Favorite weapon? The older I get, the more I like Cruise Missiles.

Moving Past Potter

By Piper Bayard and Jay Holmes

Childhood’s end. The final Harry Potter. As Holmes and I look around, we find that, with Deathly Hallows, Part II out in the theaters, we are surrounded by fans in various stages of the Kubler-Ross grief process.

  1. Denial – “No. This can’t be happening! On that YouTube video J.K. Rowling talked about Pottermore and said she’ll be sharing information she’s been hoarding all these years. There must be another book.” *re-reads whole series while telling himself next book will be out before he finishes number seven for tenth time*
  2. Anger – “What do you mean there’s no more books? What do you mean Pottermore is just milking more money out of us for the same old stories? How can this be happening to me?” *gives spare copy of book two to niece and says he never wants to see it or speak to it again*
  3. Bargaining – “Let’s start a petition. No, . . . I know. We’ll kidnap J.K. Rowling like in Misery and tell her she can have her freedom for seven more Potter books.” *slips in through niece’s window and steals spare book two back*
  4. Depression – “Dear God! Why live?” *puts on Gryffindor robes and curls up in fetal position around all seven books*
  5. Acceptance – “It’s real. It’s happening. Harry Potter is gone. I must find healthy ways to fill the void and move on.” *extracts books from soggy piles of Kleenex covering bed and puts them on shelf next to VHS tapes of Star Trek movies*

Fear not, Potter fans! Here at Bayard & Holmes, we see your suffering, and we’re here to help. We have the following suggestions to help you move beyond Harry Potter and begin to live again:

  • Develop a taste for brandy.
  • Set up a telescope in your window and get to know your neighbors.
  • Put on a gas mask and play with your household chemicals.
  • Run through an airport in your skivvies and say it’s ok, that you’re a US Airways passenger.
  • Take the foot stirrups off of your broom and use it to sweep your porch.
  • Practice fantasizing about a date with a member of the opposite sex. Someone not named Harry, Ron, or Hermione.

If you find that it’s just impossible to find a new normal in a Potterless world, we have some great news for you. The Potter series isn’t really over! We have discovered through special intelligence channels involving owls, invisible ink, and a shoe phone that J.K. Rowling has hidden many magical stories and prophesies in the existing books. But they can only be discovered by the most worthy of fans who are willing to start with book seven and read the entire series backward. Out loud.

Had we bothered to read book seven backward in time, we would have known about Professor Trelawney’s prediction of the Rupert Murdock scandal. In chapter four of book six, we would learn from Draco Malfoy that there won’t be peace in the Middle East in this year century. In the second chapter of the third book, Harry has a revelation while playing quidditch that the Chicago Cubs don’t win the World Series in this or any other decade. And in book one, chapter twenty-four, Hermione finds a forbidden missive that says Tina Fey will win the 2012 Presidential Election, and Sarah Palin will be hired as her body double to fool any potential assassins.

Where are you at in your Harry Potter grief cycle? What prophecies have you discovered while reading Harry Potter backwards?

All the best to all of you for keeping your head out of the oven.

39 thoughts on “ Moving Past Potter

  1. My favorite line: “puts on Gryffindor robes and curls up in fetal position around all seven books”. I don’t think I’ve reached any of these stages yet as I *big gasp* haven’t seen the final movie yet. maybe I’ve delaying the inevitable end, or maybe denying it?

    • Entirely possible. Sounds like you’re still experiencing anticipatory grief and delaying the inevitable. Perhaps a Potter travel tour would help out. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

    • on ,
      J H said:

      Thank you Nicole. I like your page. Good job on the Ghent article.

  2. As always, VERY entertaining post.

    I guess that I’m in my acceptance stage, mainly because I’m not a Pot-ter head. Sorry, I’m in a goofy mood….anyway, I do TOTALLY want to watch all of the movies, but in marathon order or maybe one per weekend. But, this will have to wait until the current cinema magic is on disc.

    I have wondered though, what will the MTV movie awards do now that HP and Twilight are ending?

    • Good question. My guess is they will go the way of Pottermore and find yet another way to milk it. And you never need to apologize for being “goofy” here. You should have heard some of the jokes I made about Harry’s herblore abilities and medical marijuana entrepreneurial activities. There’s a reason they didn’t make the cut. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I think I’m stuck at depression, no wait, I’m still in denial. Dang.

    Seriously great post, but when do we learn the Paul MaCartney is actually dead?

    • Start reading backward. In Book Four, Chapter 8, we see Paul McCartney’s ghost hanging out with Nearly Headless Nick, complaining about all the money he missed out on after being killed in that car crash way back when. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

    • on ,
      J H said:

      Just deny the depression and you will be fine.

