As the girl who was always a bigger Harry Potter fan than she let on, the last few months have been a little frustrating. No, I'm not talking about how every Pottermore update is a major event when that site has been active and updating for three years. I'm talking about the newest addition to Shondaland Thursday on ABC, How to Get Away With Murder. It stars a fresh young actor named Alfred Enoch. He guest starred on an episode of Sherlock. He is the latest Secret Brit to infiltrate our television screens. He was also in this little movie series about a boy wizard. Only back then he was known as Alfie Enoch. His name's not Alfred! OK, that's on me. His name was always Alfred. But whatever he goes by these days, how great is it that HTGAWM's Wes Gibbons and Harry Potter's Dean Thomas were both played by Alfred Enoch?
Especially when How To Get Away With Murder is not to different from the world where we first met Enoch. Both Middleton and Hogwarts are scary schools with scary teachers where we follow gifted students who quickly get in over their heads. All I'm saying is that the Keating Five are basically Dumbledore's Army. Just try and prove me wrong. But in the mean time, let's look back on the Alfie Enoch we knew as kids before watching the more grown-up Alfred on HTGAWM Thursday night.
We grew up with Wes & didn't even know it
That's the real takeaway here. Look at that munchkin! He's just little! Would you ever suspect that this guy would go on to play an American law student who may or may not have killed his professor's husband?
He taught us a lesson about love
In later years, Dean Thomas became known as Ginny Weasley's boyfriend. I've always appreciated that aspect of her character arc, and Dean Thomas is a big part of that. Just because you had a debilitating crush one time does not mean life is over. You go, girl!
He's best pals with Seamus Finnegan
Asher Millstone and Connor Walsh will never live up to the bromance that was Dean and Seamus. In the books, they argue over Dean's love of football. In the films, they laugh over Seamus' bad habit of exploding things in his face. Fair enough. They are the perfect best friends. They never let girls get between them (unless Seamus was harboring some feelings that I was unaware of — get on it, fan fiction writers!). They never angsted about prophecies, horcruxes, whose patronus was bigger, or whatever Harry and Ron were always going on about. They were a taste of what life would be like at Hogwarts if we didn't have You Know Who to worry about.
He has a mysterious backstory
Here's a fun fact for the more casual Potter fan before I leave you. Long before Jo Rowling started "releasing short stories" on Pottermore — before Pottermore even existed — she published additional content on her official website that launched way back in 2004. The site has since updated and the information only available via archives, however one of these bits was the fascinating background of Dean Thomas. He grew up in a Muggle family, and presumed himself to be Muggle-born when he first arrived at Hogwarts. However, he is actually Half-Blood. His father, who his family thought had abandoned them, was killed by Death Eaters when he refused to join them. An original outline for Chamber of Secrets included a subplot where Dean pieced together this information. Seems like little Alfie Enoch was destined for solving cases all along!
He left the set in style
I'm sorry, Alfie Enoch. We're never going to let you forget that you told this story on national television. Never.
He's in great company
Seriously, the Harry Potter cast just gets better every day! That's Matt Lewis with him, who played Neville Longbottom. Emma Watson is making speeches. Daniel Radcliffe is making a new name for himself in television, film, and theater. Rupert Grint is on Broadway now. Even Luke Youngblood, who played the Weasley Twins' friend Lee Jordan, is Magnitude on Community. Pop pop!