Wands at the Ready: a Potterhead Collaboration

Wands at the Ready: a Potterhead Collaboration

I first met Harry Potter in fifth grade when I bought the Sorcerer’s Stone at my school book fair — I wish I could still go to those! And after being introduced to the boy who lived, I was instantly swept away to my beloved Hogwarts, dreaming that the staircase at my elementary school moved and that the portraits talked.

Fast forward about twenty years or so and the world JK Rowling created is still magical to me and many others. And even more amazing is the community that has been built around it. You may very well know as I do, but Harry Potter is more than a story, it’s a culture, and HP fans are hardcore. Don’t mess with our Harry, Ron, Hermione… or, err, our Draco! (There I said! Draco is one of my favorite characters! I am a Slytherin after all.)

harry potter sorting hat

Over the past year, I’ve connected with many Harry Potter fans online, and it’s been so fun embracing the magical world together! One of my favorite Potterheads is a Hufflepuff gal named Vicky (aka the Badger Babe). Yep, a Slytherin and  Hufflepuff are friends! (Crazier things have happened.)

Because our love of butterbeer, pumpkin juice, and cauldron cakes runs strong, Vicky and I decided to join our magical forces, Slytherin and Hufflepuff alike, and blog about HP each month leading up to the new film coming this November — The Crimes of Grindelwald. Yes, we know November is a little far off, but that’s how jazzed we are for it!

And since you already know me, I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Vicky! (And if you don’t know me, read my Q&A on Vicky’s Blog). You may know her from Instagram as @vickyheartcats, but she also loves tea, reading, TV, baking, and, you guessed it, Harry Potter! And she shares all of those wonderful things on her blog, VickyHeartsTV. So without further delay, meet my friend — Vicky!

Q&A with Vicky from VickyHeartsTV

 

So…. obviously you love Harry Potter (we’re doing a whole blog series on HP after all!), but how did it all start for you? Were you first introduced to the books? Or  to the movies? And what made them so special to you?

#PlotTwist: seeing the movie poster for the first film is what piqued my interest. I was just 9 years old at the time and I didn’t actually get to see it. I did get the Sorcerer’s Stone on VHS when it came out, but I didn’t watch it right away. I was 10 and going into 5th grade when I remember opening the Sorcerer’s Stone book and totally being immersed in the world. I always had a very vibrant imagination so a world with wizards and witches secretly existing alongside my ordinary world was SO thrilling. I remember being hit with a sudden feeling of possessiveness: THIS story is for ME. This is MY favourite novel. I didn’t even want to share my copy with anyone! (Sounds a little like Ginny with Tom Riddle’s diary if you ask me!) I had never felt such a connection to a book before and was really swept up in my feelings for it. Then I popped in the movie, and was carried away by even MORE feels. The rest is history.

And after all this time…. you still like HP! Do you feel like you love it more now as an adult?

That’s SUCH a cute lead in to the question, Monica! I absolutely DO believe my love has not only intensified but also evolved tremendously. As a little girl and as a teenager, Harry and his adventures at Hogwarts brought me a lot of comfort and pockets of happiness and joy. I don’t talk much about this, but I was bullied relentlessly growing up — I was chubby, I had bad acne, and while I somewhat enjoyed school, I was gripped by tons of social anxiety and was painfully shy. The characters Jo Rowling created were friends for me when I had none.

Now as a twenty-something, I’m so inspired still by that magical world and the flesh-and-blood characters that populate it. I have such a powerful, sentimental connection to Harry, Hermione and many of the other wizards and witches, and I continue to be in awe by the absolutely fantastic and compelling storylines. As an adult being a Potterhead is tied into my identity. It is FULLY integrated into my life — there were points growing up that I kind of separated it from who I was… That my geeky side was something that could only come out occasionally, and I couldn’t be too loud or too excited out in public. But once I was around age 18, my mindset changed! I TOTALLY embraced it, and that’s what I continue to do to this very day. I can’t go a single day without making at least half a dozen Potter references, I’m constantly in a state of reading the books and watching the films, and I surround myself with other fans.

 

Let’s talk favorites…

If you could go on a Hogsmeade date (romantic or as friends!) with any character, who would you want to go with?

Definitely friends. Friend dates are the best! My gut instinct says Hermione! Not only is she a cat lady like I am, but her bookishness and activism means that we’d have A LOT to talk about. I’d pick her brain a bit about S.P.E.W. and as I imagine my Hogwarts counterpart would be muggle born, she and I would be able to talk about our world beyond Hogwarts.

If you were to play hooky from any of your classes, which subject would you likely skip?

OH WITHOUT A DOUBT POTIONS! Especially if Snape was teaching it while I was enrolled. I’d have to get my hands on a block of Fever Fudge PRONTO. I’ve always been rubbish at science classes, and all the ingredients involved in potions, you know, the pickled this, the bugs that, make my stomach churn! And the smoke and smells wafting out of the caludrons?! Aghhh my gah.

