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23 things that set a Potterhead apart from regular fans

I solemnly swear these are the markings of a true Potterhead.

Similar to many 90s babies, I too credit J.K. Rowling for sparking my love of reading. One fateful day in 2001, my eldest sister sat me down with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Little did she know that that one act would turn her youngest sibling into a raving Potterhead.

Since, I’ve lived and breathed anything HP-related. I read the series countless times, I held debates with my siblings over why the order of birth should not be taken into consideration when deciding who gets to read the newest release first, I dropped references into everyday conversations, I memorized the spells, and so much more.

So, whether your love (read: obsession) is anything like mine or not, here are 23 signs of an absolute Potterhead.

1. You’ve read the series multiple times

A white, young cartoon woman swings around in joy with a book in hand. She has brown hair, tied in a ponytail, and is dressed in a white-and-blue dress. She is outside in a village setting.
[Image description: A white, young cartoon woman swings around in joy with a book in hand. She has brown hair, tied in a ponytail, and is dressed in a white-and-blue dress. She is outside in a village setting.] Via Tenor

This one’s a given. After all, why would a Potterhead deprive themselves of any chance to jump back into the world of witchcraft and wizardry?

2. You’ve also read the three supplementary titles that were released

A white, young animated woman enthusiastically picks three books off her shelf. She has long blonde hair, is in a pink dress, and has a green chameleon on her right shoulder.
[Image description: A white, young animated woman enthusiastically picks three books off her shelf. She has long blonde hair, is in a pink dress, and has a green chameleon on her right shoulder.] Via Tenor

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Just waiting on good ole’ J.K. to release the much-longed for Hogwarts, A History.

3. You’ve read, and perhaps written, your own fanfiction 

A white woman in a turtleneck and pinned-back hair sits in a dark theater. Through tears, she says "It's so beautiful."
[Image description: A white woman in a turtleneck and pinned-back hair sits in a dark theater. Through tears, she says “It’s so beautiful.”] Via Tenor

From one-shots and full-fledged novels spanning crossovers, AUs and continuation arcs, the Internet is rich with Harry Potter fanfiction. You’ll find every ship – Jily, Dramione, Drarry, Luneville, and Hinny – sailing, and perhaps have even set sail to your own.

4. You know your acceptance letter was lost in the mail

A white, young cartoon boy in a yellow-and-black ensemble checks his mailbox only to find it empty. He then sighs in sadness.
[Image description: A white, young cartoon boy in a yellow-and-black ensemble checks his mailbox only to find it empty. He then sighs in sadness.] Via Tenor

As magical as it is, owl mail isn’t exactly all that reliable. So yeah, definitely lost, yep. No other reason at all. Please, don’t @ me.

5. Yet, despite never attending Hogwarts, you know which House you belong to

A young white man in glasses and a blue scarf is saying "I'm a Ravenclaw, I value wisdom and learning and I'm known for-", and is interrupted by another white man, in a red-and-yellow scarf, jumping in front of him, excitedly stating "Gryffindors are super popular and always the focus of everything."
[Image description: A young white man in glasses and a blue scarf is saying “I’m a Ravenclaw, I value wisdom and learning and I’m known for-“, and is interrupted by another white man, in a red-and-yellow scarf, jumping in front of him, excitedly stating “Gryffindors are super popular and always the focus of everything.”] Via GIPHY

The closest you can get to an official Sorting is this quiz on Pottermore. Though deep down, you know you’re more of a mix – Ravendor? Griffinpuff? Slytherclaw? You know yourself.

6. You often wonder what you would see in the Mirror of Erised

In a black-and-white animation, a man stands over his bathroom sink and looks into a fogged-up mirror. He then wipes his hand across it to reveal the burning lights of the cosmos.
[Image description: In a black-and-white animation, a man stands over his bathroom sink and looks into a fogged-up mirror. He then wipes his hand across it to reveal the burning lights of the cosmos.] Via GIPHY

Receiving your letter? Ending patriarchy? A massive Potterhead convention? Perhaps some wool socks? Fun fact: Erised is Desire spelled backwards.

7. You’ve tested out your broom for other capabilities besides sweeping

A man dressed as an old lady hops and slides into a room, pretend-playing the guitar on a broom. After landing on his knees, he sweeps the floor.
[Image description: A man dressed as an old lady hops and slides into a room, pretend-playing the guitar on a broom. After landing on his knees, he sweeps the floor.] Via GIPHY

It’s not you who’s not magic, it’s the broom. Let’s stick to using it as a guitar for now.

