Amanda Kundert, office assistant at Northwestern and wife of former Resident Director, Corey Kundert, received every Harry Potter fan’s biggest dream on March 30, 2015: an acceptance letter to Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
On her birthday, when she returned from a coffee date with her husband, she gleefully screamed as she saw her apartment door in Hospers Hall had been transformed into Platform 9 ¾, the famous train station to Hogwarts in J.K Rowling’s best selling books. As she opened the newly refurbished brick door, she realized just how detailed this present from Corey was.
From the handcrafted mandrakes made out of Barbie dolls to the edible broomsticks, Corey recreated the wizarding world with impressive authenticity. Several magazines and news outlets, including Buzzfeed and Time, recently agreed as well.
“There were red and gold streamers on the ceiling, dozens of ‘Hedwig’ balloons, and a cluster of cascading letters, all addressed to ‘A. Kundert. Apartment Under the Boys. Orange City, Iowa,’” Amanda Kundert said.
Amanda’s favorite detail of the party was the birthday cake replicating the cake Hagrid gave to Harry. Two days before the party, Amanda Kundert was baking for the Old Factory when the cake she crafted crumbled. She gave the cake to Corey to share with the guys in Hospers Hall, but he saw the sweet ruins as an opportunity.
“When I got to the party, I told Corey that I was impressed with how realistic his cake looked to the primitive one Hagrid made,” Amanda said. “He told me to take a closer look. Apparently my mashed up cake was a perfect double for Hagrid’s.”
Since Corey never read Harry Potter or watched the movies, he did a lot of research.
“I started with one idea and it eventually grew into something fairly substantial,” Corey said. “I would finish one project and then have an idea for another, like a cycle.”
Last month, Amanda posted pictures of the Harry Potter decorations on imgur. Her post soon received a lot of attention.
“I figured that the post would top out at 200, and when I woke up the next morning, it had reached 1.6K,” Amanda said. “By the end of the afternoon, it was up to about 4K votes with around 300 comments.”
Days after the post went viral, a reporter from BuzzFeed contacted Amanda wanting to write a story about her party. Then, Seventeen.com and Distractify messaged her.
“BuzzFeed contacted me first,” she said. “I immediately copied her message and emailed it to Corey with some message like, ‘I think I’m going to puke.’”
Amanda agreed to do interviews with all three media sites. TIME, Mashable, MTV and Elite Daily found the story newsworthy as well, so they borrowed information and photos from the three original sites.
Amanda said she remembers thinking she would never be able to express how outstanding the party was to Corey.
“Now that thousands of people are telling him, I think he finally gets how awesome he is,” Amanda said. “Plus, there’s nothing I’d rather be known for than Harry Potter and an awesome husband.”
Corey’s reaction to the fame wasn’t as enthusiastic as his wife’s.
“It is nice to know that people like the gesture, but really, I just stole a bunch of ideas off the Internet and made a birthday party out of them, which now is a little ironic,” Corey said.
Amanda first fell in love with J.K. Rowling’s series on a three-week long camping trip the two had taken during the summer of 2014. She might have been a bit of a late bloomer, but regardless, her love for the wizard world runs deep. After reading the series for a second time, she is able to appreciate the minute, yet important details.
“Every name, be it for a spell, potion or character, is significant,” Amanda said. “Just Google ‘Sybill Trelawney’ and see what comes up about the character, her backstory, and the significance of her fictional great-grandmother.”
Now, that buzz over the party has withered, the couple has continued their lives as normal. Despite their story being told to the world, they feel that not much else has changed.
“Now when I tell people that I have the best husband ever, I can cite my sources,” Amanda said.
Follow these links to see the Kundert’s being feature on Buzzfeed and TIME.com.