Book releases. Movie premieres. Friends, chats, dressing up. Speculation, anticipation, discussion. Age thirteen to twenty-five.
I've been up at 4am to line up at 6am to get bracelets to be first in line for midnight book releases. I know well staying up into the next day, reading frantically with a group of fellow Potter fans. Gasping, crying, laughing; eating up every word and remaining famished for the next installment. Waking up early and staring out my bedroom window waiting for the mail to deliver the newest book. Intriguing to remember a time when I couldn't attend a midnight release and I was at the mercy of the post office.
I've spent a total of twenty-five hours in theatres just waiting for midnight to roll around. Starting with the fourth release I have arrived at 7pm, plopping myself down with company and entertainment, anxious to be first in line, a dedicated fan, and to get a good seat in the theatre.
Each release has seen many things. Goblet of Fire spurred my highest ever test score in a biology class; I spent my five hours of waiting in the theatre studying. Order of the Phoenix involved intense discussions with my Grandmother, while Half-Blood Prince saw lengthy video game sessions in the hallways. Deathly Hallows part 1 included adamant talk about the pros and cons of a two part release, and July 14th 2011 left me silent, nervous and patient.
Through Deathly Hallows part 2 I played with my wand the entire time. Twirling, rolling, touching the detailing with my fingertips. I fidgeted and shifted, flipping it end over end. While waiting in line in the hallway I spun my time-turner restlessly, separating the layers and rotating the hourglass over and over again. It was hot in the theatre, so many people at rapt attention, hearts and bodies overflowing with emotion and tears; I kept my Gryffindor scarf on, checking it frequently to make sure it was straight.
Before I left the house for this final venture, I unbuckled and re-buckled the clasps on my Harry Potter leather bag, repeatedly checking that my wand was safe against my usual assembly of wallet and phone. I carried it carefully, admiring the Hogwarts Crest inset on the front. It's the nicest bag that I own.
I remember dressing up for the Deathly Hallows book release; I donned scarf, wand and time-turner, as well as a white shirt/dark skirt uniform. I recall the excitement and dread mingled together, the looming sense of something huge and important coming to a close as I milled around the bookstore with friends. And then suddenly it was midnight. I had the book. I was driving home. All of that waiting and I had the final book. It was like that at Deathly Hallows part 2: sudden, wonderful, startling in its peculiar yet incomplete finality. Even though it is finished it will never be over. It's a strange feeling.
All of this time. Memories, friends I've shared with, time I've waited, speculation and fan fiction that I've read; concluded but not done. I left the theatre feeling full but not satisfied. Or perhaps satisfied but not full. A respectable close. Magnificent and carefully done. I am pleased. And yet I have room for more. I will always have room for more Harry Potter.
Friday, July 15, 2011