A HariPo essay…of sorts
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. I wrote this in November of 2010, planning months ahead for my "Create Your Own Religion" project for my senior year Theology class in high school. Needless to say, I got an A, for my paper was thorough, my HariPo-themed jewelry and outfit were shocking, and my accessories (using a wand to point to things on my presentation board and having Wrock for background music) were unique and creative.
I knew I had to share this parody of the real world and the best fanbase ever as my 500th fanfiction published on FFN. Read, review, and enjoy!
Pronounced "HAH-ree-poe-iz-mm," this religion is centered on the universe and ideas tied to the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling. A vast range of denominations caters to nearly every and any Harry Potter ("HariPo," for short—like Haribo gummy bears) fan, though several things tie all HariPoists together.
In HariPoism, believers follow a doctrine centered on love. For believers, "love is all and we must yield to it, even in the darkest of times…even in the darkest of thoughts." It is practically their single commandment, for it is the driving force of HariPoism. This is not to say that all HariPoists are peaceniks or pacifists, but HariPoism promotes love in all of its forms. For HariPoists, love is absolute—no question about it, and followers live their lives with the purpose of promoting love everywhere.
Love itself is worshipped in the unique forms of four gods. These gods were the founders of the four houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and each specifies a different aspect of love. Godric Gryffindor is worshipped for love through bravery and strong will. Rowena Ravenclaw is worshipped for love through facts, knowledge, and the analysis of the real and make-believe sought together; she is certainly for the philosophical at heart. Helga Hufflepuff is worshipped for love through hard work, motivation, and loyalty, whereas Salazar Slytherin is worshipped for love through clever, shrewd means and one's own determination. No one god is supported above the rest collectively, though many HariPoists tend to favor one more than the others on an individual basis.
HariPoism is unlike any other religion, though its followers can be found—as with many other religions—all over the globe. There is a concentration of HariPoists in the United Kingdom, where the books began, and the United States, where the books' popularity flourished, but HariPoists are constantly on the move and continue to crop up in even the most obscure of places, such as Guam, Isle of Man, Bahrain, Tunisia, Malaysia, and Singapore. HariPoism touches nearly every continent of the globe!
As mentioned above, there are large numbers of HariPoists in the United Kingdom, where the books were written. It was here that HariPoism was born, albeit quietly, yet it would go on to encompass millions and millions of fans and followers worldwide. Since June 30th in 1997, HariPoism has gripped the world and never let go, with over 734 million practitioners to date.
Other typical parts of a religion are hard to address with HariPoism because it covers so many different denominations. There is no one ritual shared by the denominations, nor is there any kind of hierarchy set across the board. Also, symbols and ideas of the afterlife, too, depend on the denomination. Those that do believe in an afterlife either choose the afterlife Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, and Nymphadora Tonks met—that is, an afterlife via deadly force—or the afterlife seen through the mysterious contraption known simply as the veil. No capital letter, no emphasis, the veil is the portal through which Sirius Black, Harry Potter's godfather, fell after being hit by a non-lethal spell, and HariPoists learned later on in the series that any physical interaction with the veil comes down to an instant death.
Now, when it comes to denominations, no denomination is as great as that of the Quafflers, named for the red ball in the Wizarding sport of Quidditch. The Quafflers form the largest of the denominations for Quafflers are those who adhere to two or more of the other sects of HariPoism. Many people take a liking to more than one of the branches of HariPoism, and are thusly categorized into this denomination. Quafflers themselves follow the ideals and guidelines of their favored sects, so long as nothing is in conflict.
As for the other sects, one might group several together for being tied to the real world. JKRners praise J.K. Rowling for the world she created; these people are known to adapt J.K. Rowling's habits in hopes of seeing the themes of her series—love and death—as she does. HPMies obey what are called "canon laws;" this means that they stick to the words of the movies as portrayed on the silver screen. (It should be noted that HPactoria is an offshoot of the HPMies, a split for followers who specifically worship the actors, like Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson.)
Cauldron Dwellers are HariPoists addicted to the Leaky Cauldron forum. An online site for all HariPo fans, the Leaky Cauldron, also known as Leaky, TLC, and Leaky News, is one of the oldest Harry Potter fan sites, having originated in 2000, only a few years after the series' start. Cauldron Dwellers often raise money for charities to go towards literacy, and more than the site's fifty thousand members participate in their fundraisers.
O.G.H. stands for "Our Good Headmaster," the HariPoism branch which remarks on the wise words of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. Despite unrest over what was revealed in the end to be Professor Dumbledore's deceitfulness in organizing Harry to fight his foe, Lord Voldemort, practitioners still forge on, some even going so far as to dub themselves members of Dumbledore's Army (D.A.). The D.A. believes in an afterlife, such as the one Professor Dumbledore encountered at the end of his days.
AVPMism and AVPSism are so closely related that some consider them one denomination, not sister sects. AVPM and AVPS stand for A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel, respectively, the two plays which lampooned the book series to the delight of fans and non-fans alike. For followers of AVPMism and AVPSism, things such as the Zefron poster are important symbols, and not a day may pass without some reference to the plays—like "Rumbleroar" or "Supermegafoxyawesomehot"—being made.
Flierism pertains to worship of the open skies and all the means—mainly magical—used to traverse them. There are two main worshippers of Flierism: Quodpotters, found in the U.S.A. and Canada, and Quidditchonists, found outside of North America. Flierists preach no afterlife, are led by the organizers of the Quidditch World Cup, and are expected to have one match per week on Sundays.
