The Harry Potter Marathon (part 1)

This is going to be a real diary entry, in which I detail everything (worth mentioning) that happened at the Harry Potter marathon. If you find this boring, I’m sorry; perhaps you should come back another day. (Belle – you can skim if you like, or just not read it. I won’t mind.) It has also taken me so long to write that I’m splitting it into pieces, and I make no promises about when the next piece will come. This all actually took place from the tenth of February to the twelfth.

This was a sleep-over movie marathon just for the Mao-people; that means Squiggle, Midnight (who couldn’t come), Indigo (who was sick and therefore couldn’t come either), Taz, Ripple and Crash. True to form, I arrived obscenely late. This was in part due to having to wait nearly half an hour for the bus, but in larger part due to my general inability to be on time for anything at all.

Indigo and Squiggle had previously ordained that we should all wear costumes, and assigned them randomly. Everyone else, somewhat miffed with this process as far as I could tell, had decided to dress as Harry Potter characters instead. I was Hermione, due to my bushy brown hair; Taz was Harry and wore an awesome cloak (which was actually a uniform from Japan – I’ve forgotten what the uniform was for); Ripple was Neville, which worked even though she’s a girl; and Crash should have been Ron, only Crash has a peculiar loathing of dressing up and ended up not doing it. We berated him mercilessly and called him a Muggle, which annoyed him to no end. (Crash is really fun to tease, because he reacts with just the right amount of indignation and irritation.) Squiggle somehow caught wind of this change in plans and decided to dress as everything she could. She came in a black-and-orange harlequin costume with a witch’s hat, a pink skirt and a small black mask. (Ripple said that she and Midnight had been planning to betray us all and come as Sirius and Lupin instead. I find the amount of deception going around here simply shocking.)

So. It was at Ripple’s house. I arrived to find them all playing a card game called Munchkin, which I’d never heard of. It was one of those games where you attack each other with battle cards and so on. The cards had names like “Cheese Grater of Peace” and “Sneakers of Running Really Fast”; Taz won the game with a card that encouraged him to mock all other players. He proceeded to do so with gusto. This resulted in a minor scuffle involving Squiggle (and I think Ripple) sitting on top of him. (Taz is enormously tall – nearly as tall as most doorways – so there’s plenty of room for multiple people to sit on him.)

Eventually Taz stopped, Squiggle got off of him and we set out to buy snacks. (I also ended up buying four rolls of sea-green yarn, which I’m quite pleased with.) Ripple stayed behind to make dinner, but demanded in return that we leave someone with her for company. Crash, Squiggle, Taz and I raced not to be the one left behind (not because we don’t enjoy Ripple’s company, but because we all wanted to buy our own snacks). Taz lost. He was genuinely angry, which was a first as he’s usually quite laid back. It wasn’t meant to anger him and I’m sorry it did, but I do wish he hadn’t taken it so seriously. Still, perhaps I’m being unfair. One way or another, he went off alone to buy snacks when we returned.

Then we started on the movies. The first one was almost boring, as I’ve seen it about a billion times; Crash had never seen it in English, for which we berated him mercilessly once more. I sat there with my knitting and let my mind wander a bit. Halfway through the movie we stopped for dinner, which was very good. Ripple had made very nearly all of it, even the bread, and I was deeply impressed. Over dinner we discussed family and how it can be so terribly awful. I felt rather awkward at this converstion, as my family is not so bad even at the worst of times.

It was past nine when we finished and went back to the movie. Ripple’s living room is very small and rectangular, with the television in one of the short ends and the door in the other. By the door is an armchair; along the wall is a couch, which at a pinch can fit four. There’s also a table, which we shoved aside to make room for a thin matress that everyone disdained. Ripple sat in the armchair to begin with; I sat on the couch, at the end nearest the television, and sometimes sat on the sofa’s arm to have more room for my arms (necessary, when knitting). By the time we were halfway through the second movie, though, I had given up on my knitting and the couch had turned into a massed tangle of arms and legs. Periodically we would shift around so no one had to stay in the armchair for too long. Occasionally Squiggle descended to the matress, at which points we all promptly used her as a footrest.

Midnight called us on Skype. We all spent some time waving enthusiastically and talking over each other as we tried to tell her what had happened so far. She got some pretty hilarious pictures out of it, especially as everyone kept trying to be the only one on camera. We put the computer on the table facing the screen and she watched the movie with us for a while. She wrote to us in the chat box, but because the computer was facing away from us we didn’t notice. She eventually logged off. We felt rather bad when we finally did see the messages, but it was too late by then.

We got through three movies on the first day. We nearly didn’t get through that; Ripple had to be nudged several times to keep her awake, and Squiggle delighted in not answering when we called her name and then complaining when we poked her. Crash, who is infuriatingly superhuman in his ability to sleep only two hours out of every twenty-four, tried to put in the next movie, but Ripple wouldn’t let him. We trooped upstairs to Ripple’s room, taking the matress with us.

Ripple had plenty of bedclothes, matresses, and pillows for all of us. Crash took too long accepting when offered the only sleeping bag, which Ripple said was wonderfully warm, so I took it. “I get cold at night and I forgot my sweater,” I said when he protested. “I’m going to sleep in my boxers,” he replied plaintively. “Then you don’t need it,” I countered, which makes perfect sense because if he needed the warmth he’d have planned more carefully and brought along pyjamas. The logic of this argument was probably not apparent to anyone but me, but I got to keep the sleeping bag anyway.

It was two in the morning. Ripple was ecstatic to finally get to bed; Crash, whose two-hours-only trick apparently only works if those two hours are six and seven o’clock, was annoyed and kept saying he wasn’t going to be able to sleep at all, much less wake up at seven the next day. I offered to tell a story – I have many years of experience in telling bedtime stories, and my sister at least is rarely awake by the end of them. Sure enough, Crash nodded off in no time at all, and I felt rather pleased with myself. Nearly everyone had fallen asleep halfway through the story; only Squiggle was awake at the end of it. She asked if I’d made it up myself (which I hadn’t) and then proceeded to tell me a story her grandfather had invented. I’d had enough trouble staying up through my own story; I barely made it through five minutes of hers.

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