LeakyCon: “You Are Remarkable”

I am determined to make this my last post about LeakyCon. After I finish this tonight, I’m going to take a break from the Internet (including all social media and my websites/blogs) for a while. I understand that my posts have been few and far between (but wordy) in the first place, but that’s because August is shaping into a much busier month than I thought it was going to be. Especially since my car might have to be totaled (read prior post). People can continue to send me direct messages or emails, but I may only check them once a week.

Update: In case anyone was wondering, I found out today that my car was indeed a total loss.

That aside, I do have some ideas for different new websites, or rather, some reconfiguration of the websites I currently maintain. My deadline to release them is tentatively August 20th, but as you know already, from my previous post, I rarely stick to my deadlines. However, I will try to this time. More to come later.

Anyway, this post was meant to be my last about LEAKYCON, and so it shall be, from this point forth.

This post is intended to wrap up some loose ends, meaning that I will write about some of the things that I haven’t already written about. What were some of the other sessions and events I attended? I’ve written about the following: the Pottermore presentation, Open at the Close, and Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

I will write about a few of the other sessions/events I attended in very quick succession:

I went to the “Finding Hogwarts” screening on Thursday morning. I loved some parts, but overall, the video actually didn’t live up to my expectations. I could comment more about it specifically, but that would deviate from my plan to write in “quick succession”. I will say that I wanted the video to end when they found the castle that looked like ruins. I say “looked like’, because, as Muggles, we clearly cannot see what’s actually there: Hogwarts. I felt the rest of the film dragged on past the denouement and was anticlimactic.

I went to “Potions Master’s Corner” next, which was epic.

After that, I went to (stayed for, rather) a performance of the “Potter Puppet Pals”, which was also epic.

After that was the Live Leaky Mug. I used to be a huge fan of both MuggleCast and PotterCast, then I cut back to just PotterCast, then I stopped listening to podcasts altogether. It took a while to figure out why. One reason was a lack of time to listen to them. Another was that the PotterCasts (or the Leaky Mugs for that matter) just have not been the same without Sue Upton. I miss her dearly. One of my favorite Hufflepuffs.

Anyway, after the Mug was the movie. As I said, I will reflect on the movie later in this post.

After the movie was dinner with some awesome new friends, Shane, Hannah, and Liz, and after that was Wizard Rock Night 1. My favorite tweet preceding this event was from Melissa Anelli:

Voldy? Dead. Time to PARTY.

Gotta love it. Now here’s the part where I share how successful my plain white t-shirt idea was. During the first full day at LeakyCon, I wore a shirt that said “HUG ME I’M A RAVENCLAW”, which was my first of two ideas, which I mentioned in a post below. I didn’t use the second, “I’M A HARRY LOOKING FOR A GINNY”, because I was concerned that people would get the wrong idea. I also didn’t use the one about Harry Potter influencing my decision to become an English teacher. Not because it’s not true, because it was too wordy for a t-shirt.

During the day, the shirt didn’t attract many hugs, but that changed when I went to the Wizard Rock concert that night and started to mingle and meet people. That’s when I got more attention. Actually, I received much more (well documented) attention with the shirt that I made and wore the next day: “HUG ME SIGN ME”, which meant that if someone wanted a hug, they had to sign the shirt too. People wrote all kinds of interesting things on my shirt (especially when I ran into a group of Slytherins), but my absolute favorite was this “signature”:

Please excuse the discoloration (no-longer-white-ness) of the shirt. I suppose that happens when it’s been covered in permanent marker. Anyway, when she saw my shirt, I saw her eyes light up and she ran over to me from where she was sitting at a merchandise table with YA Lit author Stephanie Perkins (who could miss the signature blue hair), and not only signed my shirt, but drew on it, this lightning-scar-heart, and wrote, “YOU ARE REMARKABLE” across it. I truly felt remarkable in that moment. After I came back from Florida, I looked up this Eva Stormzand and found out she’s a “Wizard Rocker”, and that her music is AWESOME. So, I tweeted:

RTT [remember that time] when @seenandun4seen signed my t-shirt and I didn’t know who she was, but then I looked her up and fell in love with her music? Yeah.

I wasn’t expecting a response. But, she tweeted in reply:

@aehanson <3 🙂 I like this. I like this a lot. You are awesome.

I wrote back, trying to be clever, but it may have come out a bit awkwardly:

@seenandun4seen No, no. I’m not “awesome”… My t-shirt specifically says that I am “remarkable”. 😛

Indeed, that was a very special part of that evening. I met a number of other people that night too, but two that really stood out to me were Olivia and Jenny. Both “gingers”, both could have fit the bill if I had chosen to wear my second idea “I’M A HARRY LOOKING FOR A GINNY” t-shirt. But I didn’t, and I met them anyway.

