After going against my mother’s wishes, riding the train alone, and walking through the East Village in NYC (not only for the first time, but in the dark), I finally made it. The room is full of people in wizard robes with stripped ties (gold/red, green/silver, etc.), and scars made of black eyeliner. Some of us are even dueling.
I’m about to wrock.
Yes, wrock. In case you’re a Muggle, that means Wizard Rock.
That first wrock concert was one I’ll never forget. Maybe because I started hyperventilating when I saw the famous Lauren Myrtle from the Moaning Myrtles. Or maybe because the entire crowd joined together to sing along with all the songs that I thought I alone enjoyed. Or maybe because I stood next to a really cute Harry Potter. I think mostly it’s because the experience was something I had never experienced before.
The Harry Potter fan base isn’t your ordinary nerdy fan base, just like Harry Potter isn’t your ordinary book series. If you’re somewhere around 20 years old, you know what I’m talking about. We grew up with Harry. When he was starting Hogwarts, we were getting ready for and starting middle school; when he was battling Voldemort (and should have been graduating), we had just graduated or were soon going to graduate high school. We waited years for the books, months upon months for the movies and on lines longer than any of us could have imagined. We created internationally known fan websites, wrote fan fiction and created a new music genre.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I am part of the Harry Potter fandom. I’ve been to wrock concerts and Quidditch World Cups (yes, that’s an actual sporting event). During my year abroad in England and because of Harry, I traveled to Scotland and Edinburgh, where JK used to live and write. I sat in the Elephant Café where JK wrote, gazing at the beauty of Edinburgh Castle, the inspiration for Hogwarts. And there might be a video of me on Facebook stepping into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando opening weekend, crying my eyes out.
As the seventh and final Harry Potter movie is released, I’ve been thinking about Harry and what he, and the fandom, means to me. The number one question I get asked by friends and family is: WHY HARRY POTTER? What’s so great about it?
You can go to a Wizard Rock concert and feel loved. It doesn’t matter that you’ve never been to one before, you just start talking to people and they love you because that’s what we do. This may sound cheesy, but JK Rowling taught us that love is the most important thing, it saved Harry in Book One, and we carry that in our lives. It’s the feeling you get when 200 people are all screaming the same thing around you. That feeling of belonging, like the world fades away. It’s like we’re all at Hogwarts, together.
Even though the final movies are coming out, I know it’s not ending. Trust me, you’ll be seeing raging fan girls at Daniel Radcliffe’s new movie premieres for years to come. I know that our love for Harry Potter will live on at our yearly conventions, local Wizard Rock shows, and our devotion to the actors (Radcliff in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying? I’m SO there). It’ll be sad to watch this movie and know it’s the last. But remember, there are legions of new, impressionable young people becoming old enough to read Harry Potter every year, just waiting to be taken into the fold. So don’t worry and don’t be scared, but we’ll be here for a while.
The above video is of Harry and the Potters (not the Moaning Myrtles). The song is called The Weapon.
Special Thanks to Ying and Teal, who took the pictures in this post.
Kelly is a non-graduating Senior in college and has an unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter, England, and musical theatre. In her spare time she likes to wander NYC or go to the bookstore and stare at books she can’t afford.