Tag Archives: harry potter

Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something – Part 1

A couple months ago, my sister and I got back from an epically splendiferious adventure to Harry Potter World Orlando.  We were completely immersed in the Wizarding World for three magical days.  We sipped butterbeer, got fitted for wands, and dined at The Leaky Cauldron.  We walked through Hogwarts, road the Hogwarts Express, and even took a walk through Gringotts Bank.  It was truly a wonderland for us Potterheads…and I still find myself daydreaming about how much fun we had on that trip.

Needless to say, I returned with a deep desire to jump back into the Harry Potter series.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read Harry Potter, but since I’m now in my 30’s and considered an adult (boo), I tried recording some thoughts that popped into my head as I re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

I also decided to invest in the illustrated editions of the first two Harry Potter books (the third one is due out later this year!), so I’ve also included some beautiful illustrations from the book in case you haven’t seen how insanely amazing this book is…

Despite some of my commentary here, I have to say that I love this series even more now than I did when I first read it.  I think I have a deeper understanding for the language and the story now, and as a student of literature, I feel like I can better understand the depth of the characters and how 3-dimentional they were, even before the first movie came out.

The themes that softly hide under the bigger messages about friendship and bravery are what really make this series for me, particularly in Sorcerer’s Stone.  The Mirror of Erised chapter still remains one of my favorite parts of the series, and Dumbledore’s simple message, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live…”, has stayed with me since the moment I read it all those years ago.

Harry’s struggle to accept the fact that his parents are dead also hit me in a different way this time…as I felt like I could relate to Harry in a way I couldn’t before.  What I originally thought was an annoying quality in his character had morphed into something much more understandable this time around, and I found myself sympathizing with Harry, perhaps even relating to him.

I hope you enjoy these fun little thoughts that popped into my head as I re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!  Stay tuned for part 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, coming soon!

Thoughts I’ve Had Reading Harry Potter Again as a 30-Something

Part 1:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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Why didn’t Hagrid tell Harry how to get onto the platform?

If Voldemort truly wanted to kill Harry, was a spell REALLY necessary? I mean he was one year old!

How did NO ONE see a whole slew of wizards running into a wall in the busy London underground?
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What is the point of bringing a toad to Hogwarts?
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Is there a deeper meaning to “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”? Am I missing something?  TO POTTERMORE!!  (the theories on this are a bit of a stretch…but interesting!).

How do they keep track of House Points? Are Professors responsible for keeping track of how many points they give and take?
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Can we just agree that the Remembrall is literally the most pointless invention ever?

Did Hermione rock out to The Spice Girls?

How can Harry be the greatest Seeker in a century and not be able to catch an envelope from an air full of envelopes?

I would just like to point out that in the illustrated version of Sorcerer’s Stone, you can see that there’s a beer shop under the bookstore.  This, IMHO, is brilliant.
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Dumbledore: “And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death.”  Da-fuk kind of school is this?

The first-years were 11 when they just left their homes for like 8 months of the year. Did any first-years have separation anxiety from their parents?

Does Hogwarts have a fine arts program?

Why would anyone play Quidditch? Like, seriously…this game seems suuuuper deadly.

If every door in the castle can be opened with ‘Alohomora’, including the one with the 3-headed dog behind it, why do these doors even have locks on them? Take a lesson from Gringotts, guys!

Man, it takes a long time for this wizard trinity to become official friends.

I wonder if Ron and Hermione reminisce about the first time they met on the train…

The Mirror of Erised is still one of my favorite Harry Potter chapters.
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Neville is adorable.

HOLD ON…Harry gets caught out of bed at night and gets 150 points taken away from Gryffindor AND has detention in the Forbidden Forest AND has to face Voldemort?? He only got 10 points for saving Hermione’s LIFE!  Someone NEEDS to sort out her priorities!

How does the Sorcerer’s Stone even work? How does it turn any metal into gold and produce the Elixir of Life?  Is this like a stone soup thing?

How did Quirrell survive with a face on the back of his face? How did he shower or sleep or poop?
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ALAS, EARWAX!!

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Harry Potter House Bears

Founded by Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – the educational system in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series – is divided into four houses or communities, each named after one of the founding members of the school.

When students come to Hogwarts, they are sorted into one of four houses, so labeled Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.  Each house has its own qualities and dynamics and students are sorted based on whether or not they share those qualities with any given house.

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Each house has its own mascot and house colors.  Gryffindor’s sport maroon and gold wearables, while Hufflepuff students wears black and yellow.  Ravenclaws are silver and blue and Slytherins are green and silver.

Whether it’s walking the halls of Hogwarts or attending a Quidditch game, each student is extremely loyal to their house and they wear their house colors proudly…and these little teddy bears are no exception!

