Pulling up in a cab, I had to make my way through a thick and high-pitched wall of teenagers who were desperately trying to flag the attention of Neville Longbottom, or actor Matthew Lewis. Once an awkward child with a pudgy face and toothy grin, Longbottom has emerged as hubba-hubba hunk and girls pressed against the castle gates en masse to scream his name, “Loooongboottom, we loooove you!!!”

But the young wizard heartthrob wasn’t the only draw to this film premiere party!

Smoke billowed around the impressive turrets and an owl named Echo winked at us. Hoo-hoo! We chased caterers for extra helpings of Yorkshire Pudding and made friends with the UofT Quidditch team. Did you know that McGill, Ryerson, York and UofT all have a brigade of broom riding students? At the party, architectural constraints prevented the team from actually playing, but they were happy to hobble around on brooms for fun. (Very awkward to watch.)

Decorating pillars throughout the great room, I tried to snag a broom for myself, twice, but both missions were unsuccessful. “Ma’am put the broom down!” Okay, okay. BUT WE ARE IN HOGWARTS! AND the old men portraits hanging on the wall did start talking to me! And I was able to wear my invisibility cloak into the men’s lavatory! And, and, when I snuck down to the secret swimming pool, the Casa Loma golden swans were eager to let me ride them. No water in the pool? Duh, that’s why I brought my wand!!! AGUAMENTI!

With the full moon aglow, and flaming orange lights wrapping the castle walls, it was the perfect setting to celebrate the final chapter of this epic Harry Potter journey. While children played in the smoke machine and merrily twirled in fancy dresses, a twenty-seven year old publicist stood teary-eyed in the corner crying, “I’m not ready!” I know, I know but IT ALL COMES TO AN END! Oh, but the magic lives on! Now gimme that damn broom so I can fly home to Parkdale.

~ Jen McNeely