Avada Kedavra*

15 Jul

Today has seemed to be a day of impossible feats.  This began when my mother, after cleaning the bathroom, requested I have a shower ‘without splashing the tiles’.

WITHOUT SPLASHING THE TILES!??!! That is surely about as impossible as asking someone to have a bath without wetting the bathtub.  I really did start out with good intentions, but by the end of my shower the precious tiles were thoroughly soaked, with a few ginger hairs and soap suds adorning them just for good measure.  Clinging desperately to my towel, I tried to dry them with a ratty old sponge I found, but I merely left great smears of water on them instead of drips, and was forced to admit defeat and sweetly anticipate a telling off. Oh the joys of moving back home for the summer.

Whilst still coming to terms with this failure, my friend Katherine alerted me to a game she was playing online.  I am pretty rubbish at all logic puzzles and card games, so my hopes weren’t high, but when I saw the sacred words HARRY POTTER I knew that this was something I may be victorious in.  The concept of the game seemed simple enough: name the 200 most-mentioned Harry Potter characters, in no particular order, in 18 minutes.  Helpfully, the game recognised first and last names separately (so putting in Weasley gained you a rapid nine points), and included owls, wizards and house elves alike.  ‘How hard can this be?!’ I thought complacently. ‘There are so many characters in Harry Potter that I am not going to be able to accommodate my vast knowledge of them in this tiny grid!!’

I am now prepared to admit that I WAS WRONG.

As I consider the Harry Potter books one of my very few specialist subjects (others being Jenny Lewis trivia, BBC dramas and internet memes), my failure in this field came as a crushing blow.  When, on my first attempt, I saw the seconds tick away and my score remain, agonisingly, on 85/200, only to reveal that I had forgotten the existence of CORNELIUS FUDGE, I was ashamed of myself.  Even my recollection of Professor Grubbly-Plank could not redeem such a failure.

Mean Girls meets Potter.

I tried not to let it get me down.  I tried to work out whether the best approach was by chronology or category.  I laid out a prospective list of categories, but then realised the error of my ways:  Should Lupin go with teachers or members of The Order of the Phoenix? Was it enough to have a Hogwarts Students bracket, or should they be broken down into their respective houses? AND WHY WAS BEEDLE THE BARD ON THE LIST BUT NOT THE SORTING HAT??  Questioning the game became far too stressful.  I decided to play again with no strategy, and hope for the best.

Upon getting 121 on my second attempt, my feelings of impotency grew to an all time high.  Why couldn’t I remember the Death Eaters names? What was that stupid headmaster of Durmstrang called?  I wanted to stop but I couldn’t, as by this point three more of my friends were playing, one of whom was doing it on a train with a pen and paper, and sending me texts like ‘crap shit who is the professor who loves collecting the best students?’ and ‘who’s that bitch in Slytherin?’  My long term relationship was thrown into question when Mike forgot both Umbridge and Cedric Diggory yet remembered Nicolas Flamel.  The whole thing had got out of control.  Luckily, my mum shouted me for my dinner just as I was getting hysterical (an actual joy of moving back home) and dampened the tension somewhat, with pasta.

I seem to have broken the cycle of panic > relief > self loathing now, and have come to the conclusion that, much like showering without wetting the walls, naming 200 Harry Potter characters is completely impossible.  Who the hell is Mafalda Hopkirk anyway?

* I assume this is the wizard equivalent of kill me now.

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2 Responses to “Avada Kedavra*”

  1. Anonymous 16/07/2010 at 11:10 am #

    Is she the woman who writes to Harry to tell him he can’t come back to Hogwarts, or something? I think she’s something to do with the Ministry of Magic at any rate.

    I got 85 on my first go too, and couldn’t remember Cornelius Fudge’s name…I knew he existed but kept writing ‘Colonel’ and couldn’t work out what it really was…

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