      I liked your blog

      J H

  4. LOL!! I had to read this to my almost 16 year old. She (and I) loved it. I wasn’t aware of the hidden prophesies but must now go back to search for more. Great post. It helps ease the pain o withdrawal to know others feel our pain.

    • It’s true. Shared grief is often easier to bear. If necessary, Holmes and I will establish Harry Potheads Anonymous for those who are truly addicted, and we will provide personal 12-step sponsorship for a reasonable fee. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Much appreciated.

    • on ,
      J H said:

      We used our magic decoder ring and found other more concerning prophesies in book 3 but we don’t want to upset our readers.

      You have six cats? Thank you for keeping those six mangy critters out of my garden.

      J H

  5. You really should start charging for such excellent counsel.
    But in regards to taking the stirrups off my broom-what excuse will I have the next time the floor needs swept?

    • You have children, and they are all three old enough to be full time street sweepers in China. Perhaps you should be more progressive and put them to work. Then you won’t need any excuses. 🙂 That will be $50, please.

    • on ,
      J H said:

      “You really should start charging for such excellent counsel.” We tried to but we couldn’t crack the security codes on your credit card account. Beware. We are hiring an 11 year old hacker to help us.

  6. You’ve made me laugh again. For me, Harry Potter was over when Book 7 came out and I read THE END. It was a funny time, because Harry Potter was a Big Deal in our house. Then, we learned about collecting fairy wings… (kidding)

    • Lol. You’re a hoot, Catie. Now that you mention it, I think Harry Potter was over for my family and me at the end of Book 7, too. While we’ve seen all of the movies, we definitely love the books more. Thanks for your comment.

  7. on ,
    Texanne said:

    Thanks for the laughs, Piper. Much needed. Love Tiffany’s idea about a Potter marathon. Sadly, the kids in our house dumped Potter as soon as they read about the death of — nope, no spoilers from me — so we are just watching X-men all the blooming time.

    I wonder if they’re going to rent out Harry’s room at Hogwarts now? And maybe I could get a couple of those portraits for my front hall. Don’t need a pensieve–have already got Google AND Bing.

    Always a pleasure to stop by your place. 🙂

    • At least Hugh Jackman looks great in that wifebeater. 🙂

      Great point about not needing a pensieve. In fact, I wish Google and Bing would be more forgetful.

      Thanks for stopping by, Texanne. Always a pleasure to see you. Do you have a blog I can check out?

  8. Brilliant and hilarious! In a couple months (once I’m through a few more Roald Dahl books), I’m going to start reading Harry Potter aloud to my kids. That ought to be good for a blog post or two. Of course, that’s not why I’m doing it, honestly…

    • Will you be reading it aloud forward or backward? Be sure to note that in your blog. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

    • on ,
      J H said:

      You have twins. Make them take turns reading the books to you while you pretend to be meditating on the story as you nap.

  9. on ,
    J H said:

    Terrell, now that the young lady that you like gave you her phone number you don’t need Harry any more.

  10. Ha, you’re killing me. 😀

    But you forget one thing… it’s not really over. Fan fiction is still blooming, lol. No seriously, it’s scary how fan fiction keep going as though the books and movies never ended and which is scarier—never will end. O.O Ahem.

    Some scary-ass perspective there. Thanks for entertaining, Piper! 🙂

    • on ,
      J H said:

      Thanks for finally showing up. From the last chapter of the last book we divined that you would be coming by our blog today.

    • It will be interesting to observe how many ways and how long Harry Potter gets milked. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Haha, loved this post! I cope with the grief by never reading the epilogue when I reread the 7th book. 😛

    Once the movie comes out to buy, I won’t watch the ending! >.>

    • Lol. You remind me of my son with a Barney book when he was 18 mos or so. It was A Day with Barney. When we got to the part where Barney went to bed, he would start crying, so we closed the book as soon as Barney had dinner. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  13. The grieving process was hilarious! It made it easier. 😉 In reality, the entire series shows the real world to children. Some overzealous Christians thought that it’s about witchcraft but it’s not. It’s showing the real world to the children in terms of stories. I’m sure this one will be a classic that will be read through all generation because of the universality of the themes.

    • Good point, Marilag. Harry Potter may be fantasy, but its themes are very real and important, addressing longings, choices, and problems that we all face. I think that’s the basis of the books’ appeal. Thank you for your comment and for stopping by.

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  15. I’m somewhere between denial and grief. I refuse to see this last movie. And I’m crying all the time. So. Yeah.

    Great post, Piper. In a heart-wrenching kind of way.

    Rowling is such a bitch. (Wait, I might be moving toward anger…)

    • Lol. Didn’t you say you have a cabin in the woods where no one could hear her screams? It is hard to move on from the stories that grow with us. I love Harry. Especially the books. And I have so many fond memories of my children growing up along with him. I’ll miss him, too, but we will find new stories. I’m sure of it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment.

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