I wanted to take a brief break from the steampunk theme to say a few words about what was a huge part of my life.
In middle school I was introduced to a book about a boy who went to a wizard school and had wonderful adventures with his friends. I was loaned the first two books by a friend right before a family trip, during which my brother and grandfather were in a car accident. They were both ok, but there was a week of sitting in a hospital waiting room before we were sure of this. I read those two books maybe ten times each and I’m certain they saved my sanity and were all that kept me from constant panic attacks.
I remember begging parents to take me to the midnight book releases. I also remember breaking my promise of going to sleep right after getting home and instead reading the books through the night, despite being in a zombie-like state. I remember crying like a baby when certain characters died, throwing the books across the room in anger when others did. And any time Umbrige opened her mouth. I remember jumping around and cheering on the twins, and Molly Weasley.
I remember seeing the first films and being swept up in the magic, despite the horrible special effects. And ranting about said effects. And being in line buzzing on a sugarless sugar high as soon as the next film came out. I’ve hosted Harry Potter parties, made up theme prizes and trivia games. I took a million online sorting tests and then proudly wore my Hufflepuff scarf until it was an unrecognizable knot of fuzz. I made not one, but two Harry Potter themed coordinates just so I could have something for both hot and cold weather conditions.
I spent hours talking with friends, and can tell you from memory which of my high school group belongs to which house, even which have changed houses as they changed in life. Even come up with (semi)witty Harry Potter related comebacks.
Yes, Ravenclaws might be smart, but this Hufflepuff was smart enough to marry one.
I spent a day at Harry Potter World, was picked for the wand show, drank butterbeer until my stomach hurt and had an amazing time on the rides and in the shops. For a while I forgot we were in the middle of a move I didn’t want to make and figured out that it would all be ok after all, that it was going to be fun if I wanted it to be.
And it isn’t just my personal experiences, either. There’s a world full of people just like me. There are kids that are reading that wouldn’t be without their favorite wizard. There are books out there that are popular that might not have been published if Harry hadn’t proven that kids will read, and that they’ll read long books. There are movies that wouldn’t have been made without the success of the Harry Potter film. The things this series has done is awe inspiring.
But tonight I’ll be in line for the midnight premier with my husband, likely with my phone on speaker talking to another friend in a premier line states away. I’ll be eating my official Honeydukes sugar quill I’ve been saving for the occasion. And it will be the last time. Tonight something wonderful and amazing is ending and I felt it is only right to make some small tribute to it’s passing.
So thank you J.K. Rowling. Thank you so very much for all those wonderful stories and the memories I wouldn’t have without your books to bring them together. Thank you for the friendships made by having an interest both sides enjoyed. Thank you for the kids that think reading might just be interesting and cool because of your books.
If you can, take just a minute and share your own Harry Potter experiences and remember everything it’s meant to you.
It has been an amazing journey and a wonderful adventure.