I remember the first time I heard of the book about a boy with a lightning scar in his forehead. I was 13, generally interested in reading for leisure – unlike the rest of the girls in my school who preferred combing their hair and putting powder in their face as a hobby.
My sister was a freshman in UPLB then, and she came home one weekend and talked of this book that she read that she likes so much. She talked of witches and wizards, of cauldrons, and potions as a subject to learn at school. She said she even had a dream about it, while or maybe after she read the book – and she was so smitten that I just sat in our bed, not convinced that I’d be happy about reading a book about witches nor wizards.
Well, you couldn’t blame me. Back then, my mind’s image of a witch is solely based on a 1993 film Hocus Pocus with a young Sarah Jessica Parker pre-Sex and the City. My idea of a wizard mainly involves Merlin – and well, the Enchanted Kingdom mascot.
And then came the movie and all the rave about Harry Potter. I couldn’t remember what I did first – seeing the movie or reading the book. Nonetheless, you must have gotten the point – my sister was right all along (she almost always is). Witches can be as pretty as Fleur dela Cour and Hermione Granger, wizards can be as good looking as Oliver Wood, and the series is fcuking awesome.
It took a me a few years before I read the last book – maybe because I wasn’t really truly excited the read the end. There’s always this fear that some people might end up dead – you’ve got to admit, once Sirius Black died in Book 5 followed by Albus Dumbledore’s death in Book 6, you kind of feel like all hope is lost, and Harry Potter is screwed. I mean, really, no offense to Harry Potter, but the whole story – everything that happened went accordingly to Dumbledore’s plan. The guy’s a genius.
Anyway, after I finished the book this weekend, I was mildly depressed. I thought of three reasons why I felt this way: 1) I didn’t like that Rowling chose to end the book by fast forwarding their lives; 2) I wasn’t a fan of the Harry Potter-Ginny Weasley love team and it has made me more upset than I imagined and; 3) It just didn’t feel right that Tom Riddle is really defeated – so the last words in the book “All was well” didn’t really feel right – it’s like a final sentence, a confirmation to say that YES, THERE WILL BE NO MORE HARRY POTTER BOOKS BECAUSE VOLDEMORT IS REALLY REALLY DEAD.
And I guess it’s sort of a bittersweet good-bye. I never wanted Harry Potter to end – i’d liek to think that it would end by the time that I’m 30 or something, when I’m probably too ‘grown-up’ to even read a book thicker than the Holy Bible.
I don’t exactly know how to say good-bye to Harry Potter, just thinking about the fact that there will be no more Book 8 and that Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Roberts are all grown-up is kind of like a reminder of how I’ve grown-up. See, in my mind, my first year in high school was Harry’s first year in Hogwart’s. While I was graduating, Harry was participating in the Tri-Wizard Cup. When I was making my thesis proposal, well, Harry Potter’s hiding out in a forest eating mushrooms hunted down by Death Eaters. Haha.
But well – I guess I have to applaud JK Rowling. I have never been attached too much by book characters (except for the characters in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated). When Sirius Black died, the moment I read that particular instance when the wretched LeStrange cast a curse on him, my heart stopped for a – err, a millisecond, maybe. I put down the book and sat on my bed, stared off for a while and felt extremely sad. And then I scurried the book, trying to find a loophole for Sirius to be alive again – maybe there’s a curse that Dumbledore could do, or maybe there’s a way out, or maybe Rowling’s delusional at the time – maybe she’ll take it back.
When I read book 7, I teared up four times. One, when I found out that Mad-Eye died. Two, when I found out what Regulus Black had to do to give Kreacher the horcrux. Three, when Dobby died. And four…I couldn’t exactly remember, but I’m guessing it’s Dumbledore related. When Fred died, I didn’t get the time to feel bad about it. I was used to the whole people are dying thing.
Anyway, I couldn’t completely say good-bye to Harry Potter, not yet. I’ll find a way to properly say good-bye to it, some day. But for now, I end this piece with yet another note that wasn’t exactly a part of the book that touched my heart.
Before the story began, a dedication reads:
The dedication of this book is split seven ways: to Neil, to Jessica, to David, to Kenzie, to Di, to Anne, and to you, if you have stuck with Harry until the very end.
Blimey, that’s us!
So here it goes, let’s raise our goblets and drink. This is for you, for me, for the people who fought for the greater good, and for the boy who simply lived in our hearts.
Shall we listen to some tunes then?