Last night, I, along with some friends, lined up in front of the movie theater at 5pm to see the very last Harry Potter film.
We’ve had our tickets for weeks. We weren’t lining up to buy tickets. My mom did not understand the point in getting in line 7 hours early.
But everyone does it. Everyone wants the best seats. Everyone wants to be a part of the whole event. A movie like this isn’t just a 2 hour cinematic feature. It is an event.
This whole series has been unlike anything else for me.
I have read these books from the beginning. I waited in line at midnight for the release of the newest book. I would stay up until I finished the books because I couldn’t imagine going to bed without knowing what happened. I’ve reread them and found something new each time. I noticed mentions in the first book that become so important in the end. These books were written so well that I can’t believe she was able to weave such an intricate storyline that the first scene ties in with the end.
Call me a nerd. Fine. I’ll accept it. But I truly love this story.
And last night?
It was magical.
Anyone who has been to a midnight showing of a movie that they have been anxiously awaiting knows this feeling.
You can feel the excitement in the crowd. Every person there is just as excited as you are. There is a common thread running through all those hundred of people. People you wouldn’t normally talk to or interact with or think that you have anything in common with, these are the people you are bonding with.
You make so many friends while in line. You get to know those around you. People will share food and drinks and snacks. People will ask if you need anything when they run across the street to Wendy’s or the gas station for more snacks. People bring games and before you know it, 20 strangers are laughing and and joking while playing Taboo or Catch Phrase. One group even brought chalk and was decorating the sidewalk. They even played foursquare for a while. One group had a tent set up and grilled burgers for people who were towards the front of the line.
In this day when people are less willing to help strangers and you have to be more cautious, it’s events like this that show me there is still some good in people.
And then you finally get into the movie. Everyone is talking and antsy because we’ve been waiting hours for this to start. I normally get so nervous that the people around me are going to talk during the movie. It is my biggest pet peeve.
But as soon as the lights go down, everyone cheers and then a silence settles over the entire theater.
My favorite part of these midnight showings of movies that people know so much about is that when a bad guy dies, everyone cheers. When something happens to a favorite character, you can audibly hear everyone gasp. The entire audience laughs at jokes that maybe casual watchers wouldn’t catch or wouldn’t find it as funny.
And since this was a movie based off of a beloved book, we are all waiting for those scenes that are our favorites. We want to know how they put it together. Does it look like how we thought? Are the emotions portrayed how we expected? Are those lines that are so crucial kept in the script? (And let me say, King’s Cross, in my opinion, was spot on. I couldn’t have imagined it any better.)
It was so fun to clap and cheer with 300 other fans was amazing.
Yes, it was 2:30am before I got home, but there was so much adrenaline and excitement that it didn’t matter. Not once during the movie was I concerned with what time it was or felt tired. My eyes were glued to the screen. I watched through misty eyes during those scenes that just broke my heart. And for once, I was the only one crying in the movie. I could hear a girl behind me crying and I passed her some of my tissues.
I’m not doing justice to all of the emotions I had last night. I know that. I can’t seem to focus while writing this, but this has been such a big deal for me that I want to write this. No, I wasn’t one of the people that dressed up, but I definitely was just as excited on the inside as those people.
I’m a little sad that it’s all over. Actually, I’m really sad. Since I was 11, this has been a part of my life. For 13 years. That’s unreal.
So for now, I will relive last night. I will go see this movie a couple more times. I will reread the movies. And a part of me is very sad that I have no more Harry Potter to look forward to. Excuse me while I go cry in the corner. And look up how hard it is to take care of a snowy owl.