Nineteen years later.
The last day where we know canonically what is going on in the magical world of Harry Potter.
I can only picture it in my head. Children giving their parents fleeting hugs goodbye as the train comes rolling into the station, the whistles signifying the start of another nine to ten months of cold, echoing hallways and warm fires and running to Herbology in the rain and racing up the towers to get to misty Divination.
My sentence structure isn't great today because I'm simply not okay. Everything seems a little off balance.
For nearly half my life, in my mind, Hogwarts has been a safe place I can escape to when normal life hurts too much to process, when I just need to remind myself that love and friendship and bravery are stronger than fear and that the most important things in life can't be taught in school. It was somewhere familiar. It was the world off of which I built everything I am today and everything I will continue to be.
I've said it so many times before but I simply don't know where I would be without Harry Potter, and frankly, I don't know if I would like myself. Reading those books and connecting to Hermione and feeling empathy for every single character was the first time I really understood empathy and the start of me trying to figure out exactly who I am today.
I can't believe the timeline is over. The books that sparked a decade of movies, a musical adaptation, a puppet show, a play, several interesting types of chocolate, and the hearts and minds of millions of men and women around the world. I am so blessed and lucky to be a part of the Harry Potter generation, to witness its everlasting growth and impact on so, so many people. I owe who I am to a bizarre combination of Hermione, Luna and Ginny. I owe my love of reading to the series itself. I subconsciously chose the school I have been attending for over three years because its uniform reminded me of the Hogwarts uniform. But most importantly, we all owe everything to Joanne Rowling, who created the fully immersive universe that gave everyone something to hold onto.
I am so, so grateful.
Every first of September I get slightly more Harry Potter obsessed than I am on an everyday basis, but this year it touched me more than other years. Harry has completely grown up and so has the Harry Potter universe, and I am growing up too. Maybe it's how we will never again be able to reenter the canon Harry Potter timeline, just like how sooner than I realize, I will never be able to reenter certain periods of my life.
Maybe it's how everything ends, even everything we love.
We will still keep introducing Harry Potter to our children, and their generation will probably fall just as hard, and Harry will live on, just like the love represented in the series about him, and we will keep on discovering new things to love about the series, and it will have an everlasting impact on all of us in some little way, whatever that little way may be.
So for now, I will try not to cry and try to accept the exciting changes that will come.
I'm not going home, not really.