Harry Potter Society members filed into Woodburn Hall on Sunday with an assortment of sticks ranging from fragile twigs to wizard-worthy walking staffs.
As part of the club, they each had to use raw materials to make their own wands as an initiation, executive board member Meghan Burmeister said.
After attendees sorted themselves into the four houses — Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Hufflepuff — from the book series, they began sanding down their chosen pre-wands. When they were satisfied with the shape and texture, they moved on to hot glue guns to create handles, knobs and other distinguishing features before painting the finished wand.
“You made it yourself, so it’s very representative of who you are,” Burmeister, a Hufflepuff, said. “It shows that you belong to something, but it also shows your individuality.”
Burmeister’s wand is short, which reflects her own small size, she said. It is a real twig painted black with silver accents.
Sara Hudnall, president of the club, made her wand simple but perfect. A Ravenclaw, she said she is very analytical and eager to gain knowledge, but the club gives her an opportunity to relax away from her schoolwork.
“This is a great way for me to gain friendships and make social connections and have a stress-free, fun experience, because the rest of my week is pretty stressful,” she said. “It’s a way to let loose a little bit.”
The magical, fantastical quality of J.K. Rowling’s storytelling makes the wizarding world fun to get into, Burmeister said.
“Everyone here is so passionate about it,” she said. “It makes it so much fun to talk about it with other people, and them being passionate about it makes you a lot more excited about it. It really creates a little family.”
This sense of family is present in the books, Hudnall said, and the executive board wants to make sure the club is a place where everyone can feel welcome.
“Whenever you dive into one of the stories, you know that you’re going to get a really great story and you’re going to feel at home,” she said.
Vice president Taylor Boswell’s wand is fashioned out of a stick that caught her eye on the ground during her freshman year at IU.
Boswell, a Hufflepuff, had only seen the movies until she read the books as a sophomore in high school. She said she joined the club as soon as she found out it existed.
“It’s not like there’s a snake in the basement of our high school, but we grew up with the characters as the characters grew up in the books,” she said. “We related to their struggles that are more normal. It brings people together.”
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