It was about a year ago. Two friends and I drove to Cologne to attend the Harry Potter exhibition that was held in a large museum. We decided to go about two weeks before that, all three of us being avid Potter fans. While we were in the queue, we discussed the Sorting Ceremony. One of my friends is a Hufflepuff, the other is a Ravenclaw and I am a Gryffindor. Still we manage to get along just fine. The Sorting Ceremony wasn’t that spectacular. It was the moment that the doors opened and we were greeted by a steaming Hogwarts Express that all three of us let out a WOW.
We walked around the exhibition and were amazed by all the props and sets used in the films. I had been to the Studio Tour in London before, but this was the first time I shared the experience with actual fellow fans of the series I had grown up with. It was a truly magical experience. From Voldemort whispering in our ears to spending hours in the gift shop. For just those two hours, we were part of the world we wanted to be a part of, and we were happy.
A lot of people don’t understand how someone can be so caught up into a story that they liked as kids. Because that is what happened. Most of us twenty-somethings have grown up with Harry and his friends. We were part of his journey and we were waiting for that Hogwarts letter. Others have other stories and books that they like. I left the theatre after a showing of Twilight and I heard a girl sigh that she would love to have a vampire as her boyfriend. Some people get their favourite quotes or symbols tattooed on their bodies. Others collect everything that has to do with their favourite series. It is hard to understand for someone who has never felt the same way.
Some of us like a book or story when they’re kids and when they grow into adults, they forget all about it. There are faint memories in the back of their heads, but they do not feel like revisiting it. That is okay. But some of us have fond memories of the stories we’ve read as kids because the stories have helped us through tough times. They’ve helped us to grow up. We remember standing in line at midnight to pick up the newly-released book. Finally we could continue our journey.
We fell in love with the characters. As we were devouring those words, we believed that we were part of this alternate world that seemed so much better than our own. More exciting. When something bad happened to the people in the book we cared about, we were rooting for them. We wanted to help them make it out alive. And when one of our favourite characters did die, we were really mourning (R.I.P Dobby).
As adults, we still think back to when we first read those books. Even though we read them again every year. I still wish that one day I can visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, to truly believe that I can be part of the Wizarding World, even just for a day (or two). I consider myself to be pretty grown-up, but I am not ashamed when I get over-excited about something Harry Potter again.
Stories are such powerful tools. They have been going around for as long as we can remember. Stories make us capable to deal with the world around us. We learn from them. We feel every emotion we can feel when we read or hear a good story. Essentially, stories teach us to become who we truly are.
That is why I am not ashamed that I still love the stories I loved as a kid. I am constantly trying to find the stories that speak to me on a whole other level than just reading another book. It is why I have started writing my own stories. For myself and hopefully to someday touch the heart of a person somewhere in the world. Make them believe in the world I have created and I hope that they will make it their own.
As Neil Gaiman said:
Do you have a story you love? Share it with me in the comment section!