There be spoilers here! So if you haven't finished reading the book yourself just yet you may want to skip this post.
Hubby and I got our copy on Saturday and finished it together on Wednesday night. I cried at the end. It's not unusual for me to tear up when I'm reading books. I'm used to having a lot of the good guys die what seem like useless deaths in the books I read. It was unusual that I had to exercise so much control to keep myself from sobbing into my pillow as if I had lost a child or something. The deaths in the book but didn't really hit me emotionally until the epilogue. As we read fondly of the lives and children of those who survived I began to think of all of those who didn't survive. Those who didn't get to grow up and have families. Those who didn't get to watch their loved ones find love and purpose in their lives. Their loss really hurt but it also helped to make life possible for the survivors. Sigh, it reminds me so much of real life.
The first time I visited a Harry Potter fan website (I think it was about this time last year) I had to smile at the comments left by fans to the effect that Harry just couldn't die in the last book because it's not right for the good guys to die. Where I come from the good guys (in books and in real life) die all the time. In fact they often go to their deaths willingly to save the lives of others. I didn't know if Harry would live or die in Deathly Hallows but I expected that he would risk his life to put an end to Voldemort and save his friends.
I'm not the type to make predictions but sometimes I can connect the dots pretty well. As Harry read the note in the locket at the end of Half-Blood Prince I just knew that R.A.B. had to be Sirius' brother Regulus and the real locket was the creepy one the gang found at Grimmauld Place in Order of the Phoenix. Regulus' self sacrifice in an effort to sabotage Voldemort's plan for world domination foreshadowed the sacrifice that Harry and others would ultimately make as well. Why Harry, Ron, and Hermione chose to wear the locket is beyond me. I kept expecting Voldemort to posses one of them and try to take out the others.
I've read comments by other Harry Potter fans bemoaning the seemingly senseless deaths of some of the beloved characters. I can't help but think that that was sort of the point. It really brings home the evil of Voldemort to have those characters die. What's more they all died resisting Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The birth of Tonks and Lupin's son in the midst of the madness was a good reminder that, if you will excuse the cliche, life goes on.
Voldemort's take over of the magical world was a sobering reminder of the evil that mankind does to itself. He may be a make believe character in a book be we have seen his ilk time and time again in human history. Others have drawn the most obvious connection to the Nazis leading up to and during World War II. But I saw Pol Pot, North Korea, and the Ku Klux Klan, to name a few,reflected in Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
Every time the Daily Prophet was mentioned I thought, isn't it interesting that they just roll right over for the powers that be? First they covered up the truth for the Minister of Magic who was in terrified denial that Voldemort and his Death Eaters were on the rise again. Then they served to cover up the truth for the Ministry as it failed in its attempts to apprehend Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Then they served as the propaganda tool for Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Let's not forget the incomparable character Rita Skeeter who seemed to have a life threatening allergy to the truth. That's some journalistic integrity that is.
Aha dear Neville. It was nice to see this timid bumbler find his feet and stand firmly against Voldemort and the Death Eaters to defend Hogwarts and its students.
I loved the twist that Narcissa Malfoy's love for her son played a part in Voldemort's downfall. Mrs. Weasley's defense of her children against the most skilled of the Death Eaters was a long time coming. After all she's the sister of the valiant Prewitt brothers and she birthed Fred and George.
That's enough for now. Once I put the house back to together a bit I'll start my re-read and maybe make some more observations about Deathly Hallows.