The End of Magic: Tribute to the Last of Harry Potter

Avada Kedavra said Voldemort for the last time yesterday, and in the final battle, when the curse rebounded, it signified the last victory of Harry over his evil bete noire. The audience applauded heartily for the final time, and as my son and I left the cinema hall, he was left with an empty feeling that this was indeed the end.

harry-vs-voldemortMy son was just born when the first hints of Potter-mania hit the world, and to that extent, we have been late entrants into the Potter club – only perhaps for a year or so. But in that year, Harry, Ron and Hermoine along with Dumbledore, Snape and the entire professor-hood of Hogwarts, plus Voldemort and his Death-eaters had well and truly taken over our household. In a relatively short period of a year, reading all the seven books one by one, some of them twice, and then watching each of the first seven moves at least twice, my son had become a walking encyclopedia on Potter and his gang. And doing what only a 10 year old Potter fan can do, he had successfully converted his parents, both his sets of grand parents and perhaps most of his friends in to die hard Potter fans too.

It was then that I realised how much of a void the end of this last movie is likely to create in a generation of children (and their parents) that grew up on Harry Potter. Right from mesmerising children with the initiation in the early couple of movies (which most people watched agape) to almost frightening their parents in the last two Deathly Hallows, the rivalry of good and evil in a world of magic cast its spell on a generation of children. The last few months our home has been full of children making wands from broken twigs playing ‘Expelliarmus’ with each other, riding on imaginary broomsticks playing quidditch with their snitches taking roles of Harry, Ron and Draco, and calling their parents ‘Muggles’. As the early playfulness of the three friends quickly matured into an intense plot of rivalry, the games suitably changed with the early characters of schoolmates being replaced with Dumbledore, Snape and Voldemort and his deatheaters.

But beyond the now familiar spells, characters and the world of magic that Rowling and the movies based on her books took us into, there are some amazing subtle hints of wisdom that she threw at children – through the words of some amazing characters, specially Dumbledore and sometime Sirius Black and Severus Snape.  Like when Dumbledore tells Harry in the Chamber of Secrets: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Or tells him in the Prisoner of Azkaban: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Or when Sirius Black advises Harry in the Goblet of Fire: “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” And finally the one that I heard Dumbledore say yesterday in the Deathly Hallows when Harry asks him whether this is real or it is happening in his head: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

CA.0802.harry.potter.hallows.2.For mere ‘muggles’ who have not quite experienced this magic, it has always been a puzzle what the fuss is all about. But for those who have had this potion, it is always a case of the charms taking over. Finally it all ends – as far as the books and the movies are concerned. But it will continue to stay with this generation forever. Perhaps by some spell of magic, it may get a rebirth too. So till we meet again on platform number 9 and a 3/4, this is indeed the end of magic as we know it.

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