Five Years Later

1585

Jul 21, 2012

Posted by Melissa Anelli

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!





45 Responses to Five Years Later

Avatar ImageMelly96 says: I can't believe its been 5 years already!!! :) Avatar ImageMelly96 says: I can't believe its been 5 years already!!! :) Avatar ImageElwood J. Blues says: Until the very end.Avatar Imagemoonyprof says: My niece and nephew just fell in love with Harry Potter. They went as Harry and Hermione on Halloween, and just two days ago, my sister sent me a picture of my nephew eating breakfast in his Hogwarts robes. I just don't worry about this anymore.Avatar Imagemuggle..andproudofit says: Five years? Wow it doesn't seem like that long ago, Wow. " After all this time? " "Always ."Avatar Imageforgetmenot_007 says: Woah,five whole years...we've been queuing up in front of bookstores to lay our hands on our precious copies of the book, the waiting part was so much enjoyable and exciting! All dressed up in Harry Potter costumes, wands in our hands, excited speculations about whether Dumbledore is really dead, whether Snape is really evil...and so many other questions. We've got our answers, but the magic lives on...always.Avatar Image says: WOW!!Avatar Imagegexpert says: 5 years already! And we still stuck together. Long live the fandom!Avatar Imagegexpert says: Harry Potter inspired me write story too!Avatar ImageJanedalekcool says: Very beautiful words and so true!)) Avatar Imagecharvi says: waiting for more such anniversaries to come...CHEERS!!Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: I vividly remember running out to my mailbox at the end of my driveway on that hot July day to retrieve my copy in its white box from Amazon. Sigh... time has flown.Avatar ImageWeenyOwl says: It's stunning to realize that five years have already passed. For me at least, the hunger for more has not diminished in the least. I try to fill the void with other books, and hope to live to see another series in my lifetime that will engage me emotionally the way that only the Harry Potter books and 'The Lord of the Rings' have done, by describing a secondary reality with such vividness that I want to go live there. While I wait, I have the pleasure of connecting with others in the fandom who have been similarly affected, and I value that very highly. So cheers to all of you who have been, and will be, with Harry to the very end!Avatar ImageNoei says: Well said and I am glad someone did. I am finishing the books for the well you know.. and have just started the last... and yeah still 'hot'! Avatar Imagekatelyner123 says: Woot!!!! HP is truly the best story- it's own genre of music, theme parks around the globe, ahs the best actors, has the best fans and meaning- yet muggles still don't understand and judge us and treat us like we can't go along with life properly. Well, it's a good thing we're HP fans because we can resistthose people with love and compassion- after, they're just muggles, right? It is amazing to me that I am part of something so big- it's really hard to wrap my mind around the enitre fandom because I'm in it, and it's incredbly blessing to be able to call myself a HP fan. Years from now, I'll be doing what I am now- loving HP and doing things in the world inspired by HP. :DAvatar Imagekatelyner123 says: Woot!!!! HP is truly the best story- it's own genre of music, theme parks around the globe, ahs the best actors, has the best fans and meaning- yet muggles still don't understand and judge us and treat us like we can't go along with life properly. Well, it's a good thing we're HP fans because we can resistthose people with love and compassion- after, they're just muggles, right? It is amazing to me that I am part of something so big- it's really hard to wrap my mind around the enitre fandom because I'm in it, and it's incredbly blessing to be able to call myself a HP fan. Years from now, I'll be doing what I am now- loving HP and doing things in the world inspired by HP. :DAvatar Image2tal says: Our son is autistic and dyslexic and reading has always been a huge challenge for him. He loves stories, we still read together every night, and retains them but reading has mostly been beyond reach. Trying to engage him with the HP stories was hard. While they start out in an almost fairy tale fashion they quickly introduce big concepts: cruelty, bullying, death, friendship, loyalty, and love. These concepts also made it hard for our son (and daughter) to be willing to hear them. So I did what every sneaky parent does, I gave him an HP game. And he did start to read the short in-game bits to inform his game play. The unknown side effect was it engaged his younger sister too who, as any younger sibling knows, wanted to do what her older sibling was doing. Just this summer, his 12th year, we were on a long road trip and I put on the first book in the car on my iPhone; both kids were hooked! We have tutored him in reading every summer for years and this year he is reading, and excited about, Harry Potter. It has been a long journey and it isn't over yet but I can't thank JKR enough for writing these stories. My wife and I love them (and still re-read them) but seeing them through the eyes of our son may be an even greater joy.Avatar ImageLunaLuver says: I remember so vividly, the first time I laid my hands on Deathly Hallows, right in the middle of the store, I cried. :) Cant believe its been five years, and they've been the best five years of the HP fandom. We've all been a part of something so big, and that makes me so very proud. To know I've added to the wild, wonderfulness of these past ten years. And will continue to do so. Harry Potter will live on in our hearts, always. :')Avatar ImageKeyCloak75 says: It's quite amazing how in these past few years, the fandom has grown <3 Avatar ImageBookworm Jen says: Beautifully said, *Melissa*! ??Leaky will still be here, helping chart the course. After all, a good story never dies.?? This made me tear up as much as Jo's line about Hogwarts being there to welcome us home!Avatar ImageLillylove says: Thanks, Melissa for this wonderful reflection! Harry will no doubt live forever in each of us.Avatar Imagejacket says: Five years, wow, I can still picture myself at home siting at my kitchen table nearing the end of DH and telling my mom 'I just