What better book for my first ever midnight release party than the new Harry Potter? I should thank fellow blogger Michele (@JustALilLost), whose tweets about her Slytherin outfit and matching grey lip colour made me so curious about what was going to happen at the #IndigoMidnightMagic event that I decided to attend myself. So I dug up my Slytherin necktie, invited my sister who was a fellow Harry Potter fan, and set off for what I hoped would be a fun, magical evening.
And am I ever glad I did! The entire lower level of the store was decked out with magical activities. I joined a really long line for tarot card readings (“Are you headed to Divination?” a costumed employee enquired). The waiting was at least as entertaining as the actual reading. An employee with a crystal ball asked if I wanted to test my powers of divination by reading my future in her ball. I gamely said that the crystal ball revealed a large golden owl flying quickly towards me, to which she predicted that I would soon have news of a large fortune coming my way. “This is a fun game!” she exclaimed. “I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this!” Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I loved seeing a staff member geeking out over the whole thing as much as I was!
A magician also stopped by and did some card tricks. The best part was where he had a blank deck of cards that he suddenly transformed into a real deck of cards, and then transformed again into a deck of cards with the same face on it. “You look very confuzzled by all this,” he told me. “Would you like to help with my next trick?” Of course I did! So I said a magic word and changed the colour of his handkerchief, and then he did more tricks with cards and candy, and the whole experience was just an utter delight.
My tarot card reading was a lot of fun as well, and well worth the wait. Having ascertained my financial security with the crystal ball earlier, I asked the tarot card reader to tell me about my romantic fortune. The first card he turned over meant enthusiasm, and the second card was The Lovers, so I take that as a good sign.
Behind Divination (see that crowd gathered behind the table?) was Ollivander’s Wand Shop, where the store had laid out wooden sticks with gobs of glue and a range of art supplies so you can create your own wand. That was a bit crowded and the paint took forever to try (though thankfully washed off easily), but it was well worth it and I ended up with a coppery brown wand with silvery black knobs.
And check out that Sorting Hat! Indigo had printed off Pottermore questions in a quiz format, and a costumed staff member tallied up your answers to tell you which House you’re in. I snuck a peek at the tally sheet and noted I appeared to have tied in two of the Houses, but after a few added computations, the Sorting Hat staffer declared me… a Ravenclaw!
From the tally sheet, I also found out that I scored lowest at Hufflepuff, which made me cheer and made the staffer protest that she actually liked Hufflepuff. (Again, I love how geeky the booksellers themselves are! I can only imagine how exhausting it must have been to plan and run the event, so I love that they are still big enough fans to defend the Hogwarts’ Houses.) The staffer also admitted I was really a “Raven-rin”, since I was borderline Ravenclaw and Slytherin, so my green and silver tie was appropriate.
Overall, I’m so happy that I went! I devoured the book in a single day, and it was even more amazing than I’d hoped. I will refrain from posting a full review or revealing even the most minor of plot points, partly in deference to #KeepTheSecrets and also because I recommend going in completely cold like I did. But I will say that the story is captivating, magical and moving and that reading the script made me wish I could see it live as I can just imagine how incredible some of the scenes will play out onstage.
You may also want to check out this video of the photo shoot with the original London cast of the play. The characters we knew and loved from the books have grown up, and I enjoyed having these actors in mind as I read.
Happy (magical) reading!