Happee Birthdae!

by Lydia

"'Anyway --- Harry,' said the giant, turning his back on the Dursleys, 'a very happy birthday to yeh. Got summat fer yeh here --- I mighta sat on it at some point, but it'll taste all right.'" 
"From an inside pocket of his black overcoat he pulled a slightly squashed box. Harry opened it with trembling fingers. Inside was a large, sticky chocolate cake with Happy Birthday Harry written on it in green icing."
July 31st marks Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling's birthday. It's also the last day of Harry Potter Month here on TBC. Naturally, I've made a cake. It's modeled after the movie version, because the green and pink icing was just too good to pass up. Very Hagrid, don't you think? (In addition to bringing Harry a squashed birthday cake, Hagrid bought Hedwig to accompany Harry to Hogwarts. Coolest birthday present ever? I think yes.)
It's been a fantastical month, and we haven't even started to adequately cover the many pages, quotes, and characters that make Harry Potter so magical. But we did have some pretty great posts.

MV hosted this month's linkup (which you still have a couple hours to join . . .  hurry, hurry!)
Cait gave us a hilarious guided tour through the many covers of Harry Potter.
I made butterbeer, polyjuice potion, and pumpkin juice.
Charley shared some little-known Harry Potter facts.
MV wrote about the creatures of Harry Potter (including Hedwig, Crookshanks, and Buckbeak)
Cait tried to resign herself to being Slytherin.
Emily guest posted about the series' ever-present theme of sacrifice.
I wrote a scathing letter to Dolores Umbridge. (It was quite therapeutic.)
And yesterday, we all guessed what forms our patronuses might take.

What was your favorite post of the month? Share in the comments!
Before we leave, MV has a party game to share: Harry Potter trivia! The winner gets bragging rights, and a virtual slice of cake. The questions are . . .

1. How many staircases are in Hogwarts?
2. When is Sirius Black's name first mentioned?
3. What are the four breeds of dragon used in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament?
4. What is Luna's Patronus?
5. What is Harry's last line of dialogue?

Okay! Party in the comments! Leave your answers to MV's trivia, and tell us what your favorite Harry Potter quote is. Thanks for being a part of Harry Potter Month. :)


Bookish Patronuses

After choosing your House, your wand type, and whether or not you'd rather hit Draco Malfoy in the face with a bludger or the pointy end of a Blast-Ended Screwt, I don't think there's a Potterhead in the world who hasn't tried to work out what form their patronus would take.

A patronus, for those not so much in the know, is a spell conjured from strong positive feelings used to fend off dementor attacks, which usually materialises in the form of an animal. But not just any animal - the animal in question always has a particularly special significance to the caster. Harry Potter, of course, has a stag - the same as that of his father, whom he resembles and admires so closely. Hermoine, intelligent, adaptable and fluffy as fluffy can be, has an otter, while loyal Ron has a variety of terrier known for chasing otters...

But it's all very well for the great and the good (and the fictional) to fit nicely into such categories, what about ordinary witches and wizards?

What about us?

Well, wonder no more. Without futher ado, I present to you - The Book Chewers Staff, and their patronuses!


My patronus would most likely be a dog. It's my favourite animal, but I also have a pet dog - a little shi-chon named Scout - and she is, without a doubt, the best fit for our family. She's spunky, playful, snuggly, energetic, and just a little crazy. She definitely has a personality, and she won't hesitate to jump onto the top of the couch, walk over to you, and whack your head with her paw to get a treat. But say "mailman" and she goes berserk!


Since I haven't finished devouring the complete Harry Potter series, figuring out my patronus was hard. I took several quizzes and hit the books to study (very Hermione of me). And my conclusoin? Definitely unicorn.
Honestly, don't underestimate those spikes they keep in the centre of their face. Talk about a deathly head-butt. Also unicorns are fabulous, which (I won't lie) I am too. Not 100% sure about the glitter thought... I'm rather opposed to being shiny. Unicorns are also rare (thank goodness, says the world) and they require apples and sugar for happiness. So do I. Apples in cinnamon and sugar are so delicious ... but wait, we were talking about patronuses, right?


I'm very much a cat person - and I don't just mean on the yes-no-slidey-scale of pet preference. I'm quite happy to be warm and affectionate and cuddle you when you're sad and desperately need something non-judgemental to sob on, but at the same time, I like to have my own space, and I like to give you yours too. The leopard, I feel embodies this - and me - better than domestic cats, because not only are they similarly independent, generally easygoing and fond of naps, they and I also share a very similar approach to food (and, really, life); what you want, when you want, as much as you want. 
And if I say so myself, I look pretty rad in spots.


The internet quizzes that be tell me my Patronus is a hedgehog. Although I have a small amount of doubt concerning the protective powers of a hedgehog, it does seem like a good match. Hedgehogs are nocturnal and solitary, which are terms that loosely fit me. They're also good at withdrawing, and I'm frequently withdrawn and absorbed in my own thoughts/daydreams. And, hey . . . I'll freely admit that I can appear somewhat prickly on the outside, like a hedgehog. But I'm pretty cute, good-humored, and mild-mannered if you look closer. ;)


Dear Dolores Umbridge,

by Lydia

Dear Dolores Umbridge, 

Voldemort may be the villain, but you are the one I cannot adequately insult. You are smug, greedy, manipulative, petty, simpering, condescending, and vindictive. You might think you can hide your foulness behind fluffy pink cardigans and your collection of cat-adorned china plates, but the teachers and students of Hogwarts are on to you. Your unusually cruel punishments and loud hatred of "half-breeds" will not go unpunished. 

You think you're headmistress material? Hem-hem. I beg to differ. The students hate you, and the teachers will never be loyal to you. They allow Peeves to run rampant, they refuse to undo troublesome spells (bet you're trying to pretend that portable swamp incident never happened), and they are failing to admonish unruly students . . . in fact, they subtly encourage rebellion. Even the building hates you. You can't get into the headmaster's office, can you? That must be irksome. 

Sure, you're in power now, but J.K. Rowling herself calls you a "nasty piece of work." Do you really think she'll let you remain in control of Hogwarts? Absolutely not. Your evil actions will be exposed, and you will be ousted. You're going down, Umbridge. 

See you at the end of the series! 

P.S. Ticking off Minerva McGonagall was a dumb move. 
P.P.S. Did anyone ever tell you that you look like a toad?