“It would take more zan a werewolf to stop Bill loving me!” – Fleur Delacour, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince *I think Molly Weasley learned never to underestimate Fleur after this interaction.
I think I underestimated Fleur. Underestimating a woman is a dangerous game to play, be she fictional or not. Thankfully I emerged from my oversight unscathed and wiser. When I cosplayed as her last Friday I never expected the reactions I received. Almost immediately upon arriving at the EY Centre people noticed, and recognized me. I saw people elbowing their friends out of the corner of my eye and pointing. Gracefully, or so I hope, I waved back with a smile. None of my previous cosplays solicited such a swift and positive response from passersby and it made me feel good. A volunteer at Ottawa Comiccon was the first person to greet me by name and as we briefly discussed Fleur’s backstory at Beauxbatons I was confronted with the all encompassing nature of the Harry Potter fandom. That first encounter set the tone for my Friday, and by the end of the day I responded to the name, “Fleur” as if it was my own.
Throughout the day I took a variety of photos with people. Everyone from young children, who gazed at me with wide eyes, to adults, who were shy and excited in turn, asked to take photos with me. I imagine that the pure joy I felt on Friday is what motivates Disney Princesses to get up everyday do their jobs. The best part about impromptu photos with people was how polite everyone was – with the exception of one person – no one took my photo without my permission, at least not to my knowledge. When I mentioned this to a friend of mine as we waited in line for a panel on Saturday she remarked that my character choice probably had something to do with the respect I received. I feel inclined to agree with her. No one in their right mind would mess with Fleur. She is a pillar of grace and elegance yes, but even more than that she represents strength and determination. The Order of the Phoenix was lucky to have her. So, in comparison to my experience as Black Widow last year I definitely enjoyed more respect this year.
As I look to Comiccon 2017 several cosplay ideas come to mind, but I still have not settled on one in particular. I might finally pay homage to Hermione Granger or maybe I’ll pick out another Marvel character since the next few years will cinematically belong to Marvel and DC. We shall simply have to see what next year brings. All I know for certain is that I will not underestimate the draw and appeal of any character in the future. Fleur was, to date, the most recognizable cosplayed I have ever donned. I’m glad that I was able to do her character justice but for now I think I’ll retire her white-blonde hair. While it was fun to be Fleur for a day I was happy to come back to myself, after all I’m the hero of my own story aren’t I?