me and harry: our day together.

while i finished harry potter and the deathly hallows almost a week ago, i'm still transfixed to interviews with jk rowling, book reviews and listening to other peoples' opinions of the book. and a girl i work with, maia, was kind enough to give me a copy of the book on CD, so that's been the background of my work for the past couple of days.

after bryan got my number (#343 if you recall) last friday afternoon, i started adjusting the plan for the evening, hoping to get the book as quickly as possible.

it had already been decided that i would be going with a few friends to diagon alley, a party thrown by a small richmond book store that recreated the place where harry and friends buy all of their school supplies and such. i met up with krystyna and her husband joe, then bryan met us at diagon alley, then maia and andrew from work also met up with us. we wandered around for a bit, drank some "butterbeer" and people watched. we ran into my friend traci and her husband and friends, and tried on fun magical attire.

krystyna and joe

me and hagrid (he was kinda smelly, couldn't get too close)

while diagon alley was entertaining, it was really only about 30 min worth of entertainment and that had already been stretched into more than an hour what wtih all the meeting up with people and waiting for them to get there. we decided since it was about 10:30 and we had a good hour and a half until we could get our paws on our books that we'd go have a drink.
bryan, krystyna and joe

maia, andrew and me

i have to admit that while i enjoyed the company, i was antsy and mostly concerned with the minutes ticking off the clock. :) plus the bar we ended up in was SUPER loud and in my "old age" i despise shouting over loud music/other people shouting to have a conversation with my friends.

we finished our drinks and off we went to buy our books! maia was headed to the wal-mart on forest hill ave. and bryan and i were taking krystyna and joe back to their car near the barnes and noble i had a wristband for.

as we drove down the street to krystyna and joe's car, i noticed that the entire shopping center where the barnes and noble is was FULL of cars. and when i say entire shopping center, i am talking barnes and noble, several smaller stores, michael's, stein mart, several more smaller stores, old navy, cici's pizza and another restaurant. the whole parking lot was full!

so, my plan was that i would zip over to wal-mart and see if i could get the book quickly. if not, i'd go back to b&n since i was going to be waiting there a bit anyway.

bryan decided to come with me to wally world. we go in, and the place is like a ghost town! by this time it was around 12:05 or so, and i didn't see a single person leaving with their book. which was weird to me. we wandered around and still could not find any sign of harry! finally i asked someone, and she told me that they were selling it back at layaway. i guess they wanted to avoid a madhouse rush for the book???

so we get back to layaway, and, sure enough, there's a giant line. we walk towards the end of it and it just keeps on going and i say, "think this is more than 343 people?" and bryan says, "yes." so back to barnes and noble i went, even if i did have to wait an hour or two.

i get to barnes and noble and there are all kinds of happy-faced people leaving, book in hand. i get to the front of the store, push my way through the masses just in time to hear the man with the megaphone say, "numbers 250-300, come to the front of the store!"

sweet! they were really rolling through those numbers!! i had just enough time to go inside and use the bathroom before they called 300-350. i was up to the cash register, out of the store, and home with harry by 12:30am!

as you can imagine by the number of exclamation points in that last paragraph, i was very excited to have harry in hand. i sat with it for a few minutes, just looking at the cover, before i even opened it. reading this book meant the end of a great friendship, and while i couldn't wait to find out what happened, i was a bit inclined to put it off just a little bit, to make it last longer...

i read for about 20 minutes before falling asleep, but this was fine with me. i wanted to be fully alert to take it all in, so holding off reading too much until i woke up on saturday was a good plan.

saturday i woke up several times and forced myself to go back to sleep for a bit longer, knowing i was being a little ridiculous. i liken it to the point in your childhood where you know that santa isn't real, but you still wake up thrilled to open presents, and force yourself to stay in bed so that you aren't being such a little kid (this happened for me around, oh, 21 years old).

i made a pot of coffee and settled in for a day of reading. it was wonderful. the pages turned quickly and the book was action-packed and practically impossible to put down.

eventually bryan got up, and after chatting with him for a little while, he went outside. i heard the lawn mower come on and was S H O C K E D. i can't remember the last time he just cut the grass without moaning about it first! lemme tell ya, i was overwhelmed right then. a husband i've just told he can do whatever he wants all day as long as he leaves me alone who has decided to use that time to mow the lawn, and the final book in the greatest series ever all at once? i think i shivered a little bit before i got my focus back on harry. :)

what was odd is that the mower was only on briefly. i had no idea what that was all about, but by that point, as i said, i had refocused on harry and didn't care too much. i heard bryan banging around in the garage a bit, and then he came in and said, "come with me for a minute."

i went out back, and my dear, dear husband had put up the hammock we bought in mexico for me to read in! i had casually mentioned that it would be nice the day before, but i really did not expect him to put it up!

so i got a pillow and settled in--it was the perfect day for outdoor reading.

i spent the rest of the day reading, and finished around 7:30pm. i closed the book and again just looked at it with a smile and a sense of satisfaction. while it's sad to know that i won't experience harry's adventures that way again, i'm so happy to know him. :)

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