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John Noe: Now, you know what I’m curious about now, is that one of the neatest things about the Hogwarts tradition is the entrance ceremony, from the whole riding the boats to the castle to the sorting ceremony. What kind of traditions is there for graduation, and leaving Hogwarts?
J.K. Rowling: Do you know, John, I’m really glad you asked that, because I felt a huge sadness that I wouldn’t write a graduation scene. I really, during the final book, kept thinking it would’ve been — it felt sad that the book wasn’t going to end with that feast scene, the graduation scene, but it couldn’t, it just couldn’t. That’s not the way it could’ve ended. It would’ve felt far too trite, and a lot of people felt the epilogue was too sentimental. I think to have a graduation scene on top of what just happened would’ve been absurd anticlimax.
John Noe: Did you have ideas for kind of traditions they would do, like ride the boats back out of Hogwarts —
J.K. Rowling: Oh yeah, definitely! The boats would’ve been the most poetic and beautiful way to for them to leave, and symbolic in that they — Harry wouldn’t have seen the Thestrals again. You know what I mean? It would’ve been a return to innocence really, and passage of water is so symbolic, in history of magic. So yeah, I think it would’ve been great.
— PotterCast Interviews J.K. Rowling, part one. PotterCast #130, 17 December 2007
imagine a video game where you create a hero whose destiny is to save everyone, but throughout the game you start making harder and more questionable decisions, and the game gets darker and darker. and in the end you’re just standing there, clutching the controller and finally realizing you were playing the villain all along