Morgan and Harris

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How We Met

Our story started out a little rocky–it’s like God was testing us to see if we were serious. I was a senior in college, he was not. He had graduated from my school the year before I got there. He was from Memphis, Tennessee and I was from Tampa, Florida. By all circumstances, it seemed like there would never be a reason for us to meet. Well, during my last semester, I made a new friend. He had been at school with me since I had started, I knew who he was, but we had never talked. He honestly didn’t know I existed. Strangely, he had heard about my breakup with another student at our school and messaged me on Facebook, asking if I was doing okay. From there on, we started hanging out regularly and I was developing feelings for him.

One night, we were at McDonald’s doing homework and he asked if it would be okay if one of his friends came to hang out with us. Of course, I said I didn’t mind. So, into that McDonald’s that night, walked my future husband. At first, I thought he was pretty obnoxious until we started talking. He was wise and knew how to communicate. Funnily enough, the guy I was crushing on had tried to set up my best friend with his friend. His friend, Harris, had heard about me and my best friend and accidentally mixed up the names and faces. So, he thought the girl that was sitting across from him was the girl he was being “set up” with (Dramatic irony to the extreme). Well, ever since that day, Harris and I never stopped talking.

He went back to Memphis, but we spent hours on the phone or Skype together–discussing Vampire Diaries or having a bible study. It had never been so easy to communicate with someone before. The best part was that I was still kind of interested in Harris’ friend so there was no romantic pressure on Harris and I. We easily developed a loving and open friendship, setting ourselves up for an obviously successful relationship. Eventually, things didn’t work out with Harris’ friend, but that was for the best. He was just leading me to the man of my dreams.

how they asked

First of all, I have a slightly horrible confession to make: I almost ruined the entire proposal.

Of course, I had to come down with a cold on the weekend that Harris had planned to pop the question, but luckily, I had made lunch plans that I didn’t want to back out of. our friend Abbie requested my presence at a fancy lunch & since I had been pumped about lunch for a week, I had to muster up my strength & make it to church.

halfway through worship service, I couldn’t breathe through my nose & my chest was hurting so I decided to run to the gas station for some Gatorade and medicine. little did I know, my boyfriend was having a rough time leading singing because he was worried about how the day would go since I had disappeared (poor baby, but so cute). once service was over, I ran back into the building to go to the bathroom & was intercepted by our friend Katie. Harris had asked her distract me for a few minutes so they could set up the first part of the proposal scavenger hunt, but we ended up talking for half an hour in a back classroom & Harris lost track of me: we were almost late for our lunch reservation!

Starting to feel a bit suspicious after another couple gave me a huge group hug goodbye, I turned around to see a suitcase sitting next to my side of the car. As I got closer, I realized there was a stuffed owl sitting on top of the suitcase as well as a folded letter.

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You’re probably thinking, “morgan, how do you not realize that this is probably the day you’re getting engaged?” Well, I was beginning to suspect that, but a few months ago, Harris had mentioned a few times that he had a day-long date planned for me & I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high if he didn’t propose. so… I kinda feigned innocence & snatched up my letter.

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Abbie did a phenomenal job crafting most of the items Harris used for our scavenger hunt: just look at how cute that Hogwarts acceptance letter is! (& wait until you see the Marauder’s Map)

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Following the riddle on my letter, I knew we were headed for Oxford Exchange, one of my favorite bookstores in Tampa (all of the riddles were written by another one of our talented friends, Morgan). I had attempted to take Harris to OE for months, but something had gone awry every time. luckily, he made us a reservation. the location was spot on, giving off tons of Diagon Alley vibes.

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Little did I know, Harris had recruited our friends, Abbie & Jackson, to follow us around and take pictures. at this point, I was definitely feeling antsy and the butterflies were all a flutter in my chest, but I kept telling myself to play it cool, that this might just be a really sweet date. When I got up to go to the bathroom, I saw Jackson ordering a coffee at the coffee counter & my suspicions had been confirmed. To be a good sport, I pretended I hadn’t seen him & went along my merry way. at the end of our delicious brunch, the waiter brought me the check. Now, OE always brings their checks in old books, but they normally don’t bring handmade a Marauder’s Map as a parting gift. apparently, Jackson had slipped it to the waiter during lunch. While it seemed perfectly clear that I was going to be getting engaged that day, I knew Harris wasn’t going to go easy on me. Naturally, the map had another riddle on the back.

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I was now being whisked off to FC’s soccer field for a quick game of Quidditch. Unfortunately, the gate was locked when Abbie was setting up the game so she quickly relocated us to a nearby park. Three golden Quidditch hoops awaited me at the park as well as a glass box holding the Golden Snitch! (more on that later).

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Enclosed in the Snitch’s case, another clue, leading me to the Forbidden Forest. after a trek through the muggy and buggy woods, we happened upon a wand with the core of a phoenix feather (handmade by Harris himself). The wand instructed me to defeat the deadly reptile residing in the Chamber of Secrets (a.k.a. the Recyclosaurus at MOSI).

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Once I had battled the dastardly fiend, I stumbled upon Tom Riddle’s diary hidden deep within the Chamber. I had to decipher the next clue concealed in his diary, leading us straight to the Ministry of Magic.

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In the heart of Ybor, the Italian Club stands stoic & regal, much like the Ministry itself. hidden by the front door of the Ministry (no magic phone booths or toilets necessary), a magical prophecy awaited me.

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This prophecy contained one of my favorite pictures of Harris & I as well as yet another riddle.

In case you had forgotten, I started off this day not feeling too great. the Florida heat & my worsening cold was starting to wear on me, but I trudged on. we were headed, finally, to Hogwarts. The turrets of the University of Tampa loomed large and gleaming behind us as we walked up to the amphitheater where we had previously shared an impactful moment, integral to the blossoming of our relationship. perched on one of the topmost steps sat a case of Butterbeer, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans & another sheet of parchment. on closer inspection, the parchment contained Dumbledore’s Will. as we had reached this last stop, we brought my suitcase full of goodies with us & the will instructed me to open up the Golden Snitch (can you believe he made me carry around my own engagement ring the whole day? well, I can).

I fumbled with it, bringing it to my lips, trying to pry it open, until Harris reached over and twisted the top of, displaying my dazzling, sparkly, new future. the tears came quickly & I had to listen carefully to absorb Harris’ words: “Morgan Maloney, you have been the most magical thing in my life. Every day with you is an adventure and I want this to be the rest of my life. Will you marry me?”

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One emphatic yes & lots of kisses/tears later, this Ravenclaw agreed to marry a Slytherin!

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I absolutely loved the effort & thought Harris (& many of our friends!) put into the perfect proposal. I personally can’t imagine a more fitting or dedicated proposal.

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Special Thanks

Jackson Moon
 | Photography