revealing his dimples.

“I don’t mind the questions. I’m hoping to become an Auror.” He said.

“That’s a noble profession. So, tell me about how you’ve been enjoying your years at Hogwarts.” Thomas watched Mia eat a forkful of roast beef as her forehead creased with worry. Unlike him, Mia liked to eat when she was anxious. It helped to calm her down. He took a sip of pumpkin juice.

“Hogwarts has given me the best years of my life. Like most young wizards, I learned a lot about magic from my parents. But it’s nothing compared to what you actually learn when you get to school. I never knew I would see myself grow so much. I feel like I’ve tapped into skills I never knew I had.”

“That’s wonderful.” Mrs. Brighton said.

“Thank you. And I must say, your daughter is one of the loveliest people I’ve been lucky enough to meet.”

“It’s good to hear that your studies have meant so much to you. Now, let’s see. I forgot if Mia mentioned it before, but were you also sorted in Hufflepuff house?” Mr. Brighton asked. Thomas wiped some gravy from chin with a napkin.

“No, Sir. Unlike Mia, I’m afraid I lack their patience. I was sorted into Slytherin house.” He said. The room went silent. Everyone paused. Mr. Brighton sighed and loosened his tie.

“Mia knows how I feel about her dating a member of Slytherin House. I’m afraid you’ve come all this way for nothing.” He said.

“What are you saying?” Thomas asked.

“I’m saying that you don’t have my blessing to date my daughter. You’re welcome to finish your dinner and stay for dessert. But after that, I think it’s best you go home.”

“Dad,” Mia started, “You can’t do that—“

“You knew the rules and you deliberately disobeyed me. I strictly forbade you from dating anyone from Slytherin House. They have a long history of being manipulative and unworthy of trust.”

“With all due respect, those are only sterotypes.” Thomas said. It’s true that many Slytherins in his family were terrible people. But he was different, he knew he was. He was a good person because he chose to be.

“Stereotypes that have proven far too often to be true. I’m sorry, but as a parent, my only job is to protect my daughter. And that’s the last I’ll say about it.”

“But Dad, if you just got to know him—“

“Mia, how about you help me get dessert ready.” Mrs. Brighton said. Mia looked at her father, but he only dashed some salt onto his potatoes.



She followed her mother into the kitchen and watched her pull a pie out of the oven. She cut the pie and placed triangular slices on small dessert plates. The pie was filled with cherries.

“So, a Slytherin eh? I don’t think your father was prepared for that one.”

“I wouldn’t have brought him home if I didn’t really like him. And I do. So much. What am I going to do?” Mia asked. Her mother shrugged.

“Sometimes, when you’re not in complete control of a situation, all you can do is eat pie and hope for the best.” Mia shook her head.

“It just isn’t fair. You and dad were in two different houses. He was in Gryffindor and you were in Ravenclaw. It’s like he thinks me being a Hufflepuff makes me this fragile witch who needs to be protected all the time.” She said. Mrs. Brighton wiped her hands onto her apron.

“That’s not true, love. Your father wants to protect you because you’re his daughter. I promise, things will work out.”

“But how do you know?” Her mother shrugged.

“Because we have pie.” She handed Mia two of the dessert plates. “Here, give one to Thomas.” Mia walked back to the dining room, but Thomas’s seat was empty.

“Thomas?” Mia called. She went into the living room and found him putting on his jacket. “You can’t leave yet, we haven’t had dessert.” He looked at her with sad eyes and placed a hand on her arm.

“Look, Mia. You’re the most beautiful, amazing, kind, gifted witch I have ever met. And I wouldn’t trade the time we’ve spent together for anything. Believe me when I say I want nothing more than to fight for you, but I can’t see any way to do it without getting between you and your family.” He smoothed out his jacket. “I’m not worth that.” Tears began to pool in her eyes.

“You’re worth so much to me.” She said. Her hands trembled as she held the dessert plates. Thomas took one from her.

“I’ll eat this, and then I’ll go.” He said. But they both just stood there, not eating. Neither of them were hungry. Mrs. Brighton cleared her throat. She and Mr. Brighton stood in the doorway of the living room.

“I hope you two understand,” Mr. Brighton said, “this is nothing personal. I’m just trying to do what’s best for my family.” Mrs. Brighton crossed her arms.

“I don’t know, Bill. Maybe we’re not giving Thomas a fair chance. Mia has always been a good judge of character. Why shouldn’t we trust that now?”

