When asked, I'd always said my favorite installment was the third book Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I love it because I will forever ardently adore Remus Lupin and what he represents in the series and because (spoiler alert) it's so touching to see Harry's heart lift when he learns Sirius is his godfather and that he might finally know a loving home. This time around, I cannot say which book is my favorite. I'll probably keep saying number three if asked, but I loved them all.
I kept my eye out for a couple of things and was pleased to see that, yes, just as I always thought I was right: though they're both lovable, Fred was the funnier and more charming of the Weasley twins. I favored him more from the start and his (spoiler alert) death is still heartbreaking. (While George gets a bit more of the spotlight in book five, Fred definitely has more personality and funnier dialogue throughout.)
The first time I read the final installment I raced through the book, devouring it in just a few hours. I read it so fast, in fact, that when talking about it later I had somehow completely missed a minor character's death--whoops. This time, however, I kept setting the book down even if only for a few minutes or hours at a time, because I didn't want it to end so quickly. I plowed through books one through four pretty fast, but found myself trying to temper my reading just a bit from five on. It worked only partially.
I still cry every time a beloved character dies. This isn't exactly saying much--I've always been easily brought to tears--but even though I know what's coming, I still sobbed like a wee babe when it did. I texted my friend Elizabeth during one of our shared saddest moments (we read Deathly Hallows across the hall from one another when we were college roommates and the book first came out) and we emoji-cried together. I go through many Kleenex tissues when reading that final book.
So it's over once again for now, but as an avid reader I've already happily moved on to the many other books I've been anxiously awaiting. My "to read" list is never-ending and I add new titles every week. Later this year I think I may indulge in rereading another beloved series (maybe the Little House on the Prairie books or The Chronicles of Narnia) but for now I'm already knee-deep in a new stack.