Hermione, Harry and Hogwarts Fans Gather to Salute the Student Wizards

The Jakarta Globe

For university student Marchella Pradipta, dressing up as Hermione Granger, who the whole world knows is one of Harry Potter’s best friends, is just the thing when going off to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,” the latest film in the series.

Marchella, 22, joined some 500 Harry Potter fans for a screening of the latest film on Sunday at Blitzmegaplex in the Grand Indonesia shopping mall. She has been a devotee since her elementary school days.

“I am a huge fan of Harry Potter. I am not at all embarrassed to come to the screening dressed as Hermione,” she said.

Marchella owns a number of Potteresque costumes — school uniforms and dormitory cloaks included — and she also collects matching accessories online.

The crowd on Sunday was liberally sprinkled with costumed Hermiones, Harrys and Ron Weasleys, proving that Jakarta is not as far away as one would think from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the English countryside.

The screening was organized by Indo Harry Potter (IHP), an online fan community. It initially planned for 400 participants, then increased the number to meet demand.

“This is the fifth time that IHP has organized a Harry Potter screening in Jakarta and this is the most crowded one we have had,” said Shafiq, who organized the event.

“We had actually targeted 400 people because we didn’t want Harry Potter fans sitting in the front row and not being able to fully enjoy the film,” he added.

IHP began making preparations for the screening two months ago, charging Rp 85,000 ($9.50) and Rp 65,000 per person for tickets and goody bags.

Anne Lumos, from IHP’s merchandise division, said participants got magic wands, shirts, chocolate frogs, pins and a Harry Potter poster.

The only downside was that not more fans opted for cosplay.

“Three days before the screening, we actually informed the participants that it was a Harry Potter Cosplay but only about 40 participated,” Lumos said.

Airyn Wirawan 22, is a major Harry Potter fan but cosplay is not her thing.

“I don’t really want to dress up as it is a bit of a hassle for me,” she said. “I am more interested in the crowds and getting to know new friends from the screening .”

Indo Harry Potter was established as a mailing list by Eduardi Prahara and Erwin Gunawan in 2001. There are also now dozens of other local sites devoted to the Potter craze.

“It was back in the era when the Internet was not as popular as now. Erwin and I just made Indo Harry Potter because we are fans of Harry Potter,” Eduardi said.

“The first year, we only had 10 members but now there are more than 10,000,” he said, adding that his real life keeps him busy these days while numerous volunteers are around to maintain the IHP forum.

Herayu Nurkusuma Putri, 15, came dressed in a Gryffindor cloak and said she wanted IHP to live on. “I hope IHP will continue to have events that bring us back to the time when the Harry Potter series was still on,” she said

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