This was my first re-reading of the series. I think I had read parts of Half-Blood Prince before the 7th book came out, but I am pretty sure I only read the entire book once. Most of these books I hadn't read since 2005, the last I hadn't read since 2007. It was definitely the right time. I had forgotten enough to be surprised and appreciate the humor while KNOWING enough to look for clues in the earlier books.
The first 2 were, you know, fine. I have suddenly found myself surrounded by people my age or slightly younger who have not read these books at all (SERIOUSLY??? How is it POSSIBLE??) and when I am telling them to get started I say, "Read the first 2 as fast as you can. The third book is where it picks up. The fourth is one of the best books ever." I definitely appreciate PoA (the 3rd book) a lot more now than I did. I always thought it was GOOD but now I'm kind of thinking it's amazing.
In regards to Goblet of Fire (or book 4), the first time I read that book, when Cedric died in the graveyard and Harry's parents (etc, all) came out of Voldemort's wand, I literally threw the book across the room. I was late for work that day because I could not stop reading. I did not THROW the book this time. I did cry.
The fifth book is pretty much the same for me as it was before.... long and hard to get through. I despise Umbridge SO MUCH that it's actually torturous. The first time I read this book it was nearly impossible for me to accept Sirius's death. I didn't realize the killing curse, though never actually WRITTEN in the book, was implied, so I didn't know what happened to him to make him die, and I thought, like Harry, that he'd be back any moment. I loved Sirius so much. He was one of my favorite characters. His death is one of the hardest to take in the series.
I definitely had a minor emotional break down when Snape killed Dumbledore in the 6th book, which I read surprisingly fast. The last 3 books are so effing long, but they're so well done that I would spend all my free alone time just reading on the couch until Chris got home. That's what I did tonight to finish the 7th book.
Now, again, I had not read this book since 2007 and what you have to understand is that I read it SO FAST and like, in the middle of the NIGHT when I was already exhausted from being in rehearsal all the time, that I did not take in everything that happened. It was practically like I was reading it for the first time, just knowing that several people would die and that Harry was a Horcrux. I kept saying that summer that I needed to go back and reread parts... that, obviously, never happened.
Let me tell you.... I had completely, 100%, forgotten about the Deathly Hallows. THAT IS THE TITLE OF THE BOOK. Not remembering ANYTHING about them, I was, at times, talking to the book. Telling Harry moot instructions that I literally was guessing at because I couldn't remember! I looked back at my old blog and read that I didn't really understand them in my haste to get through it... I don't know why. Not only did they make sense, but they are AMAZING!!!! The thing she does that I love the MOST is when she makes the Wizarding world seem possible in OUR world. Like taking everyday things like saying an old shoe on the side of the road is actually a portkey or a children's story having it's history based on fact (like the deathly hallows).... I just love that crap. Her imagination in amazing.
I did not beat the ground with my fists when Tonks and Lupin died this time. I knew it was coming and, actually, I remembered it being more climactic than it is. However, I totally forgot that Lupin almost ran out on Tonks and that they asked Harry to be the godfather. I had forgotten that Dobby died. DOBBY. I moaned, "Dobby, nooooooooooooo" as I closed the book and cried. I had forgotten about Moody's death. I had forgotten about that creepy scene where Nagini is actually that old lady, Bathilda Bagshot or whatever. I had forgotten the extent to which Snape loved Lily.
When Snape's dying words to Harry are, "Look... at...me....." so he can see HER eyes again.
How he begged Voldemort to save her.... how she was his Patronus.... it's hard to bear. It's hard to imagine that poor man's life of unrequited love and helping Harry because she was his mother's child.
But, again, the most poignant moment to me is still when Harry asks Dumbledore if the purgatory world is real or if it's just in his head and Dumbledore replies, "Of course is is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
A second reading of this line brought back memories of Narnia. Of so much spirituality. Of having my own crazy imagination that, at times, feels muffled.
So, despite the fact that I love it when Mrs. Weasley calls Bellatrix a bitch right before killing her, the previous line resonated with me more.
When I finished the book and wiped away the tears, I stood up and practically hugged it saying, "I'll miss you, Harry Potter." I just can't wait to share it with more people.