Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Favorite Moments: I'm a God Damn Wizard.

My lovely wife and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter this year. One of the things they sell is wands - in previous years, they were just fun little accessories, but this year they were actually part of the show - at different points in the parks, if you waved them in the correct way different magical things would happen, like water falling from the sky or store windows lighting up. It's a really cool thing.

The OTHER cool thing they have is the Hogwarts Express, which takes you between the two parks that have Harry Potter lands. The ride works like this (SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THIS RIDE): You get into a tiny train car, exactly like the ones Harry, Ron and Hermione ride in during the films. The "window" in the car plays a scene of the British countryside, with some Harry Potter flare. In addition, the door on the other side has frosted glass, through which you can occasionally see different characters walk by. At one point, for example, the conductor walks by and tells everyone to take their seats.

We piled into our car with a very nice Brazilian family. They saw our wands, and asked us if we could do any magic. I pointed my wand at my wife, said "Accio Mars Bar!" she tossed me the Mars Bar, everyone had a laugh.

About a minute into the train ride, just as we're passing Malfoy Manor in the rain, we hear a distant shout of "Dementors on the train!"

My dear, lovely, and talented wife is terrified of Dementors. So imagine her reaction when a Dementor places its hand on the glass door directly next to her face. She surpresses a scream, as the glass slowly freezes solid.

I reach for her hand, and then, as a joke, point my wand at the Dementor and say "Expecto Patronus!"

At the exact same time, inaudible because I said something, Harry Potter shouts "Expecto Patronus!" off screen. A blue glowing stag shoots out from my side of the train, slams into the Dementor, and expels it entirely.

To everyone on the train, including me, the impression is that I've just done magic. In fact, I've just dispelled a Dementor. And the entire car erupts in cheers.

The moral of this story, of course, is that I'm a god damn Wizard.

Mike Fatum is the Editor in Chief and Podcast Co-host of the Ace of Geeks. He is also a wizard.

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