I feel like I have just stumbled back into the real world. I have spent the last hour plus finding my way back. And the eight hours before that reading.
I got a later start than intended. Bed was nice this morning, so I didn't make it to the bookstore for their 8 am opening (also didn't make it for the midnight release party, but I never intended to do that). Instead, I headed over around 10 am and found myself back home a bit before 11. I read one chapter and then forced myself to make a quick breakfast and morning coffee, knowing that if I didn't do it then, I might forget to eat for several hours. Occasional bathroom breaks, a trip to Dairy Queen at about 2:30 for a Blizzard, heated-up pizza at 5. I finished a little before 7 pm.
I cried a lot, though I am prone to such reactions when reading, so it is not a good measure for others. One of the characters I had worried about made it to the end. But others I had never even considered as being in danger did not. I turned out to be correct about some guesses made in the past, but not all. And there was plenty I had not expected. Heck, even the stuff I was expecting still took me by surprise in the execution. (I exclaimed out loud more than once and it's good Scooter's not around, because he doesn't need to be repeating that language.)
The series is done for me now; I have seen it from beginning to end. And as much as I would love to hear more and more from these characters, as many suggestions as I might be able to make for other plotlines in the series (Surely McGonagall has quite the story to tell), I do feel the requisite sense of closure and am (mostly) at peace with how things have ended.
I look forward to working through the series again to see how the earlier books fall into place now that I know where they're ultimately headed. But I have given my day to this and must, for the time being, return to exam-writing and comps-reading. Sigh.