It seems like only yesterday we were waiting for that second Harry Potter book to come out. The first one was such a fun read that we couldn’t wait to get more. Seven books and eight movies later, I can barely remember what it was like not having another one to look forward to. Was my life really this empty before? Is this what despair feels like? Sometimes, I wish I’d never met Potter and his friends. Then, I wouldn’t have known what I was missing and I wouldn’t be addicted to butter beer and every-flavor jelly beans.
How can I discuss this last movie as if it was just another summer film? This was THE LAST ONE, film or book, and it was hard to push that to the back of my mind while I sat in the theater. It was all I could do to keep my eyes off of the glowing hands of my watch, knowing that every minute ticking away was that much less time to spend at Hogwarts. As Harry, Hermione, and Ron continued their search for Voldemort’s remaining horcruxes (pieces of his soul), I hoped that they would take just a little bit longer. I willed them to stop for a few extra moments, to look around and take things in just one more time.
Oh no. They’ve destroyed another horcrux. Just three more left to go. As Voldemort and his Death Eaters attacked the school, I knew the end was coming. When one of the Weasley twins was struck down, I felt a pang of jealousy. He would never know life after Potter, but I would. The attack continues and Harry found his way into that room that is whatever people want it to be. There’s another horcrux in there and Draco Malfoy and his goons are trying to stop them. Should I really be rooting for Malfoy? I feel like I’m betraying Harry and his friends, but what choice do I have? If Malfoy stops them, maybe it won’t be over. But, of course, Malfoy fails. He always fails. He never seemed like a worthy opponent for Harry and he always felt forced – like J.K. Rowling wanted him to be an archrival, but could never figure out how to make it work. Two more left to go and I find solace in my extra, extra, extra large butter beer.
We’re in the home stretch now. The students and teachers fought valiantly, but they’re on their last gasp. How can they defeat Voldemort and his cronies? He’s even got the giants on his side. There’s that pang again…if the bad guys win, there’s hope for more sequels. Harry’s dunked his head into Dumbledore’s memory basin and is seeing Snape’s memories. All is being revealed and I feel like screaming. STOP IT! If everything is revealed the story has to end. Harry knows he has to die now – he’s one of the two remaining horcruxes. Crap! Now there’s no way out. My last hope was that Voldemort would win and a new hero would arise to fight him in a later story. Now, Voldemort loses either way. And this jelly bean tastes awful.
Wait. I forgot. There’s two horcruxes and Voldemort’s snake is the other one. There’s still hope as long as Voldemort isn’t stupid enough to…bring his snake with him. Yep, he brought it with him. And now Harry and Voldemort are squaring off to duel. My hope sinks as Harry fulfills his destiny and let’s Voldemort kill him. One horcrux left and it’s really just a formality. Voldemort begins to gloat and Harry rises from the dead. Oh, Jesus. We’re almost there.
The end is here as Harry and Voldemort face off for the final time. I have no hope left as Harry proves to be immortal. I don’t want to look; I don’t want it to end. But I have to see it because it’s all I have left. The wizarding world is saved and we get a glimpse of the future for our heroes. Hermione and Ron are married with kids. Harry and Ginny as well. They look at each other and smile as their kids board the Hogwart’s Express and we all know it’s over.
The film fades to credits and the lights in the theater come back on. I sit and stare and I have no idea what to do next. The rest of the audience is streaming out and I catch the same looks on their faces that I must have on mine – creased brows and a slight frown. The only reason they’re leaving is they don’t know what else they can do. I suppose I could go home and re-read the books or re-watch the movies. But it’s just not the same and it never will be. How could you do this to us, J.K. Rowling? Why couldn’t you have written something else, something besides Harry Potter? Something that might have shown us there’s more to life than just one single idea. And now it’s too late. The only consolation I have left is that you are in the same boat. That and these jelly beans.
Rating: What’s the point? I don’t know how I can continue on.
(P.S. – What you have just read might be the most sarcastic thing I’ve ever written. Despite how it sounds, I am not on the edge of suicide. Thank you for reading.)