“Because this boy was sorted into Slytherin House for a reason. And when Mia finds out what that reason is, she is bound to be disappointed and heartbroken.” He said in a matter-of-fact tone. Mrs. Brighton raised her brows.

“Well, I didn’t want it to have to come to this. But I think it’s about time I told Mia a little story.” She said. Mia and Thomas exchanged confused looks.

“What story?” She asked.

“The one that details the time your own father was a student and Hogwarts, and was himself seen dating a girl from Slytherin House.” Mrs. Brighton said. Mia’s jaw dropped.

You dated a Slytherin?” She asked her dad. His face turned pink.

“We weren’t technically in a relationship. She was my date to the Yule Ball.” He said.

“But the word date is still involved!”

“Yes, yes, fine, we dated. And you know what happened? She pretended to like me the whole night just so she could pull a prank on me. I was afraid of a certain magical creature, and just when the slow dance was ending, she tricked me into kissing one of them right in the middle of the dance floor. Everyone laughed at me and the night ended in public humiliation.”

“Which magical creature was it that scared you, sir?” Thomas asked. Mr. Brighton mumbled an answer, but no one heard him.

“I’m sorry, Dear, what was that? I don’t think they heard you.” His wife said. He cleared his throat.

“PIGMY PUFFS!” He shouted. Mia and Thomas exchanged a surprised look, and then burst out laughing.

“How could you be afraid of pigmy puffs? Their adorable.” Mia said. Her dad squirmed at the memory.

“They small and they’re hands are so tiny. And they’re so fluffy.”

“Sounds to me like you’re still upset that this girl tricked you all those years ago.” His wife said.

“The point is that Slytherins cannot be trusted.” He said. He spoke with authority, but he was still blushing.

“Dad,” Mia started, “come on. I respect you, and you’re one of the bravest men I know. But if a noble Gryffindor like you can be afraid of pygmy puffs, don’t you think it’s possible that a Slytherin can be good?” Thomas wrapped his arm around Mia’s waste and they gave her father pleading looks. Mr. Brighton looked from Mia to Thomas and sighed.

“Fine, fine. Thomas, I’ll give you another chance. But only if you tell me everything about yourself. I want to know about your family, your OWL scores, your past work experience—“

“Thank you, sir, truly. You won’t regret this.” Thomas said. Mia went over and hugged her father, and then her mother.

“Thank you so much, Mum. Thankyouthankyouthankyou.” She said. Her mother kissed her hair.

“No trouble at all, Love. I told you things would work out. Now, let’s all go have some pie.”



Magical Jobs Based On Each Hogwarts House


Because each Hogwarts house has different values, it’s likely that members of each house would be drawn to jobs that match their values respectively.

That said, any witch or wizard in either house can pursue any job they’d like. As Dumbledore says. “It is our choices that define who we really are, far more than our abilities.”

Here is a short list of Magical jobs that can work well with the values of each Hogwarts house:

Hufflepuff– Healer, Herbologist, Librarian
Ravenclaw– Magizoologist, Potioneer, Professor
Gryffindor– Magical Law Enforcement, Quidditch Player, Actor
Slytherin– Obliviator, Curse Breaker, Musician



Hogwarts Course Catalog: A Guide to Classes Offered at Wizarding School

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Congratulations on receiving your acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! I knew you were magical, you wonderful thing you! Since this is likely the first time you will be studying magic in a structured environment, I’m sure you are curious to know what your classes will be like. Here is an introductory guide to the kinds of classes you will be taking at Hogwarts.


Charms– (Core Class) This course is taught Professor Filius Flitwick. As its name suggests, in this class, you will learn about charms. Charms are spells that add certain properties to objects or creatures. For example, one of these spells might change an object’s color, while another might allow the object to float into the air. Studying this subject will prepare students to take their O.W.L exam in their fifth year.


Potions– (Core Class) This course is taught by professor Severus Snape. In this class, you will learn the proper way to brew potions. You will learn specific recipes and become familiar with ingredients and supplies. Potions can be used for medicine, but they have many other uses as well. Some potions are simple to make, and others are quite difficult.


Transfiguration– (Core Class) Professor Minerva McGonagall teaches this course. Unlike charms which adds properties to an object or creature, transfiguration spells change or alter an object/creature all together. For example, you will learn how to turn a small animal into a water goblet. Spells are only one way of practicing transfiguration, but it is the primary form taught to first year students. It is one of the more difficult courses at Hogwarts because is it very precise. The spells must be done exactly right. There are more limits placed on this kind of magic than most other kinds. Though it is a difficult form of magic, it is also quite elegant.


