I have gone Harry Potter crazy tonight. I can't believe it's all ending so soon... I guess this just means that I am going to have to have one heck of a party to celebrate the seventh book. But ending, it has such finality. Harry Potter to me is so much more than the books themselves. It's fan-fiction, it's creativity, it's an online community, it's wizard rock, it's a group of people with a common fantasy world that is often too like our own but different in so many ways. It is my college years. It is midnight release parties. It is friends. It is dying my hair Weasley-red. It is random people coming up and talking to me when I wear my "Severus Snape is Innocent" t-shirt. And it's almost over.
Other obsessions have defined me, but those have always been self-definitions. I've been "the gone with the wind girl," or the weird girl who likes to read about old dead royalty. But, with Harry Potter, there was an "us," even if often that "us" was only words on a screen. But so often it wasn't just words on a screen. It was real life friends who finally gave in and read after I bugged them so much about it and the wonderful conversations that started. It was midnight movie releases where the opening theme music leads to a standing ovation. It was bookstore release parties with costumes and sorting hats and people of all ages who were there because a series of books had taken them out of their lives and into another world. As much as I'll miss Harry, Ron, and Hermione, I might just miss them more.
And I realize it doesn't have to end. But, it is ending in a way. People will always talk about and obsess over HP. But no one will truly experience it like we did. I've always joked that when my (future, hypothetical) kids get old enough to read HP, I will make them wait a few years in between each one, because it's not fair that they get to zoom through them without antagonizing waits. But, really, those waits won't be as fun without the broader community theorizing and speculating and writing.
Anyway, I'm definitely going back to Texas for this*. I don't know whether Borders or Barnes and Noble would have the best party. Right now I'm leaning towards the Borders in downtown Dallas.
*Is this a sign of something not entirely positive when you are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to go home for the release of a book that you could just as easily get right where you live?