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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thank You Harry Potter

Well, here we are.  Then end of an era.  The last Harry Potter film will be released tonight at midnight.

If you are a true fan, you already know the fate of our young wizard since you finished reading the books years ago.  Though there was some closure reading “Deathly Hallows” back in 2007, the films were still being made, and we were years away from the end of life at Hogwarts; so the fantasy continued.  Fast forward to today, July 14, 2011, and the reality that it is almost over has now settled in.  The second part of “Deathly Hallows” is upon us.  The last of the Harry Potter films is here.

Now, I am relatively new to the world created by J.K. Rowling.  Sure, I went and saw the films, but I was not a devoted fan.  Not like my brother who would dress up and go to the book store at midnight every time a book was released. No, that was not me.  Though my wife and kids read the books, I was not interested.  I don’t know if it was a macho thing, or if I thought that I was too old, I did not allow myself to enter the Leaky Cauldron on my way into the wizarding world. 

Then back in 2008, I began travelling for a job I just started.  On my first trip, and I came upon “The Sorcerer’s Stone” at the airport in San Diego.  Since I found reading help pass the time, I bought the book, and that was it, I was hooked.  Every time you opened the book and read a few pages, you were whisked away to this world of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.  You entered a world of wizards and witches, of broomsticks and potions, of magic mirrors and giant three headed dogs. 

I could now see what all the excitement was about, and I wanted more. I felt bad having missed out on all the magic all these years, but one benefit of waiting so long to read the books was that I did not have to wait for the next book to be released.  They were all written; I just had to read them.

As I stated, I was traveling for work back then, and you all know, every airport has a book store.  As I finished one book, I would hit a bookstore at the next airport.  I bought one book in Dallas, another in Atlanta; I was living the life of a wizard at forty thousand feet. 

All the rest of the books were purchased all over the US.  Only once did I run into a problem finding the “next” book.  I generally walked into the first bookstore I came upon at the airport and bought the next book.  In this case, I wanted to purchase “Order of the Phoenix”.  I was in Chicago of all places.  That airport is huge, but as I went into the first bookstore, no luck.  I calmly searched for the next bookstore, but again no book.  Unfortunately, I did not have that long of a lay over and I was now getting desperate.  As I last left Harry, he has come upon “He who shall not be named” and Cedric Digory had just been killed.  I needed to know what happened next!  Fortunate for me, the fourth store I visited had the book and found it to be my favorite book.  A funny thing is my sister manages a book store, but yet I only bought one book from her.  Oh well.

Now, in reading Harry Potter, I have laughed, I have cried, I have been startled, and I have been sad.  Now I find myself a bit melancholy.  At some point this weekend, I will go see “Deathly Hallows”.  Of course, I know how the movie will end, but I don’t know how I will react to that end.  I guess I will feel like one does when the say bye to a friend they will not see for a long time.  That empty feeling….that sense of loss.  My head tells me I should not feel this way; I am a grown man for heaven’s sake. But I admit it, I will miss Harry. 

Ever hopeful, I look forward to more books in the future.  The rumor is J.K Rowling is considering it.  For now, I will look back this thing we call Harry Potter and know that whenever I want, I can open a book or watch the DVD, and experience the joy all over again.

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