*If you haven’t experienced the utter joy and total despair of reading/listening to Harry Potter yet then beware as LOTS of spoilers below*
I’ve spent the last two years listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks on my drive home from work.
It wouldn’t usually take two years to get through it all but I had to take a year-long break to inhale valium and lie down after The Order of the Pheonix when shit got real and Sirius died * why JK, WHY?!*
Needless to say, things descended into darkness even further after that but I was ready, I was primed, it was clear that nobody was safe, and much to the dismay of everybody that I told, I genuinely had no flipping idea what happened at the end. Did Harry live? Did he die? Did I really care, when it was the evolution of the house elf, Creature, that truly warmed my heart?
My friend thought it was funny when she received an incredulous WhatsApp message one evening from me shocked that Tom Riddle was Voldemort. Pool gal, she got lots of annoying Harry P questions throughout my Hogwarts odyssey and in the end had to explicitly tell me that, no, Harry, Hermione and Ron would not die, before I almost gave into the utter hopelessness of life and didn’t finish the last book.
It was just so sad. Lupin AND Tonks – she’d just had a baby. Why? Why? Well, as my friend so rightly explained, it was all out war, baby ( she didn’t say, baby.)
The first time around, ie. over 20 years ago when the books first came out, I wasn’t bothered about Harry Potter as I was too concerned with filling up hair straighteners with water ( that was a thing, kids), watching MTV videos of J-Lo and Britney and plucking my eyebrows into tiny lines.
Keeping the mystery alive now, at the ripe old age of 33, meant frantically scrolling past any Harry P material on Facebook, never googling anything remotely Potter related for fear of accidental spoilers and not mentioning it on social media in case of an ending revealing troll or well-meaning fan.
A loose-lipped relative prematurely told me about Dumbledores demise but the writing was on the wall with that one, of course, it didn’t stop me sobbing all the way down the M77 on many an evening.
The truly heartbreaking bit, was the truth about Snape. I bloody knew that Dumbledore hasn’t been stitched up – he’s far too savvy for that. In the end, when older Harry is speaking to his kids and he’s called them James Sirius and Albus Severus, it was just too much, far too much and I was sobbing, snorting and sobbing.
My cats are now called Claude Severus and Rod James, Chris has no idea why because he’s not a Harry Potter fan.
Of course, it’s not all gut-wrenching doom and gloom and at its heart, the story is uplifting and positive and about love and fighting for it to overcome evil – how apt for these troubling times.
“We do not need magic to change the world,” J.K. Rowling told a ( super lucky) graduating class at Harvard. “We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already; we have the power to imagine better.”
Right on sister.
JK, I salute you and your extraordinary imagination and I’m desperate to have Christmas dinner at Hogwarts one day, but it’s time for a light Jilly Cooper romp I think.
P.S I’m hufflepuff apparently * sad face* xx