Alexandra: Best wishes for your wedding! And I must agree, I love wand lore as well. That's one of the things I'm most excited about for Pottermore as well... we're supposed to find out more about wand lore, such as the differences in wand woods!
Carlyn: While the trio in the movies may not match the trio in my imagination, I do agree that they were all very good fits for the characters. And I'm glad that they're not a perfect fit for my imagination's trio because this way the images in my head stayed intact over the past 10 years, but I was still able to enjoy the movies fully. I've also grown up with Emma, Dan, and Rupert and (in the least creepy way possible) feel like they've been my friends for the past ten years. Well, if not friends, at least a big part of my life!
Also speaking of Harry Potter, did you guys get into Pottermore beta? I did and I can't wait for the actual welcome email! My username is SkyLumos47! Did you guys try to get in? If so, how did it go and if you got in, what's your username? Questions, questions, questions.
Okay, Harry Potter time. My favorite time.
Harry Potter's been, if not completely, a major part of my life for the past ten years. I'll admit that the weeks following the release of the last movie I was going through some very real HP withdrawals including listening to nothing but the audio books, going through old pictures, rereading books, and getting teary at the smallest bits of nostalgia. A bit ridiculous to some people, perhaps, but natural when facing the end of such a large part of one's life. It's not really the end though, as we've seen in the month following the "end," as it was called. The fandom is going to continue on just as strong as ever, at the risk of sounding overly sappy.
Which leads me to my Harry Potter topic of choice for tonight: fandom. I love this fandom so much. My best friends are part of this fandom and I would be delusional if I didn't recognize that the fandom brought us closer together over the years. We would still all be best friends, yes, but I know our relationships would be different and I wonder what they would be like without HP. We've written fanfic together, slowly accumulated Hogwarts uniforms, reread the books over and over, obsessed over Emma's outfits and hair... Our whole teenagedom was really based around Harry Potter. We started going to the midnight book releases when OotP came out (we didn't get into HP until after GoF was already out, unfortunately). We went to the same bookstore for all three releases (we'll miss you, Borders) and saw familiar faces from other releases each time we returned. We made one friend, in particular, who was there right next to us in line at all the releases (actually, was she at the OotP release? Kim and Beth, do you remember?) We all waited together in line for DH, now friends after our shared experiences in the fandom.
Other major parts of the fandom for me were online forums (theorizing!) and wizard rock shows. Harry and the Potters shows, in particular, were another place where we made fandom friends. I had one friend, Denise, who I saw at at least three different HatP shows and kept up with on myspace for awhile (oh, the olden days of myspace...). That's one of my favorite parts of fandom: having those friends and familiar faces whom you regularly see at events. It's just a nice constant.
Oh and those online forums! HPANA was my favorite. My username was (well, still is, technically) ConstantVigilance12 and I spent so much time on there. Theorizing was one of the most fun things in the fandom, for me. Rereading books for the who-knows-how-manyth time, making notes in the margins (in my used copies, I'm very strict about keeping my personal copies in good condition), and reading as many other theories as possible. It was on HPANA that I read someone's theory that Voldemort had put part of his soul in Nagini. I read that theory before OotP even came out and it stuck in my head for years, it's crazy to think how close that person got to the truth of it. Oh and the "Harry is a horcrux" wars! I was on the "Harry is not a horcrux and that's the stupidest idea I've ever heard" side and it took me some time to come around to the "Well, I guess it was Jo's plan and the way she did it was okay" side. Now I'm completely okay with it, see why it makes sense for the story, and also accept that it's not as stupid as my teenage self once thought. The sentence "Harry is a horcrux" still makes me cringe, though. Old habits and all that. And c'mon, it does sound kind of cheesy, doesn't it?
Oh and the shipping wars on those forums! I've always been a staunch R/Hr shipper and back in the day I would give those Harmony shippers a good amount of flack for their delusional leanings. I made quite a few H/Hr shippers angry when I said they belonged in St. Mungo's.... oops. Sorry. Ohh I miss those forums. They're still around, yes, but it's just not the same and there's no way it could be. It's an inevitable part of this stage in the fandom, but sad nonetheless.
And now, we have Pottermore! I can't wait to see how it will change and add onto the fandom in its own ways.