I solemnly swear I am up to no good…

I had another post planned for today, but Jethro and I took an impromptu trip to the movies and saw the final Harry Potter movie.  And I am left oddly…bereft?

Here’s the thing, I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan.  I mean, I REALLY like the books and have re-read and enjoyed them all, on the first day they came out ever since the fifth book.  However, I’m iffy on the finer points.  I can’t name the unforgivable curses, I get Fred and George mixed up and I continually mix up the books.  (Did Hermione get better teeth in three or four?)  But as the last movie came forth, I was excited but not terribly so.  It would be good to have a finish, but no biggie, right?


It started during Snape’s death.  (If ANYONE just hollered out, “Spoiler alert!!” I will smack you.)  It’s all Alan Rickman’s fault.  If he wasn’t so damn good with those eyes and that terrible hair and just that look on his face…  So then the tears started.  And while they didn’t fall a lot, there was tons of tearing up and snotting up and sniffling and generally feeling like an idiot for getting all soggy over a movie about a boy who does magic.

I first started reading the books after the third one had come out.  The first was published right after I graduated high school and I’d steadfastly refused to read them because everyone else was.  (Yeah.  I was that kid.)  However, a friend had given the Prisoner of Azkaban backstage during tech week of a show.  I was doing costumes and had lots of down time and chose to use part of it to mock him for reading a kid’s book.  The next day, he handed me Philosopher’s Stone and told me to shut up and read it.  Day after that, I gave it back and said, “Got any more?”

Just like that, I was a Pot-head.  *sigh*

Recently, a group of Jethro’s friends have passed around a link to a story on students at A&M having a quidditch team.  As I laughed at their poking fun at these kids (I mean, SERIOUSLY guys?) I realized something.  These kids were maybe four, five, six years old when the books came out.  They grew up with Harry Potter.  THIS IS THEIR STAR WARS.

Once I realized that, I needed to have a lie-down.  Christ, I’m old.

Now I’m old and sad.***  No more midnight movie premieres with my friend J. as we eat Bertie Bott”s Every Flavor Beans and freaking out when we got the Booger ones.  (I ALWAYS got the booger ones. *sigh*)  No more waiting for the day of release books and staying up to 4am to read it.  No more waiting to see how the movies will screw up the books and make Hermione less bad-ass than she was. (DON’T get me started on the Yule Ball.)

So let’s talk.  What’s your Harry Potter experience?  (And if you were in single digits as you read it, DON’T BRING THAT UP.)

***Okay, as I was typing this up, I continued my re-watch of Angel and of COURSE it had to be the episode where FRED DIES.  GOD, I might have to take a personal day tomorrow.

Image source

38 comments on “I solemnly swear I am up to no good…

  1. Madge
    July 21, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    i am so sad about this. i actually am. i too was a deliberate late arriver to the books. i thought i knew better.

    i RARELY know better. there’s a lesson right there.

    Personally, i love the films. the books are better, obv, but the films are so special to Britain. it’s a massively huge undertaking to have SO MANY wonderful and cherished british actors in the films and see so much of Britain on film. it is tragic that this cultural (yes, cultural) journey is ending. our nation is sad. also, watching these kids (KIDS) grow up on screen is special. one of our TV channels is playing the films on sundays this month (last week was P-Stone) and it’s immense seeing how far they’ve come.

    i am tempted to put off going tot he cinema for as long as possible because i know i will be a mess after it.

    a bigger mess than having finished book six in the car (bought at midnight and i didn’t move till it was done) and weeping over dumbledore’s death? i don’t know. but it won’t be pretty.

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      I was recovering from my splenectomy when 6 came out, and I got the book in the afternoon and spent ALL night reading it. I nearly forgot to take my vicodin, I was so into it….And the sobbing over Dumbledore? *sigh*
      Oddly, I didn’t cry when he died in the movie.

      Dobby’s death, however….

