Homage to Harry Potter

So the final instalment of Harry Potter is in the movie theatres, marking the end of an era. We the fans (and there are a few in the world) have been both anticipating and dreading this moment: desperate to see the film, but sorry it’s all over. 

For those of you who voraciously read my column (hopefully there is more than one of you out there…and my parents don’t count) you may remember that my friends Carol, Lynne and I visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios about a year ago. We only had an afternoon to spend there, so we sprinted (shuffled quickly) from the parking lot through the entrance and towards our goal without a second look at Seuss Landing. We drank Butterbeer and had lunch at the Three Broomsticks – a meal that did, in fact, taste exactly like three broomsticks served by some pretty miserable House Elves. We rode the rides, bought the candy and generally ran around like a bunch of teenagers for four hours before crawling back to the car like a bunch of geriatrics, purchases in hand. We had visited Ollivander’s and I had gone bonkers with the credit card at the Owl Post, buying myself a wand, an owl, a Gryffindor tie, scarf and gown. 

When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 came out we decided on what evening to go and bought our tickets in advance. Carol called me up, as I knew she would, to ask if I was going to wear my gear. Now I pride myself on not caring what people think and just having fun, but I have to admit that I was hesitant about walking through Camana Bay in the full regalia and possibly being the target of some pelted Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans…or worse. I muttered something about my wand being stuck in the wash, and showed up in civilian/Muggle clothes, much to my friends’ disgust. 

As July, 2011 approached we began to get all excited about Part 2. Trailers were playing at the cinema and Potter fans everywhere were preparing for the big date. I was actually in Miami for the opening, but had promised to wait until I was back in Cayman so we could all attend together. Finally, last Monday, we were ready to go. 

I purchased the tickets online so there was no fear of us being shut out of the showing. When I got home from work I went up to my bedroom and stared at the closet doors. Behind them was my Gryffindor gown and scarf. I thought of Harry facing dragons, and Snape, and that large spider thingy. He had been brave – couldn’t I be too? I opened the doors with gusto, pulled out the gown and scarf with a flourish, slid the doors back with less gusto and tried to shove the top pins back into their runners from where I had just spectacularly wrenched them, and carried my costume downstairs. 

My brother Michael had stopped by, and greeted me with a mixed look of humour and resignation, recognizing the inevitable when he saw it. “Is Lynne going with you to the cinema?” he asked. 

“Yup!” I replied. 

“People say what a good friend she is…” he murmured. 

As if to prove her loyalty, Lynne asked if I was going to be wearing the required white shirt. I had managed to find an old one, and although the button at my bosom was being tested beyond its normal limits, it would work for these purposes. The scarf would hide any unattractive gaping. 

Carol was already at the theatre, nearly AN HOUR before the show began. We grabbed our keys and I handed Lynne my handbag as it seemed to detract from the magic of my ensemble. We were off! 

Once we arrived at Camana Bay I began to question the wisdom of my decision. What the heck was I doing, and why was the sun still up at this time so I could be easily seen? The gown and scarf, perfect for bracing British weather, made me aware of every ounce of their polyester fibre in the 80-plus degree heat outside the safety of my SUV. I realized the brilliance of having brought no backup outfit, nor could I remove the scarf or open the gown as the white shirt resembled string straining to contain a plump Thanksgiving turkey. We hustled from the parking lot to the cinema, and as we went I was drawing stares, either because I was an adult dressed as a wizard, or a crazy person wearing a big scarf in the Caribbean. Needless to say Carol was delighted, and showed her appreciation by laughing helplessly for about five minutes. My other brother Dominic who joined us at the last minute was equally impressed, saying something about forgetting to get a ticket and skeddadling off before people noticed the resemblance. I got my popcorn and my drink, and strode to the ticket attendant with my friends in tow. Of course the theatre was already more than half full, so everyone got a good eyeful of my huge sleeves billowing back and forth as I marched to a set of free seats. 

Once the lights went down I took off the scarf that had been slowing strangling me and driving my body temperature through the roof. Thank goodness for the darkness. And apart from the odd annoying mobile phone going Lumos here and there, it remained that way. The film was spectacular – we loved every moment of it. And then it was over. Sigh… 

We headed to Abacus for a beverage and discussion. Man this outfit was hot! As I regretted not bringing some other clothes, two young lads came up to me, phones in hand. “Hey! Can we get a picture with you? We’re HUGE Harry Potter fans and your costume is AWESOME!” Guess I’m pretty cool after all.