I am living with witches.
They are little and cute but wand-wielding nonetheless.
They speak in spells, they wander around in robes, they are powerful and benign all at once.
We’ve caught the Harry Potters in our house, a disease that is epidemic and all consuming.
Harry, Ron and Hermione are like members of the family as Lucille and Eliza recount and reenact scenes in the first four movies.
“Wands at the ready!” Lucille says and Eliza puts her wand to her face ready for the duel scene with Harry and Malfoy from book two or as we say in our house, the second.
There is also the scene from the first when Harry and Ron first meet Hermione.
“I’m Hermione Granger…and you are…?” Eliza says to Lucille.
“I’m Ron, Ron Weasley,” Lucille says.
Then there is the scene from the second where Ron’s mom, Molly, send him a howler.
“Ronald Weasley! I’m absolutely disgusted with you!” Lucille says in her best British accent and Eliza laughs at her inflection because it is spot on.
I joke that I will send them a howler to school if they do not start to pick up their shoes, flush the toilet, eat their lunches. They are a little intrigued and I secretly wish I possessed the power to actually conjure such a trick. Then they remember I’m muggle-born and they move on wishing it just wasn’t so.
On a recent trip to Asheville, N.C. Lucille strolled the streets wand in hand while wearing her Gryffindor robes and tie. It was her birthday, these things her birthday gifts. Asheville has its share of wizardry so it was no surprise that nearly everyone that passed us smiled a knowing smile at our own little Hermione.
“No magic outside of Hogwarts!” one woman called across the street.
“I have an outfit just like that!” another said.
We got several “cute little witch” comments and we even ran into people the next day who said they had seen Lucille walking the streets the day prior. She caused quite a stir. Eliza, also with wand in hand, cast spells right beside her sister to make for a magical birthday. It didn’t hurt that when we rounded a corner in Asheville on our second day there, Eliza spotted a double-decker bus turned coffee shop. She was insistent that we visit the bus and I, totally clueless, didn’t quite realize why it was so important.
“We’ll go tomorrow,” I said.
“No mom, we have to go tonight,” she said. “It’s the knight bus!”
Right. The Knight bus. From the third. The bus picks Harry up after he’s had enough of the Dursleys. How could I be so dense? They quickly scampered up the stairs of the knight bus and found a seat at the front. They used their time turner to take them back to the night Harry needed help and off they went into their collective imaginations.
These days our daughters see everything through this lens of magic. They cast spells on each other, inanimate objects, on us. Impedimenta, petrificus totalus and wingardium laviosa. Most of the time they are caught up in story, in play, in a fictitious world or witchcraft and wizardry, of magical creatures and secret potions. And, honestly, we’ve gotten a little caught up in it too.
“Flushicus toileticus!” Seth said the other day. “It’s a magic spell to flush the toilet!”
Lucille giggled with delight.
“Braincus repario!” he said to Imogene, our very cute but not-so-bright yellow lab.
Neither of these spells actually worked to flush the toilet or make our dog any smarter but the casting of spells, well, it’s kind of fun.
I’ve been practicing the swish and flick of my wand. Eliza has been giving me tips, my flick is improving every time, she says.
We could all use a little more magic and watching our girls I find I’m carried along right with them. A candy store has become Honeydukes, a cobblestone path in Columbia, S.C. has become Diagon Alley. In honor of Fred and George Weasley, the precocious twin brothers of Ron Weasley, our family motto has become I solemnly swear I’m up to no good. When I hear Lucille say this complete with sloemnly for solemnly, it is magical, magical indeed.