My Very Harry Potter Night

July 23, 2007 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

The saga is over. I have received and read the final chapter in the Harry Potter series! It was amazing. Don’t worry; there will be NO spoilers here! I would absolutely not want to ruin this experience for anyone. All I will say is that the book is intense, incredibly well written, and amazing. The one prediction I made ended up being wrong. However, all the little things I knew would come to be true, ended up being right.

I would like to write down now, my “Harry Potter” night. I went to one of the many Midnight Parties around the world on Friday that 20th. I was at a place called Women and Children First, a great book store in Chicago, and I recommend it to all! They hosted that party along with the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (that’s the neighborhood the book store is in). If you had preordered a book from them, there were many games and prizes to be won! There was a costume contest, so I decided to go all out. I dressed as Luna Lovegood. I wish I had thought of this costume for the release of the movie!

My costume consisted of this: green stripy socks, a plaid “school girl” skirt, a white dress shirt w/ blue and silver tie, a long hair blonde wig, a “Butterbeer” cork necklace, a school bag with “kitty litter” in it (all I had that was close was fiber cereal!), radish earrings (I attached real radishes to some earrings!), a copy of “The Quibbler” (I created this myself using Publisher. I used headlines and articles that were written in Order of the Phoenix. It was really cool!), a wand behind my ear (which was actually a chopstick…), and I created a hat with a huge lion head on it! If you know anything about the book, I’m pretty sure I got Luna down to a T! I looked great, if I do say so myself!

The festivities began at 6 pm with a neighborhood wide scavenger hunt. You would start at the book store and get a slip of paper with the instructions. Your first clue was also at the book store. After reading and deciphering the clue, you would head to the next store to get a letter. After you had collected letters at all of the stores, you would then have to unscramble them to come up with a “Harry Potter secret.” The blanks and one letter was given to you. We picked up a few letters, and then went to dinner.

A lot of the surrounding businesses had “Harry Potter” specials running all night. We went to Charlie’s Restaurant, which offered a Harry Potter themed menu. I ordered the “Polyjuice Potion” and the “Gryffindor Grilled Cheese”. While at supper, I was looking at the scavenger hunt slip, and figured out the answer easily. It was pretty obvious from the placement of the dashes and the letter that was given:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ R _’ _ _ _ _ _

I looked at it and said “It’s DUMBLEDORE’S ARMY!!!!” My friend Trish and I were pretty convinced that was the right answer, but decided to do the scavenger hunt any way for the fun of it! After we’d hit a few places, we were convinced.

Around 8:30, we turned in our slips and decided to hit Kopi (a neat coffee shop) for their “Harry Potter” drink specials. We got there, and they were offering “Butterbeer” and “Firewhiskey”. I got the Butterbeer, and Trish got the Firewhiskey. I’ve always tried to imagine what a Butterbeer might taste like. Rich, warm, creamy, buttery goodness is always what came to mind! I took one sip of the Kopi version of Butterbeer, and I knew they had gotten it spot on! The only difference was that it was served on ice. I asked what that used to make it: Cream Soda, Caramel Syrup and something else I can’t remember, but another kind of rich syrup. It was amazing! Trish’s Firewhisky was pretty good too. It was ginger and something else. Non-alcoholic. It was just fun!

The bookstore would reopen again at 10 pm for the party, so we sat in Kopi working on one of the other sheets we were given. It was a word scramble list and a word search list. When you were done, you were to turn it in to the book store for a prize drawing. We spent the whole time working on it, slowly figuring out the words that were jumbled: Firebolt, Gryffindor, Scabbers, Squib, etc… We got it down to finally just one word we couldn’t figure out: REYSLEIHNT. We COULD NOT figure it out! At one point I thought I had it figured out as Slytherin, but then I couldn’t figure out where that T went! I was convinced that had made a typo, that the word was Slytherin and that the T on the end of the scramble was a mistake. We concentrated hard on the word and I decided to try and spell it out again, and then all of a sudden I smacked my head, I was such a dunce! There IS a T in SlyTherin! We felt like complete morons! Well, after our brief stint of not having a brain, we filled in the word and completed the word search.

At one point while we were at Kopi, we were approached by a journalist for the local neighborhood paper and were interviewed! I think it was the lion head that lured her over :-D. It was neat. I’ll have to keep my eye open for it so I can get a copy and see if they printed us!

