Or beginning of a new one? Harry Potter is coming to an end. There will be no more movies. There are no more books. The plot lines, stories, and characters that have followed me around and grown up with me for more than half of my life are now gone. Every game I played in elementary school, every book I have ever read hoping that it will be as good as the world of Harry, every moment I have ever hoped that my acceptance letter to Hogwarts was just lost in the mail, has to end.
I have to finally grow up. For many of us, we have grown up with Harry. The final book marked my final year of high school, the final movie marks my final year of college. I was supposed to go to the first movie’s premier (my cousin is a producer for a Celebrity news show) when I was 11, but after 9/11, my mother refused to let me fly. This year I was able to interview the cast at the premier of Deathly Hallows part 1. Full circle? Possibly.
But how do we go on from here? How do we find our way in a world without the promise of a return to Hogwarts in the fall. Do we have to wait, like our beloved Harry, Ron and Hermione, for our children to receive their owls, for us to experience Hogwarts again? Do we lead sad magic-less lives until then? Do we go to the theme park and live on Pottermore?
I for one love what J.K. Rowling said, that the halls of Hogwarts would always be open to us, through rereadings and rewatchings. What I believe we mourn the most is that for a generation of us, we have to finally let go of the last little bit of our former lives. You know, a time when staying up all night with friend reading a book was ok. I will never get to flake on a boyfriend again because I was reading A VERY IMPORTANT BOOK, even though I will continue to try this because I like to read. Believing in magic will be frowned upon now. The magic of our childhood is completely out of reach to us.
Harry battling Voldemort in those finals scenes could mirror our own struggle with the real world. We have bee running from it, but eventually we have to suck it up and walk into those dark scary woods to face off with our future. Harry Potter is more than anything else, a glorious coming of age story. Hey guys, we finally came of age.
And like our school song , because we all belong to this school, says:
Hogwarts, Hogwarts, hoggy warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald,
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling,
With some interesting stuff,
For now they’re bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we’ve forgot,
Just do your best, we’ll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot.
And so, I am off to read A Song of Fire and Ice, rewatch the movies I’ve grown up with, and grow up a little, but not too much.