So, Daoud has finished reading the Harry Potter series – he would have finished last year sometime, except that we used his love of the books to make him read some in Arabic to earn English reading time.
Anyway, as he’s been reading, the boys have both been watching the movies, and Ayoub is clearly both enthralled and confused. “Mama, why are they doing this? Mama, why are they doing that?” he asks after just about every scene. When I try to explain, the details seem to get jumbled and somewhat mixed together. The conclusion? He’s developed his own Harry Potter sub-universe with his own rules.
He’s also fixated on random side-details and has made them key to the whole story: Animaguses (or should I say Animagi) are a source of absolute fascination and constant questions, Why did Lupin choose to become a werewolf? Who chose to become a rat? Who was the first animagus? How old were they when they became one? Etc Etc Etc. Top this off with the fact that I don’t remember most of the details from the series (I read all 7 books in 3 weeks, during a heat wave the summer I was pregnant with Daoud. I remember loving them, but I definitely don’t remember most of the super-specific world building details) and it makes for interesting questions to which I have no answers.
A couple of weeks ago, he asked to start reading the book, and we acquiesced wholeheartedly, but it’s a bit too advanced for him to read to himself, so he quickly lost interest. What he has decided to do instead, though, is *play* Harry Potter. Constantly. Roughly 30 times a day, he bursts into whichever room I’m in, with the eternal optimism only 6 year-old could muster, and asks with a huge smile on his face, “Mama? Are you able to play Harry Potter now?” He does this if I’m in the middle of writing an email for work, slicing raw chicken on a cutting board in the kitchen, on the phone, or asleep past what he thinks is a reasonable time in the morning. I try to indulge him when I can, but as you can imagine, my current existence as full time mom/camp counselor/IT analyst/short order cook makes it so the answer is not always yes. Even when I can play with him for 30 or 40 minutes, his appetite for Harry Potter play is insatiable. It’s ALL he wants to do. Even Daoud, who was obsessed with Harry Potter just a couple of weeks ago, has had his fill. Since he doesn’t have the ability to play with his friends right now, what with Covid-19, I feel like I need to play a lot more than I normally would, so I do. I’ve been Professor Snape, McGonnagal, Dumbledore, Harry, Hermione, Fred and George, Luna Lovegood, and about 500 other characters of which I’ve lost track.
A little while ago, when Daoud had finished reading the series, and all the kid characters were grown up, Ayoub decided he’d rather pretend Albus Potter going on adventures – these somewhat mimic Harry’s adventures, but are certainly not identical, and there’s a certain chaos to them that is hilarious and yet altogether predictable. Albus has become an Animagus, like Sirius Black and James Potter. First, the animal into which he could transform was an “every power dragon” (don’t ask me what an every power dragon is, but from what I’ve been able to glean, it can alternatively breathe fire, water, or ice and can destroy just about anything). After this got played out, Albus’s tranformation animal became a werewolf, inspired by Professor Lupin’s story, or should I say, in a full imitation of Professor Lupin’s story. The only difference is that Ayoub doesn’t want Albus to be able to control his violence when he turns at ‘moon high’. He doesn’t kill or bite anyone – that would make the game too unpredictable: “where’s Snape? Oh, he was bit by Albus and he’s a werewolf now!” – but he just wants to run around on all fours, pretending to be a werewolf, and then randomly fainting when moonhigh is over, only to wake up and ask “what happened to me?”
This was fun, and funny, the first 40 times. At this point, I’m so tired of it, but again, Covid, no friends to play with, so I am his playmate.
We’ve even invented a new wizarding sport: pillow fight quidditch – because we can’t simply pillow fight anymore, it has to be Gryffindor vs. Ravenclaw while we do it.
Oh, and I nearly forgot. You may be asking, “who are they fighting? Voldemort is dead!” Well, Voldemort had a secret child with Umbridge, named Voldemort Junior, didn’t you know? And while we’re at it, everyone has a junior – Ron Jr., Fred Jr., Snape Jr., Luna Lovegood Jr., etc etc. Except for Malfoy, who’s son, inexplicably, has the very muggle-like name of John. So, I’m essentially in a loop where I play a modified version of the Cursed Child as many times a day as can be mustered, and the Cursed Child was definitely my least favourite Harry Potter. But them’s the breaks. We’re healthy. We’re bored. And we’re obsessed with werewolves.