I consider myself a casual fan of make up. I don't really wear it myself, but I like the idea of it. I just don't have the face for it. I wear lip gloss or chap stick from time to time, mostly because I'm always biting or smacking my lips. I'll probably be wearing some light make up on the day of my wedding, if only for the sake of formality. But just going out around town, or chilling at home? No. Also, I just don't find it to be worth the price. Even drug store makeup costs more than I'd want to spend for the product I'm getting.
So, Harry Potter. I was introduced to the series when I was in the third grade. Our teacher would read us a chapter every day at the end of school, as we were antsy youngsters who just wanted to go home and she could barely get anything done when we were like that. It was the first book I enjoyed. I was a big reader already - though not by choice. My father could be a bit of a grades nazi, and I had read a good deal of children's classics (he rarely cared for more modern works, though he did end up liking Harry Potter) and even a few adult novels. My mum was a Stephen King fan and those occupied most of the shelves in our library, so I read some of them to ease the boredom (and because I liked the movies, particularly 'The Shining'). But I never really liked reading, in spite of this. It was just how I was raised. Harry Potter changed that, and even without the nostalgia goggles, I can acknowledge its importance in my life for that much, if nothing else.
I was always a fan of Slytherins. I like all of the characters, at least a little, except Colin Creevey perhaps. But Slytherins always held my interest. Severus Snape, Tom Riddle, Draco Malfoy, and - after the movies came out - Lucius Malfoy. I should say that I am big fan of Jason Isaacs. If a movie has Jason Isaacs in it, it doesn't suck. Even if it is 'The Patriot'. The biggest complaint about 'The Last Airbender' is the fact that they replaced Jason Isaacs with Asif Mandvi. Knowing that, and knowing that I already loved Lucius Malfoy's character, I think you can imagine my reaction to seeing him playing the character. It was perhaps my first act of fangirling as a youth. Indeed, Harry Potter was many firsts for me. The first fanfiction I read was a Harry/Draco fanfic (and, indeed, Harry/Draco was my first shipping).
My favorite book in the series was probably either 'Half-Blood Prince' or 'Chamber of Secrets', which are perhaps the two least liked books in the series (save, I suppose, Deathly Hallows). As I said, I'm a fan of Slytherins. Both books focused heavily on Slytherins, so they get some bonus points. 'Chamber of Secrets' does, I agree, follow a similar story to 'Sorcerer's Stone', but I think the second one was simply better executed. I don't tend to like the storyline of a (if you will) muggle learning of the magical world, and though every book has that to some extent, the first had it in spades, and though I understood why it was there, it made it hard for me to enjoy as much as the second book. Additionally, I simply preferred the the story. The sorcerer's stone inevitably didn't do anything to impact the overall story. It doesn't show up again, it was destroyed. It introduces many things that would pop up later (invisibility cloak, Norbert/a), but nothing in the core of the story ever shows up again. 'Chamber of Secrets', however, throws out a horcrux and our means of destroying them. Half-Blood Prince, well, yeah, that was almost entirely due to the Slytherins. I loved the Gaunt family, loved the extra Malfoy, loved SNAPE KILLING DUMBLEDORE (OMG!), loved Slughorn.
I've stuck with the series because, well, it was sort of my life. I loved Harry Potter as a kid, I saw all the movies, I made more than a few friends because of our mutual love of the books, and I've been a fan for nearly 12 years of my life. It's hard to break away from that. I think it's hard to deny that most of my love for it comes from the old nostalgia goggles, though. I read it now, and I can't help but notice the little clichés, the often subpar writing, and other things that keep me from saying it's just a great series. It doesn't help that I hit that stage in my life as a reader just before 'Deathly Hallows' came out (and let's face it, even if I hadn't hit that stage, it wasn't a book without its faults). Still, I'm here to stay, even if my love is routed in loyalism.
My favorite Harry Potter pairings are split into two categories: things I ship because Harry is a vessel for the reader, and I love the other half of the pairing, and things I ship because they actually make some canonical sense. For the latter, my favorite pairings are Molly/Arthur and Harry/Luna. I don't have a problem with Harry/Ginny, per se, but I think he could have done better. And though I didn't care for the movie, I think the fifth set my lingering ideas of Harry/Luna in stone. For the former, it's a toss up between Harry/Fenrir and Harry/Lucius. Because...
To answer Cassie, Harry, as a character, is pretty bland and inoffensive. I don't love him by any means. As an author, I like him because he serves his purpose very well. He is simple enough, inexperienced enough, to work as a reader avatar, so that we can live through the stories as though we are there ourselves. Yet he is still a character in his own right. Not one I care for, but a character. That is where many characters of this nature fail (*cough*Bella*cough*). He's an alright character. I care enough about him for it to not affect my ability to read the book. Except perhaps in 'Order of the Phoenix'.
Also, my birthday - September 2nd, 1991 - is Harry's first day at Hogwarts.