These words jump from posters for the Deathly Hallows. The tag line/phrase is short, the message is clear: the journey is over. The Snitch has left the air, and the game has been played. Another saga has ended, and it is time for us to turn to other things.

For me, this thought is terrifying. Harry Potter has been more than a book; it’s been my childhood. I’ve grown up alongside the characters - adventuring, maturing, and learning always. I’ve always had something to look forward to; a new book, a trailer, a movie. Suddenly it’s over; there will be no more of this. As the years go by, there will be new books and new movies…I dread waking up someday to find out that I’m the only one who remembers, or cares.

[Clarification: When I say “Harry Potter”, I mean the series, not the character, or the actor. I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to clarify that Harry Potter and Daniel Radcliffe are two different people to me, and that I can’t care less about how “hot” the latter is.]
For months now, the Harry Potter world has been clamoring about the release of the final movie. I’ve never really been a big fan of the movies, (JKR loves Steve Kloves, and if she’s satisfied, I should be too, but I’m not)…and suddenly, even that/this is to be over. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, and I don’t know how I’ll be when this fact does strike me.

I stumbled onto Harry Potter when I was 10, and was instantaneously hooked. It was a fun read…magic, trolls, quidditch and adventures. That year, and many years after that, I prayed for a Hogwarts letter before every birthday, and fell asleep dreaming of finally getting an owl. Even after I “grew up”, I told myself - I still do sometimes - that of course the book wouldn’t give away the real facts – platform nine and 3quarters, for instance. Magic would be around us, in other ways, so that while Muggles were busy looking somewhere, the real wizarding population would be going about their lives in totally different ways. Idle ways to keep a desperate dream alive perhaps, but I was (am) obsessed.

Harry Potter has taught me to be a better person; I shudder to think what I would be like if I hadn’t come across it. It has been with me throughout, through my worst periods, and somehow, it has gotten me through it all. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light” – Albus Dumbledore. Well, Harry Potter was my light, and reading it would make everything better. It has taught me to try to do the right thing, and though I’m still struggling every day, it’s getting easier. Harry Potter has made me see the magic in everyday life; in my own trio, in a random flower growing in a sidewalk crack, in my kittens. With every read, I understand more - it’s no longer just a “good read”, but something more fundamental. Underneath all the enchantments and wand-waving is a story of normal people, with normal emotions and relationships, and this is the true magic of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter makes me happy; it’s as simple as that. I know that I’m not the only Potter-struck person; that there’re thousands of them. Most of them live in other countries though, and I’m a bit of an oddity here in Nepal. I’ve longed to talk to someone who’d understand exactly what I was talking about - every little reference, someone to sing AVPM songs with. Perhaps not having anyone in real life was a good thing; I’ve met countless fellow-hp-freaks online and some of them have gone from strangers to good friends – Harry Potter is responsible for my having met some of the best people I know. Religion and nationality, caste and creed, they all become irrelevant when we’re united by a common love. Asad Ullah Khan has proofread most of this article for me, listening, criticizing and understanding because he feels the same way. “You read my mind”, he says. It’s been almost two years now that we’ve met, and I cannot express how lucky I am to have him in my life. We talk about everything and anything, and he’s one of the kindest people I know. We’ve never met, but I’ve made myself a soul-brother, or perhaps a best friend…and it all started over a comment on a HP page.

I’ve been teased about my fixation. “Crazy fan girl”, “This is about Tom Felton, isn’t it?”, “You’re crazy”, are just some phrases that’ve been flung at me…I even used to be called “She who must not be named” as a kid. People keep trying to get me to get my head out of “magic lala harry potterland”, as one friend forcefully puts it. It’s gotten better though…people (most of them anyways) have accepted that I’m resolutely pro-Harry Potter. My last birthday, my friends made me cry - I was sent a Hogwarts letter (complete with the logo, and Professor McGonagall’s signature), as well as a laminated Hogwarts crest to put on my wall. My art gang has watched the Deathly Hallows in the art room with the middle of exams, bringing a laptop, speakers, and even a pillow to school. My friends come to me to talk Potterish, and whenever there’s a Harry Potter talk going on, someone’s bound to let me know. All in all, I’m proud to be the Potter girl.

My younger sister has refrained from reading the series over all these years, and she just started a few weeks ago. She’s reading some of the books for the first time, and she’s been hooked. Sometimes I enter her room late at night to find the lights on and her asleep, Harry Potter beside her, the page still marked with a finger. Sometimes she looks up at me, in the middle of reading, with a “oh, so this is what…?” and I faintly recall the first time I’d read the same pages, and through her, I experience the wonder and excitement of the first read that can never quite be duplicated. I love the wondering look in her eyes as she understands something fundamental…and I glow inside, knowing that she finally understands why the series means so much to me.

Harry Potter is about life. It is about friendship and trust and courage. It is about love. It has taught countless millions to do the right thing. The release of the final movie marks the end of an era, the end of the Harry Potter decade. I don’t want to talk about Harry Potter’s success, or the number of copies it’s sold worldwide. Nor will I talk of the world records it’s broken, or of the sheer weight of its popularity. Other quills will record how Harry Potter has changed history as we know it. This is simply my journey with Harry Potter, (one among thousands), and my attempt at a tribute to what has been the most beautiful experience of my life. And even as I’m groaning about how this is “over” and wondering how life will be in the future, I know that this is not “The End”.
[Harry Potter “will indeed stand time’s test and wind up on
a shelf where only the best are kept; I think Harry will take his place with
Alice, Huck, Bilbo, and Dorothy with all the children’s classics, not just for
the decade, but for the ages”. - Stephen King]

I speak for everyone whose lives have been touched by Harry Potter. We will always remember all the good times we’ve had, of holidays spent at the Burrow, of silly fights and bickering, and of ultimately sticking together as one. Of all the hardships we faced with the trio. Of the beauty of loving openly and freely, and the pain of watching someone we love die. We lived (not read) the books, and so it cannot just die out…Magic will always be revealed to those who ask for it. The Harry Potter legacy lives on through fanfiction and fanart, and through sites like Mugglenet, Mugglecast, theleakycauldron, and soon, through Pottermore. Through parodies and musicals. (StarkidPotter – AVPM/AVPS is a must watch) and PotterPuppetPals. Through Wizard Rock and through roleplayers. It will live on through us, and the world will never quite be the same again. “The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen - Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” - JKR

There is no need to say goodbye, because we shall stick with Harry Potter until the end. “Always”. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts open…Muggles and Squibs, Witches and Wizards let us join hands and stand as one, and commemorate the brilliant woman who created this world: Joanne Rowling.
And all will be well.

“It’s important to remember that we all have magic inside us.” - J.K. Rowling