Friday, July 15, 2011

This Story Lives Forever

          That gripping scene, in which the green and the red flashes of curses emanating respectively from Voldemort’s and Harry’s wand collided, took my breath away for several seconds. Neville, drawing the Gryffindor sword up and slashing the basilisk, the last container of Voldemort’s ripped soul, became an unsung hero and helped defeat the most powerful dark wizard of all; in that glorious instance, the green flash weakened and the red one struck Tom Riddle who dissipated into a million pieces of black soot. And I was able to breathe.

          That was the end of it all. I thought I was going to cry but, hey, who doesn’t want to eradicate Lord Voldy? Some folks, with conviction, say their childhood ended with the last installation of the Harry Potter movies. But for me I can say my childhood lives forever with such epic literature. I admit I happened to be a late admirer when I’d started reading the books in the dark of the night – no, not the paperbacks nor the hardbounds but the electronic versions on my BlackBerry phone through a PDF reader application – just in November of 2010 and I’d read all seven books in about three months. And hell yeah, I couldn’t stop myself from devouring each page until four o’clock in the morning. I’ve come to realize that perhaps the reading experience would be much enjoyable when you are older and more capable of understanding the lengthy prose endowed with difficult words, some of which are actually of British origin. If you are thoroughly reading each book like me, you will find yourself grabbing a dictionary from time to time. And blimey, you won’t find a single tosh in every assiduously written chapter. Thus until now I don’t believe that the novels should be classified as children’s, not when there is an insistence of death as part of the theme and Ginny kissing boyfriends at dim corridors of Hogwarts, but they are certainly a coming-of-age story. Nonetheless, any twelve-year-old would want to grab and read a book front-covered with a vibrant, watercolored picture of a boy wearing glasses, holding a wand, and riding on a huge bird. Who wouldn’t be curious? Definitely I was when, for the first time, I saw the second, third, and fourth book in our high school library during my first year but I was more disappointed when later on I found out that the first book, The Sorcerer’s Stone, was not there. So I didn’t let myself be fooled, did I? Well I still enjoyed the read eventhough I was already in my early twenties. I can still tell my children someday that this historic novel was written during my childhood and who knows, there might be film remakes nineteen years from now.

           My most favorite part of the recent movie, which didn’t come to me as a surprise, was the revelation about one of the hated characters in the novel Severus Snape, who, despite of his affiliation with the Dark Lord, turned out to be loyal to Albus Dumbledore and carried on with the plan to protect Harry sacrificing his own life in the end all for the love of Harry’s mother Lily. The expression of his fondness for the woman was admirable. After all, can we judge him based on his means alone rather than the noble ends of his actions? Does the moral conundrum “The ends do not justify the means” apply? Well I don’t see anything else he can do with his situation considering that he was once a Death Eater and eventually regretted it out of fear for the life of Lily when he knew that Voldemort, after learning about the ambiguous prophecy, was targeting to kill Harry Potter whom he had chosen instead of Neville Longbottom. Of course James and Lily were ready to die to protect Harry and their death was never put in vain for Lily’s love produced a protective charm that enveloped Harry. Voldemort had never understood such enchantment of love that transcends any form of magic and accidentally created a horcrux in Harry which explains the connection between them. In short, Voldemort had lost his brain at the same exact moment he ripped his soul seven times. For similar reasons, Snape, the halfblood prince, as Harry told his son Albus Severus, was discerned as the bravest wizard ever known and rested with his unrequited love.

              The conclusion of the story happened when Harry decided to break the Elder Wand into two. That was the most valiant thing for me that he, as a member of the Gryffindor house, did. He knew he deserved to be the most powerful wizard by winning the Elder Wand, one of the three Deathly Hallows, and by becoming invincible but he refused to gain that prerogative and chose to live a normal life. The three Deathly Hallows – the Elder Wand for absolute strength and pomposity; the Resurrection Stone for revitalization and regeneration; and the Invisibility Cloak for evasion and elusion – are all means of defying death and are no better than Horcruxes or dark objects used for preserving a part of one's soul. The whole story teaches us about the beautiful mystery of death and why we shouldn’t fear the unknown. I learned that death is nobler when you have somebody or something to die for. We might have come to the demise of this story but this story will definitely live forever in the hearts of those who had been with “the boy who lived” from the very beginning.

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