Why the Harry Potter fandom is important
Last night after walking down Regent Street and marvelling at the Christmas lights and how very much I love London(which happens anytime I walk around central London), I sat waiting in Leicester Sq. Me and my Hufflepuff fellow @andyouknowitis were off to see the midnight showing of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’.
After a little while, the scarves began to emerge. A girl sat down next to me wearing a Slytherin scarf. Later replaced by a girl in a Ravenclaw scarf. Two Gryffindors came up to me and went ‘Would you mind taking a picture of us? We saw you and thought ‘She’s wearing a Hufflepuff scarf, we’ll ask her’. Me and the two girls got chatting about fandom and the excitement for the movie and they wandered off. I sat back down and then two girls in robes walked by and grinned at me.
A guy dressed as Newt walked by and jokingly cursed a group of people, more friends in scarves began to appear, wands came out, hugs were had. The cinema was crowded, full of posters and people squealing over them. In the very long queue for food, one guy found out how long the adverts were and I asked whether he was a Ravenclaw, turned out he was.
Eventually we all found our seats, shuffling around in the dark trying to place drinks and popcorn, balancing the IMAX glasses and jostling for space. The lights dimmed, the Warner Bros logo appeared on screen and we all cheered. Here we were, one big nerdy family in the middle of the night about to experience new wizarding world material.
The movie was brilliant, we all laughed a lot, we cheered and clapped and gasped. We marvelled at the beauty on screen and were so very aware of how much we just really bloody love magic.
It’s been nine years since the last book came out, back when most of us were in our teens and early twenties. And yet he we still are, smiling at the people in scarves and laughing in a movie theatre, nearly ten years on. Older and adulter but still very much in love with this fandom.
After the movie, we wandered off to House of Minalima, a place in Soho run by the people behind the art of Harry Potter. We got to talk to them and look at all the amazing things surrounded us. The creaky, wobbly old house imbued with magic whilst the drunken Muggles cavorted outside. It felt like the Leaky Cauldron, hidden away in London at 3am. We chatted to Potterheads, it’s London, you don’t talk to random people but with this, how could you not?
The world has been a bit rubbish of late, it’s terrifying and scary and a lot of unkind people seem to be winning. But we still have Harry Potter, we still have kindness and joy and excitement and magic. We need that, we revel in it and thankfully this fandom ain’t going anywhere. In ten years time I’d still like to be grinning at people in fandom scarves like we’re part of a secret society. We got this Potterheads, we ain’t going nowhere.