This week's topic is...well, there isn't one. It's a free week, so I can pick absolutely anything I like.
What to pick, what to pick...Quidditch.
I flipping love Quidditch. From Harry's first lesson with Oliver Wood, to the Quidditch World Cup, to Ron winning the cup, every moment of Quidditch in the books is wonderful.
I particularly love the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Not only is it a great insight into the social lives of magical folk, it's also a wonderful way to bring many, many characters together, properly introduce us to Cedric Diggory (we didn't see much of him in Prisoner of Azkaban), it's a riot of colour and sound, and it shows us how magic does, or doesn't, fit into the Muggle world. It's also full of some really funny bits (the Leprechauns and the Veelas), and some great description that is very amusing.
They trudged up the misty field between long rows of tents. Most looked almost ordinary; their owners had clearly tried to make them as Muggle-like as possible, but had slipped up by adding chimneys, or bell-pulls, or weather-vanes. However, here and there was a tent so obviously magical that Harry could hardly be surprised that Mr Roberts was getting suspicious. Halfway up the field stood an extravagant confection of striped silk like a miniature palace, with several live peacocks tethered at the entrance. A little further on they passed a tent that had three floors and several turrets; and a short way beyond that was a tent which had a front garden attached, complete with birdbath, sundial and fountain.And, of course, the Quidditch World Cup also introduces us to the Death Eaters and really starts the rollercoaster journey that won't finish until the end of the series.
Rowling takes the best elements of a lot of sports, and then adds in brooms and lots of outrageous rules, and creates a game that most of us would love to play.
In fact, there is an International Quidditch Association (IQA), which actually exists and where you can play a version of Quidditch in real life. Amazing. I wish my university had had a Quidditch team, maybe I'd have been interested in sport then.