Fan group to form Dumbledore’s Army in Fredericton

Alicia Yvonne – The Aquinian –
(Creative Commons)

When a half giant brought 12-year-old Harry Potter a letter telling him that he had been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Potter’s life changed forever.

Fast-forward a few years and Potter is a teenager living in the wizard world. He becomes something of a celebrity, the only person to survive a death curse from Lord Voldemort. This meant it was up to Potter–“the boy who lived”–and his friends to defend the wizard world and protect their friends and family from evil magic.

Have you ever wanted to take a stand against the Dark Arts? Today’s your lucky day.

According to a recent ad on Kijiji, the Fredericton chapter of Dumbledore’s Army is now recruiting.

I know what you’re thinking—this is crazy, right? Well Henry Jenkins disagrees.

Jenkins is a journalism, communications and cinematic art professor at the University of Southern California, and dedicates a lot of his time to studying fan culture.

In one of the many articles on his website, Jenkins discusses Harry Potter, and real-life fan groups such as the one forming in Fredericton. He says that Harry Potter offers “inspirational messages about empowerment and transformation which can fuel meaningful civic action in our own world” and that books and clubs such as these are important, saying that not only do they help us to open our minds and hearts to new ideas, they help us to escape.

So who would join such a group? More people than you would think. In my search for interviews on this subject, I was surprised to find more people that loved the idea of a Dumbledore’s Army here in Fredericton than those who thought it was completely nuts.

Kaitlyn Fallow is one of the many students who are very excited at the idea of the DA in Fredericton. The third-year UNB student has been a Harry Potter fanatic since 1998, and says she has been waiting for her letter from Hogwarts ever since.

“And people think Fredericton’s boring! Uh, we have our own chapter of Dumbledore’s Army, what has your city done lately? I definitely would join, but I would need someone to come with me just in case,” said Fallow. “I’m trying to come up with friends who won’t instantly cut me out of their lives if I ask them to join Dumbledore’s Army with me, which is proving difficult. They just don’t get me.”

Although many people I talked to had similar responses, some students don’t see this as a joking matter. Jamie Kennedy, a fourth-year sociology student at UNB, thinks that this club is ridiculous.

“I just think that if someone has the time, money, motivation or what have you to make a Dumbledore’s Army that they should be focusing their efforts on something more beneficial,” said Kennedy. “There are a million causes out there, from diseases to hunger to homelessness that need the kind of attention that is going to a fictional character.”

I tried to contact the creator of the ad but my many emails and messenger owls went unanswered

I’m not taking it personally though; I know how unreliable those damn owls can be. After all, I have been waiting for my acceptance letter from Hogwarts for almost 10 years now.


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