On the night of July 21st, many witches and wizards gathered at their local pub, The George and Dragon, to discuss a novel that they had read together….or more importantly in many cases, did not read together. All former houses had representatives at this gathering and only 4 had read The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Those four souls were at a table together to discuss the book and pose questions in regards to it. However, the rest of those fine patrons, this author included, spent the night indulging in the local inebriating beverages, telling stories of years past. All of this was done of course while putting together a rather intriguing game that most of them would play together eleven days later at one of the largest gathering of witches and wizards in the United States, but that will be a time for another post.
However, before the groups broke off many of us told tales of where we were seven years prior, to when the final novel of the series that brought us all together, was brought to shelves. I myself was in a full Luna Lovegood costume at my local Books-A-Million for the midnight release party. I had made earrings out of real radishes, and taken over 20 Sobe drink caps, painted them black and then put gold BB’s on their lids to create my vision of her “Butterbeer cap necklace” as we had yet to see the beautiful Evanna Lynch take the screen as my favorite Ravenclaw. Others had to wait until the next morning to acquire the book, and some, like me, had been at their local release parties. One even had yet to get into the series at that point, yet this fandom which we all call home is so large and welcoming that it matters little as to when you join it, one shall always be welcomed.
Back at our local pub, many of the witches and wizards in attendance seemed to prefer the British imported beverages, while a select few preferred more home based liquid courage. We became a fine oiled machine of paper, scissors, glue, pens and temporary tattoos. The night was filled with fried foods, and a lively discussion focused around a certain Boy Wizard and the world he introduced to us all. Tales of visits to Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade along with their most recent trips on the Hogwarts Express left the lips of many in attendance while a local Gryffindor became the procurer of many pieces of memorabilia for those who had not made it to the most recent Grand Opening. Plans were finalized for the gathering in less than two weeks at the large convention and it was only a few short hours that kept our gathering together. While many of us did not actually read the book, getting together with our fellow housemates, former students, friends, was what mattered to us, it was what mattered to me.
I’m always happiest on nights I get to spend with the Central Florida Slug Club, and I cannot wait to join them all at Leaky Con 2014 in less than a week. They are my Potter people, my Potter family, my friends.