I still remember where I was (walking down the hallway of our two-bedroom apartment towards my room) when I first learned about Harry Potter. The first three books came out without my knowing and the craze that surrounded the fourth one caused my in-laws to remark about it. I said, “Who is Harry Potter?” They directed me to an article in a magazine. It was not long before I had caught up–maybe four days later I had read all four, and I was hooked.
My soon-to-be twelve-year-old son, Zack, was barely walking. That year, I used my brown eyeliner to draw round specs and a lightning scar on Zack’s face for Halloween. I cut an old, acrylic, black skirt down the side, sewed a straight stitch to create a hood at the top, and secured the sides under his chin with a brooch. It served as an excellent cloak. It was the best costume ever. Most of the younger set got his costume, but I actually had to explain to some people that he was Harry Potter. That was before you could buy a full Gryffindor costume complete with striped scarlet and gold scarf.
I saw many people tonight (er, this morning) wearing scarves to the final installment of the Harry Potter films. None of them have to be the right color nowadays as long as you’re also carrying a stick. Stick + scarf = wizard. (If you don’t know this then you’ve most likely been hiding in a hole on another planet in another universe.) Even better if you wrap a tie loosely around your collar and wear a vest. I saw many dressed as Hogwarts students and one particularly amazing Umbridge. Very pink and sweet. She posed for a picture with a nasty smirk and I thought she must be a theatre arts student to pull off the contradictory clothing so well. My favorite costume of all was seeing a guy in ripped jeans wearing a shirt that said “Mug-gle” on two lines. It was a simplistic design success in just the right font. It was great to see so much enthusiasm in the crowd.
The same was true for the energy in the theatre. Lots of enthusiastic yelling and screaming and clapping when the Harry Potter title came on and again when Mrs. Weasley says her stolen line. A few yells erupted from my own throat almost involuntarily. It doesn’t matter that Sigourney Weaver said it first to an alien mother, the line worked in the movie. And apparently in the book for the younger set. Sarah said her reaction was, “Go, Mrs. Weasley!” Mine was, “Aw, man. I guess J.K. Rowling saw Alien.” In the movie, however, I was very glad they left that in. It was good to yell like a teenager.
I can’t believe twelve years have passed. I thought I would die of anticipation waiting for first, all the books to be written, and then all the movies to be made. Here we are on the other side. J.K. Rowling has changed our world with her genius imagination. Hats off to her and many thanks. The hype may never completely die down. The young actors we fell in love with in the Sorcerer’s Stone can now live their lives and hope to out grow their fame as the characters Harry, Hermione and Ron. When they stood at the edge of Hogwarts with closed eyes, I thought, “This is the end of an era.” It may take more than twice another twelve years before my daughter starts to feel indignant at the new generation that asks, “Who is Harry Potter?” I hope she will tell them about how I read the first few books to her while she followed along and laugh at how I mispronounced so many of the words in the spells. She will remember how I bought special fabric so that I could make her a robe and pointy hat for Halloween so that she could be Hermione. I hope she will feel a kinship with me when she gropes in her memory for the exact wording of the nonsense songs that Peeves spouted which she so eloquently recited tonight on our drive home from the theatre. She will remember how I couldn’t remember all the details that she carries around in her head from her multiple reads of the Harry Potter series.
I’m just waiting for the day I completely forget everything (obliviate!) so that I can reread the series and live at Hogwarts again.
Posted on July 15th, 2011 by trish
Filed under: Movies