I think one of the reasons the Harry Potter Epilogue was so poorly received was because the audience was primarily made up of the Millennial generation.
We’ve walked with Harry, Ron and Hermione, through a world that we thought was great but slowly revealed itself to be the opposite. We unpeeled the layers of corruption within the government, we saw cruelty against minorities grow in the past decades, and had media attack us and had teachers tell us that we ‘must not tell lies’. We got angry and frustrated and, like Harry, Ron and Hermione, had to think of a way to fight back. And them winning? That would have been enough to give us hope and leave us satisfied.
But instead. There was skip scene. And suddenly they were all over 30 and happy with their 2.5 children.
And the Millennials were left flailing in the dust.
Because while we recognised and empathised with everything up to that point. But seeing the Golden Trio financially stable and content and married? That was not something our generation could recognise. Because we have no idea if we’re ever going to be able to reach that stage. Not with the world we’re living in right now.
Having Harry, Ron and Hermione stare off into the distance after the battle and wonder about what the future might be would have stuck with us. Hell, have them move into a shitty flat together and try and sort out their lives would have. Have them with screaming nightmares and failed relationships and trying to get jobs in a society that’s falling apart would have. Have them still trying to fix things in that society would have. Because we known Voldemort was just a symptom of the disease of prejudice the Wizarding World.
But don’t push us off with an ‘all was well’. In a world about magic, JK Rowling finally broke our suspension of disbelief by having them all hit middle-class and middle-age contentment and expecting a fanbase of teenagers to accept it.
Also. Since when was ‘don’t worry kids, you’re going to turn out just like your parents’ ever a happy ending? Does our generation even recognise marriage and money and jobs as the fulfillment of life anymore? Does our generation even recognise the Epilogue’s Golden Trio anymore?
#i think this one of the reasons why the james/lily/albus naming theme bothered me #because there’s a sense of going in a circle rather than pressing forward #the only way the wizarding world will survive if it changes dramatically from this point #having the station seem exactly the same #right down to the names being thrown around #makes it seem stagnant #so i’m guessing another dark lord should turn up in a couple of decades (x)
YOU PUT IT IN WORDS
#so i’m guessing another dark lord should turn up in a couple of decades
you mean like this?
Harry and crew at Hogwarts in what is technically their eighth year, studying for their NEWTs and trying to fit back into a life they’ve half outgrown, the teachers never bothering to treat them like students under their authority anymore and half the other students going to them for Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons.
Harry shoving money at people, hey, you were a muggleborn who lost your wand to the Muggleborn Registration Committee? here have enough to buy your wand back and some more besides, you need to get your house back, how much do you need? starting a business, here have some start-up cash. injured in the final battle? take this money and get trained for a new line of work that doesn’t require legs. bitten by a werewolf? here’s money to buy potion. and he just keeps handing it out without paying any attention to it and there keeps being money there, and how the fuck is it okay that he has so much while others have to buy secondhand books and use secondhand wands?
Harry wanting to burn Grimmauld Place to the ground, and Harry wanting to donate Grimmauld Place as a home for people with bad family situations and people whose family have died and don’t want to be alone, and Harry never wanting to see Grimmauld Place again.
Harry wanting to snap at Molly’s mothering, at Molly’s being after him to cut his hair, at Molly’s invitations to him to come stay at the Burrow. Harry knowing she’s probably going to be his mother-in-law and knowing she’s lost a son and settling for pointing out that Aunt Petunia always hated his hair too, which shuts her up.
Harry and Draco walking on eggshells around each other. Harry making a few overtures of reconciliation and being rebuffed. Harry finally saying, well, be a prat then, and Draco snapping and slamming him into the wall, Muggle-style, and ranting for five minutes straight on how much it sucks to have believed in someone and been betrayed, to have lost, to have been saved by the person who defeated his side of the war, to have his dad in Azkaban and to have been handed Dumbledore’s life on a silver platter and been unable to take it, to have trusted Severus Snape and find out he was working for the other side and the war is over and Harry’s so covered in glory while Draco will never escape the stigma of having been a Death Eater when he wasn’t even a good Death Eater.
