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Harry Potter and the Midnight Show

A 23-year-old Harry Potter fan experiences her first ever midnight show.

The lights dimmed in the packed theater. Fans whispered to one another to quiet down.

The scene opens up right from where the last film ended. Voldermort takes the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s grave and points the wand in the air. As he does, the scene follows the spell into the sky and the title logo comes on.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

The audience gave a rapturous applause. So began the last Harry Potter film.

For me, it was a wonderful and exciting experience. Not just sitting in the theater with all the fans, but waiting for six hours outside.

As I , I never understood the fascination of waiting for hours to see a midnight show.   

“It’s mostly about the experience and being around people who have the same passion for Harry Potter,” said 17-year-old Sian Y.

That was definitely true.

When my siblings, a friend and I arrived at the  on Shoreline Boulevard in Mountain View movie at 6 p.m., already people lined up at their individual places. In front of the theater, yellow signs that displayed the show time and the auditoriums they would play in.

For us, we lined up behind the 12:01 am, Auditorium No. 6 line. Fifteen people already waited in line ahead of us.

“I told you we should have gotten here earlier,” my sister said bitterly.

While my siblings and their friend tried to watch the 5th film on a portable DVD player my sister brought, I decided to walk around and see what other fans were doing and talk to them about Harry Potter.

Many of the fans, dressed up in their favorite characters, sat on blankets and played card games, read the Deathly Hallows book, or talked to their friends.

Every so often parents and friends would come by with food from nearby places such as , , and . Two female representatives of the drink Red Bull passed out free drinks to the fans. My sister’s friend’s parents bought us pepperoni pizza from  and my parents brought chocolate chip cookies and an extra jacket for my brother, which he forgot to bring.

I have to admit. By the time 7 p.m. came, I was a bit bored.

“Wait until it gets dark, there will people shouting spells at one another,” said 17-year-old Clare S.

Sure enough, by the time 9 p.m. came around the outside of the theater became like a Hogwarts' zone (Hogwarts is the witchcraft and wizardry school Harry Potter attended). They closed off the drop off area as lines went as far as the parking lots. Fans threw spells at one another with their wands, taking pictures with those who dressed up in character. They seem to just really enjoying the atmosphere and the moment. 

I sat with my sister and her friends, watching the Deathly Hallows Part 1, when a wand fell near my feet.

Before I could pick it up, a young boy dressed in a black sweater and pants with a Gryffindor seal on his left chest moved forward, pointed his wand towards my feet and said, “Accio wand!”

I couldn’t help but smile. As I picked it up, the owner of the wand, dressed as a Hogwarts' student, came and thanked me and went back to his friends. The boy returned to chat with his friends as if what he did was the most normal thing in the world.

I couldn’t believe the scenes in front of me. I am a Harry Potter fan, but the people around me were the die-hard ones.

At about 10:45 p.m., they finally let us in.

A huge cheer came from the crowd and before I knew it we were all pushing each other trying to get in front of the line.  As we got in, one of the workers told us not to run, but of course many did not listen.

My sister ran as fast as she could inside the auditorium and grabbed good seats for us. My brother and I sat in the center of the third row near the back, while my sister and her two friends sat in front of us.

[SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN'T READ BOOK OR SEEN MOVIE]

Through out the film, fans, including myself, laughed and cheered in all the right places, such as the Ron and Hermione kiss, Neville’s bravery, and Mrs. Weasley fight with Bellatrix Lestrange.

However, there was a moment when the entire audience barely moved.

The three scenes that fans have been waiting to see: Snape’s death, Harry in the Dark Forest, and Harry and Dumbledore talking.

[END OF SPOILER ALERT!]

All I could hear where a few sniffles and people moving in their chairs. I didn’t have to look around to know that many fans cried and were in complete shock and sadness. I too was one of them. The music made me feel very hurt and sad. A girl behind me gasped and I quickly turned behind me and saw her mouth open but covered by her hand. Her friend watched with her eyes wide open and also with her hand on her mouth.  

For a brief moment, none of us really knew what would happen next.

The very last scene truly got to me. As the scene unfolded and that famous Harry Potter melody came on, all I kept saying to myself was “I can’t believe its over. I don’t want this to end.”

But it finally did, and as the credits came on, the audience stood up and gave it a standing ovation.

As we drove home, which I didn't mind so much at such a late hour, my siblings and I discussed the film. My sister, a bit dissatisfied with the battle scenes, said the book had more excitement then the film. My brother agreed, however they both enjoyed the film in general.

I loved it. It really felt complete and it felt right. A few moments I thought were unnecessary, but of course you can’t follow the book exactly.

The long and tiring day, ended wonderfully with an experience I don’t think I would have had with another film. I probably won’t do it again just because I don’t think this midnight show can match anything else. 

It may be over, but my sister said something on our way home that reminded me it’s not really the end.

“Do you want to see it again this weekend?” she asked. “Let’s go and see it again.”       

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