want to finish, and then I'll go to bed' It's been a while since then, and a lot has changed, but as always, my love for HP has stayed with me and I think will forever. Some things never fade, and for us, a love of Harry is one of those things. Five years from now, I have no doupt that I will still be re-reading HP and having mini movie marathons by myself and with the few friends I have that will still love HP as much as I do.Avatar ImageRaytheforgottenWeasley says: Happy Anniversary to us all!Avatar ImageEeyore says: Well said, Melissa. Except that it's not just people of your generation who were enthusiastic, and still are, about Harry Potter. I'm considerably older than most of you, I suspect. But I've been every bit as involved. I love the books, love listening to them and love the movies. Since it's been five years and I'm still re-reading them, I don't think that will change in another five years - or ten. My daughters were in college and finishing high school when we all started reading the books and having wonderful discussions. We went to midnight book releases and midnight movies. Those are special memories that we share. In five years my grandson will be six. I still think that's a little young for the series, but we'll see. So it might be 7 or 8 years before I am reading the books to him. He loves books already so I have high hopes that the Harry Potter books are something we can share. But you are so right in saying that Harry Potter made it OK for all of us to be engaged in a story in a way that I had never seen in my life time. I wonder if that's what it was like when people lined up waiting for the next part of a Dickens story to come out. I would think it would be similar. But what makes Harry Potter even more special is that there are so many other things for people to do with movies, television, computers. And it is really cool that books brought us all together. Very cool. Avatar ImageTarana says: I can't believe it's been five years. Yes, I've read other books, whole series even, but my heart still gives a little jolt, when I spot a Harry Potter book in the store, the library, or - best of all - when someone is reading it in the train or bus. And I still feel the urge to try to get children to read the books. Sadly, I don't have many nieces/nephews, and some even think that seeing the movies is enough. Whaaat? How can they not realise that the books are so much better and more fun, and would give them much more insight, etc, etc? But I guess, it's different now. There aren't even anymore new HP movies to look forward to. I refuse to be sad, though. I intend to reread the books again, soon.Avatar ImageMudblood_and_proud says: it feels so much longer than that! i remember my younger sister was obsessed with the books in 2007 but i was just a sometimes reader, then on the day of the release, we all went down to our local book store and lined up with hundreds of others all dressed up in costumes. At that moment when i saw all those people, I realised, Harry Potter was awesome, and that this was my family, my fan family, and that for once, I was home. Harry Potter has changed my life forever. I am still a dedicated fan and I still wonder if I didn't have Harry Potter, would my life be different? The answer would be hell yes. I would not be typing this right now, but perhaps doing chores, or homework. Life without Potter would suck. Thanks to all of you who shared the journey with me, it has been such a blast. Even though the journey will never be over, I just wanted to say, without you nerds, I wouldn't be who I am today. THANKS TO YOU ALL!! <3Avatar ImageMad But Happy says: WOW, I can't believe that... Here's to 5 more years!Avatar ImageG.Weasley says: WOOHOO! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HARRY!Avatar ImageRin68nyr says: 5 years...wow! But I take exception to the references to "young people"...I'm not so young anymore, but I love HP...and geekery! And there are lots of others my age and older who are as well! We read them to children, or found them some other way, and fell in love with them just like the "young people"Avatar Imagesessionka says: I still get wistful every time I drive by a "Barnes and Noble". I do miss the Midnight Release Parties. I'm so greatful I was part of the experience as it originally unfolded.Avatar Imagelikehagridonlyshorter says: Five years. I've now lost track of how many times I've finished the books. But every time I finish Deathly Hallows, I feel like it's time to start Sorcerer's Stone again. I'm not heavily involved in fandom, though I did go to midnight releases for the last two books. It never occured to me that someone could turn a midnight party into a thing of evil, but here in Colorado we have our own Voldemort now, and for many of us now refuse to use his name. Not fear of the name, just respect for the hundreds and hundreds of victims, whether they were in the theatre or not.Avatar Imagehermy007 says: 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?!! :oAvatar ImageSpook says: 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.Avatar Imageknitster says: Very well worded. Avatar Image says: The very first time I dressed in a Hogwarts uniform and the very last.Avatar Imagewandmastercalum says: This was a really nice article, Mel. Makes me want to read the series again, which I think I'll do :) Avatar Imagevandy says: 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 :)Avatar Imagelollifant says: Well said, Melissa! And thank you, Leaky, for staying with us, it'll always feel like home for me. :)Avatar ImageWeenyOwl says: 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.Avatar ImageSol says: 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 Avatar ImageTarana says: @likehagridonlyshorter: What happened at the Colorado movie premiere was horrible. My thoughts are with you, and everyone who suffered (incl. the relatives etc.)Avatar ImageXyra44 says: Wow! Time really does fly almost faster than a thestral (or is it thestrel?). :-DAvatar ImageGryffindorGirl7 says: 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.Avatar ImagePem_Berley says: 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! Avatar Imageamelia 1-2-3- says: wow! yaayyy! lol i love leaky so much!

Write a Reply or Comment

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.