Books

September 1, 2017

*Nineteen Years Later*

Today is Harry Potter Epilogue Day.  It’s the date, nineteen years from the Battle of Hogwarts, when Albus Severus will board the Hogwarts Express for the first time, stressing out about what house he will be placed in.  It’s the date that Ron and Harry see Scorpius Malfoy for the first time.  It’s the date we find out that Harry is happily married to Ginny with three children and Ron and Hermione are married with two children.  It’s the date we found out “All was well.”

In honor of epilogue day, I’m going to talk yet again about what Harry Potter has meant to me over the years.  It’s so much more than a book and movie series to me and many people don’t understand my passion for it.  I received the first three books as a gift from my parents on Christmas Day during my fifth grade year.  I accidentally picked up the second book first and was very confused, but figured out within the first few pages what I had done.  I read all three books in about two days and then I just had to keep re-reading them because the fourth book wouldn’t come out until July 8, 2000, the summer between fifth and sixth grade.

My friends and I would pretend to be Ron, Harry, and Hermione and run around with sticks for wands.  I received my copy of Goblet of Fire in the mail and couldn’t put it down, barely sleeping and taking it to summer camp with me during the day until I finished it.  I had to wait almost three years for the fifth book, which came out the summer after 8th grade.  I started suffering from depression in seventh grade, so the books got dark around the time my life did.

In high school, there were a couple of times when I was suicidal, but decided not to kill myself because I had to know how Harry Potter ended (and I couldn’t leave my family behind, but Harry Potter was a big factor, too).  J.K. Rowling quite literally saved my life with the books she wrote.  Aside from needing to know how the books would end, the books gave me hope.  More than being stories about magic, they are stories about love, hope, family, friendship, courage, loyalty and good conquering evil.  The characters may be fictional, but they are like old friends to me.  J

.K. Rowling taught me that Dementors don’t have to be the end and that  I can survive hard feelings.  She created the Dementors as an allegory for depression and I can’t think of a better one in any literature I’ve read.  They suck all of the happiness away and make you feel as though you’ll never be cheerful again, which is exactly what depression does to me.

When I find myself feeling sad or lonely, watching or reading Harry Potter always makes me feel better about my life, even if it’s just temporary.  So Happy Epilogue Day.  I hope the Harry Potter series can bring joy and peace to others the way it does for me.  I’m off to watch some Harry Potter!

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Adventure

Why I Will Never Feel Ashamed of My Passion for Harry Potter

Harry Potter has always been there for me.  Many people don’t understand my intense love for Harry Potter, but the truth is that Harry has been there for me when everything else has sucked.  In times when I have suffered from crippling depression and felt like I would never ever be happy again, the world of HP gave me an escape from my own life into something magical and beautiful.  In times where I felt anxious, sad, or angry, Harry Potter was an outlet for my negative emotions.  I grew up with the Harry Potter books, setting, and characters.  I grew up learning that “pure blood” often means greedy and jealous while “mudblood,”  the most insulting thing you could call a witch or wizard, often means intelligent and skilled.  I now relate almost everything I see or hear to Harry Potter.  The recent Amendment One atrocity out of North Carolina?  That reminded me of Professor Umbridge’s idea that “progress for progress’s sake must be discouraged, for our tried and tested traditions often require no tinkering.”  The impending losses that I am trying to prepare myself to experience?  Well, after all, “to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”  I also find the idea “the ones we love never truly leave us” very comforting.

Harry Potter taught me about love, friendship, courage, death, oppression, and to never judge something or someone by appearance alone.  It taught me that people often aren’t what they seem, that it is important to be present and truly live your life, and that death is just another part of life.  It taught me that prejudice is not okay but that it can be hard to change institutionalized oppression and racism.  It taught me that girls can be powerful too, that we should all be thankful for every moment we have with the people we love, and that “happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Image

This picture is of my brand new Harry Potter Tattoo that is based off of the Deathly Hallows symbol. Instead of a triangle for the Invisibility Cloak, I used Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s wands. Hermione’s wand forms the base because she is really what holds the group together.  Ron and Harry would be lost without her.  To me, this symbolizes the importance of friendship. Instead of a circle for the Resurrection Stone, I used a heart, which symbolizes the immense power and meaning of love. Instead of a line for the Elder Wand, I used a lightning bolt to symbolize courage.   I chose to have it located where it is so that I can see it every day and be reminded of the wonderful lessons I’ve learned and the great childhood I had the privilege of experiencing.  This tattoo is not for anyone but me, so I chose to have it oriented to where it would be right side up for me but upside down to most people looking at it.

I adore this tattoo.  I adore everything about the HP universe.  Thank you, Jo, for the amazing gift that you have given to me and so many others.