It's levi(O)sa, not levio(SA): Potterbounding at the Chattanooga Symphony

November 5, 2018

The Harry Potter books will always hold a special place in my heart. The very first book was given to me by my mother when it first came out (& is now very well loved in all its bent corner glory). She read the back cover and thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy: witches, wizards, magical creatures, and all that’s in between - yes please. I remember midnight book release parties & then later, the midnight movie premieres. Nights like that bubbled over with excitement and anticipation & I delighted in letting my geek flag fly. Harry Potter was such a big part of my childhood and has become steeped in nostalgia for me, some 20+ years later. 

When I heard the Chattanooga symphony was presenting a night filled with magic & Harry Potter music, my interest was instantly piqued. It wasn’t something my husband would be into (he’s not a Harry Potter fan. Siriusly. It’s a bit riddikulus), but lucky for me, I have (muggle) friends who revel in the HP universe (& are just as [in]sane as I am) who would jump at the chance to be a little closer to that magical world. My friend Sarah had an extra ticket, so together we planned a Potter-themed night out on the town (I solemnly swear we were up to no good). 

Obviously we had to dress the part & “Potterbound” and Sarah was totally on board with this - she’s definitely a keeper (the puns will Neville stop). Sarah opted for Bellatrix & I picked Fleur. I started outfit planning by hunting down some Beauxbatons accessories.

I knew I had to have a hat. Fleur’s is very iconic and also pretty uniquely shaped, so finding something similar was a bit of a challenge. It was a cloche style hat, so I started there and scoured the web. Surprisingly, Amazon came to the rescue yet again (prime is a muggle’s best friend & is the closest thing to an accio spell). I added the witchcraft book clutch since I already had it leftover from last Halloween & it was themed pretty perfectly. The final touch was my wand, handmade with love by my husband who, although is not an HP nerd, does enjoy making me happy (smart man). He sanded down some sticks from the backyard & made them into a wand shape. I then used the hot glue trick & painted them a nice brown shade. 

Black Magic Book Clutch - Rebel Love Clothing

The dress was the easy part. I had found this dress from XO Mandy Sue a few months prior and was just holding on to it for the right event. Initially when I first got it, I had a different theme in mind, but the more I looked at it, the more I started getting total Beauxbatons vibes from it - the dusty blue color, the flowy material, and the draping of the bodice all screamed Fleur to me (unfortunately, butterflies not included).

Shilo Dress - XO MandySue | Cloche Hat - Bellady | Stacked Heel Ankle Boots - Kohls

Sarah played Bellatrix opposite to my Fleur and dressed all in black with some subtle nods to the dark side (no, not that dark side). I think she captured the mood perfectly!

With our outfits complete & wands at the ready, we headed out for mischief. Our first stop was Alimentari, a little Italian eatery in Chattanooga's trendy West Village. Even the name sounds like something Harry Potter would chant, wand poised over an empty plate, as if to make food miraculously appear. While we waited for our own food to materialize, we happily imbibed (accio wine!) and stuffed our faces with carbs. I like my carbs with a side of carbs, so I ordered a prosciutto & arugula pizza. It was, quite frankly, culinary perfection. 10/10 would recommend.

After dinner, we were in search of more libations so we popped in to Alchemy bar at the Westin, another fitting stop on our tour du Potter. Alchemy by definition is “a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.” They take mixology seriously here & I should have tested their skills by requesting some sort of themed cocktail, but I was boring & kept it simple (accio MORE WINE!)

By now, it was almost showtime. Since we left our Nimbus 2000s at home, we went oldschool and walked the couple of blocks to the theater (we had to burn off those carbs somehow). In the lobby, they had a sorting hat set up where you could get sorted into a house (according to Pottermore, I’m Hufflepuff) and a photo booth, complete with fun props. After a quick pic, we took our seats.

The performance featured scores from all 8 films of the Harry Potter series which includes music by John Williams, Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper, and Alexandre Desplat, all performed live by the Chattanooga Symphony. After a brief introduction & a few jokes by the conductor, the program kicked off with the iconic Harry Potter arrangement, “Hedwig’s Theme” (you know the one) & from there, moved through each of the films in sequential order, selecting only the best from each. 

My personal favorites of the evening were “The Knight Bus” & “Neville’s Waltz.” Just hearing the music and seeing it performed was honestly magical because it truly conjured up so much imagery in my head (imagination is probably the best form of magic).

I had so much fun being Fleur for the evening & getting a little taste of the wizarding world right here in my own city. Mischief successfully managed!

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