What a great day at Aeternitas. Tarot class, quidditch, a talk on the Deathly Hallows, Professor Snape’s potions (cocktails) class, and the ball and Wrock concert still to come. (The Remus Lupins are still my fave.)
First I taught my Tarot class. It was packed! Very nicely attended. I was a bit slow-headed still so I forgot to award and deduct house points, but it was fun and I hope people got something out of it. It was a mix of new folks to the Tarot and experienced readers and hopefully I gave them all something to think about. I taught the two spreads I invented, The storyteller’s spread (or The Road Not Taken) and the Finders Spread, which Alex invents in Magic U. book 3. (More details on these at my blog here: http://blog.ceciliatan.com/?page_id=53)
After the class some students stayed to chat about things like, oh, what was wrong with book seven, et cetera, which was fun. One of them turned out to be my friend Anick, with whom I was in a few Harry Potter RPGs on Livejournal for YEARS!! Squeeee!!! And then I wandered a bit, lost my voice and went to the common room to get some tea. Someone helpfully supplied PG Tips, thankfully, which is drinkable, unlike many bagged teas.
At 2pm I went out to the quidditch pitch, where the Lafayette college quidditch team conducted a great demonstration of the game and drilled several people on how to play. I was all Ravenclaw today, including dress shoes and dress pants with my robes, so I wasn’t equipped to run around. But I’m totally bringing cleats next time!
Then Essie did a talk on The Elder Wand and Love Between Its Masters. I can’t reproduce the entire talk, but it was far more interesting and incisive than just a slashy retcon of the books. In short: For six books Rowling builds up that love is the ultimate power, yet in book seven, what does Harry need in order to defeat Voldemort? He needs the biggest phallic symbol in the wizarding world. WTF? Essie decided to delve into things a bit more for an explanation.
In the wizarding world, she points out, the wand isn’t just a tool, it’s a wizard’s identity. Without it a wizard is defenseless, crippled. The other races refer to wizards as “wand carriers,” because the wizards won’t share wandlore with them. Meanwhile, the Elder Wand is something only men have been master of. Beedle the Bard even says no woman has ever mastered it, and Hermione points out that no sensible woman wants it! It’s a masculine thing for sure.
The clue to the meaning is held in the chapter title “The Flaw in the Plan.” In this chapter, Dumbledore immobilizes Harry on the astronomy tower instead of protecting himself, and thereby his plan to die as undefeated master of the elder wand is thwarted. A flaw indeed. The only other place in the books where the phrase “flaw in the plan” appears? After Sirius’s death when Dumbledore confesses to Harry that he cared for Harry too much. Literally, Dumbledore’s love of Harry is the flaw in the plan, and the flaw is revealed to be a fatal one on the tower when Dumbledore’s much larger plan comes to naught. However, this ends up being the thing that allows Harry to become master of the wand and defeat Voldemort! Soooo… it really is Dumbledore’s love that allows Harry to defeat the Dark Lord!
There was much more in the presentation about the path the wand takes and the relationships between the wands various masters and defeaters.
Then Professor Snape came in and taught a potions class, complete with house points given and deducted, and kept track of by a stack of shot glasses in each house color. Yes, it was a cocktail mixing class, that was both fun and fascinating, as I learned a lot of things I didn’t know. I know a fair bit about booze (I got the first house point for Ravenclaw! *buffs nails*) however I’m far from knowing everything. The Gryffindors ended up winning the competition in points in the class, but we each got to take a plastic shot glass anyway. This may come in handy later…
Then it was up to the common room to eat some ramen noodles (from my own stash) and turn in my end of term report. Tomorrow at the leaving feast every student who turned in a report card will get a diploma!
Next up, get ready for the ball, which will be followed by a wizard rock concert, and then late night drabbling and drinking, I would think… The con is almost over and that’s always sad, but we’ve been having such a great time. This is the smallest of all the HP cons I’ve been to, and possibly the most just plain pure fannish fun.
I’ll write a separate post about how muggle quidditch works later!