The Golden Trio: Where are they now?

It has been over 3 years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wrapped up it’s final production. Since then, we have seen the faces that we have come to know and love on the big screen fan out and start lives of their own. What have they been up to? Well, polish your Firebolts and straighten your ties, because we are about to find out in this blog =)

1: Daniel Radcliffe

Since his final debut as our famous lightning bolt scarred wizard, Daniel Radcliffe (Now 25 years old) has starred in films such as The Woman in Black (2012),What If (2013), and more recently, Horns (2013). In 2011, he also starred in the Broadway play How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. Let us also not forget his recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon, where he rapped Blackalicious, not only with an American accent, but quite flawlessly to boot 😉

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2: Rupert Grint

Since his final debut as the famous red headed best friend/ sidekick, Rupert Grint (now 26) has starred in movies such as Into the White (2012) and Postman Pat: The Movie (2014). In 2012, he was also a voice actor on American Dad, where he played the character, Liam. In July of 2012, Rupert carried the Olympic Torch through northwest London! Young Rupert has sure spanned out on his own and made himself a star 😉

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3: Emma Watson

Since her final debut as the one of the greatest witches of her ages, Emma Watson (now 24) has quite the busy young lady. She has starred in movies such as My Week with Marilyn (2011),The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), The Bling Ring (2013), This is the End (2013), and Noah (2014). Emma graduated from Brown University in the May of 2014, and is now a Goodwill Embassador for the UN, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. Emma would make Hermione proud!

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References: http://www.imdb.com

Photo Sources: http://www.founditemclothing.com,  http://www.pinterest.com

Hufflepuffs: A Dedication

In wizarding history, we often hear of tales of Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, and Slytherins: Gryffindors for their bravery, Ravenclaw for their wisdom, and Slytherins for their ambition. As a Gryffindor myself, I have a hard time grasping the concept that Hufflepuffs don’t get enough love in the wizarding world, which is why I am dedicating this blog post to them! Here are a few reasons why I love Hufflepuff:

1: The Hufflepuff Dormitory is right by the kitchen! Hello midnight snack satisfying!

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2: The House Mascot is a Honey Badger! We all know that Honey Badgers just don’t give a..well, you know 😉

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3: Hufflepuffs are particularly good finders!

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4: Hufflepuffs look out for their friends!

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5: A lot of successful witches and wizards were (and are) Hufflepuffs!

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And last but certainly not least, J.K. Rowling herself has nothing but GOOD things to say about Hufflepuff!

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I could go on all day about why Hufflepuffs are AMAZING, but I think (and hope) that all of the non-Hufflepuffians get my point. Some of the greatest people that I have come to know in my life are Hufflepuffs, and quite frankly, I wouldn’t trade them for the world (not even for all the Gringotts money!). I love ya, Badgers! =) XOXOXOXO

The Golden Trio: How the friendship all began

For all Harry Potter fanatics, we often refer to Harry, Ron, and Hermione as the Golden Trio. However, sometimes we forget that they did not start out as friends, until it all changed thanks to a troll attack in the girl’s bathroom at Hogwarts.

“Troll in the Dungeon! Thought you oughta know..”

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This scene had me gritting my teeth. I remember thinking for sure that Hermione was done for!

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Harry and Ron defeat the troll, and rescue Hermione!

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“From that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can’t share without ending up like each other, and knocking out a twelve- foot mountain troll is one of them.”

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All Aboard!

Ah, the end of August vastly approaches. For Muggles, that means the beginning of another boring school year filled with subjects such as Math, English, Gym, and much more. However, for witches and wizards, the end of August can’t come fast enough. September 1st is so much more then the beginning of another month; it is the beginning of another grand year at Hogwarts (I can already hear the Hogwarts choir now)

 Time to get on board the Hogwarts Express, where your friends and the snack cart await! (Just don’t let a house-elf shut down the barrier of Platform 9 and 3/4)

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 Once you arrive at Hogwarts, you will be directed to the Great Hall, where the Sorting Ceremony will commence. For those who have been to Hogwarts previous years, just don’t laugh too hard at the nervous faces as the Sorting Hat is placed upon the first years’ heads!

