First things first. I know it LOOKS like I’m a lazy so-and-so because I didn’t finish Haiku Every Day in June, just like I didn’t finish Blog Every Day in April… but I actually got sick. And, well… no haiku. I’M SORRY, I LOVE HAIKU EVERY DAY IN JUNE.
Now that that’s out of the way, my sister sent me a link to this newspaper article this morning, and if, by some miracle, you don’t know that I’m a Harry Potter Nerd, well… I am. So I accepted the challenge, and I emailed the guy.
And then I thought, well now, these are some lovely thoughts. I might like to share them with my Harry Potter friends. And anyone else who cares to take a look.
So here we go: my thoughts on What Harry Potter Means to Me.
I lost count of the times I read the (first four) books when I got to thirty times each. In 2003. And I never stopped reading them.
To me, Harry Potter is more than a book series, or heaven forbid, a movie franchise. To me, Harry Potter is the beautiful friends I’ve made all around the world, because of fansites, because of Melbourne Muggles Meetups, because of Potter-related graffiti in the girls’ toilets at my uni.
Harry Potter is Wizard Rock, it’s A Very Potter Musical, it’s Potter Puppet Pals: it’s the way people read these books and NEED to share the way it’s made them feel and think.
Harry Potter is the HP Alliance and wanting to make a change in the world. It’s like my hero JKRowling said: “We do not need magic to change the world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” (It’s also watching that Harvard graduation ceremony to see what Jo had to say.)
It’s reading the first book in French in the name of “studying” for a French exam (my HP is better than my French, though, and I’d pick out one or two words and say, “Oh, that’s THIS sentence!”). (It’s calling it “the first book” instead of “Philosopher’s Stone”, because the French translates to “The School of Wizards”.)
Harry Potter is running around Melbourne in costume with the aforementioned Harry Potter Friends, singing the aforementioned Wizard Rock, and, for once, not giving a damn what anyone else thinks.
It’s finding a Harry Potter reference in absolutely anything.
It’s the fanfiction I wrote as a thirteen year old, making me want to spend the rest of my life with the written word – hoping to write novels that inspire people as much as JKRowling, and in the meantime learning to write newspaper articles that inspire people to write in long emails about why they’re such a nerd, haha.
It’s going to a HP trivia night and later finding out you were pointed out by one friend to a future friend (sister) as “That girl with the lion on her hat? Her team will win.” (And it did.)
It’s going to another HP trivia night and being in the lead right up until the last round, where it became a tie. And the tie breaker was a debate. Two Hufflepuffs (my team-mate and I) versus two Slytherins. My team-mate and I got to choose which side we’d argue before we heard the topic. Being optomistic Hufflepuffs, we chose to argue “for” whatever the topic would be. The topic was “Harry and Hermione will be romantically involved by the end of the seventh book” (this was in January ’07, before Deathly Hallows came out). We couldn’t make a believable argument (duh), and we lost the entire trivia night.
Harry Potter is having the dictionary in my phone know words like “Hufflepuff”, “Septumsempra!” and “Accio”, because I use them in my day-to-day conversations.
It’s wearing a necklace of “butterbeer” corks that once was only worn as a costume, but now sometimes just gets worn as jewellery.
Harry Potter is believing that Harry Potter will NEVER be finished, ending only when “none here are loyal to [it]”. And wanting to read Chris Pedler’s thesis on the matter.
Harry Potter is locking yourself up in a hotel room with a dozen of the best people in the world, and reading Deathly Hallows for the first time, shouting page numbers to each other to show appreciation for something, without spoiling for the slower readers.
Harry Potter is crying at 9:01AM July 21st, 2007, aged fifteen, sleep-deprived, and overwhelmed with excitement when they opened the first box of books. It ISN’T being told, “That’s a bit sad, don’t you think? Don’t you need to get a life?” by Tracy Bartram, but well, that happened too.
Do I need to “get a life”? Perhaps. But do I want to? No way! Harry Potter has literally shaped the person I am today, and you might think “that’s a bit sad”, but then, well, you don’t have the most amazing like-minded friends in the world.