I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time when I was 13 years old. As I have mentioned at the time I was in to only one type of books: cheesy romances. I was stuck in a genre that now activates my gag reflex and would not entertain reading anything that did not fall into that genre.
My little brother had read all four books (all that was out at the time) and encouraged me to start them. All I knew about them is they were about wizards and magic. Definitely not up my alley at all. My memories are foggy as to how he convinced me to give it a try but somehow he did it. I finished the first with feeling iffy. I was not yet hooked but I did decide to go on. I FLEW through the second book. I had a bit of a harder time getting into the 3rd but once I did it quickly became my favorite in the series. I was officially hooked.
What started then was a great adventure for me and Harry Potter. 13 years old, going through the “gawky” stage, and very unsure of myself when I started the series to 22 years old, confident in my job and life, and a mere weeks away from being engaged when the last book came out.
I have such fond memories of those times. I went to the midnight releases for books 5, 6, and 7. I have no shame admitting I cried my way through the last book. Chapter 34 “The Forest Again” is my favorite chapter of the series. I think it is so beautifully written, it nailed all the emotions that had built up through out the book. It was amazing to me. I finished the book within 24 hours and when I shut the book I felt a sense of grief. It was over. I wished I taken my time to enjoy it a bit more, but I know I never would have been able to. I was too enraptured.
For me Harry Potter represents my childhood. I feel like the characters are friends that I shared my teenage years with. I went to the 5th book midnight release with my best friend, a boy whom I was convinced I was going to marry. I went to the 7th book release with the man who I did marry, the love of my life J. I actually don’t know if I can find the words to express how much these books mean to me. They are always a comfort when I feel a little down or am going through troubled times. I can pick them up and I am transported to another time and place. Even though I could probably repeat some of the lines if I cared to try, they pull me in every time. It doesn’t matter how many times I read them, they still capture me.
So I say thank you to J.K. Rowling. Thank you for all the adventures. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for creating a world that feels as real to me as life. And even though I may be a little older than most of the students, I’ll still gladly accept my Hogwarts letter any time.
I leave you with this final note: Snape, Snape, Severus Snape. DUMBLEDORE!