The Scar: A Harry Potter Alternate Universe

Harry Potter has been part of my life for 17 years. Interesting how numbers can be important. A witch or wizard comes of age at 17.

 

And after 17 years of Harry Potter, yesterday I realized that my son is exactly the age Harry was when Lily and James died.

 

This got me thinking, once more, about all the things that scare me about parenthood, primarily, What would happen to my baby if something happened to me and Nic?  

 

I envisioned the scene at Godric’s Hollow. Voldemort walking through the broken Fidelius Charm and into the Potter’s home. I saw Lily pick up toddler Harry and race up the stairs as James tried to hold Voldemort off without his wand.

I grabbed my light-up holly and phoenix feather wand and carried it with me all day, even inside my oversized handbag while out shopping at the grocery store with C, even knowing it’s a kid’s toy, containing two aaa batteries, instead of being made of willow, or being good for charm work. Not exactly a match for a dark wizard’s unforgivable curses. It was a psychological security measure.

 

I thought about what would happen . . . like, even if a dark wizard didn’t show up, what if . . .

 

What if there really had been a car crash like Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon had always told Harry that Lily and James had died in?

 

I thought about my sister, and how, thankfully, she’s about as unDursleyish as I am. Though she’s got two kids of her own, I know that she would do her best to take good care of my baby, raise him like her own, give him everything she could and make sure he knows he is deeply loved by his whole family.

 

So, what if that had been the case with Harry? What if his aunt and uncle had cared more?

 

What if Harry ‘s cool aunt & uncle had raised him on elaborate tales of magical heritage and a narrow escape from an evil dark wizard after his parents died . . . in a car crash.

 

The perfect opposite of what happened in the series. Harry as an ordinary boy whose loving aunt and uncle told him bedtime stories about a wizarding world to cheer him up as he grew up parentless?

 

I discussed this with my sister all afternoon.

 

If anything happens to me and Nic, Bettie and Oslowe know what to do.

 

And now, without further ado, my rewrite of an excerpt from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

 

Chapter One. The Boy Who Lived.

Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number 4 Privet Drive, were perfectly normal, if normal were a thing that actually existed. They were above average people who might be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they were fascinated by that sort of thing.

. . . Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley’s sister, but they hadn’t met for several years, because the country was just too big and neither of them had the budget for regular visits.

. . . When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the bright, cloudless Tuesday our story starts, there was nothing about the blue sky outside to suggest that a profoundly personal tragedy would soon be gripping news readers all over the country.

. . .

Chapter Two.

Nearly ten years had passed since the Dursleys had been woken by the police bringing their nephew up the front step, but Privet Drive had hardly changed at all.

. . . Only the photographs on the mantlepiece really showed how much time had passed. Ten years ago, there had been lots of pictures of what looked like a large pink beach ball wearing different-coloured bobble hats – but Dudley Dursley was no longer a baby, and now the photographs showed a large, blond boy riding his first bicycle, beside his dark haired cousin, both grinning with matching ripped trouser knees from where they’d fallen one after another around the same corner as they learned how to ride. There was no sign that the second boy hadn’t always lived there.

Harry Potter was asleep at the moment, but not for long. His Aunt Petunia was awake and it was her voice which made the first sound of the day.

“Up, boys! Get up!”

Harry woke with a start. His aunt knocked on the door again.

“Come on, get up!”

Harry heard her walking down the stairs and towards the kitchen, and then the sound of the frying pan being put on the cooker. He rolled on to his back and tried to remember the dream he had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a huge fire engine in it. He had a funny feeling he’d had the same dream before.

 

. . . Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. . . He had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair and bright-green eyes. He wore round glasses. The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead which was shaped like a bolt of lightning. He had had it as long as he could remember and the first question he could ever remember asking his Aunt Petunia was how he had got it.

“In the attack by the dark wizard Voldemort when your parents were killed,” she had said. “I’m sure you’ll have lots of questions.” And she hugged him.

 

 

 

 

Rewritten from:
Rowling, J.K.. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 1997. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

 

 

 

I’ve made mousse au chocolat, so if you’re feeling at all the way I am, come over and have some. Professor R.J. Lupin had it right, you know.

Tales from the Costume Shop Fairy

I have so much to say about costuming. Like, so much. It’s hard to know where to start. Or, I guess to be more accurate, it’s hard to know where to stop. And I’m gonna do it with the use of a lot of pictures.

I started playing dress up as soon as I could make decisions about clothes. My sisters and I had a pair of trunks in the hallway between our rooms filled with pieces of clothing, costumes, crinolines, funny shoes, scarves . . . Stuff found at yard sales, the library fair, or that our parents made for us.

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Gypsies. Me and a supportive friend on a very depressed Halloween in the early 90s. Photo by Lou Barranti.

I LOVE to dress up. And not, like, formal wear. I mean, I love formal wear. It’s just that I can’t keep it on for more than two hours at a time before I’m totally sick of it and want to go find a pair of yoga pants to wear instead.

