Sunday, 23 February 2014

Amortentia 2014 - a Harry Potter con

Yesterday I was going to my first meet-up/con in 2 years. I had a lot of fun at the last one and I hoped that I would have an equal amount of fun this time. I was not disappointed!

For those of you who don't know Amortentia is the name of the strongest love potion in the Potterverse. In the second book, Chamber of Secrets, Gilderoy Lockhart throws a huge Valentine feast. He decorates the Great Hall in pink and encourages the other teachers to have a love theme to their classes during the day. He has also dressed up dwarves into cupids, which roam the halls and deliver anonymous poems written by students for other students. This whole spectacle is cut from the movie, but I would've loved to see it in the movie. This con was basically a Valentine feast. The whole premise was decorated with hearts, pink and love quotes from the books.

Anyway, the place where this thing happened was in a teeny tiny town called Storvreta. It's 112 km from where I currently live, which isn't that far actually. But due to horrendous public transport in this area of the country it was an adventure to actually get there. I got on the bus to the local train station. Got on the train to Stockholm C. Met up with Anna and then we got on the train to Uppsala. There we switched and got on the train to Storvreta. Due to Uppsala and Storvreta being in a different county than Stockholm and Södertälje we had to buy an extra ticket to be able to ride those last two trains -.-' The bus left home at 1.20pm. I arrived in Storvreta at around 3.30 pm. Over 2 hours? Really? -.-' From the train station in Storvreta we got picked up by Rebecca and her husband.

But when we arrived we had such a great time. All three of us got ticked off on the name list and then we spent most of the time talking to Björn and Kristina. From time to time we got to talk to Sarx and Malin as well. The party participants could arrive from 4pm and then the party started at 5pm. We had arrived a bit earlier than 4pm. When it was about half an hour to go 'til 5pm a lot more people had arrived. Most with some sort of Harry Potter related accessory (House ties, wands, Deathly Hallows necklaces etc). While we waited the last 30 minutes we did two rounds of a name game to sort of try and learn each others names. The first round you said your name and your favourite ship from the Harry Potter books (for the uninitiated a "ship" is two characters from the books/movies that you want to get together romantically). My favourite ship changes from time to time, but for about a year now my favourite ship has been Snamione (Snape+Hermione, don't hate). The second round was your name and your favourite character, which is a much harder question. But the character I've loved for the longest time (since I was 8 and read the first book) is Dumbledore.

Then the doors to the Great Hall opened. We were invited in and greeted by Gilderoy Lockhart himself. We were offered a welcome drink (I'm still not sure what it tasted like, it was pink and glittery and really sweet). The standing joke of the evening was that it was Amortentia - the love potion. All of us got an autograph on a pink heart-shaped post-it from Lockhart to place on our tops. I had my Polaroid with me and I managed a shot of Lockart, which he later signed so I got a signed photo of Lockhart (only wish it'd move). It got a lot och exclaims and "can I see it?". Everyone there got really into character and acted completely starstruck at the sight of Lockhart.
After some mingling we sat down at the tables. It was placed as the tables in the Great Hall in the books. The staff table horisontally and then the House tables vertically from the staff table. Though we were not seated as of Houses. Your name was written on a heart placed on the pink plate. In the application for the con you could state if there was someone special you wanted to sit next to. Anna and I had said each other. But we were seated with really nice people. I just find it hilarious that I was seated close to two girls from the south and I talked a lot to one of them. After I moved from there I get Potterhead friends there? xD The dinner was a three-course dinner. All vegetarian to suit as many as possible, but it was all delicious. The cooks acted as house elves, which was really adorable. During the dinner we had visits from several special secret guests. Lockhart who read his fan mail, Rita Skeeter who got us to do a sort of get-to-know-each-other-game with the person seated opposite you, Romilda Vane who got us to write our names on our cups so she wouldn't mistake them for Harrys in which she was going to pour Amortentia, Dumbledore who got us to sing the school song, a Dumbledore song and a House song.
Though during our first attempt to sing the House song the fire alarm went off and the admins couldn't find a way to turn it off so we all left the Great Hall to go outside and get away from the noise. Though when Anna and I got our jackets on someone, of course, managed to turn it off, so we had to take them off and go back in. When we got back in we finally got to sing the House song. Then Luna Lovegood appeared and made a speech about fandom and nerdiness that got a lot of applause and even some tears. Before dessert we did a song accompanied by gestures, which was a lot of fun. Finally Professor Trelawney arrived to tell the future.
After dinner the tables were moved and the chairs placed around the stage (who has a stage in a cafeteria anyway?) and then there were some performances. Peeves was the presenter, which was really funny. First out as performers were the Valentine dwarves/cupids who read love letters/poems between characters from the books. There were several musical performances. One girl even got half the audience crying to one of her songs. A song about Lilys last thoughts and words to Harry before she was killed by Voldemort. So touching. There were also performances by bands formed during the w-rock workshop they had had earlier that day. Some of the texts where absolutely hilarious. Like the one about Bellatrix trying to get Voldemort to love her back. But the song that I remember most vividly was a song about fandom in general.
This is fandom, this is awesome, this is great. It's our fandom, it is mighty, we are great. And all the memories that we share, we should write them down and post them everywhere. So that everyone can see how different life could be.
After that followed a reading by Peeves. It was a story created earlier in the day where someone had written something and then scrolled that part of the paper away for someone else to continue the story. It was hilarious and surprisingly coherent. The penultimate part of performances was a Potter play called Harry Potter och Dödsdatorerna (a word play on the Swedish title of Deathly Hallows - Dödsrelikerna, loosely translated it would be Deathly Computers in English). The play started with Dumbledore saying that this year Hogwarts would be modernised and that everyone would get a computer. Harry got an HP laptop (cause initials xD), Draco got an Apple laptop (cause Drapple xD), Neville got an iPad (called "padda" in Swedish, which also is the word for "toad"), Hermione got a smart phone (cause she's smart), and Ron got an old school fat screen computer (cause second hand) xD Draco faceraped Harry, Ron mentions trolls and Quirrell comes running screaming about trolls, Ginny checks in at the Chamber of Secrets, and Hermione mentions that Barty Crouch Jr apparantly has fled to the Muggle world in a blue phone box (Doctor Who reference got lots of applause and screams) and then comes the part where all the Death Eaters do the Pottermore House placement test and only Draco ends up in Slytherin while Snape ends up in Hufflepuff and tries really really hard to act all nice and Hufflepuff-y. Towards the end Hogwarts will have a ball and all the characters have to look up online who the fans think their character would be most suited with. Harry and Draco end up together of course, Hermione and Luna, and Ron and Aragog xD Then in the end Dumbledore is revealed to be Voldemort and he's defeated. Snape is really happy cause that means he can stop being Hufflepuff-y. 
But at the final part of the performances when Alexandra "I'm not a guy, it's just an illusion" dressed up as Cormac McLaggen and playing a song, I and Anna had to get up and leave to not miss our trains. That meant we missed the final part of the party, which was the actual party with dancing, snacks and W-rock, but I had an amazing time anyway. The way home was one hour longer than the way there, cause one train was delayed so I missed my connection and had to sit around and wait for an hour for the next one -.-' Got home a little before 2am. But it was all so worth it.
Now my bags are packed. Better what out cause I'm coing back to a place I know. And there's nowhere else I'd rather go. There are places out there where people get you, people will understand. That it's not just a book. It's you childhood and it's music, so join the band. I'm coming home. 


What's the first thought in your head after reading this? Let me know!