A magical obsession: Which witch I would be

When I was a kid, I was absolutely obsessed with being a witch. Not like the kind you think of around Halloween, though—I specifically wanted to be a badass wand-wielder like Hermione Granger.

I would do my best to memorize any spell incantations I found in the books (I think I had a cheat sheet of them, too). I made my own wand (which was basic as heck in hindsight, but it was before the movies came out so I just made it up).

I even dressed up as her for Halloween one year and carried around my copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because it was the biggest, most Hermione-esque book I owned.

For me, being a witch embodied possibility.

It was a stereotypically wicked role that I knew had the possibility to be good and accomplish great things. There was endless possibility in magic, and what it could make happen.

And it was the possibility that comes with a good story; I grew up reading Harry Potter books around the same age as the protagonists, so I was learning everything they were with the same developmental sense of wonder—and I always loved the possibilities of what would come next.

So I always thought that if I were to be a witch, I would be one just like Hermione.

Then, I discovered a very different kind of witch.

When I started playing Dungeons and Dragons with Shane, one of the things I was allowed to pick for my character (who was made for me by the DM) was the class. In Pathfinder, one of the classes you can be is a witch—so when I saw that, I didn’t even need to look at the rest of them.

I was going to be the Hermione I’d always wanted to be.

When I started playing, though, it didn’t take me long to figure out I’d discovered something quite different from the witch I’d grown up basically idolizing. There were no wands, no textbooks, and a heck of a lot more moral ambiguity.

Oh, and a fair dose of the occult, too.

In a weird way, though, I liked it.

I’ve never really been one for anything occult. I’ve always been very bright and sunny—rainbows and butterflies over skeletons and whatnot, thank you very much.

But playing a witch in Pathfinder brought out that side of me a little, as I worked my way through the ridiculously massive spell list given to me by my tiny pet raptor who communed with my dark arts patron, and decided I did rather like things like necromancy spells.

They brought out that same sense of possibility, except this time, I wasn’t going to find out how the possibilities played out in a book; I was going to build them in my own imagination, and I think that inspired me so much more.

And, of course, using those spells to mess with people was a bonus, too.

So as much as I always thought I’d be the straight-laced do-gooder like Hermione, practising my spells for good and not relying on a pact with any dark entities to get my powers, nowadays I think I’d be a Pathfinder witch—both because of the limitless possibility, and because I’m never one to turn down a good prank.

If you could be any fantasy-based character, what would you be?

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