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The Weekend of Hardcore Harry Potter-Shaped Awesome (now with pictures yoinked from flickr)

Holy crap. Portus. It came, it was awesome, it is over now and that is the lamest thing. I'm kind of flailing about not knowing what to do with myself right now, because I don't know the next time I'll get to do something so amazing again. You know how they say "I laughed, I cried, I did something else vaguely interesting..." IT IS TRUE. The weekend was full of shittons of laughing, buckets of tears, and I got to do so much and meet so many amazing people from hogwarts_elite it was ridiculous. I never dreamed I would ever get to be part of such a big meet up, and every single one of the H_Eers I met were completely awesome.

This post is going to get stupid long, because the "weekend" actually started Wednesday night, so that's five days of nearly solid Harry Potter fandom nerding. I commited as much of it to memory as I could, because I want to post about it and remember it forever, and I know my memory is the suck. If I leave out details, they will wither away and the awesome weekend I had will just be a blip in my mind and I don't want that. I could break this up into smaller posts, but you know, you're either going to read it or you're not, and splitting it up would just make more posts for those of you who don't give a crap about Portus happenings to skim through. I will shove it behind a cut, though.

SO. This is the GIGANTIC PORTUS POST OF DOOOM. Get ready. Or go do something else. This is going to get long and nerdy.



WEDNESDAY NIGHT:

FIrst of all, pre-Portus I have not been very big in the Wizard Rock scene. I've been fascinated by Wiz Rock for friggen' ever, because come on, rock bands about Harry Potter. Anne and some of us in high school joked about starting a Wizard band, and even wrote a few songs that never actually came to fruition. But then we found out, hey, other people had the same idea and now there are six billion Wrock bands and we were not as original as we thought we were. Which makes me wonder, what the hell is it about HP that made several people all around the country go, "Hey, let's ROCK THE FUCK OUT about these damn books?" Because obviously, before it really took off, several people had the Wizard Rock idea independantly of each other. That is both crazy and awesome.

HOLY TANGENT, BATMAN. ANYWAY: I knew there were going to be Wrock bands playing at Portus, not to mention Nikki (opaleyes) and I had tickets to see the Wizard Rockumentary on Saturday. So I wanted something of a crash course in Wizard Rock. Nikki sent me an mp3 cd of Wrock bands for my birthday, which I promptly lost in the bowls of my house. But luckily she saved the day and send a few mp3s of some of the bands playing at Portus about a week before it happened.

All of this leads up to the fact that I had heard absolutely nothing from Harry and the Potters when I went to see them at the Unlimited Enthusiasm Expo Wednesday night.

Can I just say, that was the best friggen' concert I've been to in a long time?

Because it was.

Austin (dogsofeternity) was nice enough to let me drag him along. I'm sure he had no idea what I was getting him into, but he was a great sport about the whole thing and an awesome concert buddy.

Harry and the Potters were the only Wrock band at the event, but the other bands were equally nerdy, ridiculous and awesome. The awesome began with Uncle Monsterface. (I mean, COME ON, "UNCLE MONSTERFACE". There is no way they could have not been awesome, even if they'd played sedate selections from Bach, they would have been doing it under the name UNCLE FRIGGEN' MONSTERFACE.) They billed themselves as "sock puppet rock", which is completely okay by me. There were giant screens on either side of the stage, and a smaller (but still large) one on stage attached to a puppet stand. While the band played (the band consisted of two nerdy white men, one of whom wore a headband, nerd glasses, suspenders and a red t-shirt), sock puppets would occasionally appear and dance with the music. The lead singer really couldn't sing, but he made up for it with his unlimited enthusiasm.




ENTHUSIASM. (By Jackie Pants on flickr)

There were songs about D&D and Super Mario Brothers, the latter accompanied by a girl they dragged on stage actually playing Super Mario on the giant screens. Occasionally during their set, a dude wearing a paper maiche monster helmet mask thing wandered on and rocked out. This guy proceeded to rock out among the crowd during every other band's set, always in full monster gear.

