As the biggest children’s/YA series to have ever existed is ending, it seems necessary to have a post on Harry Potter and all he has meant over the years. It turns out I don’t have to write it though, because my little sister summed it up beautifully, and luckily for me she agreed to let me post her thoughts on here!

Harry Potter. Obviously in need of no introduction, Harry Potter has been a part of many teenagers’ lives for as long as they can remember. I was hooked on Harry Potter in the first grade when my teacher read it to us right as the phenomenon began to gain momentum in the United States. Since then I have read every book, been to four midnight  premieres (soon to be five) and been a generally obsessed fan.

But July 15th will officially change that. It won’t change how I feel about Harry Potter, but it will be the last time that I go to the theater at 3:30 P.M., not expecting to leave until 3:30 A.M, it will be the last time I am surprised by what J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Inc. present to the world. It will be be when I say goodbye to Harry Potter as I know it today.

I have been preparing myself for this moment since the seventh book came out in 2007 during the Summer between seventh and eighth grade. I’m a senior in high school now.  Maybe that will give you an idea of how these books and movies have impacted my life.  I’m sure that I’m not alone in viewing the Harry Patter franchise as markers for my childhood. Reading the first book in first grade, getting absorbed by the first three books between second and third grade, fighting with my sister’s over who will get to read the book first when it premiers.

But now I’m sixteen and right on the brink of going to college, getting a job, and being an adult. And I can’t help but also equate the end of Harry Potter with this marker in my life. I think that I will always look back at this Summer as the end of my childhood. Is that sad? I don’t think so, because it is also the beginning of a new phase of my life. And really, I still have a year of high school left so I’m not that worried. But the end of Harry Potter represents to me the end of something that has marked and maintained my childhood up to this point. I’m now old enough to know that I can’t be the totally badass witch that I wanted to be when I was younger, but I am never to old to stop dreaming.

And that is truly what Harry Potter has taught me to do for all these years. It has taught me to dream and to look forward to the future because there is always something just around the corner. Whether it be a book or movie. A school or a job. I will always be able to look at what followed me as I grew up and know that one should not be afraid of death, love is the ultimate protection, friendship is more valuable than any wand, and I should always believe in tomorrow.