Friday, July 20, 2007

I Wonder How I'll Feel When I Finish HP7?

I love Schmitty Cat (even though I've never met her), but she can't tell time. She was supposed to grace us with her post yesterday. Today is another Free-for-All Friday. Happy birthday to The Boy!
Everybody and his dog wants to know how it will end, if Harry will die in a to-the-death duel with Voldemort, whether or not Ron & Hermione will just shut up and kiss already!, if Snape was a Death Eater the whole time, and what the final word of the book is.

What I wonder is: what kind of emotional wreck will I be when I close the back cover for the first time? How will I handle finally knowing the fate of my beloved Hogwarts chums?

I plunged nose-first into the series the summer after I graduated from college. Pottermania hadn’t yet swept the country the way it did by the time HP3 was published Stateside—only HP1 and HP2 had been released when I strode purposefully into the MC Public Library and found it available to check out (I had to get my name on the waiting list for HP2 b/c at least one other person in Mule Town apparently read Newsweek, but I only had to wait two days).

I was in love from the first chapter. Having been a toddler enthralled with the story of Cinderella and later, the heroines of Frances Hodgson Burnett, I was predisposed to adore this skinny little four-eyed orphan with guardians who failed to see his specialness and treated him horridly.

The Boy and I met and started dating just before HP4 was published, and we spent many a nerdy date night snuggled up while I read to him, voices and all (take that, Jim Dale!). Since HP4’s release, my ritual has been to preorder the book, devour it privately, and then begin asking The Boy “Are you ready for me to read Harry Potter?” incessantly until he feels he’s mentally and emotionally prepared.

And then there’s nothing in our lives until that book’s been read aloud: on the couch in the minutes before we leave for work, on the back porch in the evenings, in the car on any trip longer than five minutes. When we first began, I rationed the chapters and treated them more like bite-sized bedtime stories, but the more the story deepened and the more exciting the adventures (man, JK can write a cliffhanger chapter ending like nobody’s business!), I had to read more than one chapter at a time. I read HP6 aloud over two weekend car trips but saved the last few chapters for the privacy of our home so The Boy could be appropriately upset. Then I got mad and we had a fight when he didn’t get upset enough. (No, I don’t dress up when I go see the movies. But I do have to see them within 48 hours of their release.)

So I wonder what will happen to me when there’s no more new. No more adventures to anticipate. The story will be ended. I’ll never again have the first-time shivers of being with Harry when ______________ happens. I wonder if I’ll cry (I’ve shed many a tear for many a character in Harry’s world, and not just sad tears) or if I’ll be in shock. I wonder how often I’ll laugh and how many times I’ll yell “Are you serious?” at the page. I wonder how many hours I’ll be immersed in what The Boy calls my “[maiden name] girl reading fog” (my mom and sister Kat do it, too) where I’m not cognizant of a single thing happening outside of the text in my hands. I can’t imagine I won’t be satisfied—I’ve loved every single thing about every single book so far. I am worried about Harry and I have theories about what everything means so far and I talk to The Boy and Kat about the characters like they’re real people in true mortal peril. But I want JK to tell her story her way, and I just feel blessed that I get to bask in her genius. So no OTB (that’s ‘off-track betting,’ not Wicked M’s favorite restaurant) for me—I’d rather save my money for the Oscar pool.


super jane said...

i'm glad to hear you're excited, but i've never read a harry potter book. i watched the first harry potter movie in the theater, but i feel asleep shortly after it began. sometimes i think i am the only person on the planet that doesn't start to foam at the mouth and run in circles at the mere thought of the next book. *sigh*

G said...

I feel you. The good thing is, though, that you can re-read through your lifetime! They are still funny the second and third time through!

Downtown, our local little bookstore has Harry Potter night tonight. They are dressing the one street in town to look like Diagon Alley - they've hired people to dress as characters. Then, near midnight, when the books arrive in a van, someone dressed as Voldemort steps out and tries to prevent the delivery. All the children have to cast a spell to make him go away, and then they can have their books and go off home to read - or sleep! How enchanting does that sound? I'm going to see if I can drag the tall human down there.

PS Schmitt says sorry for being late with her post. She was busy doing cat things, and forgot all about it. Silly feline.

G & Schmitt said...

PS Happy Birthday Stagexing!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Well, The Owl and I have started it and we definately will be spreading it out. It's a lucky little distraction these days... I want to spread it out for sure, but then owl wants to hurry. JK is totally teasing with all the peril though- Who Will Survive????