Harry looking at him and saying, yeah, that sucks, that’s fucked up. Saying, he watched Dumbledore die, watched his godfather die, lost Fred lost Mad-Eye lost Remus and Tonks, watched Cedric die because he was being too noble to take the Triwizard Cup for himself even though Cedric tried to insist. Saying war is fucked up, war fucks you up, shatters everything and you’re left with fragments that cut you open when you try to pick them up.
Draco telling Harry he’s dating Astoria, who doesn’t believe in blood supremacy. Harry telling Draco that if he likes Astoria, he should date Astoria, and he can give his kids magic and love and he doesn’t need to give them a position at the top of the social hierarchy to be a good father to them. Harry telling Draco that when he was faking being dead, Draco’s mother lied to Voldemort for him because he told her Draco was alive.
Harry taking part and giving evidence in the trials of captured Death Eaters and snatchers and others. Harry offering Lucius a plea bargain that will let him go home. Harry telling Lucius he understands people don’t like being in debt to their enemies, and if Lucius wants to hate him, that’s fine, but Harry thinks Lucius ought to go home and be with his family. Lucius saying nothing, but going home, and when Christmas break ends Draco comes back to school looking human for the first time in two and a half years.
School ending, and the whole double class of students sort of milling, cast adrift into an adulthood they’re not quite prepared for and at the same time are too familiar with. Half the flats above Diagon Alley being rented out by students in small groups and pairings who have no idea how to keep house; Diagon Alley getting an unofficial expansion as the Muggle flats nearby get rented to more of the same, with back doors leading to alleyways that lead to back ways into Diagon.
Some of the abandoned businesses in Diagon Alley getting opened by former Hogwarts students who don’t quite know what they want to do; a few of them importing Muggle concepts with a touch of magic: a store that’s a different Muggle fast-food restaurant every day of the month, a store that brings in Muggle items, Muggle music, Muggle technology. An internet cafe that serves butterbeer and Mountain Dew, cauldron cakes and Cheetos, side by side.
Knockturn Alley getting cleaned out by a new Ministry crackdown on the Dark Arts, and being taken over by those who feel shattered or tainted by the war. Stores trickle in to replace the old places, and shrines to the departed line the storefronts, here a fountain placed in memory, here a quote graffiti’d on the wall, here a mural, there a pile of flowers and trinkets. It’s a quiet place, contemplative; somehow the bustle of Diagon never touches it. Wildflowers grow through the cobblestones, and generations of future witches and wizards will grow up thinking “Nocturnally” refers to the twilight of the passage between worlds.
Hermione and Ron clashing over Ron’s expectations growing up with a mother who did everything for him and expecting a wife who’ll do the same. Hermione moving in with George and Angelina above the joke shop. (Angelina loved Fred, and is halfway in love with George; they are united in their missing of Fred. Hermione is growing to love George, who under his pranks and devil-may-care attitude is quite clever and inquisitive. The three of them make a decent vee, and Angelina can go travel with her international Quidditch team without worrying about George being neglected.)
Ron rebounding with Pansy Parkinson, of all people, who’s rebounding from Draco; their relationship being first built on a temporary cure for loneliness and rejection and an indulgence of spite at their respective exes, and then surprising them by continuing to work well once all that has faded.
Ollivander taking Cho Chang as an apprentice wandmaker. Susan Bones and Hannah Abbot undertaking the work to turn Grimmauld Place into Phoenix House, a home for abused, orphaned, and neglected magical children, squibs, homeless or familyless witches and wizards, and convalescents from St. Mungo’s.
Ginny’s first child is a daughter, with Harry’s black hair and green eyes; she indulges Harry by naming her Sev, like the boy Harry’s mother once played with when the world was new and full of wonder. It’s short for Severa, which is Latin in the old wizarding tradition, and it reminds Harry of Evans and of ever, which has about the same meaning as Always.
Draco and Astoria end up having five kids, and Draco scandalizes his younger self by loving every aspect of fatherhood times five. Daphne Greengrass, Astoria’s sister, ends up marrying Percy Weasley, which means Draco’s kids have Weasley cousins. Family get-togethers are very interesting, but somehow Narcissa and Lucius survive.
*GRABS THIS AND RUNS TO THE MOUNTAINS WITH IT SO NO ONE CAN EVER TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME*