So the conversation went something like this:
“Hey, there’s a Harry Potter book release party at the store tonight. Want to go?”
“Sure. It’d be fun to go in costume. Do we have any Harry Potter costumes?”
“Uh… we can by tonight!”
And that’s pretty much the story of our Harry Potter costuming experience. That two-hour thrift store spree resulted in our Sirius Black and Remus Lupin costumes.
For the next book release, we prepared a little better (but not much). We gathered a group of friends who were also interested in attending and threw together a variety of scavenged costume pieces from the costume closet. This was a perfect example of quick and dirty costuming: Harry’s costume was a cheap wig, a red wool sweater and an old graduation robe. Nearly Headless Nick’s costume was made of trash, safety pins and duct tape. The two Snapes took the most work, as Laura and Alena had to be made the same height and dressed identically. Still, no money was spent on these costumes, with the exception of Trelawny’s glasses (fifty cents) and a tie for a Snape (two dollars).
The great fun of this was being in character. Good Snape passed merrily through the crowd, complimenting children on their exemplary work in Potions and offering candy. Just behind, Evil Snape seized upon children with candy and deducted points from their houses. Meanwhile, Dudley complained of all the attention for Harry and declared that his parents were giving him a much bigger release party, and Professor Trelawny predicted a new sales record. (Tough one, that prediction.)
One woman told Alena her dead-on portrayal of Evil Snape was “channeling Alan Rickman” — a talent Alena decided to tone down after she inadvertently frightened a small child and made him cry because Snape was too scary. (Oops.)
Laura as Good Snape; Alena as Evil Snape; Mark as Nearly Headless Nick; Melissa as Harry Potter; Seeker as Dudley Dursley; Sue as Professor Trelawney; Carl as Griffindor student.