07/15/11 — Muggles line up for Harry's last hurrah

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Muggles line up for Harry's last hurrah

By Aaron Moore
Published in News on July 15, 2011 1:46 PM

"It's over. I mean, it's over for real," one woman said as the credits rolled on the final part of Harry Potter's silver screen saga early today at Premiere Theatre 12.

She was one of many fans who paused in the dark theater after the movie to savor what they described as the bittersweet moment of saying goodbye to the boy wizard who held a generation spellbound.

Potter fans wiped their eyes on their way out of the theater, many saying they knew what they were getting into.

"I'm really sad," said Tessa Weeks as she waited at the front of the line to get into the theater before midnight. Standing amongst other fans donning their best wizard robes, she sported a giant pillowcase in the likeness of her favorite character, Dobby the house-elf.

"I'm going to cry before it starts and when it ends -- and of course in the middle," Ms. Weeks said. "I hope it's perfect, like the book was."

And judging by the cheers, tears and sniffles throughout the infamous "Battle of Hogwarts" during the film, fans were not disappointed.

"Harry Potter's gonna live on," said Brianna Holland, wearing her Hogwarts uniform and sporting her own homemade magic wand. "We're gonna pass it on to our kids."

For Ms. Holland, who is in high school and said she has been reading the "Potter" books since the second grade, watching the final film was something like flipping to the last chapter of her childhood.

"A chapter of our lives is just kind of ending with it," she said. "I got really depressed when I was 11 and didn't get a Hogwarts letter."

Her brother, Billy, 11, said he couldn't help wishing he would be accepted to the wizard school in September as well.

"I'm kind of excited," he said. "I might have waited by the mailbox."

But even as the film finale brings closure to fans both young and old, many said they expect the "boy who lived" to keep on living.

"I don't think it will go away," said Books-a-Million manager Lori Parker, who has seen firsthand what the book franchise has meant to loyal fans.

"It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, you matter. That's the spirit behind 'Harry Potter,' and any child can read that and take away from it. I would give a big thumbs up to J.K. Rowling for creating such a wonderful story."

While some said they would like to see more of Ms. Rowling's wizarding world in the future, others said they don't want to see it tarnished.

"I don't know if I want (Rowling) to (write more), though, because it ended so good," Potter fan Jessica Whittaker said. "I told my dad, 'I feel like it's the end of my childhood.'"

But some Potter fans are always craving more.

"I wish there was more than just this," said Austin Rollins, who dressed up as Potter while his friend, Sara Aycock, donned the Hogwarts sorting hat.

"We've looked forward to these movies so long and now it's over," said Miranda Bennett, garbed as the evil Bellatrix Lestrange. "There's nothing left to look forward to."

Although fans said they aren't sure where they will turn next, many agreed that they willl keep reading and watching the films in years to come -- always ready to raise a glass of butterbeer and remember the "boy who lived."