I’ve been trying to work up the mental nerve to re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This will probably come as a shock to anyone who knows me, but I only read it the one time.

I know, I know. Laura, the girl who got a snitch tattoo with her sister, the girl who had a Harry Potter-themed high school graduation party, who dressed up like Tonks for Halloween in her custom-made Ravenclaw robes (because dammit, Tonks isn’t a Hufflepuff!), has only read the final book of the Harry Potter series once.

Though, if you’ve read that fateful book, I’m sure you’d understand.

Spoilers, my friends, abound in the following few paragraphs, so read at your own risk.

One of my roommates, after a couple beers (for her) and margaritas (for me) asked me to describe what happens in the later HP books, including the 7th. And when I talked about Hedwig… I just couldn’t face that again, because I knew that Harry’s owl was only the beginning. To be honest, I think that the death toll in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows probably rivals the death toll of major characters in all seven years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer AND Angel the Series combined.
(When I grow some balls and re-read book 7, I will count and let you know)

You would think that, as an avid fan of both Harry Potter and Buffy that my heart would be hardened to such paltry things as the death of an owl, or of a house elf, or of a paranoid old Auror, or of a young wife and mother.

Part of me thinks, “well, that’s the mark of a good character, isn’t it? That you cry for them after they’re gone.”

Part of me wants to create beloved characters, only to kill them off in the haphazard way I imagine JKR deciding to kill Moody, or Joss Whedon deciding to kill Gunn or Anya.

And part of me wants to spare my hypothetical fans the pain.

Someday, we shall see.