I normally shy away from posts like this, but with the last Harry Potter movie being released, I just couldn't resist. For many of us, this series is something magical. Something that we discovered many, many years ago, fell in love with, and have kept up with over the years. We have waited in lines at midnite release BOOK parties (it's weird to think about ever staying in a bookstore all day waiting for a book, but when it's Harry, it's weird to not stay up all nite and wait) and midnite showings of the latest films. We have grown up with these characters, and their journey has become a part of our own. We have grown to love and loathe some of them, forgive others, and learned about a magical world.
I started reading Harry when I was 13. It's crazy to think back all those years. But Harry was there, during those awkward middle school years. He was there with me when I was in high school. He even came away with me to college. It's strange to think that a book (or book series) stays with you that long, but there was no other way about it. Harry was like a part of my family, and no matter what, he was always there when I needed him.
When I saw the movie yesterday, I couldn't help but cry. I had grown up with these characters. I felt like I was experiencing Hogwarts with them. Now, to know that this truly is the end, that there will be no more midnite book/movie releases, it marks the end of my childhood. Yes, I realize that I am 23, work a full-time management job and have bills, but I truly feel like this is the end of an era. I will always look back on those years fondly, not only because of what was going on in my personal life, but because there was always that movie or book coming out. There were people to talk to about it (since it's hard to find people who love books as much as I do). I met one of my very best friends thanks to Harry (at college, she and I bonded over our love of Harry and the Backstreet Boys ... obviously, we were cool). It was just a huge part of my life, and it's sad to think that it's over. I don't know if there will ever be another book/book series that is like Harry Potter. I don't think that there will be, but who knows.
I do know this: this is not good-bye. Whenever I want to relieve those good-old days, Harry is only a page (or DVD) away, and he, Hermione, Ron, and Hogwarts will always be there.