The most magical “Deathly Hallows” anniversary: MuggleNet looks back
It’s so hard to believe that it has been SEVEN YEARS since Potter fans around the world picked up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final novel in the series. Readers were pulling all-nighters, crowded into living rooms with friends or snuggled into bed with a box of tissues, as they discovered who RAB was, learned how to be the Master of Death, as they lamented Hedwig, Mad-Eye, Dobby, Fred, Tonks, Remus, Snape…
We wanted to share our thoughts, memories, and tears with you. Please share yours with us in the comments.
Aimee, Source Editor
Has it really been seven years? I still remember getting my book and locking myself inside my apartment to read the final installment of a series I’d once thought of as only for children but that had sucked me in from almost the first sentence. I read every word, forcing myself not to go too fast, trying to drink it all in, knowing it was the end. As the secrets of the series were revealed, I realized that this wasn’t just a story about good versus evil, what it means to be a friend, or truly realizing and accepting your fate. This was a love story – in my opinion, one of the greatest love stories ever told with both a happy and a sad ending. I still cry whenever I read the final book, not just for all that Harry lost or found but for Snape, too. A flawed character whom so many judged, myself included, but who in the end proved that love is the most powerful sort of magic we can possess. Love makes us human. Love redeems our flaws and mistakes. Love lives on. Always.
The seven years since Deathly Hallows was released could not have been more of a whirlwind. I completed my degree, met and married the love of my life (who, of course, loves Harry Potter as much as I do; you might recognize his voice over on AudioFictions), and have gone through about three career shifts since I moved to the New York metro area. Thankfully, after a friend—who lovingly calls me “Hermione”—recommended my skills, I’ve been able to find my perfect fit: I’m on the path to becoming a literary agent. I’m hopeful that I will discover a book that will touch a generation’s lives as Harry Potter and Jo Rowling have touched mine and ours.
It was the middle of summer that I turned thirteen. The crack of a bat echoed through the dugout. I barely looked up from my book. I had fallen asleep around 4 a.m. and woken up two hours later to get to my softball tournament. I knew I would probably be sitting the bench again, so I brought my book with me. I finished the book that night at home, alone in my room. When I closed the book, just like that, a chapter of my childhood had been completed. There was a sense of sadness, but also closure.
Who would have thought back then that in seven years I would be writing this to be published on MuggleNet? I went through a lot of searching to find myself, who I want to be, and what I want to do with my life. Now, seven years later, I feel like I’ve finally got things figured out.
I just graduated with my Associate Degree in Communications and Media Arts, and I’m continuing on to tackle Bachelor’s Degrees in Broadcasting and Cinema and Screen Studies in the fall. It’s safe to say that Harry Potter helped me on the way to where I am. The books preach perseverance, and Hermione showed me that being brainy isn’t a bad thing – you sometimes just have to reign it in so that you don’t come off unlikeable. I could go on about the impact that Harry Potter has had on my life and the lessons it taught me, but I think most of us have had the same experience with it, so I will just say that it will always have a special place in my heart, and it never abandoned me when I needed it most, so in turn, I will never outgrow it and leave it by the wayside. Here’s to another seven years ahead and many more to follow!
Wow, it’s hard to believe that it has been seven years already. It only seems like yesterday that I was standing in line at my local bookstore to buy Deathly Hallows. I can still remember the excitement I felt at being first in line and then when midnight arrived, finally being able to own a copy of the last Harry Potter book. I devoured it in one night, and I felt such a mix of emotions on completion. It was extremely satisfying that so many loose ends were tied up. Discovering Snape’s true loyalties and getting to learn about Dumbledore’s backstory was exhilarating. I have read the book countless times since its release, but I will never forget my first read through and how much of an impact this book and the whole series has had on my life.
Caleb, Senior Contributing Editor
The first thing I did this morning, upon waking up to the 7th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was watch the video we made on MuggleNet for the 5th anniversary. Through the video, several MuggleNet staff members talk about how alive the fandom and community is and how we expect this to continue. Just two years later is proof of how true this is.
Sure, the books are over, but Harry Potter is certainly still alive. It was just over a week ago that Rowling gave us a brief peek into his adult life, after all! Beyond that, the wizarding world is going strong, even when it moves backward (in time) for things like the Fantastic Beasts films. We have a new theme park to enjoy, too!