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 Once you have been sorted, you will be lead up to your Dormitories by your house Prefects. Once you get a night of rest, your classes shall commence. Just don’t blow anything up on your first day, some students are notorious for that! 😉

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 No matter what obstacles you may face this year, remember to make friends. Heck, even expand your horizons and get to know people in other the other three houses!

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Goblins and Dragons and Trains..oh my!

In July of 2014, Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Orlando opened it’s bricks to the public for the very first time:

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With that being said, the Dragon made sure to keep Witches, Wizards, and Muggles at bay:

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The Goblins, however, didn’t seem to mind everyone so much (you know, as long as the gold remained untouched and unscathed):

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A word of warning: Be careful about where you turn, otherwise you may find yourself in Knockturn Alley (Luckily, Ashlynn and myself had each other’s backs 😉  )

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Just outside of the gate, The Hogwarts Express awaited on Platform 9 and 3/4 (Unbeknownst to the Muggles at Kings Cross 😉 )

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New friendships were even made!

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There is so much do in Diagon Alley. My advice for anyone who is debating whether to go or not: Go..go and have the time of your life. Visit Weasley’s Wizard Weezes and get inspired, or go on over to Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour and try out a Butterbeer or Lavender flavored ice cream! No matter what you decide to do or how many shops you decide to visit, have the time of your life! Make new friends, be daring..and just be you =)

The Heart of a Lion

What being a Gryffindor means to me:

1- Loyalty:

Always stick with your friends, no matter what the cost.

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2- Be Courageous

Always face your fears, because as a wise witch once said, “Fear of the name increases fear of the thing itself.”

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3- Chilvary:

Always play fair, even if life throws you some wicked curveballs.

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All in all, I am proud to be a Gryffindor ❤

With Just a Spark of Lightning…

Since the Harry Potter franchise began, all of us have heard stories about how Harry Potter has changed lives. It casted hope, defined a genre in the movie business, and even created jobs. In this blog, we will hear from people just like you whom have had their lives changed as if by magic.

Ashlynn Webb- Hufflepuff:

Harry Potter means the world to me because, when I was little, my parents found out that I had a problem reading. When I got done with tests at the age of 9, they told me I had a reading disability that is called Auditory Processing Disorder. It basically meant that I had problems learning to read because of certain words that I didn’t know how to pronounce. When I got done with tutors for learning how to pronounce words and learning how to sound them out it got easier. When I finally got to middle school I was finally able to pick up the first Harry Potter book and read it fully, while also comprehending all of the words. Since then I have never put any book down! Harry Potter is the reason I read books. Harry Potter taught me that I should not give up on trying to read a book I always wanted to read because of I have a reading disability. That is what Harry Potter means to me!

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Micky Christmas Lee- Slytherin:

Harry Potter,especially to those who grew up with it as something brand-new, means quite a lot. To me, it represents climbing trees and escaping to parks not often ventured in order to finish the latest of my source of wizardry. It meant trying with all my might to perform even the tiniest bit of magic, it even meant hiding secrets within my pack from magic-hating Muggles (My teachers). The Potterverse was a new place to explore spells and invent strange ideas– it acted as an anchor to a much bigger /thing/. The Harry Potter series put within me a love of series reading, and a love of a whole entire universe where it was completely okay to be a little strange.