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Each wearing a turtle neck in the Hogwarts house colors, these little crocheted teddy bears are beaming with house pride!

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Sold as a set of 4, these crocheted teddy bears are available for sale at my Between the Pages Etsy shop.  Head on over and check them out!

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Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Stacked Marauder’s Mugs

Every true Harry Potter fan knows about the four Marauders.  A group of Gryffindor friends made up of Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and James Potter, the four attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 1970s and had a serious knack for rule-breaking…

The truest of friends during their time at Hogwarts, Pettigrew, Black, and Potter all became unregistered Animagi (a wizard who can turn into an animal) in order to protect their friend, Lupin, who was a werewolf.  Pettigrew’s Animagus was a rat, making him small enough to slip under the Whomping Willow so the group could go to the Shrieking Shack, where Lupin would stay during his time as a werewolf.  Black – a dog – and Potter – a stag – were both big enough as animals to help control Remus during his monthly transformations.

In order to protect their identity, the four Marauders gave each other names that nodded to their animal counterparts.  Throughout the Harry Potter series, these four are known as Moony (Lupin), Wormtail (Pettigrew), Padfoot (Black) and Prongs (Potter).

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Towards the end of their education, Remus, Peter, Sirius, and James created the Marauder’s Map, a small, bewitched roll of parchment that displayed the castle grounds and inhabitants of Hogwarts – including all staff, ghosts, and students – in great detail.  It showed where everyone was in the castle so the boys could continue their mischievous ways without getting caught, as well as help Lupin escape the castle when the full moon rose and he would begin his transformation.

At an unspecified point in time, the map was discovered and confiscated by Hogwarts caretaker, Argus Filch…and remained in his custody until Fred and George Weasley stole the map in their first year and later passed it on to James’s son, Harry, in 1993.

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Much of the history of the Four Marauders is introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and continues to come up now and again throughout the remainder of the story.

Designed to pay homage to the four Marauder’s, these stacking bowls each feature the name of one of the Marauder’s, as well as the footprint of their animal counterparts on the back.

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Great for holding snacks, treats, or just odds and ends on your desk, these stacking bowls are a must for any Harry Potter fan, and are available for purchase at my Between the Pages Etsy shop!

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Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Harry Potter Book Cover Charms

Looking for a cute and easy gift idea for the bookworm in your life? Look no further, because these little book cover charms are just the most adorable thing in the universe.

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Everyone loves a gift that’s meaningful and budget-friendly, and that’s exactly what this Harry Potter Book Cover Charms Set is…

Made using a template and Polymer clay, these little charms can be used as ornaments, gift tags, or even wine charms for a literary party (I’m talking to you, book clubbers!).

I’ve attached the template I created to make these Harry Potter books, but you could make charms with any book covers you’d like! How cute would these look hanging from a Christmas tree or birthday gift? I’m just in love with them!

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I used regular printer paper to create these little charms, but if you can print on stiffer paper or cardstock, that might work better. The printer paper was a bit flimsy and didn’t really stick to the clay, but that’s nothing a little Mod Podge can’t fix! I’m gonna try cardstock next time and see if that works any better.

I literally can’t wait to create more of these little book charms! I might even make a garland that I can hang around my bookshelves or around my Christmas tree next year!

OK, I need to simmer down…

Harry Potter Book Cover Charms

Materials:

  • Harry Potter book cover template
  • Scissors
  • Polymer clay, in color of your choice
  • Clay rolling pin
  • Craft knife
  • Mod Podge glue
  • Brush
  • Quick-Dry tacky glue
  • Baker’s twine

Instructions:

  1. Print out your book covers on thick paper or cardstock, if you can.  Regular paper will work, but the stiffer paper will work better.  Cut out your book covers.
  2. Roll out your clay to about 1/4 in. thickness.  Place your book covers on the clay and, using your clay roller, gently press the covers into the clay.  It won’t be a secure stick, but the paper will stick better as the charms bake.  Using the craft knife, cut out the covers.
  3. Using the leftover clay, create seven little discs, about the size of your pinky nail.  These will help secure the string to the back of the charm.
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  4. Bake your covers and discs following package instructions.  Watch your clay, though.  It may bake a lot faster than you think!
  5. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  6. Once cool, use a brush to add a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of each book cover.  This will give your books a nice shine and will also help secure the paper to the clay.  Let dry.
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  7. Turn your covers over and add a small amount of tacky glue to the back.  Cut a piece of baker’s twine, about 3 – 4 in. long.  Fold in half.  Place two ends in glue, making sure loop rises above your charm.  Secure twine with small clay disc.  Let dry completely.
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Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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21 Children’s Books Every Adult Should Read Again

Have you ever decided to revisit an old book and thought to yourself, “man, forgot how much I love this!”. Well this list is filled with books that will give you that old nostalgic feeling that will instantly take you back to days of yore…however far back they may be!

