This has actually been done since the end of May, but since it was for a contest I wasn't allowed to post it anywhere else until the entries had been judged and the winners decided.
I talked one of my besties (@nephra) into doing this contest with me on HEX (an interactive Harry Potter forums; I effing love it! DO THE THING AND JOIN, THEN ADD ME AS A BUDDY 8D). The goal was to create an original shop that could possibly be found in Knockturn Alley; it was a writing and graphics challenge. She did the writing part, and is also the mother behind this entire shop. Aaaaaaaaall of this was her design, I just brought it to life for her :)
We won first place! ^^
I'm really proud of us, and I love how this turned out! I've never designed a shop front before, so this was definitely a first :)
☆ Enchantress Books © @nephra & Me
☆ Artwork © Me
And as an added bonus, here is her story!
The shop 'Enchantress Books', in the infamous Knockturn Alley has an aura of hushed whispers surrounding it. If you happened to innocently stumble upon it, having never heard the rumours, you wouldn't ever guess just what you have gotten yourself into. After all, the first impression is a pleasant one. A cosy shop, with seats and nooks for customers to peruse the countless old and new books to their hearts content. And the name? It could easily be accounted for, by the beautiful shop owner, with her gaze, that feels just a little bit too knowing.. So far so reasonable. However, if you linger for long enough, you might just witness a scene like the following:
A hooded figure entered the shop, nervously looking around and rushing through the rows of shelves, ignoring the books completely. Maybe they got lost? "Looking for something?" the almost ominous voice came seemingly out of nowhere and so did, a few seconds later, it's owner. The red-headed woman fixated her customer with her eyes, entirely unfazed by the greenish glow, that seemed to emanate from inside the stranger's cloak pocket. "C-counter curse.." came a mumbling from underneath the hood. "Follow me." the witch simply said, having apparently expected just that. A door opened, granting a brief glimpse into a dimly-lit room, with a large, round stone table in the middle of it and shelves with strange objects, some behind glass, lining the walls. They left the room again just moments later. "That will be three hundred galleons. Next time, I suggest you stay away from them. They are not to be meddled with. Not by someone of your skill level anyway." the red-headed woman gave the person in front of her a pitiful look, as she took her earnings and safely stored them away in her pocket.
Now, if you managed to stay unnoticed by the woman for a bit longer, - which you would realise, is unlikely, since she seems to have her eyes and ears everywhere, - you may eventually wonder, if the books are just a cover. The tomes are absolutely fascinating, seemingly collected from all over the world. Upon inspecting them, you would find everything from 'Uses of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs in Elemental Rituals', over 'The Guarded Wisdom of Merpeople' all the way to 'Creative Ways to Dispose of a Corpse'. Your question will be answered sooner or later, because eventually there will be customers, actually wanting books, but they are the minority. The person appreciating the books the most, you will soon notice, is the owner herself. If you still managed to stay longer, - congratulations on being entirely invisible! - you might be lucky enough to witness a scene like this one, too:
Suddenly a cold breeze blew through the whole shop, before a man with a severe expression walked in, looking around suspiciously. The shop owner put her book down and glanced at him with hidden contempt. The man gave her an acknowledging nod, that seemed rather forced, before he went through the rows, studying the contents briefly. - The book titles.. you could have sworn some of them used to be different a second ago.. - Eventually the wizard muttered something to himself, sounding annoyed and heavily walked over to where the red-headed woman sat on a window sill. "I'm looking for a book on Necromancy." he said. "We don't carry any such things, those are illegal." the witch replied calmly and you swear you had noticed just the tiniest hint of a smirk. The wizard now discretely tried to bribe her. "I'm sure we can come to an understanding." he winked. "Thank you." the woman said, took the gold and pocketed it, "But as I said, there are no books on banned subjects here." she smiled, as the man clenched his teeth and spun around to keep inspecting the shelves. Eventually he went towards the door, to the mysterious room from earlier. "What's in there?" he asked, his tone now quite agitated. "That's the broom closet." "Can I see that?" "I don't see what's so fascinating about that, but if you wish.." the owner said dully and magically, the door sprung open, to reveal not the room from before, but indeed, a broom closet. The wizard tried forcing the room's secrets out with spells. Nothing happened. "Tell your colleagues at the ministry, that there is nothing illicit going on here, will you? I'm growing ever so tired of your inspections." the witch said and yawned.
-- Nephra --
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The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued September 22, 1862 wherein President Abraham Lincoln freed enslaved Americans in the states of rebellion. It was not until December 1865, however, when the 13th Amendment was ratified, that slavery in the United States became illegal. The reason we celebrate on June 19 is because not all enslaved people in the states of secession were free until Union troops regained control of Texas in June 1865, and on June 19 the last slaves in Galveston, Texas were emancipated. Juneteenth first became a day of celebration in Galveston, where the final Proclamation announcement was made, and was originally called Jubilee Day. It became nationally recognized in 1996 as “Juneteenth Independence Day,” and just this week, on June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became the eleventh American federal holiday. The day is celebrated with learning about African-American heritage, reading of works by noted African-American writers, singing traditional songs, making and eating soul food and barbeque, and taking part in recitations of the Emancipation Proclamation. Go here for a transcript.
Our recognition of the holiday begins with sharing the children’s book Forever Free: The Story of the Emancipation Proclamation by Dorothy Sterling, illustrated by Ernest Crichlow, and published in Garden City, N.Y., by Doubleday & Co. in 1963. The book is a middle-grade collection of educational stories about the history of American slavery and the path to freedom. The author thanks the University of Chicago Press and Benjamin A. Botkin for permission to reprint excerpts from slave stories, originally published in Botkin’s American folklore book Lay My Burden Down: A Folk History of Slavery, originally produced for the Federal Writer’s Project in 1945.
Dorothy Sterling (1913-2008), a Jewish-American author, was a prolific author for both children and adults. She started out in the Federal Writers’ Project with lifestyle photo essays but quickly moved to black history.
“I was excited, but also bewildered and angry,” she wrote. “Why had I never heard of Harriet Tubman or Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass or William Lloyd Garrison? Here was a wealth of information, dozens of inspiring stories to tell to young readers.”
Ernest Crichlow (1914-2005) was a black American social realist artist in the Works Project Administration, notable for paintings, murals, illustrations, and prints, including the 1939 lithograph Lovers. He worked in fine arts and illustration with a goal to show the "indomitable inner strength, intrinsic beauty, dignity and essential humanity that exists in the African American community." Go here for the NPR obituary tribute.
View more Black History Posts.
View more Juneteenth Posts.
-Claire, Special Collections Graduate Intern
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