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End of an Age

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Do you remember November 19, 2001, what you were doing or who you were with? Or is it just another uneventful day that happened too long ago for you to remember? If I had to guess, the answer is probably the later option.
For me, however, that date nearly a decade ago changed my life. It was when my magic began. Why do you ask? The answer is simple. It was the day finally convinced my mom to take me to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. At the age of six, I wanted to see every movie in theaters, but something about the preview for it on TV captivated me.
I fell in love with it so much I wormed my way into seeing it three times. When it finally left movies, I waited impatiently for it to be released on video. So, I could watch it as much as I wanted.
A few months after I got the video –and was able to quote most of it– I noticed a book on one of the bookshelves in the living room of my home. It read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on the spine. I grabbed it and ran to my bedroom. I had no idea it was a book! I opened to the first page…
Those two unforgettable days of my life was where it began for me, but it’s not where it really began. It began when Harry Potter was first unleashed to an unsuspecting public in September 1998. That’s when the world first learned of the Boy Who Lived. That’s when people first became known as muggles.
Harry’s life soon began being followed by people across the world. With each release of a new book or new movie, more and more of us muggles would start to care for the boy wizard. Children –myself included– would pretend they could use magic and wait anxiously for when they were eleven and could go to Hogwarts too.
Another memorable date, June 21, 2003, but this date isn’t only memorable to me, many Harry Potter fans were standing in lines at their local bookstores on the night of the twentieth, waiting to get there hands on one of the first copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I was among them, impatiently waiting with my mom and brother for the clock to strike midnight, the time when I could read of Harry Potter’s next adventure.
I remember it was about one o’clock in the morning when my mom finally purchased the book. She handed it first to me, knowing I was a much more avid fan than my older brother. When we got into the car, she handed me a flashlight. ‘Read it to us as we drive home.’
I grinned and began to read, ‘The hottest day of the summer so far…’
For the movies it was the same, begging my mom to buy the tickets for the midnight showing of the movies so we could watch it when it first came out. Rewatching and rereading the books and movies so I know what to expect from the movies. The suspense would kill me every time I saw a movie preview or heard something about one of J.K. Rowling’s upcoming books.
Now, the suspense is over with the last of the movies, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 released. Never again will fans mark off the days on their calendar until the next Harry Potter was out. Never again will they stay up until well past midnight to be one of the first to watch or read the next Harry Potter. Never again will we collaborate online what we think is going to happen in the next book.
In years to come, the Harry Potter collection we all own will end up in a yard sale, given away, thrown away, or shoved in a box in the attic. Some die-hard fans will buy all the collectors items they can get their hands on and hope for Rowling to write more books about the unknown time between the defeat of Voldemort and the scene at Kings Cross station nineteen years later, the time when James and Sirius were going to school, or more about Dumbledore’s life.
Maybe one day in years to come, one of my children will search my bookshelf and find my torn and falling apart copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with packing tape the only thing holding it together and be transported into the world of Harry Potter, but it won’t be the same. They won’t know the yearning feeling of unknown on those oh-so special days when a book or movie was released. They will have no idea of how big the eleven year old boy who lived under the staircase was in so many people’s hearts. They might get close, but they’ll never fully comprehend the feeling.
The age of Harry Potter is over. A new age is beginning. The only question is who will be the one with the vision powerful enough to worm its way into the hearts of the world. Windows have opened for backwater writers to make it big in the world. Potter fans are now scouring over the bookstores to find a new story to take them away from their dull lives and into the life of another with big enough problems to make their own seem minuscule.
The race has begun. The world is holding it’s breath for the next big thing to be discovered. They are anxious to feel the love of Harry Potter on a new and original character.



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