I’m lucky to have some excellent friends who, although it may have been months or even years since I’ve physically seen them, are still an important part of my life. The kind of friends who can have you laughing hysterically via Whatsapp until you struggle to breathe properly, all the while trying valiantly to hide your laughter because you know you’ll never be able to explain what’s so funny to anybody else.
Two excellent examples are my lovely friends, Kate and Sile. An important bonding moment in our relationship came on 16 July 2005, the day that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released. I was in Limerick for this momentous occasion as I was spending the weekend at Kate’s and Sile’s. There was just one problem: Sile and I had copies of the book, Kate’s copy was delayed. Now obviously the moral thing for Sile and I do would have been to delay opening our books until Kate also had hers. It would not have been to sit down and immediately begin reading whilst poor Kate clattered in the background baking in anger.
That day was important in the annals of our friendship, not just because it revealed some of us to be the immoral monsters that we are, but also because it’s the origin story of N.E.W.T.S.
Yes, N.E.W.T.S. Or, to give it its full title, New Escapades in White Tiny Shorts. A spin-off created by me and Sile surrounding the adventures of former Gryffindor Quidditch Captain Oliver Wood and what he wears under his Quidditch robes.
This is all in my head this week because a recent Instagram comment session re-ignited a fascination with this spin-off, except now it’s been extended to include the Supernatural universe. Oliver Wood returns to Hogwarts as new Quidditch Coach at the same time that Dean Winchester is appointed new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.
Essential structure is that the two will initially have a pretty boy showdown in the halls of the castle before becoming best friends and…I dunno, handsomely solving crimes together or just handsomely sitting around being handsome or something.
Some more details:
- The start of their beautiful friendship is when one gets accidentally dosed with a love potion and the other one has to haplessly drag them around the castle in search of a cure without alerting fellow staff or students. It really doesn’t matter which one is drugged, it works gloriously either way.
- Bewitching the Impala so that it can fly.
- Rowdy nights in Hogsmeade with Hagrid.
- Dean unwittingly becomes Headmaster of Hogwarts for a day.
- Hilarious misunderstandings when Dean tries to gank the Hogwarts ghosts. Also, Dean’s ongoing inability to understand the British way of just leaving their ghosts floating around the place.
- Peeves and Dean become arch enemies.
- McGonagall telling Professor Wood and Professor Winchester off for setting a bad example for the students with their incessant hijinks in the corridors.
- Lovestruck female students and staff arguing about which Professor is the most attractive.
- Dean persuading house elves to bring him burgers and pie.
- Smuggling in firewhiskey from the Three Broomsticks.
See, it basically writes itself?
Now we come to an important question: Which Hogwarts house will Professor Winchester be assigned to? The obvious answer is that he should join Professor Wood in Gryffindor but actually he’s much more suited to Hufflepuff and I will legitimately fight anyone who says otherwise.
In fact, Dean’s not just suited to Hufflepuff…he’s practically the Hufflepuffiest Hufflepuff to have ever Hufflepuffed. Just think about it. He’s loyal to a fault, he always gets the job done, he steps up and fights like a badass when others are in danger but is secretly happiest with a couch and some beer, and man, does he ever love him some pie.
Not convinced? Just watch how Dean responds to moving into the bunker and then try and tell me he’s not a true Hufflepuff.
And Sammy? He’s a Ravenclaw. No question. So maybe he’s got some sort of research position at the Ministry of Magic and can drop into Hogwarts for the odd cameo appearance whenever he needs to consult something from the library. Or, you know, whatever. Let’s go back to Ollie and Dean now…