8. You’ve tried to speak Parseltongue

A young white boy with dark hair and round glasses hisses at a snake. The snake then turns around and hisses back.
[Image description: A young white boy with dark hair and round glasses hisses at a snake. The snake then turns around and hisses back.] Via GIPHY

Haashhaaaasssss… maybe Duolingo will add in a course down the line. There are definitely enough Potterheads in the world to get a petition going.

9. You’ve had Duels (and you’ve kicked ass!)

A young, white woman with blonde hair begins to cast a spell as she waves her wand. She is dressed in a school uniform consisting of a blazer and tie.
[Image description: A young, white woman with blonde hair begins to cast a spell as she waves her wand. She is dressed in a school uniform consisting of a blazer and tie.] Via GIPHY

Personal favorites of mine include stupefy, petrificus totalus, and expelliarmus. The Unforgivable Curses are a big no-no in my Duelling Club.

10. The Battle of Hogwarts still has you bawling like a baby

A black man in a black sweater lies sideways on a couch with his hands resting underneath his face. He is crying heavily with his eyes shut, his body wracked with sobs.
[Image description: A black man in a black sweater lies sideways on a couch with his hands resting underneath his face. He is crying heavily with his eyes shut, his body wracked with sobs.] Via Tenor

“And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.” *heaving sobs*

11. You’ve had lengthy, passionate discussions with other Potterheads on the symbolism of the series

In an animated clip, two Minions - tiny, yellow, and oval beings of varying widths - carry out a slap fight as they yell at each other.
[Image description: In an animated clip, two Minions – tiny, yellow, and oval beings of varying widths – carry out a slap fight as they yell at each other.] Via Tenor

Did Hedwig’s death symbolize the end of Harry’s innocence? Do different wand woods hold special meaning? Things get pretty heated up in the Potterhead forums.

12. You’re a calm and rational pe – WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN’T READ HARRY POTTER?

In an interrogation setting, a handcuffed white man sits across the table from a younger brown-haired, white woman. The door opens and another brown-haired, white woman enters and tosses a book at the man's face. The clip features the tag #readthebook.
[Image description: In an interrogation setting, a handcuffed white man sits across the table from a younger brown-haired, white woman. The door opens and another brown-haired, white woman enters and tosses a book at the man’s face. The clip features the tag #readthebook.] Via Tenor

It’s unfathomable. What have these people been doing with their lives?

13. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child doesn’t exist for you

A black woman with short black hair shakes her head as she vehemently says "No, no, no, no, no, no..."
[Image description: A black woman with short black hair shakes her head as she vehemently says “No, no, no, no, no, no…”] Via GIPHY

Similar to the Ministry of Magic’s refusal to believe in Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, you too refuse to acknowledge the existence of That Which Must Not Be Named. Just, no. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was the last instalment of that series – all was, and is, well.

14. You’ve had, and crushed, a Harry Potter movie marathon

In a cartoon clip, day turns to night and then back into day as a brown bear sits in front of his computer watching some form of video playback. As time passes, he collects food and beverages on his desk, moves through several positions, and wraps himself in a blanket.
[Image description: In a cartoon clip, day turns to night and then back into day as a brown bear sits in front of his computer watching some form of video playback. As time passes, he collects food and beverages on his desk, moves through several positions, and wraps himself in a blanket.] Via Tenor

Don on your robes and grab all the butterbeer and chocolate frogs, because you’re not moving off this seat for the next 20 hours.

15. This scene both amuses and irritates you

An elderly white man rushes across the room to a startled younger, white boy. The man grabs him by the shoulders and fervently asks "Harry! Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?!"
[Image description: An elderly white man rushes across the room to a startled younger, white boy. The man grabs him by the shoulders and fervently asks “Harry! Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?!”] Via GIPHY

To this day, I still question Michael Gambon’s definition of calm. I also wonder why no one on set went “Hey Mikey! Soooo, the book says Dumbledore said these words calmly…?”

