MISTI*Con 2019

After two years of build up, planning, and anticipation, my favorite convention in the world has come and gone. And, as always, we packed a lot of living into the long weekend.

MISTI, of course, is a celebration of all things Harry Potter. There’s an academic track, for panel on character analysis and how Harry Potter can tie in with social work, a lit track to discuss how Rowling influenced a whole generation of writers, wizard rock, and a whole host of other nerdy events. Despite the change in venue and absence of many friends, this might have been my favorite MISTI yet.

I don’t take many pictures (except of cats. That’s different.) so all you’re going to get here are my cosplays, as photographed by other people. But rest assured, everything else was awesome too.

Durmstrang summer uniforms

This was my first MISTI group cosplay! It came together in the eleventh hour, all thanks to Dave and Rachel, who literally made belts and sewed patches at the con. Dave also made the staves, which are totally kick asterisk and have some sort of faucet pieces as their toppers.

Durmstrang was my Saturday cosplay, so I also spent about eight hours setting up, running, and breaking down Madam Malkin’s, as well as moderating one of my lit track panels. Madam Malkin’s was a huge success; we sold scads of stuff (including at least two dresses that made appearances later that day as cosplays and Ball gowns). Kat, my right-hand witch, did all the math for us and even swung by the original Madam Malkin’s house to pick up collapsible clothing racks. The MISTI staff built us a dressing room where people could try on items, and one of our volunteers even scrounged up a full-length mirror from the hotel. Madam Malkin’s Consignment Shoppe is seriously a group effort, but we managed to pull it off and I adore everyone who gave up time to help us out. (Especially Kat. Did I mention Kat? I love Kat. SHE DID THE MATH.)

My long-suffering werewolf spouse agreed to be Lupin for one day and one day only, so we could get cute photos at the photobooth. As one of the very few Lupins, he got stopped every few steps in the hall by other Tonkses and Siriuses for impromptu photoshoots. He also ran the Owlery Game to great success (with many daring steals across teams including the most dramatic two minutes of my life when a Gryffindor stole from me and one of my housemates casually strolled behind him and stole all the letters back.)

Ravenclaw’s “winner” ribbon, and a clearer pic of my Tonks cosplay

I could spend 5,000 words detailing every minute of my time at MISTI and still not feel like I did it justice. It’s a magical place filled with my found family and people who speak my language. It encompasses everything I love, from Harry Potter, to other books, making and receiving gifts (yay Owl Post! I finally made it in this year!), dancing, Disney music, new things, and old and new friends. I stayed up until at least 2am every night laughing until my stomach hurt, and how often can you say that? I got to play Harry Potter trivia TWICE. There was a hilarious panel on “Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches.” I learned how to make a friendship bracelet!

The team that makes MISTI happen every two years declined to announce MISTI 2021 at the closing feast. (That’s when they normally announce the next MISTI so we all know to cheer and start planning our next cosplays & panels.) So, for now, MISTI is over, which is devastating. But hope springs, and I understand and support the staff’s decision. Just running Madam Malkin’s wore me out; I literally cannot imagine what goes in to running the convention.

Regardless of what happens in the future, I’m so glad MISTI has been part of my life. I’ve met some amazing people and tried so many new things.

To paraphrase JKR, MISTI will always be there to welcome us home.

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