At the moment this blog post is published, the end of my childhood is beginning.
I, like millions of others in my generation, will be in theaters at midnight watching the final chapter of Harry Potter. I was never a fan of Harry Potter. But like many, I was converted and the Harry Potter fandom took over.
The first time I heard about Harry Potter was when “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was released in July 2000. My local news covered the story of how a grocery store mistakenly started to sell the books before the release dates. It just happened that one of the kids I played little league baseball with was featured in the story. He had the book a week before the release in hand. The joy in his face was beyond magical. I didn’t get it, but I would understand a few years later.
When the first movie was released, I had no interest in watching it, but my dad took my sister & I to the theaters anyways. I thought it was creative but nothing more. When the second movie came out, my dad brought it home on DVD and I was far from impressed. Perhaps it is the young (aka, bad) acting from Harry, Ron & Hermione. However, when the third movie was released, boy was I in for a shock.
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” opened my mind to the wizarding world. For some reason, that movie changed my mind about the Harry Potter series. Perhaps it is the better acting or the brilliant use of the Time-Turner1. Since then, I never hesitated to watch the next Harry Potter film. However, I still had no inclination of reading the books.
During the death of Our Mother and the closing of Camelot, I had to opportunity to raid my colleague’s and former English teacher’s bookshelves. He told me to take what I want and save it from disposal. I saw the first book sitting alone on the shelf. I grabbed it and said to myself, “I could perhaps read this and see if it’s actually good or not.”
A week into my unemployment, I began sitting each afternoon at the local coffee shop down the street from me. After long days of job searching, I rewarded myself with a cup of Joe and a good book. That book happens to be “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” To my complete surprised, I finished that book in 2 days. (One if I started reading it earlier in the afternoon.) When I turned the last page, I immediately realized that I had to get the second book.
Sure enough, I bought the second book the next day and began reading it. Then the third, fourth, fifth and sixth. In the course of two and a half weeks, I read all six books of Harry Potter. When I put the 6th book down the final time, I only had to wait 24 hours before the final book was released. Talk about perfect timing because I was hooked! I was hooked to Harry Potter as I was hooked to the Vlogbrothers when I first watched them on YouTube a few days prior. I was officially a Harry Potter fan.
My first midnight premiere was the “…Half Blood Prince.” I watched it with my YouTube friend Liz of SisterSalad. I had never been to a midnight showing of any movie before. Nor had I ever waited in line to watch a movie at 9pm. My mind was not prepared for how much fun and awesomeness. I firmly promised myself midnight showings from now on.
During Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, I went all dressed up in my homemade Ravenclaw outfit with my masters gown as a robe (gotta use it somehow since I’m no longer a teacher) and boy did I get some reactions. People were laughing at me at how decked out I was prior to the start of the movies, but the moment the movie was over, the same group were yelling at each other why they weren’t dressed as awesome I.
And now, I am decked out again for perhaps the last time as I say goodbye to my childhood. Harry Potter has been around for most of my childhood. And tonight, tonight it ends. (Until Nickelodeon classics starts.) As I bid farewell to my childhood, I know that deep down inside, I will always be a kid at heart. I will always use my imagination and I will never forget the magic.
1 – Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey. #doctorwho