After Uncle Monsterface's set was over, a dude came on announcing that there would be face paiting, temporary tattoos and ROBOT CAKE in the lobby, all provided by the Harry Potter Alliance, who were registering people to vote as part of the Wizard Rock the Vote (the fact that this exists, that I just got to type "Wizard Rock the Vote" and not be producing it purely from my imagination, is awesome to me).

The robot cake turned out to be really fucking cool. It was actually a giant rice krispie treat in the shape of a robot, decorated with smooth fondant in pastel robot colors. But the best part were the blinking, red lights it had for eyes. It really, really looked like a robot and dudes I was at a concert where they were serving cake in the shape of a robot for people who signed up to vote and HOW MANY OF YOU CAN SAY THAT. Probably not any unless you were also there.


(By Sporky McGee on flickr)

I've been registered to vote forever, so I took a piece of cake and congratulated the HP Alliance on being awesome and doing awesome things, then ran back to the stage to see the next incredible act, Math the Band.

Again with the how could this not be awesome with a name like Math the Band. Turns out they were even more awesome than I could have expected. They consisted of a chick (whom I now have the biggest girl crush on) sporting a headband, baggy t-shirt and bright blue shorts playing the keyboard and simultaneously bouncing and kicking and never not moving, a dude on the guitar, and a dude on drums whos drum set only had two pieces.

I can't remember what their songs were about, except for one, which they introduced as such: "This is a song about never cutting your hair ever." The girl said it, then the guitar dude said it. I'm pretty sure it was a song about never cutting your hair ever, but it was hard to hear the lyrics.

Every time a new song would start, Awesome Chick would announce, "It's starting!" and press some button on her keyboard, and then instantly the band would propel into motion, all of them dancing ridiculously and singing and playing amazing music.


MATH THE BAND ROCKS LIKE A HARDCORE THING. (By billellisonphotographer on flickr)

At one point during the show, one of the drummer's drums fell over. On its side. Drummer dude kept playing, leaning over to bang on the sideways drum. It was probably the most hardcore rock'n'roll thing I've ever seen at a live show.

After the song finished, Badass Chick of Hotness said, "Yeah, that's what happens when you buy your drumset for ten dollars." The crowed cheered, probably in support of rocking out on such cheap drums, and Chick yelled, "Yeah, let's hear it for ten dollars!" In a relatively short, only mildly awkward due to stalling tactics amount of time, the drums were hastily fixed with duct tape and the rocking continued through the end of their incredible set.

After their set, I hit the HP Alliance table again for some face painting and temporary tattoos. I got complimented on my Hufflepuff scarf, and I complimented the complimenter on their Ravenclaw tie (I totally want a Hufflepuff tie, you have no idea). I proceeded to get the Pi symbol stamped on my cheek in an attempt to make Jesso jealous for missing such hardcore awesome, but she never actually got to see it, so I probably failed. I also got a really nice temporary tattoo of a yin yang with fire and water in the large sections and some sort of wings or something and anyway it was cool.

Then Fishboy played, and I really don't have a lot to say on Fishboy and not because they weren't great, but because by that point I was getting pretty pumped about the Wizard Rock aspect of the show which would immediately follow their set. All I can really remember was that they were from Denton, they were just as enthusiastic and energetic as the previous acts, and at the end of their set, they played a song called "Rock For Love" (Actually, it was some albatross song, we all sang "Farewell, dear albatross, fly away home") which the entire audience sang along to, and the other bands that had played thus far came out on the stage to rock along with them. I really hope someone posted video of this on youtube, because it was amazing.

LOOK YOU GUYS THERE IS. IT IS WORTH WATCHING TOO, EVERYONE JOINS THEM ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH. SERIOUSLY. WATCH THIS.




(By Sporky McGee on flickr)

AND NOW IT IS TIME FOR THE WIZARD ROCK. Harry and the Potters totally crack my shit up. They are easily the geekiest dudes you've ever seen, dressed as HP himself, both introducing themselves as our hero: "I'm Harry Potter!" "And I'm Harry Potter!"


