It All Ended
If you are a certain sort of person, you will already know what this post is about based on the title. If you are not that person, you will need to be told that it is about the end of the Harry Potter movies, which happened last Friday, July 15th.
If you know me well, you will not be surprised that I was at the midnight showing. I bought tickets early in the morning the day they were released (I got a hot tip from a friend) and I requested the day (after) off from work so I could sleep. I had never been to a midnight movie and I wasn't sure how to handle it. In spite of all this fun and excitement, I made these arrangements with a heavy heart. I knew I would be saying goodbye to a friend. Again.
I get into books and movies. I was inconsolable at the end of the Boxcar Children series. I had grown close to these people. They were part of my life. As a kid living in San Diego, friends with many Navy families, I was used to saying goodbye to friends, but I never wanted to. Books, stories, characters filled a void for me at many times in my life. My relationship with Harry got me through the melange of senior year in college when all I wanted to do was be done, without actually doing the work to get there. Somehow, I got through.
My friend Laura and my brother came with me very late Thursday evening, though certainly not as late as they wanted to go (I insisted we enter a little after 7). Amazingly, there was no line and we entered the theater. Then it hit me. We were going to be dwelling in that plush, sticky place for five hours. We were hardcore, and a little crazy.
I have this need to document experiences like this, so Laura and I took a walk with my camera to take pictures of me with various posters. We only found two, disappointing on the whole, since I'd wanted a picture with "Harry." As we headed back to our theater, we ran into a ticket checker, who had the glamorous job of checking tickets as people trooped to and from the bathroom and concession stand for FIVE HOURS. He was dressed like Harry Potter. I asked if I could have my picture with him and he, seemingly flattered, said yes.
Back in the theater, Kevin, Laura and I played Mad Gab and filled in Mad Libs with only Harry Potteresque words. I am sure that the people around us wondered about us. Scratch that. The people around us: mostly in costume (I chose only to wear my very own time-turner from the department of mysteries, so that I could turn back time at the end of the movie and watch it again), some were quizzing each other on Harry Potter trivia. One mother was dressed as Delores Umbridge, and the apple didn't fall too far from the tree, her daughter was dressed as Bellatrix Lestrange (just in case you don't know, these are two bad guys). Speaking of Bellatrix, another girl dressed like her dashed through the theater at some point during the wait yelling "I killed Sirius Black" over and over and over at the top of her lungs. Conversations ceased, the room watched with one accord. I reminded myself that even though I'm a fan, I'm not quite there. Take that for what you will.
It was getting late and I was remembering that midnight was very very late. The three of us were yawning and conversation now included long pauses for thought, or something like that. You know those songs you hear when you're in the movie theater. We heard them between 10 and 13 times. I finally lost count, but not before I could hear them running in my head. This lasted for days afterwards.
Finally. The previews started. The crowd went crazy. There are few times when I have felt such heavy anticipation from a room.
Don't worry, this is not the part where I pick apart the plot or worse: spoil the ending for those who didn't see it. Suffice it to say, I cried, sighed, smiled, laughed. This movie was not perfect, but it satisfied me. At the end, along with a room full of mostly strangers, I clapped until my hands itched.
As we walked out of the theater, we saw people already in line for the showing at 3am. The mall itself was filled with Harry Potter fans, dressed as every character you could think of, even one that we could only imagine was a golden snitch. It was a wonderful feeling to know that people were coming together over something they loved. Something that drew us together over many divisions.
On Friday I woke (very late), and felt just a bit let down. As the posters said it would, it all ended. To counteract this sad thought, I leave you with some words from J. K. Rowling, who said it well, I think.
And so, to Harry, and my other friends from your world. I wish you well, until we meet again.