I grew up reading the Harry Potter books.
In a way, I learned how to read through the series. I was Hermione for Halloween at least three times in elementary school; I owned a potions-making kit when I was seven and used to listen to the books on tape to help me fall asleep.
I eventually started to develop a British accent, so those tapes were taken away from me.
Though my initial overt obsession with the series has faded, when I heard about Black Cat’s “Muggle Mondays,” a series of weekly ventures that would involve butterbeer and Harry Potter movies, I couldn’t help but be extremely excited.
I headed to 14th Street last night, expecting the energy and dorky exuberance only real Harry Potter fans can bring. Butterbeer would be flowing from goblets. People would be dressed up in wizard robes and the staff would be wearing hats. Maybe, they had even hired someone who looked like Hagrid—the options were endless and I expected them all.
Strike 1: The time posted on the website was wrong. Black Cat was not open and bubbling with a magical aura when I arrived—it was closed. For another two hours. One lone Harry Potter fan stood outside the dark entrance. After standing outside the entrance for a good minute, clearly troubled and confused, she realized the time change. Sadly, she sulked away.
But the closed gates were clearly just like the bricks of Diagon Alley, right? They were ready to break apart at any given second, if only for the true fans who stuck out the promise of the wizarding world. I’m not sure if that poor girl ever made it back there, but regardless, I stayed.
When Muggle Monday finally commenced, I made my way into the dimly lit bar. Two other people (who were not wizards, and were not even trying to be) were sitting there, drinking an extra foamy beer that looked exceedingly average.
Strike 2: Butterbeer stood at a hefty $9 a glass. Liquid Luck shots stood at $5, and there was no sign of what good fortune that could bring.
It was a good attempt. But not good enough to get me to try one.
A single bartender manned the back, who pointed me to a room behind him.
Strike 3: Inside, about ten people were sitting in fold-up chairs, watching Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in complete darkness.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the scene I pictured. Come on, DC…Where are all the Harry Potter zealots? Where is your nostalgia? Where’s your desire to discuss whether or not Dumbledore was really gay, or if Anthony Goldstein, of Ravenclaw, is Jewish? Tell me how Sirius Black was your favorite character. Or better yet, let’s cry about Tonks and Lupin’s tragic death. ANYTHING. Please!
Is the Harry Potter mania fading fast? Or are we too strung up with everything else to relive a few childhood memories? Needless to say, I think JK Rowling would be disappointed in us all.