J.K. Rowling outdid herself. Honestly. I was wondering how she was going to manage to pull everything together, although with confidence that she would do so.
Pull everything together she did. Brilliantly. We didn’t get out of rehearsal Friday night until 11, and it was about 11:20 when we got to Barnes and Noble. The lines were quite intimidating. We were in group C, which was about 1/3 of the way around the building. After a few minutes, Soleil and Izzybella left to get some food and drinks while L-squared and I stayed in line and amused ourselves with speculation. The line started moving a few minutes after midnight; we were still outside the building when Soleil and Izzybella arrived with provisions. Never has a Sprite tasted so good; I think I sucked down a good 20 ounces right away.
Despite the long line, it was reasonably orderly, and we were back in the parking lot with our books by 12:45. According to the official rules, we couldn’t crack open the books until we were at home. Izzybella decided not to join us; she’s been sick all week, and said every time she lay down to relax, she immediately began coughing horribly. So she went on home to read there.
We got to my house and opened up the provisions (treacle toffee, Cadbury toffee eclairs, peanut M&M’s, jelly bellies, Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, jelly slugs, and a variety bag of chocolate bars), greeted Molly (who was going from L-squared to Soleil to me, ad infinitum), and then all cracked open the book at the same time.
Let’s just say that it’s probably just as well Izzybella wasn’t there, because between me and Soleil, she’d have gone nuts. I was saying things like, “No way!” and Soleil was giggling madly or making crooning noises of woe. I read straight through and finished the book at 4:29 a.m. L-squared was feeling a little ill and did more sleeping than reading, declaring her intention of reading slowly over the next several days and savouring the experience. Soleil read pretty straight through, going to sleep some time after I did, and then getting up to read again. She’d finished the book sometime that morning, although I’m not sure what time.
Here are the things I was right about, in my own personal speculations:
- There was a battle at Gringott’s. The dragon they were flying on was a Gringott’s dragon. A horcrux was hidden in Gringott’s.
- Harry would live.
- Voldemort would die.
- None of the trio would die.
- One of the twins would die.
- Percy would return
- Harry & Ginny got married and had fat babies. And I love that one of their sons was named Albus Severus.
- Ron and Hermione got married and had fat babies.
- Draco would survive.
- Dumbledore was truly dead, but he would yet have some counsel for Harry.
- And, perhaps most important of all, Snape was good. I’m glad he was good. Although I didn’t think he was in love with Lily like his memory shows him to be.
Here are some of the things I was wrong about:
- Harry was a horcrux. I didn’t believe that. But I’m glad that she didn’t write it in such a way that his scar didn’t vanish when Voldemort destroyed the Harry-horcrux. That would NOT have made me happy.
- Neville didn’t kill Bellatrix. However, I loved that Neville killed Nagini. Totally cool. And I loved that Molly killed Bellatrix–”NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” How awesome!
- There wasn’t a battle in the Chamber of Secrets. The Chamber did come into play, though, when Ron took Hermione to get the basilisk fangs so they could do some major horcrux-destroying.
- Snape would sacrifice himself for Harry. Well, he did, but not in the sense that I envisioned it.
- I thought the creature on one of the covers was Dobby. Obviously it was Griphook.
I was so sad when Hedwig died right off the bat. And Dobby–how sad was that!! And I just loved when Kreacher came through for Harry!
I could go on writing little sentences about different things I loved. Suffice it to say that I really enjoyed the book. I’ve read it twice now, and just really like it. Rowling did a beautiful job of bringing it to an end. I feel satisfied.
Kudos, J.K. And thank you for a long and lovely adventure!