Defense Against the Dark Arts– (Core Class) The professor for this class, as of now, is undecided. But rest assured, someone will be there to teach it to you! As you know, not all wizards use their powers for good. Because of this, Howarts wants its students to be able to defend themselves if a conflict should ever arise. In this class, students will learn basic defensive spells, counter-jinxes, and other forms of magic that will help them to stay protected. Defensive spells can also be practiced during duels.


History of Magic– (Core Class) This course is taught by Professor Cuthbert Binns. Although magic is not typically used in this class, we believe that it is important for young wizards and witches to understand their history. Students will learn the dates of important events, and they will also learn the significance of the goblin rebellions.


Herbology– (Core Class) Professor Pomona Sprout teaches this course. Here you will learn about both magical and mundane plants. You will learn how to care for plants and about their many uses. Many plants will be used for ingredients in potion making. As students move to more advanced Herbology classes, they must be extra careful to follow their professor’s instructions because some plants can be quite dangerous.


Astronomy– (Core Class) This class is taught by Professor Aurora Sinistra. Here, you will learn about the branch of magic that studies stars and the movements of planets. Each week, you will view the stars at night and learn to identify them by name.


Flying– This course is taught by Professor Rolanda Hooch. In this class, many of you will receive your very first flying lesson. You will learn how to fly on a broom. This class is typically only taught to first year students. Those who excel at flying may wish to try out for the Quidditch team.


Care of Magical Creatures– This course is taught by Professor Rubeus Hagrid. It is an elective class at Hogwarts and is offered to third year students. You will learn about the feeding, breeding, and proper care of a wide range of magical creatures. Creatures included in the lessons are fire crabs, unicorns, thestrals, and hippogriffs.


Apparition– This course is taught by Professor Wilkie Twycross. The class is only offered to students who are seventeen years of age, or who will turn seventeen during the selected school year. Here, you will spend twelve weeks learning the magical method of transportation. Students who learn apparition will need a licence to practice it in the real world. Students who complete the course must then take the test. If the student is splinched during the test, even a little, the test must be retaken. This course is optional.


Divination– Professor Sybill Trelawney teaches this course. This is an elective course that teaches students to gather insights into future events. One way of doing this is by reading tea leaves. Some students are more likely to have a natural aptitude in the subject, while others may not. This course is optional.


Alchemy– This course teaches students about the four elements, as well as about the transmutation of substances. This course is available to sixth and seventh year students when there is a high enough demand.


Ancient Runes– This course is taught by professor Bathsheda Babbling. This class teaches students about the ancient runic scripts of magic. This is an elective course.


Arithmancy– This course is taught by Professor Septima Vector. This class involves numerology, as well as learning how to predict the future using numbers. This is an elective course.


Muggle Studdies– This course is taught by Professor Alecto Carrow. This course is the study of Muggles. We believe that by teaching students about non-magical people, they will come to see that Muggles and witches/wizards are not so different. This is an elective course.


Ghoul Studies– This course teaches students about ghouls, ghosts, and poltergeists. Taking this class allows students to learn more about the many ghosts who are our friends here at Hogwarts. This course is optional.


Frog Choir– The leader of this choir is your charms teacher, Professor Flitwick. This singing group usually practices in the Great Hall. Members of the choir learn to sing fluently in Latin as well as polyphonically. This is one of several activities or courses at Hogwarts that allow students to express themselves creatively. Participation in the choir is optional.


#HarryPotter, Hogwarts classes

Healing Discussions: A Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen Story

harry potter 1 Katniss 1

Katniss sat with her elbows resting on a cold, metal table. She was in a small room with white walls and a lone, round clock. The seconds ticked by. In her peripheral vision, she could the see a large, rectangular one-way mirror that was built into one of the walls. If she turned her head, she only would have seen her reflection. Still, she could feel the eyes of strangers monitoring her every move. She knew how it felt when she was being watched.

Sitting across from her was a boy. Well, he wasn’t a boy exactly. He was a young man, not much older than her. He had dark hair, green eyes, and pale skin. A kind yet awkward smile curved at his lips, but faded as fast as it appeared. He kept adjusting his glasses. Clearly he was just as nervous as she was. The most striking thing about his appearance was the lightning-bolt shaped scar that rested on his forehead. Katniss didn’t know much about it, but she knew that the scar was significant somehow. He looked down and cleared his throat. The silence lingered.

“So, you’re Harry, right? Harry Potter?” Katniss asked.

“Yes. And you’re Katniss Everdeen?” Harry asked.

