Recently, each and every Harry Potter fan celebrated a huge milestone. Harry Potter, and the wonderful world in which he lives, turned 20. Yep you read that right, 20. It was 20 years ago that the very first Harry Potter book was released and the world changed forever. I think a small part of me is actually still waiting for my Hogwarts letter, which is why I refuse to obtain a regular job. Some call it professional student/starving artist, I just call it waiting patiently… for my Hogwarts letter. Thankfully, a wonderful group of local people, are just as passionate as I am about the wonders and mysteries of magic and decided to recreate the joy of all things Potter last Saturday.
When you walk into the family run Heroes and More in Wallsend, you feel as though you’re really a part of something. All of those motivational books are always telling you to find your tribe. For many, this is their tribe. It’s so much more than the simple transaction or the exchange of goods and services for cash, these alternate worlds and characters we love, make us who we are. Although the store itself dabbles in a variety of fandoms, on Saturday however, it was all about wizards, witches, and everything Hogwarts.
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I’m the type of person who takes delight in the detail, and boy oh boy, did head honcho Simon and his family deliver on that front. Where do I even being. A giant Aragog sat towering in the corner, Moaning Myrtle stalked the ceiling, Quidditch hoops poised perfectly, Snape’s potions tucked away in a glass cabinet, the Hogwarts express literally bursting through the very wall – which might I add I was given a ticket to just to name a few. There were staff members dressed as their favourite characters (shoutout to the most wonderful Professor Trelawny I’ve ever seen), house banners draped from the ceiling (Ravenclaw forever, Grryfindor never) and Hagrid’s cake that filled my heart with so much joy I could practically hear him say ‘appy birfday Harry’. What I’m trying to say is, they flipping nailed it. So from Newcastle Live, and myself personally, thank you. Thank you for bringing this wonderful world to life and reminding me of the wonder of imagination and magic.
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Because the series has always been about so much more than the books or the movies, or the hype of the whole shebang. It’s always been more than that, for at least me anyway, and over the weekend, I realised just how much it means to oh so many people. Clearly, Harry Potter is slowly yet surely becoming timeless. As the line stretched down the main street, there were children lined up who were a mere glint in their parents eye when the first book was released, dressed in robes of every colour and so excited they could barely stand still.
There’s such a sense of identity attached to Harry Potter, because believe it or not, not everyone is a Grryfindor (spoken by what my best friend would call a true Ravenclaw). Because the real beauty of Harry Potter isn’t just about the main characters we see flash across our screen, or the protagonists we follow as the words jump across the page it’s where we find our place at Hogwarts. I always loved to imagine just where I would fit, in this amazing Wizarding world, surrounding myself with the magic and the wonder of the world that I would create. Because let’s be honest, Harry could be a bit of a twat at times and personally I’d much rather hang out with Luna and Neville and for the tiniest moment on the weekend, I got to really see that vision come to life.
If you haven’t had the chance to venture into their store set aside some time to venture in, and got lost in the world of fantasy and wonder. The heroes we aspire to be, the villains and demons we’ve seen them conquer all materialised into the pieces that make us who we are. Because it’s more than being a fan. We hide so much of ourselves away to try and fit into the boxes other have built for us. If I learned anything from the weekend, it’s the importance of the whole “you do you” scenario, and that Harry Potter, will always hold a special place in my heart.
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