Just a while ago, I had resumed my on-off reading of Antonia Fraser's famous book, "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" (I'm beginning to miss The Tudors again - did I mention that the whole show was based on that book? If you're curious about The Tudors, read my post on it) while listening to my new Apocalyptica CD. Not an orthodox combination at all, but that's how I'm weird. Haha.

Anyhow, I chose to shut myself away in front of the computer because I felt I had to jot down this strange but very true experience - with none other than the final installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

So it started with me watching yet another rerun of the fifth (and so far the best-made) HP movies on HBO. It got me thinking about the next movie due this summer, how the story will be like, blablabla...and in that strange way my brain works, it lead me to think about the seventh and final book. And I sort of realised that I don't remember it much. And that was how it came to be that I would pick up the seventh book and reread it suddenly.

Ok, FYI that wasn't the weird part. At least not completely.

The weirdest thing was that I cried a hell of a lot during my reading. Which I don't recall me doing when I read it the first time. Admittedly, the first time I did have a lot of throat-constricting and teary-eyed moments but I don't remember actual tears running down my face. And it began from the very beginning!

Ok, not exactly. Soon after the beginning. I suppose the second time round, I knew what was coming so my tear-ducts were prepared early. Because even during the part at the beginning when members of the Order (from here I'll be talking HP lingo so just try and follow if you've never read it) were extracting Harry from his house at Privet Drive to safety it began. My throat started constricting the moment Rowling mentioned poor Mad-Eye Moody and Hedwig (his owl). Even the bit where Harry was sorry that Hedwig was mad at him for not letting her out of her cage often because it was dangerous to was sad. Poor Harry. How would he know that Hedwig and Mad-Eye would die during their precarious journey (as they ran into Death Eaters and Voldemort himself)? Although I knew what was going to happen, my eyes were all wet throughout that whole part; I mourned with the characters. And poor George, losing an ear. I cried as if I was embodying Molly (his mom)!

And then of course, the middle section of the book was quite sad too, what with Harry, Ron and Hermione facing so many adversities. And any mention of Sirius and Dumbledore made me morose. And Dobby died saving Harry and his friends! Poor little Dobby.

But the end was the worst. I cried so much, and over quite a period of time too, my face was never quite dry. Gosh, I had no idea what came over me. Just reading about them rally and fight against evil brought me to tears. It just seemed so awe-inspiring and moving. Even the part where they all thought Harry to be dead, they never gave up and Neville was just so magnificent when he alone challenged Voldemort and managed to kill Nagini on top of that. And the worst part was when Fred, Lupin and Tonks died in combat. Colin Creevey too. It was so incredibly sad. And just when Percy reconciled with his family and Lupin and Tonks just had their baby. And of course, Harry bravely walking to accept his death at the hands of his most bitter foe Voldemort with the ghosts of his parents, Sirius and Lupin by his side just made me cry so bad.

There really was not much of a climax to the book because there was so many amazing deeds and adventures throughout the book. But the most notable parts in my opinion were all the sacrifices. So many characters died in this last book. And their circumstances was almost always what I could say honorable deaths. Besides all these more favourable characters that I've mentioned, Snape, the one we all loathed but turned out to be amongst the biggest heroes in the story; and Wormtail, the traitor; both died. Wormtail's death was bittersweet - killed because of a moment's mercy for Harry, of whom saved his pitiable life once before. The triumphant ending was no surprise and so was the epilogue. But like in most great stories, getting there is the best part.

For the most part, I thought this book was good because it did, after all, move me to tears. I love all seven books in the series, and thinking back, I can't really name particular favourites. Although most HP fans would like to strangle Rowling for killing off so many of our favourite characters, I think it was good and probably necessary developments to the plot.

Sirius' death, the first ever, in the fifth book was a shocker. I remember rushing through to the end, thinking there must be some mistake and he'll surely come back...he couldn't die! Dumbledore's death that followed in the sixth was so tragic. I bawled like a baby during that one. My family members, I recall, were eyeing me as though I had lost my marbles as I wept inconsolably into the pages of my book.

So back to the weirdness of it all, let me state first that I certainly am not a huge crybaby who often cries at any sentimental moment. Therefore, I can only conclude that it was simply the time of the month.

What can I say? It's happened before. You're probably thinking I'm being in denial of my emo-ness by blaming this on premenstrual hormones. God, no. Ok, I can be quite emotional when the occasion calls for it, but I am certain that this time was really those bloody hormones. I mean, the book really was sad but the fact I cried so much... It really is that time of the month. Haha.

To all Harry Potter fans out there, keep reading those amazing books and pray that the next movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be even better than the last!

I sure did look a lot like this just now, minus the tissue - I didn't bother reaching for the tissue box nearby...

(by the way, I hope you don't mind me pasting your photo here, Ansy, just wanted to prove a point, haha.)

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