To the Editor:

I don't really recall a time before Harry Potter in my life, but those must have been dark days indeed.

The memories of my childhood are book-marked with a lightning-bolt scar; I was almost never without one of the seven masterpieces.

I have maintained to friend and family alike that my Hogwarts letter was merely lost in the mail.

I would give an arm and a leg and therefore look like Mad-Eye Moody in drag to go to Hogwarts.

The magical world of J.K. Rowling's creation is so real that it fused with my muggle one, and the two can never fully be separated again.

This final movie was the first midnight premiere I have ever been to.

Watching those words, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, blow up across the screen of Bank Street Theater was a monumental -- dare I say it? -- magical moment in my life.

The audience was as phenomenal as the movie: die-hard fans like me who cheered at all the right moments and all but cursed Voldermort themselves.

They were warm wandbearers who kindly pretended I wasn't tearing up at the final battle and the noble heroes of it.

Best of all, down to the last first-year we were robed in our Gryffindor scarves, our robes, and an assortment of necklaces with the Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore's Army and even a sprinkling of Time Turners.

We were ready, from the tips of our pointy hats to the hems of our capes.

Lightning bolts glinted from many a forehead, and as the lights dimmed. I heard one child swish his wand and whisper "Nox!"

Then the magic truly began.

Harry Potter taught me so much worth knowing that no words announce it.

How to think like a Ravenclaw. To stand up for what's right, not just what's easy. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.

Not everyone is who they seem. To never raise a blast-ended skrewt.

The world has taught me to never give up. Harry Potter taught me to never give up hope.

As the epilogue faded to black I felt a soul-wrenching shift inside me. A part of my childhood had taken its final bow.

Now, I must step out, with no wand in my hand. I have no tea leaves to tell where my life will take me, nor a prophecy to guide my way.

And yet, with the lessons these books taught me whizzing through my head like a snitch, I will find a way to carry on.

After all, as a very wise man once said "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

Harry Potter and his world will never truly be gone from my heart, nor the heart of so many others like me.

For us, the magic will never die.

I thank J.K. Rowling for making this world possible to me and millions of other fans everywhere. I thank the characters who were so real they spoke to me.

I thank the many actors, producers, directors and everyone else who worked tirelessly to make such remarkable movies.

All I can say is, mischief managed.

Rebecca Smith

New Milford