Fandom Old Home Week: I’m not ready yet

I’m on another very early train to Boston (wrapped in my Slytherin hoodie, I might add, because it’s really cold on this thing) with very little sleep. In fact, four hours of sleep is sort of becoming my new six hours — i.e., less than I’d like but certainly enough that I’m perfectly capable of functioning. In a way, I’m thrilled. I need more hours in the day, and I’ve always been envious of micro-sleepers. On the other hand, the idea of crashing out for ten hours multiple nights in a row sounds really, really sexy right about now.

While this doesn’t count as a Friday trash day post (since it’s actually Thursday), I did want to sneak in here and mention that it’s sort of fandom old home week around here right now. The last Harry Potter film is coming out next week, and Torchwood: Miracle Day launches this weekend. And I have a bucket of feelings about both.

For Harry Potter all I can think is that this is the end. Again. I mean, we already did this right? There was that night the last book came out and small child came up and introduced itself to me because he wanted me to know that Severus Snape was his favorite (yeah, I was totally in costume), and then Kali and I stood on the street corner and squeed at each other about Lucius Malfoy’s albino peacocks.

No, really. Sure, I cried multiple times during the seventh book (and not just because of the tedium of the Endless Camping Trip of Despair), but for Kali and I, all the vindication was totally in those albino peacocks; they are so the same sort of ridiculous stuff she and I are always coming up with. Because Harry Potter was how she and I started writing together.

It was fanfiction at first (and sometimes still) — starting with Harry Potter and then moving on to Torchwood (200,000+ words of that on something called I Had No Idea I Had Been Traveling, and it’s what the tattoo on my back comes from) — but as the question ranged farther and farther from the source material (“Okay, so how does a society that has a 2:1 male/female ratio work and what happens when it stops working?” “Right, now what does the evolution of Christianity look like in a world with magic? Does the formation of the CoE happen for more interesting reasons than divorce?” “All right, but, what if we take the European banking/sovereign debt crisis as a model for our magical system?”) we wound up working on our own original novel full of multi-generational intrigue, war and desire. About the only resemblance it bears to Harry Potter at this point is its length. One day we’ll finish it (in the midst of the gazillion other projects we both have our hands in together and seperately with other collaborators), and find a way for you to see it.

She and I are both too old to have grown up with Harry Potter, but maybe we found a way to be grown-ups in the decade plus we’ve spent being fans of it. Without the demarcations of high school and college to keep track of what happened when, I find I can often recall what year I was with which lover or worked on which show or lived in which apartment by mapping it to which Harry Potter book or movie had most recently been released.

Despite being the author of The Book of Harry Potter Trifles, Trivias and Particularities, I’ll admit haven’t been as close to Harry Potter in the last few years as I once was; I haven’t even been to a Harry Potter con since Terminus. I guess, at some point, I stopped feeling like Severus Snape and started feeling like Captain Jack Harkness, which is either a story for another day, or one I’ve already told.

These days, as you know, I’m sort of consumed with Glee, which is pretty much the definition of a bright, shiny object, and which harbors a character I identify with in some pretty uncomfortable ways. But just because my new relationship energy is all over that doesn’t change all the other people I’ve been and all the other stories I’ve loved.

Which means I’m not ready yet. I’m not ready for it to be the last Harry Potter movie anymore than I was ready for it to be the last Harry Potter book. And I’m really not ready to see Jack struggle with the consequences of realizing that there’s a good man in him somewhere that he’s really never quite going to be able to be.

We’re going to go to the last midnight Harry Potter opening together with our partners. And I’m sure that somewhere during Torchwood: Miracle Day she’ll call me and laugh sadly and say, “Are you all right, Jack?” while I pace on the sidewalk outside my apartment because I just can’t stand how much it all hurts.

But until all that happens and the tears come, I’m going to dig up my old wizard rock playlist, explain to Patty why Hermione Granger really is the most beautiful girl in the world, and be very, very glad for the very real adventures I’ve gotten to have because of a whole bunch of people who never were.

9 thoughts on “Fandom Old Home Week: I’m not ready yet”

  1. Though I, too, have transferred most of my emotional energy from HP(Snape) to Glee(Kurt), I know that it will be so hard to let it go next week. My husband is under the impression that I’m just not into HP anymore and that’s why I don’t seem so excited about the final movie coming out, but really I’m clamping down very tightly on a sense of loss I’m not ready to face.

    And it’s funny, and you mentioned it above, how Glee (and Kurt Hummel) is this bright, shiny antithesis to the black and billowing Snape, the grim, ominous wizarding world. And I would never have predicted 10 years ago, when I finally caved and started reading HP and found so much to live for in all of that darkness, that I would turn 40 basking in the cheerful glow of the zombie double rainbow that is Glee.

