Enchanted for the Last Time…
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the last Harry Potter movie, do not read on. There are many spoilers in this post.
My husband and I just left the theater, the familiar sounds of the Harry Potter theme song playing in the background for the final time. I can’t believe it is over.
I am a fan of all things Harry Potter; I devoured the books and participated in midnight signings both as staff at the former Borders stores, and when taking my niece to celebrate her 15th birthday, where I could be seen sporting my old college graduation robes which comprised my Hogwarts costume for the occasion. We even created proper wands from some long twigs we found in my in-laws’ back yard. That night, my niece stayed over at our apartment, and I outlasted even her, by staying up to read the entire 5th book, no easy feat in one six hour period.
I know the movies left out a lot of the details that are more thoroughly explained in the books, but I have been equally enchanted by both media formats, enjoying the merits of each without feeling that one spoiled the quality of the other. I just love the Harry Potter world.
So it was with great sadness, and yes, I’ll admit, which might seem overly sentimental for a 32 year old woman, with a few tears, that I experienced the final “novel” viewing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the big screen this Sunday. I was not disappointed.
Entranced into the lives of the characters, my heart strained along with them as I saw Hogwarts diminished, beloved characters succumb to a deathly fate, and the dazzling, magical world that we have experienced as we follow these children from childhood through young adulthood, turned utterly dark.
The courage of all of the characters was tremendously acted, and I was particularly moved when Harry reenters Hogwarts and is greeted by his former classmates, when Professor McGonagall steps forward to “defend” him against Professor Snape, when Neville Longbottom risks it all to demolish a bridge and defy Voldemort at the end.
Most of all, I felt the intensity of the scene when Harry Potter finally sees Professor Snape’s enduring love for Harry’s mother and Snape’s ultimate sacrifice on his behalf as he uses Snape’s last tears to enter his memories through the Pensieve.
And who could not be moved as they watch the scene where Harry moves through the quiet intermission in the battle, to find Remus and Tonks dead and the Weasley family grieving for the loss of Fred.
As a mother, the scene where Mrs. Weasley finally deals the killing blow to Bellatrix Lestrange, is both gripping and immensely satisfying as a measure of justice for the death of her son. Already, I want to watch again, to read all of the seven novels, to watch every last movie, and to connect every moment of the story in my mind in one satisfying and magical strand.
I loved the Harry Potter world and I am glad to be alive in the period of history where I could experience it all, fresh, for the first time, for a moment vacating my life to believe in a world where self-sacrifice, noble actions, knowledge, loyalty and friendships, and ultimately, the strength and power of love can defeat even the most pervasive and insidious evil. It is a magic I hope we can draw from in our own lives, even when we depart from the fictional world J.K. Rowling has given to us.