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Prof. Will Lestrange

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Everything posted by Prof. Will Lestrange

  1. Thanks for all the fun - I still haven't seen the movie yet but I can probably say that I enjoyed the activity more than I will enjoy the actual movie!
  2. If I was answering this question in character, I would point out that in the Slytherin dungeons we have three semi-domesticated magical creatures as house pets: two XXXXX-rated creatures (Basl the Baslisik Basilisk and Malumbrabas the Lethifold) and Annabelle, a giant squid who has escaped Ministry classification yet somehow seems to flood the dungeons every five years or so. But out of character? I think I want a magical creature who is capable of hugging me - preferably multiple times at once. The Sea Serpent fits the bill: as a hundred-foot-long water snake, it is probably capable of wrapping its body around me close to a dozen times at once. It is also a fairly gentle creature, which means I can be assured that these hugs will comfort me instead of harming or killing me. As an added bonus, sea serpents live in large bodies of water, so having one at home would mean that I therefore also have access to large bodies of water - and probably live in a house with oceanfront property! Getting to live on the water and also being able to get a dozen hugs at once makes the Sea Serpent a great choice for me.
  3. If I'm a No-Maj (instead of a Muggle) in the Fantastic Beasts world (which means sometime in the 1920s or 1930s), that means I'm likely a resident of the United States of America with no knowledge of magic or magical people and possibly a passing knowledge of the 'old country' my family comes from (which might not bear the same name today). If I was in sight of Hogwarts, I probably would have had to have taken a long sea voyage to the British Isles for some reason: maybe I had some fancy benefactor who really wanted me to travel over there? Maybe I had been accepted into a program at a top British university? Though it's not the best school out there, the nearest (Muggle) uni of some renown to Hogwarts is the University of Aberdeen, so let's assume that I had taken a voyage over there. Assuming I had ended up at Hogwarts instead, that's about an hour away by Muggle car - easy enough to end up there by accident if I got really lost. So I'd assume I had gotten really lost, and most likely at this point I would - being too Stateside to qualify as even a Muggle - just see the same ruins that British Muggles see in front of Hogwarts, complete with "DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE". Knowing I was far from safety, I would make my way to the nearest petrol station, complete with my Aberdeen letter, and ask for proper directions to get me back there! After all, someone (or someones) very important really wanted me to study there... and I wasn't going to disappoint them just because of my poor sense of direction! ------------------------------------------------- [OUT OF CHARACTER: I do have experience with the University of Aberdeen through my family; I spent a summer in that general area when I was seven due to my dad taking his family on a very interesting business trip.]
  4. Going on my own instincts and opinions about Albus Dumbledore instead of any knowledge of the third FB movie, which I haven't seen: From the Harry Potter series, we notice that Albus Dumbledore took control of Harry's own childhood from the age of one, while never directly checking in on how he was doing/how he was treated for the next ten years (he delegated that to his Squib friend, Arabella Figg). While we also learn he tried to influence the development of Tom Riddle before he became Lord Voldemort, we do not see Dumbledore taking part in Tom Riddle's development until Tom is nearly Hogwarts age; in particular, there's no evidence that Dumbledore removed Tom away from loving relatives or family friends and placed him in an orphanage where life was even more miserable than what Harry experienced with the Dursleys. At least the memories Dumbledore showed Harry indicated that Tom was placed in the orphanage by his dying mother, Merope Gaunt! Therefore, I would consider some of the "secrets" of Dumbledore to be that Harry Potter wasn't the first person Dumbledore influenced in early childhood, making said childhood more miserable than it otherwise would be. It wouldn't be impossible, for example, for Dumbledore to have changed the Pensieve memories connected to Tom's early life before showing them to Harry (we already know that people good enough at Occlumency can alter Pensieves, and with Dumbledore's skill at the art he should be able to make very subtle alterations unlike Professor Slughorn's); was there more to Merope's early demise at the age of nineteen (and Tom's resultant placement in an orphanage) than what the Pensieve showed, for example? And even if Tom Riddle wasn't connected to those secrets, there definitely could be other witches or wizards who had to suffer an early childhood that was much worse than it had to be... And yes, I know there's no reason for Voldemort to appear at all in this series (even if he is nearly Hogwarts age during the time of this event). But then again, there was no reason for Professor McGonagall, whom we all believed to be born either 1925 or 1935 (JKR gave her age as a "sprightly seventy" in a 2000 interview) before Crimes of Grindelwald, to be shown teaching in the turn of the 19th-to-20th century... except as an excuse to bring a fan favourite from the Harry Potter series. By that logic, why wouldn't we see a Voldemort with age retconned up or down as appropriate?
