I was thinking last night, as I watched the previews before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 began, that this would be the last time I ever watched a Harry Potter movie on the big screen.
I thought about when I first heard that lovely tinkling little tune now so reminiscent of a magical world. It was ten years ago. An entire decade. I was sitting in the theatre and the lights dimmed and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone began rolling.
And last night as I waited to see the ending of it all play out before me, I thought about when the imagination of J.K. Rowling first opened up to me. My best friend, a profoundly avid reader, led me into a quiet room in her house. She said, “I’ve got to show you something.”
She shared a bedroom with her two younger sisters, so she sought the only quiet space where we could fall into the wizarding world without distraction — her parents’ bedroom. It was here that she told me of the grand adventure that had begun unfolding itself in front of her via those eggshell pages and the ebony lettering. Excitedly (I knew this was going to be something good), she opened up the very first book in the series and read to me the first page.
I was glued immediately, and she handed me the book. I remember seeing her in the hallway of our school the next day and running up to her. “I just met Hermione!” I blurted out with childish enthusiasm. Only, we had no idea how to pronounce the name, so we called her Her-me-own. It wasn’t until the movies came out that we realized that wasn’t how it was supposed to sound.
I remember getting to page 100, and thinking that the stars next to that page number looked especially enchanting.
On the day that each subsequent book was released, my Dad or I would rush to pick it up (I got him hooked, too!). I’d read it as fast as I could then hand it over to him. Of course, Julia — my speed-reader best friend — had likely finished it on the same day that she lifted the cover, so she and I would gab immediately about how wonderful the story was — how captivating.
In college, I started pre-ordering my tickets and waiting in line at midnight to see the movies as they were released. It became a tradition that I looked forward to with an incredible lust. It was truly the epic of our time. And now it has come to a close.
I was such a different person way back then. I feel like maybe I wasn’t even myself at all. I was a product of my family and my environment, but I didn’t know anything about my self. I knew Harry Potter before I even knew myself.
And when I left The Nickelodeon theatre last night, I walked out as an adult woman who has a profession, a partner, who lives in her own apartment, who has pets that depend on her, who has a college degree, who owns her own car, who hasn’t even lived in the same State as her parents for several years.
I grew with the characters from a First Year and now the era has ended. It’s a strange, strange feeling…
I just had to share.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to. And if you haven’t read the books, it’s never too late to start.