Closing a chapter: A last look at Potter midnight madness

It all began more than a decade and a half ago when J.K. Rowling penned and released “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” scribbling the blueprints on napkins in cafes. Then 10 years ago, the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” made it on the silver screen, and every boy and girl Muggle grew up knowing the name of Daniel Radcliffe — whose name became synonymous with his silver-screen persona, “the-boy-who-lived.”

Outside The Elephant House in Edinburgh, U.K

As a kid who grew up with Potter and Rowling’s books, I looked forward to spending sticky, humid summers with the Dursleys, if only to read about and return to Hogwarts and that world of magic and wizardry. Yet years of waiting for book releases and midnight movie showings — seven books and eight movies later — that wait if finally over and many fans like me are closing a chapter to their childhoods.After watching director David Yate’s second film installment of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” at midnight with millions of fans across the country and around world last night, one realizes the love and investment one truly has for these actors and characters. This includes shedding tears for Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) and his pensive memories, cheering for Neville Longbottom’s stance (Matthew Lewis) and the Hogwarts professors’ stronghold, appreciating Luna Lovegood’s quirkiness (Evanna Lynch), sympathizing with Lucius (Jason Issacs), Narcissius (Helen McCrory) and Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and cringing every time a favorite character died as a casualty of Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and Harry Potter’s final face-off.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” takes off from where the film’s November release ended and is truly J.K. Rowling’s end game, winning the love and hearts of many dedicated fans dressed in black graduation gowns, round-framed glasses and diagonally striped green, red, yellow or blue ties — a modern Muggle’s wizarding wardrobe. Watching the death toll of characters as well as how seamlessly clues and puzzle pieces fit together, one comes to realize that Rowling is as sneaky as a Slytherin, as witty as a Ravenclaw, as kind a Hufflepuff and as brave as a Gryffindor. For her to share her gift of storytelling with the world is a real treasure — and just like how Potter and the gang parted with their offspring in the epilogue at King’s Cross and Platform 9 and 3/4 19 years later — it’s a treasure that fans and their offspring will enjoy for years to come in books, movies and Pottermore.

Click here for a related post on Part 1 of the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” adventure.