On July 15, 2011, a childhood journey ended. For many who grew up with the books and the films, and many more who lived a second childhood through them, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” marked the end of a literary and cinematic adventure that they hoped would continue forever - and does through the release of related books and media, like pottermore.com and the new Vitamin Strings Quartet tribute album. More than just enchanting entertainment, these movies provided some solid life lessons to audiences young and old: 1. The world is not in black and white. Good guys turn bad. Bad guys turn out to be good. Intentions and actions aren’t always the same (just ask Snape about Dumbledore), so be careful to see the shades of grey in every situation. 2. Don’t give up hope. Even the biggest problems are only challenges to be met with courage and determination. From fighting dragons and mermaids to inanimate objects that were actually parts of the most evil, pale and nose-less villain, Harry’s fear soon turned to valor in times of need. Likewise, never assume a six-year-old isn’t capable of finishing a 600 page book – especially if it involves Butterbeer and Bertie Bott's Jelly Beans. 3. Quidditch rules. While rather irrelevant to real life, the game gives readers’ imaginations and random memory retention just the kick they need. 4. Team up. Throughout the series, characters have gone off to try and fight the battle alone. But in the end, the biggest victories came with good old team work – from Harry and Ron putting aside their squabbles with Hermione to fight the troll in Hogwarts their first year to all of their friends and family coming together to defend Hogwarts in the final battle with Voldemort’s army in the final book. 5. Love conquers all. This one might be a bit cheesy, but it's true. It was Harry’s parents' love that saved him from Voldemort and it was Harry’s love for his family and friends that kept him going when faced with hate and large snakes. 6. Don’t fear death. Since Harry was born, he had to deal with the death of his parents, his uncle, his mentors and his friends. But coping with these losses made him a stronger individual, as the memories of these people kept him fighting for them when things got tough. Similarly, while the movies are over, fans can continue to experience Harry Potter not only in online communities, but also within their own lives as they face related, non-magic challenges.
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