Harry Potter is arguably a staple of my generation. I remember being in 3rd grade the first time I heard his name. Over the years, as the movies continued to come out and the final book was released, my friends and peers all knew the story. We all knew the Boy Who Lived, and when the final movie was released, statuses were posted nearly in unison after the midnight premiere, simply saying “Mischief Managed.” One of the most commonly shared quotes from the series goes as follows “‘After all this time?’ ‘Always.'” Harry Potter taught many of my generation about courage and wisdom and self-sacrifice and what it means to be a good person, and I have finally joined them in reading the entire series.
My wizarding journey began back in 4th grade, when we were read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I read Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban on my own, but stopped less than one hundred pages into Goblet of Fire. All through middle school, high school, college, I shrugged off the Harry Potter fandom, having lost interest. Through friends I heard details of the story over the years, and even saw a few of the movies, but it never stuck. Never caught my interest. In the back of my mind, I knew that I would likely eventually read the books, if for no other reason than it means so much to people my age who literally grew up with Harry Potter.
Near the end of October, 2016, I finally began the Harry Potter series anew. I read books 1 through 7, finishing the last one on December 8, 2016. What’s funny about it is now Goblet of Fire, the one I could not get through years ago, stands out as personal favorite of the series. Through this read-through, I fell in love with Hermione, I adored Professor McGonagall, I laughed at the Weasley twins’ antics, I cried when Cedric’s body was returned to his father, I got angry with Harry, and I finally began to understand why this universe has held my peers enraptured for so many years.
I feel my perspective of these novels is altered because I read most of them for the very first time as an adult, and I’m glad of it. I’m glad I got to read them all for the first time back to back, and watch the movies as I finished the books. However, part of me does wish I had been engaged with them as they came out, as certain events in the books were unavoidably spoiled over the years. Dumbledore’s death at the end of The Half-Blood Prince was not nearly as impacting on me as it could have been if I had not known it was coming. It’s just things like that, that I wish I could have discovered for the first time on my own, and that I cannot wait for my children to discover someday.
I won’t say I’m a diehard Potterhead now. I have no plans to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It just holds no interest for me, especially since I’ve heard it reads like fanfiction. Maybe someday, I’ll venture there, but for now, I’m content with the original seven books. I will say this though.
I am a proud Ravenclaw now. I am glad to have undertaken this journey with Harry from the tender age of eleven, all the way up until he was an adult. I marvel at how intricately woven the details were, how J.K. Rowling manages to make nearly all them have some significance to the story.
There’s not much I can say that likely hasn’t been said over the years since the series ended and the final movie was released, so I’ll just end this Reader Rambles with “All was well.”
Until next time, Kelswitch over and out.