These are just the stories of how we came about Harry Potter and why the series means the world to us. Enjoy.
I was 7. My 2nd grade teacher had just told my mum that I needed to start reading books that would challenge me, instead of the rainbow magic fairy books the rest of my friends were reading. At the time, I was slightly apprehensive about reading such a ‘large’ book, but, classic me, I took on the challenge of doing something that was out of the ordinary. And so began my love affair with Harry Potter. Everything about it: from the characters to the plot to the simple magic of it all, made me feel like I was part of something. When I was 9, I moved schools, and I struggled. Bullying and no friends is never a good combination, and when you add new student in the mix, the outcomes are always going to be negative. For a whole year, my only true friends at school were Harry, Ron and Hermoine. As lame as that sounds, they were my everything, and I am so overwhelmingly thankful that they allowed me to tag along with their crazy adventures. My story is not devastating, or horrid, or happy. Its plain and its been told a million times over. But I love that I share it with so many others. You see, even after things got better, and I moved on and the world was no longer sad, I continue to re-fall in love with the beauty of magic. Hogwarts was a home to me; in a weird metaphorical way, and I loved living in its fire-lit stone walls. And some part of me does indeed still live there. Because, as my queen J K Rowling once said: Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.
Unlike my genius admirable significant other, I stupidly ignored the good and righteous in the world for many, many wasted years and absurdly chose to make the conscious decision to not to enter the magical world of Harry Potter through its purest form of the book series. I was told time and time again by my parents and my friends that I had to read these books that would completely change my life but I as a naive apprehensive little 7 year old was convinced that Harry Potter fell under the genre of horror and I just wasn’t up for that. For Eid, I was, to the great jealousy of my cousin, presented with the entire Harry Potter bookset but I didn’t even touch it, nope – I regifted. Still, I argued myself to be a ‘Potterhead’ after merely having watched the movies and look, don’t get me wrong – the movies are fantastic, they were my entire childhood and I could probably do a whole different post about all that is good about the casting, camera work and overall production and direction of the films; but those who have actually read the books just know it just bloody isn’t the same. Being best friends with a chick who glared at you every time you mentioned Harry Potter due to not having read it was draining and so I decided that fixing the situation and delving into these books was the most logical thing to do – I love reading and now I was past the stage of ‘oh but it’s scary.’
I remember walking, side by side, with my other half back to our lockers from an insightful modern history lesson and I looked at her and I just knew I had to do it – I was to borrow out Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone that very afternoon. We rushed to get our books in our bags, fast-shuffled (we’re not fit) down the longest flight of stairs ending up at the coolest place of the school – the library, all the while being told that I was so lucky to be reading these books and the envy of this experience I was about to embark on. Needless to say, I had pretty fucking high expectations. We sat by our celebratory, chill – ‘lets not study today’ window on the comfiest beanbags, got our Snapchats out to document this momentous occasion and I opened to the start of the book to read the first sentence, “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much,” and suddenly I was overcome with unexpected emotion and as weird and silly as this may sound – it truly was the most magical moment of my life. Tears from both the ‘two crazy youths’ were shed and from then I was done, I did nothing but read. I fell in love with the skillful writing of the all-powerful J.K. Rowling, the well defined relationship dynamics between Harry, Hermoine and Ron, the indescribable warmness and welcome into Hogwarts, interesting professors, Quidditch, the understanding of hatred for that ‘Umbridge bitch’, Fred and George Weasley, the ever so exciting yet harrowing fight between good & evil and so much more which I can’t go in the fear of spoiling everything for those who have not had the blessing of reading the books – compile into a long list of reasons that the Harry Potter books have become my absolute favourites. Several months after reading these absolute God-send of books I am still experiencing severe withdrawals, sudden bursts of sadness at the thoughts of my prior stupidness in failing to read the books earlier and also an expanded sense of nosiness whenever anything remotely familiar to Harry Potter is mentioned. I’ll forever be grateful for the joys this series has brought me and will always feel the overwhelming sparks of magic at the tips of my fingers as I turn the pages of the books that have genuinely changed my life.
Love, the two crazy youths xxx