just so you know now

WARNING: Maybe-spoiler for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Work. A bit of a lull. I'm leaving on my lunch break in half an hour.

"Hey, Jonathan, want to know the ending of the next Harry Potter book?" says a previously mentioned coworker.

I feel my heart sinking; at this point, I've managed to successfully avoid any spoilers for two weeks. And since I have a pre-order, which is supposed to be picked up toady, I signed of the Internet for the homestretch.

I hadn't counted on real life spoilers.

"No," I said, and covered my ears. I couldn't think of any better signal than the ol' childhood standby. "No no no no no no." He smiled and padded off. Silly Jonathan.

A few minutes later, he asked how Harry was gonna defeat Voldemort. I said he would have to destroy the horcruxes and face off in a battle in some arena, but don't tell m-

"Nuh uh," a toadlike smirk spread across his face. "He has to kill himself."

He didn't even stay to discuss it; he just kept on with that smug smile, and wandered off, a remarkable feat in a store only slightly larger than a shoebox. As if, having spilled his emotional load, he pulled his pants and wandered off to the kitchen, leaving me with a face whose contents can only be described as "What the hell?"

I wonder what kind of a sandwich one makes oneself after verbal bukkake.

The worst part? When I asked him why, exactly, the hell did he tell me this, he bleated something about "It was on the news!"

No. No it wasn't. And if it had been, I wouldn't have needed you to tell me.

I pointed out that that was not an actual answer and asked again. He mumbled I would've found out anyway. Yes, by reading the book. I will die someday, but I'd rather die in my sleep at 75 than bleeding out from a gunshot wound to my gut in a dark alley tomorrow.

It's not so much the spoiler that bugs me-I use the Internet, I know what lengths people can go to for a lie-as the sense of violation I feel. I wanted to go into the book expecting nothing, hoping everything. A virgin reader, if you will. And now I'll have to draw that image.

The point being, whether it's true or not, the "spoiler"will color my perceptions of the book. And I like to read things as pure and untrammeled as possible.

And the strange thing is, I know why he did it. I've been there. When book five came out, I went to my sister a few dozen pages in, and informed her, over her strident protests, that Ron and Hermione had become prefects. I did not use the Internet, seeing as we were in Florida at the time, but there were doubtless no shortage of hollow trees I could yell into. Failing that, the toilet bowl. I immediately felt guilty, thinking of the times I've been spoilered, and lied, claiming I was just joshing with her. She, of course, doubted the veracity of my claims, but the point is, I felt remorse. This chucklehead felt no such regret.

See, we all have impulses that could hurt others. What distinguishes the dick from everyone else is that he regularly acts on these for his own satisfaction, without any regard for the desires of others. Some even deliberately hurt people. And when your life is geared toward that? When you pain others just because it'll make you feel better?

You're doing it wrong.

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