Name: Christina Maki Linville
Wand: Redwood with unicorn hair core, ten and one-half inches, pliant
Patronus: White Swan
How did you get into Harry Potter?
In my 9th grade English class, we all had to do a big book report at one point. I did mine on Stephen King’s The Stand, because that’s the kind of weirdo I was at age fourteen. But my friend Shannon did hers on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She came into the classroom and stood in front of the blackboard wearing a cloak, pointy hat, and fake round-rimmed glasses, with a scar outlined on her forehead in lipliner. We hadn’t been told to dress up for our reports. She was just that into it, and she made the book sound like so much fun. When I got home that night, I remember telling my mom I was interested in reading it, and asking if I could have a copy. She showed up a couple of days later with Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets, because by that time they’d both come out. After that, I was hooked. There’s still nothing that quite compares to the feeling of getting in line around 10 PM at a bookstore for the midnight release party of a Harry Potter book! (Which I did for the next 5 books.)
What’s your favorite book in the series?
Probably Half-Blood Prince. I love the peek you get into what childhood was like for both Voldemort and Snape. You come away sympathizing with one and not the other, and I think it really sets the tone for everything that happens in the final installment.
What’s your favorite Harry Potter movie?
This one is a toss-up. I do love Half-Blood, but I also adore the animated sequence in Deathly Hallows Part One where they do the story of the Peverell brothers. Hard for me to pick between them.
Who do you ship yourself with?
Charlie Weasley, hands-down. I have a thing for gingers, and he’s into animals. It’s perfect. I know Rita Skeeter has made some snide comments about him still not being married, but I contend that it’s obviously because he just hasn’t met The One. (Me.)
Who do you most identify with?
As a kid, Hermione. I was kind of an obnoxious know-it-all in class and got my fair share of ribbing for it. At this stage in life, though, as a mother, I can really identify with Molly Weasley. She’s such an amazing mama and I 100% understand her fears for her kiddos growing up in a turbulent and scary world.
What movie adaptation choice would you change if you could?
So I’ve mentioned that Half-Blood is my favorite book and tied for my favorite movie, but my favorite part of the book didn’t make it into the film. At the end, when Snape is fleeing Hogwarts, Harry calls him a coward. In the book, Snape becomes enraged and yells at Harry not to call him a coward, and all the pain that Snape’s been carrying as he risks his life as a double-agent is right there in that one sentence. He’s such a complex character and I felt like that one line really spoke to that. And, for some reason, it didn’t make it into the film. I protest.
If you could save any character that died who would it be?
I think probably Fred. I am unabashedly Team Weasley in all things, but also I’ve read so many fanfics that delve into the pain that George must have felt after losing his twin, and his subsequent depression, and it is so heartbreaking to imagine. And together, they were able to bring so much joy to the world, even when it was falling apart. I think the wizarding world suffered a huge loss with his death.
Have you ever dressed up as a HP character?
I feel like my nerd card is about to be revoked, but no. I haven’t. The closest I ever came was wearing my “Snape Is Innocent” t-shirt to the premiere of Half-Blood Prince. (Mind you, my feelings on that have evolved. He’s still my favorite character because of his complexity, and the way JKR wrote such a complicated person is masterful, but I wouldn’t use the word “innocent” to describe him, like… ever.)
Which Quidditch position would you play?
I’d be lucky to stay on the broom, but I like to think I could make a fair Keeper once I got my flying skills down.
What would your favorite subject be at Hogwarts?
Care of Magical Creatures! Before beginning Accio! Subscriptions, I was a veterinary surgical nurse, so animals are kind of my jam. It would be awesome to study the magical kind! (Plus then I could fly to Romania and impress my future husband with all of my mad skills and knowledge.)
If you could have a pet magical creature what would it be?
Probably a Jarvey. Who doesn’t want a sassy ferret to bark rude insults at you all day? (I’d also settle for a Crup.)
If you could try one magical food or drink, what would you try?
I’ve always thought Cauldron Cakes sounded yummy. I’ve seen them done as pancakes, but that goes against everything I believe in, TBH. In my brain, they’re chocolate cakes and they have some sort of yummy filling, like a lava cake. Yes, please.
Which magical place would you visit if you could?
I’d love to see Diagon Alley. So many different places to explore. And I’d want to check out Hogsmeade, as well, so I could visit the Three Broomsticks and Honeydukes.
What’s your best Harry Potter related story?
When Deathly Hallows finally came out, I stood in line at midnight to get my copy, as usual. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to stay up reading it because I had to work the next day. (Being an adult fan is sometimes a drag.) So I waited all day at work, eager to get home and crack the book open. I got through a couple of chapters and then my fiancé at the time came home, and we were hanging out in bed looking at the book together. I was laying on his shoulder and he was sort of holding the book above me, flipping through and looking at the chapter illustrations. And then his hand slipped, and he dropped the book RIGHT INTO MY EYE. I ended up with a corneal abrasion half a centimeter long and I had to wear a very roguish eyepatch for a week. I made him read me the book while I recuperated.