I write to you this evening from a lumpy theater seat that smells vaguely of popcorn and stale candy. It is loud and crowded as movie goers of all shapes and sizes fill the sold out seats. What brings me here this evening, you may ask? Nothing less than the final installment of the world renowned books-turned-movies Harry Potter series. Tonight is the premiere of the final movie of this epic saga, and everyone is full of conflicting emotions. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II. It all ends here… Some might think me crazy for sitting in a theater for 8.5 hours just to watch a movie, but to you I say, you’re crazy not to be here. I would not miss this moment for the world.
I have a history with these books. I was 11 and in 6th grade when I first boarded the shining steam engine of the Hogwarts Express, and ever since that first adventure I have continued to grow right along with the characters. For those of us not so good at math, that means that for more than 13 years I have been transported into a world where magic is not only possible but an everyday occurrence.
I have loved every moment spent with my head between the pages of these sizable tales. Harry, Ron and Hermione are more than characters – they are my friends. Now lest you think me delusional for saying so, let me add to that by saying that I believe wholeheartedly in the transformative power of books. I have spent countless nights deep inside Hogwarts castle learning new spells and enchantments – simply biding my time until I could say, “stupefy” and watch my opponent fall, frozen, to the ground. I have been awed as I walked through Diagon Alley, and scared to venture in to the Dark Forest, lest I meet a mortal enemy. I was there when the wand chose Harry, and I was there when Voldemort returned. I cried when Dumbledore died and I held my breath as Harry battled everything from trolls, to teachers, to mermaids to Lord Voldemort himself.
The realization of the final chapter of these novels was not an easily jumped hurdle. How now to go on? For so long I, along with countless others, had journeyed with Harry, the boy who lived. Now, his battle won, we’d nothing else to do but to beg the author to continue. Though J.K. Rowling has yet to write another Harry Potter book, the movies have in a way, satiated our thirst for the continuing of the adventure and the magic. To see the characters as they were in our heads come to life on the big screen was nothing short of awesome. Though the movies cannot hold a candle to the books, they are in their own respect epic. Tonight is bitter sweet indeed as thousands across the globe sit and wait in anticipation of the final chapter in the life of the boy wizard who lived. Together we have battled You-Know-Who and won!
This is a moment to be celebrated and mourned alike. For so many years we have hoped and prayed this day would never come when we would finally see the saga end. I am happy to say that Harry Potter fans are the most creative, liveliest and funniest people you will ever meet. Fans showed up to the premier dressed to the nines in Hogwarts school robes and wire-rimmed glasses. Wands in hands, they waited hours to see what promises to be the most epic Harry Potter film ever. Not to be outdone, others showed up in homemade and store bought shirts that read everything from “It all ends here” to “long live Hogwarts!”
Others chose to proudly honor their chosen House by wearing crimson and gold (Gryfinndor House colors) and the like. Others wcame as their favorite Hogwarts teacher (I saw several professor Trelawneys). My favorite costume of the night, however, was a girl who recreated Luna Lovegood’s Gryfinddor Lion hat. Sadly, I was unable to snap a picture of this creative genius, but I have referenced the hat below to give you an idea of the awesomeness that is this hat. It was by far the most creative and most certainly my favorite costume of the evening.
It is a bitter sweet moment to realize that after countless sleepless night unable to put down the books and many a movie marathon it is finally coming to an end. In truth, however, the story does not end here. It lives on in the hearts and souls who have forever been transformed by adventure. It lives on in those of us who sat waiting so patiently for our acceptance letter to Hogwarts. It lives on in the creativity sparked by the thrilling and inspiring journey of three friends who taught us that together we can do anything. Oh yes, the story lives on. It lives on in those of us who know that, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
To those of you who have not read the books, I encourage you to allow yourself to board the whistling steam engine, the Hogwarts Express, and travel to a land of magic and love, glide across an inky black lake, and be sorted into a house that will become forever your home. To those of you who know of the passion with which I write, may you never forget the wonder of your first ride on a Nimbus 2000, or your first battle with a troll. Never forget your first drink of butter beer, or your first trip to Hogsmead. Remember the lessons that Dumbledore taught us, and never forget what it means to be brave and that love really does conquer all. With the memories in our hearts we move on knowing that “It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live.”
With Light and Love,