The Harry Potter culture is something that I will never understand. I am always astonished at what people create, wear, or do regarding Harry Potter. I grew up with these books, I was always a fan of the books and I vaguely remember having a Potter-themed birthday party when I turned twelve or thirteen, but most of my friends became huge fans, even obsessed. I didn’t read all of the books, just up until book five, and honestly I didn’t watch all the movies until we saw part of Part 2 in class and I went home and finished it. Many of my friends got all the books at midnight when they were released and saw all the movies at their midnight premieres. They dress up as them and have parties and constantly quote the books and scowl me when they reference something and I don’t know what they’re talking about.
I think it is safe to say that I overdosed on Harry Potter last summer. I live in Orlando and last summer they were opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. I was part of the photo team that shot all the images before and after it opened. For two weeks straight I was there twelve hours a day, surrounded by it. It was astonishing to see what the books have become, how there are so many people of all ages around the world who are completely obsessed with this series. Opening day was like nothing I have ever seen. I can’t even guess how many people were there, tens of thousands, as far as I could see. All pouring sweat, cooking under the Florida heat, layered in their cloaks and shirts, wands ready trying to open the gates. Within minutes of the curtain drop I couldn’t move, everybody was standing shoulder to shoulder, the park was more crowded than a can of sardines but the amazing thing was nobody seemed to notice. Everybody was mesmerized that their dream had come true, that they were actually in Hogsmeade and on their way to Hogwarts.
I haven’t read any stories written by fans but I have looked at some art. I noticed a lot of Manga styled illustrations as well as a lot of parodies. What I was surprised to find was a lot of adult rated fan art. Some peoples imagination has taken them to a different place, turning a fantasy story into a bigger fantasy dream.