On a July day, exactly two years ago, the 7th Harry Potter book came out.
It was pretty much the best day in my adult life.
Top to bottom, it was gangbusters.
I woke up early on a hot Friday morning and thought, this is it. by this time tomorrow I'll have the book, and I'll know how it ends.
James and I walkran to the Barnes and Noble for the wristbands that guaranteed us entrance at midnight. While standing in line, speculation about the outcome of the book flew fast and thick. I nearly got into a fistfight with a guy who swore that Harry Potter would die at the end.
We meet up with Annie, and went to Diagon Alley, set up behind the Scholastic store in Soho.
Jack was pretty excited.
Needless to say, so were we.
There were people dressed as witches and wizards; whole families even.
Ever wonder what I look like totally and completely happy?
Here it is:
We met up with my friend Lauren, dropped Jack off with Ben, and headed back to Harry Potter Place. The picture above is me in front of the Womping Willow. They also had a Muggle Wall, pictured at the top of this post, where we could write messages.
I wrote, "Harry Potter is legit lit", and James wrote, "Sirus Black is coming back". I don't think either of us meant to rhyme.
The message pictured (Trust Snape) was my very favorite.
They had a Pensive, with the 6 books placed in semi-circle around the 7th, which was open to the title page. You can't image how people crowded around for a look at that page. It was all under glass.
Diagon Alley had face painting and a place where you could make your own wand. We (seriously) considered it, but, in the end, kept a move on.
We headed to the Cowgirl. The three of us, Annie, Lauren, I talked Harry Potter hard and fast all through dinner.
James just basked in the nerdery. It's his forte.
We took the train back to Brooklyn. We were running later than we'd expected, and there was a rumor going around that they weren't letting people into the bookstore after 11:45, so we ran up 7th Ave. Annie was preggers with Lila, and she ran like an Olympian.
We made it in, and in a crowing moment, were reverently handed our books. We left the store, and the streets of Park Slope were near bedlam. People--adults, children, teenagers--roamed, books in hands, talking and laughing, standing on streetcorners in lamplight, reading.
I know I run the risk of sounding completely overdramatic, but this night was ineffable.
For days after, I'd board a train and sit down next to someone reading the book. I'd notice what part they were on, and we'd exchange a smile, or a few words. There are very few things big enough to make New Yorkers interested in each other. This was big enough. End of story.
I read my book on Saturday, July 22nd. I started in the morning, and was done by evening. I left the house once.
I loved it, but, like a lot of things, the thing itself was nearly overshadowed by the build up. But, it was worth, worth, worth it.
I considered getting this 7 tattooed permanently, but decided to wait, to see if the mania passed.