Back in 1999 my Mum, ever eager to feed my reading habit, presented me with a book called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. At the time, I was really in to romance novels (unbeknownst to my Mother), and so the colorful, childish cover of this newest book didn't appeal much. But, while spending Christmas at my Dad's in Northern Ontario, I cracked open the book one night and began to read.
From that moment on, Harry Potter, his friends and the fantastical world that JKR created have been a very special part of my life. For 12 of the 26 years of my life I've been anxiously awaiting the newest book or the next movie, and to this day, even though it's been 4 years since the last book was released, I spend a lot of time discussing all sides of the story with friends. I feel like I know these characters, liked I've lived in their world, and like I've grown up with them. My attachment to this story goes beyond "my favorite books". I can't explain it, but these characters, their world and its author are important to me.
So, when I woke up on Thursday morning, I felt more than a twinge of sadness knowing that, that night was the last ever time I would get to experience something Harry Potter for the first time. Does that make sense? Yes, I will always have the books to re-read and the movies to re-watch, and I love them all, but there's something special about the anticipation and experience of the first time. Watching interviews with the cast and crew talking about their final shoots for the movie and seeing footage of their goodbyes on set just broke me down. I was weepy all day. Literally.
With 2 packages of Kleenex in hand, my husband and I attended the midnight premiere one last time. Now that I've had some time to process, all I will say is this. Perfection. I could start dissecting every scene and comparing each to the book like many people seem to be doing, but I don't see the point personally. The movies can never be what the books are, so I treat them as separate aspects of the Harry Potter experience and appreciate them for what they are on their own. DH2 conveyed the conflict, emotion and intensity of the end of Harry's story perfectly, and I can't complain about a single part. It gutted me emotionally and I cried for nearly two hours, but I loved every single second of it.
So that's it. It's over. I have to admit that it feels like I've lost an old friend. But I will continue to re-read this story until I'm old, grey and withered and have to have my grand-children read it to me. It has taught me so many lessons and given me hours of escape to a world so rich with detail and emotion that I can't believe it came from one woman's mind. And so lastly, to her I say....
Thanks, Jo. For all of it.