(Our wedding was the sole exception.)

Take our formal New Year’s Ebony & Ivory party this winter. For instance:

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New Year’s Soiree

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Hostess’ Privilege

These photos were taken a couple hours apart at our house. At the beginning and in the middle of our New Year’s Soiree. Cuz we love dressing up. For a very limited amount of time. That’s my husband all classed up in a tux shirt. With jeans and a hoodie. Hey, at least we kept the color theme!

Still, I do love dressing up. And I always have.

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Dorothy Gale from Kansas

Whether as my favourite movie character or a beloved character in one (or seven) of a hundred favourite books,

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Nymphadora Tonks playing Guitar Hero. Halloween 2007

Or because we were learning how to sword fight and needed to wear spiffy (and not so spiffy) armor,

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Gunther & Ginny. Fighter Practice.

I have always loved dressing up.

So much in fact that despite everyone’s assumptions (including mine) that I would choreograph a dance work for my senior thesis project in college, I chose instead to design costumes for a non-existent production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (to date, still my favourite play, and probably my best sketches as well).

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“Was it for this?”

I learned a lot during that project, though I’m not sure it all came out in the final product as much as it sank into my deepest thoughts on clothing and society.

During one meeting, Robert, my thesis adviser – a justifiably pompous designer who had previously taught a workshop during which I cursed his very existence on a regular basis – told me something very very important that reflected what every PART professor had ever tried to instill in us: The concept of CHOICE.

Every single one of us is dressing for a show every day. Every single one of us is making choices about how we portray ourselves to the greater world. Every Day. With Every Choice. We present to the world a very specific vision of ourselves.

It is a choice to spend forty-five minutes styling one’s hair. It is a choice to put on a freshly pressed suit shirt and tie or to stay in your pajamas (guess which I chose today). It is a choice to grab a pair of unmatched socks out of the basket of unfolded laundry (clean or otherwise). It is a choice. A choice of how we present ourselves – the version of us we show the world. No matter how simple or prolonged the decision, every single day, we are presenting ourselves to the world through choice, even if we think that presentation is really only for ourselves. Everything we do on a daily basis, innocuous as it may seem, is still a choice that reflects back upon ourselves (with or without judgement).

I have, therefore, Costumed Myself in a number of different Unacknowledged Productions throughout my life.  Some more obviously fictitious, and many a bit more historical. I was a theatre and dance major in college, and have always loved theatre in some way. I also, I’m sure you’ve noticed, have a propensity for re-enactment and historic recreation.

I started reenactments young.

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My First Ren Faire Dress. Courtesy of Mom’s Costume Wardrobe (tm).

The taste for Medievalist & Renaissance learning and recreation has stayed with me for decades. (Check out my Medievalist Blog The C is for Creative in which I go into more detail about that particular hobby.) I have played with the Society for Creative Anachronism in five different Kingdoms, and worn garb borrowed from friends and relatives, made for me (by same), and, more recently, increasing numbers of ensembles I have created for myself, such as the following:

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Pelicon Style Overdress. The very first gowns I ever made completely by myself. (Left sleeve tied out of the way of bow string). Georgia, 2005ish

I eventually found a style that resonated more.

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Nearly Heraldic Particolored Cote. (Missing the Counterchanged Swan) Photo by Lou Barranti, 2006

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same dress, at Pennsic, still not fitted quite right. photo probably taken by Rachel Rosado.

And dabbled in different activities.

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Fencing Jacket. Fully functional.

And delighted in new styles for themed events.

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Full Norse for Baronial Procession. War of the Wings, North Carolina

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Byzantinesque. For Coronation of Val & Arielle.

I have also made garb for other people.

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Coptic uniform for guards at Coronation of Val & Arielle, with rendering provided.

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Finished Coptic uniform for guards at Coronation of Val & Arielle.

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AEthelmearc Crown Tourney

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Harvest Raid 2014

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Harvest Raid 2012

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Ice Dragon

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He extolled a passion for cloaks coming back into vogue, so I made him one for our first Xmas together.

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Norse Set. For Sister, Nephew, Dolly

I didn’t stop there, of course. I have a love for the subcultural style of Steampunk, which I discovered by accident while searching Flickr for something unrelated, and completely forgotten, back in 2008 or so. I started creating my own steampunk wardrobe which naturally took on a rather bookish theme.

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GOGGLES OF FAME (+10) Carolina Ren Fest Photo by Lydia Towery

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The Librarian photo by Lou Barranti, who insists on noting that I did all my own styling, as he is a more naturalist photog. Who would probably hate being called a photog.

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Gloves made by noirknits

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Because Steampunk Hermione is the Best.

Halloween Parties? Always Themed. In 2013 we had a wedding instead, but here are images of the costumes I made for our parties in 2012 (Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass) and 2014 (Wizards, Warriors, and a Word from Our Sponsor):

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The Queen of Hearts & Alice Through the Looking Glass, complete with Pepper the Pig. (I really wanted cap sleeves but ran out of time and patience.)

