It is done. I finished the series and I am now "in the know". It's a great club to be in. :)
What an amazing story...the whole thing. How amazing Rowling is, to actually fit the entire story line together, book after book. I don't know how you others did it: waiting for each book to finish and be published and released to find out what was going to happen next. And to have it all spaced out? I felt fortunate to be reading these, pretty much one after another, having the events of each book being current in my head. All the allusions to previous events, object, etc. in other books were fresh in my memory. And I feel fortunate that, soon, I'll see the movie and all of this will make sense... It was a great way to end. Much the way it began for me, so many, many years ago. Trying to read to CJ as a child, a book that everyone was so excited about...marveling about her creative mind, the words ("muggles"), the names ("Hermione"). It's all too extraordinary.
This last one, is by far, the best for me. In a true sense of "tying things up", this one did it all. It was heartening to know that Severus Snape was a true ally to Dumbledore to the end. I felt strongly at the end of the Half-Blood Prince that he was not guilty but then throughout this one, he was providing LEGITIMATE information to Voldemort regarding Harry. This just seemed to discount my theory and thankfully, I was right...not just to be right but because I did like Snape and his loyalty to Dumbledore.
But I didn't see the love he had for Lily. That was bittersweet. A man so in love with a woman, only to hate the child she bore to the man he hated. And since Harry was a "chip off the old block", all he could see was the man who wed the woman he loved.
And I figured out that the Patronus doe had to be Snape's. I didn't realize it was also Lily's.
Some of my favorite characters to come from this? Luna Lovegood. I adored her in the last book and then, when Harry sees her room, it just blew me away. Rowling didn't do enough justice, IMO, to developing their friendships. I am not complaining - she did great...I am just saying that my love for these characters has me yearning for more (in hindsight).
Neville Longbottom. Seriously. Who is more brave than Harry Potter? To face up to Voldemort, as Harry's body lays before him, after announcing how he is now the almighty and all will die if they do not kneel before him...and Neville runs up to him, unarmed? To show him he is not joining his alliance? How stupid was that? It wasn't. It was one of the most mind-blowing events in all of the series.
Grawp. I love Hagrid of course. But Grawp and his love for "Hagger". OMG. It makes my heart feel hugged.
The death of Voldemort was spectacular. The whole puzzle being put together. I had to go back to wikipedia and make sure I truly understood how the Elder Wand came to its ownership. And to find out if it was really eight horcruxes as I had kept them in count but towards the end, the number no longer mattered to me and I sort of forgot...although, I had no idea that Harry would be one...and upon realization, I was so sad to know what his destiny was going to be.
And the end. The end of all ends. There can be no more. No sequels. Not relevant to this story anyway. The end was much like The Hunger Games. And it made me think about both series of novels: the evolution of these characters. It is a very glorious and sad: to meet these characters, get to know them, "watch" them grow. I loved Harry Potter in this final book because he was so confident, almost arrogant, in his decisions and his magic. A far cry from the boy we met "seven years" ago, and even a few years ago, never catching on as well as Hermione...which no one really did, but Harry was "the Chosen One" and more would have been expected from him.
And what is sad about this is that, now that the stories are known to me, I will never know the Harry Potter as I did when I first read about him. Just like Katniss in The Hunger Games: I will never see her in the same light that I did when I first read about her volunteering for her sister. I can read these books over and over again but it will never be the same experience as my first.
The meeting with Dumbledore at The King's Cross was wonderful. A last meeting, well, for a good while it seems now, to get the answers. In life, wouldn't we want that for all of us? But what I loved the most was the dialogue about Dumbledore being a leader. Dumbledore says to Harry, in regard to turning down the Minister of Magic position "... I had learned that I was not to be trusted with power."
Harry tells him he would have been a better Minister than Fudge and Scrimgeour. And Dumbledore says these wonderful lines:
...Goodbye Harry, Hermione, Ron. It was a great ride.
It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.