Anticipation is a funny thing - you love and hate it. Waiting for something you love is such a frustrating feeling; you wait and wait and wait for this thing to happen and then it does. And all of a sudden you aren't anticipating anymore - the excitement and the nervousness and the wondering is gone. And most of the time, the anticipation is not worth it - more often than not, what we so desperately waited for doesn't live up to the hype.
Waiting for Harry - totally not like this. The anticipation factor (waiting to be disappointed) doesn't apply to Harry because the books live up the hype. You start reading with such excitement and joy and that feeling stays with you until the last word. You put down a Harry Potter book and you have a feeling of completion; the year came to a satisfying conclusion, the mystery has been solved, and Harry is safe for the time being. (John Granger (amazing, amazing, amazing Harry Potter critic) describes this as the "ring composition." He wrote a whole book on the topic and yes, of course I own it. A signed copy.)
But ever so slowly, you get that anticipation feeling - the next book is coming, there is more to the story. And while you wait, you grow and you change. And the amazing thing is - the next book meets you there. The story has grown up and changed to meet you, the reader.
I've read the books so many times and that feeling of joy when I pick up a Harry Potter book is always there, but it's never quite like the first time I cracked open that book a little after midnight. I remember those moments vividly.
Reading Sorcerer's Stone babysitting and needing to read more, becoming addicted with Chamber of Secrets by the fireplace at Christmas, finishing Prisoner the night I forced my parents to buy it for me, cracking open Goblet of Fire in the car on the way home from camp because I'd already waited a week, begging my eyes to stay open past Chapter 7 of Order of the Phoenix and staying in my pajamas the next day until I was done, bemoaning the lack of electricity at camp when I was forced to stop reading Half Blood Prince, and literally staying up all night to finish Deathly Hallows.
It is a connection you feel with the characters and the story that J.K. Rowling has so beautifully written - even though it might take years to get the next book, the characters are the same flawed, familiar human beings and the story becomes more heart-wrenching and yet satisfying.
Anticipation for Harry is something I am so happy to have been a part of - others won't truly experience waiting the way we did for the next installment of Harry's adventure.
And just because I can't leave everyone hanging... I hope you're not lactose intolerate, dary.