...So I've surfaced from the weekend and found the other side of the Harry Potter era in books. Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil anything in this post, and I thank you gracious readers in advance for not spoiling anything in the comments too.
It was an emotional read, and a good one at that. I laughed, I cried, I had one point where I wanted to walk away from the book and another where I wanted to throw it across the room. Yup, it got me down to the core.
Saturday morning I was, I hate to admit, a bundle of energetic nerves waiting on the book. I peeked out the door to make sure that the box wasn't sitting on the porch waiting for me at least 3 times and checked the mail twice. And on the third try, just before we were going to go out and run errands, there it was in the mailbox. I handed DH all the other mail and quickly opened the box. A wanted to read the front flap and was disappointed to find a very simple message stating that this was the final installment. I thought that was brilliant - you just had to have faith and jump in.
I had lots of faith, and I jumped in. And oh, what a ride. Up and down and backwards, through peril and comedy right from the start. And when it was over, roughly 8 hours of reading time later, I cried.
I didn't cry because it was a happy ending or a sad ending, but because it was an ending. It's over. Something completely enthralling was over. I had been dragged in, wringed out, and left to dry. Just as anyone else who has kept up with the series for the last few years has who let themselves be sucked into the world of Hogwarts and Harry Potter.
There was a spell that J.K. Rowling wove over us, that which any writer with an engaging storyline can weave. Anyone who has invested hours reading a series knows of what I speak - it's there in sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, mystery, romance... something speaks to your imagination and you desire to read and learn more about this character and their world because all of a sudden everything about it is clearly in your mind. It's entertaining, engaging, and real.
And when it's over you might linger a little thinking about it, or you snap suddenly back into reality. Either way, the magic is over. I felt like I was part of the whole story - an observer or another student when I got sucked into it. In my mind I could picture everything as it happened and could feel the swish of the broom during Quidditch, or smell the fear as Voldemort's Dark Mark appeared in the sky. And after such a climatic ending the emotional letdown, the emotional relief, just sent me to tears.
It's an ending and one that while I knew was coming with a specific end date, it's still like a relationship ending. One that I have had with an author through her story, one that I have had with characters through their experiences, that is now over. For now, probably forever, the magic is over for Harry and his friends...
...but it will always be there as long as the books sit on my shelf, even if I know how the story ends.