I wasn't going to do a Harry Potter post. I really wasn't. Only, now it's 1 in the morning and I've been on Tumblr for hours. I think this sort of has to be done because how else am I going to get past it? The short version: I got there at 6:30 and didn't get home til 4, and I wouldn't change it for the world. From waiting in line for ages, all the way through unexpected friends and a crowded bus ride. (Spoilers under the cut)
Movie first, other stories of the night second (mostly because in all my Tumblr reading I've been skipping to what they think of the movie).
First of all it was absolutely beautiful. They truly did a wonderful job. The white out in the beginning and near the end were wonderful. The camera tricks so that it's not as obvious that Emma is taller than Dan were fun to notice. And the special effects were spectacular. Every single detail was conceived, detailed and executed beautifully.
There was some unexpected greatness too. Things like Ravenclaw's Diadem, and the Room of Requirement. The Chamber of Secrets again and "Harry talks in his sleep." My favorite sequence was seeing the castle as charms and enchantments were set up to protect it. The army of stone statues coming alive and Professor McGonagall, "I've always wanted to use that spell."
People too. People like Luna, Aberforth, Helena Bohnam Carter being Hermione, Neville. NEVILLE! I could write a whole paragraph about Neville and how I knew he would be something. Even before I read it in the book, I knew his story was going to turn out amazing, but I didn't expect it to be what it was. I was unprepared for the awesomeness of Neville, running for his life from Death Eaters while the bridge collapsed behind him, pulling the sword out of the hat, and fancying Luna. Adorable!!
I knew going in that I would probably cry, though I honestly wasn't even sure what parts would affect me the most. I cried the most I think when I realized (for the second time, I remember realizing this while reading the book too) that Harry went to the forbidden forest, knowing he was going to die, without saying goodbye to Ginny. I was already crying, but that realization brought on fresh tears.
Crying was also fueled by the fact that the entire audience was crying. I thought I was doing okay. And then I heard sobs coming from all around me and I completely broke down. Absolutely heartbreaking.
My favorite part of the whole thing was the incredible experience of watching it with a crowd. Along with the crying, there was the moments where everyone held their breath because they knew what was coming. As Fred and George asked each other if they were ready for battle, as characters died, and (my favorite) as Mrs. Weasley cursed at Bellatrix. While Voldemort killed Snape my friend Brittnay broke down next to me. We held hands and sobbed together until Harry got to King's Cross Station.
We stayed until the very end. Talking with other people who stuck around to see the credits in their entirety. Discussing favorite parts and confusion together. Cheering for actors and special effects people. Not really wanting it all to end. When we left the theater we stood outside waiting for rides and running into other friends without even knowing they were going to be there.
I knew of some people who were going to be there and kept an eye out, but the ones I ran into were really just crazy random happenstances. Some friends of my class were there together from Marin in a different theater and we hung out together in line. Once we had been let into the theater, the one guy I knew the least came over to our theater just for kicks. He decided -- after just generally being awkward/embarrassing earlier -- that since there was no place to sit he would sit on me. Great. (leading to a whole discussion later of are other people awkward around me, or am I the awkward one?)
On the way home one of my friends and I were on the most crowded late-night bus I've ever been on. There was a guy behind me who kept moving around, I had my backpack on and did a mental check of where are my valuables. My wallet was zipped deep in my backpack, and my pen (which had earlier been in the change pocket of my backpack) was clipped to my shirt. About halfway home the guy rushed the back door, screaming "Let me out, let me out!" followed by, "That guy stole my wallet!" I double checked my wallet (it was there) and the change pocket of my backpack was open. So glad all that was there was a bandanna and chap stick.
Altogether quite an eventful night that I'm so glad to have gotten to experience.