“I am.” Harry reached out to shake her hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, really.” He said. They shook hands and laughed, loosening up the tension. The gesture was so ordinary in these strange circumstances. Katniss noticed that Harry’s accent was so proper sounding. She remembered being told he was from a place called England.

“So, they tell me you’re a wizard.” She said.

“I am.” She rummaged through a small bag and pulled out a red apple. She placed it on the table and looked at Harry expectantly. He looked at her blankly, wondering if he was supposed to eat it.

“Prove it.” She said.

“With an apple?” He asked. She said nothing, only looked at him with expectant eyes. Her face cracked to reveal a tiny smirk. He shook his head and laughed as though the idea was completely absurd. “Okay, sure. Whatever you want.” He pulled his wand from his jeans pocket, cleared his throat, and pointed it toward the apple. He moved his wand in a swish and flick motion while saying, “Wingardium Leviosa.” The moment the words left his lips, the apple levitated into the air. Katniss watched as it rose and then hovered in the space between them.

She looked at Harry who gave her a look that said, ‘Is that proof enough for you?’ She waved her hand under the apple, over it, and then under it again, trying to make sure it wasn’t just a trick. As far as she could tell, the magic was real. The apple did not seem to be held up by an invisible string. She nodded in approval, but did not express any feelings of giddiness or surprise.

“Not bad.” She said. She grabbed the apple from midair and took a bite, the apple crunching between her teeth. She paused mid-chew as a thought crossed her mind. “That spell or enchantment or whatever doesn’t alter the apple in any way does it? Like eating it won’t make me start floating around or anything, right?”

“No, you’re fine. It’s completely safe.” He said.


“Though, there are spells that can make people float around. I once blew up my aunt when she spoke badly about my parents. I didn’t mean to, but I got so angry. She got real big and floated out of the house and into the sky. I know I should be sorry I did it. But to be honest—“ Harry stopped talking because Katniss was looking at him as though he had three heads. This made him want to mention Fluffy the dog, but he decided it might be too much for a person who never knew about magic before today. She took another bite of her apple. “I’m not.” He finished.

“Did they, I mean, did they get her back?” She asked.

“My aunt? Yeah. The Ministry of Magic took care of it. They got her back safe and sound. And they erased her memory. I thought they were going to send me to prison. But they didn’t, thankfully.”

“Thankfully.” Katniss agreed. If she was weirded out at all about discussing magic, she didn’t show it. She rummaged through her bag again. “I have some more food in here. Do you want anything?”

“Oh, thank you. But no. I’m fine.” Katniss continued to rummage through her bag.

“Take it from someone who spent a long time being hungry,” She started. She pulled out a banana and a small loaf of bread, and placed it on a napkin in front of him. “You’re an idiot to turn down free food.”

“Thankyou.” He said. He pulled the food closer to him, not knowing what else to say. She took another bite of her apple.

“So, what did your parents say after you blew up your aunt in their defense?” She asked.

“My parents are dead.” He said. Those words never became easier to say. But that might have been because Harry didn’t have to explain this to very many people. Most of the people he encountered already knew everything about him.

“Crap. They told me that to me earlier, but I forgot. I’m so sorry.” She reached out to take his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. Harry was surprised by how sweet this gesture was, coming from this girl who seemed so tough and unfazed.

“It’s alright. At least they told you something. To be honest, I’m not even entirely sure what this place is. I came here as a favor to McGonagall, my professor. She said it would be good for me. It’s the story of my life, really. No one ever tells me anything.”

“I can tell you. Well, I can tell you what I know, anyway. Think fast!” She threw her apple core at him and he raised his wand instinctively.

“Immobulus!” He shouted. The apple core froze in mid-air and hovered around the room a bit. “Good thing I had my wand out.”

“I’m sorry. That was mean.” She didn’t sound too sincere. She was giggling, clearly amused.

“No, it’s fine. Really.” He was still trying to catch his breath. She grabbed the floating apple core and tossed it into a metal trashcan. “Please don’t do that again.”

“I won’t. I promise. But I have to say, I’m impressed by your reflexes.” She said.

“I try.” He tore off a piece of bread and nibbled it, trying to calm his nerves.

“Anyway, in all seriousness. This place is the International Trauma Recovery Center. Also known as the I.T.R.C. Their mission is to bring people together who have gone through exceptional traumatic experiences that most people in their lives wouldn’t fully understand. The idea is that if we hear each other’s stories, we’ll feel like there are people who can understand what we’re going through. We’ll feel less alone, and that’s supposed to help us on our ‘path to recovery.” She put air quotes around “path to recovery,” but her tone of voice suggested she didn’t think it was all a joke. Her joking seemed more like a defense mechanism than anything else. “So,” she continued, “what’s your story?”

