Thursday night was the end of an era, the last Harry Potter midnight movie showing. My aunt, my sister, and her boyfriend journeyed up to the farm for the experience and we even talked my husband into coming with us.

My aunt, me, Munchkin, and boyfriend Nick

I’m a huge fan both from reader and writer points of view, but especially because of one fact: without Harry Potter, my sister would not have been an Honors student. She hated reading, an unfathomable thought for me and probably my Mom, a teacher. But then Munchkin started telling me about this series of books about a boy wizard named Harry Potter. The fourth book had just come out, so I devoured the first three and, using my perks as a library page, put my name on the top of the hold list for the fourth. Munchkin and I both pre-ordered the last three books and raced to read them so we could discuss. They were the first books we shared.

Our first midnight showing was for the sixth movie. My aunt and sister’s birthdays are one day apart in the middle of July and Half-Blood Prince came out on my aunt’s 50th birthday. She said the only celebration she wanted was to go to the midnight showing with her nieces (did I mention she’s a really cool aunt?). She was worried about being the oldest person there, but she wasn’t. We waited in line, played games, ate sugar, and had an epic time. Ditto for Deathly Hallows Part One, although the line-waiting was much colder in November. For this last time, we had butterbeer, cockroach clusters (praline pecan candies), trecle tart, chicken pot pies, and Harry Potter-themed sugar cookies before heading to the theater. My Mom sent along Harry Potter silly bands (which were fun to explain to my husband) and three of us sported Harry Potter shirts. It was just as epic as we’d hoped.

Delicious cookies

Banner for the occasion; truly "A Magical Day"

Banner in the guest room (I'm so proud of this)

So thank you J.K. Rowling and everyone involved with the books and movies. You all brought my sister and me closer together and gave her a love of reading. You gave us a chance to create memories that we’ll tell our children over and over when we introduce them to Harry and his world. You inspired a generation and revitalized an industry. Thank you.

Anyone else have Harry Potter memories to share? Did you go to a midnight showing?