  5. I haven't seen the latest movie yet - and I probably won't see it in a theater so it might be a while before I have the chance (that said I really don't mind being spoiled as I'd rather have the information to use as I see fit!) In any event, I can understand why Queenie Goldstein switched to "the side of evil": she was living in a discriminatory society that did not allow her to marry - or even have any sort of social contact with - the man she loved. When paired with rejection by that man (even if that rejection was done in order to keep her safe), it makes sense that she could be easily persuaded by a leader who made promises to allow such relationships in the future! Love is a powerful force in this universe, and the prospect of being actually allowed to express your true love freely can allow you to explain away a lot. I think that Grindelwald told Queenie what she wanted to hear and painted his vision in the best light possible (to Queenie's ears) and that would likely have been more than enough! ---------------------------------------- WARNING to future participants of this activity: While trying to refresh my memory on how Queenie Goldstein acted in the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, I consulted the Harry Potter Wiki page on Queenie Goldstein. When I scrolled down to see the part about her joining Grindelwald towards the end of the second movie, I was immediately confronted with spoilers for the third movie... without spoiler warnings or any other indications that this information was only from The Secrets of Dumbledore (until I clicked on a numbered footnote). Therefore, you should be very careful with the Harry Potter Wiki if you wish to avoid spoilers!
  6. While I have never had a Christmas tree of my own (nor has my family), I do remember a few childhood invitations to help decorate other families' trees. What I remembered, besides how impressive some of the decorations were, was how difficult it was to put an ornament on the tree without it falling down. I also had, and still have, a very poor idea for what goes where on the tree (there are ornaments that you can place just about anywhere, right? And you can also wrap lights around it? The same lights that are also hung out of windows? And then some type of special ornament goes on top of the tree, which doesn't have to be anything in particular - as long as it's special and distinctive? Like the Weasleys' garden gnome?) so maybe it's a good thing that I've never tried to have one of my own!
  7. [OUT OF CHARACTER] Although I watch some sort of movie every year on Christmas Day itself, the movie itself changes from year to year. Until 2019 this meant going to a theater, but for each of the past two years I streamed a classic from the 1990s that I didn't have the chance to watch in theaters when it came out because I was JUST BARELY too young both times. Both movies held up fairly well in the quarter-century or so between them and now, but there were still elements that made them feel like period pieces: from the party scenes in last year's selection to the airplane scenes in this year's selection. For what it's worth, the first movie I remember watching on Christmas Day itself was The Little Mermaid - which is something that definitely feels different! But as a kid, one of my 'Christmas season' traditions with my family involved going to watch the Nutcracker Suite ballet: Tchaikovsky was one of the last of the great 'classical' musicians in my opinion - and even though I don't have memories of seeing stuff on stage, I definitely have great memories of the music! And those who have done my song identification challenges with special rules for songs before 1901 would probably realize this...
  8. Finland has very interesting Christmas traditions that are well suited to the country's northern location. Even looking at the name of the month of December in Finnish, "joulukuu", essentially means "Christmas month" (granted, the Christmas season itself extends into January). The Finnish tradition has always placed Santa Claus ("Joulupukki") in the northern part of the country, in an arctic region known as "Lapland". The original tradition had Joulupukki in a forested mountain on the Russian border known as Korvatunturi. However, in 1985 an amusement park called "Santa Claus Village" was opened in the city of Rovaniemi, in southern Lapland - and right on the Arctic Circle. That place, which is much easier to visit, has then become the new official home of Santa Claus as far as Finns are concerned - and the village is a popular tourist destination year-round! As for Christmas itself: let's start with food: while the traditional Christmas dinner used to feature lamb (from the Finnish harvest festival Kekri), ham and turkey are more popular today. There are also various vegetable casseroles, smoked fish such as gravlax, prune soup, and gingerbread biscuits - note that Finnish foods are often designed around the Finnish palate, which may be unfamiliar to newcomers! (And on Christmas Eve, rice porridge also features into the mix.) Ironically enough, while reindeer is a Finnish delicacy enjoyed in many forms year-round (to this day, the tastiest meat I ever ate was a reindeer steak in Helsinki), it is NOT a traditional Christmas dish! Besides the meals, candle-lighting, and the exchange of presents, one other thing that is associated with Christmas is a hot sauna... but, of course, saunas are Finnish traditional pleasures outside of that season too (after all, 'sauna' is the only common English word imported directly from Finnish!)