Seven is a magical number, and seven years later, the magic is still alive. I can’t wait to see the magic that the next seven years bring our way.
Felicia, Copy Editor
The day I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I just lay down and sobbed. I felt such a great emptiness in me knowing that something I had loved so, so much was “over,” that I would never again feel that joy of discovering something new about the wizarding world. Little did I understand then, Harry Potter was far from over. In the past seven years, I’ve read The Tales of Beedle the Bard, seen three new films, pored over Pottermore, and found a home in MuggleNet. With my first LeakyCon and visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter just around the corner, it is clear that the fandom still lives on, and Harry still lives in my heart.
Jessica, Senior Journalist
A lot has changed in the seven years since Deathly Hallows was released, but in many ways I’m more impressed with the things that have stayed the same. I may have graduated both high school and college and moved across the country, but the friends I went with to the book’s release are still some of my closest confidants, I still love Harry Potter, and Hogwarts will always be magical.
While many of us in the Harry Potter fandom thought the world was over after the last book was released, it turns out life did go on! Since Deathly Hallows, I have met the love of my life, graduated college, started writing for MuggleNet, visited Hogsmeade Village (twice), and become an uncle. Seven years later, I find myself waiting for the next stage of Harry Potter awesomeness as we have learned about the new park and the new films coming out. Time really has flown by!
Kat, Creative & Marketing Director
Trying to put into words how my life has changed since Deathly Hallows came out is… daunting, at best. I remember, very vividly, sitting in my best friend’s living room, toe to toe on her couch, as we both devoured the book. See, I was on vacation, visiting her in Colorado. The book was my birthday gift from her, which was only appropriate since she is responsible for getting me into Harry in the first place. We vowed to not hole ourselves up all day reading and also vowed to read the same number of pages so as to not spoil it for each other. It took us the entire week to read the novel – thank GOODNESS social media was not what it is today, or I would have been spoiled for sure. It was one of the happiest and most nerve[-]wracking weeks of my life, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Since then, my Potter world has expanded tenfold. My work with MuggleNet, conversations with friends across the world, and hosting Alohomora! – a global reread of the Harry Potter series – has really proven, time and time again, that Potter isn’t going anywhere. It’s a constant. Like change, it will always be there for me.
Keith, Managing Editor
My, how time flies by when you are having fun! It’s truly hard to fathom that seven years have passed since one of the most memorable days of my life took place. Over these past seven years, I have grown exponentially in solid friendships and countless encounters with individuals, families, and groups that share in the same passion as I do. All of which stem from “The Boy Who Lived!”
I still remember hanging out at midnight with my longtime Potter pal Heidi, purchasing my book at midnight with hundreds of local fans, then scampering home to read one of the most magical books ever! While laughing, crying, sighing, and just living these experiences, I maintained constant text conversations with my dear friend Hanako until the very end. When I was done reading, I remember just sitting still for a long time realizing that I just read a piece of literature that will survive the times for hundreds of years! It was magical!
Lindsey, Social Media
The day Deathly Hallows came out feels like ages ago, and yet, I can remember it like it was yesterday. I went to the midnight release party at Borders with my best friend who is also a huge Harry Potter fan. The bookstore was giving out temporary tattoos and bumper stickers that either said “Snape is evil” or “Trust Snape.” There was a lot of debate going on, and it was great listening to everyone’s theories of what Deathly Hallows might have in store. Of course, the next day came the fun bit, with everyone racing to finish first and to avoid being spoiled; there were plenty of tears and smiles and “Ha, I told you so!”s.
Shannen, Social Media
Seven years ago, I put on a purple ball gown and Gryffindor robes and lined up outside of a Borders (RIP) with my closest friends, my parents, and my older sister. Dad says, “Was that the big place that was really disorganized?” I don’t remember, Dad. I remember breaking down in tears at least twice, not being used to staying up late with crowds of people. I was twelve, I was fresh out of seventh grade, I was facing the basilisk. I don’t remember anything past that second breakdown in line, until the next day when my cousin and I began to discuss the details of this book that had changed our lives. I was at a turning point of my life since I had decided only a year earlier that I wanted to be an author.
