July 21, 2007, the final Harry Potter book came out. I stood in line at midnight to get it and I stayed up all night to read it, feeling as though some chapter in my life (no pun intended) had just ended. But it wasn't quite over yet.
July 15, 2011, the final Harry Potter movie came out. I was at the theater at midnight to see it with my friends, and I cried like someone close to me had just died when the credits began to roll. It was at that point I felt like some part of my life had really and truly come to a close.
I saw the movie four times in theaters, most recently on Wednesday (the 17th). I was surprised at the number of people still flocking to the theater to see it. Granted, they put us in one of the smaller theaters, unlike the one I saw it in at the midnight premiere. But the atmosphere couldn't be more different. These people on Wednesday were just casual fans, or maybe people who were bored and couldn't think of anything else to see.
At the midnight premiere, I was surrounded by my friends and people who are just as crazy about Harry Potter as I am. People dressed up (myself included), had their books, watched the first part of the seventh movie while waiting. There was a legit race to the theater when they finally let us in.
There was cheering at all the right moments. When Neville killed Nagini. When Molly Weasley uttered her famous line, "Not my daughter, you bitch!" When Ron and Hermione kissed. When Voldemort was defeated. There was cheering and clapping for all the great moments.
There were also subdued moments and tears. When Fred died. Seeing Remus and Tonks dead. Snape's death. The Prince's tale. The Resurrection Stone scene. Hogwarts being destroyed. The very end, seeing all the kids on the train, pulling away from the station for the last time. The last time I would ever see the Hogwarts Express pulling away from King's Cross.
I know there's Pottermore to look forward to, but I still can't help but feel as though I've lost someone close to me. There's no more anticipation, no more looking forward to something completely new. People think I'm just being overly dramatic or emotional, and that maybe I should just get over it, but I won't. Harry Potter has always been there for me, and it will always be there for me, until the very end.
Because it's real for us.