(By Sporky McGee on flickr)

So much nerd music. So much nerd dancing. We saved Ginny Weasley from the Basilisk, we tried not to get stuck in Hagrid's beard, we participated in Harry and Cho's really crappy date (HP: "Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned Hermione" Audience: "Why did you do that, Harry Potter?" HP: "And maybe you shouldn't have brought up Cedric Diggory" Audience: "OH NO YOU DIDN'T"), and we figured out our greatest weapon is love AND that Voldemort can't stop the rock. Somewhere during the show, various inflatible animals including a monkey and a couple of crawfish were thrown into the audience, and ended up crowd surfing around the rest of the set. One song involved Umbridge ("Oh my god you look like a frog"), complete with a friggen' UMBRIDGE SHAPED PINATA that got thrown in the crowd and pummelled to death.

THERE IS VIDEO OF THIS APPARENTLY:


They were accompanied on the drums by Ringo Weasley, "one of Ron's three-hundred and twenty-nine cousins". They played a song about how no one calls him "The Weasel" (but they should). However, Harry Potter the younger version started out the song by "accidentally" singing "You know they call him 'The Weasel'", which apparently "offended" Ringo Weasley, and so he left the stage BUT DON'T WORRY EVERYONE, they were joined on the drums by the dude from Math the Band dressed the friggen' giant squid for the song. At the end of the song, the squid left without ceremony.

"Where's he going?" Harry Potter asked.

"He has to go breathe," Harry Potter replied.

The set ended with much yelling about how Voldemort can't stop the rock and that's probably true and everything, and all of the other bands came out again to enthusiastically agree with this on stage in song form. Inflatible guitars were strummed. Texas flags were worn as capes. Dudes with paper maiche monsterfaces played inflatable trombones. Bullhorns were involved. Dancing was a must.




(Both by Sporky McGee on flickr)

The show ended in a fanfare of awesome, and as the lights came up, an announcement requested us to "please return all inflatible creatures to the stage".

Guys, if I had had a hundred bucks or so? I would have purchased everything on the merchandise table. Luckily for my bank account, I had spent all of my cash on tickets and water. So instead I just hollered at the chick from Math the Band that she was my new favorite person ("Hooray, you're my new favorite person, too!"), bought a $3 zine with contributions from all the bands, and left with happiness, love and rock in my heart.

THURSDAY:

I was still working frantically on the Weasley sweater to wear on Friday, so in solidarity with Nikki (opaleyes) having to get up at 2:30 AM to catch her plane to Dallas, I stayed up until 2:30 AM working on my duplicate stich "G". She sent me a text around six letting me know she caught her layover flight and was still on schedule. Then at 8:30, I dragged my ass out of bed and made my way to the airport.

Finding Nikki was easy, as she was the only one wearing a gigantic Hufflepuff scarf and also she looked like Nikki. It is crazy. Nikki's been one of my best friends for years, and I have to admit there were niggling thoughts in the back of my mind that meeting her might somehow end that friendship. I've had crappy experiences with meeting people via the internet before, heard horror stories about internet friends who turned out to be completely fictional, and I'd prepared myself to be okay with it if it turned out that Nikki and I couldn't get along as well In Real Life as on the web.

Fears assuaged. Nikki is not a fifty-two year old man, nor is she anything but as awesome as she is online and over the phone. Hooray for having faith in humanity restored! Hooray for honest, legitimate people!

I gave Real Life Nikki a quick tour of Arlington, and we hit Wal*Mart for some last minute Portus supplies and foodstuffs for eating. Apparently, my Wal*Mart kicks ass and is full of awesome things, because we both spent an unfortunate amount of money on stuff. Ice cream was an important part of the weekend's plans. We (and by "we" I mean "Nikki") also picked up some birthday surprises for a few H_Eers that we'd be going to dinner with who had birthdays in the very recently time.

On a mad hunt for duct tape for me, we walked past a display of toilet seats, and Nikki had an inspired idea: "You know how Fred and George told Ginny they'd get her a Hogwarts toilet seat? WELL..."

Our check-out items included ice cream, juice, donut holes, various little birthday thingies, barbie clothes, duct tape, and a friggen' toilet seat.

