Magical Celebrations: Finding Diagon Alley in Edmonton’s Highlands 

Dear Fairy Friends,

I have to confess a little something: as a new, human mother, I had no idea how one celebrates human birthdays! I researched the topic online and may have gone a little overboard with my first daughter. Having once been Fey, I had our understanding of birthdays, which are to reflect on the years past and set our sights on goals for the years ahead. Our kin and friends do celebrate with us, but not with balloons, gifts and cake. Instead, we will often invite the birthday fairy to a walk to collect acorns and stop and chat with the forest. We might suggest collecting herbs and preparing them together, making teas, baking – things that are done in the enjoyment of one another’s company. I will note that the human tradition of adding a cake to the celebration is brilliant! 

Now that I have had my third child, my son, I find that our fairy and human traditions are blending into one another. We made him some Unicorn Dip instead of a cake and held a very small celebration, decorating the table with books that included fairy tales, wooden knights, lords and ladies. We did so in anticipation of a magical, weekend-long celebration. 

We tidied the cottage, found care for our pets and drove to Edmonton. The trail of magic got stronger as the event drew closer, we arrived on the Friday for the Harry Potter Pop-Up shop in the Highlands area being held on Saturday, September 16, year 2017 on this side of The Veil. 

The leaves on the beautiful residential streets were showing off their newly golden tips by rustling in the sunlight. Rounding the corner, leaving our car behind, we left behind the Muggle world. 

Leaving the Muggle world

It felt as if we had wandered into Diagon Alley as we saw the Honeydukes sign, witches and wizards in their house colours everywhere, WANTED posters and pages of The Daily Prophet up on the buildings. There was also a wand maker with an exquisite outdoor boutique that my children saw and were immediately draw to. 

Connorvanders & Co had wooden cases open in their tent, which must have been enchanted  because no ordinary person would have been able to fit the displays inside a tent that size. Very clever spell work! The wands were on display: some straight and at attention, others with secrets tucked into their kinks and curls, some slender and cunning, others robust and cheerful. Personalities radiated from the cases – these were no ordinary hunks of wood, I felt that in my bones. While fairies rarely use wands, we are often acquainted with a number of witches and wizards. Wands – real wands – have energies about them. Let me attempt to explain a little what I mean. 

Have you ever chosen a pet? Often, there is a connection that makes you select one over another equally cute pet. We gravitate towards certain wands and if you can imagine it, the connection to the wand is as deep a connection as with a special pet. These were wands of the highest quality and there was no question that they would, in fact, chose their witch or wizard. 

A Ravenclaw wizard helped each of my girls hear the call of the wand wanting to be theirs. My eldest daughter refused to even touch the first wand offered to her, while my second daughter’s hand shot out and would not drop the first wand shown to her. My wand surprised me greatly. After all this time and my past experience as Fey using magic, it was lovely to be surprised like that! There was even a wand perfect for my 1 year old son. 


Connorvander himself then demonstrated a defensive spell to my children. He explained that in order cast a successful Patronus charm, the caster must first think of memories that make them happy. Then, they must put their wand to their forehead to draw on those memories and, in a fluid motion, while saying “expecto Patronum”, lower the wand to the heart and then out to cast. The memories and love from the heart project the Patronus. We discovered that my eldest daughter has a tigger as a Patronus, my youngest daughter a cat and mine was revealed to my children: a ferret. 

Patronus charm lesson
Perhaps Hogwarts has found a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher?

After the charm lesson, we also purchased some Patronus Bundles, as one can never be too prepared in case of a run-in with Dementors! These also came with bundles of sage to help cleanse spaces of negative energy – something Dementors are drawn to. Upon opening these bundles, we also discovered that the art on the bundles was created by a local artist! 

Beautiful and protective Patronus Bundles!
Local witch talent

The children adopted adorable Pygmy Puffs (very low maintenance, highly recommended by fellow mother witches) and a couple of bottled spells. The witch helping them complete the adoption papers and select their spells made their experience one to remember, answering the questions as they bubbled over, like a cauldron full to the brim. The experience at Connorvanders & Co was remarkable and I was astounded to have found such a knowledgable wand maker, wand fitter and Pygmy Puff breeder. 

Adopted Pygmy Puff, Lily
Amortentia potion

The incredible smell from Honeydukes, which is usually known by Muggles as Be-A-Bella, drew us into the line. While we waited, the Edmonton Aurors Quidditch Club had brooms and hoops set up for the littles to test their aptitude for the sport. I am a terrible player since I am slow on a broom, but we discovered we have a Quidditch witch in the family with my youngest daughter!


