Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Day at Hogwarts - The Beginning

 Harry Potter Birthday Party
12 years old

 Codster was Olivander's apprentice.  Olivander had to miss the event unfortunately.  Many of the professors, etc couldn't be there because it was still summer break while we held this special session for the first year students.  Codster assisted these young witches and wizards in helping them find the perfect wand.  According to Olivander, the "wand chooses the wizard", so after a wizard (will just say this instead of both witch and wizard to make typing faster) picked up a wand they were to swish and flick and then say an animal.  If it caused the apprentice to act like that animal then it was their want, if not they needed to choose a different want.   [side note:  Travis - my wonderful brother willingly made 20 wands for us.  These were extremely popular, even with the adults.  The parents were asking where I ordered them so that they could get online and order some.  Thanks a million Travis.  They were some of the most popular items at the party!!!!]

 Miss A was the youngest student.  She even got into the act.  She took her wand and swished it around while chanting something.  Still haven't figured out the spells that she was trying to do, but whatever they were, they made her happy - at the beginning and then after the sorting it put her to sleep until the party was over.  She slept through all the noise, even playing quidditch outside the window in which her head was next to.  Several people even went in and out of the bathroom because the upstairs bathroom was out of order due to Moaning Myrtle (story to follow later).  I need to learn her spells so that I can't get the others to go to sleep and sleep that well. :)

 Krissy loved her hat, wand and gown.  The gowns that the girls wore were the graduation gowns that Grandma Lovell made for the boys when Brett and I graduated from the University of Idaho.  Glad they were still around because they were a hit.  Krissy was a trooper and made it through all of the classes and did well in each of them.  When it got to the quidditch game though, she was pooped and so came in and helped us make the rest of the candy for Honeydukes.

 It was quite the sight to see all of the kids dressed up in black and white.  One mom commented that it was a wonderful thing for the kids to get dressed up in Sunday clothes and not complain, but actually be excited to wear them.  The kids loved being dressed up, that is until the temperatures reached 94 and then the capes and robes started coming off.

 When we heard the train whistle (imaginary), we all headed to platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross station.  They all had to go through the barrier to get to the platform.  Unfortunately, Codster tried to go through barrier before the charm was lifted and ran right into the hard barrier (the door).  We immediately lifted the charm and they all went through at a pretty quick pace.  That was a good thing the charm was lifted because I don't think that Weasley's flying car could have fit us all in.

 Here is a picture of the barrier.  If you click on the picture you will be able to see our platform 9 3/4 sign better.

 Once we got from the train station and into Hogwarts, the sorting began.  Brando was the Head Boy and in charge of the Ravenclaw house.  Codster was the Gryffindor prefect.  They were the only ones that didn't need to be sorted, but everybody else got to put the sorting hat on and find out which house they would belong in - Ravenclaw and Gryffindor.  Slicer ended up in Ravenclaw.

 Krissy was excited to be part of Gryffindor.

Camra also was proud to be part of the Gryffindor house.

Before I could call the next student, Miss A was crawling up onto the stool so she could be part of the sorting.  The sorting hat was so big it covered her whole head and so she pulled it off and then reached for the bowl to find out which house she would be part of - Gryffindor really liked our girls.

P.S.  I was Professor McGonigall.  I had to use my witches hat for the sorting hat because Dumbledore was still on summer holiday and he had sealed up his office pretty tight.  Therefore I wasn't able to get actually sorting hat.  This is also the reason for having to draw the houses, my hat just doesn't carry the same magic as the original sorting hat.

Hogwarts Classes

  Each of the houses, once they were sorted, were able get their house ties.  This was the tie for Gryffindor.  Some of the boys were really taken with them and was hoping to be able to wear them to church tomorrow.  They even tried to persuade their moms that it looked realistic when they saw some pictures.  We just didn't think that the bishop would go for new deacons passing the sacrament in paper Harry Potter ties.  Even if one of the boys was the bishop's son. :)  Now onto the classes!!!

Transfiguration Class

I invited a special guest to substitute for 'my class' of transfiguration.  This young man came dressed up as Draco Malfoy because he has the hair for the character.  But he also has glasses and ended up in Gryffindor house - so I told him that he was a mixture of Harry and Draco.  As I was typing, I had to chuckle because his real life initials are HP.  Back to transfiguration, HP has a wonderful knack of taking a piece of paper an making art out of it.  Therefore, I let him use his talents of the muggle art of transfiguration (origami) and teach it to the rest of us.  He taught how to make a mouth with lips.  They were awesome.  You pull the sides and they open and close like a real mouth.  It even looks more realistic because of the lips.  Everybody loved it.  Glad he was the substitute.

Care of Magical Creatures
 Today in Care of Magical Creatures, since the true caretaker Hagrid was still on summer holiday, we let the kids use their imagination and create a creature.  They could come up with something of their own creation or do something that already exists.  They could just start making it with the play dough or they could draw it out and then use their blueprints to make their creature.  I will have to ask Brando again what his creation was.  He was pretty proud of it.

