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Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

Anyone who has read Harry Potter series, will know that these are the opening lines of the book- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but for an ardent Potter fan, these are the lines that opened the gateways of a new magical world altogether. The story of Harry, a bespectacled boy wizard with a lightning shaped scar on his forehead, is like a holy text for Potter maniacs across the globe. How Harry along with his best friends — Ron and Hermione, fight the evil forces of his arch nemesis Lord Voldemort, defines an entire generation of children who grew up with these characters. So, as July 15th approaches, which sees the release of the last Potter film- Deathly Hallows Part 2, it’s ringing like a knell, drawing the curtains of this entire saga to a close.

For crazy Potter followers like me, 15th July is going to be a very emotional day. Watching my favourite hero for the last time on-screen will be a bitter-sweet experience. Of course the anticipation of watching the end is huge, yet the thought of seeing the closure of a decade long spectacle will be traumatizing. Having spent an entire childhood around Harry and his world, it will be devastating to watch it fade away. These stories created a web of roller-coaster rides for children of those times; whether it was having a magical duel with my younger brother or the failed attempts of trying to bake chocolate frogs, everything about Harry was a reality of its own! Reading the novel behind Physics textbook, standing in endless queues to grasp the latest volume, memorizing the spells, finding meanings behind every character’s name, the craze was endless! It was this obsession that makes the farewell all the more difficult. Leaving all those memories behind and stepping in a world without Harry’s presence will definitely carry a void.

Harry Potter wasn’t just a series of books that were meant to be read, they were a phenomenon that crafted the way children of those years grew up. J.K.Rowling not only brought the kids back to the habit of reading in a techno-giant world, but also through her writing helped them deal with life’s situations. The years of growing up when youngsters undergo all sorts of dilemmas, Harry tried to answer all of them. Ranging from uncontrollable teenage angst to the raging hormones, experiencing the first crush in school or being extremely reckless; one found solace in the fact that Harry dealt with all of them too. He was no Superman with the powers of Kryptonite; he was ‘just Harry’ who despite all odds sought happiness. And it was this reason that everyone across all boundaries connected with him. Apart from all the normal happenings in one’s life, Rowling’s books also taught all those lessons that are perhaps never taught in school. The message of being brave and hopeful even in the ‘darkest of times’, the true worth of having real friends, the morals of life and death, the importance of forgiveness, and above all- the value of pure love devoid of any selfish motive. With lessons such as these, Harry became a mirror for all of us to reflect upon. Walking without that guide is sure going to be hard.

When the books got adapted into movies, the imagination of every Potter nerd came true and it made the books achieve a cult status. From Hogwarts to Horntails, everything became real and magical at the same time! Ten years of those films and Harry Potter defined an era of witchcraft and wizardry. So, as the world waits with bated breath for Harry to come alive one last time onscreen, it’s going to be a heart-wrenching farewell. Every Potter fan will surely cry seeing his/her childhood hero take his final journey to defeat the dark forces. But despite all this, what will remain is how we, Potter followers carry the stories with us. Whether it comes in the manner of making true friends or deal with our fears, a part of Harry will always and forever remain in us.

And as Jo Rowling said-

Stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by the page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

Mariyam Raza Haider

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A journalist by training, Mariyam Haider is a writer and performance poet in Singapore.
She is the researcher of the book The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age written by James Crabtree.
Her writing has appeared in Hindustan Times, Livemint, Feminism In India, New Asian Writing and Kitaab.

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