Inside the shop, the children filled a bag with Chocolate Frogs, other magical sweets and even some of Dumbledore’s favourite Sherbet Lemon Drops. We had Giggle Potions made out of Buttescotch Beer and we bought a case of it with our galleons. 

What cards will we find inside?

With our purses significantly lighter but with brand new wands in our grasp, we took a little break before heading back. Returning to the car confirmed that the street was cloaked in some strong magic because the minute we got near the car, we were back in the Muggle world. 

We rested, changed our clothing to dress robes and headed back. Sure enough, at about the same distance from our car, there was a slight shimmer and we were back in the wizarding world. To Muggles, La Boheme is a restaurant. In actuality, it is a very clever disguise for a way to Great Hall of Hogwarts. We had to pass through Platform 9 3/4, use our Hogwarts Express ticket to arrive at the Great Hall. It was lit by candles floating near the ceiling and we were seated as guests at the Slytherin table. 

Got my letter to Hogwarts!
Passage to the Hogwarts Express

We feasted from the inspired menu and enjoyed being sorted by Sorting Hat cupcakes. We had made educated guesses as to our houses prior, the cupcakes confirmed our suspicions! They were filled with coloured icing in the centre that sorted you into one of the four houses: Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Slytherin and Hufflepuff. We have 1 Ravenclaw (myself), 1 Hufflepuff (my youngest daughter), 1 Gryffindor (my eldest daughter), and 2 Slytherins (my husband and son). 

We also enjoyed Pumpkin Pasties and celebrated my son’s birthday with some of the birthday cake Hagrid had baked for Harry. 

Happy first birthday to my son

We did not manage to get in to Majesty and Friends, but harbour no hard feelings! We traded stories with other magical families while we waited and although the line-up was past the endurance of my girls (who are not very patient – possibly a fairy trait passed on), we made friends! We will absolutely go back another time to pick some of the homemade bath salts and candles there and hopefully try some of the famous chocolate made by The Violet Chocolate Company

That night, the children were tucked in bed with bottles of Butterscotch Beer and their Pygmy Puffs, eager to practice more charm work in the morning. This was part 1 of our birthday celebration! I would like to thank all of the businesses that revealed their true, enchanted nature, to the lucky ones who dared to venture into their world. We know it was no dream, we know that the magic was real because we have our wands, potions, Chocolate Frogs and Pygmy Puffs as reminders of the wonder. 

Fierce Azkaban escapee
Butterscotch Beer by The Flying Cauldron
Witch on the lose
May you find wonder in the everyday, maybe even wander into a magical world just around the curb.

With love,

Your Lady Star

The Root Vegetable Babes, Children of the Earth

Dear Fairy Friends,

As the seasons begin to shift (in Canada anyway!), and the flowers tuck themselves into their beds, we sometimes pay less attention to the earth as it is quitter after Fall harvests and hushed at the onset of winter. It is still there however and still in tune with the beings that walk it, burrow in it, hibernate and store their energies for a new season.

Come closer, I would like to tell you the strange and wonderful tale of The Root Vegetable Babes, Children of the Earth.

There was once a couple who wished for a child. Their farm had turned into a wasteland of weeds, they had no livestock and the shingles on the roof were a patchwork of disaster held together by sheer luck. The couple was not lazy, as one might assume. They were merely always so caught up in their thoughts that the everyday and the earth calling for their aid escaped them.

The husband had the brain of an innovator, and although he meant wholeheartedly to weed the garden beds, he got lost in sketches of contraptions he wished to build that could weed a garden at twice the speed of a person.

The wife spent her days burning her baking in the oven and forgetting the soup hung up by the fire as she created the most spectacular patterns for children’s garments. Nothing like her creations were to be seen in all the land. She sacrificed pieces of their best clothing, her wedding dress and his wedding clothes, to bring some of these pieces to life. She absentmindedly salted the cake and sugared the vegetables between her stitches, dreaming of dressing her own children in the clothes.

One night, as the wife swept cobwebs from her bedroom window, she opened the shutters to let the cool air blow away the dust that had gathered as well. She looked up at the round, rosy moon. It seemed so quiet then, as if there very air were listening. She looked up and whispered “I promise, I would nurture any child I would be blessed to have. I promise.”

The wind picked up suddenly and with such vigour that it slammed the shutters, narrowly missing the wistful wife’s finger tips as she yanked them off of the sill.

She fell into a deep sleep, the first in a long time that did not tease and torment her heart with dreams of her own children. In the morning, nothing – not the neighbour’s rooster, nor her husband’s gentle nudging nor the sun warming her skin – woke her. Her slumber was finally broken by a knock at the door.

Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she was startled to see it was already late morning. Hurriedly, she slipped on her dressing gown and slippers and opened the door.

On the doorstep, there stood a stranger. The stranger was a woman with a slightly bent back, smelling as though her clothing had been through many rains and had travelled many roads. Her hair was long and strewn with love knots. Her lined face was aged but there was such a loveliness to her large, brown eyes. She carried a frayed basket covered in a travel-worn handkerchief that must have been quite handsome once.

Not one to be rude, the wife said to the woman “good morning, is there anything I can help you with?”

The woman smiled, showing a mouth full of white, pearly teeth. She replied in a cracked voice “would you have room in your home for a little one?” As she said this, she nodded towards the basket.

The wife could not believe it! She said right away “oh yes, yes I do!”

The woman began to lift the handkerchief and the wife strained to see the baby that must be in the basket. A large rutabaga in a bonnet was cushioned within.

The wife did not know if she should laugh or cry at this cruel joke. She was about to tell the woman that this jest was unkind to a childless wife, but the wind rustled the leaves outside and shook the door slightly. The woman remembered her promise the night before and resolved to take the rutabaga in. The woman went away.

rutabaga.jpg

Her husband laughed but the wife took the rutabaga in the bonnet and made it a small cradle out of a drawer. She lay one of her exquisite baby gowns over the root, making the rutabaga appear to be the head and the gown the body. During the day, she moved the cradle to the kitchen where she worked. As she spoke to the root vegetable, practicing what she would say to a real child, she began to be more present. The bread was not burnt that week.

The next week, the woman appeared once more as loaves were coming out of the oven. The wife invited her in and broke bread with her. The woman saw the rutabaga tucked into the cradle and asked once more “would you have room in your home for a little one?”

The wife saw the fire in the hearth flicker as the wind picked up outside. She remembered her promise and was tucking in two babies that night, the rutabaga and a large, heart-shaped potato.

potatoe

Her husband shook his head and laughed again but figured the root vegetables were doing his wife some good as that week she baked the most delicious bread and cakes he had ever eaten. She was able to sell some in the village and they were able, after 2 weeks, to buy laying hens.

To make the grounds habitable for the hens, the husband had to prepare a coop and weed some of the gardens.

Three weeks after the heart-shaped potato made it’s home with the couple, the woman appeared once more. Once thy were finished their meal, the woman asked “would you have room in your home for a little one?”

A branch from outside beat against the shutters in the kitchen. The woman remembered her promise and this time, dressed a little parsnip as a babe.

parsnip.jpg

Her husband found this oddly endearing and did not mock his wife for that week, her baking was heavenly, her soups divine, new pieces were sewn and the home felt warmer.

Her baby clothes were admired by the wealthy and they soon commissioned the wife to make some for their children. The husband had enough money to make his weeding invention and soon, their farm was one of the most well-tended. They now had a goat for cheese making and a cow for milk and a couple of pigs for meat.

Four weeks later, the woman returned.  She stayed the night and the wife washed the rain and road dust from the woman’s clothing.The wife served her freshly scrambled eggs on hot bread.  She was treated to milk, goat cheese, bacon, soup, and cakes. When she had eaten her fill, the woman asked a different question “what names have you given the children?”

After so many weeks of talking to the vegetables, it was odd but the wife had come to believe that they each had different personalities and had, in fact, named them. She brought the cradle over, stuffed full now with the rutabaga, the heart-shaped potato and the parsnip. The woman saw that they were each beautifully clothed, freshly scrubbed and covered in warm blankets. The rutabaga and parsnip in boy’s clothing and the heart-shaped potato in a little gown for a girl. The wife pointed to the rutabaga and said “this is Rupert”. Next she pointed to the heart-shaped potato and said “this is Faith”. Lastly, she pointed to the turnip and said “This is Peter”.

The woman smiled and the wind picked up once more, but this time blowing open the door, blowing out the fire and shaking the shutters in their posts. In a glimmer, the woman shifted shapes into a short, stout, lovely woman with skin the colour of an acorn yet the same beautiful brown eyes were the same. She waved her hand over the cradle and the sound of babies laughing filled the room. The wife was astonished and saw there were three babes much too big to fit comfortably in the cradle, wearing the clothing she had dressed the vegetables in. The woman had vanished, the fire came to life once more.

She never knocked on the door again.

That night, the woman gave thanks in the light of the moon as three babes slept in their bed. By respecting the earth, caring for the grounds, the livestock, the woman at her door and the root vegetables, the couple had shown themselves worthy to provide a home for the Children of the Earth.The farm was never neglected again and the children kept the prosperous couple very busy!