Collectioners are for the more materialistic of HariPoists. Their focus is to collect every scrap of HariPo merchandise. Typically these HariPoists die penniless, and therefore boast no afterlife since all many of them would think of would be their debts…and collection.
Potterpufferians are those who delight in the humor of the series. Every Potterpufferian must learn how to make Potterpuffs on the computer, and Potterpuffs made without wit or sentimentality are subject to ridicule and punishment. Potterpufferians do not have to watch the original Powerpuff Girls cartoon on which their art style is based, but they must learn from it to better their Potterpuff-drawing skills.
Similarily, Potterpallasians delight in the humor of the series, as well, but they show it in a different manner. Potterpallasians must make puppets and animations to play on the series' humor and puns, as best demonstrated in the original Harry Potter Puppet Pals videos. Any prospective Potterpallasian also must watch the Harry Potter Puppet Pals video "Snape and the Mysterious Ticking Noise," found on Youtube; admission to the denomination is dependent on having watched this well-known short.
Fanartastians are generally the most artistic of HariPoists. Ranging from portraiture to caricatures, Fanartastians provide visuals to go along with the written word. Fanart is an essential tool to convey what sometimes prose cannot. Fanartastians do not believe in any afterlife, but they do express the HariPoism commandment in their artwork.
Linked to the Fanartastians are the Fanfictioneers. These followers write what is known as fanfiction and tend to believe the story's not quite yet over…and likely never will be. As long as they give credit for the Harry Potter universe to J.K. Rowling, Fanfictioneers may write anything they may dream using the HariPo cast. Further sects of Fanfictioneering include Canoniases, those who obey only what happened in the books and write solely based on that; Erring Erumpets, those who have a slightly altered look on the canon storyline (such as placing Luna Lovegood with Neville Longbottom, though Rowling revealed that they in truth did not end up together); and Deathly Hallowers, those who explore the realm of impossibility made possible (this includes putting any characters together and basically writing whatever comes to mind, as drab or questionable as it may seem).
Some consider the Freeversians as followers coming from Fanfictioneering, but Freeversia is its own denomination. Freeversians love and understand the form of poetry best suited to HariPo: freeverse (also known as "free verse" and "fv"/"FV"). Freeversians are required to write at least thirty FVs a year—no less.
Lastly we come to the third largest branch of HariPoism (the first being the Quafflers and the second being the Fanfictioneers): Wrockology—with a "W." "Wrock" stands for "wizard rock," the music about the series. Wrockology is for all music lovers, where the best songs of praise come to light, and it is for the fans, to the fans, by the fans. Wrockology itself began in Massachusetts in 2006 with the debut of the band Harry and the Potters and has spiraled nearly out of control in six short years. In fact, there are more sects of Wrockology than there are of HariPoism even! Some major followers of Wrockology include Harry&thePottersians, who worship where Wrock started and are found mainly in Massachusetts; Draco&theMalfoyans, who worship the darker and more disastrous side of things; M.O. , who follow the band Ministry of Magic and their 80s, dance, techno, and pop coverage of most of the canon events in the series; Godricans, who follow the band Hollow Godric, which is an understated yet dulcet tone; OliverBoydemians, who worship the end and the rebirth that comes with it; and many more groups who follow bands such as The Remus Lupins, The Moaning Myrtles, The Hermione Crookshanks Experience, The Butterbeer Experience, Roonil Wazlib, The Whomping Willows, Gred and Forge, The Parselmouths, Into the Pensieve, Catchlove, Tonks and the Aurors, Neville's Diary, Riddle TM, and many more.
There truly is a religion for any HariPo fan. Even if one does not find acceptance in one place, he or she is bound to find acceptance elsewhere. HariPoism stands by such universality, especially since no HariPoist is forced to read the entire series. Even a fan who read one book can find a denomination suitable for himself or herself. As long as he or she promotes love in one form or another in how he or she worships, he or she will be a true HariPoist. HariPoists are united by that love—and they love to show it.
On a final note, I would like to reiterate that Harry Potter and related indicia are the property of J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros, and no harm is intended. Also, real-life people/organizations that are mentioned have no ties to me or this fic-essay, though I do admire the actors, the Wrockers, Starkid productions, TLC, and my fellow artists and writers for all they contribute to the fandom! And thank you very much for reading—please, leave a review if you love HariPo! Don't just favorite!
So if HariPoism existed…what would you be, reader? :}
Addendum: A few more HariPoism denominations that didn't make the cut for my original essay (simply because they didn't exist in May 2011 when I passed it in, or they missed my attention in the first place, sorry)—
Pottermoreans: Those HariPoists who have joined Pottermore, the website dedicated to giving fans information and fun beyond the series. If you are a Pottermorean, you must treat your House like your family—because you're really at Hogwarts now.
myHogwartians: Those HariPoists who have joined the fan-created and –run site myHogwarts, in order to make Hogwarts more real through social-networking. Since it acts as a kind of companion to Pottermore, myHogwartians are often Pottermoreans, as well.
S.I.Y.E.-ers : Within Fanfictioneering and Canoniase, S.I.Y.E.-ers are the most devoted to the canon of the books, and they do not mess around with how things originally went, at all. S.I.Y.E.-ers are dedicated to their beloved site, Sink Into Your Eyes.
Witches & Wizards of the Wizarding world: These HariPoists practically live in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Florida. Once a week, every Witch and Wizard must ride at least seven of the park's rides, to symbolize the seven horcruxes so crucial to the series. Also, the butterbeer served there is their holy drink.
Okay, now I'm done, haha! XD But siriusly—what kind of a HariPoist are you? P.S. There is an Easter egg hidden in the first part of my essay, related to the last book...can you find it?