Seven years later, I have lived in four different towns, completed my Associate Degree in English, and started my Bachelor’s Degrees in Creative Writing and Communications. As for Harry and I, we’re as close as ever. I’m about to go to my fourth LeakyCon. Staying up late with crowds of people does not cause me as much distress as it used to. I’ve discarded the Gryffindor robes for blue and bronze. And I keep reminding myself that fandom never dies. This feeling of belonging will never die. Han Solo is flying the Millenium Falcon again (broken leg or not), Bilbo is still going on an adventure, and the door to Narnia is free to open whenever I want to escape. And Harry Potter is still getting new scars, creating new stories of his own somewhere in that other world. A lot can change in seven years, but we are all made up of stories, and stories never die. They continue to grow as long as those of us who remain are loyal to them.
Seven years ago I was in the car, driving back from Cornwall, clutching my copy of Deathly Hallows, annoyed that I couldn’t read it because I got car sick. I had been so excited about the book that I couldn’t comprehend it ending, nor could I imagine would would happen next. I remember waiting for the book so clearly that I can’t believe it was released seven years ago! I remember feeling sad that I would never have that anticipation again or wait for another book in the same way. Little did I know that seven years later I would still be talking and thinking just as much about Harry!
I never would have imagined that I would be working for MuggleNet and that Harry Potter would have remained as important to me as it did then. I couldn’t have imagined that I would have done all the things that I have done, some of them because of Harry Potter. Harry Potter never really ended on that day. I’m glad that post Potter has brought just as much with it. May the magic keep continuing!
Tina, MuggleNet Interactive
I don’t think I’ll ever forget being in New York City for the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The countdown to midnight transformed the streets outside Barnes and Noble – Union Square into something more reminiscent of Times Square on New Year’s Eve, but with more house pride. There was the ever-present excitement, tempered by knowing something special, something magical, just might be coming to an end. Then, of course, the all-night readathon and my reluctance to turn that last page. A lot has changed in the last seven years. I moved to Washington, DC, finished my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and settled into a job, and Harry Potter continues to hold a special place in my heart. The fan community introduced me to so many amazing people, some of whom remain my closest friends. I feel privileged to have been a part of something so brilliant that thousands of people descended upon a bookstore at midnight because waiting until morning just wasn’t an option and because sharing that excitement with others was part of what made Potter so special.
Seven years since the release of Deathly Hallows? Blimey! Where on earth has the time gone? Has it really been that long since all of us Potter fans picked up the final book and read the concluding episode of Harry’s long and winding adventure? I suppose it has been, and when I really sit here and think about it, it seems like a lifetime ago… yet just like yesterday at the same time, if that makes sense. I remember a few of my friends getting the book and reading it in no time at all. I was different, however, savoring it for all it was worth because of not wanting it to end. A week later, and that was still too quick for my liking, but obviously it was an amazing ride all the same. I laughed, I cried, I gasped – I even had to reread some passages, not quite believing what I had just read. I went through every emotion that was physically possible while reading DH, as I’m sure we all did, but as all of us Potterheads say anyway, “It’s never over. It’s real for us.” And it is! I have made some incredible friends over the years, been to some amazing events and even managed to gain a job writing for this totally awesome website, all in the name of Harry Potter. I am so incredibly thankful [for] everything that HP has given me, and although J.K. Rowling has stopped writing the best book series in the world, we will always have those books to read, the films to watch and the fans to converse with, never ever making this wonderful fandom or adventure over.
To quote the Queen herself, “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home,” and she’s right – it will be!
Seven years ago I could be found sleepless and excited as I spent the entire day plowing through Deathly Hallows after attending a midnight release and getting my hands on the book I’d so long been waiting for. But since its release, many other important things have also happened. I have watched the final three movies with people I love, I have made a few dear friends thanks to our mutual love for Harry Potter whom I can’t imagine my life without now, I have started working with a fantastic group of staff members here on MuggleNet (something I never could have imagined would happen), I’ve gone to my first LeakyCon just last year, and I passed this series down to the next generation by introducing the book to my youngest sister. In the end, I could go on infinitely about what Harry Potter has done for me, but I’ll sum it up with a single word: happiness. My love for Harry Potter is sometimes so overwhelming that I want to burst. But it’s a good kind of bursting, a happy kind. A bursting that will never go away. So thank you, Jo. Thank you for my happiness. And for this wonderful, wonderful fandom. Happy seven-year anniversary, Deathly Hallows!