A yellow Grand Cherokee parked outside the convenience store wore the license plate CUREOUS. The license plate reminded me of my father and his choice of HEEL EM, which was a nod to his profession as doctor and his alma mater of UNC Chapel Hill. CUREOUS may be a variation on that theme, though more suitable to some hotshot, misanthropic diagnostician.
The unnaturally blond woman behind the counter tossed the following nicknames my way, all in the span of one minute, and all as charmingly as you can imagine: Sweetie, Honey, Darling, My Love. That last one accompanied the request that I sign the credit card receipt.
I walked past a small, silver sports car parked in a driveway some 15 feet from the street. The rear mirror rocked a single decal with a single word: Alohomora. I’ll grant that the letters were both small and distant, but even after careful scrutiny (from the non-trespassing vantage of the road) I could only see Alohomora.
The Unlocking Charm is, of course, extremely useful, but simple bewitchments can guard against its effects. Over Christmas my niece shared a special affection for that spell. “I just realized how much I love saying Alohomora,” she said. “It’s just really fun to say.”