Seven books and eight movies later, the Harry Potter series is finally over. For some students at Saint Louis University, however, a new chapter is just beginning. Dumbledore’s Army, a new Harry Potter fan club on campus, brings students who want to see the adventures continue together.
“I love Harry Potter and have met so many friends through it,” the president of Dumbledore’s Army, Molly Carroll, said. “I knew people would like this. Dumbledore’s Army was born on a whim.”
Carroll, a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences, first proposed the idea to create the fan club on a Facebook group for the Class of 2015. The idea garnered more interest than she said she had anticipated, so Carroll started a new Facebook group to get the club going. The group itself has already recruited more than 100 members from all across SLU.
Dumbledore’s Army is based on a wizard student group from the book series. In the story, Hogwarts students ban together to work against a rising evil in their world, Lord Voldemort. While the SLU group is not comprised of wizards and have no villain to fight, it has not stopped them from looking for ways to create change.
“We are connected to the Harry Potter Alliance, which is a Harry Potter fan organization that does service linked with social justice issues found in the books,” Carroll said. “They work with things like literacy and economical stability.”
Apart from service work, the group has plans to participate in other Harry Potter related activities. Carroll said that one of their biggest and most popular ideas so far has been the creation of a SLU Quidditch League.
“This is a great way to fuse a love of Harry Potter with action,” Quidditch Captain David Gaillardetz said.
Dumbledore’s Army will hold a Quidditch orientation on Sept. 12 and 14 to teach any “muggle” interested in playing Quidditch.
“Muggle” Quidditch, according to Carroll, is similar to “wizard” Quidditch, except the player’s brooms do not fly. Instead, players run around with brooms between their legs, attempting to score points by throwing a ball through hoops.
The game also features a Golden Snitch, who is usually a cross-country runner who the players must attempt to “catch,” thereby awarding their team 150 points and ending the match.
Having played “muggle” Quidditch before, Gaillardetz said he was excited to do so again. He also said he was looking forward to the service component of the club as well.
“The Jesuit mission is to care for the whole person, going past academics and fostering an inner desire to help others,” Gaillardetz said. “The real Dumbledore’s Army fought evil and oppression in the books, and the aim of our service is to fight the ‘Death Eaters’ we encounter in everyday life.”
The group also plans to host events such as Wrock, or wizard rock concerts, play live wizard chess and hold a Harry Potter themed dance.
The next step for Dumbledore’s Army, however, is to become an officially chartered student organization through the Student Government Association.
Carroll said that the group will be presented to SGA in the hopes of starting the CSO process.
“[Harry Potter] has always been a passion of mine. It’s taught me a lot of good lessons,” Dumbledore’s Army Vice President Bindu Paruchari said.
Carroll said she is excited to get started and is looking forward to the events the group will have in the future.
“We’re always open to new members” Carroll said. “Anyone into Harry Potter can join.”