I remember the first time I read The Deathly Hallows vividly. Like most who grew up with Harry Potter, I eagerly anticipated the last installment. And I was not disappointed. I was, as I had been with every other book in the series, absolutely hooked. With about 150 - 200 pages to go, I sat in my room with my back against the door so I would not be interrupted. And I cried. And cried. And cried.
Rowling's writing makes me feel like I am a part of Harry's world. I felt so deeply moved when the young hero opened the Snitch and uncovered the Resurrection Stone to be confronted with the ghosts of his parents, Sirius and Remus. When Lily said how proud of him she was, my heart broke because I was proud too. I felt everything so deeply - and not just because this was the last one.
But, as all Potterheads know, it is not just about Harry and Voldemort. It was about Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Neville, Fred, George, Draco, Dobby, Dumbledore...it was a beautifully woven series where everyone had a part to play, no matter how small they all made up the intricate tapestry that is Harry Potter. As I was growing up I aspired to be like Hermione more than any other female fictional character I have ever encountered. She was brave, smart, loyal, and kind. She was everything that young girls should aspire to be like, as opposed to other 'role models' present in the media.
The Harry Potter universe had a profound impact on me all throughout my childhood and teenage years, and now as I am fast approaching adulthood (nineteen now - am I considered an adult already?) I still felt all the things I did on my first read of the Harry Potter series, when I read it for the umpteenth time.
Thank you for all of the life lessons, J.K. Rowling. Thank you for everything.