I was 17 when the first Harry Potter book came out. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out quietly—a mere whisper in the wind, and I didn’t hear its call.
My cousin Ric had been blabbing about Harry Potter since he discovered it when he was in High School, and I had already been hearing rave reviews about the books from various friends. But being in my rebellious young adult phase, I refused to jump into the bandwagon right away.
The first time I read the book, I was in already well into my third year in college. Ric had left his library copy of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at my house.
I was home with a fever and had no intention of doing anything even remotely academic. I saw the book lying around the living room and picked it up.
I hadn’t read any type of fiction book since I stepped into college. I simply didn’t have the time to read for pleasure because I had so many other textbooks and required articles to read. I studied the book’s cover, found it appealing, and read the first page.
Five minutes into browsing, I was completely lost in the words. I found myself heading back to bed, getting comfy and reading through it. I finished the book a couple of hours later, eager for more.
I was so restless after that. I wanted to go out and find the first two books so I could read those too. I called up my cousin later that night to ask if he had a copy and he promised to borrow them from his library. The copies were always checked out in most libraries as the books were so popular. I don’t remember if he ever got to borrow them for me. But I do remember frantically searching for the books and devouring them as soon as I got them.
Book 4, The Goblet of Fire, was coming out that year and I was visiting my mom in the US for summer. I begged her to buy me copies of all four books—and I spent some summer days re-reading the books again and again.
I anticipated every book release eagerly and made sure to buy myself hardbound copies every time. I wanted the books to last. I cried when Sirius died in book 5.
My eyes flooded again in Book 6 when Dumbledore died.
When the final book came out, I found myself doing something I never thought I would ever do. I lined up at Borders for the midnight release. I had a weekend job the following day and had to get up fairly early but I didn’t care. I had the last book in my hand at 1am. I was going to take care of an old lady the next day, and I wanted to get my hands on the book so I’d have something to do while she was asleep.
I read Deathly Hallows in five hours. When I read “The End”, I was an emotional wreck. I was in a haze– bleary-eyed and bawling. I always say it was eye strain, but if I were being honest with myself, I’d say the tears were really because so many of my favorite characters had died–and I was sad to see the series end.
I comforted myself with the thought that I still had a few movie versions to look forward to.
And now it’s finally here. The last installment in the Harry Potter franchise—the last movie I’ll ever see my favorite characters in.
I’ve been watching the trailers for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 over and over, and every time I get goosebumps.
I also found this video featuring a look back at all the 7 Harry Potter movies so far:
I already feel tears welling up, just watching the trailers. I am going to be a wreck when I watch the actual movie.
JK Rowling has come up with something to appease her grieving fans. Pottermore.com is an online gaming website that allows fans to take on characters and play interactively with other fans. It also apparently allows users to garner points and use them to buy items from the Harry Potter shop.
I’m not much of a gamer, though I appreciate a good game now and then. But I know for sure that I’m not going to appreciate the site as much as I appreciated the books and the movies. As far as I’m concerned, Deathly Hallows Part 2 is the last I’ll ever see of Harry Potter and his friends.
I’m filled with a strange sense of impending loss. I feel as though my best friend is moving far, far away and we’ll never be as close again. I know I can revisit Harry anytime I want by simply opening the books or popping the DVD’s into the player; but re-reading a story you already know and love isn’t quite the same as discovering a favorite character’s new adventures for the first time.
Harry Potter brought back my love for reading stories for pleasure. It opened my eyes to a genre I’ve always liked, but never thought I’d love as much. While I was waiting for the sixth book to come out, I suddenly realized that the end was almost near and I began to prepare myself. I prepared myself by looking for other fantasy books, other adventure series to satisfy my cravings for magical stories. I began to devour all sorts of fantasy books—particularly children’s books.
And because I read hundreds of fantasy books, I also began to think of new stories, until I began to yearn to write my own fantasy series.
Harry Potter not only rekindled my love for reading, it also re-ignited the passion for creative writing which had been buried beneath all the technical writing I had to do in college and for work.
J.K. Rowling, the woman behind this amazing series, is one of my heroes.
J.K. Rowling has given us all the priceless gift of a great story, and has reminded us never to give up on our childhood imaginations. She deserves all the wealth she’s now reaping for her hard work. She’s made reading cool again and has inspired kids to read thick books that they wouldn’t normally touch with a ten-foot pole. And she’s made writers of a lot of people—myself included.
To pay tribute to JK Rowling and her amazing story, I will do something this weekend, I never thought I would ever, ever do.
I had promised myself when the movies came out that I would NEVER watch the movie wearing costumes like some of the fans. I thought it was too geeky (even for me) and a bit beneath my impeccable taste.
But this Saturday, I will watch the movie in full Harry Potter costume. I will wear the Gryffindor uniform with pride—robe included. Although I will leave my wand at home and bring a box of tissues instead.
My Harry Potter Halloween costume 2007
After all, I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to the series that re-ignited my passion for reading, and to the author whose words made me the writer I am today.
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