Op-Ed: Harry Potter story isn’t over

July 22, 2011
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By Alicia Perez, Special to the Gazette

For months, Warner Brothers has been promoting the final Harry Potter movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2,” as the official end to the Harry Potter franchise, the end of a generation.

The media, of course, has been eating it all up. News organizations and magazines also have been selling this the slogan and having their own “end of Harry Potter” specials. Empire magazine’s “Goodbye, Harry Potter” issue was its best-selling this year and Entertainment magazine had similar results.

But if you were to ask me, a hardcore “Potterhead” since age 9, I would say the Harry Potter fandom isn’t facing the end any time soon. Not only will Harry Potter continue to live in the hearts it’s imprinted, but also there are many different channels for Harry Potter fans, such as myself, to continue the franchise for years and years after July 15.

In 2007 I, like many other Harry Potter fans, turned to fan-written fiction to satisfy the hole left by the release of the book “Deathly Hallows.”

The queen herself, “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, also has taken part in keeping the series alive for a few more years. She recently announced “Pottermore,” a website that will offer more details about the Potterverse.

I can’t deny that something did end on July 15 and it affected me, a relatively older fan, more than the younger (newer) fans. The newer fans don’t have years of “Harry Potter” experience under their belts. Most haven’t been to four Harry Potter conferences in a row like I have. Most of them haven’t stood outside into the wee hours of the morning, chatting casually with strangers as we await the next “Harry Potter” installment, like I have. Most of them haven’t dedicated a large chunk of their lives to the franchise like I have. It’s a very different experience because on July 15, a large part of my life came to a close.

In the second grade, I picked up “Sorcerer’s Stone” and immediately immersed myself in the story. Within months I fell in love with reading and my reading level shot up until I was the fastest, most comprehensive reader in my grade. It baffled the teachers how I could just pick up one book, an arguably difficult book, and become so engrossed and so passionate. From then on and into high school, I continued to love reading and excel in my English classes and I have to thank Rowling for all of it. “Harry Potter” made me who I am and Rowling shaped my childhood in a way that I will carry with me for my entire life.

Harry Potter will continue in the hearts of fans all over the globe. I grew up with the series and I simply cannot bear to see it die. Therefore, I will pass on my love for the series to my children and create the next-generation Potterheads. And if my children don’t want to read “Harry Potter,” I’ll lock them in a cupboard under the stairs, so then they’ll be Harry Potter.

The writer is the WriteBoston program intern at the Gazette.