BROOKSVILLE — Muggles, naturally, cannot divide themselves among four categories with a sorting hat, but where there's a will there's a way, even without magic.
The Powell Middle School students selected their houses by choosing them from a paper sack.
The members of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin are all in reading teacher Luke Albert's Harry Potter Book Club. They meet weekly to delve into the world of wizards.
Albert became interested in the Potter series as a college student. He was in high school when the books began to be published and he said he wasn't too interested at that time.
In college, however, he started looking for middle-school level material to read as he studied methods for teaching reading. The Harry Potter movies had begun and he said, "They were great. Why not the books?"
He started the Harry Potter Book Club to increase children's literacy and to bring together students with a common interest. They meet to play games and discuss the books. Albert has arranged a private viewing for the club when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hits theaters in November and it'll be in 3-D.
It's obvious Albert is a fan. He wears the quidditch polo shirt he got at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park in Orlando. It is red and white striped and has Potter 07 on the back. A patch in front is the Gryffindor crest. He also picked crest banners for each house that hang in his classroom.
They are planning a muggle quidditch game and a human-sized chess game. A trip to the Orlando park is coming up this year, too.
At last week's meeting, members played a lively round of Harry Potter Jeopardy, with questions like "Who was Harry's mother?" (Lily Potter) and "What was Hagrid's first name?" (Rubeus). Gryffindor and Slytherin tied.
Eighth-grader Ashley Bozarth, 13, is a Hufflepuff and is in love with Harry. She wasn't keen on reading the books until recently. (It's required of members.)
"I really love reading and I wanted something to get me to read the Harry Potter books and I have a huge crush on (Harry portrayer) Daniel Radcliffe and I make most of the snacks," she said. Snacks are served at the end of each meeting.
Eighth-grader Kaitlyn Recco, 13, is a Ravenclaw. "I joined the Harry Potter Book Club because I love Harry Potter and I'd love to learn about the Harry Potter series (and) the wizarding world. My favorite character is Hermione Grainger," she said.
Sixth-grader Zachary Tenaro, 11, was thrilled when he pulled the Gryffindor coat of arms out of the sorting bag. (Harry Potter was placed in Gryffindor when he first arrived at Hogwarts.) "I was really happy," he said. "I really like lions and they're really tough and I just thought to go with Gryffindor would be really cool."