Megan Himel went all out when she made her costume for the final Harry Potter movie.
Himel, a 20-year-old Baton Rouge Community College student, dressed like Rita Skeeter, a reporter for The Daily Prophet, the Harry Potter series’ wizardly newspaper.
Himel wore a short blonde wig, thick black glasses with a gold chain and a silk green robe, and she held a feathery quill and notebook in her hands, as if she was ready to write a story.
Himel’s attention to detail comes from a love of a storyline she says brings many people together.
“You have those friends (from Harry Potter) for the rest of your life,” Himel said.
Himel was one of many wizards — rather, Harry Potter fans — who crammed into the Rave Motion Pictures theater behind the Mall of Louisiana late Thursday night for the midnight premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part Two.”
It is the final installment of J.K. Rowling’s series on Harry Potter’s adventures at Hogwarts detailed in seven books — and eight films. The last book was split in two.
Fans arrived at the theater as early as 3 p.m. just to get good seats; tickets sold out for the showing two weeks ago, said Andrew Warren, Rave Theater general manager.
The theater showed the movie on all 15 of its screens and even offered 3 a.m. showings because of the high demand, Warren said.
“We’d have 6 a.m. shows if the 3 a.m. shows sold out,” Warren said.
Many of the Harry Potter fans went in groups, with all members dressed up for the magical affair.
A group of five from Catholic High School and St. Joseph’s Academy went as an assortment of Potter characters.
Jenny Adair, 17, the lone girl of the group, dressed up as Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts’ headmaster.
Alex Hebert, 15, went as Neville Longbottom, while Ben Ross, 17, dressed as Ron Weasley, one of Harry’s best friends.
John Kellner, 16, went as Rubeus Hagrid, stuffing his olive green jacket with pillows to imitate the gamekeeper’s prodigious size.
David Capdevielle, 17, didn’t go with a standard character. He dressed as an “unliked Hufflepuff,” wearing a black rope and a small sign that said “Jesus was a Hufflepuff.”
All of them share an intense love of the wizarding world’s chosen one, Harry Potter.
“I’ve had my ticket for over two months,” Ross said.
Some people, like Rachel Saltzberg and her nephews, turned the evening into a family gathering.
Saltzberg and her nephews — Tyler Gremillion, Brennan Major and Dalton Major — all wore black robes with the Gryffindor logo. Harry Potter lives in Gryffindor house, which is Hogwarts’ version of a dormitory.
The three boys each had makeshift wands — all of which broke at some point.
The boys said they came with their aunt because their mothers would be asleep by the time the movie started.
“And because the aunt is that cool,” Saltzberg said.
Not everybody wore robes or brought wands, though.
Taylor Copeland, a 21-year-old LSU student, went with a group of friends. All of them dressed like Muggles, or nonmagical folk.
Maybe it was because they were too busy learning beforehand: Copeland said he and his friends went straight from class to the theater.
“It just kind of fell in line with our classes,” Copeland said.
The customers weren’t the only ones getting into the act.
Several staff members dressed up in Hogwarts garb. One donned a black robe and a long, blonde wig, while another wore a white shirt, dark skirt and tie like a Hogwarts school girl.
Warren said staff members typically approach him about wearing costumes for big movie premieres, as well as working those particular nights.
“I think they love to see the customers dressed up,” Warren said.