All day I’ve had this unsettled feeling like my good friend is going to the death chamber tonight and that last minute reprieve is unlikely to come. I have no idea what will happen to Harry in the last installment of the series and I’m utterly terrified of finding out from someone else who doesn’t give fair warning. No matter what though, tonight marks the end of a cultural era, one that feels like something that only comes along once in a life time.
After all, whether you’re a die hard fan or have never so much as picked up the first book, you can’t deny that Harry Potter is a cultural phenomenon such that the world has never seen. Tonight, I’ll take part in history when I line up at midnight to get my copy of The Deathly Hallows. Not because I’m the first person to ever stand in line for something—football tickets, movie premiers, heck even book signings—people wait in line. But tonight people all over the world will wait in line for a book. Not an autograph or the best seat in the stadium but a book and a long one at that. Someday when I read the Harry Potter series to my children I will be able to tell them that I was a part of something big. I’ll tell them that one night I gathered with hundreds of other people so I could be one of the first to have nothing more than a single book. Something that, out of the context of Harry Potter, seems quite laughable even as I type this.
Harry is special. It’s been said he has grown up with an entire generation of children and that’s true. He also taught an entire generation of children to love reading and as a teacher that’s something worth celebrating. He has taught people to think outside the realm of possibilities and believe in impossible things. For literacy, he has done more than any other book or character around.
So Harry, I thank you for letting me escape the mundane into your fantastic world of fantasy, for teaching children to love reading and for making me believe that maybe, just maybe, there really is a such thing as magic.