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Local fans line up, dress up for premiere

From left: Elizabeth Lawer, portraying Harry Potter, and Nikki Allen as Dolores Umbridge. Photo by Samantha Shelley. (click for larger version)
November 24, 2010 - Dedication.

That is the word that best defines the masses of Harry Potter fans that congregated into the wee hours of the morning at the NCG Trillium theater in Grand Blanc on Nov. 18. The scene is one of excitable hysteria, thousands of eager fans all anxiously waiting to see the midnight premiere of the first installment of the last film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

As you scan the packed crowd, you notice that some fans seem a little more dedicated than others, having dressed up like the characters from the movies, right down to the minute details. Two such people are Goodrich High School seniors and Harry Potter fanatics, Elizabeth Lawer and Nikki Allen. Lawer, dressed as the main character and hero of the story, Harry Potter, donned the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry crest, a lightning bolt-shaped scar, and a magic "wand". "I've been a Harry Potter fan for over ten years, and this was a time of celebration for all the fans." said Lawer. "The only way I could think of to express my overjoyed emotion was to dress up as Harry."

Allen, on the other hand, decided to dress as a more obscure character: the evil Dolores Umbridge, the main villian in the fifth book. "I was under the impression that more people in our group would be dressed up, so I might not have had gone all out like I did, but I'm still glad I did," said Allen. The Dolores Umbridge imposter has seen all the movies, but only just recently started reading the books. "I really liked the movies, so I thought that I should read the series. I've definitley enjoyed them," commented Allen.

Lawer and Allen went with a whole group of Harry Potter fanatics that decided to show their love of the series by dressing up. This particular group waited in line for nearly seven hours but never did they loose their enthusiasm. "We spent a lot of the time playing Catchphrase and talking about what we thought the movie would be like," said Lawer. This group included Brittany Verran and Rebecca Parker, also seniors at Goodrich, who portrayed two sinister characters from the series, Bellatrix Lestrange and Draco Malfoy. "I dressed as Bellatrix because she is a very out-there character and she strangely reminds me of myself," laughed Verran. "I'm a huge fan of the series and we are going to be graduating with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, so I thought I would go all out." Having all bought tickets months ahead of time and being some of the first twenty people in line, these high school students went above and beyond to show their love for "the boy who lived". "I call us, all my friends and I, Generation Harry Potter because we grew up with Harry and his friends through the years," stated Verran.

The fans' dedication shined through in the record-breaking box office results that were released the following Monday. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 made more than $125 million in its opening weekend, surpassing all of the other movies in the series in their opening weekends by at least $23 million. If you happen to stop by for the second and final installment in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 when it premieres next July, keep your eye out for the boy wizard and some sinister looking characters. "We will definitely be going to see the next one at the midnight premiere," said Lawer and Allen.

Staff Writer Senior at Goodrich High, part of the marching band color guard, and excited to be a part of the Citizen Newspaper.
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