Krissy, Camra and Slicer were all set on making unicorns.  That is obviously their favorite magical creature.
 Codster decided to do a bascalist (Tianna - feel free to correct any of my misspellings from Harry Potter.  I listened to the books instead of read them so Tianna helps me learn how to spell what I have heard.  Aren't sisters great.)

  Here is Brando drawing out his creature.  In the back is an exchange student named Yu (sounds like 'you' and so many people get confused when you say his name - no pun intended.)

 The kids all had fun making their creatures.


 We took ordinary water, glue, borax and coloring and made and extraordinary substance called Flubber.  It is the funnest gooey stuff to play with.  Snape wasn't here, so we had the heads of the houses in charge of the directions and have each person do a step.  Isn't that how Snape teaches anyway, puts the directions on the board and tells them to make the potion.  We did it different and let them work together in their houses.  They all received top grades in the class for the day.  Good thing for substitutes once in a while, they are nicer.

 As with any potion - make sure you put in the correct measurements of each of the ingredients to make it turn out correctly.  Here I am helping Gryffindor house to get the right amount of water.

 JR was not sure of the feel of the Flubber on his hands, but I do know that in the end, they all made sure that Flubber made it home with them.
 There were all multiple hands kneading the mixture.  This is an awesome, almost instant potion experiment.  They get to see the final results in minutes and they get to play with it over and over and over again.

Herbology and Charms
 In herbology we were going to plant some seeds.  As the greenhouse was being cleaned out we found some seeds.  They were in an unmarked bag and we couldn't get a hold of Professor Sprout to find out what they were, so we decided to combine two classes.  We would plant the seeds for herbology and then we would learn a new charm for charms class to help it grow.

 I was so glad that the students were so attentive.  They obviously want to learn despite the lack of ability at times to put complete focus on the instructor.  It is always nice to know that they are interested in what you have to say.

 Even the young ones can pay attention when they want to do so.

They planted their seeds and then the trays from each house were placed in the greenhouse.  We surrounded the greenhouse and I taught them a new charm.  We wanted the plants to grow, but because of the unknown nature of the seeds that we were using, we didn't want them to grow too fast for fear that they may take over the greenhouse before we could do anything with them.  So I taught them a slow growing charm - Engorgio Lentatum.  This allows them to grow at a medium rate - somewhere between instant and normal growth.  The growth slows down to a normal growth once it touched by human hands.  We left them and went onto other classes while the charm worked it's magic.

Muggle Studies

 Today's topic for Muggle Studies is 'How do muggles celebrate their birthdays?"  We took each section and talked about what they do and why.  We first lit the candles and asked how many of them knew the muggle birthday song and then we sang it.  Brando didn't immediately blow out the candles, so I asked them what muggles do before they blow out their candles - make a wish.  Brando just grinned and sat their for a few minutes longer.  All of a sudden the candles went out (thanks to an unknown helper) just as Brando sucked in some air to blow them out.  They all started laughing and said the candles went out because of magic.

 From the moment that we started talking about a Harry Potter birthday party, Brando wanted a snitch cake.  The cake was made on Wednesday, or something like that, but did not get frosted until today.  Because of Moaning Myrtle, she caused problems with the plumbing in the toilet upstairs and so the water had to be shut off, I was not able to have water to make the frosting or clean up.  I was so frustrated.  I ended up calling a friend that was away on vacation for a shoulder to cry on and she told me to run up to her place and get some store bought frosting.  I was so glad that I talked to someone that wasn't in the middle of the stress to help me think outside the box. Who would have thought of going to the store (or someone's home) to get all-ready made frosting?  I sure didn't.  I just always make the frosting and so that was the only thing on my mind.  Oh the joys of modern conveniences!!!  So here is Brando's lemon flavored Snitch.  Isn't it wonderful that the frosting even came in yellow color so that I didn't have to worry about coloring it also. :)

There was one more tradition that we had to tell everybody about - that nobody gets to start eating the cake until the birthday person took their first bite.  These kids took a little farther and said he had to swallow it, get it down to the stomach, digest it and then you can figure out what came next.  We stuck with the first - taking a bite.  The cake was devoured by all.  Yummy cake, even with store bought frosting.

 Next came the opening of the presents.  HP (from an earlier post) used his origami skills to make this awesome decoration and a spikey ball.  HP and his sister IP also gave him a Harry Potter notebook and the game Word on the Street.  That was an awesome game.  Brett played it several times and liked it.  Yeah - we found a game that Dad likes. JR gave him an owl kite and a bubble wand.  BE gave him some MRE's (Military Ration Food that is dehydrated).  KR and DR will be picking him up the game Harry Potter Clue when they go to Bend this next week.  Imagine that - Our small town in the middle of nowhere doesn't carry it.

