Some time last week, my very Harry Potter obsessed friend texted me to tell me that the Quidditch World Cup was being held in South Carolina this year. I thought, “Oh, that’s interesting,” and decided to look it up and see how far it would be from my uncle’s place. Of course, with this in mind, i promptly forgot to actually respond to her message. And then, on Saturday, she brought it up again.
What I didn’t realize was that the Quidditch World Cup was actually this last weekend. At about 8:00 pm Saturday night, she asked if I wanted to drive down the next morning to watch it. At first, I wasn’t sure. It was a twelve-hour event, almost an hour each way, and I already had plans on Sunday night. But it occurred to me that, if I want to have adventures, sometimes I just have to say yes, so I did.
We ended up leaving at about 8 am, but the drive wasn’t as long as I anticipated. After a Butterbeer latte from Starbucks, we arrived at the park and started looking around. We sat down at a random match to start with.
If you aren’t familiar with the muggle version of Quidditch, here’s how it works (as far as I could figure out): The quaffle and bludgers are lined up in the middle of the field and each team runs towards them when the game starts. Only the chasers can touch the quaffle, and they use it to gain points by throwing it through the three hoops on their side of the pitch. Only the beaters can touch the bludgers, and they throw it at other players to interrupt their gameplay. If anyone is hit by the bludger, they have to drop whatever ball they may be carrying and run to touch one of the hoops they’re defending before they can rejoin the game. After a certain amount of time, the snitch is released. In this case, the snitch is a guy dressed completely in yellow with a tennis ball in a sock velcroed to the back of his shorts. The seekers have to grab it to end the game and gain 30 points for their team. If one team is 30 or more points behind, they defend the snitch from the other team for as long as they can or until their team catches up.
Oh, and the whole time, every player has to keep their broomstick firmly between their legs.
After the initial match, we looked at the schedule to see what teams we actually wanted to watch. UNC had a team, but we’d missed their game. We watched an Appalachian State game because Jennifer has been thinking about going there. They killed it, but they didn’t make it into the bracket. We waited in line for about forty-five minutes for a lemonade as we also waited for them to put the bracket up. Once it was set, we decided to watch NYU’s game first, agreeing that if they won it, that would indicate that I’ll get in when I apply to go to grad school. They did win, but we decided to watch UNC’s game instead of following them. After an hour, UNC FINALLY won their match. We followed them to the main field for the “Elite Eight” game, only about five minutes after their long game ended. They still played hard, going back and forth with Maryland until the snitch was released while the game was tied. MD caught the snitch, winning with only those thirty points ahead.
Of course, between it all, there was shopping. Jennifer bought an official USQ shirt and a pack of Quidditch player cards. She gave me the UNC one from her batch, number 16 Courtney Reynolds, and we even got her to sign it. She was a hell of a beater, too.
Did I mention this is a full contact sport? She, and everyone really, were brutally aggressive.
The guy running the official USQ tent does shipping management for DFTBA.com in Minnesota, and I was very proud that I didn’t fangirl too much over him. I also bought a Ravenclaw tie for Jonathan and a Gryffindor bookmark (it looks like a tiny Gryffindor scarf! so adorable!) and a broom shaped pen for me at the Alivan’s booth. At the Harry Potter Alliance’s booth, I bought a “Granger-Lovegood” campaign shirt, which I can’t wait to wear tomorrow on my day off. The only thing I didn’t get that I desperately wanted was a coffee mug, because I collect them and really wanted one to commemorate the day. I even tried Zazzle and CafePress, but it “violates copyright.” Dude, I would pay the official Quidditch people for one, but they don’t have one, and I’m not going to sell it or anything. I just need a coffee mug to put on my bookshelf!
In conclusion: Jennifer has made “must have a Quidditch team” a requirement for what school she ends up at, I’m going to be accepted at NYU, it was an awesome adventure, and I will pay just about anything for the official “Quidditch World Cup 8” logo on a coffee mug.
Please just give me the coffee mug.
Edit: I scheduled a Book Club Thursday post last week, but somehow it became a page instead? You can read it here while I figure out how and/or when to make it an actual post.
Edit 2: Okay, I made it into a post today (4/16/15), so now you can read it here.