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Five Years Later

Opinion
Posted by: Melissa
July 21, 2012, 10:04 PM

And they said we wouldn't last!


Today, in case your Muggle calendar is broken, is five years since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Five years ago most, if not all, of us were huddled over new, magical pages as we discovered the last secrets of the Harry Potter saga.

Since that time, we have been faced with questions and demands from people who know us less well than we know ourselves. What will you do? What's next? Where is the Harry Potter fandom going when it's over? I don't know about you, but I am tired of those people and those questions. We come from the age before, and are part of the age after, the glorification of enthusiasm. Part of what made Harry such a story was that no one could believe young people could be that excited about anything, much less a book. For whatever reason, it was less cool then than it is now to geek out about that which you love. Harry Potter will always be an enormous part of that evolution. For all its forbearers, for every pop culture phenomenon that led into the enormous boom of enthusiasm by which the decade of Potter was marked, Harry was the first one to break through the jaded, resisting wall of people who could not be bothered. It was the first one to make those guys seem uncool.

A lot has changed since then, but the important things have not. We still love Harry Potter; we still read Harry Potter. But we're lovers of other things too. Other books. Other series. Movies. Music. Culture. By engaging with Harry as wholly and with so much intelligence and passion, we learned how best to express a fandom: with compassion and curiosity and creativity. 

Now, geekery has become cool - nay, even hot. Showing your enthusiasm is expected. The age of being shocked that young people are obsessing over fiction, or writing their own versions of stories, or inventing music about their favorite characters, is over. It's time to unabashedly rejoice in the magic of story, and Harry Potter will always be part of why that's so very okay.

In five years from now, where will we be? Will some of us be reading the Harry Potter stories to our children? How many of us will be published novelists ourselves? Who, of those of you reading this right now, will create a TV series or movie that inspires its own fandom? When you see the unfailing joy, the unironic excitement, and clear-eyed ebullience that meaningful stories can inspire, we hope you'll think of Harry, and remember the time we all spent discovering such happiness together.

Leaky will still be here, helping chart the course. After all, a good story never dies.

Happy anniversary, everyone!

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44 Comments

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1183 Points

holy wow its been soo long, when dh came out in book form i was graduating middle school, when part 2 came out i was graduating high school. now im going to be a sophomore in college, siriusly where does the time go?! someone been using a time turner on me?!! :o

Posted by hermy007 on July 23, 2012, 01:51 AM report to moderator
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Didn’t realise it has been five years. Wow!! I am still re-reading and often get asked by my hubby if the ending has changed at all. :) I often find things that I have missed before or reminders of events etc., in the book that I loved and had forgotten about. To each his own. He loves stuff to do with the American Civil War. So well said Melissa and thanks Leaky for still being here. I always enjoy following things that are happening at this site. With Pottermore here now it means we have other ways of enjoying Harry Potter again.

Posted by Spook on July 23, 2012, 03:00 AM report to moderator
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41 Points

Very well worded.

Posted by Knitster on July 23, 2012, 03:01 AM report to moderator
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1548 Points

The very first time I dressed in a Hogwarts uniform and the very last.

Posted by DARKE: Antares Pyxis Black =:) on July 23, 2012, 04:04 AM report to moderator
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4138 Points

This was a really nice article, Mel. Makes me want to read the series again, which I think I’ll do :)

Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on July 23, 2012, 09:19 AM report to moderator
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1603 Points

What a lovely post :) I will always love Harry potter and Leaky too. I will never forget those days with endless speculation in the leaky Lounge Forums. If I ever had to conjure a patronus I would think those days :)

“In five years from now, where will we be? Will some of us be reading the Harry Potter stories to our children? "
I will definitely read HP. It will be the first real novel that I’d read to my kids. :) Along with Harry we grew up and I want my children to do so too :)

" How many of us will be published novelists ourselves? "
I dunno about being an Author but HP has definitely triggered me into writing as a hobby. Writing has now become my much-needed let out :)

“When you see the unfailing joy, the unironic excitement, and clear-eyed ebullience that meaningful stories can inspire, we hope you’ll think of Harry, and remember the time we all spent discovering such happiness together.”

Siriusly (;)). HP has become a part of our lives isn’t it ? Harry potter will always live on forever in our minds.

Thank you leaky for such a wonderful post :)

Posted by vandy[FTC] on July 23, 2012, 09:51 AM report to moderator
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190 Points

Well said, Melissa! And thank you, Leaky, for staying with us, it’ll always feel like home for me. :)

Posted by lollifant on July 23, 2012, 09:53 AM report to moderator
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10268 Points

It’s reassuring to hear that ‘Leaky will still be here.’ I’m sure I’m not the only one who has wondered where the international fandom will be able to congregate in the future, as Melissa gets ‘better offers’ from places like Pottermore and as it becomes progressively more difficult to convince potential Leaky advertisers of the size of the fan base. One thing I know for sure is that, if I were a publisher of fantasy or YA lit, I would place ads here regularly! The true believers reached on Leaky must be a gold mine for creating word-of-mouth buzz for a new or anticipated release.

Posted by WeenyOwl {The Human Deluminator} on July 23, 2012, 11:02 AM report to moderator
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70 Points

Lovely Melissa lovely.
Like some of your other correspondents I am more in the Dumbledore age group a grandfather who has had the most amazing connection with his 2 granddaughters as we read played games as members of houses watched the movies played board games did drawings and r now writing our magic stories all this while we have kept watch at Leaky the wonderful fans and their Harry experience.Would that all anniversary’s contain such absolute pleasure. Happee Anniversary all

Posted by Sol on July 23, 2012, 04:40 PM report to moderator
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@likehagridonlyshorter: What happened at the Colorado movie premiere was horrible. My thoughts are with you, and everyone who suffered (incl. the relatives etc.)

Posted by Tarana on July 23, 2012, 05:03 PM report to moderator
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Wow! Time really does fly almost faster than a thestral (or is it thestrel?). :-D

Posted by Xyra44 on July 23, 2012, 10:35 PM report to moderator
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2725 Points

Do not open until July 21st,2007. That was my 8th birthday. Even though I wasn’t a fan then,I still feel honored for some weird reason. 5 years from now,I’ll be 18,and hopefully a singer.

Posted by RereOfficially on July 26, 2012, 03:08 PM report to moderator
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I remember that day vividly, although I have only thought about it a couple times during the last 5 years. I was on vacation with family and friends and wanted to buy the book first thing in the morning. Everything kept getting in the way, breakfast, swimming pools, roller-coasters and finally we rented a boat to go tubing on a lake. Luck would have it, the boat would only seat 8 safely and we had 9. I graciously volunteered to sit out first and the moment they set sail I was in the car heading to the store to pick up two copies. When they came back to pick me up on the dock, I waved them off twice because I hadn’t finished the first chapter.

I enjoyed your post Melissa, and your book. You are so right, there have been many great books before and since, but Harry Potter was something special. It was the last book I read aloud and I think it was her thoughtfulness that provided the opportunity, eventually they get “too big” and you have to be satisfied with parallel reading.

Congratulations on 5 years. . . and vandy, you keep writing and I’ll bet someday you’ll be a great author. I enjoyed your post too!

Posted by Pem_Berley on July 26, 2012, 07:45 PM report to moderator
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5102 Points

wow! yaayyy! lol i love leaky so much!

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