Harry Potter and Fourteen Years of Magic

Last Sunday, I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2.

I felt sad. Not because of what happened in the movie, I already knew that since I finished reading the books a long time ago, but because while I was there at the cinema watching, I realized that it really is the end of an era.

I love reading. I have been reading novels for as long as I can remember. I started reading Sweet Valley Kids, then Sweet Valley Twins, then Nancy Drew, then Sweet Valley High..you get the idea. I’ve read a lot of books from the classics to the contemporary, from the spy thrillers to romance, from conspiracies to spiritual enlightenment. But nothing else has captured my imagination like the Harry Potter series.

I read the first three books in one day. And that was the beginning of it. The series has captured not only my imagination but also my emotions. It’s hard not to feel some form of attachment to a story that I’ve read, watched, and anticipated since I was in high school.

I love the way the book grows; the story and even the way it was written matures as the characters mature. As the story progresses, I grew more and more fascinated not just by the world created by Rowling but also by her brilliance – how one small detail, one small event or just a passing observation in the earlier novels could mean so much and could change so much and be so big in the following novels.

I love the way that Harry Potter isn’t perfect, that he’s just like any other kid (minus the magic, of course). I love that the characters feel the emotions normal people feel and react to them as normal kids would.

Things like love, bravery, loyalty, friendship, and faith has always be big words. Big words that people really don’t know how to explain or are concepts that are just there. Reading the books make the readers feel them; lets them know how it should be.

Love really can’t be described; Lily’s love for Harry saved him, Snape’s love for Lily knows no time and no fear, Ginny’s love for Harry gave her the strength to face the possibility that she may lose him.

Bravery is doing the right thing even in the face of fear; Harry’s acceptance of his fate, even while fearing it, and Hermione’s strength even while being tortured showed bravery that we don’t see everyday.

Loyalty is believing in someone or something even in the face of adversary; Dobby’s loyalty to Harry and what he is fighting for led to the elf’s death, but he never wavered, never faltered.

Friendship is love, and yes, even the occasional fighting with the people who may not always understand you but still have faith in you; no matter how exasperated Ron and Hermione get, they still look out for Harry. No matter how difficult things get, they are still there even if it’s just to fight with him.

And Faith is believing. Believing not just in a God, but in people, in love, and doing the right thing; Dumbledore’s faith in Harry and that he would do the right thing and Harry’s faith in Dumbledore is central to the novels.

The novels teach us not to judge. Haven’t I spent many years trying to analyze where Severus Snape’s loyalties lie? Haven’t I spent years feeling sorry for Neville Longbottom? For the whole of the series I’ve always wondered about Snape’s intentions. For the whole of the series I’ve read about Neville’s doubt in himself. But in the end, Harry Potter is not the hero. Snape’s love and Neville’s bravery made them the biggest heroes Rowling’s magical world has ever seen.

The novel teaches us what a group of determined people can do for the good of the world, even in the face of seemingly unbeatable adversary. They may lose a few (a few is too many already), but in the end, they wouldn’t have lost them in vain.

And now I wonder, will any novel, series or not, ever come close to what Harry Potter did to the world? I can’t wait to find out. But for now, I bid farewell to Harry Potter, the only series that captured my emotions fully and doesn’t seem to want to let go.

Thank you, Ms. Rowling, for giving us more than a decade of Harry Potter. And thank you, Harry Potter, for growing up with me.

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