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How a Muggle Learned to Enjoy a Harry Potter Movie

This was the line for the midnight premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
Photo by Madeline Janowski
Earlier last month, it was announced that the local theater would be running a Harry Potter Double Feature, Part 1 of Deathly Hollows and then Part 2 right at 12:01AM Friday morning.

There’s a long, convoluted story about how I got roped into attending but I’ll try to give you the short version.

A cute girl asked me to go with her.

Okay, so that wasn’t nearly as long or convoluted as I thought, but there it is. And that’s how I found myself in a line that reminded me of my younger days when I stood in a horrendously long line to see “Return of the Jedi”.

There were so many “school kid” costumes that I briefly thought maybe AC/DC was playing live in the theater. I had to remind myself that these were the chosen costumes of this decade.

I have to take a moment to explain a few things. To begin, I am not what you’d call a huge Harry Potter fan. Sure, I enjoy the movies but I’ve never read the books. I’ve never felt the need to put on a gold and red necktie and draw a lightning bolt on my forehead with a Sharpie.

I’ve also never seen a Harry Potter movie on opening day much less waited in line to see a double feature that would have me in a hot theater till 2AM. Yes, the AC was on the fritz and it was hot. The only thing worse than being trapped in a theater with a bunch of sweaty people is when the majority of those sweaty people are wielding wands and pretending to cast some sort of cooling spell during the intermission.

But here I was, a large popcorn in my lap, my large lukewarm soda providing a mild comfort against the heat, sweating along with these kids. These are the same kids who if they’d seen me waiting in line to see “Return of the Jedi” would have yelled “NERD!” and possibly thrown rocks. My congratulations to J.K. Rowling in that respect. She brought Nerdy back.

The theater was packed. When Part 2 began, we all put on our Limited Edition Harry Potter 3-D glasses. Yes, everyone in the theater put on 3-D glasses that looked like the frames Daniel Radcliffe wears in his role as Harry Potter.

Regardless of the circumstances in how I had arrived there or the conditions we faced in the hot theater, I found myself getting into the movie. I found myself enjoying the event as a whole.

I began to wonder about the sudden change in my attitude, why I was getting into the movie. It was striking a chord with me and I began to analyze the movie.

This is the end of a journey. Harry Potter and his friends, Hermione and Ronald, have come so far since that first movie. They’ve fought battles against evil forces, faced down enemies in blazing battles where energy bolts fly across the screen. They’ve fought amongst themselves, saved one another from certain death, and done all of this against the most powerful being in the magic world.

We have Harry, the chosen one, the only hope to save the world against a powerful villain, disfigured in some manner, with whom he shares a dark tie using a mystic energy both were born to wield with the skill of a master.

Then there’s Hermione, the prim and proper girl who often takes charge in dangerous situations and is falling madly in love with Ronald.

Then we have Ronald, somewhat cowardly, always getting into trouble and then getting out mainly through pure luck rather than any sort of skill who goes on to fall just as madly in love with Hermione but mistakes a moment between Harry and Hermione as the two of them being in love but goes on to be a hero anyway only to find out Hermione is in love with him and not Harry.

Hold on a second, this is all starting to sound very familiar… Three friends, mistaken love triangle, disfigured mystic dark lord, chosen one, lucky one, princess?

Return Of The Jedi Poster 1983
wikipedia

Now all we need is some big tall, hairy beast that helps our three heroes in their adventures, often coming to their rescue at the last moment. Wait…

Rubeus Hagrid
wikipedia

And with that sudden realization, any concerns I’d had about feeling weird about enjoying the movie vanished. Harry Potter is this generation’s Star Wars. Wands instead of lightsabers, magic instead of The Force, Wizards instead of Jedis, Voldemort instead of Vader… and I can live with that.

But the true magic at the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”? For the first time ever, I finally took advantage of the free refill on my large popcorn.

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