16. You’re still holding out for the TV show

A dark-haired white man in a brown suit and red tie stands in the middle of a field of rapeseed, waiting. He checks his watch and then scratches his ear.
[Image description: A dark-haired white man in a brown suit and red tie stands in the middle of a field of rapeseed, waiting. He checks his watch and then scratches his ear.] Via Tenor

It’s almost been a decade since the movie series ended and Potterheads have been toyed with enough. Will J.K. ever succumb to our demands? Signs say no, unfortunately.

17. You know the fan theories and have a few of your own

A short, dark-haired white man in a half-sleeved button-down shirt and striped tie speaks in frustration and animation, gesturing his hands. Behind him is a wall filled with pinned-up papers interconnected with red lines.
[Image description: A short, dark-haired white man in a half-sleeved button-down shirt and striped tie speaks in frustration and animation, gesturing his hands. Behind him is a wall filled with pinned-up papers interconnected with red lines.] Via Tenor

Neville was bad at magic because he was using his father’s wand, and not one which chose him. Crookshanks was the Potters’ cat. J.K. is actually Rita Skeeter. And Harry Potter is immortal – there are hundreds of theories floating.

18. You’ve searched out the toughest HP-themed trivia quizzes, and aced them 

A white, dark-haired man in a black T-shirt - featuring a melting Rubik's cube - gently pats his forehead while saying "Good brain."
Image description: A white, dark-haired man in a black T-shirt – featuring a melting Rubik’s cube – gently pats his forehead while saying “Good brain.”] Via Tenor

I’m talking deep, obscure trivia like knowing that there are 142 staircases in Hogwarts, that 700 fouls can be made in Quidditch, and who Wilkie Twycross is (Apparition Instructor).

19. Hence, you’re the designated expert in your group. 

In a cemetery, an animated duel commences between a young, dark-haired wizard and an older snake-like one. The older wizard uses "Abracadabra" to turn the younger one into a bunny. The younger one then proceeds to correct his older rival by telling him "Avada Kedavra" is the spell to use. This leads to the older wizard exploding.
[Image description: In a cemetery, an animated duel commences between a young, dark-haired wizard and an older snake-like one. The older wizard uses “Abracadabra” to turn the younger one into a bunny. The younger one then proceeds to correct his older rival by telling him “Avada Kedavra” is the spell to use. This leads to the older wizard exploding.] Via CHEEZburger

Oh, so you’d like to know how to make a Polyjuice Potion? Simple! All you need is lacewing files, leeches, powdered Bicorn horn, knotgrass, fluxweed, shredded Boomslang skin, and a bit of the person you want to turn into.

20. What’s a Potterhead without their swag?

A blonde, white man in a blank tank looks content and pleased as he pulls on a brown, fur jacket.
[Image description: A blonde, white man in a blank tank looks content and pleased as he pulls on a brown, fur jacket.] Via GIPHY

I’m talking pajamas, socks, scarves, hoodies, candles, notebooks, pillows, bedspreads, mugs… there’s no such thing as “too much merch”.

21. There’s no question as to what your kids’ bedtime stories will be

A balding, yellow cartoon man in a white shirt grabs and sits his baby daughter on his lap as he leans back into his brown couch. He says to her "You're going to listen to my story."
[Image description: A balding, yellow cartoon man in a white shirt grabs and sits his baby daughter on his lap as he leans back into his brown couch. He says to her “You’re going to listen to my story.”] Via GIPHY

Between the canon works and fanfiction, there is enough material to carry you all the way to their adolescence.

22. You’ve hosted Harry Potter-themed parties

A set of red-haired white twins high-five as they fly past each other on brooms. Around them, fireworks explode and students watching from below cheer and clap. There are papers strewn about.
[Image description: A set of red-haired white twins high-five as they fly past each other on brooms. Around them, fireworks explode and students watching from below cheer and clap. There are papers strewn about.] Via GIPHY

Do you have a Pinterest board pinned with said themed ideas? DIY-decor, baked treats, posters… because I do.

23. You consider the entire series as self-help

A white woman with short blonde hair is standing and talking. She says "When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity." She is dressed in a white shirt and a teal, velvet cardigan.
[Image description: A white woman with short blonde hair is standing and talking. She says “When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity.” She is dressed in a white shirt and a teal, velvet cardigan.] Via GIPHY

You wouldn’t be a Potterhead if your life hadn’t changed after reading the series, and it’s a guarantee that you picked up some life lessons along the way.

There are many gems to pick from, but my top two include: “Anything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve,” and “it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”