Tag Archives: harrypotter grief fandom

processing Harry Potter

I just finished reading Book 7 and am now back online.

Like many other Harry Potter fans, I’ve avoided the Internet like the plague since the book leaked two days before the release. I added mail filters to prevent anything related to Harry Potter from reaching my inbox temporarily. I restrained myself from visiting websites that allowed open content and resisted from doing searches. I simply did not want to know the ending.

For the final book launch, I decided to stay in Boston since I knew so many fans that lived there. Besides, I absolutely love the independent Harvard Book Store and figured that the excuse to support them would be just wonderful. It was a good decision because there was so much enthusiasm in Harvard Square. “Harry and the Potters” played Harvard’s lawn and thousands of costumed children wandered about. They shut down the streets and there was HP music everywhere. The excitement was just overwhelming. And I couldn’t help but repeat over and over again, “all of this is for a book???” The little geeky fangirl in me was having a field day. As we stood smooshed in the crowd to pick up our copies, my friend was astonished by the number of college-aged boys willingly dressed like adolescents. He kept chuckling and repeating things that were being said further back in the line. My favorite? “How many people do you think have hard-ons here?”

Some of my friends were too afraid of spoilers and chose not to go out and celebrate on the eve of the book launch. The mere existence of people who find such joy in ruining others’ pleasure irritates me and so I was trying not to explode as friends were texting me with the antics of mean-spirited folks. One friend kept promising me that there was a most insidious place in hell for such folks. The spoiler who took the cake in the reports I got? The asswipe who had the gall to rent a plane and fly it over San Francisco/Berkeley with spoilers.

When I got to the airport on Saturday morning, I was giddy with joy over seeing hundreds of people waiting for planes, their heads all stuck inside the same book. The flight attendant kept asking me, “are you done yet?” and I kept glaring at him. It was clear that the dozens who were enjoying the book on the plane wanted to be left alone to read.

Personally, I had a hard time reading the book. I promised myself that I would read it immediately so that it wouldn’t get spoiled. But I wasn’t prepared for how much of it would center around Harry’s relationship to his mentor. I guess if I thought about it for a second, I would’ve known that. But I had to put the book down on a number of occasions as Harry worked through different emotional responses. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun by going into more detail than that, but for my friends out there, I feel the need to share that the book was a surprisingly cathartic experience for me. Grief is an odd thing, but thinking about Peter as Dumbledore brought a smile to my mouth alongside tears to my eyes.