No use looking over the shoulder now. The bespectacled boy, with unruly black hair and a lightning scar on his forehead, won't be there smiling back at you anymore; neither the red-headed, gangly, freckled guy beside him nor the girl with bushy, brown hair and large front teeth. With the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the journey of the boy wizard along with his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger is truly over.
Though billed as the 'eighth book' of the series, it is actually the script of the play by the same name that looks at Harry's life 19 years later. The author of the series, J.K. Rowling, put all speculations of his return to rest, saying “...Harry is done now”.
With an eye on 'the veil' (of Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix fame) hoping against hope for yet another return, we conjure up 10 of the most memorable moments of the saga:
You're a wizard, Harry (Sorcerer's Stone/Philosopher’s Stone)
Who can ever forget the epic scene where the half-giant Hagrid reveals to Harry that he is a wizard. Having endured step-motherly treatment at the hands of the Dursley family—the 'only family he has'—for 11 years, Hagrid's invitation to Harry to join Hogwarts was like music to his ears. And so began the journey of a lifetime for Harry Potter, and us.
The wand chooses the wizard (Sorcerer's Stone/Philosopher’s Stone)
The highlight of the Harry's first trip to the magical Diagon Alley was his visit to Ollivanders to buy a wand. Where the 11-inch wand, made of holly and having a phoenix-feather core, chose its master. What blew us off was how the wand's 'brother'—owned by Voldemort—gave Harry the lightning scar and several startling revelations that are made about the two wands, later in the series.
Not Slytherin, eh? ...better be Gryffindor! (Sorcerer's Stone/Philosopher’s Stone)
The Sorting Hat has “never yet been wrong” while sorting students into the four houses—Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw—at Hogwarts. Unlike other students, the hat found it difficult to sort Harry. The qualities Harry have were suited for Slytherin, but it heeded the boy's desire not to be put there and placed him in Gryffindor, much to Harry's delight. And as we find out later, the hat put Harry where he belonged.
Harry's first Quidditch match (Sorcerer's Stone/Philosopher’s Stone)
Nothing was more bewitching than to see the little Harry and his Gryffindor team take on arch-rivals Slytherin in a pulsating game of Quidditch. Though his broom gave him a few tense moments, the match ended in fairytale fashion with Harry winning the match for his team by catching (rather, nearly swallowing) the golden snitch. The snitch and the fact that he touched it with his mouth first and not his hands, played an important role later.
Dobby is free (Chamber of Secrets)
'Take that Lucius Malfoy', we must have said in our minds when Harry tricked him into 'offering clothes' to Dobby, his house elf, thus setting him free. And a moment later, knocks Malfoy off his feet when he tries to harm Harry. This scene established Dobby's loyalty towards Harry and the adorable house elf stayed true to his word till the end.
Resurrection of Lord Voldemort (Goblet of Fire)
After having teased the readers and audience alike with fleeting glimpses and doomsday descriptions of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the Dark Lord was finally resurrected in the graveyard of Little Hangleton. From the bones of his father, flesh of his servant Peter Pettigrew and the blood of his foe Harry, rose Lord Voldemort. The subsequent fight with Harry and Cedric Diggory's death earlier made the whole scene impossible to forget.
Fred and George Weasley leave Hogwarts (Order of the Phoenix)
Talk about signing off in style. The extremely likeable troublemakers Fred and George decide they have “outgrown full-time education” and flee Hogwarts, but not before setting off enchanted fireworks, scaring Professor Umbridge out of her wits. The teachers and students (most of them), being fed up with Umbridge, too take part in the 'rebellion' gleefully.
'Always', Snape (Deathly Hallows)
We hated him for almost the whole of Harry Potter series. Severus Snape never gave us a reason to like him till the last book/film. Despite having served Voldemort faithfully (or so the Dark Lord thought), Snape is killed by his master's pet, Nagini. Notwithstanding our revulsion to the Potions master, we felt sorry for him. But the shock came when it was revealed that he was, in fact, trying to save Harry all the while and was acting on Professor Dumbledore's orders. “Always”, we said, with tears in our eyes and wands raised.
Till death do us part
The abrupt finality of death tore our hearts throughout the series. When Dumbledore fell off the castle, hit by Snape's killing curse, the ground beneath our feet moved, too. We bayed for Snape's blood only to shed tears of pure grief when he turned out to the unlikely hero post his death. Sirius Black fell through 'the veil', leaving us clutching at thin air. The gentleman Cedric Diggory and the adorable Dobby, too, left us, and so did Hedwig, Harry's snowy-white owl. Not to mention the casualties in the final battle—Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks and (sniff) Fred Weasley, among others. The only death—apart from that of Voldemort—that warmed the cockles of our heart was that of Bellatrix Lestrange.
Final battle and the last scene (Deathly Hallows)
Expelliarmus met Avada Kedavra and our jaws touched the floor as we watched transfixed the epic fight between Lord Voldemort and Harry 'The Chosen One' Potter. Good triumphed over evil, as it always does in the world of fiction, and Voldermort became a memory. Cut to Platform 9 ¾ on King's Cross Station, London, 19 years later. Harry, Hermione and Ron watched the Hogwarts Express steam out of the station with their children on board. We framed the still in our hearts forever, with a tinge of sadness. A journey had come to an end, or so we thought.