Our Harry Potter picnic was rained out this year, but it didn’t stop us. We moved our picnic indoors, and we sat around and talked about the last of the Harry Potter novels, eating Chris' Dementors Demise cupcakes.
We were four 40-something adults, a couple of teenagers, and a college student, and we were all talking at once more often than not. Trying to get someone to listen to what you had to say was a challenge. Everyone had extremely strong views on so many topics, and you wanted to say your piece before you lost your train of thought.
My kids are the perfect ages to have grown up with this series. It is a ride that we all willingly took together, impatiently waiting for the next leg of the journey. We read all of the Harry Potter books aloud, which isn’t easy to do when you’re crying. Many was the time that everyone had to wait for me to collect myself as I wiped away tears and waiting for the quaver in my voice to subside.
The following questions and answers touch on the high spots of our conversation, but plot spoilers abound, so beware.
What made you cry?
Hedwig, Dobby, Mrs. Weasley giving Harry the watch, Hagrid carrying Harry’s body out of the Forbidden Forest, Fred, Ron speaking up for the house elves, Harry wanting his mother by his side as he prepared to lay his life down, Oliver Wood with Colin Creevey.
What did you love?
Ron coming back, Mrs. Weasley being underestimated by Bellatrix Lestrange, Harry getting to talk to Dumbledore, Hermione’s beaded bag and her ability to always think about what needs to be done, Neville killing the basilisk, Luna’s kindness, Dudder’s halting realization that he owed Harry much, Percy’s redemption, everyone coming through the portrait to join the battle, Ron speaking Parseltongue, Harry fixing his wand, finding out Snape’s story and why Dumbledore was always so sure about him
What didn’t you get?
Why did Harry have the choice of whether to come back—was it because he was the Master of Death? Why did Harry have to lose Hedwig? Why were Tonks and Lupin so irresponsible? How does George get on with his life? Why the good guys would not use the unforgivable curses even though it meant having to fight the bad guys time and again.
Were you satisfied?
Resoundingly, our crowd was. If the epilogue did not provide enough details for you, check out this interview that J.K. Rowling did shortly after the book was released (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19959323).