Tuesday, 26 July 2016

FIVE YEARS AS A POTTERHEAD



Five years ago, Harry Potter meant nothing to me. I heard the words occasionally in passing, and I'd once drew a scar on my forehead, just to point out that Harry and I shared initials. Other than that, J.K Rowling's wonderful world held no significance. Two school friends at the time discussed their viewing of Deathly Hallows Part 2 in front of me, and even though I knew whether Harry lived or died, a part of me wanted to watch the film, just to say I'd seen Harry Potter at the cinemas. 26th of July rolled around, and along with my mum, I saw Deathly Hallows Part 2; and everything changed.

To conform to a cliche - it was very much an 'overnight change.' I went from being entranced by this film to rapidly reading Hermione Granger's page on the Harry Potter Wikia to find out everything that had happened. Never mind spoilers, I had to know everything. Within a week, Harry Potter was all I talked about to my family. Within 2 weeks, I was a beta for Pottermore and by December became a proud Ravenclaw. Within a month, I had tracked down all the films, watched them, and absorbed them into my blood. Within 6 months, I had copies of all 7 books, and was quickly plowing my way through them. I had a security blanket. 

When I returned to school following the summer of 2011, I felt as if I had something nobody else had. 'Geek,' 'Weirdo,' 'Nerd,' 'Freak,' were things that I was called countless times on a daily basis. I was bullied. A lot. And it was a time of isolation, segregation and separation from everyone else, because 'I was too much of a good student to be someone worth being friendly to.'  I was lonely, but when we had reading lessons in English, or when I had no one to be with at lunch and break, I could head to the library, crack open a copy of Harry Potter, and be immersed in a world in which I didn't feel so alone. 

If you love this series, then you  know what an impact it can have. It's so hard to explain its immense scale, because what Harry Potter has transformed everything for me. Watching the films helped me through my first experience of losing someone, only 2 months after first seeing Deathly Hallows Part 2. Characters like Hermione told the 12 year old who hated school because of the bullying that went on there that it was okay to be proud of being studious and bookish. Luna told the 15 year old who felt so distant from her friends that she should embrace her differences, and if people don't like the fact that she wasn't the average teenage girl, then they should go and talk to someone else. The Marauders told a 16 year old who had lost her friends and in sickness was alone that it was okay to take risks, go out, and seek new experiences. 

Without J.K Rowling's wonderful world. I wouldn't be here. High School left me with bouts of depression and anxiety that I still grapple with. There were times when I didn't think I'd see the next week, let alone the next year, but Harry Potter kept me going. Knowing in 2013 and 2014 [two of my lowest points,] that new films from the Potter-universe were only 3 years away kept me going. At a time when I didn't know what my future would hold, all I was certain of was that I wanted to survive long enough to see the first film in 2016. Now the release is 3 months away, and I'm here. I'm here because of my overwhelming love for Harry Potter. It has saved me. 

Friendships that I have now would be different or none existent. Places that I've seen would remain unseen. The career I now so desperately desire would be someone else's dream and not my own. Lost in a Library wouldn't exist. The Holly who I am today would be so, very different or wouldn't be here at all. 

We're now 5 days away from the 8th story being published, and more and more content being produced on Pottermore. This is nothing more than a poorly composed, incoherent ramble, but it needed to be vocalised. I couldn't be more thankful for Harry Potter being a part of my life, and I thank it for every day it has added onto my time on Earth. 


*Disapparates*

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. What you've written here is so deep and personal that I don't know what else to say - I hope you understand what I mean. I just want you to know that I understand how much Harry Potter means to you. (I hope none of that sounded patronising, that's the trouble with typing sometimes)
    Also, right now I'M READING THE SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER AND OMG I LOVE IT. Yeah, reading them for the first time at age 16 (I haven't seen the films). WHY DIDN'T I READ THEM EARLIER?! I've spent the past week thinking and talking about nothing but Hogwarts and omg did I mention that I'm obsessed?? Reading them feels like being let in on this secret that everyone else has known about for years. <3

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    Replies
    1. No, no that didn't sound patronising at all!
      I'm so glad that you're finally reading the series and enjoying it. It's a world that once you're in, you'll never want to leave. I'd really love to know your thoughts a] when you've finished the series and b] in comparing them to the films, Rebekah!

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