  2. lizvd
    July 21, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    I started reading them in, oh, fall of ’99? They didn’t really seem to appear on anyone’s radar in my small town until that summer, despite the first book being published two years earlier. I was in 8th grade, and while I wasn’t in single digits when they were released, I do feel like I grew up with the characters. Twelve years of reading the books, and ten years of movies does that I guess? When I first got into them, I was one of those geeks who got on fan sites, took quizzes to see which house I’d be sorted into (always Ravenclaw to my disappointment… yes I still remember) and pretended to learn spells. I was working at Waldenbooks when the last two were released and helped run the release party festivities. It was surreal to see children of less than ten as committed to a series as I was. As for the movies, I couldn’t believe my good fortune in 2001/2002 that I got to see Harry Potter in November, and Lord of the Rings in December. So much fantasy! I’ve enjoyed watching the books come to life, even if small things were changed and lots of detail was omitted. The first time I cried was when Sirius died and I’ve balled at every movie since. Even though I knew what would happen, even though I’d already shed tears over pages. I thought I would be sad because it was over, and I suppose in a way I am. Of all the scenes in the last book, the one you mentioned with Snape hit me the hardest, both while reading and watching. For years, I’d disliked him immensely- I mean how could you not? And then, to have it all change in a blink of an eye? Alan Rickman played the part so perfectly. I spent probably an hour or more silently crying, biting my lip to keep from squeaking in the theater. And yet, near the end, my cheeks dried, the happy ending started to take shape and I felt at peace, like I was there at King’s Cross with them, on the other side of my adolescence, looking back and moving forward.

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      You know, I always liked Snape. I hada sneaking suspicion from way back that he was okay, I don’t know if it was the writing or what. But to have him validated, even if he wasn’t always nice, was great.

  3. Kerry
    July 21, 2011 at 8:00 am #

    Yeah I have zero interest in anything HP, but you bet your ass I caught that “needed to have a lie-down” phrase while skimming this post and I’m definitely putting that in my repetoire.

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      It is yours, milady.

      And rather versatile, the older I get…sadly.

  4. Jenn
    July 21, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    I started reading Harry Potter after mercilessly teasing my sister for reading “kids books,” when only the first 3 had come out. And then I couldn’t get enough. For me thought after Book 4, they books kinda went downhill (in terms of how much I enjoyed them) but the movies got better for me. So my favorite books were my least fave movies, and books I didn’t like so much seemed OK in movie form.

    I think we’re going to see the last one on Friday 🙂

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      I was so hooked that I couldn’t stop, but I did miss the humor that was throughout them in the first three. Little asides and such about the kids or quirks of Hogwarts…those were the parts that kept me reading…

  5. goodtastehealthyme
    July 21, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    I was sad that it was all over. I love the series. I didn’t start reading them till college though at the urging of my boyfriend. So I didn’t ever have to wait for any of the books to come out. Lucky me!

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

      You know, the waiting was part of the fun for me. But I was only anxious for about a week after reading the last book, and then I went about my business. And then I’d get excited for the week before the next came out…

      But I’m worse about TV shows. I HATE waiting….

  6. KatjaMichelle
    July 21, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    I was also that girl, not wanting anything to do with anything with that much hype. But then a road trip from washington to LA where my aunt (a teacher) convinced us to read them on the trip home. My entire family has been hooked ever since. (And yes the tears made an appearance and I’m ok with that)

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      I love it that Jethro is into them also. (I tried to get my mom to read the books, but it’s just not her thing. She likes the movies though..) He pretends like he’s all big and bad, but he’ll watch any of the movies when they come on TV. I’ve seen Prisoner of Azkaban about 15 times now….

  7. Kelly
    July 21, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    I read them from the beginning (though not in single digits 🙂 because (I kid you not) my teacher read the first one to us. Seriously. Regardless of how weird it was for someone to read a book to us when we weren’t little kids, I’m so glad she did because otherwise I never would’ve had any idea how to pronounce Hermione. I never liked the movies as much as the books, but I’m still soo sad that it’s all over.

    • KatjaMichelle
      July 21, 2011 at 11:25 am #

      Yes! I remember long arguments between my sisters and I about how to pronounce Hermione (for the record I was right!)

      • kindofamess
        July 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

        I was infinitely proud that I knew how to say Hermione before the books. She’s a character I did in Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale…. (Crap play but EXCELLENT monologue for Queen Herm…)

        • Katie Mae
          July 21, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

          Ooh I acted in Winter’s Tale too! Small parts though (courtier, messenger, etc.). I was also proud of knowing how to say Hermione. 🙂

  8. Beylit
    July 21, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I was in college and my friend B was taking a childrens lit class and she had to read the first two books for that class. I had vehemently refused to have anything to do with the books because apparently we were all that kid. Then B came to my apartment one day after she had finished the first one and threw it at my head (no literally she hit me in the head with the damn thing. Good thing it was the paperback version) and she insisted I read it at once. How can you argue with that?

    And thus I was hooked. Although I never went to midnight book releases because Jessie is the only one who would go with me normally and I was afraid to take him and subject him to hundreds of small children screaming “Mommy look its Hagrid!!”

