The black dragon guarded the gate, and visitors who entered there were met by stirring music. Hedwig perched on the other side of the gate to greet incomers. But we came via a secret passage through a stone tunnel. There was no mistaking where we ended up: Professor Snape was once again teaching spells to eager (if somewhat nervous) students. Sweetlords was offering delectable delicacies. And witches and wizards in their school uniforms and robes were everywhere.
If there was any doubt, we encountered the Goblet of Fire. We had returned to the Wizard Faire!
The sweet trolley came around, pushed by an affable ginger-haired young wizard; I couldn’t resist, and bought Scottish shortbread. There were also sugar quills and House badge biscuits on offer, and Butterbeer just across the Alley for thirsty muggles and wizards alike, not to mention house-elves. Dobby seemed to quite enjoy his.
A canopy circled by floating keys caught my eye.
Beneath it were so many intriguing things to buy: Hermione’s bag (did it include an Undetectable Extension Charm?), other colorful Hogwarts Houses bags…
Grimm teacups, and lockets holding everything from Polyjuice Potion to Amortentia.
Nearby, a wand maker had a display of truly beautiful wands that he had carved by hand. There was dragon artwork, too. My favorite merchant was the glass-maker, who made all sorts of potion ingredient bottles!
That was where, to my awed delight, I met my favorite professor, Minerva McGonagall. She kindly deigned to pose for her portrait (I’m a mere muggle, so alas, it does not move).
She was keeping questionable company; I swear I saw her conversing with Fenrir Greyback and Bellatrix Lestrange, but I do believe she was trying to talk sense to them.
A perfect place for wizards to meet for refreshment and companionship was the Hop’s Head.
We ate lunch in the shade there, surrounded by House banners. I spied a Ford Anglia lurking nearby – were the Weasleys about?
Just across the alley from the Hop’s Head was Octorara Wizard Academy. At Quills and Ink, you could buy all your necessary school supplies.
From there, you could make your own wand. With wand in hand, you could proceed to classes. Transfiguration and Care of Magical Creature were taught by learned wizards and witches. In Herbology, one could learn about Bowtruckles. Brave students could attempt Potions.
And under a brightly festooned canopy, there were tea tables where a Seer undertook teaching gifted witches and wizards how to divine the future.
I’m so glad we made the sojourn. All of this was to benefit the local library. A more noble quest is hard to imagine. For libraries truly are magic.