Since Halloween is less than a week away I shall tell a Halloween story...sort of.
It really is a story about a costume piece that I was wearing a week or two before Halloween, just because I loved it.
This takes place during my middle school years, and as I recall them I often feel that shiver of horror run down my back. During this time I was OBSESSED with Harry Potter- it was pretty bad. I knew every little useless fact about Harry Potter and the films that was possible, so now I have a pretty vast Harry Potter knowledge, which isn't a bad thing, I just don't use it much anymore.
At this point there was only five books released and I had read every one of them about six times because I loved them so much and they were quick reads. I particularly loved reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix because one of my favourite characters of all times was introduced: Luna Lovegood. I immediately felt a connection with her because she was a Ravenclaw like myself, but she was also odd and an outcast and didn't care what others did or said, she also read books upside down and I would do that sometimes just to mess with my teachers. I loved Luna so much I would even dream of playing her in the movies but I knew that would never happen because I didn't look anything like her and I wasn't crazy enough to even try.
But I could be her for Halloween right?
So I got started on my costume. It would be some years before I actually would start cosplaying but each Halloween I would usually make my Halloween costume because I would want to be characters that you can't find at a costume shop, and I would make costume pieces with whatever I can.
The particular piece of interest here is Luna Lovegood's butterbeer cap necklace. I had a recipe for butterbeer that was amazing and I felt is was essential to make this necklace as a great little character detail- which is why I was sad I didn't see it in the movies. I took all the leftover bottle caps laying around my kitchen and collected them for a while then painted them gold, scrolled black 'BB' on them and strung them all together to create a necklace. And voila: A butterbeer necklace.
It needed a test run so I wore it to school the next day and while I was waiting in line during lunch to get a cookie, because those were the best cookies ever, someone caught sight of my necklace and decided to comment on it. This person was, what I could only come up with, a Yard Guard. She liked to tell students what was wrong with their uniforms and give them trash duty. She had given my friend and me trash duty our second week of school there ever for eating past a pole....yeah, I don't know either. To this day I cringe when I see her, and even worse, she was exactly like Umbridge. She would be happy and smiling while she tortured you, and still claim that she was just looking out for you.
Well I made it to the front of the line where Umbridge was standing and she decided to ask about my necklace.
"What does the BB stand for? Bad Boy?" she tried. I almost vomited in my mouth at that. I would never wear something like that. Also I didn't look like the kind of girl that would with my frizzy hair, large backpack, notebooks and large book tucked under arm, and school trousers that were baggy yet still too short for my legs.
My response was a simple, "no." She then proceeded to try to guess a multitude of random words that started with B's and lump them together, never quite getting even remotely close. Finally she gave up.
"Well what does it mean?" she asked.
"It stands for butterbeer," I responded wishing the kid at the counter would hurry up so I could end this.
"Beer? As in alcohol?" she asked in a somewhat joking manner but there was seriousness in her words.
"It is non-alcoholic, unless you are a house elf." She kind of gave me a blank stare before asking some smart ass question that pretty much translated to 'what'? I sighed and you know that large book I had tucked under my arm, it just so happened to be my copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so I pulled that out and held it up in front of her face and said:
"Butterbeer is a drink found in the wizarding world from the Harry Potter series. On page 185, of this specific book, the character Luna Lovegood has a necklace made of the caps of this drink and that is what my necklace is in reference to. It isn't some gang related thing and it isn't alcoholic- it's literature. Have a great afternoon."
And then I bought my cookie.
I just think this Umbridge finally irked me enough to just be a smart ass right back at her. I did see her again, just last year. I was at a restaurant with my parents that we call The Brit and it is located near my old middle school so I guess sometimes the faculty would go there in the evenings. Their group was sitting outside while we were inside but when I saw her pass by I still felt that cringe inside me and immediately looked the other way. It is a shame that she wouldn't remember me, but she shall forever haunt my memories of those three years in middle school.