Monday, June 26, 2017

“Three little stars on the corners of pages and the bases of hearts”

It has always been very difficult for me to put into words how much I love Harry Potter.

In 2001, when I was in third grade, a movie about a boy wizard was about to come out and my friend Megan and a bunch of other kids were really excited for it. They had been reading the books and were part of the big whispers surrounding my life — about some story from across the pond that was changing the world.

I thought there was no way these books were good as everyone said they were. As snarky a child as I am an adult, I was sure I was right about this and everyone else — in the world — was wrong. Then I found out Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was worth a whopping 13 Accelerated Reader points and I decided I’d give it a shot anyway. I was nine.

The rest, as they say, was history.

It is in no way an exaggeration to say that I am the person I am because of Harry Potter.

It was the first book series I ever read every book of. Hermione Granger was the first character I saw myself in. The first line of Goblet of Fire was the first quote I memorized on purpose. Some of the first things I ever wrote in my life, before I even decided to be a writer, were pieces of Harry Potter fanfiction.

My first midnight book release was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It resulted in a caricature that’s on the wall at my mom’s house, of 11-year-old Gryffindor me, transfiguring a dog into a bowl. Silly, really — today I am a Slytherin whose favorite lesson would be Charms.

The first midnight movie showing I attended was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. It was a high school graduation present from my best friend’s older sister and I cried almost the whole way through it. I was 18.

Three years later, when I was still 20, I got three little stars tattooed forever on the inside of my right ankle.

Last summer, I attended the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, dressed as a female Sirius Black, and I cried while we counted down to midnight.

I’m 24 and when I re-read Harry Potter, I feel every age I’ve been before now because Harry Potter has been the most important thing to me for almost my entire life.

Everything I believe in and fight for can, in some way, be tied back to this series. My fierce attitudes about feminism and bigotry and how important it is to care about things and fight for things and never let the bad guy win all stem from Harry Potter.

When J.K. Rowling wrote a book about a boy wizard 20 years ago, she didn’t know the impact it would have on the entire world. There was no way she could guess the impact it would have on me.

I am who I am because of Harry Potter. I can’t imagine being anyone else.

NOTE: The title of this blog is taken from this poem, which you should read.

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