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Danny Vasquez & Beth Tezuka from Bravest Warriors. Costumes mostly from found clothing, pieces together, stitched up, decorated, and worn with great style and enthusiasm.

Remember what I was saying about Robert’s amazing pronouncement about clothes and choice in Everyday Life? Thinking about it I decided to include here some examples of how I costumed my every day life, most of the time without even realizing it.

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Vintage among my Popular New Style clad classmates, 10th Reunion, Class of 99.

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Goofing off at Pop Killer in Los Feliz, 2011

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A confidently stylish & self possessed me. First date. 2011. Photo by the (now) Mister.

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Them: Why aren’t you wearing a dress? Me: I don’t wear dresses. Them: It’s the SEMI-FORMAL, You have to wear a dress! Me: Fine! Here’s your fucking dress! Main, 2nd Floor, on way to Wells College Semi-Formal, December 2001.

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Emergency Adventure 2012. Sometimes you just gotta grab a scarf and hat and hit the road.

If this last photo isn’t a solid piece of proof of my love of dress up combined perfectly with what Robert told me all those years ago, I don’t know what is.

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Sometimes You gotta Be Your Own Hero. Tonksified KJ, Fountain Inn, SC, 2008 (featuring costumed images from Wells Dance Department, 2004 & Ulster Ballet Co, c. 1993)

Every day I’m making choices about how I dress and pretty much every one of those days I’m also plotting our next theme party. Whether it’s going to be a 1920s birthday speakeasy next month . . . Or a Lord of the Rings Halloween gathering next October . . . Or a party with costumes based on paintings or other works of art . . .  Or the Old West . . . Or Doctor Who . . . Or . . .

Gah, I gotta go write down some of these ideas!

How are you dressed up today?

SUPER BOWL SUNDAY

Today’s Schedule:

Sleep in.

Brush teeth.

Stay in PJs.

Walk Dog.

Eat bagel with old Manhattan deli amount of cream cheese.

Drink coffee with all-the-creamer.

Sit on butt in living room playing LEGO Harry Potter from the very beginning and seeing how far I can get in one day.

Have Tea.

Eat super bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Keep playing.

Eventually have pizza and cherry coke.

Maybe watch some Bones.

Live Happily Ever After.

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Saving Quidditch

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Another cuppa?

Monday = Snape

My sanity level dissolves when I have an Extra Sunday and my husband does not:

 

Say you’re ill!

Pretend to break your leg!

Really break your leg!

 

 

 

(-Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling)

The Aftermath

Rarely have I wished so heartily as I did this morning to have been wearing my Wellingtons. As I walked the dog, gingerly stepping amidst the gauntlet of slugs that my street has become in the wake of last night’s gorgeous rain storm, flip flops just seemed incredibly inadequate.

 

The song of the morning as I whinge is the imagined voice (or at any rate the Stephen Fry rendition) of the little kid at the Quidditch World Cup campground saying to his mother, ‘You bust slug! You bust slug!’ Only, I, very fortunately, seem to have escaped that fate, though only just.

 

Good god, they are everywhere.

Almost Ours

We’re supposed to move this week. And waiting to is kind of a bitch.

My husband and I just bought a house in a quiet neighborhood in our home town. I say bought. The paperwork is all done. But the house isn’t ours yet. We haven’t gotten word on everything being clear, but it seems we are quite close. But, there’s almost always some delay on a closing. We’re hoping that everything goes through sooner, but there’s no way of knowing. So, we wait.

I’m home from work today so I could get my car inspected (pass!) and do some laundry (can’t wait for it to be in our own space!) and put a few more things in boxes. But of course, I’d love to be writing and checking in with my interwebs. This can be very distracting. So, I’ve turned off Twitter and Facebook so I can focus. And turned up the volume on my Pandora station for inspiration.

And now, I shall . . . procrastipack.

Where are those house elves I hired?

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Maybe I should have another cup of tea . . .

Some Things You Don’t Need to Know About Me

but, I am going to tell you anyway.

1. I don’t like Spam. I mean, seriously, who does? Apart from Monty Python?

2. I quote Harry Potter frequently. Seriously. Siriusly.

3. I live in the South. I am from the North. You figure out if this gets weird sometimes.

4. I am a part time actor. I have a degree in it. I recently performed in a Shakespeare play outdoors.  It was quite brilliant.

5. I am a massage and bodywork therapist. Licensed in the state of South Carolina for over a year now. I get alphabet soup at the end of my name now! LMBT.

6. I have been on the bridge of the Enterprise D.

7. I am on Twitter.  My entries are all locked.  You have to be my friend to see them.  Why?  Because I don’t like stalkers.  That’s why I started this Public blog . . .

Riiiight, so . . .

Welcome to the Crimes of Poisson!

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