Thursday, July 14, 2011

The End Is Here: What Potter Means To Me

Like so many others, my tickets have been purchased weeks ago for the 9:00 pm showing of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallow Part 1 and directly following the 12:01 showing of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2. I've been painting my nails, deciding which shirt to wear (yes, I have several HP shirts) and ironing out plans for the big day.

And now, it's here and I'm not ready.

I'm 23 years old which means, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came out when I was 11 years old, just old enough to go to Hogwarts myself. But I didn't start reading the series until after the first movie came out in 2001. I was completely enchanted with Harry's world and jumped on the next movie, which I devoured.

But that wasn't enough.

So at 15 years old, I walked into my local Books-A-Million and found that four books were published and the fifth was coming out very soon. I grab the first two and went home. I didn't surface for air. These books made me forget about little things like eating and drinking and sleeping. Who needed that when I was learning magic? I'm lucky this was over the summer or I'd have been in huge trouble.

I read those first two books and the last one ended for me at about 1 in the afternoon. Then, I turned to the clock and waited and waited and waited until my mother got home. I told her we couldn't eat until I got the next two in the series. She marched me back out there and I got the next two and a preorder for the fifth which came out a day before my birthday.

Then I spread Harry Potter around like a virus to everyone I ever knew.

Fast-forward to the sixth book coming out. I was working at said bookstore then and through various quizzes proved I was the biggest nut they had. I was like a walking encyclopedia. So I was put in charge of hosting the sixth event with a manager. We stayed up until 3 in the morning making humongous banners that they hung at Books-A-Million and getting the hoses ready. I was put in Ravenclaw and decided to join in the costumed fun by dressing as Trelawney. After the store closed from all the festivities, I got a pass to leave earlier (since I'd been there night after night getting ready for the event) and I read the entire night through.

Where were you when Dumbledore died? I was in my car at the Books-A-Million parking lot reporting to work the next day at 3 PM after being up all night. And I was bawling.

Come the seventh book, I was no longer working at the bookstore but still had loads of friends there. I volunteered to help out again with one condition-- I wanted Gryffindor. And Gryffindor I got. I marched in once again as Trelawney (bushy hair and glasses and all) with a stack of magic tricks I taught myself to show the kids (my house had the 6 to 10 year olds) and a bunch of games to play. I touched more Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows books than I can even count. Then, I went home and helped my friend move the next day. I drove two hours to her new place and she read aloud. We suffered together as Hedwig perished. We suffered together moving everything in her new place. Then I raced home and finished the book.

Now I have today. Today is the last time that Harry Potter will truly be new to me. Even as I type this, the weather outside gets gloomy, rain starting to sputter onto the pavements in mourning. My heart aches for this ending of something that I loved for so long. I will always have the books and movies to ease it but this really does feel like I'm putting to rest a great friend.

So what does Harry Potter mean to me?

It means growing up and learning, it means not being able to drive, it means wishing for something to be true with every ounce of my being, it means putting on a pair of thick glasses and being transported, and crying as my dear friends perish around me in the parking lot of a bookstore and walking down the hallowed halls of Hogwarts, and helping my friend move with thoughts of a pet long gone and magic cars and midnight movie premieres. It means the taste of butter beer on my lips (caramely!) and actually getting to walk into Fred and George's joke shop. It means my childhood.

I am grateful that Harry Potter found me.

So yes Voldemorte and Harry, it all ends tonight. But it will last forever in my mind and in my heart.

Some of my Harry Potter stats for you:

  • Favorite of The Three: Hermione
  • Favorite Student: Neville Longbottom (because of his incredible growth)
  • Favorite Male Adult: Sirius Black
  • Favorite Female Adult: Narcissa Malfoy
  • Favorite Bad Guy/Gal: Bellatrix Lestrange
  • Favorite Iffy Character: Tie between Draco and Snape (would love to see the story following Draco)
  • Characters I'd most likely hang out with: Fred and George (I'd totally get in with them! They have fun without the threat of you know, dying. I'd have to date one though so that only the other one would play pranks on me. I'm hoping for George cuz he lives... just sayin'!)


  1. Great post! It made me cry! I agree with you about what HP is. It's such a big part of my childhood.

  2. Such a great post. I can't wait to see it, but I don't want it to end.
    I was the same as you. I the first film before I read the books, then grabbed the first four books and read through them like a crazy person and they have been the most exciting releases for me ever since. I am going to a 2.30pm showing tomorrow and I am so excited. I know I will come out crying!

    *Raises my Butter Beer*


  3. Omg crying! This is such an awesome post. I'm so jealous I can't see the movie tonight along with everyone else, but I will see it on Saturday! I'm kind of glad to be putting it off a little, though. It feels like I'm going to a funeral.

  4. I feel the same as you, Harry Potter means so much to me. I grew up with the books, and they've been a part of my life for such a long time it seems so weird that soon it's going to be all over! But I know it's a series I will never forget and that Harry will will carry on for years to come - after all, he is the boy who lived :).

  5. Interesting post. I kind-of made fun of a few bloggers for their HP obsessions, but it was truly that - just being funny. I'm glad you shared your story so I can understand it a little better. (after all, I was 24 when you were 11. ;)

  6. My stats:

    Favorite of The Three: Ron
    Favorite Student: Neville Longbottom/Luna Lovegood
    Favorite Male Adult: Severus Snape
    Favorite Female Adult: Mrs. Weasley
    Favorite Bad Guy/Gal: Bellatrix Lestrange
    Favorite Iffy Character: Snape
    Characters I'd most likely hang out with: Neville, I'm shy like him :) We'd fit well together

    -Kate the Book Buff

  7. Thank you so much for your lovely post! I can't get over how much love and hope Harry has given to us bookish folk and just how awesome each persons individual journey to finding him is.

  8. *tears* I'm soooo going to cry AGAIN.

  9. Great post! I am 40yrs old and just discovered Harry last year...the books. I am so glad that my oldest has discovered and fallen in love with Harry Potter...the books and the age of 9. It is something that we share together and we are planning on seeing the movie this week together. I just hope I don't bawl my eyes out!! :0)

  10. you made me cry. i feel the same way. i am going to see the final movie in like 3 hours and even as i tried to prepare for it for several days/weeks, i don't think i'll ever be ready. it stays in my heart though. forever.


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