From childhood favorites to tweeny tales, this collection of 21 Children’s Books Every Adult Should Read Again is sure to reawaken your love for these classics. Best of all, most of these are super quick reads that you can enjoy between finishing up Game of Thrones or Girl on the Train.

And the list doesn’t stop here! Several children’s books have adult themes that go right over the heads of kids. Going back and re-reading these stories will not only give you a new appreciation for the work, but will give you an excuse to enjoy these books with your own family!

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Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak
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In a Word: A story about a little boy, isolated in his own world, who travels to a magical land filled with loveable monsters and becomes King of the Wild Things.
Common Themes: Isolation, Growth, Friendship, Imagination

Charlotte’s Web
E.B. White
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In a Word: A pig and a spider develop a sweet friendship, and together they learn about everything from love to loss.
Common Themes: Friendship, Acceptance, Mortality, Growth

The Sneeches
Dr. Seuss
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In a Word: A group of bird-like creatures called Sneeches alter their appearances again and again to fit in with “the popular crowd”.
Common Themes: Belonging, Acceptance, Bullying

The Lorax
Dr. Seuss
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In a Word: The Lorax is a creature that speaks for the trees and he battles against “The Big Man” to save the forest from the expansion and advancement of technology.
Common Themes: Bravery, Enviornmental Awareness

Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein
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In a Word: A collection of short humorous poems covering a variety of topics and themes. Also includes tons of Silverstein’s iconic illustrations.
Common Themes: Humor, Aging, Family, Poetry

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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In a Word: An explorer crashes on his way home and meets a little prince who opens his eyes to the beauty of life and the world around him. Simosaniously beautiful and heartbreaking.
Common Themes: Isolation, Wisdom, Love, Friendship

The Phantom Tollbooth
Norton Juster
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In a Word: A little boy receives a make-believe tollbooth. When he drives through it in his toy car, he’s transported to the Lands Beyond where he encounters several characters along the way…similar in style to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Common Themes: Adventure, Learning, Education, Problem Solving

The Polar Express
Chris Van Allsburg
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In a Word: A little boy boards a magical train to the North Pole, where he meets Santa Claus and learns the true meaning of Christmas.
Common Themes: Christmas, Believing, Growth, Imagination

The Giver
Lois Lawry
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In a Word: A young boy spends time with an old man who is responsible for keeping the community’s memories. Along the way, he learns the dangerous truths of the community’s secret past.
Common Themes: Society, Humanity, Memory

The Harry Potter Series
J.K. Rowling
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In a Word: A young wizard learns about friendship, bravery, love and more during his seven years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Common Themes: Friendship, Bravery, Magic, Education

A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket
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In a Word: Three young children are sent off to live with their distant relative, Count Olaf. When they learn he’s a cruel, scheming man, the children escape and embark on a collection of adventures.
Common Themes: Courage, Cleverness, Youth

Anne of Green Gables
L.M. Montgomery
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In a Word: A young girl is adopted by an older couple and quickly becomes the joy of everyone’s life.
Common Themes: Adoption, Friendship, Beauty, Wonder, Language

Walk Two Moons
Sharon Creech
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In a Word: Two stories are woven together, one funny, one bitterswee, to create a heartwarming and compelling story about a girl and her mother.
Common Themes: Loss and Grief, Growth, Mother and Daughter

The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank
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In a Word: The diary of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who hid in an attack with her family to escape the Nazis during World War 2.
Common Themes: Bravery, History, Judiasm, Language, Beauty, Courage

Amelia Bedelia
Peggy Parish
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In a Word: A young nanny always does exactly what she’s told…but somehow things just never turn out right.
Common Themes: Humor, Wit, Word Play

Peter Pan
J.M. Barrie
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In a Word: A story about a young boy who can never grow up. Both sweet and sad and enjoyable for kids of all ages.
Common Themes: Abandonment, Growth, Aging, Friendship, Family

Watership Down
Richard Adams
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In a Word: A group of rabbits journey from their home to escape the invasion of man.
Common Themes: Man and Nature, Power, Fear, Freedom

Love You Forever
Robert Munsch
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In a Word: A short and sweet story about the love for children and parents.
Common Themes: Family, Love, Loss and Grief, Aging

The Trumpet of the Swan
E.B. White
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In a Word: A young swan is unable to trumpet joyfully like his brothers and sisters. When his father presents him with a real brass trumpet, Louis the swan uses it to try to win the affection of a fellow lady swan.
Common Themes: Family, Persistence

