It all started on 4 Privet Drive and ended at King’s Cross. After 14 spellbinding years, mischief managed.
By now, the books and films have spanned 13 years of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks to J.K. Rowling, the filmmakers and the cast of the Harry Potter movies, these years have been filled with more magic and imaginative splendor than any nerd could have asked for.
With the DVD and Blu-ray release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" out today, fans can get a glimpse of a poignant, behind-the-scenes clip showing the cast’s final day and heartbreaking goodbyes. (This will be just one of the extras for the DVD and Blu-ray.) And if you’ve grown up watching your favorite characters on screen, it is guaranteed to bring you to tears.
In the video, Matthew Lewis (the actor who plays fan favorite Neville Longbottom) says, “I don’t think in film history there has been anything quite like it. We’ve all grown up with these characters. With each other.”
Living in a post-Potter world has been quite strange. I think many of my fellow Potterheads can say they felt some kind of emptiness after coming home from watching "The Deathly Hallows: Part 2." Can you say post-Potter depression? I cried more than I’d care to admit — breaking down in tears all the same for when it was touching, when it was sad and for when it triumphed.
And when the last scene faded to black, the realization instantly hit. No more films, no more midnight anticipation, no more dressing up. It felt as if some omnipotent, booming voice said, “the end.”
But is it really?
It’s hard to wonder what my life would be like if I had never picked up the books. Let alone books about magic and wizards. This series is as much my adulthood as it was my childhood, and I think those fans who have stuck with Harry until the very end can relate.
I was 11-years-old when the green-eyed bespectacled boy entered my life and it hasn’t been the same since. From the moment I embarked on J.K. Rowling’s journey, the pages left me wonder-struck. Much like how Harry must have felt when he first stepped into Hogwarts' Great Hall— full of wonder, full of magic and a world where the possibilities just seemed endless.
For devoted fans, last summer's movie "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" symbolized a bittersweet end to a much-loved series and a seven-year adventure. It’s never an easy feat to bring such a publicly-embraced book - let alone seven - to life, but the films have certainly worked their magic.
This series has been an impressive franchise in film and publication history — a testament to Rowling as a storyteller. She created a series anchored in carefully thought-out details that have made a world of magic feel as real as it can get.
The world we live in is much different from that of Hogwarts or Quiddtich matches, but the meaning millions of people around the world found in these books is unquestionable. I believe it shows that the "Harry Potter generation" is a generation who thrives on imagination.
I think many of us have hoped that if we were patient and waited long enough, a snowy white owl would deliver our Hogwarts acceptance letters. A few of us even imagined what kind of wands would choose us and which house we’d be sorted into. Harry Potter has always been the constant reminder to incorporate a little magic into our lives; and of course, the great reminder to never tickle a sleeping dragon.
We’ve learned many things along the way, including that it’s our choices that show us who we truly are, far more than our abilities; eating chocolate really does help; though the snitch is small, it’s the most valuable; you might be famous and not even know it and that pink can actually be a scary color.
Some people may not understand the appeal of Harry Potter, others may laugh at the fandom, and some may think it’s an overrated series, but I don’t think Potterheads have ever cared what people think. In book 7, Professor Snape says to Lily what best expresses the response for fans.
“It’s real for us.”
And it is. Not for everyone, but for the fans, it’s real for us.
When Rowling created Hogwarts, she didn’t just create a school. She didn’t just create a story about a boy wizard. She created a place where people could feel like they belonged within the pages. And for that, the magic will live on for the fans.
And so to those who’ve waited hours in a line for midnight releases, who believe nargles are actually the ones behind missing socks and to those who have perfected the Patronus Charm, I raise my butterbeer to you.