A Harry Potter superfan with over 700,000 YouTube followers has taken their devotion to the next level – restoring a Ford Anglia to recreate the Weasley family’s flying car first seen in the Chamber of Secrets movie.
Cherry Wallis, 31, of Derbyshire, a full-time Harry Potter vlogger, says her huge social media episode came after she started posting videos about the famous wizard.
Now, in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the first film in the successful franchise on November 16, she is calling the Harry Potter Warner Brothers studio tour in London her “second home”.
Today she celebrates together with her “Potterheads” colleagues, who annually the 1.
“I’m so excited to meet Tom,” said Cherry. “Harry Potter is very special to me – it changed my life.
“Without her, I wouldn’t have the friends I have now.”
But Cherry, who was eleven when the first film came out, wasn’t always a Harry Potter fan. In fact, she had no interest in the wizarding world until her late teens.
“I was a little late compared to some of my Potter colleagues. I wasn’t a great reader as a kid, ”she admitted.
“My brother, who is three years older, bought his first Harry Potter book around 1997 when he was 10 years old. I got into it much later, when I was around 17. “
She added, “His book was lying around and I just picked it up to read because I was bored and saw it lying around.
“Then I thought, ‘How did I sleep on it?’ I’ve been obsessed ever since.”
While immersed in the magical world of fantastic beasts, witches and wizards, Cherry fell in love with Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
“It was about escapism,” she said.
“Going on this trip with Harry was pretty special. When you’re feeling sad or down, it’s a bit of an escape to a beautiful and magical place. And I think that’s Harry Potter for a lot of us.
“It was really nice to imagine what if this wizarding world existed?”
And when Cherry shared her love for the wizarding franchise on her YouTube channel in 2016, her world was turned upside down by the incredible fan base.
“My YouTube channel didn’t start as a Harry Potter channel when I started it in 2011,” she explained.
“I went to college, my videos weren’t really a fixed format until I started talking about Harry Potter.”
She added, “You were a little bit of everything – YouTube challenges, chatting with my boyfriend. It was very different from now. “
“Then I got a replica of Newt Scamander’s case for Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. When I posted it on my YouTube channel, it just exploded. I’ve met great people, the Harry Potter fan base is incredible. “
Cherry’s followers also grew, and the Harry Potter superfan became a full-time vlogger.
Now she is living her dream, making videos of herself in disguise and cosplaying as students and characters from the wizarding world.
She has morphed into both Hogwarts students and Beauxbaton students, a rival school in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
But her favorite character is Luna Lovegood – who first appeared on the Goblet of Fire series and is celebrated by fans for her quirky and unique personality.
“I identify most with Luna,” said Cherry.
“I have a feeling that maybe I was in school, so I have a lot to do with it. I like how different she is and she doesn’t apologize for being herself. I think that’s a really strong message. “
As a further bonus, Cherry receives all sorts of Harry Potter goodies, which she shows the fans on her page.
She said, “I’ve stopped counting how many goods there are. I actually have a sign on my office door that says ‘The Room of Requirement’. “
The Room of Requirement, a magical room at Hogwarts School, is a secret room that only appears when someone needs it urgently.
Cherry said, “It’s nice to show when I have friends. If you’ve never seen my collection, it’s fun to shock you with all that stuff. I call it the magic wall because everything is presented on a shelf. “
She added: “My favorite piece is the lost Ravenclaw diadem, a jeweled headdress from a classy collection. It’s just breathtaking. It is one of the most beautiful pieces in my collection. “
Visiting the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studios in London is another work bonus for Cherry.
She said, “I’ve been over 30 times. I call it my second home because I go there so often. “
Thanks to Cherry’s vlogging success, she was even able to take a behind-the-scenes look at her camera to meet the stars of the show.
“I got to interview Warwick Davis, who played Professor Filius Flitwick and a Gringotts bank clerk, in the Gryffindor common room,” she said.
“That was a pretty big deal. To go behind the scenes and see it up close. The level of detail is amazing. The design team goes all out. You don’t notice it, but the attention to detail is amazing. Even the newspaper articles are written perfectly. “
But Cherry was most excited when she met James and Oliver Phelps, also known as the Wesley twins, at this year’s Harry Potter Photo Exhibition in Covent Garden, London – and told them they were all in the same high school had gone.
“You were four years above me,” she explained.
“We attended Arthur Terry School in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. I remember when they got the role in Harry Potter and everyone in school was talking about it. “
Cherry also had a surprise for the twins – she took a school photo of her in her school uniform to show them.
“They were really shocked about it. I think they thought it was pretty cool, ”she said.
“It was great to meet you.”
Now the superfan can’t wait to meet their next star from the Harry Potter films today.
She said, “The day back to Hogwarts is such an important key day for the Harry Potter community. There is always something going on.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting Tom Felton, it will be so much fun. It should be something very special. “
Cherry is also looking forward to a very special restoration project.
“My three friends and I are building a Ford Anglia in my garage,” she said.
“It’s a very old one from the 1960s. It’s the same color as the one from the Chamber of Secrets – blue. “
She added, “I don’t know anything about engineering or mechanics, but we’ve slimmed it down and do the body work. It’s a bit of a rust bucket right now, but the plan is to get it back to its former glory.
“We even want to add an invisibility booster button. Without my love for Harry Potter I wouldn’t have it! “
Most magical for Cherry are the friends she makes during her magical adventures.
“I can do my dream job every day,” she says.
“This is the greatest community. If I hadn’t started vlogging about Harry Potter, I wouldn’t have met my friends.
“I think it’s easier to list what hasn’t changed when it comes to how the franchise changed my life.”
Tune in to the Back to Hogwarts | Worldwide Fan Celebration 20 years of Harry Potter Movie Magic on the Wizarding World YouTube channel.
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