I’m sure you have all been overwhelmed with Harry Potter posts this month. That’s because there will be no more movies. The books and the movies have come to an end. Some of you may be overjoyed that it is finally over. Others of you, like myself, feel like you’ve lost a loved one. Harry Potter is what got me back into reading seriously. I never stopped reading but it had become something that I didn’t have to do every day. Harry made reading the equivalent of breathing.
To be honest, I was one of the scoffers when Harry Potter first came into popularity. In fact I thought my little brother was joining the HP cult when he started bringing the books home. Then one summer, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was gifted to my siblings and I. Unfortunately none of us were reading them at the time. My little brother had stopped halfway through the fourth book. (Don’t ask me how!) I didn’t want the gift to go to waste so that day I went to the library and picked up the first book in the series. I didn’t look back.
Harry is everything we ache for in a story. He is the underdog who shines above everyone else. He is the one that shouldn’t have the personality he does but he’s so good. Harry has been trampled on and unloved for eleven long years and then his life changes overnight. The friends and enemies he picks up along the way only enhance the story in the best way. Hagrid is the most loyal and loving person who everyone seems to overlook, Hermione keeps the boys out of too much mischief, and Ron and Harry have that wonderfully strange friendship that weathers almost every hardship. Dumbledore is the guiding light that Harry has missed all his life, McGonagall is that professor who commands respect but you know will kick ass with the best of them when called upon, and Snape, oh Snape. You didn’t get a fair lot in life did you? It kills me that I didn’t learn that until so much later.
On Friday, July 15th, 2011 my husband, friends and I made our way to the theater after having a lovely little dinner out. We’d had our tickets for at least a week. We eagerly corralled ourselves in the line for an hour so we could get good seats. I’d carefully packed about a quarter of a long box of Puffs Plus Lotion in my purse with a ziplock baggie for trash. (I also had smuggled gummy bears because really I am not paying $5 for a handful of gummies.) I was prepared. I could handle this. I read the books I knew what was coming. I was strong.
Good Lord! I couldn’t have been more wrong. I sat by my girlfriend because I knew if I broke down my husband would not hold my hand. Good decision. I. Lost. It. Good news: girl behind me was sobbing during the opening credits and made me look good. Bad news: went through half my Puffs supply and I think my friend may have permanent marks in her bones from the death hold I had on her hand. Sorry Mary! Needless to say I was traumatized for a good day or two. My heart hurt for a full 24 hours for one of the characters. Yeah. You know who I’m talking about! If you don’t, you should read the books! You don’t know what you’re missing.
There was a lot of good things about the movie too! My favorite light moment (as light as it could get in a wizard civil war) was when McGonagall called down the guards to protect the castle. I got goose bumps. Then in traditional McGonagall form “I’ve always wanted to do that spell!” I mean really? You ROCK McGonagall! Then Molly Weasley calling out Bellatrix. Vengeance was beautiful. “Not my daughter, you BITCH!” It was everything I imagined and more.
There has been a lot of speculation that Harry Potter is over. It’s done. After all there are no more books. If there aren’t any more books there can’t be anymore quality movies. Maybe some cheap knock offs later on down the road. You know what I think? Harry Potter isn’t going anywhere. The magic isn’t gone because there aren’t any new stories. In fact I think that Harry Potter will become a rite of passage for young readers everywhere. The magic will always be new because new readers, young and old, will discover the magic for themselves. After all the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings still finds new readers.
Harry Potter is an epic adventure of good versus ultimate evil. That tale never gets old. It’s one that I hope my children will enjoy and treasure as well. Ms. Rowling has entertained the world. I’m eternally grateful that she put pen to paper and gave us Harry and Hogwarts.