Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts
My room is a mess. I have a huge suitcase taking up what sometimes feels like half the living room. My check-list keeps growing at an astounding and intimidating rate. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to use as a carry-on or how I’ll fit everything into it.
But at least my wand is sitting in an obnoxious place on my desk so I will be guaranteed not to forget it. (Priorities? Check.)
So begins my first Harry Potter convention ever. EVER. I started packing for LeakyCon last night. And by “started” I mean I threw a few things in a suitcase and then promptly got distracted by printing important things off the computer and figuring out my Leaky schedule for the fiftieth time.
I’ve been counting down to this experience ever since registration opened earlier this year. There may have been several bouts of freaking out on my part as various things were announced. My schedule gives me a migraine. And I could not be more excited to experience my first Harry Potter convention at LeakyCon in Chicago this week.
There’s something around conventions like this–and, frankly, the Harry Potter fandom as a whole–that has always fascinated me. See, I know when I get there I’m going to be super overwhelmed. I know I’m going to be desperately trying to find my fellow HPA staffers and other friends. I also know that there is a large chance that in some sessions I go to over the next few days, there will be no one I know at all. But the most important thing I know is that I likely will never once feel alone or left out. I know I’ll probably come home from Leaky knowing more Potter friends than I do at this moment.
Over the years of being part of this fandom–and, really, being part of many fandoms–I’ve learned that there’s a camaraderie that exists, regardless of if you’re already friends with the person behind you in line or not. It’s a sense of inclusion and community that I’ve felt at every midnight premiere, every midnight bookparty. I felt it when I joined the HPA staff, and I felt it when I joined a local fan group. I’m looking forward to experiencing it again, on the big scale.
So my suitcase looks like I’m leaving for Hogwarts in the morning, and I keep having varying levels of travel panic, making sure I have everything I need. But mostly I’m just really excited to see the friends I’ve had for over a year but have never met, and to spend a weekend nerding out with my fellow Potterphiles. It’s going to be a wonderful, sleep-deprived time.
If you’re going to LeakyCon too, make sure you stop by the HPA merch and Charity Row booths and say hello! We love talking to all of you! And if you’re not able to make it to Leaky this year, never fear–Portkey will be up and running again this year, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for more information about the activities that will be taking place online.
See you at Hogwarts!