Reminiscing About Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
By Hanako M. Ricks
HollywoodNews.com: On my Twitter timeline, it literally started at midnight. The first tweet I saw came from Alex Heule, who is the webmaster of Accio-Potter, a Harry Potter fansite: “3 years ago this very minute…”
And with that, the floodgates seemed to open amongst my Harry Potter fans, for three years ago on this date, Harry Potter fans around the world found out the fate of our beloved – and despised – characters with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Lots of Potter fans on Twitter began posting sentiments like “Happy Deathly Hallows Day” and “Harry Potter Lives On”, and talking about what they were doing or how they were feeling as they read to find out how the epic tale about “The Boy Who Lived” ended.
I remember the excitement I felt at being able to finally get this book into my hands, and also the apprehension at this being the end of the series. At that point, I had only been a Harry Potter fan for little over two years, and was feeling a bit saddened that I was getting into the “fanatic” stage of my interest just as the end was coming. However, I did not let this deter me from fully enjoying the book release party I attended that evening at Barnes & Noble.
My friends, my kids and I all arrived at the store around 3:30pm; my boss had been kind enough to let me off of work early so I could get in line early. We arrived at the store before they had even begun to set-up for the party, but were told that we would be the first in line once they finished setting up. They gave out wristbands to keep track of the people in line so that we could purchase our books in the order of our arrival – I was #1.
There were games, giveaways, and a cutthroat trivia game which I ended up winning. My prize? A promotional Deathly Hallows poster signed by Mary GrandPre, the illustrator of the American editions of the series. Then at 11:30pm, we were divided into four lines and at exactly midnight, my purchase was rung up at the register, and I was running out the door to my car. (There were people in the store who tried to flip through the book and shout out the ending, so I was fleeing from them).
My friends and I stopped at the store to stock up on cappuccino and Red Bull, and then went to my house, where I had planned an all-night read-a-thon sleepover. There were six of us at my house that night, and I was also texting with one of my best friends Keith, who lives in Pennsylvania but was reading at the same time. I began reading Dethly Hallows around 12:30 am on the morning of July 21, and didn’t finish until almost 13 hours later; I took one 20 minute nap and had two 10 minute “time-outs” where I had to force myself to stop crying due to a couple of deaths that took place.
I remember finishing the book feeling both satisfied and not satisfied; satisfied because the book more than lived up to my expectations, and not satisfied because I wanted so much more. I thought I would be ready to accept the end of the tale and move on, but found myself wanting more of the story. What happened after the final battle? How did everyone come to grips with the conclusion and move on? How did they rebuild?
I know that for me, no other series has completely pulled me in the way the Harry Potter books did; J.K. Rowling made a world that was so immersive, so imaginable and gave us characters – good and evil – that touched us so deeply that three years later, we fans can still be affected and emotional about the experience of having gone with Harry on his journey through life, death and beyond. For me, right now or ten years from now, Harry Potter will continue to live on.
Cover image: Mary GrandPre for Scholastic Books
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