You’re a Hufflepuff, but did you get sorted into that house? Or did you choose it?

I considered myself a Ravenclaw until I was sorted on Pottermore. I knew I was definitely NOT a Slytherin, and Gryffindor was too bold and brash for me. Hufflepuff was always the butt of everyone’s jokes, the house that sounded like a preschool show or a cutesy sock puppet. I didn’t want to be in the house that got made fun of! The dorky house with all the “leftover” students. I loved books and I had more of a preference for blue than yellow, so I convinced myself I was a Ravenclaw. UNTIL… that fateful Pottermore sorting! It forced me to reconsider and look at what Hufflepuff stood for, to look up as much information about it as I could and I INSTANTLY felt connected to it! Since then I’ve been the PROUDEST Badger Babe! I legit tell EVERYONE. It’s one of the ways I introduce myself to new people even!

What’s the story of your wand?

Pottermore is where my wand chose me! My core is unicorn hair and the wood is Maple and very swishy. Wand lore says that these are often held by adventures and travelers and that “they are not stay-at-home wands, and prefer ambition in their witch or wizard”. Not gonna lie, I love how psyched and special that makes me feel!

You are allowed to take one moving picture from the Hogwarts castle for yourself… which would you take?

Okay so this is totally NOT allowed, but I would LOVE to snatch one of Umbridge’s mewling kitten plates. They’re so cute! She’s an evil toad of a woman, but at least she doesn’t have animal cruelty on her laundry list of things that SUCK about her. Liking cats is what I consider her ONLY positive quality.

Who is your favorite character (only one allowed!)?

Agh my heart! This is SO SO HARD. And I totally KNEW this was coming. I’m constantly stuck between Luna and Hermione, which is funny because there’s A LOT of duality between them. They both have such brilliant personalities, histories and beliefs. They stand for SO much and have both struck a chord with me. It hurts my heart to have to pick one over the other, but when it can REALLY be ONLY one, I go with my feelings in that moment. I hate to think I’m using the girls interchangeably ‘cuz that is SOOOOOO not my intention. Can I go with ‘Lumione’ or ‘Hermuna’ ?!

 

If you were to compete in the triwizard tournament, which challenge would you do the best at?

Can I go with none of the above?! Facing off against a dragon is a one-way ticket to peeing myself. I’m a weak swimmer and one of my greatest fears is deep bodies of water, so plunging into the depths of the Hogwarts lake and being confronted by Merfolk and Grindylows is a NIGHTMARE. Soooo by process of elimination that means the Maze is where it’s at for me. Except I have an AWFUL sense of direction. I’m doomed!!!

Do you consider yourself an American or British witch?

An American witch ALL the way. It’s actually how I introduce myself on places like Instagram now too. Ever since Fantastic Beasts came out and Ilvermorny was revealed to be ‘our’ school, I’ve been SO SO SO jazzed and eager to learn more about it. I’m a Pukwudgie (hey, me too!) and I want so badly to learn more about my house and how the wizarding world differs in the USA. Like, what’s OUR Diagon Alley? What is OUR national sport? Who are OUR most famous wandmakers and wizards and witches?

And since Wands at the Ready is upon us! What are you most looking forward to with this collaboration? And what types of posts are you planning?

I love baking and cooking so I’ve been dreaming up ways to veganize popular Potterverse foods and drinks, and I love fun pop culture lists and countdowns and such. Ya know, like those articles you click around on Buzzfeed? You my friend, are the DIY Queen, but I am going to get crafty with some of my posts and I also plan on featuring Potterhead artists, Instagrammers and mega fans!

What are you most looking forward to in the new FB&WTFT movie?

One word: Grindelwald! I am SO eager to know HOW he escapes the MACUSA and what exactly his crimes are. He’s such a formidable dark wizard to me, his physical appearance alone is very unsettling. The fact that he’s SO human is what sets him apart from say, Voldemort who was more of a monster than a man. I’m intrigued to see what Grindelwald’s personality is like and how he goes about trying to achieve his goals. Is he as sick and twisted as Voldemort? Is he more cautious and calculated with his plans?

Who is your magical fashion icon?

Queenie Goldstein. I am in LOVE with the way she chooses the fabrics, colours and cuts of her ensambles. Her iconic pink coat and hat gives me heart eyes. I wish I could raid her closet for a day. It’s so flirty and elegant. But then again, in terms of who has a style that’s most reflective of mine, it has to be Luna Lovegood. She has such a playful and colourful wardrobe and she wears what she wants even if it looks a little kooky. I have some bold and funky looks that I put together too, I can’t stand neutral colours and bland clothing, I need to have colour and patterns and fun. So I guess I gave you two answers! A FB&WTFT icon and a Potterverse icon. Wink, nudge.

