In an event that recalls the grand relocation of Beauxbatons Academy and Durmstrang Institute; at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, “Hogwarts comes to Central Library” in Leeds on February 17th, in time for the UK schools half term. “Experience something magical at Central Library this half term,” says the announcement. “Join us for a Harry Potter themed afternoon where you will take a trip around this historical building and explore its creepy corridors. Learn to brew potions and play Quidditch with some very special guests.”

Leeds Central Library, with its Grade II listed building status and late Victorian fabric, does indeed look like a possible branch office of the Ministry of Magic. The whole event is part of a library festival across Leeds to celebrate and publicize the city’s libraries. I’ve no idea who the special guests could be, but given that this is Alan Bennett‘s home town, who knows? And I’m not sure if Quidditch practice was included among the list of essential library services covered by the recent Sieghart Report, but if it wasn’t, it damn well should be.

Sad to say for any aspirant witches and wizards, the event has already sold out. But I’m sure there’ll be some wingardium leviosa-ing over Leeds to mark it. Beware low-flying inflated aunts, runaway bludgers, and rampaging Knight Buses, all …


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