  9. New Year's Day, the traditional end of the holiday season, seems like an oddball holiday because most of the celebrations take place the day before (or shortly after midnight the day of)! The rest of the day is officially a holiday, but it really only feels like a half of a holiday: a lot of stuff is still open and people usually spend more time decompressing than actually celebrating. Maybe the best way to think of the day is like the end of the weekend, but for an entire season. New Year's Resolutions aren't my thing, though, not at all. Instead, I have developed my own ritual for the day itself: best described as a 'decompression ritual' of sorts. After sleeping in to recover from the fun I had the night before, I can work out an have some nice food/snacks or something. But then I go into the nearby city for a nice coffee before making it up to the final day of the 'zoo lights' festival where the local zoo is open late with various lights in different designs and colours. Walking my way through the zoo, I'm not far away from a very specific restaurant where I can have tasty food and drink... and then I make my way back to my place to prepare for the first workweek of the new year! Granted, I haven't been able to do that either last year or this year; not only was the zoo lights canceled both these years, but the restaurant in question shut down! (It reopened a few months ago, but without any of my favourites...)
  10. My drink of choice is going to be Halloween Pumpkin Hot Chocolate: the idea is that while normal hot chocolate is made by dissolving some form of chocolate into boiling or near-boiling water or milk, there's no reason we can't use a more Halloween-appropriate liquid in its place! To make this drink, we start by pouring pumpkin juice into a cauldron and turning the heat to medium-high until it reaches a slow boil. Then you take your preferred high-quality chocolate: since proper pumpkin juice is sweet, you can use darker chocolate than what you would normally eat for a meal. Stir until the chocolate dissolves and then then use your favourite Charm to get a serving of the liquid from the cauldron into your cup! (Those who are less comfortable with Summoning Charms and Switching Spells can instead take the cauldron off the heat and then pour it into their drinking cups.) One taste of this drink and you'll never want to go back to using water to make hot chocolate again!
  11. Speaking as a Slytherin, I was VERY disappointed to learn Severus Snape's stated motivation in "A Prince's Tale": according to his Pensieve memories, his motivation seemed to consist of pining after a long-dead woman who, even in life, was a horrible friend to him! Then I realized that it was possible to change Pensieve memories so that the viewer would see things differently from how they actually happened (Horace Slughorn did this, for example) - and that Snape would likely be able to change memories very convincingly, given his skills at the related arts of Legilimency and especially Occlumency! Indeed, it makes perfect sense that Snape knew that his legacy would be viewed through the eyes of Harry Potter, so he would need to change his Pensieve in advance to reflect the motivation that would look best as far as Harry was concerned. Slytherin values (including simply the ability to survive) would mean nothing to Harry; Harry's beloved mother Lily (one of Harry's favourite people, even though she died when he was only one year old), however, would be much more valuable. So with that as the goal, it would only make sense for Snape to change his memories so that Harry could "see" that Snape's motivation was all about devotion to Lily (if Snape was doing everything to support someone that important to Harry, then of course Harry would remember Snape well!) And sure enough, Snape was "rewarded" several years later when Harry's second child was given "Severus" as a middle name.
