I’m not prone to tears, but I cried when I read the last page of the seventh Harry Potter Book. I’d been reading those books for a decade and now they were over. It wasn’t too sad. There were still films left to be released, so my mind was put at ease.
Tomorrow is the penultimate moment of a huge chapter in millions of lives. We all secretly waited for an owl to bring us a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts (don’t deny it!). Train stations took on a new sense of mystery, as children searched for people walking through walls that lead to platform 9¾. Even bricks became things of intrigue that could lead us to the Wizarding World.
At an age when most of us are starting to lose our imagination in favor of reality, J.K. Rowling let us hold on to a piece of it every time we went to a midnight book release party and curled up with our books, refusing to stop for anything besides food that our mother’s forced us to eat as our nose stayed glued to the action-packed pages. There was magic in those books (and I’m not just talking about the wizardry).
Reading them from ages 10 to 19 was a way to keep the little semblance I had left of my childhood. So many adults lose the ability to believe in magic; to believe in the impossible. I don’t really think, there’s a Wizarding World, but I do think that there are people like Harry, Ron and Hermione who will give up normalcy to follow their destiny; who will put others before themselves. I believe young people can really make a difference if they are willing to do whatever it takes (2008 Election, anyone?) to force change, even if others won’t believe in you. If there weren’t, this world would be an even worse place.
Next summer, when the credits roll on the last film and our childhoods really end, will we be ready to face the possibility of a world where we may no longer be reminded to believe in the impossible?