Harry Potter and the End of an Era
Written by: Cassandra Carter
July 15th, 2011 is less than 24 hours away. That date marks the last time I get to sit ageless in the dark ambiance of the theater, indulging in the remnants of my youthful literary and cinematic adventures. Tomorrow, we witness the end of a cultural revolution in both the mediums of film and literature as we watch the finale of the reputable Harry Potter franchise. I have grown weary with anticipation and began preparing myself for a farewell, to not only an old friend, but a piece of my childhood. It is now I find myself longing for Hermoine’s time turner, to return to the day I received book one.
Twas a crisp December 25th, and though I didn’t receive a hand knitted sweater with my initials on it as I had hoped, my grandmother did present me with a book. Little did I know that this seemingly innocuous gesture would have such a large ripple effect on the untold years of my life. I can distinctly recall when I cracked open the cover, wafted in the fresh scent of the printed ink, and felt the coarse edge of each page as I rushed to turn them, hanging on every word. Immediately I was hooked. I’d spend hours locked up in my room with these books. I introduced my entire family to the series and it became a bit of an obsession among us. No matter the weather or events of the following day we would gather in wait at bookstores, sometimes standing for hours, as we anxiously checked the clocks on our cell phones in a vain attempt to make midnight come faster. I felt a sense of belonging amongst the long lines of fans dressed as wizards and assemblages of adults flicking their wrists while reciting spells and incantations. We all stood poised as grace and eager to continue our adventures. I, along with millions of others, was falling head over heels for the chosen one.
As I grew older, my life naturally grew progressively harder, coincidently, so did Harry’s. Harry was the manifestation of the imagination I unleashed in my dreams and paintings. We grew into adulthood together. As one chapter of my life ended and a new one began, Harry’s fictional life mirrored that of mine. Not only were Harry and I coming of age together, but also JK Rowling was growing in eloquence as an author. She set forth to craft a tale of underrated heroes, harrowing villains, the dark trials of aging, and powerful magic, and her years of work have been praised by fans of the written word across the globe. With each new installment to the franchise I was able to immerse myself deeper into the characters, dialogue, and environments, eventually letting them consume me as the wizarding world became my own. I’d spend hours daydreaming about running through a brick wall and into a new life. One where we can explore the hidden mysteries of Hogwarts, cheer at Quidditch matches until our throats are hoarse, battle our way into the Chamber of Secrets, shop the eclectic stores of Diagon Alley, rest solemnly in our beds on Privet Drive, and drink pints of Butterbeer among friends in the warm atmosphere of the Hogshead. This is not simply my dream, but a dream that dwells in all of us, even after we say our tearful goodbyes to Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
It’s been a long journey, as I now find myself a college student nearing the end of an adventure that has been carried through 14 years of my life. Harry Potter introduced me to a whole new brand of literature. The books subjected me to the hardest emotional battles any piece of fiction could muster. As the end inevitably drew nearer, I strained to turn the last few tear stained pages of Deathly Hallows. Upon the series’ conclusion, I found that a piece of me was gone as well, trapped in the novels resting on my shelf. And it is there they will be waiting. Patiently observing as I grow into who I will forever be, knowing they had a profound influence on the outcome of my life. A life we made together in the world of my imagination. I can only mourn the end, but take solace in the quaint, distant thought of sharing these books with future generations. I will carry this passion through the years of my life, igniting a similar lust in the hearts of loyal fans of the written word. Here I stand on the precipice of my future. A future forged in ink, marking the newest chapter of my life.
All content © 2009-2010 by Chronicles of the Nerds