Well, at about 9:20 pm, we headed over to get in line for the party. We were pretty close to the front, but were by no means the first in line. We met a couple of really cool people standing in front of us, and ended up hanging out with them most of the night at the party. While we were in line, “Ministry of Magic” wizards came through and gave people quizzes on the books. Prizes were given out. They got to me and I was way excited! I got the first two questions right. They would give a name, place or object, and you would have to tell which book they first appeared in. I knew this would be easy for me. He asked the third question though: Amelia Bones, and before I thought too hard “Goblet of Fire” came out of my mouth, and then I swore. I knew it was wrong before he even said anything! Amelia Bones is from “Half-Blood Prince”. I had gotten her confused with Bertha Jorkins from Goblet of fire whom Voldemort had also killed. I was so angry at myself! Still am!

Anyway, finally they opened the doors and we were let inside. When you came in you were given a ticket. Your ticket was your book! If you lost that, you lost your book, so I held on to that for dear life! They had snacks with Harry Potter-esque names, and also Butterbeer (that was just a root beer float, but still good!). Eventually the small book store was jam packed with Harry Potter fans! It was amazing. They did the costume contest first. I was sure I was a shoe in! I really do think (not trying to brag…) that I had the best costume there. However, they only picked kids to be in the final. I understand why they did that, and the cute little Harry Potter that won was absolutely adorable, but I still think they should have had an Adult contest and a kids contest.

Anyway, moving on…they had other games, but again they were mostly for kids like a “Spell”ing Bee, which you’d think would imply they’d have to name spells from the book (which again, I could have totally won), but it was spelling names and places from the books.

We also took our “O.W.L.S”. We were given a sheet with numbers 1-20 and had to write down answers to the questions they read off. It was like Jeopardy. They read the answer, and we had to write the question like: This is the spell that fends off Dementors, answer: Expecto Patronum. Again, I got all the answers right, and even extra credit for knowing both names of the Gryffindor ghost, but my answer sheet did not get drawn to win. Oh well! I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to win that night. Oh well…I was still going to get my book, and that was the most exciting thing!

It came time to draw the names for the winners of the scavenger hunt. They would choose one kid, and one adult – at least I had a fighting chance in that one! The prize was amazing: a bag that was designed with the cover of the new Harry Potter book! They brought out that bag and I wanted it SO BAD!! It was amazing! It was also filled with things donated from the surrounding stores that were supporting the Harry Potter night ‘o fun (as I like to call it). First they read the kids name. I REALLY wanted that bag, but I decided to turn away, because I knew it wouldn’t be mine. I did not want to get my hopes up. Then, this is what happened next (note: my thoughts are in the parentheses). “Okay, and our adult gift bag winner is: Meggon (Oh!!!) Mae (NO WAY) Thornburgh (THAT’S ME!)” I was so excited, I pretty much screamed “That’s ME!!” and ran up to the stage in shock! “I can’t believe I won!!!!” I bounced all the way back down!!!! The prizes in side were really cool, but if I had only won the bag, I would have still freaked out. It is the coolest thing – ever!!! Inside the bag were buttons, and a book and a box of soaps and lotions and two gift certificates, one for $50 to a local really nice furniture store, the other $25 to one of the very fancy local restaurants.

At about 10 to midnight, they did a “Mad-cap Re-cap” of book six, to remind any who had not recently read/re-read “Half-Blood Prince”. They had us interact with the story, making certain sounds or saying phrases when names were read (Snape – “Am I good? Am I evil?, Dumbledore – “Super Wizard!”, Harry Potter – “Our Hero”, Malfoy – “Hisssssss!”, Voldemort – “Ooooooo”). Then at 1 min, we did a count down, then it was book time! The whole place was nuts and cheering! We lined up and I got my book! It was so pretty :-D. I was so happy!!!

I wanted to get home right away and start reading, but the local ice cream shop was having buy one get one free with book #7, so we headed over to that. I got the “Butterbeer” Milk shake, which was butter pecan and cinnamon ice cream. It was really good. My friends Si and Laura got the “Felix Felicious” Sunday (peppermint ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and POP ROCKS!!) and Sherry got the “Dementor’s Kiss” Sunday (Zanzibar Chocolate ice cream, nuts, whipped cream and Red Hots). It was really fun! The local bars were also having “Butterbeer” specials, but I wanted to get home.

As soon as I was home, I started reading. I was up until about 3:30 that first night, and then went to bed. I got up in the morning, and began to read straight away. I took lunch and supper breaks, but that was about it, and finished it at 3:15 am. I loved that book. I will re-read it. I’m so sad that there will be no more Harry Potter books. I still have 2 more movies to look forward too, which is great, but there is just something about the books that is so much more exciting! I will always love Harry Potter, and thank you so much to the brilliance of J.K. Rowling for creating this wonderful magical world for me to slip into and be an observer and lover of! If you have not finished your book yet, happy reading and enjoy! If you have, re-read it! I guarantee that we will pick up something we missed before!



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