Long, black capes, pointy hats and wands dashed every which way in a hurry to emerge victorious. The whistle of a flute filled the air and magic filled the room.
The third-annual Triwizard Tournament was in session, and Miami University’s muggles ran around Armstrong Student Center in celebration.
Hosted by the Department of Magical Appreciation (DMA), Miami’s premier “Harry Potter” appreciation student organization, the tournament provided would-be wizards with an opportunity to connect with fellow fans and demonstrate their enthusiasm for the fantastical franchise.
Teams rushed around the building, competing in three challenges. They began by defeating a dragon through solving a riddle. Then, they rescued friends like Ron Weasley with a scavenger hunt. Finally, they had to find their way through a maze; chocolate frogs covered the floor and colorful streamers hung in their way, making the task all the more difficult.
Their motivation? A silver trophy, the Triwizard Cup, at the end.
Some participants were not wearing their Hogwarts house shirts or wielding a wand and trailed far behind the rest of their teammates who sprinted to the next challenge. Maybe they’d never read the books, or maybe they’d never even seen the movies. Either way, they’d been dragged along by their friends.
But not first-year political science major Emma Knipp. She may have only had one “Harry Potter” book under her belt at the time of the tournament, but that didn’t stop her from eyeing that Cup.
“If you think for one second I’m going to be happy if we don’t win, you’re incorrect,” Knipp said to one of her teammates.
For “Harry Potter” fans who wanted to hit the books like Hermione, four classes were held in Pavilion C while a timer just behind them counted down to the end of the tournament.
The classes in session included History of Magic, Transfiguration, Herbology and Divination. Tea leaves scattered the table in Divination, attempting to predict the future. Origami and yarn were strewn across the Transfiguration table, and trivia answers were being yelled in History of Magic.
DMA member and sophomore biology major Audrey Cahill, repping a Gryffindor shirt, stopped running just long enough to catch her breath and inspect the little green succulents in Herbology.
“I’m like, really obsessed,” Cahill said.
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For her and many of the others present, there’s no such thing as too much “Harry Potter.”