Gentle Reader, this post will be mercifully brief. I just had a memory from my salad days*, and I wanted to share this brief glimpse of times long ago.
So, Harry Potter, and the series based on his antics, are a thing. If you were into it, when the books were still coming out, a new book was a huge deal. My dear personal friend. C.W.L. Darling, and I, used to only speak about the books in French ( which we were pretentiously taking) and refer to the hero as “Monsieur Pottier,” at this little tea house, painted in bright colors, that we used to frequent†.
At any rate – we went to visit our very dear Miss Ward, while we were still in high school – she was a few years ahead of us, and was at college, in Bellingham, on the Canadian border. The Order of the Phoenix had just been released, and as you’ll recall, there’s a scene where the protagonists use a red British phone box to visit the offices of the Ministry of Magic. While Mr. Darling, Miss E., and I were exploring her college town, what should we stumble upon, next to the brick bookstore, covered in ivy? A classic red British phonebox, disused; windows broken, graffiti tattooing the interior. Obviously, we dashed into the bookstore to look up the telephone number that we were supposed to dial.
S., Miss E’s much-older boyfriend, tolerantly held our coats as we paged through to the phone number, and crowded into the three-by-three antiquity. After dropping coins, the number actually connected – of course, we didn’t wait for someone to say anything before we shouted “HARRY POTTER RESCUE MISSION!!!” into the handset.
The official line amongst us, unto this very day, is that we clearly made it into the ministry building, but three very silly Muggle teenagers also clearly had to have their memories wiped. Clearly.
*Who uses the phrase “Salad Days”anymore? I do, evidently. At any rate, these weren’t actually my salad days; my salad days were a few years later, when I was able to be a proper gentleman, with buckets of money and no visible means of support.‡
†It was called the “Enchanted Tea Garden” and was awfully twee, in a “We Want to Be Victorian, and English!” sort of way. The proprietresses were sisters, and when I was at college, the garden behind the garishly-painted Craftsman house is where I did all of my studying.
‡This is seriously the traditional definition of a gentleman. I was able to live this way for about five years – of course, it didn’t last, but what a glorious time!