I know HP has been a huge part of your life, like it has been for me! Do you have any extra special tidbits you’d like to share related with the wizarding world?

For my high school graduation I was actually gifted a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when it FIRST opened in the Universal Studio’s theme park in Florida. It had only been officially opened for a FEW DAYS when I was there, so I was really there RIGHT at the beginning. It’s definitely changed A LOT since then, but I loved every minute. I still have my Butterbeer cup and pumpkin juice bottle.

I know you’re a FUNKO POP collector! Any favorite HP pops?!

My Luna Lovegood spectrespecs and quibbler holding pop! She’s one of those unicorn magical rare SDCC exclusives and she sold out online at Hot Topic the DAY she was officially released. The next morning, right when my mall opened, me and one of my best girl friends went and I managed to snag one of the few Luna’s! She’s my most prized Potter pop.

 


And more just about you! Where did you get the idea for your blog? And what’s it about (in your own words)?

Yaaaaay! I LOOOOOVE movies and tv so so so much and I’ve always had a lot of thoughts and opinions racing around in my head. VickyHeartsTV is where I let myself run wild with talking about everything I see on the screen — both big and small — whether it’s random fun lists, or more focused posts like reviews or recaps, it’s my space to geek out!! I really want to connect with not only fans of the movies, shows and books I write about, but also would love to meet new people and show them something they may not have considered watching or reading on their own!

You’re “newer” to Instagram, right?! What have you thought of the social channel? We met there! Would you say it has been a community builder for you and your blog/interests?

Funnily enough, what got me to join Insta in the first place was my trip to Florida for my younger sister’s graduation. Her roommate is someone who I love chatting with and get along with well (Hi, Holly!) and she urged me to set up an Insta. I had some free time that same night and lo and behold, I officially joined Insta. At first it was just a personal account. I didn’t really have a direction and didn’t get into bookstagram until I started to see fun hashtags around. That’s what made me realize I had a ton of amazing books and decorations at my disposal that I could arrange and photograph and reach out to others with.

I love love love so much of the Potterhead and Booksta-community and having already established a friendship and conversation with many amazing people, it only makes sense to also be able to talk openly about my greatest passion — my writing! If we’re looking at numbers alone, yes, my page views HAVE gone up since I started actively talking about my blog and promoting it on insta. But sometimes I find I’m still not exactly starting up more conversations like I want to. I want to be able to connect more with my readers, and get them to talk to me! I want to be able to geek out together! To toss theories around and share favourite moments and reactions. Kind of like what I have going on my Insta ALREADY, but to have that vibe on my blog too is the dream!

For more info on Vicky, visit her blog or check out her Instagram.

Alright friends, that concludes our Q&A. Over the next couple months, we can’t wait to share some awesome Harry Potter DIYs, recipes, OOTDs, and more!

And if you can’t wait, read my interview on Vicky’s blog and take a peek at my Harry Potter Brunch recap and DIY Harry Potter Table Runner.

Until next time, keep your wands at the ready!

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11 Comments

  1. February 13, 2018 / 1:52 pm

    This is so great – I’m such a huge Harry Potter fan! I’m a children’s librarian and I have a group of middle school students who are super into the books as well, so it’s amazing getting to do Harry Potter stuff for my job. We had a book discussion last night on Order of the Phoenix, and next month I have to plan a Harry Potter Party for middle school students!

    • February 13, 2018 / 2:30 pm

      Sounds like the perfect job! And I have some ideas for you!! I just made my own paper howler, and while it was a little challenging, I think it turned out great! I’m hoping to share the details soon. If you need decoration ideas, I’ve got a HP brunch recap up on my blog too. 🙂 Make sure to share pictures!

  2. February 13, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    I am here for Harry Potter content! I have some posts planned, but could always use more Harry Potter writing in my life 🙂

    • February 13, 2018 / 8:02 pm

      Yessss! Come join in the magic! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got planned.

  3. February 14, 2018 / 3:58 pm

    This is such a great idea. I love all things Harry Potter. I’m even in a HP planning group. We do monthly competitions and just share all HP planning ideas and accessories etc.

    • February 14, 2018 / 9:29 pm

      That sounds amazing! What kind of planning do you do?

      • February 14, 2018 / 9:30 pm

        I use the bullet journaling system created by Ryder Carroll with a twist. I’ve made it my own basically. I love it! It is everything a pre-printed planner isn’t.

        • February 14, 2018 / 10:17 pm

          That’s awesome! I’ve seen some really cool bullet journals, but haven’t tried it myself yet.

          • February 15, 2018 / 11:49 am

            You should if you need to be organized. It can help a lot with running a blog. You’d be surprised.

  4. February 18, 2018 / 9:25 pm

    Book fairs!! Good old times. I remember going to those. My dad thought it was important for me to grow up reading so whenever I wanted to go he would take me.

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