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.