It Ends Tonight

…no, not the song by the All-American Rejects.

Usually, I don’t write personal posts on my blog, but as it commemorates one of the most momentous events of my twenty-year life, I believe this will be okay just this once.

At midnight tonight, as many may know, the eighth and final film in the Harry Potter series, based on J. K. Rowling’s seven-book series about the boy wizard, will be released in the United States.  For many, this is just another film premiere for another series of movies.

For many of my generation, though, this is the symbolic end of an era of childhood magic.

I bought my first Harry Potter book, a paperback copy of The Sorcerer’s Stone, when I was eight years old at a school book fair in third grade.  After my first read-through – though I thought the first chapter was really boring – I was in love.

In fact, even though I didn’t tell anyone, I waited for three years to get a letter from Hogwarts and I was very disappointed when not even a slip of parchment came back.

For years, Harry and his world were companions for me in my own world, which I found terribly boring.  I wanted the towering castle of Hogwarts and the mystical landscapes surrounding it, not the small brick building I sat in for 11 years of pre-school and elementary or the weird-looking building that housed my high school.  I wanted adventure and danger, not a mundane life filled with homework and duties.

(Incidentally, I never did figure out how Harry managed to pass all his classes despite never seeming to do any homework at all and missing his exams from being in the hospital wing.)

I realized recently that I have spent most of my life waiting for the next Harry Potter adventure: the next book, the next film. I’ve attended midnight premieres and midnight book releases.  I’ve counted down days, hours, minutes until I could get my hands on the next part, to dive into the next chapter in J. K. Rowling’s world.

And after tonight, there will never be a next adventure.

That is, for me, one of the strangest and most difficult ideas to cope with.  I actually started to cry when I wrote it, and each time I re-read that line – each time it sinks in just that little bit more – the more it feels like something inside me is just shrinking up.

Harry Potter is a part of me.  He has been part of me for years, just like thousands of others in their late teens and early twenties across the world.

A girl on Facebook created an event called I Solemnly Swear that I am Up to No Good.  The instructions are simple: after seeing the movie, all you need to do complete the charm on the Maurauder’s Map with the words “Mischief Managed.”  The event encourages fans to write it as their Facebook status as well.

If you’re a fan of the series and the movies, I encourage you to join in, too.

I’ll be right there with you.

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