The Internet has been abuzz after the creation of a fan-made online Hogwarts, enabling legions of hard-core fans to live out their fantasy of immersing themselves in the same curriculum that Harry Potter and his magical pals did at the wizarding school.
Considering that the volume of traffic to the site has overloaded the server space repeatedly, it's safe to say this unofficial fan tribute is gaining some real traction. We grabbed our Time Turner and traveled a few days into the future, to the graduation day of the inaugural class of Internet Hogwarts. Check out the transcript of the commencement speech below.
Well, Internet Hogwarts Class of 2014, it's here. We finally did it. Today is the day we go out into the world as full-fledged Internet wizards.
To clarify, we've already been out in the world, most of us for a few dozen years. But now, guys. Now things are different. Now, we have an internet degree in wizardry. And no, Mom, it's not from the University of Phoenix. [Pause for laughter.] Get it? Phoenix. Haha.
I kid, I kid. To be real, I can't believe it's been actual days since we read about the creation of a fan-made virtual Hogwarts on Twitter, signed up and self-selected our Houses — Hufflepuffs, what are you doing? You know you have a choice, right? — and then sat in helpless frustration while refreshing the academics page over and over again, hoping that a few of our fellow geeks would eventually give up so that the server could handle our teensy tiny request to learn to make a friggin' potion.
When we first came here to Internet Hogwarts, we were wide-eyed and rapidly approaching an age where this level of enthusiasm for a series of children's fantasy novels is one Wingardium Leviosa! and pledge to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with a friend away from toppling from charmingly geeky into downright unacceptable.
Sure, we've thought about having kids so that we can pretend all the stuffed Norberts and mock Mirrors of Erised are for their benefit. And if our barista sighs every time we order a Venti Butterbeer recipe of our own invention (a breve latte with six pumps of caramel syrup, whipped cream and caramel sauce on top, natch), well, it's not our fault that they fear milk fats more than they love being transported to Hogsmeade by way of a delicious beverage.
Think: Just days ago, we were innocently scanning our spam folders, only to find an electronic acceptance letter to Internet Hogwarts. Now, we have a Gringotts vault with direct deposit, no clear idea how to earn additional Sickles, and the knowledge that we'll have to live with the foolish decision to make our Gringotts PIN the same as our real-life PIN. It's important to remember that though we're magical, we are still mortal.
Now, as we head out into the great big world, we must remember: There are dragons out there. It's not all chat rooms with like-minded adults, wondering how they can get a custom set of Potter-themed emojis, sharing links for Etsy shops with custom-made wands. No, there are people out there who will throw worse than Unforgivable Curses at you.
"These books are for kids!" they'll say. "Twilight!" they'll insist. "Wasn't Pottermore enough for you?" they'll ask. "You're, like, 40," they'll shout. And to them, you must say, "Riddikulus!" You do you, because you're a g--damn wizard, and nobody tells you what's not magical. Nobody.
So, Internet Hogwarts Class of 2014, I leave you with one challenge: No matter what they tell you, and no matter what happens, don't let anyone tell you it's not cool to be super obsessed with "Harry Potter" after all this time.
To them, the Muggles, the nonbelievers, the "Twilight" fans of this world, we have just one word. "Always." Hogwarts Forever. Thank you, Class of 2014.
[Hold for applause before apparating off-stage because YOLO I'm a wizard now.]