Elizabeth Entenman
June 09, 2016 10:52 am
Warner Bros

Back in 2014, something magical appeared at the Bristol Children’s Hospital in England. It wasn’t a House Elf or a broomstick, but it was still pretty extraordinary: It was a Harry Potter-inspired plaque, and nobody knew where it came from. Not even the hospital knew.

Now, a few years later, we’ve finally learned the backstory to the mysterious plaque. And it’ll fill your heart with joy and sadness at the same time. The plaque was the handiwork of Cormac Seachoy, a young man who died of cancer last year. Before Seachoy passed away, he posted this picture on Twitter.

It reads: “Dedicated to the children of Bristol, the 1998 Quidditch World Cup posts, enchanted by Abdou Sosseh. Have a magical day!” The photo didn’t give much away, but Seachoy’s friend James Carberry is ready to tell the story of how it got there.

According to Carberry, Seachoy crowdfunded the money to pay for the plaque, and then attached it to the side of the hospital’s Lollypop Be-Bop statue in the middle of the night. The structure features colored lights that children can turn on and off from inside the hospital. Incidentally, it looks remarkably like Quidditch posts. The plaque’s placement was no accident—Seachoy wanted kids to see it.

“He always used to say how the sculpture looked like the Quidditch posts. He wanted the children at the hospital to think they were a gift from wizards,” Carberry told BBC Newsbeat. “He didn’t really want much attention from the plaque. He just wanted to do something that would make people smile on their way in and out of the hospital.”

The duo fixed the plaque on the structure themselves with industrial strength adhesive. And Bristol Children’s Hospital says it’s here to stay, despite the semi-illegal manner in which it came to be.

“The appearance of this plaque was a magical and mysterious event that we did not know anything about, but we are sure that our patients and their families will appreciate it,” the hospital said.

What a sweet story, and what a wonderful legacy to leave behind. Rest in peace, Cormac, and thank you for bringing a smile to many young patients.

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