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Liam Mason- Gryffindor:

What does Harry Potter mean to me? Harry Potter is more than just books, memorabilia, movies, wands, costumes, or Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans. It means more than that to most people too;  The books inspired us, invoked passions, and rattled nerves. The movies transformed us, helped us fly like a Hippogriffs, or become reborn like Fawkes. Even more so, they personally affect all of us. Harry Potter, to me, is more than just a name, it’s a reminder. That a home and family can be more than just relatives or a specific place; it can be where your friends who cherish you gather. It taught me that it is our choices, far more than abilities, that make us who we are and that sometimes, we must make the choice between what is right and what is easy. It means to me, that any book I can get my hands on for the rest of my life will mean I open it to page 394 first, before doing anything else. Harry Potter means to me that even when you think you’re alone, or lost, or in trouble, all you have to remember is that the ones we love never really leave us. It means to me that, despite insurmountable odds and unbelievable disasters, good can triumph over evil. And that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. It’s taught me that the wealthiest and best connected people may not always be the kindest. That the power of a mother’s love can save you more than once. Harry Potter means to me that there is always humor and hope, even when the world is crumbling around you. Finally, the Potter world reminds me that scars, despite the injuries and pain that caused them… will disappear over time and not pain us further. All will be well.

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Mandy Kaufman- Ravenclaw:

What does Harry Potter mean to me? One may think that because I am currently in my 30’s that I was too old for Harry when he came out. How untrue that statement is. In a major way, Harry Potter changed my life for the better. I say this because up until 2001 when I was introduced to the series I hated reading, and worse, I hated school. For many reasons, being bullied constantly in the primary grades. I was bullied because I learned a bit differently than my classmates. I was bullied because I had to go to resource room for extra help with reading and mathematics. I was bullied because I was a bit more immature than my other classmates. You name it they bullied me for it. Later on in college the work was very cumbersome. My favorite was theater and it was my major. I had issues memorizing huge pages of dialogue. I had all but given up on school and, the dreams that went along with it. I am one of those people that the world of J.K Rowling changed. If I could say one thing to her it would be thank you. Thank you, for creating Harry and his world. Thank you, for another chance. Let me explain it this way. Because of Harry, Ron, Hagrid, Hermione, Dumbledore, Luna, Moaning Myrtle and the rest I started to read. Not only read but, read voraciously. Through the series I finally learned how to read well and find keys to memorization that I did not have before. Fast forward to 2013, because of Harry Potter I can honestly say I went back to school. Because of him I learned to finally be me and not worry about anyone else. So what have I accomplished? Those on my friends list know I completed not only my bachelors but my masters in psychology with a concentration in education. I actually do work in higher education part time for several years. For someone who hated school went to loving school and reading. All of this is because of a boy with spectacles and his zany adventures. On a side note, I identify most with Harry and Luna. Harry because he had such trouble in primary and found his way later. I also identify with Luna, because of her out of the box thinking and different ways like me.

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(And finally, yours truly)

Savannah Mick- Gryffindor:

What does Harry Potter mean to me? I can’t even begin to describe it, for Harry Potter literally saved my life. When I entered my teenage years, my dad remarried and abuse started. My stepmother, stepbrother, and even my own father abused me both mentally and physically. They took everything, including my Harry Potter books, which made me determined to survive. No matter how much they starved, beat, or denied me, I thought of Harry and his cupboard under the stairs. Like Harry, I had my friends step in and get me the help that I needed. Like Harry, I turned out better than anyone ever hoped. Like Harry, I faced obstacles and challenges. I could go on on all day, but the bottom line is, is that the Harry Potter franchise is the reason I am here today. Thank you, J.K. Rowling for bringing the stories of Harry and his friends to life!

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The Magic is Real

Picture it. It was a clear, warm day in the summer of May 2012. The crowds are starting to form at the other rides,and as I join my group in the lines, my mind wanders over to the place where I want to visit most. I look over the lake,only to see Hogwarts standing tall and proud, as if to draw me closer. I smile to myself and know that, no matter how far away I am, Hogwarts will always be there to greet me. 525571_3963853981112_859362757_n

I ride rides such as the Hulk and Jurassic Park, but I just can’t keep my mind off the castle. Finally, I can’t wait anymore, so, dragging my friend and godson along, I wander over to the entrance of Hogsmeade. I step around the corner and am immediately greeted by the Hogwarts Express and shops. My eyes beam with excitement, and without further hesitation, I head in to Zonkos Joke Shop, all the while knowing that I am making the Weasley twins proud. The Muggles inside play with the different gadgets and gizmos, while Istand back and just admire the items that inspired Fred and George to play so many pranks and gags. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch sight of little pink and purple fuzz balls. I gasp and pick up a pink one, knowing that I had just become the proud owner of a Pygmy Puff.  All of a sudden, my noses catches wind of the greatest thing in the world..chocolate. That alone draws me over to Honeydukes, my mouth waters as I catch site of the various fudges and sweets. Picking up a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans and a Chocolate Frog, I know that I just can’t resist their temptation any longer, so, I make my way to the counter and pay for my Pygmy and sweets.

