CWRUcio’s Yule Ball delivers a magical night

Chris Markham, Copy Editor

What fan of “Harry Potter” didn’t pray that they would receive their letter to attend Hogwarts in the mail when they turned 11 years old? Unfortunately, the chances are high that those letters never came. But, for $8, CWRUcio, Case Western Reserve University’s (CWRU) Quidditch club, offered students a chance to attend Hogwarts for one magical night.

Saturday, Feb. 1, CWRUcio organized their annual Yule Ball for CWRU students in the Thwing Center. This year’s theme was Diagon Alley, and walking through the brick building’s doors and into the decorated ballroom was much like Potter and Rubeus Hagrid’s walk into Diagon Alley in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” 

There were “floating” candles hung from the ceiling, magical artifacts at a photo booth, posters of various Patronuses on the walls and a wide assortment of handmade magic wands spread out on every table, ripe for the taking.

With food catered by the Jolly Scholar and homemade butterbeer, there was no shortage of delicacies for students to feast on. Students who don’t usually go to Jolly could get their fix of chicken wings. The butterbeer was like liquefied and carbonated butterscotch candy, perfect for rinsing down the Hogwarts house-colored cupcakes available for dessert. 

Students were clad in a mixture of elegant formalwear and fabulous wizard cloaks, showcasing a wide variety of personalities and tastes. Some students looked dressed for a high school prom, while others looked dressed for Halloween. All, however, were dressed for a fun and enjoyable night. 

The main feature of the night was the mystery scavenger hunt, or quest, as it was sometimes called. Halfway through the night, attendees could go on a quest led by students acting as characters from the series. 

The quest changes year to year, and this year, attendees were trying to help Hagrid acquire his dragon egg by finding information for Professor Quirinus Quirrell. Fans familiar with their “Harry Potter” lore recognized that this quest must have taken place before the events in the first book of the series, “The Sorcerer’s Stone.” As such, characters such as Harry, Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy were nowhere to be seen. 

This was different from the past two years’ quests, which took place within the span of the series, and included all of the aforementioned characters. Previous quests also did not concern themselves with consistent adherence to the series’ canon, which makes sense, given the nature of the event. 

The likelihood of there being a big mystery for Harry and his classmates to solve in addition to the main plot of the novels is quite slim (although many fans have criticized Harry for being a clueless narrator, so maybe it’s possible). This year, however, CWRUcio crafted a story that happened before the main events described in the series and avoided doing anything that conflicted with canon lore.

After the disappointment that was “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” fans of the Wizarding World have been desperate for “Harry Potter” entertainment that’s, well, entertaining.  Since J.K. Rowling has failed to deliver such content, CWRUcio’s Yule Ball was the event that fans needed.