“Well,” he started. He wasn’t sure how to put it into words. Everyone in the wizarding world knew about Harry. They knew about The Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort, Dumbledore, his scar, Cedric Diggory, the Chamber of Secrets… they even knew about horcruxes and Harry being the Chosen One. Now, sitting before him was someone who wasn’t familiar with any of it. He fought a war that had no effect on her. Just like she fought a war that had no effect on him.

And yet, here they both were, talking, sharing, and listening. “I fought a war against a dark wizard. His name was Voldemort and he killed my parents when I was a baby. That’s how I got this scar. Of course, I wasn’t the only one who fought in this war. I fought alongside my friends, and alongside other brave witches, wizards, and anyone else who was on our side. We lost a few friends along the way. But in the end, we won. And things were peaceful again. We still had a lot of work to do. Hogwarts, our school, needed to be restored to look like new again. But in the end, things worked out. And the fight was over.” He said.

Harry hadn’t even realized he had started crying. But when he met Katniss’s eyes, he realized his cheeks were wet with tears. He wiped his eyes before his glasses could get fogged up. Katniss handed him a tissue.

“I’m sorry. That must have been really hard for you.” She said. She turned her attention to the two-way mirror. “Hey! Nosy people with the clipboards. Can we get some water in here?” A moment later, a hand slipped through the slot in the bottom of the metallic door, leaving behind two bottles of water. Katniss retrieved them, happy to find that they were cold. She handed one to Harry. “Can you believe them? They gave us water through a doggy door. We’re war heroes for crying out loud, and they’re treating us like dogs.” She opened her water and took a sip. Harry did the same. “Sorry. I just thought the cool water would help you feel better. It works for me.”

“No, it did. Thank you.” He said. He wasn’t crying anymore. He looked over at the two-way mirror. “Are they really listening to everything we’re saying?”

“Yeah. This whole I.T.R.C thing is still really new. They want to study it to see if it works. We’re basically test guinea pigs. And I don’t know about you, but that’s the story of my life.” She closed her water and smoothed her long hair. It was styled in a side braid, and its dark color really brought out the blue in her eyes. “Anyway. I am sorry. About the war. I’m sorry for the friends you lost. I know how it feels to lose someone you love. To wish you could have done something to save them.” She said. She thought about Rue. She thought about her father and Prim. She thought about everyone who lost their lives in the Games. She couldn’t believe the government in Panem had been so terrible for so long.

“Would you like to tell me your story?” Harry asked. He looked at her with so much openness and so much innocence in his eyes. She could tell he wasn’t asking out of obligation. He genuinely wanted to understand her.

“Well, there is zero magic in my story. I’m sorry to disappoint.” She started. She took a breath, and then continued. “Basically, I come from a place called Panem. And there was a time, not so long ago, that our government was afraid of its people starting a rebellion. So, as a way of controlling us, they had an annual event known as the Hunger Games. See, we had to enter this lottery. And the more times you put your name in, the more likely it was you would be picked for the Games.

“Long story short, when they came to my district, they chose my little sister, Prim.” She choked when she said her sister’s name. She breathed again and brushed the tears that began to well up in her eyes. She cleared her throat and continued. “Anyway, I volunteered for her. I entered the games in her place, and somehow, from there, it spiraled into a revolution. And I became the face of it. Trust me, I didn’t want that kind of ‘honor.” She used air quotes again. “I didn’t want to be the Mockingjay. I survived the games the first time. And then I survived them a second time. It’s a survival of the fittest type of thing. A bunch of people go in, but only one comes out alive.

“We basically managed to screw with the system. The next thing you knew, we were at war with the capital. We fought, and we lost people. Including my sister. But in the end, we won. The people won. And we changed Panem. And now, there will never be another Hunger Games. And things will be better. Things are better. Panem is better now than I have ever known it to be.” She wiped her eyes again and Harry could tell she was fighting back tears. She refused to let go of control. Harry reached out and took her hand in his.

“I’m sorry. Truly. About the Games, the war, your sister…everything.” He said. She nodded and held both his hands.

“Things aren’t all bad. I have my husband, Peeta. He’s good for me. He understands what I’ve been through because he’s been through it, too. What about you? You have a girl, right?” She asked.

“Yes. Her name is Ginny.” Saying her name, his face lit up, and a smile curved at his lips. “And she understands, too. What I’ve been through. Because she’s been through it, too.

