An open letter to J.K. Rowling
And so it ends. Thank you for not only affording us a glimpse into your magical world, but allowing us to become completely immersed in it through your wonderful storytelling. A world where the skies are searched instead of the mailbox for daily mail; a world where a flying car not only gets us to school when we miss the train, but saves us from certain death after wandering into forbidden areas; a world where the subjects of portraits move and leave their frames at will; a world where the World Quidditch Cup could give the Superbowl a run for its money in terms of attendance and fan adoration; a world where we can travel by Floo Powder and Apparition so as not to have to deal with the hassles of public transportation; a world where pup tents become fairly spacious living quarters complete with a kitchen, dining area, and bedrooms upon entering; and a world where a hippogriff demands just a little bit of respect before offering his aid to free an innocent man, and a house-elf dies a heroic death.
Thank you for Platform 9 ĺ and the Hogwarts Express, the magical train that, while we stuff ourselves with Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, and Licorice Wands, takes us to this incredible world that youíve created. Thank you for Hogwarts, where the staircases change; where thereís an unlimited supply of Pumpkin Juice; where you can tickle a pear and nick snacks to get you through an all-night study session or celebration; where Transfiguration, Herbology, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, History of Magic, and Divination replace the usual courses of study in the Muggle world (although thereís always Muggle Studies if you question the function of a rubber duck or have a penchant for collecting anything electrical); where you wonít find the usual list of school supplies such as wands, quills, parchment, or cauldrons at your local Target; where the preferred method of communication away from the prying ears of an adult is an enchanted coin, instead of a cell phone; where Auto-Answer Quills, Remembralls, Detachable Cribbing Cuffs, and Self-Correcting Ink take the place of crib-notes and sideward glances at fellow studentsí papers when trying to pull a fast one on a teacher; and where Nosebleed Nougats and Puking Pastilles (may you rest in peace, Fred) come in handy when attempting to ditch classes.
Thank you for helping us to teach our children that, although sometimes painful to accept, death is a part of life. Thank you for helping us to convince them that, although sometimes difficult, itís sometimes necessary to stand up to our friends and to fight for what we believe in. Thank you for helping us to teach our children to show empathy, kindness, and understanding to those who seemingly deserve it the least. Thank you for helping us to show them that every human being is worth knowing, even those that canít seem to keep track of their pet frog, have a penchant for wearing radish earrings and butterbeer cork necklaces, live in the U-Bend of a toilet, or have an annoying habit of hoping to photograph us at every opportunity. Not only will they treasure your friendship, they just may be there when you need them the most.
Thank you for reminding us that help will always come to those who ask for it; that those weíve loved and lost never really leave us, but remain in our hearts forever; that although friendships are sometimes tested, our true friends will always see us through the tough times, and are even willing to sacrifice their own lives for those friendships; that loyalty is rewarded; that we canít go wrong when we trust those we believe in; that, although our vaults at Gringotts may be filled to the brim with Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts, love is what matters most; and that patience, courage, resourcefulness, and determination will see us through when it seems that nothing else will.
And so it ends. Or does it? For, just as Dumbledore will only have left Hogwarts when none there are loyal to him, the recurring themes of friendship, loyalty, and love in the Harry Potter series will only leave us when we are no longer loyal to these sometimes tough to develop qualities in a person. And theyíre worth fighting for.
Thank you, Ms. Rowling. Itís been quite a ride.