~This is a post about Harry Potter. If you haven’t read the books and don’t want any spoilers, you may want to come back tomorrow.~
Twelve years ago, I was teaching fourth grade. Some of my students started reading a book called, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I’d heard about this book that had gotten thousands of children reading suddenly, and was very curious. I decided to pick up a copy and read it myself.
I instantly fell in love with the Boy Who Lived and his entire world.
It was out in paperback by then, and the second book, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” was out soon after that, and I devoured that as well. It was soon after that when I had my first child. I had a hard time doing any sleeping for a few years, much less reading.
Once I got my bearings back, I finished the books and started seeing all the movies. I feel like I’ve known these characters for more than a decade. I’ve seen their triumphs and their falls. I’ve seen some of them die, some fall in love, and all of them age.
I’ve let myself get emotionally involved. I cry every time I read about Neville gettng his house points in the first book. I cry every time Hagrid comes back from Azkaban in the second movie. I cry at the end of Goblet of Fire. I cry when Sirius dies in Order of the Phoenix – and when Dumbledore keeps evading poor Harry, who feels completely abandoned by his mentor for most of the book. And of course when Dumbledore dies in Half Blood Prince just kills me.
The last book, however, does me in many times over. Percy comes back to fight. Neville is a badass. We think Harry dies. Dobby! It’s all so scary and so sad at times.
And as much as I loved watching (and bawling through) this last movie, it was bittersweet. There won’t be anymore Harry Potter books. There won’t be any more Harry Potter movies. This chapter has come to a close, and it’s all a bit sad.
The good news is that my children are reading the books now, and seeing the movies as they finish the books. We sometimes read them together, which is great, because I get to rediscover them as my children do, and see it through fresh eyes, which is a unique experience.
I am keeping all my books and movies, and hope that not only my children, but also someday my grandchildren will discover them as well. There’s something so magical and so hopeful about Harry’s journey that just speaks to me (and so many others). The boy who lived, who had such a sad life until he realizes he’s magical. Who defies all odds. Who finds true friendship and true love, and a true family when his own has gone.
Farewell, Harry. Thanks for touching my heart and being a part of my life.