The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 3, 2007

Features

Harry Potter magic transforms Gleason Library

You could feel the anticipation among the costumed volunteers. You could also hear it
Harry Potter
outside the doors of Gleason Public Library, a.k.a. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where a crowd of excited, noisy middle schoolers waited for the clock to tell the hour. On the stroke of 9 p.m. on July 20, they streamed into the library and found instead Gringott's Bank and Diagon Alley, where students at Hogwarts buy their school supplies. They collected their "money" at Gringott's, rushed to buy wands, Bertie Botts's Every-Flavor Beans, and other wizardly snacks and items and then Professor McGonagall, sometimes known as Library Director Angela Mollet, herded them all upstairs to the Great Hall (Hollis Room), to be sorted into their school houses.

Mad-Eye Moody (Jonathan Stevens) (Photo by Ellen Huber)
The Sorting Hat

Gleason Library's Sorting Hat, voiced this year in expert character by Mr. Arthur Weasley (Peter Carmichael), established the four houses, or teams, for the evening's activities: Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin and Gryffindor. Each team would participate in a number of magical activities and have the chance to win points.

Following the announcement that the house with the most points at the end of the evening would win the "House Cup" and receive the new Harry Potter books first, the newly minted Hogwarts students proceeded to classes in magic, transfiguration, choral arts, wizard trivia and treasure hunting, led by volunteers dressed as Hogwarts faculty and other characters from the books. The library came alive with the sounds of students "transfigured" into screaming mandrakes or hissing basilisks, singing "Double Trouble," Shakespeare's famous "Double, double, boil and bubble" set to music by John Williams, cheering on their houses in the trivia contests or happily shouting when they solved a clue or found a treasure in the treasure hunt. In between classes, they counted their house points over a huge cauldron full of fresh popcorn, cauldron-shaped cupcakes, chocolate frogs, licorice wands and other festive food, and butterbeer, a wizardly concoction of cream soda and butterscotch syrup.

Ravenclaw wins House Cup

The three hours of the party zoomed by as quickly as a Quidditch match, and at a quarter to midnight everyone gathered in the Great Hall for the awards ceremony. Winners of the library's writing contest (see article at right), which required entrants to write a 250- to 500-word ending of the much-anticipated final book, received new quills in recognition of their skill as authors. Certificates and prizes for a variety of "bests" went to students and adults alike. The students of
Rita Skeeter (Librarian Nancy Boutet) (Photo by Ellen Huber)
Ravenclaw House won the House Cup, and the right to be the first to receive the brand-new Harry Potter. At one minute to midnight, the countdown began, and at the witching hour, the students of Carlisle's own Hogwarts received Ordinary Wizarding Levels take-home exams (O.W.L.s), and their own copies of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Happy readers "Apparated" into the night, reading by flashlight as they walked to their parents' waiting cars.

How fortunate are we all to have been the first to read these books, which have kindled the imaginations of children and adults all over the world, and awakened and sustained the desire to read among a whole generation of children who have grown up with Harry and his friends. That is real magic.

Harry Potter Writing Contest

Carlisle Muggles and Wizards were invited to write their own ending, in 250 to 500 words, to the final Harry Potter before the book was distributed. Entries were received from children ages nine through 14, from two adults, and one entry came from an entire family.

The judges found it difficult to choose the best submission in each age group, so all J.K. Rowling wannabes were pronounced winners for their fiction at the Gleason Library party and awarded quill pens.

Here are the last few lines from the award
Anya Kaufman receives the first copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight. (Photo by Ellen Huber)
-winning entries.

· "Speaking of Apparating," said Ron, "since you decided to travel the Muggle way, we've got to be off to Heathrow or we'll end up brooming across the Atlantic."

"One last question," asked Hermione. "Will you be coaching Quiddich in the new term, Professor?"

Harry winked and nodded. "If Madam Hooch will let me. Oh, did I tell you I'm getting a new broom? Fred and George say it's the fastest one ever. They're calling it 'The Scar.'"

· All the Death Eaters vanished. "Carry me outside," croaked Harry when his friends came. They brought him outside, without a word. They set him down on the grass. "We'll miss you, Harry." Hermione's voice sounded distant. Harry strained his neck to see, one last time, the place he would always call home.

· Hagrid at the last moment landed on his motorbike next to the Portkey. "I just figur'd that you'd be wanting one final ride with me." Harry nodded, and told the other two where he was going.

He ended up as he had started: on the doorstep to his home.

This time he was surrounded by people who loved him.

It was as close to family as he'd ever had.

· Ron or Hermione or even both will die somewhere between the middle and the end. They have become rather sidekick-like recently; in the last three books there has been some kind of emotional trauma — Cedric dying, the fight at the Order of the Phoenix, Sirius's death, Dumbledore's death and the break-up with Ginny. So far all of the books have had some kind of death except the third book. Ron has served no purpose for the last couple of books except as a loyal best friend, and I think will now provide a good emotional chapter.

· [This is a written message from Hagrid.]

I guess you already heard about Ron and Hermione. Harry seems pleased too.

Oh, yeah — the teachers were so unhappy with the ministry's bungling at the school that they threatened to resign en masse unless I was appointed headmaster. I tell myself, I'll just do what Dumbledore would and it will be fine. Great man.

· After the Aurors had Apparated into Northern Albania, Ginny counted them all to make sure everyone was there.

"Harry, Ron, Luna, Seamus, Dean, and me. All right, we're all here. So, the escaped convicts are rumored to be in a small cave somewhere near here. We'll have to split up to cover more area." ...

"Well then, until next time, " Harry said. The young Aurors took their separate paths into the forest of trees.

· The day passed and the full moon had nearly set. Ron, Hermione, Neville and Ginny were tired. Tomorrow's dawn would soon be upon them. Without cover, they softly fell asleep.

That night, too tired for dreams, they lay on the grounds of Hogwarts, sustained by each other and strengthened by the love they shared for their lost friend.

Dumbledore had said years earlier that the the dead cannot come back to life. Those who spoke with Harry, grew with Harry and loved Harry knew that. They also knew, as did Dumbledore, something else. They know that deeds remain. That memory and spirit do not vanish. As the friends awake and look upon the landscape, they know that the good and the brave and the caring go on. Harry lived, saved everything that he held dear, and died. Harry continues.


2007 The Carlisle Mosquito