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"Mr. H. Potter, The Cupboard Under the Stairs..."

What Seeing the Final Harry Potter Film Meant to Me

By Kai PedersenPublished 7 years ago 3 min read
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I was five years old when my mother brought home a new book that she announced we would be reading as a family. As she handed it to me, I glanced at the front cover of the book as I struggled to hold it in my tiny hands. Without even reading its title, I looked up at my mother and asked, in a small and inquisitive voice: “Does it have any pictures?”

Nearly 13 years had passed since that day, poetically the same amount of time that He Who Must Not Be Named himself spent in hiding. In that time, like hundreds of millions of people all over the world, I fell in love with Harry Potter's world, story, and "life". I went through a phase in the third grade where it was my favorite “thing” in the world; a phase during which I had entire chapters of the Sorcerer’s Stone memorized. I even performed them for one of the college classes my mother would teach.

Every time that a new book was scheduled to come out, my family would plan a road trip around it. We did this so that we could buy the new book on cassette tape, (until the seventh book when we finally upgraded to CDs) and listen to the entire new book in the car as a family during the long hours of driving. This meaningful family tradition continued until, at last, the world held its breath one midnight for the final book to be released.

We bought the CDs as well as the book, in perfect timing for a trip for which we had been preparing for many years. My parent’s sabbatical to continental Europe, and the United Kingdom. We boarded the plane the very next day, book and CDs packed, and began listening to them the moment we rented a car when we touched down in Belgium. We progressed through the final novel as we progressed through northern Europe (stopping on our travels at the real Kings Cross Station in London where they have actually kept the original set barrier for platform 9¾ from the first film, and out of which sticks the severed handle of a luggage cart appearing as if in mid transportation through it). At last, we came to the final battle in the Second Voldemort War: the battle for Hogwarts herself. Of course, as fate would have it, we reached this point in the novel just as we arrived at the old city of Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, and (widely unknown) the original birthplace of Harry Potter. There, we visited “The Elephant House”, a small café where J.K. Rowling wrote most of the original manuscript for the “Philosopher’s Stone” and we also visited the Castlesque school upon which Rowling based Hogwarts. The end of that day arrived, and so did we; at the bed and breakfast that we were staying in that night. There, on my dad’s computer, we plopped in the very last CD of the book and listened to it all the way to its end a mere few miles from the place where perhaps it was dreamt of for the very first time.

It had been nearly five years since that night. And on the morning of July 16th, 2011 I saw the final movie. It was, to say the very least, excruciating. Excruciating in joyous revelry and in anguishing loss. I had grown up with Harry. He had been as a living friend to me. And all at once, though he was not perhaps "dead..." he was over.

I've almost never been the smartest man in the room, and I've certainly never been the best looking, or the most talented or gifted. I have always been, however, a great feeler of things. This thunderously weighty conclusion was something I felt to deepest recesses of my being. And so, with a full heart, I wrote this.

All who read it, though they may be few, will know what the Harry Potter series means to me. It is with great joy and terrible grief that I lay it to rest in its very special place in the archives of my heart.

Long Live Harry James Potter.

The boy who lived, the man who led, and the friend who went willingly to die for every one of us.


About the Creator

Kai Pedersen

Finding my voice again…

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    Kai PedersenWritten by Kai Pedersen

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