Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Expecto Patronum!

It's been quite awhile since I wrote a blog post. No excuses really...just didn't feel as though I had anything to report. Until now...

As you probably know, unless you're not in tune at all to the world of Harry Potter (or never watch TV), last week marked a very important time for all Harry Potter fans as the last movie in the series debuted on July 15th. To mark the occasion, my friend Michelle invited me and our friend Rachel to attend the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with her family. And not only were we going to go see the movie, we were going to dress up as some of our favorite Harry Potter characters. Yeah that's right!

In addition to the craziness of preparing our costumes and the excitement building up to see the movie, Michelle and her kiddos decided that they would make a day of it and try to be the first in line--which meant getting there early and spending nearly 15 hours in line outside the AMC theatre.

To be honest, I think I was just as excited as the teenagers, especially since I hadn't ever "camped out" to see anything. It was a memorable day that culminated in seeing the movie at 12:01 am.

So, how did I become a Harry Potter fan? I started reading the Harry Potter books after the fourth book, Goblet of Fire, was published. Before I read the first book, I wasn't sure what the big draw was to these "children's books," but I decided to give it a try when one of my book club friends-who also taught 4th grade-told me to read the first book before making a judgement. Honestly, from the first few chapters, I was hooked. I read the first four books in just a couple of weeks. Then I started the waiting game along with millions of Harry Potter fans for the next book.

I joined the Harry Potter mania after the first movie had come out, so it's the only one I didn't see in the theatre. And, of course, I have my own opinions on the movies, how well they represent the books, the characters, the plot twists etc. Before I saw the last movie (of which I'll reserve my opinion until I've seen it a few more times), the 3rd and 5th movies were my favorites. And the books, well, they're all so integral to one another and provide so much information that I can't really choose a favorite. I enjoyed them all for a number of reasons.

So, at 9:30 am Michelle, Kayla and Seadon arrived at AMC and set up camp.

That's right--FIRST IN LINE!!! WooHoo! I showed up an hour later at 10:30 and the fun began. We decided to hang out in shifts, although for the most part, the 4 of us along with Kayla's friend Meredith were there for most of the day.

Arty, Ariele, Jill, Riley, and Rachel joined us for parts of the day as well. It was another scorcher in Kansas. Temperatures were in the 90s, but lucky for us, our line to see the movie in 3D had shade near the door until late afternoon. (Of course, I got sunburned while sitting in the shade all day--go figure.)

I decided weeks before that Professor McGonagall would be my alter-ego for the evening and began the process of collecting items to transform a 21st century English teacher into the Hogwarts Transfiguration professor and head of Gryffindor house. I purchased a few of my costume items off the internet, a couple from the Salvation Army store, and I hand-crafted my own wand, which I thought turned out pretty stellar actually. (Kayla did a fabulous job with her Luna wand and Michelle's was almost a perfect replica of Bellatrix's wand.) It was so much fun getting ready for the Harry Potter Extravaganza and the build up was exciting. Finally seeing everyone as the character of their choice was awesome. Not to mention we were pretty much celebrities once we all arrived-because of the awesomeness of our entire group. (Arty's Voldemort was especially popular; he looked great.) I would guess that our pictures are on facebook pages across the KC metro area. :)

As we could, we left one or two at a time, to make our transformations into the wizards and witches from J.K. Rowling's magical world. Starting around 6:00 pm various members of our group showed up in costume and by 7:30 we were all there decked out as our favorite Harry Potter characters. Here's a pic of the crew:

I may be biased, but let me just say that we had the BEST costumes/characters: Professor Trelawney (Rachel), Luna Lovegood (Kayla), Hermione Granger (Meredith), a Muggle (Ariele), Harry Potter (Seadon), Professor McGonagall (Me), Bellatrix LeStrange (Michelle) and the evil Lord Voldemort (Arty-Michelle's husband).

It was about 9:30 pm when they finally let us into the theatre (and the air conditioning). With only 2 and half hours left we were sweaty and tired, but we scored terrific seats-right where the girls wanted to sit. So, we waited, took a few more pictures and finally got to see the 8th and final Harry Potter movie. Admittedly, I teared up a couple of times.

Here's my favorite picture from the evening---Yep...that's me with two of my very best friends, after experiencing a wonderful day of Harry Potter magic. Thanks to Rachel and Michelle--Sybil, Minerva, and Bellatrix never looked so good!

Overall, it was an awesome day. I had such a good time and it will be an occasion I'll remember forever. Here are just a few more pictures of the event.

What do you think? Do I make a decent Professor McGonagall? I love Maggie Smith's portrayal of the deputy headmistress. She's awesome!

Dueling wizards...a preview of the final battle...

And finally, a professor with her students. Good times!

And now the countdown begins to...what? Perhaps The Hunger Games?

Finite Incantatem...