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Do not read this post if you haven’t read the Harry Potter series.  It contains spoilers.




Hope I have sent the meat of this post far enough down the page so people can click away.

Dumbledore died Wednesday night.  Well yes, he died years ago, but he died in the twins’ world on Wednesday night.

Before he died, maybe a chapter ahead of time, the ChickieNob saw where things were heading and she started sobbing.  I read the chapter aloud with her face firmly planted against my side, her nose breathing my arm.  Josh held the Wolvog.

Right before the moment occurred, my voice slowed down to clue them in that something terrible was about to take place, and the ChickieNob had me pause.  The four of us teetered together on the literary edge.  She didn’t want to go on because she knew she was in the last moment of having this character alive.  The last moment where all the other characters were blissfully ignorant of what was about to go down.  If we didn’t keep reading, Dumbledore could be alive forever.  Harry could be happy forever.  (Well, as happy as he was in that moment which wasn’t very happy at all because he feared that the Felix Felicis had worn off Hermione, Ron, and Ginny.)

At the same time, she didn’t want to stop reading because she needed to know.

It was awful to watch them process it.

I’m sure it hurt Rowling to kill him.  It certainly hurt a lot for us to let him go.

Of course, this brings full circle the lie I told the ChickieNob back when the boy ruined the book for her in first grade.  She understands (I think) why I lied.  We finally told the Wolvog the story — he didn’t know that she was protecting him from that knowledge all this time — and he admitted that the same thing happened to him: another child told him that Dumbledore died, and he kept that information from his sister.  It was a very sweet moment to learn how they protected each other’s literary experiences.

After the ChickieNob left the room, the Wolvog confided that he heard the conversation back in first grade.  That he had sat on the steps and eavesdropped.  He had been carrying that with him for years.

So all has been released.

After a good cry, it felt as if it had rained inside the book.  As if the air had cleared.



1 MissingNoah { 11.02.14 at 11:49 am }

They are so sweet. I love that they protected each other like that.

2 jjiraffe { 11.02.14 at 1:39 pm }

Oh, man. I am dreading dreading dreading reading that part to the twins. They are begging me to read the fourth, and I want to preserve their Harry Potter innocence for a while longer. 🙁

3 Vinitha { 11.02.14 at 2:54 pm }

That’s so sweet of them. 🙂

4 HereWeGoAJen { 11.02.14 at 7:40 pm }

They are just both so sweet.

I cannot wait to read good books like Harry Potter with my kids.

5 a { 11.02.14 at 9:09 pm }

You know, this makes me wonder about the idea of letting kids read beyond their age level. I want my daughter to read everything. But, I think Rowling meant the age of the reader to mimic the age of the Harry, Ron, Hermione, et al. Would they be better able to handle the story if they were older? But you can’t prevent the spoiler because someone always gets to it first, especially since the movies are more accessible to kids. It’s such a conundrum for me.

I first encountered this when we watched Short Circuit – I had no memory of the language being questionable in that movie, because it had been so long since I saw a version that was not edited for television. No big deal, really, but I was a little surprised. Same with ET – a little bit of language. But then, half the kids my daughter’s age that I’ve encountered have watched Ghostbusters, but I think the end is far too sexual for an 8 year old, so she hasn’t watched it.

At any rate, I think it’s so wonderful that your children are trying to protect each other – and that they’re so into the books that they really feel the things that Rowling wanted us to feel when she wrote them.

6 Mel { 11.02.14 at 9:27 pm }

In general, the rule for childrens, middle grade, and YA is that kids “read up” about 3 years. So HP1 was intended for an 8 year old since they “read up” to 11. HP2 is for a 9 year old. Again, not a hard-and-fast rule, but in publishing, the general rule is a read up shift of about 3 years.

Think about it this way: no one 17 read 17 magazine when we were younger. 14 year olds read it, but by 17, most girls had aged out of it.

7 Mel { 11.02.14 at 9:28 pm }

That said, the shift would put a 13 year old, not a ten year old (like the twins), normally reading HP6.

8 Working mom of 2 { 11.03.14 at 12:59 am }

I happened to be ordering stamps online tonight and FYI there are HP stamps in case you didn’t know.

9 Northern Star { 11.03.14 at 1:07 am }

Awwww, what a very sweet post. Your children are so lovely!

10 Battynurse { 11.03.14 at 1:19 pm }

Very sweet. I’m thinking you’re dreading the last part of seven a bit?

11 Karen (River Run Dry) { 11.03.14 at 3:07 pm }

This is just so sweet. You can tell the twins that the very hardest part of the series for me was when Albus Dumbedore died; I actually grieved in real life, and I really, really, really hoped that he would have come alive again – like Gandalf – in the next book. I couldn’t bear the idea that he was really gone.

(Also, thanks for sharing the “read up” rule. We introduced HP to O this weekend via the movie – the first part, anyway – and though he was interested in the concept of wizards and wands and Quiddich! – it felt as if it was a bit above him. Makes sense, because if you go by the rule you mentioned, he should be reading 9-10 year olds. Another year and we can read the book maybe.)

12 andy { 11.04.14 at 12:27 pm }

I love the way they live in the moment of the book!!

13 Turia { 11.04.14 at 2:09 pm }

That is so kind and thoughtful of them both to protect each other.

There are boys in E.’s nursery school who have seen the new Batman movies and Ghostbusters and Star Wars and most of the Avengers/X-Men type films. I don’t get it. They’re three!

14 Amber { 11.11.14 at 6:11 pm }

I love this so much, that you read the Harry Potter books as a family. Makes me want to experience that with my twins.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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