  12. When Severus Snape was teaching Potions, the instruction of students in Potions was NOT his primary job. Even his task as the Head of Slytherin House was not his primary job. The most important thing for him was to serve as a spy for Albus Dumbledore - which meant that he needed Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters to be absolutely certain that Snape was on the side of Voldemort. Every action Snape did as an instructor, therefore, would likely be watched closely by children of Death Eaters who happened to be in the classroom at the time. And his actions, with the Death Eater children as an audience, would naturally not be the ones that were most conducive to being a good teacher. (For example, bullying a Gryffindor or two from an Order of the Phoenix-supporting family would help convince Death Eater children about what side Snape was on, and those children would naturally pass along the messages to their parents and through them to Voldemort himself). So with Snape as a teacher, I'd know that his teaching was never a priority! That said, I do get the impression that despite all of that, his Slytherins came out pretty well with him as a Head of House. As a Slytherin myself, I feel that Snape would really look out for me and for my goals... and in any event, considering my blood status and surname, he has no reason to abuse me to help convey that image! So, this gets us back to his 'regular' teaching methods: setting us challenging reading, quizzing us to make sure we understand it, writing instructions for how to brew a specific potion, and only giving 'advice' when we were headed for disaster. I think I'm a good enough student that I could do well in such an environment - so this means I'd probably feel like Snape would encourage me to achieve my full potential (except that there would probably be circumstances when I knew I fell short of my potential and he'd suggest otherwise...) so probably I'd enjoy his class, though I'd need to be careful not to let his worst mannerisms rub off on me!
  13. I really have a hard time recognizing actors from one role to the next - if someone changes their hair colour or clothes I parse them as a completely different person! As such, I was convinced that Scar from the Lion King was played by Alan Rickman based on the voice - but it turns out his voice actor was a similar sounding man named Jeremy Irons. So the only time I *know* I saw Alan Rickman and not a doppelgänger was through the Harry Potter movies - all eight of them. Two things struck me: his voice, which sounded like Snape, and his appearance... which seemed *way* too old to play a professor who was barely in his thirties at the start of the series (and no more than 38 at the series’ end!) Everyone else seems to tell me he looks *perfect* in that role, but I can’t unsee the discrepancy in age between the actor and the character. Pretty much I ended up coming up with a theory to resolve it: being a very young new Potions teacher (20 or 21 years of age) and Head of House, several years out of school, and trying to teach students who remembered when Snape himself was a student (and not a particularly popular one), the professor decided to put on various charms or glamours to change his appearance so he would look older and more intimidating to better get his message across as a professor and Head of House! (I also think Narcissa Malfoy did similar charms on herself, for the same reason... and I think that she actually was the one to teach them to Snape!)
  14. My first proper look at Professor Snape was through the eyes of an eleven-year-old Harry Potter, brand new to the Wizarding World. Professor Snape zeroed in on Harry, teasing him about his 'fame' and asking him questions that he had no idea what the answer was. I wondered why Harry was singled out for this sort of treatment: was Snape assuming that Harry had been skating by through life on his celebrity, when Harry's actual life had been a painful struggle up until his eleventh birthday (and Snape did not seem to know this)? Worse still, when it came time to actually do brewing, Harry appeared to be doing reasonably well enough, only to get singled out for more special treatment when someone else did significantly worse than him as brewing. Even though Neville Longbottom was the one who managed to melt a cauldron by adding porcupine quills at the wrong time, it was Harry - not Neville - who saw points deducted from him: Snape suggested that Harry had somehow managed to sabotage the potion from a distance to make Neville look bad! So "why was Snape so hard on Harry?" really seemed to be my first impression.
  15. Well, I'm so far out of school that even my character isn't a student anymore (though that doesn't mean I'm going to stop taking classes or anything)... my last year as an out-of-character student was my first year as an in-character student here! Anyway, summer hasn't felt much different than spring this year; that said, I did get to go to a beach of sorts last week and enjoy being in the water *right* before a flash thunderstorm! I'm not sure there's a lot to be really excited about out-of-character as summer turns to fall... but in character, I did get a promotion this summer, and I'm excited to see what the fall has to bring for us here! Even getting back on my broom and flying would be nice...
  16. While I wouldn't mind becoming Head of House, and while I approve of sarcasm and sneakiness... I don't think I can imagine myself spending my adult life the way he did - redeeming himself to someone who proved herself to be an awful friend (at least in my opinion)! That said, I'm convinced the Pensieve images Harry saw after Snape died were not how Snape really saw things, but rather an altered image designed by Snape in order for Harry to make sure he was remembered well after his death!
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