Since Joanne Kathleen Rowling published Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone in 1997, Harry Potter has become one of the most phenomenal (in the literal and adulated senses) series and franchises in the history of popular culture. The very first Leaky Con, named after the iconic Leaky Cauldron Inn from the books and hosted by The Leaky Cauldron.com, held at Boston in 2009, marked the beginning of an annual celebration of Harry Potter, it’s fandom, a spirit of plurality, inclusion and acceptance and taking an unabashed communal pride and joy in being a geeky fan.
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the 5th LeakyCon, my first, held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. It was without question one of the most geektastic, welcoming and fun experiences I’ve had in a long time due in equal parts to the people I met and the programming that the staff, con-goers, volunteers and guests put together. Even with the name change from LeakyCon to GeekyCon, and especially with the announcement that there will be other Harry Potter focused LeakyCons as well, I’m confident this series of conventions will continue being worthy of the sense of home that so many fans feel for it. Below is a gallery of highlights from my adventures!
This eye blazing marquis was still being hung with a crane when registration was supposed to take place. I kept thinking, we’re all wizards here! We should magic that thing up there no problem. At any rate, it’s not as though geeks can’t keep themselves busy just sitting around and talking to each other, waiting, patiently, while combusting inside. The lines, Merlin’s scraggly white beard, THE LINES!
Tumblr. Has grown into a cornerstone of most areas of human interest, especially fandom. So you could be sure there were plenty of Tumblr. Ask panels and sessions.
Quite the crowd gathered to watch the live Quidditch match between the in house LeakyCon quidditch team and the Harry Potter Alliance. It was quite an exciting match. HPA led LeakyCon by average of 20 points throughout the game until the snitch appeared. This game’s snitch was a wily agile guy. LeakyCon eventually caught him but HPA won the match.
My very first ever Wizard Rock concert, featuring Tonks and the Aurors with front-Hufflepuff Steph Anderson. #HuffleRiot.
A Mainstage panel featuring five actors from the Harry Potter films. From left to right; Ellie Darcey-Alden (Young Lilly), Scarlett Bryne (Pansy), Robbie Jarvis (Young James), Charlotte Skeoch (Hannah Abbot), and Nick Shirm (Zackarias Smith).
The guest authors of the LeakyCon Literature track put their nerd cred on the line for a game of YA Jeopardy. I felt as though I knew the answers a least a third of the time when the contestants didn’t. Fortunately, some of the fans got to have a turn as well. So fun, but so much pressure.
Second night of Wizard Rock, leading with the Whomping Willows with Matt Maggiacomo, Steph Anderson of Tonks and the Aurors and Brian Ross of Draco and the Malfoys. We’re Wizards, we’ll party forever. This night will never end!
The OGs, Joe and Paul DeGeorge as Harry and the Potters. Voldemort can’t stop the Wrock!
Esther Earl was a New England teenager diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2006 and was pronounced terminal in late 2007. Between then and her unfortunate passing in August 2010, Esther befriended author John Green at LeakyCon 2009, worked closely with the Harry Potter Alliance for charitable causes and inspired many people in the Harry Potter Fandom and beyond to aspire to love, perseverance and happiness. The Esther Day Charity Ball at LeakyCon 2014 celebrated her legacy, including This Star Won’t Go Out nonprofit organization and Esther Day, which she herself said she wanted to be about “family and love”.
A whole slew of LeakyCon guests took the mainstage to celebrate and remember Esther Earl.
Rest In Awesome, Esther.
A rather unlikely pairing, but an exceptional pair of cosplays.
Who cares how tall she is? This Thor cosplay is worthy, without question!
“Well, I’m Kaylee. And this here’s Serenity, and she’s the smoothest ride from here to Boros for anyone can pay.”
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. I wouldn’t want to get caught under that hammer, or ensnared by those vines. Or maybe I would…
I was fortunate to catch a glimpse of this spritely snitch.
Princess Anna and Queen Elsa of Arendelle, in their regal attire.
Professors Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
There is always Deadpool.
A lovely cosplay of the Tooth Fairy from Rise of the Guardians.
A bona-fide femme fatal infiltrates the civie ranks of fans in the form of Black Widow.
Professor Alastor Moody, disgraced ex-auror, member of the Order of the Phoenix.
“After all this time?” “Always.”
Daenerys “Stormborn” of House Targaryen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Kahleesi of the Dothraki, The Unburnt, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. And her Dragon.
Seven of Nine of the crew of the Starship Voyager. I couldn’t even tell the difference.