Harry Potter. It's ending.
I'm just going to come out and say this: if you weren't part of the Harry Potter movement, you missed one of the most important and generation-defining events of a lifetime. I feel bad for you.
Seriously, these books and these movies aren't just books and movies. This isn't just a story. This is something that has made people who they are. A story about strength and about love and about loyalty and courage in a world where all of those qualities seem useless against an unstoppable evil. That's how the world is today, though. We forget the power of love and friendship and Harry Potter supported those ideals all through our childhoods. All through our lives. We grew as Harry grew. We struggled as he struggled. Our stories were different from his, but they were so much the same as well. Anyone who underestimates that does themselves a great disservice.
It isn't just a craze. It isn't just something limited to nutty fans. It's a community, a whole story built around those who love it. This story has changed us and made us who we are. It's a part of us. I know it's a part of me. I think that people underestimate the real power of a story. Something like this, something that really connects with people on such a deep and strong and emotional level leaves a lasting imprint, and not just on individuals but on an entire society...something like this shifts the future because it defines the people who will create that future. Our generation will always remember these books and these movies because they made us this way. And those who didn't read them and didn't watch them and didn't like them...well, that's part of who they are as well. And that matters.
Hogwarts was a home, a home that was always there. The characters faced seemingly insurmountable challenges but they still struggled and fought and refused to be defeated, even when it was impossible to go on, even when there was no hope. The message that there is always a reason to keep fighting is ingrained in my mind and on my heart, just as it is for all of us who love this story. It really is this big of a deal. It really is bittersweet and you will see people expressing that. It's because Harry and Ron and Hermione and Dean and Neville and Seamus and Luna and Fred and George and so, so many more characters were my friends. I learned alongside them. Dumbledore was my teacher. I can honestly say that parts of who I am are because of his character.
It IS just this important. It will always be this important. It's not just a story. It never was.
"Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home." -J.K. Rowling