So I’m a real big fan of Harry Potter.. or at least, as much as any regular, sane, non-psychotic adult can be.
No dressing up as a wizard, or waving around a magic wand.. I just absolutely enjoy the literally magical world that has been created in the books and in the movies. Especially the books though. I’ve read all of them at least 6 times and keep doing so. For me it’s a way of drowning myself in an extraordinary world. Letting my imagination run wild and believing that anything is possible.
But I wonder:
Would it really be that great if it were real?
When I heard about the Harry Potter studio tour, I found it was a very good excuse to plan a trip to London. We took a few days to enjoy the city and prebooked a tour of the studios well in advance (a couple of months actually). Hey, if you’re going to use it as an excuse, you’ll need to make damn sure that you’re actually going!
So we went to the studios. I don’t want to be a spoiler, so I won’t say too much about the actual tour, but let me tell you this: it was absolutely worth it!! And they keep expanding the whole thing, which means I have to go back there in a little while to see all the cool new items. Can’t wait!
Without spoiling anything, let me describe the overall feel of the place: the moment you walk in, the magic starts to happen. The fact that a lot of kids show up in Hogwarts costumes aids to that feeling. You see all the splendor of a magical world in front of you, as if it were real. Only downside is that you can sometimes tell that it’s not real at all (like seeing floating candles attached to wires, it kind of tends to spoil the illusion)
On the whole they’ve made a huge effort into preserving your illusion. Certain tricks are shown and explained, but you still get a chance to ride a broom and go on the knights bus. I didn’t ride the broom, because I figured staff might confuse me for a child (length-wise) and ask me for parental consent. Better not risk it!
But the whole place made me wonder: how would you feel if magic was real? What if dragons did exist, and you could wave a wooden stick and turn that awful neighbor into a toad (which would only be a small change in appearance in her case).
Would that be nice, or would it only lead to more things to worry about? I’d say that the more variables there are, the harder it is to deal with everything. So if there is not only muggles but also magical folk, and not only fish but also merpeople: what on earth would you need to do to keep sane and to deal with the stuff around you? It’s hard enough to watch your words when your colleague can complain about you to your boss, but when your colleague actually has the possibility to turn you into a ferret, the stakes are suddenly a lot higher.
And of course, you yourself would not be magically inclined because otherwise you would have known about this whole alternate world a long time ago. Which you didn’t. So you’re a squib. AT BEST. You’re already 10 points behind and not likely to catch up.
So in my book, I’d like to believe that Harry Potter is just fiction. I couldn’t deal with the world if it were magical, and I was not. And I am yet to find myself in the presence of a giant man with a Scottish accent saying:
“You’re a wizard, Irene”