Brittany Kessler at the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
For millions of Harry Potter fans, as the clock struck midnight on July 15th, it was the bittersweet culmination of a saga that dominated our childhoods. The final battle was fought before us. We cried as our favourite characters died, and cheered as Harry (spoiler alert!) finally conquered Voldemort.
I was among the many wizards and witches at Polo Park that evening. I donned my Ravenclaw robes and both anticipated and dreaded watching the final Potter film.
I have followed Harry for over 12 years, from around the time I was seven. My earliest memory is when Goblet of Fire was released in 2000 and McNally Robinson held a small gathering the following day. I remember the hours of speculation regarding the coming books. I attended the midnight release parties held for books six and seven, the last one so large it was at Assiniboine Park!
I still feel the elation from last year when I attended "Infinitus", a Harry Potter convention in Florida (which only solidified my place within the fandom). Most fondly, I think back on the countless hours cooped up in my room surrounded by my friends at Hogwarts, reading and re-reading their latest adventures.
Seeing the last movie at midnight in a room full of fans was awe-inspiring. My fellow Potterheads knew exactly when to clap, cheer and cry. We anticipated the worst deaths and awaited our favourite lines. One of my favourite moments was the cheering Seamus Finnegan earned due to his "proclivity of pyrotechnics", a running joke among fans stemming from Seamus' knack for blowing things up.
Was it all real?
Although I am likely to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 many more times, I wish my fellow Potterheads could be with me. Will the casual fan react in the same way we did to the movie? Mostly, the answer is no, which is why the midnight release and having that room full of people who love the books just as much as I do was so special. And, unfortunately, no one will ever get to experience what we did last Thursday night.
Now, it seems like it is over. There are no more new books or new movies. But anyone who really believes Harry Potter is over is wrong. The fans of Harry Potter will always continue to enjoy the wizard world. There are still conversations online, the fansites, the Wizard Wrock, the conventions, the theme park, and (most anticipated) Pottermore.
When the fans are older, we will think back on our childhoods and wonder if the magic brought to our lives by Harry Potter was truly real or all in our heads. To answer this, we need not look further than the books we treasure so much. "Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows , Chapter Thirty Five: King's Cross, page 579)
Brittany Kessler is a first year science student at the University of Manitoba. She is a self-proclaimed Potterhead, Ravenclaw and TV addict. You can check her out on twitter with the handle @BrittJK.
This content is provided by Brittany Kesler. The views expressed do not express the views of CBC. CBC is not responsible for this content.