My Very Own, Very Short Farewell to the Boy Who Lived.
My earliest memory of Harry Potter was a borrowed dog-eared copy of Philosopher’s Stone that I read under my desk in a hot and dusty grade six classroom. I don’t have any “it totally changed my life” stories, but I’m comfortable saying my life wouldn’t have been what it is today without the magic of Harry &co to open previously unknown doors. Until high school, J.K. Rowling’s magnum opus was little more than an enjoyable read for me, but when I finally ditched the shroud of geekery (who am I kidding, I’m still a total geek) and started meeting people, Harry Potter was virtually the only thing we had in common.
Imagine an all girls’ high school, with about 100 new students sorted into 4 classes. You don’t have half your primary school friends with you; you’re tiny, scared and all alone. Then you overhear someone talking about the latest Potter book, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem like such a scary place. That’s pretty much the story of How I Made Friends in High School, friends that I have even now, friends that will probably be around even when I’m old and gray and cranky. That’s the magic of HP right there: its ability to bring people together, regardless of race or age or background, or even language. I’ve met people online though fanfiction communities who have become dear, dear friends; other people have made best friends, lasting relationships and connections, all thanks to one boy and his story.
I got everything I could have possibly wanted and more out of this fandom, it’s been so good to me. I first started (seriously) writing with Harry Potter fanfiction. I discovered my love for editing by beta-reading fanfic. I learnt about prose and style and humility in the face of awe-inspiring greats (Mynuet, for one, will continue to be an inspiration). And I got the chance to talk with and learn from some talented, amazing people. I’m grateful.
So while everyone’s tearing up over the idea of never having another new book or movie, of not having any more magical moments, of not having anything else to wait for with bated breath, I’m kind of okay. Somewhere between the thrill of a first Quidditch match and Narcissa’s awful hair, I began to accept the inevitable end of it all. I’m not sorry it’s going because, really, how much longer could Joanne have dragged it out without ruining its appeal? And I can’t be sad when Harry’s adventures have given me so much to be happy about. Because something that’s been such a huge part of so many lives can’t help but leave an indelible mark in our hearts. So here’s to Harry Potter, the saga attached with a Permanent Sticking Charm to our very souls.
We’ll miss ye, lad.