Monday, September 10, 2012 will go down in infamy as one of the worst days in my Potter fandom history. I had camped out to get tickets for J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy signing and Q&A since Friday afternoon, got them online when they went on sale early, and proceeded to experience the entire gamut of human emotions in a 30-hour interval. I spent most of the day on Hypable, frantically refreshing the page and conversing with similarly unfortunate Potter fans. Now, looking back on it, I am struck by just how awesome Potter fans are.
The first indication of this came when the tickets went on sale. There were twenty or so of us camped out on Island 9¾, and when the frenzy began, it was entirely a collaborative effort to get tickets. As soon as one girl announced it and gave out the link, we were all shouting to each other, and sharing phones and a single laptop, ordering tickets for each other.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon, when two different sets of fans had legitimate tickets to the event – the “early fans” and the “on-time fans.” Both sets of fans had a very legitimate claim to the tickets. And there was a very real possibility of it turning into an us-versus-them battle between the two groups to rival the Shipping Wars of 2004. And perhaps in another fandom, that might have happened.
But not in the Potter fandom. Every single comment, of the hundreds I read, was concerned with ALL the fans who bought tickets. Not “my tickets.” Not tickets bought early or tickets bought on time. Every single comment expressed concern about all the fans who had bought tickets, and worry that some fans might be screwed because of JALC’s mistake.
Moreso, it seemed like almost every other comment made a mention of the people camping out, with a fervent desire that at the very least we get tickets after all we endured. We endured tornadoes and torrential rain and much more, but I am deeply touched that in our darkest hour you thought of us, and I know I speak for all of Island 9¾ when I thank you for that.
This just goes to show how, even when faced with adversity and nearly hysterical, we still think of other Potter fans right away. The Potter fandom showed itself to be selfless, caring, and just yesterday, and I have never been prouder to be a part of it. Moreover, I think Jo Rowling would be proud of the way we behaved yesterday. Did she not once write, “[JALC]’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can only fight by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust.”