Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1- Hermione
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Credit: Warner Bros.

What would our favorite witches do: quarantine edition

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Apr 22, 2020, 6:00 PM EDT

So, uh, how are you doing with all of (vaguely gestures everywhere) this? As many people head into their second month of social distancing, masking up to go on essential errands, and washing their hands raw, I just want to take this moment to hold space with you in this deeply bizarre new normal. You're doing great. You're doing fine. We're gonna get through this, we just have to be patient.

Me, I'm doing OK; I've successfully tricked my brain into thinking "pacing nervously around the apartment for an hour while doing light cleaning" counts as a walk, which is a success. But I've been finding it helpful to see how people I look up to are handling the situation. Such as, oh, I don't know, some of my favorite witches?

Credit: Warner Bros.

Hermione Granger

You'd think the advantages of the Wizarding World would make working from home a snap, but Minister of Magic Hermione Granger has been pulling her hair out trying to run things remotely. Given how long-lived wizards are, her ministerial duties now require her having to provide tech support to people over one hundred years of age who don't really believe in telephones, let alone telecommuting. And sure, the Floo Network does allow for magical Skype in the form of fire talking, but that requires you to have multiple fires running in the house. Which is fine if you're a Malfoy, but not if you're a wizard with two roommates in the heart of wizarding London.

Her father-in-law keeps counseling her to try "that Zooming thingy Muggles use," no matter how many times she explains that you need a computer and internet access to use Zoom. (And then he usually asks if she can fix his jailbroken iPad which basically just runs on magic anyway. Luckily, Hermione can sic her daughter on him and get some peace and quiet.)

Still, Hermione isn't the greatest witch of her generation for nothing. With the assistance of Ministry employees with experience in Muggle technology and the Floo Regulatory Board, she's developed a way to fire talk utilizing candles instead of fireplaces. Sure, it's a little disconcerting and a bit of a fire hazard, but that's basically every element of wizarding life, so what's new?

Nonetheless, she really appreciates it when her administrative assistant uses Slack.

Credit: MGM Studios


The Wicked Witch of the West

Elphaba Thropp isn't on social media. (The Facebook account Glinda bullied her into getting in college doesn't count and hasn't been updated in years.) But if she was, Elphaba would have absolutely liked all of those early quarantine tweets about how introverts have been preparing for social isolation their whole lives. She barely sees anyone these days anyway, what with being Public Enemy Number 1 in Oz and all, her castle is literally a stronghold, and she has a pantry the size of an Emerald City penthouse. Just another day in paradise, right?

But, like a lot of other things in Elphaba's life, there's often a difference between the planning of something and the doing of something. Sure, being an introvert does make social isolation go smoother, but humans are social creatures. And while her flying monkey right-hand primate Chistery is great company, he's not exactly a conversationalist. During the day, she busies herself endlessly cleaning, inventorying the pantry, inventorying her magical supplies, and researching. But at night? Well, she almost tried to figure out how to magically DM Fiyero before taking a good long look in the mirror and taking a dust bath.

To ward off any future ill-advised night terrors (she cannot pull off bangs, she knows this), she's been trying to have regular long-distance conversations with Nessarose, although Nessa being the Governor of Munchkinland minds she has a lot on her plate right now. And she's been stress-baking like you wouldn't believe, to the delight of the flying monkeys. She's even adapting spellwork into her recipes; after all, tea is basically a potion that makes everything better.

Sorry, that's wine. She's thinking of wine.

Credit: Disney


Social distancing measures meant that Ursula had to get her small business — magical consulting — online and fast. After figuring out which mortal snapped up "ursula.com" during the '90s, it was a simple matter of turning them into a sea slug to get her way. After spending a wine-soaked night making the website look, as she told Flotsam and Jetsam, "like it screams CLASS," it's now easy for Ursula's clientele to make a virtual appointment with her. Of course, they also do get signed up for a newsletter from her that they can never, ever unsubscribe from, no matter how many times they try.

It's actually cast a wider net for poor, unfortunate souls, which is great when your business model isn't exactly set up to encourage repeat business. With Flotsam and Jetsam serving as contactless delivery boys and customer service, she can focus on providing quality consultations to her clients. And she does enjoy deleting negative reviews of her business off of Kelp. (It's like Yelp but … you get it.)

Honestly, maintaining her signature locks has proven the most difficult task. You might be one of the most powerful witches in the seven seas, but that still doesn't mean you can see the back of your own head. Someday, she'll be able to see her hairdresser again, but until then, it's a good thing living underwater really disguises uneven home haircuts.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Ilyana Rasputin

Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is, like most schools, closed for the foreseeable future, which means that Magik and Colossus — aka Ilyana and Peter Rasputin — have been responsibly self-isolating in their apartment.

Thanks to Cerebro, online schooling has gone pretty smoothly. Except for when Ilyana sleeps through her alarm and is woken up by Professor Xavier's class just starting in her brain. It's nice to only have to share a kitchen and a bathroom with one other person, but Peter's been a little on edge. Being an X-Men remotely has been very challenging for Peter, so the sibs have been watching a lot of Great British Bake-Off together to take the edge off. Like, a lot. Peter can do a really solid Mary Berry impression now.

The hardest part has been making sure not to use her teleportation powers whenever she wants; an errant disc could cause a lot of trouble. There is still one place she can teleport to … but Limbo is just too stressful right now. The demons of Limbo just don't get the whole quarantine thing. "Oh, you're home? You should come hang out with us!" they keep saying, as if quarantine means "free time!" and not "how do you remote into the Danger Room? And also not panic about the future?" She has explained countless times about the handwashing and the masks and the everything she's doing and they should be doing, it's seriously in one pointy ear and out the other.

She's not going to stop trying, though; she is, after all, their ruler and technically responsible for them. But man, it would be nice to not want to throw her phone across the room every time she gets a "hey let's get demon brunch!!!" text on the Limbo group chat.

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