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.