There is no doubt where I would love to be right now. Not some hot, exotic country, lapping up the sunshine on a golden sandy beach, but right here in rainy Blighty. Trafalgur Square, to be precise, among the thousands of fans who have been camping for up to 10 days in eager anticipation of the premiere of the final Harry Potter film.
Harry's journey ends tonight (for the rest of us commoners, July 15th), and for die-hard fans like myself, it's more than just the end of a film series, it's the end of an era.
I got my first Harry Potter book for Christmas, when I was about 10. My nan had given me the first two in the series, and being a mega bookworm at that age I quickly finished them both within a few weeks. This was before the films had been comissioned, and before he was a household name and worldwide phenomenon. For me, it wasn't about following a craze, or reading them because everyone else was, it was love.
Given my unfortunate appearance and my parent's foolish mistake in letting me pick my own glasses, I had my very own pair of Potteresque frames that earned me the nickname 'Harriet Potter'. I woke up eagerly each day, convinced that my letter from Hogwarts would arrive on my doorstep, and I'd be able to join the adventures that I read about. I still think it must have got lost in the post...or that my parent's cruelly hid it from me, knowing that once I went I wouldn't want to come back.
I've read a lot of books in my life, from the Narnia chronicles to all the Jaqueline Wilson's, to sick horror and crime novels that would have some people questioning my mental wellbeing. But nothing else has had me eagerly turning each page, refusing to go to bed until I'd finished just one more chapter, like the Harry Potter books.
Although, as any true fan will tell you, the films aren't as good as the books, each one that's come out has been better than the last. I treasure each DVD, they sit lovingly besides the books, hidden from the grasp of fiends who might scratch a disk or bend a page corner. While it is impossible to captivate the magic of the written form, or include all the small details and extra bits that enhance the story, the screen version has brought Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Privet Drive, and all the characters to life.
[If you hadn't read the books (shame on you, go punch yourself) then this may ruin the films for you.]
I've wept at numerous points throughout the series. I'm suprised the ink hasn't run right off the page in Deathly Hallows, I cried so much. I couldn't stem the flow of tears in the cinema, regardless of being in public and age 19 I wept like a baby when Dumbledore took his final tumble from the battlements of the castle. When Dobby died, I wanted to die myself. With the onslaught of deaths coming in Part 2, I seriously believe I may just pass away from sheer grief. People have reportedly died of heartbreak, so I really do fear for my health.
If I had a limitless flow of cash, or I won the lottery, I wouldn't be hitting the highstreet, or purchasing fancy cars and nice houses, my first act as a rich bitch would be to hop on a plane to Florida and
visit live in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There, I could sip Butterbeers all day, and practice my wand skills to my heart's content.
Oh how I wish I was among that wet and weary crowd, dressed of course in full Gryffindor regalia. I will just have to make do with a Harry Potter marathon tonight, and finishing Deathly Hallows in preparation for the 15th. I plan on seeing the film at least three times...and then when the DVD comes out watching them all back to back with no sleep, allowing myself short breaks for use of toilet facilities and munching on chocolate frogs and all flavoured jelly beans.
Thank god for Pottermore, the website that JK Rowling is launching, to provide extra material not included in the books and to generally keep Harry Potter fans such as myself alive now that it's all coming to an end.
Now I'm going to get back to scouring the web for anything HP related, and watching the trailer on repeat until my eyes are so dry from crying that they shrivel up inside my head and turn to dust.