Harry Potter’s last stand

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From No. 4 Privet Drive to Hogwarts, Harry Potter, the boy who lived, faces his final battle on screen.

As Harry Potter matured, a generation grew along-side him and now he will meet his final fate with the arrival of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” on July 15.

[media-credit name=”Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
The final film installment of the Harry Potter series opens this week.
“I grew up with it,” said Kelsey Hansen, a Potter fan. “I read the first book when I was in the fifth grade and I was so excited. Everything is so creative and different from our life. It’s just fun to think about what it would be like if you were a wizard.”

 

The celebrations for Part 2 are countless and like the books can lead to a variety of imaginative destinations. Muggles celebrating the final release can participate in a sorting hat ceremony, wand assignments at Ollivander’s, wizard duel training, catching up on the local gossip at The Leaky Cauldron and indulging in tasty wizard treats such as butter beer and acid pops.

One pre-premiere party held last Friday included the infamous face-off of Gryffindor versus Slytherin. Hansen, creator of the Muggle match-up, had her friends gather at a field east of BYU’s conference center for three rounds of Quidditch with broom sticks and a little attitude. Rules had to be clarified when competition became intense and tackling, pinching and hair-pulling ensued, a true rival match. This year’s competition marked Hansen’s third annual Quidditch match and is just one example of how Harry Potter fans try to make fantasy a reality.

“I played last year and it was super fun,” said Kori Agee, a BYU student studying biochemistry. “There is a snitch and it’s the closest you can get to the real thing as humans.”

Movie theaters throughout the state are capitalizing on the Harry Potter hit, running an all-day event showing the series of movies and ending with the grand finale of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”

Past Harry Potter movie releases have brought dedicated fans to movie theaters who entered the wizard world in true character — with robes and wands.

“It’s fun to see people that get really into it and get dressed up,” said Shannon Quinner, a psychology major. “It’s a time for us to relive our childhood and adolescence.”

Hansen said she has plans of her own for the midnight showing.

“I plan to dress up as a snitch for the movie premiere,” she said. “I’ll just stuff a big yellow T-shirt so I look like a ball and put wings on the back.”

The pandemonium doesn’t end there. One after-party event is a free Harry Potter Fest at BYU’s Brigham Square on July 20 at 5:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to dress up and take part in the festivities, including Muggle Quidditch, bring your own broom, a trivia competition, costume prizes and a Bertie Botts every flavor contest.

“I think there’s lots of life lessons to be learned from the Harry Potter books,” Hansen said. “At the Quidditch match, everybody wanted to be on Slytherin. They thought it would be cool because they’re the bad guys, the full bloods.  They weren’t going to allow any Mudbloods on their team.”

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