It is July 31 which means it is that wonderful time of year (again) to celebrate J.K. Rowling and her world of Harry Potter. There have been parties at bookstores and marathons of the books and movies around the globe (I assume). I myself have re-read books 1-5 the past couple of weeks, though that’s mainly because I have them on my Kindle now and therefore are ALWAYS with me.

I cannot say that Harry Potter got me into reading like a lot of the people I know. I was a reader before then. I can say that no other book has affected my life like Harry Potter. The characters. The story. The lessons. The community. It’s like one big family- complete with bickering and arguments over things that may seem silly to outsiders.

There is a Harry Potter moment everything. Mad at someone? Turn to the Prisoner of Azkaban and have Hermione punch Malfoy over and over. Need help during tough times? Google Dumbledore quotes. Got a horrible teacher? The Order of the Pheonix will make that teacher look amazing compared to Umbridge. Need a laugh? Watch A Very Potter Musical (seriously, if you haven’t seen this yet go to YouTube now). It doesn’t matter what you are going through, Harry Potter will be there to help.

I am a proud Slytherin with touches of the other three houses. Most people don’t believe my sorting until they really know me, but my heart is truly green and silver. I consider myself ambitious and cunning, and if you do anything to make me doubt our friendship, my loyalty is very hard to win back. I give everyone a fair chance, but second chances are slim to none. And I am a Slytherin that goes against some the stereotypes: I do not discriminate, but I can be a little evil.

However, I love learning and reading and brain games. I don’t like failure, especially when it comes to classes and exams (though I imagine that’s a trait for all houses unless you’re Fred and George). I can muster up the courage to do things outside my comfort zone like moving hours away from home and riding that one roller coaster with the really high hill. I’m a cat person, which, again, doesn’t put me in a certain house, but it does make me think I could be friends with Hermione. I am not a good finder, though, so I probably am not too much of a Hufflepuff.

I believe that everyone has a little bit of all the houses in them. It’s just who we are. We are sorted by the more prominent traits we show. Somewhere there is a Hufflepuff who knows more trivia than a Ravenclaw or a Gryffindor who is always polite and freaks out over cute baby animals. That’s why the unity of the houses is important. Differences shouldn’t separate us, but make us a stronger unit. You need a little of everything to make a community work.

So, happy birthday Harry. Here’s to many more years and generations of magic.

“Of course it’s happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

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