So, unless you've been living under a rock, you're probably aware that "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" was released at midnight. No, I haven't seen it yet, and won't have the chance to do so for a while, but that won't stop me from talking about Harry! Today I'll talk about my personal experience with the books, and hopefully ya'll will share yours, too!
I think I remember reading the first book in fifth grade, so I was what, ten? My friends had already read the first two books and and I wasn't about to be out read by anyone, so I asked for them for Christmas. They changed my world.
There was something so exciting about a boy wizard that didn't know his own heritage until letters started flying through his house, bringing the entire wizarding world with it. Like Harry, we as readers didn't know what was going on, a brilliant move on Rowling's part. Through Harry's eyes, we watched as a world different from ours developed and became more fantastical than our own wildest imaginations.
Looking back, I think Harry Potter books were the first fantasy books I really read, really became dedicated to. I'd always been reading more than the average ten year old, but after Harry Potter I was ravenous. I always wanted more. I'd always be wondering when the next book would be coming out. A bit obsessive? Probably. But I wasn't the only one. Harry Potter created a community; nerds could be nerds with their fellow nerds.
Harry Potter got more and more intense as we both grew older. It was like he was there with me, taking on the world. His struggles made my petty teenage problems seem silly. My heart broke for him with every page.
And I think that's why I didn't read Deathly Hallows until January of this year. Yes, I know it was published in 2007. I kept making excuses not to read it (too busy being the best, but also that I couldn't afford a copy right away, or that I was waiting to borrow from a friend).
It wasn't until I actually made myself sit down and read it (in record time) that I realized why I hadn't read it yet: I was afraid. I was afraid of it all ending. Since I was ten Harry's world was the best escape and there was always another book just around the corner. What would I do after it all ended? There were so many things I wanted for Harry; what if he didn't get them?
But I read it and I was relieved. It was like a burden was lifted from my shoulders; finally, Harry's life wasn't in limbo in my eyes. We've both gone in our separate ways, but I'll never forget what he's done for me. I'm just hoping I don't get overly emotional when there are no movies left, either.