An outsider entering the Wizarding World for the first time

The perspective of attending Hogwarts Homecoming as someone who has never seen the movies or read books.

Will Seward

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I walked through the front door and presented my ID for the Hogwarts Homecoming — a 21+ event. After I was checked in, I was  presented with four different colored wristbands: blue, green, orange and red. Each one represented the different houses: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff.

All I was told was to pick the one that I identified with, but the problem was that I couldn’t even name all four of the houses, because I’ve never read the books or seen the movie. In fact, I even had to look them up in order to write this.

The woman who was handing out wristbands showed a lot of patience with me and handed me an orange wristband, calling me a Hufflepuff.

So, I guess I am now a Hufflepuff.

After that, I realized I knew nothing about the Harry Potter world. I had only heard the names of some characters and houses mentioned in casual references, but I soon realized these were things I was supposed to know.

Someone role-playing as Snape came up to me and said I didn’t look like a Hufflepuff, so I guess the woman at the front door misread me or something.

Following that run-in with the school’s potions master (I had to look that up, too), I met the house “mascots,” who were brought to the event by the Eau Claire County Humane Association.

The Hufflepuff house had a rabbit for their mascot whether that had any real correlation with Harry Potter or notI have no idea. But it was cute, so that was nice.

After meeting the mascots, I got my cards read at the Diva Divinations activity.

When I first sat down, the first thing they card readers acknowledged was my house as a Gryffindor and my Phoenix tattoo. People typically notice the tattoo and make the assumption I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, which I always embarrassingly admit that I’m, in fact, completely oblivious to the world of Harry Potter, other than the fact that it exists.

They asked what question I would like answered, and I realized I was in way over my head. I had been since I walked in the door, but this was the moment that it really settled in. I thought to myself “what the Hogwarts am I doing here?”

I told them to surprise me with the answer to the question that the person before me asked.

The person before me had asked about their romantic life, so that felt awkward.

They read the cards, and after reading each individual card, they summed the answer into one sentence for me: to take better care of myself.

After I stopped sweating with anxiety from the accuracy, my friends and I made our way down to the bar that was in the basement. I didn’t get a butterbeer because I had to drive, but it looked cool.

After that, it was time to leave. I had been thoroughly shown up and blown away by the depth in which people role-play and engage in this fictional world.

Looking back, I really enjoyed it. It was fun to be in the middle of something so many people are passionate about—albeit, cluelessly in the middle.

I hadn’t really considered watching the movies before, but this made me think that maybe I’m missing out. And, I need to take better care of myself apparently, so what better way to do that than to watch 19 hours and 39 minutes of movies?

Seward can be reached at [email protected]