It was more than just a story for me. It was my home away from home; my escape. The letter I was waiting to get from the owl I was sure to meet. It was the possibility that I was more than just me.
I remember the first time I read a Harry Potter book. I was about 8 I think. Dad had driven me all the way to the Dr’s office, an endless drive for an 8 year old. I remember I was young because I was still sitting in the back seat of the car. Then again I’ve always been short so I sat in the back seat for a long time. Anyway, we took care of everything we needed to, we got in the car to head back home and Dad stopped at a gas station on the way out. Me, being the impatient person that I am, could not bear to sit and wait the 5-8 minutes it would take to fill up the car with gas. So I looked around to find something to occupy my time with. And that’s when I saw it, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I specifically remember studying the cover of the book for a while before finally deciding it was worth my time to open. The rest is history.
I found myself waiting for my 11th birthday when I would inevitably get an invitation to a secret school.
When my birthday came and went, my imagination filled in the holes. I carefully read every book and became good friends with Ron, Harry and Hermione (In my head I pronounced it Her-me-own-ee). I remember waiting in line for one of the books to come out so we could buy our family copy.I remember that each book got exponentially better. I remember that when I read the 4th book I got half way through and took a 3-4 month break before picking it up again.
And then the movies came out. It felt that they always came out around Thanksgiving time and Harry Potter is closely related with my memories of family Thanksgivings. The weather was always wonderful and my little sister, Maddie, and I would head out in search of the perfect stick, or rather, the perfect wand. We would play ‘Hannah Potter’ (since we were both girls) and I would be all the characters except ‘Hannah’ (that was Maddie’s part). We wrote each other invitations to Hogwarts and sealed them in wax.
I found myself waiting for my 11th birthday when I would inevitably get an invitation to a secret school.When my birthday came and went, my imagination filled in the holes.
And then Dumbledore died. I was sitting on the couch in my bedroom reading. My Aunt Darla had just arrived at our house for a visit right as I read about his death. My cute little cousin Sierra ran into my room, excited to see me and was very concerned when she found me bawling my eyes out in front of a book.
The last book tugged on my heartstrings. It had such a beautiful ending. It was so much more than the ever so common, Good Triumphs Evil. The end of the book talked about how the witches and wizards, gryffendors and slytherins, goblins and trolls and whoever else all gathered and celebrated together with no prejudice between them. The perfect world. The world where everyone came together to fight for a common goal, for the good of the world and won and that’s all that mattered.
Tonight Chris and I went to see the last movie FINALLY. And once again, there I was bawling my little eyes out (in the second row of the dollar movie theater craning my neck with those stupid 3D glasses, trying to get comfortable). Because I watched my favorite oasis, my home away from home, my escape: Hogwarts, get destroyed. I saw my favorite teachers and best friends fight to the death. I watched them all pull out their inner strength that they had been suppressing (Neville much?) and kick some ass.
So go ahead and say it, I’m a dork. But these stories bring me back to my childhood. And still now they are making me remember how I felt then: I might not have a magic wand, and I might not be a witch going to Hogwarts. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t make incredible things happen.
Those who don’t look for the magic,will never find it.