Saturday, April 30, 2016

Real Magic

Nothing has quite ignited Liam's imagination like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, Hollywood.  It is the only place Liam has repeatedly asked to go.  He loves to take his wand and do the magic that makes the animations work in the shop windows at Hogsmeade.  Since there are a limited number of spells, I thought it would be fun to invent some easy ones to use on the staff (if they were up for playing along).

This morning, I thought about simple commands like "laugh," "sneeze," and "hop like a frog" and looked up their Latin translations.  I presented the new spells to Liam with accompanying wand movements.  He loved them and added them to the leather-bound "Ravensclaw" spell book that we got on our last trip.  Below are the spells he remembered from Universal and wrote in his book, including the placards in front of each window, as well as our "original spells."  He did the work all on his own and added drawings and descriptions of what the spells did.
This spell makes a large Quiddich ball levitate.

This spell makes a bubbling cauldron stop making the bubbling noise.

This spell makes wind blow, which plays a number of wind instruments and stirs sheet music.
This spell reveals a chocolate frog in the window of the candy shop.  The frog coaks and wiggles!
This spell lights lamps.

And this one makes plants grow and move!

This is one of Liam's favorites.  It makes the cakes spin on plates.  The second spell stops the motion.
This spell stops a pen from writing in mid-air.
This spell unlocks a box and all of the draws slide open.
This spell makes a dress-maker's measuring tape rise and fall in the shop window.
This spell animates a music box with a dragon chasing Harry.
The wizard in Olivander's Wand Shop used this in his show.  It watered a flower.
Here's the first spell I wrote - it makes someone dance.  The second spell stops it.
This is another original.  It makes a person sneeze.  The second spell stops it.

This is a fun one.  It makes a person jump like a frog.  Second spell stops it.

This is a laughing spell.  Second spell stops the laughter.

The full spell here is "Rhyme Loqui,"  which makes a person rhyme with everything you say.  "Prosia" lets them speak normally again.

The local wizards were playful and willing to let Liam cast his simple spells on them.  And we met two young men who were also doing a circuit of magical spells.  One was a park employee who went by the name of "Wolfman" (his costume during Halloween Horror Nights) and his friend, Ben.  Both were obvious Harry Potter fans and among the many, I've learned, who come JUST to cast spells, like Liam.  
 Wolfman had a similar book to Liam's with more elaborate drawings and spells from the movies and books and even some originals.  We traveled together for a while and Ben asked what Liam enjoyed doing. When I told him he was very into special effects and had taught himself how to use Adobe After Effects, Ben revealed that he was learning the same thing (and joked that he could use Liam as a tutor).  I wished I had gotten a contact, so we could come back when Wolfman was doing his studio tour, but I have a feeling we'll meet this pair again.

Meeting Ben and Wolfman doing the same things that Liam loves to do, made me feel that we were moving closer to Liam finding his "tribe" and his path in life.  Sweet, friendly, talented geeks with strong passions and generous hearts.  The spells may just be special effects, but the magic of making connections was as real as it gets.

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