My childhood ends tomorrow morning at 12:01 am.
It’s crazy to think that this is it: the Harry Potter series is over. Over-over. At least when the books ended we knew that there were still more movies to be made. But now . . . it’s the end. The end of a wonderful, magical, exciting era.
I remember first hearing about Harry Potter in third grade. I was in the lunchroom, talking with one of my friends, and she asked,
“Megan, have you heard of Harry Potter?”
I thought she said Beatrix Potter.
“Yeah, I’ve heard of her. She wrote Peter Rabbit, right?”
My friend smiled. “No, not Beatrix Potter. Harry Potter.”
I don’t really remember what she said after that; I think I put it aside, thinking that the story sounded cool, and that I’d get around to reading it someday.
Except my third-grade teacher read it out loud to us first.
And I was hooked.
I looked forward to story time every day—I just had to find out what was going to happen to Harry and his friends next! Would Harry fit in at Hogwarts? Would Harry and Ron ever be nice to Hermione? What was Snape doing the night of Halloween? Would Gryiffindor win the House Cup? No, teacher, you can’t stop there! I have to know if Harry will survive his first Quidditch match!
Those were magical days, to be sure.
It got even better when I found a large early-birthday package from my Nana on our doorstep. It was addressed to me. Inside: the first three Harry Potters. I finished the first book before the rest of my class did—I remember re-reading the entire book and waking up really early to finish it (probably around four in the morning) the day before my class did . . . and then diving into Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Oh, Harry. We’ve grown up together. Harry's life is entwined with my life.
I remember going to midnight releases with my family—and trying to convince the rest of them that because I started the series before anyone else did, I should have the privilege of reading every new book first.
Somehow I got my way.
I remember clutching the long-awaited Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to my chest, and reading it all the next day. I remember writing silly Harry Potter poems with my cousin Kyra at EFY. I remember trying to figure out what Hogwarts House I would be in. I remember discussing possible symbolism and plot twists with my family. J.K. Rowling said that someone was going to die in the fifth book? Who is it going to be? Is one of the trio going to die?
I remember reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when I was ten-years-old and realizing that Ron and Hermione were going to get married. I remember sitting around a table in the Dining Hall at King’s College, Cambridge (which looked very similar to another famous Dining Hall) and figuring out which Harry Potter character I would be. I remember reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on a bus in Scotland. I remember midnight-release parties and Butterbeer sno-cones. I remember finally reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—pulling my first all-nighter to read that precious story.
And now . . . it’s all over.
But not quite. Harry Potter has influenced my life too much to be extinguished. . . . He won’t be gone forever. I’ll revisit his world when I need to see those good friends again--when I need a little extra wisdom from Dumbledore, when I need to see Hermione in myself, when I need a laugh from Fred and George, when I need to remember the power of friendships.
And I know I'll pulling out my old friend Harry to read to my children. It will be fun to share that magical world with them.
Harry’s not going away any time soon.
Thanks, Jo, for the adventures.
“Of course it’s inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
Oh! Here's a link to a fun blog post about Harry Potter. I think you'll enjoy it. :) (Thanks, Jen!)