After Wal*Mart, we headed back to my apartment for pretty much the only solid down time we would have all weekend. I continued work on my Weasley sweater as Nikki unpacked, then we broke into Jesso's (syntheticjesso) apartment for use of the internet to find directions and look for a Hogwarts crest to draw on the toilet seat. Nikki did the drawing as she is the only one of us who went to art school. My Weasly sweater finally got finished, and I yelped a happy yelp. There was also much petting of Jesso's kitties.

Attempts to get in touch with my mom for lunch failed miserably, but I did manage to drag Nikki to meet the folks at the house. The planets must have been aligned, because she managed to meet everyone during a rare instance of Fraher not working, Jessie being awake, the girls not at school, Jere being home, Griffin being downstairs, and Jim being in a tolerant mood. I think she managed to convince them of her existance pretty solidly.

And from there, it was off to friggen' Portus! Despite Nikki's hardcore Hufflepuff student costume, I wasn't wearing anything spectacular that day. I wore my Puff scarf & shoes along with a plain black tank top and skirt.

Finding the hotel was a lot easier than I'd expected, as was parking, but it turned out we'd parked on the wrong side, so we had to do a lot of walking to get to the correct part of the hotel. Turns out there was also a teacher's convention (which someone Nikki knew was attending) and a Southern Baptist convention going on the same weekend. Oh, how they must have been bewildered by the scads of crazies dressed like wizards running around.

The welcoming feast was amazing. So much food, all of it delcious, and on top of it, we got to meet some H_Eers and discover that they, too, were not fifty-year-old men but in fact awesome people with a love of HP. I did my best not to fangirl too hard over Makani, who's art I had discovered that Tuesday and ended up sitting right across from me at the feast. Also got to finally see Steven again, whom I'd last seen NaNo '06 and had recently disappeared from the internet.


Aww! missmimsical and masakochan. (By tapestrymlp on flickr)

(Interesting story I forgot to put in my original write-up! That bag masakochan has? It's the bag I sent her in the Hufflepuff craft swap! I completely forgot about it, and I noticed her carrying it, so I asked her if she made it, and then I realized NO, I MADE IT FOR HER. It was the coolest thing ever, she carried it around the whole weekend and it made my heart feel happy and special. :)

I'm drawing a gigantic post-feast blank, but somewhere in there me, Nikki and masakochan went into the screening of PoA that was supposed to involve Rocky Horror-style yellings. No such yellings were taking place, so we provided some. This seemed to piss off a bunch of the people watching, who turned to glare at us. We left pretty quickly anyway, since we wanted to catch another Wizard Rock show, The Moaning Myrtles.


Ha! Happy 'Puff dancing! (missmimsical, Me, Nikki)






(All by tapestrymlp on flickr)

The Moaning Myrtles are a couple of girls who sing from Moaning Myrtle's point of view, which means there are lots of songs about toilets and death. The highlight of their set for me was the pianist dramatically banging her butt on the piano at the end of a song. She then announced something to the effect of, "I just butt-slammed the piano. On our cd, I did this butt-slam that was completely awesome, and so you should buy the cd to hear the amazing butt-slam."

After that, we followed the H_Eers to the hotel bar, and they tried out some of the special Harry Potter themed drinks, while I tried out some of their water. There was a wee bit of boogying, a few pictures were snapped, and then we realized we were tired and it was probably time to head home.

But before we actually made it home, we stopped at Tom Thumb (apparently Tom Thumbs aren't everywhere like they are in Texas! If you are not sure what a Tom Thumb is, here's the deal: it is a grocery store) to pick up some hair gel for Nikki's wigs, and some Dublin Dr. Pepper for her to try because she had NEVER HAD IT BEFORE except that now she has and her life will never be the same, I know it.

THEN, even though we were STUPID TIRED, we threw on Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and ate ice cream and partook of the goofy. Nikki fell in and out of sleep the whole time, but by that time she'd been up for twenty-four hours and I cannot blame her one bit.

FRIDAY:

Fred and George day. We gave ourselves time to sleep in a little, so we missed the continental breakfast, but we appeared somewhat less zombie-like than we would have if we'd woken up two hours earlier. We got all Fred & George-ified, which involved man makeup, wings and a disembodied ear for Nikki, and lots of duct tape over my left ear for me. Let me tell you something, and I want you to believe me on this one, there are probably few weirder experiences than walking around an entire day with duct tape covering your ear. You should try it. Driving is extra fun.

