The Boy Who Lived

Jude & the Half-Blood Prince
Tuesday night I finished reading the Harry Potter series to my son.  We started the summer after first grade; he is now half-way through third.  This last book was the hardest for me, and the only one for which I went against my promise and read ahead.  I justified it at first with protection -- I wanted knowledge of anything too frightening or disturbing so I could prepare him.  I stopped reading ahead though, when it became too stressful for me.   

But when it got to the point where I could no longer read aloud because I was sobbing, I decided to read ahead once more.  Here is a conversation we had after a particularly sad chapter in which Harry digs a rather large hole in Bill's garden:

Me (sniffling): Could you please bring me a tissue?
Jude (sighing): I'll bring you the whole box.

And so, that night, I stayed up until 2am finishing the book.  The idea was that if I did all my crying alone, I would be able to control my emotions when I continued to read to Jude.

I was wrong.  Still I cried and sniffled and had to stop reading to try to compose myself.  When we finished, when I read aloud those last three words, all was well, Jude toppled me with a hug.  "I can't believe we've finished!" he said.

And now, a year and a half after we first opened Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, a small part of me has died.

I will never again read those seven books for the first time.

I will read them aloud to my daughter, who is almost five now and already admires Hermione.  She will have her own set and I have decided to buy a set of hardcovers for myself.  I have my eye on this:

Harry Potter Hardcover Boxed Set, Barnes & Noble

The Boy Who Lived will live on.  The magic will endure.  But it will never be quite the same. 


  1. Harry Potter was something very special to the world of writing, movies, reading and adventures. Glad you made it to the end of the series, tears and all.


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