Farewell Harry Potter! We'll Miss You!
When my daughter told me about a great book she wanted me to read, I was a little hesitant. What was she going to give me? She was just a kid. She gave me Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was immediately a fan. Even with all of the fantasy that was geared toward kids, there was this incredibly strong story line about a toddler who was orphaned by the horrible murders of both parents. That would be bad enough, but he was sent to live with relatives who hated his guts and made his life miserable. But Harry never complained,and he always tried to do his best to please them. They lose it when Harry gets his acceptance to Hogwarts because Harry's parents both attended and they wanted nothing to do with magic. In an effort to keep Harry from knowing about his magical roots, His Uncle Vernon carts the family off to a hidden deserted shack.
While they are at the secret hide-a-way where Uncle Vernon took them, they are confronted by the gentle half-giant, Rubeus Hagrid, who has come for Harry. Harry learns that he is wizard, and that his parents were magical. It happens to be Harry's birthday and Hagrid brings him a cake he baked himself. One of the best scenes is when Harry's cousin, Dudley, is pigging-out on Harry's cake and Hagrid gives him a corkscrew pig's tail! Serves him right!
Diagon Alley is where Hagrid takes Harry to get all of his magical gear; robes, wand, etc. There were all kinds of amazing shops. (It kind of reminds me of the garment district in downtown Los Angeles.) Here Hagrid gets Harry his wonderful white owl, Hedwig, as a birthday present. Hagrid also takes Harry to Gringot's Bank where Harry's parents had left him a boat load of wizard's gold. Gringot's was run by goblins who are not real friendly folk.
Harry finally arrives at Hogwarts. He has no idea of the many bonds of friendship he is going to form or how much his life is going to change. Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley are going to become his sidekicks, and he is going to get a surrogate family in the Weasley's. Here he will also meet Professor Dumbledore, Hogwart's headmaster, as well as Professors McGonagall and Snape. He also learns from the Sorting Hat that he will belong to Gryffindor House, along with Ron and Hermione, and all of Ron's siblings.
Everyone has heard about Harry and how he survived his attempted murder by 'he who would not be named'. The same person who killed his parents. He was already a legend, but instead of giving him a big head, he was humbled by it. That humility is what endears you to Harry throughout the entire series because he never changes.
All will not be smooth sailing at Hogwarts for Harry because he will constantly run into trouble with Professor Snape who is also the head of the rival house Slytherin and does not like him. Neither does Snape's star pupil, Draco Malfoy. They hate him not because of anything he's done, but because of who he is.
Some of the most fun scenes are when the kids are struggling through their classes of spells, defense against the dark arts, and potions. Apparently, just because you may come from a magical family, doesn't mean magic comes automatically.
As Harry matures and experiences different battles and tragedies, such as confrontations with Voldemort, and the deaths of Cedric Diggory (who has now reincarnated into a vampire) and Dumbledore, he gets closer and closer to his destiny.
In the stories to follow, Harry fights a basilisk, helps his godfather escape from prison, learns of a prophesy concerning him, and watches the destruction of the Weasley home and the demise of the Ministry of Magic.
The end is at hand and Harry knows what will be expected of him. It does not come as a surprise, deep down Harry has always know what it would all come down to. Would he be up to the challenge?
We are now at the end of the journey. The finale. The Deathly Hallow-Part 1. Harry, Hermione and Ron are searching for the pieces of Volemort's soul in order to kill him. Time is winding down. The Death Eaters are closing in. The trio are given curious gifts bequeathed to them by Dumbledore. But before they discover the meaning of them they are on the run again. Harry learns the truth about Dumbledore's past which causes his faith to waiver. Will he make it to the end?
So, this is it. Can you wait? July 15 The Deathly Hallows-Part 2 comes out. I'm not going to say any more. You have to see the ending. While you're waiting, you can catch up on the books or movies you haven't seen yet. See you at the end!