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Potter enthusiasts gather as final film release nears

Trivia, costumes spur excitement

Sophomore Ella Marie Sullivan, dressed as Dobby, sits at the Slytherin table for the trivia part of the Potterpalooza event in the Great Hall.
Sophomore Ella Marie Sullivan, dressed as Dobby, sits at the Slytherin table for the trivia part of the Potterpalooza event in the Great Hall.

Courtney Canipe grew up with Harry Potter.

“I was 11 when I started reading the books and so was Harry,” said Canipe, one of the coordinators of Wednesday night’s Potterpalooza.

She sees the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 as the end of an era, but with an event Wednesday that drew more than 100 Potter enthusiasts to the Great Hall of the Student Union, Canipe said she hoped to send the popular children’s novel out with a bang.

The event, sponsored by the film and pop culture committees of the Carolina Union Activities Board, transformed the Great Hall into the Hogwarts dining hall, complete with house tables and pins.

Committee members said they hoped to spur excitement about the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, which debuts in theaters on Nov. 19.

Avid Harry Potter fans snacked on Potter-themed foods that included jelly beans (for Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans), chocolate galleons, caramels, and “muggle foods” such as chips and crackers.

“It’s something that stuck with me through childhood,” Canipe said. “This is the end of Harry’s journey, and it ends many of our childhood journeys.”

After students sat down with their food, four enthusiastic seniors took the stage for a mini-performance.

They were dressed as the marauder’s map, which details the secret passageways of Hogwarts.

They asked the audience to say the correct phrase to open the map.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good,” the crowd recited in unison and without hesitation.

The costume doubled as the quartet’s Halloween costume, and members said they plan on also wearing it to a Harry Potter-themed night at Player’s on Friday.

The map was modeled on Franklin Street. The Bank of America, for example, represented Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

“I support the underlying messages of the books — friendship, love and good over evil,” said Andrea Ramos, who was part of the map.

Each of the four women said they have read all of the Harry Potter books at least once, with some claiming to have read the complete series three times.

The group won the costume contest, walking away with a Harry Potter-themed throw blanket as a prize.

Ella Marie Sullivan, dressed as Dobby the elf, won an honorable mention.

A $30 movie gift card was also given away, which can purchase four student movie passes.

After the marauder’s map skit, 30 students’ names were chosen from a vase, labeled the Goblet of Fire, to participate in a round of trivia.

Questions ranged from “What do Hermione’s parents do for a living?” to “What date did Voldemort kill Harry’s parents?”

Most participants knew the answers instantly, but others struggled. The audience gasped when a participant missed a question, and some even booed.

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Rebekah Goff, who was part of the marauder’s map, enjoyed herself.

“Nerding it up is always OK.”

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