Mischief Managed

There’s something to be said about passing fads; mostly that, as their name implies, they’re passing. Growing up in the technology age has allowed trends of all types to flit in and out of popularity with increasing (and sometimes alarming) speed. That’s the biggest downfall of my generation: our attention spans are shorter than ever, and we’re always on a quest for newer, bigger, and better ways to entertain ourselves.

Which is why the idea of millions of children, teens, and adults taking the time in the last 14 years to read nearly 8,000 pages and watch roughly 20 hours of movies dedicated to a boy wizard and his adventures to triumph over evil is an honest-to-goodness phenomenon.

Pictured: My childhood.

The very first book came out when I was in the second grade, way back in 1997. I got it in a book order at school, and have grown up with the series ever since. I’ve attended midnight book release parties at Barnes & Noble, camped out for hours at movie theaters to see the movies on opening night, and have more than a few times dressed up as Ginny Weasley.

I can’t remember a time before I knew about Hogwarts, or what Quidditch is, or considered Harry, Ron, and Hermione on my list of favorite people. I’ve always enjoyed reading, but I can contribute my love of gobbling up books and taking in all sorts of creative inspiration to reading and re-reading the Harry Potter books (in some cases until the spines broke and the bindings came loose). Inspiration is never short in the Potter universe, and it comes in the simplest forms: mending friendships, courage in the face of adversity, doing the right thing. Simple, yet lacking in today’s “it’s-all-about-me” and “by-any-means-necessary” culture.

Time to step off my wizarding soapbox.

On with the show.

As the poster says, it all ends with this. 14 years, 7 books, 8 movies, a theme park, and one author who formerly lived off food stamps and is now wealthier than Queen Elizabeth II.

Typically, my friends and I dress up and wait in line for the midnight opening.

Half-Blood Prince premiere. 50 points to Gryffindor if you can name all the characters.

Just about everyone is scattered across college campuses this summer working and taking classes, so Roz and I stuck closer to home at the Eagan theater instead of trekking up to the chaos at the mall. There were quite a few muggles, but there were still a lot of really great costumes. More on those later.

The movie was short by Potter standards, just over two hours, but was extremely well done. It was an amazing conclusion to an equally amazing series. There were a few differences from the book, but nothing like the infamous house fire scene from The Half-Blood Prince that fans are still complaining about two years after the fact. Unless you’re stubbornly impossible to please, you will love this movie.

It made me cry. Do you really need any more proof than that?

Below are the results of my costume contest. Please to enjoy.

Most Original:

Patronus

Best Look-Alike:

Luna Lovegood

Most Layers:

Professor Trelawney

Most Horrifying Portrayal of a Beloved Character:

Dobby the Free Elf

             

Most Likely to be Tackled:

Golden Snitch

             

*No, I did not actually take all of those, but I missed opportunities to take pictures of the actual costumes, and some of these were the best Google Images had to offer.

It’s been a good ride, and I can convincingly say, mischief managed.

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