“Are you going to marry her?” Katniss asked, her eyes playful.

“Um…” He said. He was blushing. Katniss’s expression turned serious.

“Because if you can find someone who truly understands what you’ve been through, you should hold onto that. It helps.”

“I think you’re right. And all that aside, I can see myself spending the rest of my life with her. I think I’ve felt that way since the moment I realized I loved her.” He said.

“Excuse me? Harry and Katniss?” A perky woman’s voice said. It came over a loudspeaker. Her voice kind of reminded Katniss of Effie Trinket’s. “Your I.T.R.C session will be over in five minutes.”

“Okay!” Katniss said. The loudspeaker clicked off. “I think they want us to have four of these sessions, since we’re the guinea pigs. But it’s completely voluntary, of course. If we meet again, we don’t have to discuss all of this heavy stuff. You can tell me more about Ginny. And you can show me more of your magic tricks.”

“I can show you some more magic now, if you’d like. Would you like to see my Patronus?” He asked.

“Sure. What’s a Patronus?” She asked. Harry smiled, cleared his throat, and tried to fill himselt up with a happy memory.

#Fiction, stories, writing, fan fiction, fanfics

Mother-Daughter Day: A Luna Lovegood Fanfic

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Young Luna sat in a tiny, wooden chair at a tiny, wooden table. The table was set with porcelain tea cups, small plates, a small tea pot, and cloth napkins. She was joined by a large, brown Teddy bear named Mr. Fluffykins, and a medium-sized, stuffed bunny named Holly Hopper. Luna stared with expectant eyes at a pie tin that rested at the center of the table. It was filled to the brim with chocolate-brown mud, the edges of which were decorated with yellow flower petals. In the center rested a single, beautiful, pearly white seashell.

The seconds ticked by and nothing happened, but Luna did not take her eyes off of the pie tin. Then, the pie began to change. The mud began to bubble as though it were piping hot. The flower petals danced around and the seashell spun like a spinning top. The mud bubbled and changed and solidified until it no longer looked like mud at all. It looked like an actual pie with actual crust, decorated with slits in the shape of flower petals and one, lone seashell. Luna smiled, pleased, but not surprised, as she used a plastic knife to cut herself a thin slice of pie. The crust was buttery, flaky and filled with berries that dripped with a deep red syrup. She placed the slice onto her plate and licked the syrup off of her fingers. It tasted like cherries.

“Isn’t it lovely, Mr. Fluffykins? Mum put a spell on the pie tin. Now it can turn mud pie into real pie.” Luna said. She cut a slice for Mr. Fluffykins and another for Holly Hopper. She knew they must have been hungry after waiting so patiently. She took a sip of tea and wiped her fingers on a napkin. Pie was one messy food.

Someone knocked on the door. “Come in!” Luna said. Her mother eased the door open and a greeted her with a smile.

“How’s my beautiful girl doing?” Her mother asked. She walked into the room, her cheerful,yellow apron lightly dusted with flour. Underneath it she wore a light blue dress and sunflower earrings dangled from her ears.

“I’m good. Look, Mum! Your enchanted pie tin works.”

“Oh, I’m so glad.” Her mother said. She knelt down beside Luna and stroked her long, blonde hair. “It certainly looks quite good. But how does it taste?”

“It’s lovely. Tastes like cherries. Would you like to try some?”

“Yes, please.” Luna picked up a forkful of pie and held it up to her mother’s mouth. Her mother took a small bite and her eyes were thoughtful, as though she were paying close attention to every flavor. “You’re right, that is good. You know, only a master mud pie maker could have made a pie that good.”

“Really?” Luna asked, her eyebrows raised.

“Really.” Her mother said.

“I did have some help from Holly Hopper.”

“Then you two make a great team.” Her mother said. She kissed Luna on the forehead. Luna stroked her mother’s silky, blonde hair. Her tiny fingers were still sticky with pie, but her mother didn’t seem to mind. “So, I was thinking. Since your father has been extra busy working on the Quibbler, and since I’ve finished most of my work around the house, I figured that you and I could have a Mother-Daughter day. How does that sound?”

“That sounds good.” Luna said.

“Great. We can do anything you want. What would you like to do?”

“Hmm.” Luna hummed. She placed a finger on her chin, thinking. There were any number of things they could do on a nice day like today. They could walk on the beach, but Luna had already gone to the beach to find a seashell for her mud pie. They could read stories, but there was a particular story she had been saving for bedtime. They could have a tea party, but Luna was already in the middle of one. She wanted to do something that she didn’t get to do everyday. Her mother tended to be busy with her housework or her spells, and her father tended to be busy with the Quibbler, so a full day to bond with either parent was something to take advantage of. Luna thought of her mother’s dark, wooden wardrobe and smiled. She knew what she wanted to do.

