The Boy Who Lived… he was (and is) a source of happiness, entertainment, and companionship to all those who have known him.
We all know someone or the other who likes Harry Potter. I am that one friend who is so incredibly obsessed that I will often make you question my sanity. I’ve done everything – from reading the books an infinite amount of times to watching the movies, the parody plays AND the spin-offs.
And of course (the best of them all) I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and experienced the magic in person.
Yes, it might sound a bit crazy to those who don’t share my enthusiasm but it has made me who I am. This summer marks the 20 year anniversary of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and what better time than now for me to pay homage to the series that literally changed my life?
I first met Harry at the age of 8… I didn’t like him.
My first attempt at the series was at the very young age of 8. I quickly gave up because I couldn’t read Hagrid’s way of talking properly and so I got frustrated very quickly and threw the book at the back of my cupboard. (Yes I threw the boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs in a cupboard).
We met again at age 10… I haven’t looked back since.
Thinking about it now, this was the first time I really sat down and started to read. I remember being extremely bored and so I fished the book out of the back of my cupboard and just started to read. Four days in, I was done with the first two and pestering my mother to take me to the bookstore ( I don’t think she liked me very much then!).
I cried when Dumbledore died.
I laughed at the way Ron and Hermione FINALLY got together.
I felt lost when it was over.
Okay, it wasn’t completely over yet because the movies were still in production but still. I moved on to then become so much like Hermione that I would talk like her and learn her dialogues. Even today, whenever any of the movies are on, I’m mouthing the words!
At 13, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 came out.
This was the epitome of the most perfect day of my life. I went to watch the movie in 3D with my best friend. We held hands throughout (which became really gross and sweaty but it was Harry Potter so who cares) and cried like there was no tomorrow. Even on the car ride home, we discussed the things they missed, argued with my mother about the number of Horcruxes and mourned the death of Snape and Fred.
Until the age of 16, I read them every which way.
I read and re-read the books in every sequence possible. I read it book 1 to 7 and then backward from book 7 to 1. Then there was reading just 5, 6 and 7 and then 1 to 4. It sounds mad, but it gives you a different perspective on the plot and the tiniest of details (I HIGHLY recommend it!)
At 16, my dream came true and I went to Florida to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I sat on the Hogwarts Express, I went into the castle, I drank Butterbeer and got my wand from Ollivanders. It’s something I will never forget.
At 17, my life changed and without Harry, I would never have made it through.
Near the end of my teenage years, I was diagnosed with a life-long disease. It brought with it stress, weight gain, hair loss, and depression. The ONLY thing I wanted to do was read.
Harry’s struggles with Vernon, Petunia, Dudley, and Voldemort taught me perseverance in the face of adversity.
The great loss of friends and family in his life taught me to appreciate those that I have.
Finally, Dumbledore taught me some really great quotes that I use now to sound super smart (always a plus.) These books brought me back from a place where I had completely lost myself and for that, I will always be grateful.
Thank you, J.K. Rowling, for creating a world I could escape to, only to begin a journey that has defined me into the individual I am today.
Queen Rowling has done so much for all those who admire her books. I count myself among those lucky enough to have known Harry. Harry Potter is my past, present, and future (pun-intended for all those Potterheads who understand the reference). Although you’ll probably never read this, thank you, Queen Rowling, for saving me and thank you, Harry, for being The Boy Who Lived.
The Internet Can’t Decide If This Pakistani Looks More Like Zayn Malik Or Harry Potter And It’s Hilarious
Cover image via: Warner Bros. Pictures