Seven years ago, the world said it was the end of an era. News outlets prepared for what they thought - and perhaps hoped - would be their final coverage of the Harry Potter phenomenon. While small bookstores celebrated alongside readers, big box stores were gearing up for “one last midnight release.”
Seven years ago, we knew better. We were ready. We were decked out from head to toe, friends new and old by our side and wand at the ready. Maybe we were lining up, filling stores and sidewalks with our excited chatter, shutting down Harvard Yard with our music movement, pushing our favorite fansites’ servers to their limits. We were loud because we knew the rest of the night would be spent in silence. We knew we’d be reading well into daylight. We knew better.
Despite that, parts of us were scared that - beyond all reason - they were right. Scared that it would inexplicably fizzle out, that this would be the last time, that we’d reunite briefly for the remaining movies and then move on. We knew this wouldn’t happen, but fear resists reason and we were scared.
Seven years later, we’re still going strong and it’s easy to laugh at those fleeting concerns. It’s easier still to forget that we made this happen. We made conscious decisions to keep the Harry Potter community alive, to talk about what we’d just read and wonder what would happen next. Even when the first wave of discussion died down, the fandom went on. We hadn’t stopped loving Harry Potter. We’d only just begun.
Seven years ago, the Harry Potter Alliance was still just starting out. We made some big strides and had some - okay, more than just some - big ideas. In the time since then, you’ve helped us make some incredible moments possible. There are already too many campaigns, discussions, and memories to nail down in one tidy list. This fandom’s commitment to Harry Potter and each other is what made those big ideas possible and makes them possible still.
In just a few minutes, it’ll be midnight again and we’ll be celebrating the book that brought us all together - not for the first time and not for the last - seven years ago.
But first, we want to celebrate this community: the one that saw Harry through until the very end, the one that already has new things to count down to, the one that knows know what it knew then.