Ever since I can remember, I have been a big fan of the Harry Potter series and even though everyone has seen the movies, read the books, and has been sorted into their own house on Pottermore, I always find myself coming back to this series to enjoy the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermoine. These books shaped some of my worldview through the wisdom of the author with lines like, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” (Rowling, 214). Just by that one line I feel inspired to get out do more with myself. So I think it’s safe to assume that Rowling’s sprawling narrative of Harry and his friends is my absolute favorite.
My earliest memory of myself being introduced to these stories was my mother reading the first book to me and my brother Michael. Harry Potter was something else, something new. Before this book magical movies and books were not allowed due to the sinful nature of witchcraft. My father being a Baptist Preacher forbid any such stories, but after my mother pre-read the book and had many talks with my father, they decided that we could make an exception for the Catholic J.K. Rowling. So my brother and I sat on the carpet floor for hours listening to my mother narrate the adventures of young witches and wizards even when she sometimes struggled with the strange character names.
“Ugh, I just can’t figure out how to pronounce this character’s name,” said my mother, “Hermee…Hermoh…H-”. “Let me see!” shouted Michael. “Mom that’s Her-my-nee,” he explained. “Oh, Hermoine” she finished. It was enjoyable to see my brother who was eight be able to correct my mother who was a teacher.
Time went on and more books in the series were released and Warner Brothers filmed adaptations of those books and I continued to eat up any and everything Harry Potter. I remember the first Harry Potter Movie I saw in theatres was Prisoner of Azkaban. When the frightful creatures known as dementors came onto screen, seven-year-old me jumped into my father’s lap and hid my face. I was so scared that I turned away from the series for two whole years until I was nine and too big to let children’s books scare me.
Another memory that sticks out is attending the midnight release of The Deathly Hallows at our local bookstore. We were in line for six hours in order to obtain one of the first copies for my mother who always read the books first. It wasn’t until I had reached middle school that I would really sink into the Hogwarts. I imagined myself receiving my own acceptance letter and boarding a train to a far more interesting school than my own boring one. What it would have been like to attend Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Fending off giant spiders and catching snitches in Quidditch matches. I fell in love with each of the characters since I could relate to each one in different ways. To be the hero of my own story like Harry, intelligent like Hermoine, and loyal like Ron. They in fact sometimes felt like my best friends.
It has been fifteen years since I sat on my living room carpet to learn about Harry for the first time and each year I still find myself venturing back into the books to reread them all over again. I notice new things, laugh at the same spots, I even still catch myself leaning into the book during thrilling bits, as if I don’t remember how Harry gets himself out the dangerous situation. It may seem childish to be so fond of children’s books but these books were my childhood. And you know, I think I’ll read them again next year.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Scholastic, 1998. Print.