“Can we play dress-up?” She asked.

“Dress-up it is.” Her mother said. Luna grabbed her hand and lead the way to her parents’ room. The large wardrobe rested against the wall on her mother’s side of the room. Her mum’s side was neat, if not a bit cluttered with spell books and charms. Her dad’s side was always a bit messy, with half-empty coffee mugs and stacks of handwritten notes that threatened to fall off of his nightstand. Across from her parents’ bed, the window doors were left open to let fresh air blow into the room. There was a full view of the sandy beach, the ocean, and the partly cloudy sky.

Luna pulled open the doors of the wardrobe and took in the view of all her mother’s clothing. There were dresses, skirts, sweaters and jumpers. Shoes were lined up along the bottom of the wardrobe. Necklaces hung from hooks along the doors. At the very top were her mother’s scarves and hats. Everything was vibrant and colorful, and no two pieces were the same.

“Which dresses can I try on?” Luna asked. She looked over at her mum, who was trying to straighten out some of her father’s stacks of papers. Realizing it was hopeless, her mum abandoned the task and walked over to Luna.

“You can wear anything you’d like.” Her mother said. Luna pulled back the dresses on the rack when she came to an item she’d only seen once or twice before– her mothers robes from when she attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Stitched into the corner of the robes was the blue and bronze emblem that represented Ravenclaw House. The bronze eagle had its wings spread out as though it were guarding the door to all knowledge and wisdom. Luna considered trying on the robe when a particular dress caught her eye. The top part had short sleeves and was light green. The skirt was long and red and the whole dress was quite glittery. It looked like Christmas.

Luna yanked the dress down, causing its hanger to clatter to the floor. She pulled the too-big dress over her head and giggled when the skirt fell around her like a puddle. She looked over at her mother, who had put on a pair of large sunglasses, as well as a purple, poka-dotted scarf that did not match at all with her dress or her apron. Luna decided she should accessorize, too. She scanned her mother’s collection of jewelry when a necklace with a green pendent caught her eye. It hung from a string made of black silk. She remembered her mother wearing this on the beach once or twice. If the pendent was touched by water, it began to glow.

“Mum, can I borrow that necklace, there? It’s too high up for me to reach.” She said, pointing at it. Her mother took off the sunglasses and deliberated for a moment, then took the necklace off of its hook and knelt down to give it to Luna.

“This necklace is very important to your mum. It was a very special gift from your dad. Will you be extra careful with it?” Her mother asked.

“Of course.”

“That’s my Luna.”

“Would it be okay if I tried on some lipstick?” Luna asked, her voice excited.

“I have some in the medicine cabinet. I’ll be right back.” Her mother said. She tapped Luna on the nose and left the room. Luna walked over to the mirror to see how she looked in the dress, lifting the skirt carefully so she wouldn’t trip. In her reflection, the dress absolutely drowned her. Still, she thought she looked rather pretty in it. She imagined herself being older, looking very much like her mother, and being tall enough to fit this beautiful dress. When she turned this way and that, the dress glittered in the light of the day.

She realized it would be easier to put on the necklace if her hair was pulled back. She held the cool, smooth pendant in her hands before placing the necklace on a cushioned footstool. She turned to the mirror to tie her hair back, smoothing the top with her hands the way her mum always does.

Luna went to get the necklace, but when she turned back to the footstool, it was gone. It had been there only a moment ago, but now it was nowhere in sight. She just didn’t understand. How could it have disappeared? Her blue eyes darted around the room, hoping she would somehow find it. When she didn’t, she felt the tears stream down her cheeks. Her hands began to shake and she realized she was gasping for breath. Her mother’s special necklace was gone.

Her mother came into the room to find Luna crying. She knelt down beside her and wiped the tears from her cheeks with her free hand. Her other hand was carrying a bunch of golden lipstick tubes.

“Oh, Mum, I’m so sorry. I don’t know how it happened! I just put your necklace down on the footstool, and when I went to pick it up again, it was–it was–gone!” Luna cried harder, burying her face in her mother’s hair.

“Ssh… Ssh… it’s okay.” Her mother said, stroking her back. “It’s okay.”

“No it’s not. I l-lost your sp-special necklace.”

Her mother pulled away to place firm hands on Luna’s shoulders. “You listen to me, Luna. Listen closely. I want you to remember what I’m about to tell you.”

