It’s hard to say goodbye to the Boy Who Lived

It’s been a little over a month now since “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II” hit theaters and I am still recovering. The tears have dried, but a sense of hollowness remains. A part of me is missing and that part belongs to none other than The Boy Who Lived. If you too have been warped by an inexplicable sadness since July 15, take heart in the fact that you are not alone. Call me mental (I know Ron would), but even the experts at Urban Dictionary have penned an explanation for this emptiness inside: PPD, also known as Post-Potter Depression.

Here’s the diagnosis:

The feeling that a chunk of your heart was just ripped out after having finished “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” knowing that you will never again feel the anticipation, the excitement, the prerelease hype that always accompanies a Harry Potter book release.

Example: After gloating that she was right about Snape all along, post-Potter depression kicked in and the girl locked herself in her room for a week straight, continuously sobbing and shouting ridiculous incantations at the door trying to make it turn into a portal to Hogwarts.

In other words, it is as if a dementor is looming over you all the time and you will never be happy again. Ever.

But in all seriousness, our generation’s link between the end of Harry Potter and the end of our childhood has raised a lot of deep-seeded personal questions, the number one being: What do I have to look forward to without Harry?

Ever since I was 13 years old I have measured time by Harry Potter. I’d fall asleep thinking, ‘only one year until the next book comes out,’ ‘six months until the next film,’ ‘12 hours until Rupert Grint’s on Regis and Kelly.’

I spent days speculating when the new teaser trailer would air and how early was too early to stand in line at Barnes and Noble on release day.

I thought of time as something to dispose of and throw over my shoulder. And now it’s as if I’ve lost my watch and am desperately flailing my arms behind my back in an effort to catch all of those minutes while screaming ‘Accio time!’ like some kind of lunatic (what I wouldn’t give for one of Hermione’s time-turners).

Yet, recently I was struck by the thought that things could have turned out a whole lot worse.

On Monday in my creative nonfiction class we were assigned a “what if” type of essay, and it got me thinking: What if Harry Potter wasn’t “The Boy Who Lived,” but “The Boy Who Lived for 17 Years and then Died?”

Take a moment and let the horribleness of that long-winded title sink in.

Now imagine if that was the world we were living in.

I’m as confident as Dumbledore was in Snape’s loyalty that we all would be suffering a great deal more if that was the end of the story.

So on a brighter note, instead of being gripped by a paralyzing sadness for the loss of our childhood every few hours, let’s be grateful for having that kind of childhood at all. Where reading was the most fun you could have on summer vacation (a fact that still blows my little brother’s video game gun-slinging generation away).

In “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” Sirius Black tells Harry: “the ones that love us never really leave us.”

Similarly, I believe the ones that we love in return never really leave us either — and Harry Potter is no exception. We have him on our bookshelves and in our DVD players, and quite frequently on ABC Family.

Yet most significantly we have him (as Sirius points to Harry’s chest and the sobbing starts up again) in our hearts.

_Emily is a junior in LAS._