    HP was a solitary experience for me; Glee has been all about discovering community. Meanwhile, a decade has sped by. The palette of my life has changed. I haven’t figured out how I’ll say goodbye to all that, either.

    Which screening are you going to opening night? I’ll be with the massive TGTSNBN group at Lincoln Center… Alone in the crowd (which is how my HP experience has always been and so an honest way to end it).

    1. I think there’s something to be said for the idea that Snape is the man that we’re all holding our breath hoping Kurt doesn’t become. He’s obsessive and vicious enough. But the world is opening up for him in a way that it never did for Snape.

      Can I confess I haven’t even bought tickets yet? I need to do it today, because despite being a bucket of planning fail (as you’ll note by my lack of email yesterday but Things Were Afoot some of which will interest you), I am, of the four of us mention here, the one who gets that stuff done.

  2. I’m not ready either. Not remotely. We put off buying tickets for HP until yesterday, partly due to money and partly due to “It can’t be time yet, can it?”. We’ve found a double-feature, showing part 1 at 9 and then going into part 2 at midnight. We’re going in costumes – the voices we identified so well with. Myself as Lucius, my partner as Snape. Like you, we’ve both “moved on” in some ways. But Harry Potter has been a huge part of our lives, and our friendships, and I find myself getting almost teary every time I even see a poster for “the end”.

    We moved on to become Jack (me) & the 10th Doctor (him), and then I discovered Glee along with a new character. Your comment of NRE hits home – when I get immersed in a new fandom and another character that IS exactly what’s happening, and I don’t know that I’d really identified that before.

    Torchwood – I don’t even know what I feel right now. Because I’m still raw from CoE, I’m still constantly both exploring and avoiding the Jack that left us with. On the one hand, I’m so glad he’ll be back on my screen, but on the other, I’m just so very nervous and afraid of how it’s all going to go and how I’m going to react.

    These things have brought me friends and family and love and sorrow and so many experiences, and there are just all sorts of emotions happening over here.

  3. I totally avoided HP 7th movie part I because I was so not ready for the beginning of the end. I’ve no clue what I’m doing about it now. Part of that is because I have moved on and I’ve got other things that have caught my fancy. Another is that I now the 7th movie part 2 will gut me like the last act of a Shakepeare tragedy. Do I want to go through all that, again?

    A really weird part of all of this is that I can remember thinking about this day back when PoA came out. We knew then there’d be 7 books and guestimated about when the last movie we be done and kvetched about the actors looking too old for the parts, etc. And here it is.

    Even though I’ve mostly tucked HP into bed and gone on to other fandoms, doesn’t mean I’m ready for it to actually be THE END, especially for one of my favorite literary characters ever. I’m not certain I’m ready to deal with all that right yet.

  4. I’m not ready, because HP was the first time I was ever actually involved in fandom and nothing has ever quite measured up to that crazy, wonderful experience. So I’m going to the Drafthouse mega-marathon to watch all eight movies in a row because it seemed like the only thing to do.

  5. On one hand, HP felt truly over when I found out that someone put Switch on a Snape/Hermione fandom classics list. WTFFFFFFFF, seriously. I know the movies are very important to some people, but they’ve never quite done it for me.

    On the other hand, HP fandom is never going to be over for me. I’m still friends with you and so many of the people from Ye Olde Days. I have my name tattooed on my wrist. My Pansy Parkinson costume has plenty of life left in its sparkly bustle.

    I got in to see Harry and the Potters for free at Nerdapalooza Southeast in 2008 because Martin and I were backup dancers for the Killer Robots. (I was Cosmic Suzy and One-Eyed Girl, he was Time-Traveling Abe Lincoln.) It was pretty amazing. They were just so fucking into what they were doing. That’s pretty much how I feel about fandom and about life. That part of fandom will never be over for me as long as “The Power of Love” is playing while I’m baking some chocolate chip cookies and singing along.

    My indifference could also be about the fact I’ve never really been that into the canon, though…

  6. Harry Potter and Torchwood in the same seven day period is going to be a rollercoaster. I was always a mostly solitary fan for HP — not that you’d know it by the hand-sewn wizarding robes in my closet — and I’m not at all ready for film 7. Except that I really want to see it.

    Except, wow, so not ready.

    I bought my ticket for a 1 AM showing at my local. I’m probably going to get that ridiculous t-shirt I sent that picture of. And afterward, I am probably going to cry like a little child in my car. Because.

    As for Torchwood, I’ve been really distanced from the greater fan community for all kinds of reasons. I was really stunned when I heard about the Soulless marches. Like, I have no idea how to react to it. It’s so different and confusing. Like all the things we know about Miracle Day have just started crashing down into my deeper awareness. Bill Pullman! In American Torchwood! What the actual fuck just happened here?

    I need a lie-down.

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