Mischief & Magic

Last week was a hectic one–classes, children, critters, meetings, recovering from a nasty virus, and getting back to phone banking for my local candidate for Delegate.

Then, this weekend, was Queen City Mischief and Magic.

The magic before the mischief really got going.

The entire downtown transformed itself into Hogsmeade. We’d intended to check it out just before my husband’s “Defense Against the Dark Arts” swordfighting demonstration on Saturday evening. But when we got out of meetings downtown on Friday afternoon, we decided to wander around for a bit and see the downtown before the anticipated 15,000 people descended. And it was magical indeed, and prickling with the hushed excitement that falls like a veil just before Something is About To Happen. So magical that when we picked up Things 1 and 2 from their Harry Potter-themed school childcare that day (they had the day off of classes), they decided that they needed to get in on the action. We threw all our virtuous plans of chores to the wind and headed back downtown.

Not the best picture of the local bath store (aka the Prefects’ Bathroom), but you can see the golden egg, its song, and Moaning Myrtle off to the left. The sheer whimsy of the shopkeepers was pure magic.

There was Quidditch in the street. The Founders of Hogwarts arrived on the train. Shops transformed themselves into locations from J. K. Rowling’s books, and everywhere was an atmosphere of carnival. I walked into a local restaurant and turned around to see a booth crammed full of teenage girls all dressed in Hogwarts uniforms. I felt like I’d fallen into the books. Bookworm heaven.

We were so excited that we stayed for the fire circus and didn’t get home till after ten. We were so excited that we decided on the spur of the moment to dress up for Saturday’s festivities, and so we spent Saturday morning running around throwing together last-minute costumes: Gryffindor Quidditch player, Dementor, Ravenclaw wizard, and Rita Skeeter.

When you’re a reporter for The Daily Prophet, you get photo ops with celebs like Hedwig and Dumbledore. Photo credit: Pamela Mason Wagner.

Somehow my introversion vanishes like smoke when I am wearing a wig and a thick layer of makeup. I am pretty sure I’m now on the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts of a bunch of twenty-something Harry Potter fans, hugging a bunch of random strangers. I tried to stay in character. One young woman asked me to please not quote her.

But the most magical moment for me was when someone saw me and yelled from across the street, “It’s the writer!”

And I thought, Yes. Yes it is.