We spoke to the couple behind that epic Harry Potter proposal
When Heather Pearson proposed to Kelsey Stacy, she had no idea that the Harry Potter inspired scavenger hunt proposal she’d spent years planning would go viral—even earning the two a congratulations from J.K. Rowling! We talked to Heather and Kelsey, both Slytherins who live in Oregon, about the epic proposal, their relationship and why Slytherins get such an undeserved bad reputation.
How did you and Kelsey meet?
After graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Heather launched her online personal training website where she wrote online workout plans and meal plans. Her first client was a girl from Mississippi whom she’d played D1 softball against. During her first week of Heather’s workouts, she brought a friend (Kelsey) to do one with her. I loved it so much that I messaged Heather on Instagram about getting started on my own program. Heather was over the moon—two clients in the first week of her website launching!
I began texting Heather nonstop. Seeing that this could bring conflict to her new business, Heather asked that we stick to a client/coach relationship until my program was finished, so I decided to end the program. Two weeks later, Heather drove from Oklahoma where her family was living at the time, to Cleveland, MS with a bag packed for two weeks to meet me for the first time.
The night we met we shared a hug that can’t be described with words because it was all feelings. We both felt like we were home. That night, Heather asked me to be her girlfriend. Within the next few weeks, major events happened in both of our lives that pushed us closer together. Heather’s website then evolved into Dande and the Lion, our joint business. (Kelsey being the “dande”/dandelion and Heather being the lion.) Heather has a huge lion tattoo on her arm. We’re vegans, and Dande and the Lion represents living like a lion but eating plants. We now have clients all over the world following our vegan meal plans and workout plans.
When did you start planning to propose to Kelsey? How did you come up with the idea to make it a Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy themed scavenger hunt? Did you start with one idea and build from there?
I’ve always known I wanted to marry Kelsey, literally since the first time we met and hugged. It sounds crazy to say that one hug could feel so powerful but it did! It felt like I was feeling true love for the first time. I felt like I was home, and I was safe.
Kelsey and I immediately bonded over our love for Harry Potter. Pottermore and the Sorting Hat (and any other quiz we’ve ever taken) placed us both in Slytherin. Having the initials HP only fueled my love for all things Harry Potter growing up.
Everything has kind of been building for a while for this proposal. It really goes back to even two years ago. My hair wasn’t always platinum blonde, but it has been for a little over two years. Ever since I did it, I have felt like such a Malfoy and it’s awesome! I often refer to myself as Draco, especially when my hair is freshly bleached. Back in August 2015, Kelsey and I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, for our one-year anniversary. While we were there, we each got a wand from Ollivander’s Wand Shop.
Then in February 2018, I found this woman in Wales who has an Etsy shop called The Book Angel and she does all kinds of paper designs and artwork with music paper and sometimes books. I saw that she gave a wedding present to a friend that was a book with the pages spelling out “Mrs.” I immediately knew I wanted her to do a book for me and fold the pages in The Goblet of Fire to say “Marry me?”
She had it completed within a week and I had the book hidden in plain sight for months! I didn’t know how exactly I wanted to use this book for the proposal, but I knew it would be so special for Kelsey. She’s such a book lover and the Harry Potter books are our favorite series ever. Her daddy introduced her to Harry Potter years ago, so I know this would be extra special. He passed away at the end of July this summer and I told him before he passed that I was going to marry her and take care of her forever. I felt his love and approval run deep through me.
Just a month later, we continued on our pre-planned anniversary trip to Los Angeles for our anniversary on August 27. On our last day there, we decided to go to Universal Studios and go to Harry Potter World (of course). While we were walking around there sipping ginger beers, Kelsey told me she has been looking on Pinterest and really wanted to host an epic Halloween party. I was all down for it because I used to always host Halloween parties in college.
Later we went into the costume shop and we decided we would be Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass, and we both purchased official Slytherin cloaks. My mind was spinning at this point. I knew we both had wands, I had the Goblet of Fire and now we had cloaks and were hosting a Halloween party with all of our friends. By the time we landed back in Portland that night, I knew that I was going to propose to her at the party.
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The next day, I told all of our friends and my family. I called her best friends from Mississippi and made sure they could get off work for the weekend of the party (after I pinned Kelsey down to set a date for it) and then I booked all of their flights to make it official. For the next month and a half, I didn’t know exactly how I wanted to present her friends and the “Marry me?” book. Then it came to me: I have the fourth book, she has three best friends coming, she loves the Little Free Libraries around Portland—she was going on a scavenger hunt to find books one through three and her best friends would be at each stop! Then she would meet me back on the rooftop to get the fourth book.
I’ve always known I wanted to marry Kelsey, literally since the first time we met and hugged. It felt like I was feeling true love for the first time. I felt like I was home, and I was safe.
Tell us about the book art that says “Marry me?” Did you find the artist first, or come up with the idea and then look for it? What significance do the Harry Potter books have to you and Kelsey, especially the fourth one?
The Goblet of Fire is definitely our favorite book of the series, marginally, but it also symbolizes this fourth year of our relationship (since August) and the journey we are going to be on, chasing that figurative trophy. We will be planning to get married in 2019.
Do you have any favorite Harry Potter relationship memories (besides this proposal)?
When we first started dating, we quickly connected over our love for Harry Potter and the fact that, according to Pottermore, we are both Slytherin. On our first dating anniversary, we went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida. For our third anniversary, this past August, we went to the Los Angeles Location. On two extremely special occasions, prior to the proposal, we have been surrounded by Harry Potter.
Slytherins often get an undeserved bad reputation. What do you love about your Hogwarts house?
First and foremost, we are all about breaking stereotypes! We love that other Potterheads are shocked to learn that we are both Slytherin. While our personalities don’t match the reputation of a Slytherin, to be a Slytherin doesn’t mean you’re a Dark wizard. According to J.K. Rowling, Slytherins are “leaders who are proud, ambitious, and cunning.” Those traits definitely resonate with us.
Fin Leary Lavoie
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