Yesterday, a friend of mine told me that Pottermore was hiring freelance writers. Of course, myself and millions of fans across the world knew we were perfect for this job and flocked to the website to give our CVs and writing samples. But I didn’t want to rush it. I knew this would be my one chance to get my Hogwarts letter, so my application had to be perfect.
I spent the day thinking of creative pitches: the Death Eaters we’ve seen have corrupted the values of their Hogwarts house. For example, it took daring and nerve–traits of Gryffindor–for Peter Pettigrew to go to Voldemort. Or how Draco let his ambition make him jealous and drove him to defeat Harry rather than better himself. How has loyalty, a trait of Hufflepuff, corrupted students? We can be loyal to the wrong people or the wrong things. Perhaps it was a family member of Hepzibah Smith who headed down a dark path to protect a family secret. I also wanted to explore the reciprocal relationship between magic and a subculture. Take Anthony Goldstein. How did being a wizard affect his practice of Judaism? Did he enchant his dreidel to land on gimel when he played with muggle friends? How did being Jewish affect his practice of magic? Does his family have a golem like how other have house elves?
I reworked my writing samples. I had written an essay on how Harry Potter had been used by American courts. Originally, it had been written for a legal audience, so I over-explained Harry Potter references and was light on the law. I had to rewrite it to ease up on the Harry and explain the law better.
I was determined. I was going to get my owl. Of course I thought there was no way I would be picked from the plethora of fans that were sending in their own creativity. But I had to try. I was willing to face rejection from Rowling for the chance of this glory.
Then today, I see on the website where I went to submit my package, nope, it was just one of Rowling’s little jokes. Like when she said lawyers have nothing good to offer the world the day after I took my bar exam. The position (advertised to remain open until September 15) was no longer available. I am Fred or George Weasley, sporting my beard of shame and not even able to enter my name to be considered to compete. But for one glorious day, I was filled with hope and creativity.