That day, we got more pictures taken of us than the entire rest of the con. You could probably flickr search for Fred & George, Portus and come up with a billion shots of us. I think everyone got a kick out of the fact that we were post-Deathly Hallows twins, what with Nikki's wings and halos and my lack of ear. The toilet seat got lots of praise as well.


Probably the most unflattering angle I could have ever been photographed from. This picture will get replaced when someone posts a better one. (By Perosha on flickr)


This is a better one! (By tapestrymlp on flickr)


And another! (I like this one best because it's got two other H_Eers, slytherati and slyfoxesq!) (By slytherinferret on flickr)

We hit the HP Alliance panel first, and late. We missed most of it. But we got there in time to be involved in a meditation excercise, which involved looking directly into each other's eyes and talking about ourselves. This was the first of many times I cried. My man makeup was gone before the day even really started. It was an amazing excercise, and solidified for me a lot of things I can't really explain, but include Nikki being awesome and really, truly my friend. Shit you never expected to do at a Harry Potter con, huh?


HP Alliance dude FTW. I can't think of his name right now and for that I suck hardcore. (By tapestrymlp on flickr)

After the meditation and the discussion following it, someone else attending the panel bought Nikki an HP Alliance t-shirt. We then went, sniffling and full of happiness and love of humanity, to the vendor room where Nikki in all of her awesomeness bought me a gorgeous light-up wand. We made several other ill-advised purchases, mine including bumperstickers and buttons, hers including prints of the Weasley twins.

Between that and our next round table, we met up with more H_Eers and discovered how awesome they were. Here I am drawing another blank on what happened, but I know that Nikki was doing her best to organize our pre-planned H_E dinner at Magic Time Machine. She wanted to bump it up about a half-hour so we could go see Oliver Boyd and the Rememberalls that evening.

We got our picture taken a bunch more times, then headed off to a round table discussion of how book 7 changed fandom. I was surprised how much fun it was, but I shouldn't have been. In a room filled with people passionate about Harry Potter, how hard could it be to relate to them and discuss our thoughts? It turned out to be not hard at all, and everyone brought something awesome to the discussion. There was a lady who compared the Harry Potter phenomenon to her other fandoms (LotR & Star Wars), and her insights struck me the most as far as how HP culture will change now that kids today won't have to wait years between books, they can just read them all at once.

It impressed me how polite everyone at the discussion was, no one butt in while someone else was talking, no one was rude or condecending, and everyone was very intelligent about voicing their opinions. I wish we could have gone to more round tables, because it was a lot of fun, but that's the only one we made it to.

I seem to fail at remembering what happened between legit Portus scheduling. I know it was probably something awesome. I'm hoping everyone that was there posts, too, so that I can sort of piece it all together. It probably doesn't help that sleep was seriously lacking.

Oh! I know somewhere during the day, we went to the room where they were displaying art, and there were some awesome art pieces. Someone had made some bags with Snape beadwork, they were very impressive. There was also a fireplace with a small bucket of green sand and glitter labeled "Floo Powder", which was the most AWESOME thing ever and if I ever have a fireplace, a bucket of Floo powder is totally sitting by it. Nikki drew a beautiful rendition of George's ear in heaven.


Snape bag, holy shit. (By zephrene on flickr)

We went to the afternoon tea with rotae (who is completely awesome and AUSTRALIAN). If I couldn't say anything else about Portus, I can at least say the food was awesome everywhere food was served. I can say a lot more about Portus, obviously, but for reals? I ate so. Much. Food. At the tea, I went back for seconds. The only thing I didn't eat was a salmon sandwich I picked up not realizing what it was. I'm not a fan of fish. But they had scones, which are apparently pronounced with a short "o" sound in Australia, and also are delicious. All sorts of crazy tea party foods. I didn't even have any tea. I made myself a makeshift mocha, which is probably a good thing because I was really tired by that point.