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Once done at the shop, I make my way towards the castle. The line is long, but I don’t mind. Patiently, I wait for an hour, and then the most amazing thing happens..I find myself within the walls of Hogwarts. The flash on my camera is put on overdrive as I take pictures left and right, and I really fangirl when I see the faces of three old friends: Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I grin as Ron makes it snow and Hermione scolds him, but alas, the line keeps moving. Sighing, I follow suit, but am soon greeted by the Gryffindor common room, and the talking pictures. I give myself whiplash as I look up to see all the pictures talking, and this provides me so much entertainment that, before I know it, I hear the faithful voice of the Sorting Hat.  I look up in awe, imagining the old, raggedy hat is talking directly to me. The rules are read, the flashes from cameras are seen, and now a Hufflepuff is sending me to the ride.

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Excited, I follow the directions of a Slytherin walking along the moving walkway, and before I know it, Hermione is whisking me away on a magical journey. I don’t know what to expect on this ride, but it doesn’t take me long to find out. The Golden Trio, spiders, dragons, the whomping willow, and even dementors and the dark arts themselves send me through twists and turns. The ride lasts a few minutes, but, as all good things in life must, it comes to an end. Dumbledore bids me farewell, telling me I can return to Hogwarts any time.

Once off the ride, another Slytherin points me and the large group down a group of steps. I take it, and immediately find myself in the gift shop. It is overcrowded, but well worth the look around. There are shirts, stuffed animals, and anything a witch or wizard could ever want. I decide to come back later once the crowd dies down, so I head back out into the Florida heat. As I make my way back towards Hogsmeade to treat myself to a butterbeer, I hear a melodious sound. Surrounded by a small crowd is the Hogwarts choir with their frogs. I grin and make my way towards the front, calling out the House names when appropriate. The Ravenclaw who was up front looks over at me, grins, and gives a small wink, then rejoins his singing companions. I love their music so much, that I decide to come back to the next show, so I continue my journey towards the butterbeer stand. I pay my $10.50 for the butterbeer souvenir mug, and go stand off towards the side. Taking a deep breath, I take my first sip, and immediately feel something on my face..alas! my life has been completed by a butterbeer foam mustache! I giggle to myself and continue drinking. Satisfied, and with a cool butterbeer in my hands, I head back up towards Hogwarts and the choir.

The choir is gone, but knowing that they will return within a half hour, I take a look around at the souvenir stands. I find a Draco Malfoy pin and buy it without hesitation. I go back to where the choir was due to return and wait. It takes awhile, but they finally return once more. Once again, I am listening to the music and sounds of Hogwarts, and again, I am one of the pumped up ones in the crowd. After the songs are over, the fans are asked to get in line for a photo opportunity; however, the manager walks over to me and pulls me aside. “Wait here” she says, and walks off. I wait, not knowing what to expect, and after the photos are done, the choir walks back towards the school, but this time they summon me to follow them. Once backstage, they all introduce themselves. I have my Slytherin shirt and Gryffindor backpack on, so I explain that I am a little bit of each house. When asked how, I explain, and once I’m done, they all laugh. I am asked to take pictures with them, and for a brief moment, I feel like one of them, so I withdraw my wand and smile at the camera. It only takes a few minutes, but as I leave to head back to my hotel, I am full of fangirl joy. The first day at WWOHP was terrific, and I vowed to come back the next day and do it all over again..and maybe even ride a dragon or two!

 

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