    I sobbed through the final movie, and I do mean sobbed. My friend Linnea had to keep handing me napkins so I could blow my nose. Thankfully she was sobbing too, as were a good number of the 20 or so friends of mine that were at the show.

    I didn’t grow up with these books, but I love them and they were a big part of my life. I think the real magic of Harry Potter is that they got an entire generation of children into reading, and that right there is the coolest thing about them. Jessie calls them the gateway drug of books.

    I really will miss them.

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm #


      *ahem* Sorry.

      But I think you might have been one of the ones that told me to stop being a moron and read the damn things. It was during the summer of the Evil Yellow Dress and Mile High Ice Cream Pies….

      • Beylit
        July 21, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

        I am not sure if I had started to read them at that point. I started the Spring of my sophmore year. Was the evil yellow dress my first or second summer rep? Oh well, I very well could have been, because I did try and convert people after I fell under the Potter spell.

        And yes he would be an amazing Hagrid, especially since he grew out a full beard (he was playing an insane woodsman for a haunted house) If we could ever find an appropriate pink umbrella I would make him be Hagrid for Halloween.

  9. treefin82
    July 21, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    My mum introduced me to the first two books when I was in my first year at University. I was contemptuous at first, ‘kids books?’ but from the first chapter about the boy who lived; I was totally hooked. Although my favourite was and still remains the Prisoner of Azkaban, I loved all books. There was something about the completeness of this world with all it’s characters and rules that appealed to my inner geek. Queuing to buy the books that night and then reading them as fast as I could became a ritual. They are totally the gateway drug of books because it gave me permission to revisit all my childhood favourites as an adult and rediscover new great ya authors.

    I didn’t really engage with the films in the same way I did with the books, particularly the early ones. So I wasn’t expecting to be so moved but forget to take into account the Rickman factor. He gets me every single time. That exchange with Dumbledore: ‘Still after all this time’ Snape: ‘Always.’ I’m so glad I was wearing 3D glasses, so I can snivel in semi privacy. Also I was so happy that Neville got his badass moment

    It was a nice way to end it because even though the things that annoyed me about the book were still present in the film, they didn’t irritate me so much, or in different ways. The stupid epilogue was more amusing in the film because all the mum hair in the world is not going to make those girls look middle aged. I’m sad that it’s all over, but on the plus side I no longer have to keep quiet about all the plot points (Dumbledore dies! Snape is evil! No, he’s good really) to my boyfriend who hasn’t read the books #tentativewin?

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

      GOD…Alan Rickman. Why hasn’t he been knighted yet? SOMEONE GET RIGHT ON THAT!

      I was disappointed in the epilogue because (awesome mom hair aside…) I think someone more needed to be said. A bit more of an ending.

      Also, I couldn’t stop staring at Ginny’s flats. It looked weird and then I realized how much taller she is over Harry….

  10. pinchofthis
    July 21, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    I started reading them my sophomore year in college and loved every single one of them so much. I loved getting off work (waiting tables) and running over to the bookstore to pick up the book at midnight.
    I’ve hated the movies though and haven’t seen one in quite a few years. I always thought that the castle was way cooler in my head than on the screen.
    All this talk about the last movies though makes me wonder if I need to go see it.

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

      I’m better with them when I’ve been away from the books. I did the “re-read and watch” thing and it just made me irritated while watching the movie.

      Then again, I’m like that about all book adaptations. Mother Night is the only movie I thought even marginally lived up to the book….

      • Red
        July 28, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

        I agree, the movies are pretty good is thought of as separate from the books. Though I make a hobby out of reading a book and seeing the movie JUST so I can b*tch about how bad of a job they did turning the book into a movie. It’s the main reason I read the Hunger Game trilogy recently, I knew they were casting and I wanted my own picture of the characters and the setting before anything was officially announced. 🙂

  11. lizzie
    July 21, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    I read the first three books that came out when I was in junior high and then stopped because it wasn’t cool anymore in high school…and you know…I was THAT girl in high school.

    anyways, I had never seen the movies until THIS WEEK when Isaiah rented all of them and made me watch them back to back. They’re still growing on me, but I loved the books. The writing is fantastic and I don’t really care for Daniel Radcliffe all that much…but EVERYONE else in the movies is amazing. Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman…it has EVER British actor I’ve ever liked in the series and I’ll give it that much at least 🙂

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

      Yay for Isaiah! 🙂 And you know, I recently saw Daniel Radcliffe on Inside the Actor’s Studio and it really made me like him more. He’s a good egg, that kid.