Om nom nom, tea foods! (By tapestrymlp on flickr)

Nikki and I hadn't planned anything after that, but Rotae was going to the Hufflepuff Pride poster session thingy, so we decided to go with her, even though we would have to cut out early to go to the H_E dinner.

Turns out that the room got reassigned twice before we settled in, and the girl that did the posters did not show up to present them, so we chucked the posters and the H_E representatives from Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw led an awesome chat 'Puff and 'Claw pride. Hee hee hee.


H_E rocks the 'Puff & 'Claw Pride session! :) (By slytherinferret on flickr)

We had to duck out early because of dinner, and I had a car full of H_Eers to cart to Magic Time Machine, all Hufflepuffs except for one lonely Slytherin. We promised her we wouldn't sing "snaaake, snaaake" at her as long as she wouldn't sing "badger badger badger" at us.

Dinner was awesome. Jesso got to come, too, which was really cool. There were so many of us there, all current or former H_Eers. Our name was submitted as "Hogwarts", so it was pretty awesome to hear "Hogwarts" be called to get seated. The only sucky thing was that apparently the Harry Potter waiter had recently been fired. *sad face*

Our waiter was Aladdin, who rolled with the wizardly punches pretty well. Even towards the end of the night, when we sort of broke into an impromptu sing-a-long, doing songs from Aladdin, Salute Your Shorts and Ren & Stimpy. When he figured out Rotae was Australian, he went on and on asking her things about Australia, which was pretty amusing.

We sped home supa fast because Nikki wanted to catch Oliver Boyd, and it's a good thing we did because his show was adorable. He had various other Wizard Rockers helping him out with guitar and stuff. At one point, a guitar string broke, so he switched guitars with another guy mid-song. As in, he did not stop playing, even during the switch. The only problem was that he had taped the lyrics on his other guitar, so he had the guy who was now playing it lie awkwardly on stage so he could still read them. Which was amazing.


(By Perosha on flickr)


Oliver Boyd = ADORABLE FTW (By Perosha on flickr)

After the concert, we hung around a little while to talk to Oliver Boyd (who reminds me a bit in demeanor of Kevin Smith), and I picked up the Ministry of Magic cds. They had played a set earlier while we were still eating.

I decided somewhere during the day that I wanted to try going as Luna for Saturday, so we ran to Wal*Mart before heading home to pick up some clip-on earrings to turn into radishes and materials to make a Quibbler magazine.

I stayed up way too late working on those, but they turned out pretty awesome, and I decided to use the Quibbler as an autograph book for everyone to sign. I also used the bottle caps from the Dublin Dr. Pepper to craft a hasty butterbeer cap necklace. While I was making my Luna gear, Nikki read the scene from The Spaghetti Incident with her as a character for the first time ever, which was so awesome for me! I got to sign her book, which was weird for me! Much as I'd love to be mildly famous, I don't know if I could get used to the whole signing of things. Oh well, I guess I have to actually get mildly famous first, and then worry about it.

Sleep followed shortly after.

SATURDAY:

Waking up got harder every day of the con. We were going to try to make it to the continental breakfast Saturday, but I failed at getting my hair to do what I wanted it to in time, so we missed it. (Nikki got all gussied up as Tonks, and she does a badass Tonks. I'm just sayin'.)

Then, we hit horrendous and unexpected traffic on the way, as they'd taken the highway down to one lane. So not only did we miss the breakfast, we also missed part of Jim Dale.

But that's totally okay, because we got to see an awesome chunk of Jim Dale, and if you don't know who Jim Dale is, I feel bad for you because he is awesome. If you're not into Harry Potter and you've read this far into my Portus post, for one thing, you are awesome. For another thing, you may know him as the narrator on Pushing Daisies. But his claim to HP fame is the dude who reads the audiobooks, and so we got to listen to him do some readings from the books, and he also told some adorable stories about recording and William Shakespeare. This dude has the most beautiful voice ever, so listening to him talk was awesome enough. But he read the scene with the Draco ferret, and where Harry blows up Marge. He also revealed that one of his favorite characters to voice is Dobby. :) My heart thought that was amazing.


