Jul. 8th, 2011

maxine_chan: (HP - Harry alone)
So, despite the fact that I haven't updated this journal in a year and haven't actually used it in at least two, that I just made this exact entry over at [livejournal.com profile] serasarahhhh, and that I had to delete like 100 of my icons so I could use a HP one... I'm still posting this wall of text here and I'm sorry for anyone who sees it twice on their flists, haha.

But I just...I needed to post this here. If I never use this journal again, this seems like a good last post.

That being said...can we just talk about Harry Potter for a minute?

And I'm about to get uber dorky here, just fyi. EMBRACE THE LOVE.

I honestly can't remember if I started reading Harry Potter after the third or fourth book came out. I remember getting my hands on Goblet of Fire when it was first released and sitting in my sister's room for the entire day reading it and refusing to leave even for food (gasp). But who starts with the fourth book of something, right? So I assume I read the other three before. For whatever reason, and even though Prisoner of Azkaban ties with Half-Blood Prince for my favorite book of the series now, they didn't stand out to me at the time.

That was in 2000, the summer after 8th grade.

I was into the books then, and I'd definitely thoroughly enjoyed the series. But it wasn't anything HUGE in my life and I wasn't anywhere near the dangerous levels of obsessed that I later became.

The first midnight book release I went to was for Order of the Phoenix. It came out on a weekend in the summer before my senior year of high school. I had a big AAU basketball tournament starting the following day, though, so even though we were at the release my mom wouldn't let me stay up any later to start reading it. Instead, I remember reading it in between games and sitting in the hallway outside the gym, hunched over my book while the rest of my team went to the mall. Games and all, I still managed to finish it by Sunday night.

And that was the year I discovered the fandom. Harry Potter fandom. Fanfiction and all that I'd found out about years before, with Gundam Wing and DBZ, but Harry Potter was an entirely new level of internet awesomeness. Haha, that was also before I had a laptop and the computer in my room didn't actually have an internet connection, so I used to save fics on the family computer and use a floppy disk to transfer them to mine so I could stay up until ridiculous hours reading. And just reading...I left it at that for awhile.

I had already seen the first two movies when they were in theaters, but the following summer was the first time I went to a midnight release of one of them, and that was for Prisoner of Azkaban. I was working at KMart at the time, and had literally just graduated high school two days before. I actually still have the ticket stub from that movie.

A couple months later was when I wrote my first HP fanfiction. SWAS. Starts With a Spin. Remember that fic? I posted it here because at the time I was too embarrassed to let any RL friends know what the hell I was up to, ahaha. I still get emails about it, you know. And reviews. People asking if they can translate it to another language for me.

That, my friends, was the real start of everything for me. November 2004. I was eighteen.

SWAS marks the beginning of when my dearest memories involving Harry Potter began. It's when I really started meeting people in the fandom, when I started making my online friends. It's because of that silly fic that I got to know people from all over the world, that I went to Harry Potter conventions, that I stayed up for hours and hours talking to people, that I got involved in all the madness and completely awesome thing that is the Harry Potter online community (which then later bled into other fandom communities). That fic was nothing amazing and I actually can't even read it nowadays without cringing, hahaha, but at the time? I loved it. I loved it because of what it gave me, the entire experience, the fans and the fanart and the comments and the real relationships and feeling like I had a second home on livejournal among people who shared all my dorky interests.

A lot of those people I remained close with, while others drifted. Some I wouldn't even call internet friends anymore because they're so much more than that. Many aren't even on livejournal anymore.

Being involved with HP and livejournal in general led to other things like [livejournal.com profile] bnf_brawl and eventually [livejournal.com profile] mallowmateys. It led to Lumos and Prophecy and Otakon meet-ups, which were big once-a-year things at first but grew into multiple get-togethers in NYC and Boston and London. I've made so many friends and it may seem like I'm reaching trying to say it's all because of Harry Potter, but that's where it started.

When the last book came out, it was an Otakon weekend. It was also the first time I had a big internet friends meet-up at my own house. We went to the Barnes & Noble in Baltimore and it was packed full of people dressed in anime costumes and Harry Potter costumes and it was one giant mix of nerdy people from all over the world and it was fabulous. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I think a lot of people don't get it. I don't even know what it is, but I know my parents, for example, don't get it. My coworkers would probably call me insane. But you guys? You get it. You know what being a part of something like this means, you know how awesome it is. You've been there for every book release and every movie release, all up until this last one. And it's like JKR said at the premiere today: this isn't really the end. As long as the books and movies are there to read and watch, it'll never be over. The lack of new material means nothing. Because all of the crazy people here? These are some of the most creative minds I've ever known, and the release of the last book didn't put a stop to any of the fanworks they've been putting out, so why should the last movie?

Harry Potter has always been there. In between all the other fandoms I got into, all the other series I read and all the other movies and shows I watched, Harry Potter has always been the one I could fall back on. I've read the books I don't know how many times and can say half the lines of the movies along with the actors. I've got shirts and scarves and ties and HP love emblazoned on my car. I know more ridiculous, seemingly useless facts and details about this series than I do probably any other subject I've ever studied in my life.

Remember all the speculating we did? All the theories we had and all the discussions that happened. Trying to figure out every last detail and wondering for SO LONG what the hell that prophecy was about after the fifth book and guessing what all the horcruxes were after the sixth and trying to figure out how Harry would finally, finally triumph in the end. If he even would. Remember the days when we didn't even know whether he'd live or die?? When we didn't know who'd make it through and who would have a happy ending? I MISS IT. I really do.

And I'm sad this is the last movie. I've already started sobbing more than once because of the interviews and farewells at the London premiere today (embedded below) and I know I'm going to be a complete mess for probably half the movie when I go to the midnight release next week. I'm heartbroken it's ending, I don't care how pathetic it sounds, but despite all the goodbyes my love affair with this series is not over.

...This has turned into kind of an incoherent mess and I'm not entirely sure there's actually a point buried in all this rambling, but basically? I love you guys. For being there with me, for feeling the same way I do, for not giving me that crazy side-eye when I go on about how freaking old I feel and how I can't believe it's all ending and how I don't know wtf I'm going to do without this series.

But I repeat. It may be the end, but it's not over.

It's been eleven years, Harry Potter, you're not getting rid of me now. ♥

Thank you, guys. So much. And thank you, JKR, for making this incredible experience possible.


maxine_chan: (Default)

June 2013

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