Last night I went to a Harry Potter birthday party, because I am definitely thirty-three years old. It was fancy dress but I didn’t have anything particularly school uniform-ish, so I improvised and went as an oversized house elf:
I must say, my friend Emma certainly put a lot of effort into preparing her flat for the party. Apart from the various Harry Potter photos you can see on the walls behind me there, there were ancient Potter wall stickers (back from before Scabbers was anything other than a cute rat!), wanted posters for Sirius Black and Bellatrix LeStrange, a ‘mirror of Erised’ (in which the girl who came as Bellatrix took a selfie, because you know that would happen in real life if wizards had phones), and so on. We also had:
Of course, Potter was a large part of the conversations at this party, and given we had the films on as background it did lead to some musing over the influence chance seating arrangements on the Hogwarts Express had on the plot in general. For example, if Remus Lupin hadn’t been sitting in Harry’s carriage at the start of Prisoner of Azkaban, the Dementor would have taken his soul. Bang, end of series.
More interesting, we felt, was the fact that if Ron hadn’t got into Harry’s head with anti-Slytherin propaganda at the start of Philosopher’s Stone, there’s every chance Harry would have ended up in Slytherin. We felt that would actually have been a far more interesting story, because one of the most boring parts of Harry Potter is that basically all the brave, awesome wizards are in Gryffindor (barring Luna Lovegood) and everyone in Slytherin is a shitweasel (with the possible exceptions of Snape and Slughorn). The notion of there being a power struggle within Slytherin between Harry and Malfoy quite appealed: Harry would be heading for and leading others to glory through doing brave and grand (albeit slightly self-centred) things, while Draco would be taking others down the malicious shitweasel path.
It would have turned into a magical boarding school ‘Game of Thrones’, although hopefully with less sex and probably even Sean Bean wouldn’t have found a way to die in a series he wasn’t even in.
p.s. I also became a unicorn later on. Because… reasons.