Totes Andreya…

As soon as you read about Slytherins, you know they’re the bad guys. First of all, Slytherin just sounds…evil. Second of all, most, if not all, of the villains freaking come from there. Voldemort was from Slytherin, and he’s a Dark Lord. Draco Malfoy was from Slytherin, and he’s a jerk. And the man who created Slytherin, good old Salazar Slytherin himself?

Yeah, he’s a not-so-subtle Muggle-hater.

(In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m referring to Hogwarts Houses from the Harry Potter series.)

So with that bad a rep, you wouldn’t think that a person who got sorted into Slytherin from the Pottermore Sorting Quiz could be a great friend.

Wrong.

They make the best of friends.

Andreya Martinez and I first met at film club. (Yeah, we’re kind of film nerds. Well, actually, if I’m being honest, Andreya is more passionate about film than I am. I joined the club in order to stay in contact with this totally awesome guy, but that’s another story for another time.) We didn’t talk much to each other while we were in the club. We just casually got to know each other. However, we were both left with favorable impressions.

After the film club ended (rather unceremoniously), Andreya and I decided to reach out to each other so we could hang out by ourselves.

Best decision ever.

Despite having completely different personalities, it’s like we suit each other really well. Who would have thought that a Hufflepuff like me and a Slytherin like Andreya could be so compatible?

(A lot of people, apparently. Slytherin/Hufflepuff friendships are uber common.)

Andreya is the funniest person I know. She’s mastered intentional and accidental humor. (I know you can’t really practice accidental humor, but you know what I mean.) Her occasional abrasiveness is totally unique to her, and I find it refreshing. Wit and candor met and had a baby in order to give her the best sense of humor.

She has her flaws, who doesn’t? (Especially a Slytherin.) But, unlike most people, she’s completely aware of them. Some people have this really bad habit of trying to hide their flaws. What gets even more annoying is when they admit to having flaws that aren’t really flaws.

For example, “I don’t know how to be selfish.”

Or “I’m too nice.”

Andreya doesn’t waste her time hiding her flaws. She’s loud and proud of them. She’s admitted to me that she’s selfish and only cares about herself. And I will take that kind of honesty any day over someone who pretends to be kind.

As per the usual Slytherin cunning, she is an expert in getting her way. She doesn’t let trivialities like rules stop her.

Despite what many would consider major character faults, Andreya is the most encouraging friend I have. I’m telling you, underneath the scaly exterior of every Slytherin is a loyal friend in the making. So while she’s quick to sing her own praises, she’s just as quick to sing mine.

It’s because of her that I have this blog. I was going through low times having lost some friendships, but Andreya was able to bring me back up. She told me to focus on the things that make me happy, and I honestly know I’m happier today because she’s in my life.

One of my favorite things that she’s ever told me (when I was being an equivocating, non-confrontational Hufflepuff) is this: “You can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself.”

She has a tremendous personality, so if you want to get to know her this is her blog.

I recommend her blog just as fervently as I recommend her.

What’s the Elvish Word for Friend?

I first met Mia Sara Moreno when I was six years old and she was five. Both of our parents were teachers at the same elementary school, so they thought it would be a great idea for their kids to hang out together. Mia’s mom brought Mia to my mom’s kinder classroom before the school year started in order to acquaint her with my sister and me ahead of time. Mia was shy at first, hiding behind her mother, but eventually, she was coaxed into playing with some building blocks with us.

Mia, my sister, and I became a trio that day.

We all had similar interests (Lord of the Rings nuts, the three of us), and if we could, we would spend hours together. We made up games of tag that involved throwing footballs at each other. We pretended to be wolves roaming Middle-Earth. We slept over at each others’ houses and watched scary movies. We picked oranges from Mia’s grandparents’ tree.

Alya (my sister) was the leader. Mia and I would follow her anywhere, while also trying to caution her against bad ideas. We called ourselves the Wright Brothers Organization. (Yes, we were aware that there were only two famous, flying Wright Brothers, but we meant it more in the spirit of adventure.)

To this day, there is no one who is more comforting or relaxing as a friend to me, than Mia.

Mia and I walking down a sidewalk

Mia is simultaneously the gentlest person I know and the most stubborn. She cares deeply about the people she is close to, almost to the point where she excuses any shortcomings they might have. (Loyal is an understatement when it comes to describing the kind of friend she is.) At the same time, she holds on to her ideals of fairness with an iron grip.

Alya, Mia, and I once categorized the strength of our respective levels of determination. Alya’s was rubber, elastic yet firm. Mia’s was steel. Mine was Play-Doh.

Mia is quiet when you first meet her, but a natural enthusiasm for her interests resides in her heart, and if you ignite it, she rises to the conversation like a flame. Her laugh is infectious. I’ve never heard her fake-laugh. It’s always a genuine, hearty chuckle.

Mia is an avid reader. She’s the only person I truly trust to lend one of my books to. She would protect it to the point of not even letting it get dusty. She never leaves her house without having a book on her; she carries one with her at all times.

You will never meet someone as logical or as reasonable as Mia. I think horror movies actively annoy her (bad decisions get under her skin). We once spent hours talking about how Anakin Skywalker is an idiot, and then we discussed all the ways he could have proceeded to solve his problems in Revenge of the Sith without ending up as Darth Vader.

When we play Dungeons & Dragons, she never lets loose with a goofy character. She always creates these sedate, practical characters. This ends badly for her since everyone else in our D&D group is an utter goofball when it comes to making a character (including me). Mia’s character always has to be the level-headed one who has to get the rest of us out of trouble.

It’s not often that a childhood friend remains in your life for so long, and I never wish to forget to appreciate Mia for being who she is. One of my greatest joys in life is to share a coffee with her in the early hours of the day while playing a friendly game of Scrabble, some original Star Trek episodes playing in the background.

Not only is she a good friend, she’s a good person. She’s one of the best persons I know.

She’s my mellon.