Jim Friggen' Dale! (By freshfiction on flickr)

After teh speakings, Nikki and I wandered to the autograph session, where they were charging five bucks per autograph. I've never paid for autographs before, but Jim Dale was so sweet and adorable that I was okay with it. He posed for a picture with me and Nikki, and commented on our outfits, and it was awesome, and then we left.

We didn't have a whole lot to do after that until the afternoon, when we were going to the Redeeming Draco presentation. So we perused the vendor room again and I wished for the billionth time that weekend that I'd brought more money with me. We ran into Rotae and Cambryn, and Rotae presented Nikki with some crazy Australian treat called TimTams.

Upon regrouping with a handful of H_Eers in the lobby, we proceeded to try out TimTam Slams, which consist of taking small bites out of diagonal corners of the cookie, then dipping it in hot chocolate and sucking it up through the cookie like a straw. Once the TimTam is full of delicious hot chocolate, you cram the whole thing in your mouth. It was fucking incredible, and proof that the Australians are good for more than just boomerangs and kangaroos.*

Several H_Eers ended up going to the Redeeming Draco presentation, which was a pretty interesting essay, but an essay read by the essayist nonetheless. I didn't mean to, but the whole time I felt like I was going to drift off to sleep because I was so friggen' tired. The Q&A session was pretty great, though, because we got into some heated debate over Draco's intentions and motives. Including some arguments for Dumbledore being somewhat of a douche to the Slytherins, so really, who could blame them for isolating themselves from the rest of the school?

After the presentation, we had a little downtime before the Wizard Rockumentary screening, so I bought myself a water and then we stood in line.

There was a pretty long line that built up for it, and it was a great documentary. I had no idea that the whole thing was put together by twin sisters who were my age if not younger! The presentation caused even more tears, this time from happiness that so many people have gone out and done so much as a result of Harry Potter. When it ended, one of the sisters broke down into tears as well, which didn't help me at all, and then Nikki started crying, and we were all pitiful weepy-butts.

We found out during the Q&A's that these girls had done this movie over the course of two years in addition to both having full time jobs. That really struck a chord with me, because one of my excuses for not doing awesome things is a lack of time due to working all the damn time. But that's really not an excuse, as I saw first hand tons of people this weekend who were just as busy, if not moreso, who were doing shittons of awesome things, like making documentaries or recording amazing Wizard Rock.

Nikki ended up picking up a copy of the documentary DVD, and I asked the girls to sign my Quibbler.

We had planned to hit a panel on Harry Potter artifacts (for lack of a better term), but by the time we got out of the Wrockumentary, it was almost over. So instead, we met up with the H_Eers and went to one of their rooms to make ready for the Mystery Yule Ball.

We were all so exhausted that the room, despite housing six or seven of us, was completely quiet. After a bit of lounging, we slowly got ready one by one, eventually breaking into loud chatter once again.

We decided to grab some dinner at the hotel before heading to the Ball, since it didn't start for another hour or so. So we did.

The Ball was pretty hardcore awesome. Everyone was dressed to the nines either in legit prom gowns or in character. Since my dress was just a nice prommish thing I picked up at goodwill, and I didn't have any other distinguishing character costuming, I embraced my pink hair and went as Tonks for the evening. Nikki, however, was a way more kick butt Tonks, having designed an outfit she described as if "the eighties vomited me out".


Aw, I love this pic of me and Nikki, mostly because Nikki looks awesome and I don't look retarded for once. :) (By Mr. Muggles on flickr)


This is the best picture I've ever seen of my hair. (By zephrene on flickr)

Jim Dale was at the Ball, and he noticed Nikki and me, smiled without saying anything, snapped our picture and moved on. "We just got our picture taken by Jim Dale," I said. And then we spazzed out a little.

Before the Wizard Rock began, we gathered all the H_Eers that were available and took loads of group photos. I'm sure someone will have posted them, so I need to find one where I don't look like a complete retard and snag it.


