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Readers hunt for horcruxes at library

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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

The Dover Library hosted a “Harry Potter”-themed scavenger hunt on Wednesday, July 31, on what would be the titular character’s 39th birthday. For kids and adults, this scavenger hunt was not only challenging, but provided a nostalgic rush of reading the last book so many years ago. From 11:00 until 4:00, participants were given the task of finding seven horcruxes hidden throughout the entire Dover Library. Horcruxes are pieces of Voldemort’s soul, split and infused into seven different items. Designed as ornate bookmarks, finding all of these horcruxes was much less dangerous than the ones Harry had to track down.

After receiving my list of clues from the front desk, I begin my quest to find all seven horcruxes. “At this game of wit/Ron was the master/So learn from the greats/And you’ll find what you’re after.”

Anyone who has read any of the “Harry Potter” book or seen the movies knows that Ron’s skill at chess is completely unmatched.

I walk towards the gaming section where, sure enough, there are at least a half dozen books about chess. As I suspect, holding the page is one of the horcrux bookmarks. I take my copy of the horcrux, a little slip of paper, and continue my hunt.

I look at my next clue: “Poor Ginny fell victim/To a cursed diary/So locate the books/Girls like her like to read.” Ginny was a preteen to teenage girl during the events of the book. And as a teenage girl, I was always reading books from one particular section. I walk to young adult section, where I scan the books. Sure enough, there is a bookmark that looks like a diary with a puncture wound through it.

The third clue has me puzzled. “In Bellatrix’s vault/the gold multiplies/To get rich and find/Where this horcrux hides.” I think and try to rationalize the clue. In the books, Bellatrix's bank vault holds Helga Hufflepuff’s cup.

But there’s not a banking section, is there?

So I approach the front desk and ask Angie the librarian for some help on the third clue. “What do banks hold?” Money. There is actually a money section of the library. In between “The Bitcoin Standard” and “The Lexus and the Olive Tree,” there I found the Hufflepuff cup, in an audiobook copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age.”

I skip the next clue about Ravenclaw’s horcrux when I realize I know exactly where one of the other horcruxes is located. “To rescue this horcrux/It was bottom’s up!/We don’t offer posion/But go fill your cup.” I head downstairs to where there’s a coffee machine, and sure enough, there’s a copy of “The Tales of the Beedle Bard.” On page 35, on a note from Dumbledore, is the next horcrux, the Slytherin locket.

I make my way back upstairs, fully believing that I know where the next clue is. “The room of requirement/Held Rowena’s crown/Among the Princess books/This can be found.” I know that the next clue has to be Ravenclaw’s diadem. Knowing it’s a tiara has me looking for books on British royalty and ones written by Phillipa Gregory. But I can’t find the horcrux there.

“Wait, is there an actual princess section?” I ask myself.

Then, I remember the librarian’s clue that they could be on both levels of the library. I make my way downstairs to the children’s section and ask the librarian if there is a princess section.

She smiles back. “Yes, and there are a couple in here.”

I begin looking around the room, and after a couple of minutes, I find the princess section. In “T is for Tiara,” on the “D is for dragon” page, which features a picture of a dragon swarming a castle, I find the next horcrux.

Realizing that I skipped another clue, I quickly realize that I need to stay downstairs. “This hissing horcrux/Was slain on the stairs,/So follow them down/to locate its heirssss.” At first, my thinking is that this means the horcrux is somewhere on the stairs. After a thorough examination with no horcruxes to be found, I retreat back downstairs.

I see one book about slithery snakes on display, but the horcrux isn’t there. Instead, it’s all the way into the children’s room. The book is somewhere between anaconda and cobra.

I’m determined to move on quickly from this clue, and not look at any of the snakes in the book. Unlike Harry, I’m not a huge fan of the reptiles and want to move on to my last horcrux as quickly as possible.

After about an hour, I finally reach my last horcrux: Harry himself. “The final brave horcrux/Concealed in plain sight/Where heroes and villains/In sketches take flight.” I ponder what this means. With Spider-Man on the brain, I decide that it must be comic books. I search between copies of the Avengers, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, and even the X-Men comics with no success. After looking for a few minutes, and with the use of my phone’s flashlight, I finally find it - coincidentally in a copy of the Spider-Man comics.

“You’ve found Harry!” reads the slip of paper.

I imagine Harry felt much more relief than I do at finding his horcruxes. Nonetheless, I feel über successful. I leave the library with a new bookmark and a sense of satisfaction, knowing that I may have been of some use during Harry’s own horcrux search.

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