I woke up this morning and saw all these posts about the first Harry Potter book turning 20 today. It made me smile, but it also made me feel very old, but that is not really important, I guess. While I’m sitting here in my Potter pyjamas, writing this piece, the memories of all those Harry Potter years started coming back. Even after these twenty years, I still love the Harry Potter series very much. Some argue that I and many of my fellow Potterheads are too old to like it. But then again, who decides those things? Harry Potter has been a very big part of my life and has taught me so many things. To celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter, I wanted to write down what the series means to me. Most importantly, how it all started.
It all started with a book
I did not read the first Harry Potter book right away. In fact, I started with the second book. But it took a few years after those came out before I lost myself in Pottermania. I was 7/8 and a massive Pokémon fan. I had a classmate who was obsessed with Harry Potter and we did not get on well because of this. However, when we had to pick new books to read, I chose Chamber of Secrets, because that was the only book available. I immediately fell in love. Not much later, we had to change seats in class and I was put close to the Harry Potter girl. She was not very pleased, but after I started spilling my Harry Potter knowledge, we became friends.
Not much later, I got the first book at a flea market. After that, I saved money to buy the other books in the series, as they were gradually released. I became enchanted by the story and when I was eleven, my friend and I were certain we would get letters. “If it is going to happen, it has to happen now.” Unfortunately, our letters got lost in the mail.
When the Halfblood Prince came out, I got to go to the midnight release. I was super excited, donning my cheap-ass Hogwarts robes. I managed to trip over a wire and brought down the entire light system, but I did have a great time. And, once I had the book in my hands, I did not stop reading.
Harry Potter was a big part of my childhood. From reading those books to playing Harry Potter during recess (it was always Potions class and I was always Snape), it has left a mark on me. It were the first novels I read in English at a young age, because I could not wait for the translations. So the series have not only sparked my love for magic, but also for the English Language.
Harry Potter at the movies
In 2001, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out in theatres. I recall going there with my cousin and we got a special Harry Potter menu consisting of a drink and a chocolate frog. I thought the film was absolutely fantastic. The magic was really brought to life and I couldn’t wait to see the next films. While the films weren’t necessarily faithful to the books, I still thought they were wonderful.
I was even more excited when I heard that Leavesden Studios was going to be changed into the Making of Harry Potter. I went there twice now. And every single time, I get blown away by the amount of detail that went into creating those sets. The best thing was to share this experience with friends who love the series as much as I do. Especially seeing the Hogwarts model made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The best thing I heard when I was there was a little boy who said to his father: “Thank you for introducing me to Harry Potter.” My heart melted and to be honest, if I ever have children of my own, I will definitely read them the books.
Why I still love Harry Potter
The truth is, Harry Potter is more to me than just a story. Perhaps because it has influenced me so much growing up, I just can’t seem to let it go in my adulthood. Harry Potter was the first series I read which featured a strong female character. Every single day I try to be a little bit like Hermione. Except I try not to be too bossy, but hey. Apart from that, I identify as a Gryffindor, and while I am also quite impulsive and think that I am stronger than I actually am, I also try to be brave when I have to be.
The most important reason why I still love Harry Potter, is because it taught me that magic is real. That evil can be beaten no matter who you are. It taught me to accept everyone, even when someone is different from me for whatever reason. And also, it has taught me a lot about friendship and has given me a lot of friendships in return. Even after all those years, Harry Potter still connects people and that is worth so much. To all of those who say it is just for children and that Harry Potter fans should grow up, it is a shame you don’t understand.
Every single day, I am still thankful that I got to experience this story and while I don’t agree with every single Harry Potter related thing released today (ahum, Cursed Child), the magic is still very much alive.
Are you still a Harry Potter fan? Which house do you belong to? Let us know in the comments.
More 20th anniversary content? Check which house Nora was sorted into!