 We gave him a BSA scout belt.  He has been wanting one for a year now and had even held this particular belt in his hands at Scout Camp, trying to decide if he wanted to buy it or not.  Dad solved that problem by buying the only small size available and so he couldn't buy it and spent his money on something else.

KR is such a clown.  He was really sad when an invisible wizard held him at wand point.  HEHE!!!  His mom said they could make lots of money with all his ingenious ways to entertain people.

What is Hogwarts without a Quidditch Match?

 Get ready! Get set! Go!!!!  The funnest part for the kids was the quidditch game.  I had a wonderful friend who was willing to come and be the referee for the game. She even came dressed up and claimed to be Madam Hootch - the official referee in Harry Potter. She is an avid Harry Potter fan and so she was quite familiar with the rules already.  I just sent her a few sites that have rules for the muggle version and she jumped into character and had a grand time.

 Slicer was really bummed when the captain didn't choose him to be the seeker.  I know his personality, so I suggested that he be the beater.  That way he could throw the balls at other people.  He livened up and with a mischievous grin on his face and agreed that this would be an okay position.

 As you can see - it didn't take long for him to get into what he needed to do.  Problem is that he fell off his broom.  I am not sure where it was at. 

 Just like the games in the book - there was some wild moments.  As you can see here, Brando and DR has KR in a hold trying to get the quaffle.  Wait a minute - that is Slicer's broom between Brando's legs.  How did that happen?  Now we know why Slicer didn't have his broom - but now the question is where did Brando's broom go?

 HP took his turn as seeker.  Here he is trying to find the snitch.  The snitch was a little golden bouncy ball.  It was placed somewhere before the initial tip-off and it took them a while to find it.  It is amazing how a little yellow ball can hide itself, even amongst the grass.

 It was great fun to see all the kids running around on their brooms.  Even the Japanese exchange student caught on quickly and had a blast.

 What a great picture of Brando.  He was very intense and it was great to seem him getting out and playing hard with the rest of his friends.

 It was a great workout for all of them, as the temperatures kept rising and they had just left the air conditioning, so the shock was there.  They ran and ran and ran. 

 Once the party was over and the adults stood around and talked - they went back to playing quidditch.  They are now asking to play it once a week.

Maybe we should come up with some better goals and make a quidditch league next summer to give the kids something to do during the summer that if fun and different from the rest of the typical sports.

Hogsmeade/Honeydukes and Greenhouse Surprise

 Here is the spread from Honeydukes.  If you can't tell by the look on KR's face - they were astounded by the spread of goodies that laid before them.

They had neon lights above their heads blinking "SUGAR!!! SUGAR!!!"  And wondering how much they could eat before somebody stopped them.  It was definitely a feast for them.

 Licorice Wands - The Magic is in the Eating. 

Snitch pops (cake pops)  Catch and Eat (if you can)!!!  They loved these.
 Acid Pops - Eat at your own risk.
  Chocolate Cauldrons - The Delectable Taste of Chocolate
 They ate and ate and ate some more.  Just looking at them, at least for me, was enough.  I could feel the sugar pumping through my body and the headache it would bring afterwards.  Oh to be a child again and have the freedoms of enjoyment without the body protesting.

 At least Slicer was willing to grab the paper towels and attempt to clean up the mess that has become a trademark for him.  Food on the face.  We all know that he enjoys his food.

The best part was them making their final trip to the greenhouse.  The looks on their faces when the heads of the houses brought a tray full of plants out.  They got so excited when they saw their names on the pots, in their hand writing and knowing that all they did was plant a seed and cast a charm.  Some would give me winks, others with shocked faces wondering how the magic really worked.  My kids quizzed me all night trying to figure out how it worked.  Codster even cast the charm again, put it on the table, pulled out a strand and marked, on a paper, how long it was.  He then went shopping with Dad and when he came back he checked to see if it had grown.  It had, much to our surprise, about 1/2 inch.  We didn't know that he had done that, but it was fun to see the excitement on his face.  I so wish that we would have remembered to get pictures of the kids when they got their plants, but we were enjoying watching them so much that we forgot.
It was an awesome party that was enjoyed as much by the adults (even though it was lots of work) as it was by the kids.  I guess in a different way.  We loved watching the excitement and thrills of the kids while the kids loved the learning and experimenting.   Thank you J.K. Rowling for the fun books.  Thank you Travis for the wands.  Thank you Tianna for the ideas,websites and continued knowledge and memory of the books.  Thank you to the mom's that helped the day of the party.  Thank you Brett for the support and patience while I was pulling this party together.  Thank you Brando and Codster for reading the books and finally helping me to experience a taste of Harry Potter.  Thank you unknown web writers for your ideas in past Harry Potter parties and information.  None of this could have been pulled off without the help of all the above and many more!!!

Don't you just love magic and the mysteries of Hogwarts!!!