“Harry’s mouth fell open. The dishes in front of him were now piled with food. He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup, and, for some strange reason, peppermint humbugs.”
– Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
Twenty years after the first Harry Potter novel was published, I am now studying children’s literature in the most magical place that holds the legendary Harry Potter Formal. Though the food in Homerton isn’t the best (oh, but they make the best dessert!), the magic is in the details.
Along the corridor just outside the Great Hall, there were displays that only Harry Potter fans would appreciate: undesirable posters, old socks, potion bottles, muggle news and winged keys. Before you enter the Great Hall, there’s a coat stand for us to hang our invisible cloaks. If you were oblivious to all that and entered the ladies’, you’ll find Moaning Myrtle staring right at you while you’re trying to release yourself lol
The dining tables were decorated according to the four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Though there’re no floating candles (the last thing we wanted was to burn down our beautiful Great Hall even though they’re building a new dining hall), Homerton’s Great Hall is pretty enchanting in candlelight.
Our awesome Graduate Tutor, Melanie, dressed up as Dumbledore was accompanied by the Dark Lord, who fashionably draped Nagini around his neck. The evening kicked off with the splendid performance by the Charter Choir, singing “Double Trouble” from the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie. Followed by a brilliant short play, in which the Sorting Hat made an appearance. The script was epic – full of jokes on our rival colleges and university.
It’s been a long day and we were all nibbling wands, I mean break sticks, and popping Bertie Botts before food was served. Starter was pumpkin and ginger soup served in bread cauldron. Main was okay; I had garlic and rosemary roasted chicken with roasted potatoes and carrots. I couldn’t finish the chicken, but no matter how much I eat, there’s always room for dessert – a meal is not complete without dessert! It was chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream and butterbeer sauce. Crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside, together with the chilled ice cream, mmm it was sooo good.
You’d think that’s the end, but no. Trainers brought in Minnie, a lovely gorgeous white owl, and entertained us wizards and witches by making it fly across/around the hall countless times. It was gliding so low that I was worried its feather would touch the candle flame. I’m not a fan of birds usually (I hate pigeons), but he’s the cutest thing ever!
After dinner, people flooded the corridors queuing up to take pictures with owls in the owlery. While waiting, a Canadian witch picked up a fight with me and we had a duel outside the Drawing Room. No muggles were harmed. In the owlery, there was a big owl and an owlet. I was having a staring contest with the big one, but its eyes were so dark and mysterious I felt like its staring into my soul that I had to look away. Baby Owlbert was adorable! hehe
Growing up reading Harry Potter and having watched all the movies and the play, it has been and will always be a huge part of me. I will read all the books to my children against their will lol If you haven’t seen the latest illustrated version of the first two books, you have to. They are so cleverly and superbly done by Jim Kay. Best present for Harry Potter fans!
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” – J. K. Rowling