Anyway, there are many more signatures on the shirt, but I won’t post all the pictures that I took of them here. Instead, they’re all posted in a PicasaWeb album, the link to which can be found on the right sidebar.

I should comment on the Wizard Rockers themselves! From the first night, Thursday night, “Ministry of Magic” really stood out to me. Really not any of the others were really able to pull me out of my post-last-movie funk that I suffered from that night. From the second night, “The Whomping Willows” and “Harry and the Potters” both caught my attention. Especially when Evanna Lynch took the stage. She is really an epic level of awesome.

Let me once again very briefly write about what I attended on Friday and Saturday:

On Friday I went to PotterCast and MuggleCast. On Saturday I went to “A Very StarKid Event”.

Also on Saturday, while everyone was in line for pictures and signatures from the actors and the StarKid members, I took a break from all the madness and started to write my first post from LeakyCon, “A Newbies Perspective”, then later I went to the “…Now What?” discussion with the Leaky Mug people. I didn’t care so much about waiting in line for signatures, and even less for pictures.

On the final night, instead of live performances from Wizard Rock bands, there was a “Yule” Ball. I wore my last shirt about “tweeting your Hogwarts house to @fictionrow” (meant to be a sort of competition), but it didn’t catch on, because I only wore it during the day and didn’t wear it to the Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball, because you were expected to “dress up” instead. Actually, I didn’t go to a lot of sessions on Saturday anyway, so that’s another reason not many people saw the t-shirt and so were not able to respond to it.

The Ball was enjoyable, but it really took a while for me to get into it. I tweeted about it that evening:

I have been chaperoning high school dances for 3 years. The Esther Earl Charity Ball is not going well for me!

After a while, though, I started to mingle with people again. I started to dance. I started to really enjoy some songs that they played. One in particular, apparently Melissa Anelli’s favorite, was “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, which they played three times, during which attendees and LeakyCon staffers alike went wild on the stage. Also much epic.

After the Ball, it was short night’s rest before the Leaving Feast Sunday morning. I couldn’t believe how quickly those three days flew by for me…

It really took the movie, the “…Now What?” discussion, and the Ball to really drive home this singular emotion that I started to write about in the first post: disconnectedness. Not sadness, but numbness. Disbelief that the movies are done. The Ball reminded me that I am an adult, and I can’t hold on to my childhood forever. Those who went to the movie, time and time again I heard them say that their childhood was over, after the credits began to roll. Really, my childhood has been over for a while, but I have held on to every last shred of Harry Potter that I could for as long as I could, because I didn’t want it to end. I wanted it to last forever.

However, my favorite song from “A Very Potter Sequel” is “Days of Summer”. Here are the lyrics:


We’ve got these days of summer
to remind us of each other…


The time we have to spend apart
will keep us in each other’s heart…


I’m hoping that the good ole’ days are
something I will dream about at night…


Don’t matter if it’s soon or later,
I know that it’s gonna be alright!


I don’t wanna see you go,
but it’s not forever, not forever!
Even it was,
you now that I would never let it get me down.
You’re the part of me that makes me better,
wherever I go!
So I will try
not to cry–
but no one needs to say goodbye…

Instead of “disbelief” that the movies are done, I think I need to “turn a phrase” and say, “relief” that the movies are done. These things aren’t meant to last forever. Because things are finite, that’s what makes them special to us. If the Harry Potter movies, or books for that matter, were to drag out for another ten years on top of the ten years they have each already celebrated, they would no longer be special to us in the fandom. Instead, they would lose their magical quality and simply become commonplace. I think that’s where my disconnectedness came from that I wrote about during my first post on that Saturday. I was so excited for my first Con, but then I saw the last movie, and I realized too soon that I was ready to embrace the finality of this franchise. I really think my “first” Con should be my “first and only”. For me, I can’t drag this out for longer, because it would cease to be special to me. I want to look back and remember the books, the movies, and those great times that were, because “the time we have to spend apart will keep us in each other’s heart”.

All great things must come to an end. I am truly happy and relieved for this end.

I’m sorry, what? It’s not the end? We’ve got Pottermore to look forward to now? Say it ain’t so! I guess I have to keep my Harry Potter nerdery going for a few more years yet. JKR’s got me, hook, line, and sinker!

I hope you enjoyed this last post about LeakyCon. As I wrote above, I won’t be writing for a while. But, if you want to know as soon as I start writing again, follow @fictionrow or like /fictionrow. Thanks!