  12. Ceej
    July 21, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    My sisters all read the books and it was THEIR THING so I resentfully wanted nothing to do with them. Now I’ve watched all the movies and want to read the books, too, but I’m doing it on our iPad because FCK if I’m lugging those things to and from work on the metro every day. Also I still don’t want to be seen giving in. Do people on the metro care? No. No they don’t. Will that stop me from being paranoid? Ummmmm of course not.

    I’m anticipating an eventual Masterpiece Theatre miniseries. Right?? I would watch the SHIT out of that.

  13. Sharon
    July 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    A high school friend of mine got me into the books right before they got really popular in the States… probably right before the publication of book 4 or so? As a budding Classicist, I was hooked from the word go.

    It makes me sad how many people I meet in the Bay Area who are really snobbish about HP as “children’s literature.” I mean, we all know that not every book that makes it big is well-written (*coughTwilightcough*), but a lot of people aren’t even willing to *try* it. 😦

    • kindofamess
      July 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

      I know! There are some great children’s literature out there…and they’re just as good when read as an adult. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Where the Red Fern Grows, A Wrinkle in Time…. Hell, Jethro reads and like the Artemis Fowl books….

      • lizvd
        July 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

        I don’t think I could ever reread Where the Red Fern Grows- we read it in 4th grade as a class and the deaths hit me a little too hard. I’d had cats die of old age, but never had to deal with the kind of pain that comes when a pet dies before its time. Animal stories always get me.

  14. Katie Mae
    July 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    I started reading with Book 1 right after it came out. I was in middle school. I was soooo obsessed. Two friends and I wrote 100+ pages of an epic fanfiction story (starring our alter egos, of course) but never filled in the rest. We also collected tons of details about Hogwarts, spells, names, etc. in the name of world-building for our story.

    Eventually I got less excited about it, and I’ve read all the books but haven’t seen any movies since 4. For me, HP is wrapped up in that time and that experience, so it’s not as magical (pun totally intended) anymore. That said, I really like the first book and plan to read it again this year for the 20th time or so. 🙂

  15. Michelle
    July 22, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    With any luck, Jethro collected your tears and then used them to learn some startling truth about your formative years . . . but failing that, take comfort that Cowboys and Aliens is coming sooooon. It’s certainly no Potter but it does feature Daniel Craig AND Harrison Ford, fighting aliens, on horses. So, there’s that.

    We sat in the front row for movie #6 and got shushed by a lone middle-aged man for making approximately 2.5 quiet-but-snarky jokes during the 2.5 hour movie. Ah, memories . . .

  16. ElfPuddle
    July 22, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    I’d just like to say that I had finished undergrad before the first book was released in the U.S. and had left grad school and was teaching before the third…when I got the bug.
    I was at every midnight book release thereafter.

    I haven’t seen the movies since the second. The English teacher part of my brain couldn’t forgive the good parts left out. You can’t enjoy a movie when your internal monologue is too busy noticing what isn’t there and wondering how the heck the fourth movie will work when such-and-such was never there and….

  17. Ms. Bunny
    July 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I was also that kid, and refused to read them. I believe I made fun of my friend far too much, and finally she forced me to read book one, and I was hooked. I think I might have been a sophomore in high school?

    My devotion to them has grown and grown. I’m known amongst my friends for being the one who goes at midnight to the movie releases and the book releases (even by myself sometimes). But you know what — I haven’t been to see this movie yet. I decided to go reread the books before seeing it, and for some reason I’m reading them slowly. Which is unusual. And by reading them slowly, I’m picking up all sorts of inconsistencies throughout them. That’s annoying.

    I think maybe the reason I haven’t hurried along is because I know that once I finish the books this time and go see the movie, it will be done. I can’t quite hurry that ending for myself.

    P.S. Does anyone know what Pottermore is yet? I’m praying it’s cool.

  18. Becky Mochaface
    July 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    I started reading them when the 4th one came out. (Somehow I had never heard of them until then. How? I have no idea.) And was immediately hooked. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read them. And I will continue to read them. Always.

  19. Red
    July 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    “I’d steadfastly refused to read them because everyone else was.” – OMG that’s TOTALLY me too!!!! I actually take it a step further and have a no grocery store book rule, if you can buy the book in the grocery store, 90% of the time it is a book I won’t touch. My roommate in college got my the first book as a birthday present in 2000 and it sate on my self for ages, I refused to read it because so many people were telling me to read it. Granted, once I did start reading them I was completely hooked, but by the time I did crack open book 1, the first couple were out already.

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