Here's one! I'm the only one with a partially blocked face. Boo. :( That always happens to me in group shots, it seems! (By slytherinferret on flickr)

The Wizard Rock was, as it had been all weekend, too awesome for words. Oliver Boyd and the Rememberalls played a plugged-in set, where he actually had no instruments and just sang to pre-recorded music, which sounds lame but actually it was awesome. Ministry of Magic came on after him, and they were incredible. One of them was dressed in an awesomely convincing Voldemort costume, so I will forever picture Voldy singing lead vocals on several of their songs. During Oliver Boyd's set, he pulled Mr. Voldy on stage to sing a song to him from Bellatrix's perspective.


(By zephrene on flickr)

The highlight of the MoM show was during the song "Escape From Azkaban", Nikki was pulled on stage because of her glow bracelets, and she and a few other people got to "rave dance" to the whole song. IT WAS HARDCORE ROCK AND ROLL.


Nikki is in the BRIGHT PINK WIG. Again, this will probably get replaced when better pictures are posted. (By claravthenerdgirl on flickr)

Several goofy HP themed dances got created by H_Eers, predominantly Rotae and Cambryn. I think someone wrote them all down, maybe? Anyway, they were awesome. I'd explain them all but I'm getting tired of typing.


H_E DANCINGS. (By tapestrymlp on flickr)

After the ball, we all ran up to Stephen's room to consume booze (except for me, who consumed a coke) and try not to think about the fact that Portus would be over tomorrow. I snagged everyone's lj names so I could friend the folks I didn't already have friended, and before long, it was time to go home.

Back at the apartment, Nikki packed up her stuff while I did my best to keep from passing out with exhaustion. Eventually, we went to bed.

SUNDAY:

Waking up SUCKED BALLS. We managed to get up early enough to make the farewell breakfast, but since Nikki had a plane to catch, we only got to stay for about a half-hour. We said our last goodbyes to the H_Eers and then I drove Nikki to the airport, where I had to deal with the fact that she would not be coming back to the apartment with me, which was sucky and lame. On the way home, I listened to "The Bravest Man I Ever Knew" by MoM and bawled like a baby, in what I'm sure was a combination of being miserable that the con was over and also being really fucking tired. As soon as I got back home, I crawled into bed and slept until 2:30 in the afternoon, when I woke up and took a shower and started making this post.

I decided to go to the final hurrah Wizard Rock concert back at the hotel, and getting in the car to make the drive was pretty depressing since Nikki wasn't there anymore. Part of me was worried the scheduling might be messed up and there wouldn't be a Wrock concert, but I was worried for nothing, because I got there and there was indeed Wrocking.

Despite the fact that there were about seven Wrock bands billed for the show, only The Whomping Willows and The Remus Lupins played. I was a little pissed that MoM decided not to play (as they were essentially the headliners), but I'm still glad I went, because the two Wrockers I did hear were excellent fun, and I picked up a couple more cds. I'm starting a collection of Wizard Rock cds, it's pretty exciting.

And now it is late, I am at home banging all this out on the Alphasmart, so that all I have to do is plug it into the computer at work and bang, it will be on livejournal in a matter of minutes, as oppposed to the hours I've spent writing it! This ended up being even longer than I expected (nearly four NaNo quota days worth of words), and I know I forgot lots of stuff. I'm going to cruise around the journals of the other lj folks who were there and see what they had to say about the experience, too. Mostly, I'm pretty depressed it's over. Fandom is one of my favorite things, any fandom, but especially mine. Harry Potter fans are some of the most awesome, sweet, polite, honest and intelligent people ever, and it's going to suck having to go back to work and try to explain to people there what was so awesome about the con. None of them will get it. I'm basically going from being surrounded by people who understand fandom and awesomeness to being completely alone in a group of people who just want to make it through the workday. God, work sucks.

Anyway. Here endeth the Portus.

*ROTAE YOU KNOW I KID I THINK AUSTRALIA IS AWESOME

"Don't you ever wonder what will happens when it ends?"

Looking at the time turner Nikki gave me, she couldn't have brought me a better present. Sappy as it sounds, it's almost like a real time turner, because it will always take me back to this weekend, meeting her for the first time, and all of the amazing people I got to meet.

"I'll keep on smiling from the times I had with them."
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