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10 real-life ways muggles can experience Harry Potter

By: Laura Moss on Nov. 19, 2010, 12:40 p.m.
The Harry Potter series.

Photo: By Anton_Ivanov/

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Change your name

Ever wonder what it would be like to share a name with a character in a Harry Potter novel? Would being a real-life Hermione Granger or Sirius Black make your daily life a little more magical? The real-life Harry Potter says no.

J.K. Rowling named Harry Potter by combining her favorite boy's name with the surname of one of her childhood neighbors, but little did she know that when the Sorcerer's Stone came out, a 9-year-old Harry Potter was already living in Portsmouth, England. Today, he shares the famed character's name, dark hair and even the scarred forehead — but it's anything but magical. He's been taunted by the police, phone companies and soccer referees; he's been refused bus passes; and he had to show his girlfriend his passport before she'd believe him. Today, Potter is the only employee at his company who doesn't have to use his full name on the phone, and he says he's tired of enduring the constant jokes about his "spellbinding" name.

So maybe renaming yourself isn't the best way for a muggle to experience Harry Potter, but I can't help but think that changing my name to "Luna Lovegood" or "Nymphadora Tonks" still might be fun.