Luna took a breath and calmed down a bit, but hot tears still streamed down her face. She sniffled and blinked the tears away. “I’m listening.” She said. Her mother looked into her eyes and smiled a genuine smile.

“I promise you. The things we lose always have a way of coming back to us.” Her mother said. A crow cawed just outside, making Luna and her mother look out the window. The black bird rested on a tree branch, and in its mouth rested a silk, black string with a green pendent attached to it. “If not in the way we expect.” Her mother added. A smile could be heard in her voice.

“It’s your necklace! Should we try and get it?” Luna asked. Her mother pursed her lips as though she were deep in thought.

“I have a better idea. How about we go down to the kitchen and share a nice bowl of pudding?”

“But what about your necklace?” Luna asked. She wrinkled her brow in confusion. Her mother shrugged and smiled.

“We’ll get it later.” Her mother said. Luna bit her lip, uncertain, but then she smiled back.

“Okay. Let’s go then. Pudding sounds great.” Luna said. She went down to the kitchen to share a bowl a pudding with her mum, and all her tears were replaced with smiles.

#Harry Potter, Luna Lovegood, Fanfiction, fiction, stories, creative writing

Analyzing Hermione: Why Ms. Granger Loves Books and Hates Divination

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Hermione loves to read. I’ve always loved this about her. She loves the library and knows she can find the answer to almost anything in a book. She is a character who proves that it is cool to be an intelligent person who loves to learn. While I do think that her love of books is something she’s probably had her whole life, I can’t help but wonder if other factors in her life contribute to this passion.

One factor that may contribute to Hermione’s love of books is her parents. As dentists, it is likely that her mom and dad are both intelligent individuals who enjoy reading and learning. I imagine that they are the kind of people who would have shelves and shelves of books in their home. They likely had a lot of nonfiction books, especially those relating to science and medicine.

Being an only child, Hermione may have been somewhat isolated. In addition to this, she probably realized from an early age that she was different from other kids. Like Harry, she might have had moments where her magic made things happen that she couldn’t explain. It might not have been as drastic as setting a python on her cousin at the zoo, but I’m sure she experienced her own bizarre incidents. Perceiving herself as different would have only added to her isolation, and so it makes sense that she would find comfort, and even a sense of companionship, in her books.

Another thing that may contribute to her love of reading is the fact that Hermione is muggle born. I always imagined that part of the reason Hermione reads so much about magic is to make up for the fact that she didn’t have the magical upbringing that most of her peers had. Most students entering Hogwarts are already familiar with magic, wands, potions, spells, enchantments, and magical creatures. They had wizard stories read to them at bedtime. Books are the one thing that allow Hermione to be just as familiar with magic as anyone else, if not more so. Books allow her to make up for lost time; for all the years that she did not know she was magical, or that magic existed at all.

In spite of Hermione’s vast knowledge and magical skill, there are two subjects she has never been fond of: Flying and Divination. Her dislike of flying kind of makes sense. Flying brooms and playing Quidditch are the more athletic skills of the wizarding world. Hermione prefers reading, studying, and taking exams. That’s not to say that a studious witch can’t also enjoy flying, but her dislike of flying does seem to fit her personality.

Her dislike of divination may be a little harder to understand. Even if the subject doesn’t quite match her personality, it is still an academic class. As a person who wishes to excel in the classroom, what is it about this particular class that leads even Hermione not to care? One factor is professor Trelawney, who insults Hermione, basically saying that she doesn’t have the future-seeing gift and accuses her of “desperately” clinging to her books.

However, I think her dislike of the subject goes deeper than having a professor who insults her. One thing divination and flying have in common is that both seem to rely on intuition more than reason. Reading a textbook really isn’t enough to succeed at these things. You just have to do it. As a creature of reason and intellect, Hermione would not be drawn to classes that basically tell her to abandon her method of learning new things.

I also find it ironic that the girl who isn’t good at Divination is also the one who was given a time-turner. The time-turner itself is proof that seeing into the future isn’t entirely necessary. After all, with some careful planning and a smart use of magic, the past itself can be changed, which means the future can be altered as well. Hermione’s dislike of Divination is also proof that a person can still be intelligent without being good at every class.

Hermione may not like Divination or flying, but her love of books and learning makes her an exceptional witch. Without her, Harry could never have rescued Ginny, formed Dumbledore’s Army, or defeated Voldemort. She is proof that friendship is valuable, cleverness is admirable, being yourself is noble, and that reading can save your life.

#Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Hermione Granger, Hogwarts