Three days to go, my counter says, before we hold Deathly Hallows in our hands. My feelings are so chaotic, I become incoherent. The theories buzz feverishly in my head, there is mounting excitement, poignancy that this is the end of an intense seven-year stretch of fandom, and fear that the inevitable deaths will cast a cloud over what surely will be the final victory.
I am now wondering if I should permit myself to start on Half-Blood Prince, which I have been straining at the leash to do anytime these past weeks. The mother is on Azkaban and Shweta is trying to finish work so as to leave Saturday completely guilt-free. The father is bemused with all this preoccupation and has very graciously promised not to repeat a single HP spoiler or news and even consented not to switch on the TV the whole of July 21st.
There is of course no dearth of reading material on the internet. There are excellent essays everywhere, and the tension among fans is quite palpable. I particularly recommend this one called Harry Potter and the Nice Big Knot by Susan Faust. In fact, this entire list if you have time on your hands.
What does it take to bond so many people at once? I find the universality of it quite astounding. Are we that similar under the skin? JK Rowling’s Harry Potter story is a rather moral one. She doesn’t preach but the values she holds up are unimpeachable. If that should find resonance with so many millions, it makes me feel very hopeful, very un-cynical.
And she has quite as many fans as Harry. On the forums, someone called joshswenson posts in anticipation of Book Seven:
Jo, please remember, you tread hallowed groundWhat will happen to the Harry Potter phenomenon after this? Will it die out once it is all known, fizzle out like a hex that needs unblinking eye contact? Will later generations even understand what it was like to grow with Harry Potter? What it was like to wait between books, to be told a story over ten years? Like Sheherzade’s Caliph. Perhaps not. Which makes being part of this big pan-world hoopla really special.
Our childhood laid bare, our heart strings unwound.
We’re scared silly, we admit it, but you have our trust.
Go now, be brave, and do what you must.
One last request, we ask: please be our Patronus
And most of all thanks for the magic you’ve shown us.