The New Kid on the Block
James Stevenson
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In a Word: A collection of funny and witty poetry that is a joy for kids of all ages.
Common Themes: Poetry, Humor, Wit

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Laura Joffe Numeroff
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In a Word: A story about how every action equals another action or reaction.
Common Themes: Giving, Action and Reaction

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Deathly Hallows-Inspired Necklace

Made up of a triangle, circle, and vertical line, the Deathly Hallows symbol is one all Harry Potter fans are sure to recognize. Made to resemble the Elder Wand (the line), the Resurrection Stone (the circle), and the Cloak of Invisibility (the triangle), the Deathly Hallows sign represents three legendary objects that allegedly, if united, would make one the “Master of Death”. This symbol appears several times towards the end of the Harry Potter series and has become a mark several Potterheads now wear with pride.

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If you want to sport this sign and join the ranks of Death Conquerors, you can create your own Deathly Hallows necklace with only a few simple materials! I made two different versions…so if you don’t like the free form look of one, you can reference the tighter look of the other.

 

Materials:

  • Long Gold Metal Chain
  • 2-4 Gold Jump Rings (or make your own!)
  • Gold Wand Charm
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • 20 Gauge Gold Wire

 

Directions:

  1. OPTIONAL: I didn’t have jump rings in the correct color for this project, so I just made my own using the 20-gauge wire. There are TONS of tutorials on YouTube for how to make your own jump rings. If you want to make your own, make 2-5 jump rings before jumping in to this project so they’re all ready to go.
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  2. To make the circle, I used a bottle cap to act as a template for the wire. I just cut a small piece and fed it into the inner part of the bottle cap to form a circle. Twist the two ends of the wire around the circle to secure it in place.
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  3. For the triangle, I created a small loop on one end of the wire, then drew a small triangle on a piece of paper. Line up the wire along the template to form your triangle, then feed the wire back through the loop to secure the triangle. Trim and turn the remaining wire into another loop to make it easier to attach it to the necklace.
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  4. Once you’ve created your circle and triangle, add jump rings to both pieces, as well as the wand charm. This step is also optional, but I made a larger jump ring and attached all pieces together so the chain only had to feed through one ring.
  5. If you want a tighter look, you can make the circle and triangle out of one piece of wire. For this option, I made the circle first, then wrapped the excess wire around the circle to form the triangle, securing it at the base of the circle. Attach the circle and wand charms to one jump ring and feed the chain through the ring.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

911Xmhn9+rLSPOILERS AHEAD.  You’ve been warned.

I am a product of the Harry Potter generation.  Ever since the book release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I’ve been completely hooked and obsessed with the series.  I remember going to Borders (RIP) and Barnes and Nobel for all the midnight release parties (sometimes in costume)…I walked around The Taste of Chicago reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning the day before my friends wedding finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

For as long as I can remember, this book series has been an integral part of my life, so when I learned that J.K. Rowling was working on a new Harry Potter project, I was beyond excited!  While I decided to forgo the insanity of the book release party, I did pre-order my copy and dove in to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child as soon as it arrived on my doorstep…

And I kinda wish I hadn’t.

While Cursed Child is not technically meant to be the 8th Harry Potter book and was openly advertised as a much more mature, less magical story, I still found it kind of…dare I say…boring.

Similar in style and feel to A Christmas Carol, Cursed Child tells the story of Harry’s son, Albus, and his desire to right a wrong that his dad was involved with years before (remember Cedric?  Heeeee’s BAAAAACCCK!!).  Together with his best friend, Scorpious (who ironically is the son of Harry’s enemy, Draco Malfoy), the two troublemakers travel through time and try to save Cedric from ever having to be killed by Voldermort.  Why, you ask?  Great question.

I just didn’t feel this story was necessary to the Harry Potter canon.  It didn’t change my feelings about any character and didn’t resolve any unanswered questions from the series itself.  To me, Cursed Child read more like fan fiction…like someone’s attempt to finish a small story line that was abandoned in the HP series…but I really felt no different after reading it.  The story just moved right through me like a House Ghost.

However, despite all the criticism, I do have to say that I was quite impressed with Harry’s character and his very realistic and relatable flaws he has as a parent and a spouse.  There’s no denying that Harry’s past is heartbreaking, and seeing how it has affected him as an adult was quite interesting…but again, didn’t need it.

If you read the end of Deathly Hallows, you know that the storyline wraps up quite nicely.  We see the happily ever afters…all the kids of the kids we knew and loved ready for their next adventures at Hogwarts…and all was well.  J.K. Rowling said it herself!  And sometimes, I think you just have to let a good thing be.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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