With Harry Potter , JK Rowling didn't just create a magical world.
Not just an exemplary friendship story.
Not just a story of a brave boy and a selfish man.
Not just a story of an open genius(Dumbledore) or that of a hidden genius(Snape).
Not just an example of how loyalty can border onto madness. (Pettigrew and Bellatrix)
Or not just a story of how strong Mother’s love can be. (Narcissa Malfoy and Lily Potter)
As I saw Snape hold Lily Potter and weep with all he’s got after she is killed by the Curse, as I saw him tell Dumbledore after showing his Patronus that he has always loved her, the pain in his eyes, and the slight quiver in his voice, I realized – she wrote the greatest love story of our times.
A love so strong by a man that it refused to die even for years, after the death of the woman.
A love so strong that the man was ready to give up his life to take care of the son of his arch enemy, just because he was also the son of the woman he loved.
A love so strong that the man gulped down his hatred for the boy and yet continued to protect him.
A love so strong that the last thing the man saw as he lay bleeding, dying away after a deadly snake bite were the eyes of the woman he loved, now in the boy’s face.
I wept for hours when Snape killed Dumbledore in Half Blood Prince, and told myself over and over again that Snape had a reason. Dumbledore is not a fool. Snape is up to something good. Yes, he was not the hero of the book, but he sure is not the villain. I had that trust in Snape from the beginning. And when I discovered that Snape was indeed Dumbledore’s agent in Book 7, I wept tears of joy. For Snape. For Dumbledore and for his trust not having gone in vain.
As I read ‘The Prince’s Tale’ in the last instalment of the series, I knew I was right. Snape is the true hero of the book. A true Prince. With a love so strong that he did not mind his soul getting ripped as he killed Dumbledore, all so he can keep Harry safe and keep Draco’s hands clean of murder!
And as I saw the entire sequence in the final instalment of the movie, and see Alan Rickman enact the entire sequence exactly like how I imagined it, I felt it – Yes, this is the best love story ever! Atleast for me!
I thought for the millionth time that Lily Evans should’ve been with Snape, not with the bratty, arrogant James Potter. Talk about getting involved in the story! :-)
Not even Segal’s Love Story or Oliver’s Story, or Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera can beat this one, may be because this is not just a tragedy but also because of the love being forbidden and never having been acknowledged by anyone.
And yes, this is not just a story of good over evil.
Its a story of how you can control your destiny(Neville’s miraculous transformation), of how even genius can make mistakes (Dumbledore’s early life), of how bad intentions will get you nowhere (the entire Dark Army), of how good is always rewarded (all the gazillion incidents when Harry is good to everyone around him and it is rewarded), of how you don’t have to belong to a particular race to be brilliant or good at what you do(Hermoine’s brilliance in spite of she being a Muggle, Hagrid in spite of him being a half-giant) and at how looks can be deceivable(Snape being the Half-Blood Prince, and how the entire story is actually about him).
These books have all the elements I would expect children of this generation should read and imbibe. All of them packaged in a very exciting magical world.
I was a jobless 23 yr old living off her best friend in her apartment when I laid eyes on the Chamber of Secrets lying on another friend’s bed. Being the bookworm that I was, I picked it up instantly and got hooked. I read it all in one go before lunch, and waited for this friend to get back and give me the rest of the books, that she had. After retrieving Books 1 and 3 from her closet, I got down to reading them, and finished them all in the same day and waited for her come back so I could discuss Potter with her.
This was the year 2003 and thus started the love, and the wait till that day in 2007 when the last book was released - the day the husband got me the copy of Book 7 which was also read in one shot.
And yet the wait is not over. Like all the Potter fans in the world, I haven’t had my full of the series, and would read it all again any number of times. (Except of course the last chapter!) Yes! :-)
And as I watched the Movie 7 , Part 2 last night end, like all those fans , I also felt it. Its all over! Yes. :-(
Even Rowling cannot create this magic again. Neither can any other author. This part of our lives when we all went mad for the next book in the series is over. When we all thought that there was indeed a Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross, or when we all felt and emoted with Molly Weasley for the naughty boys she had, or when we felt that all the students at Hogwarts were our classmates/friend. All of this - we will not feel this way ever again. :-(
But yes, I will continue to dream of that one letter I will get someday from Hogwarts. Even if I am way too old to get into it! :)