Sitting in the very depths of the darkest corner of my bedroom, at my humble desk cluttered with pens, pencils, miscellaneous papers, and Nutty Bar wrappers, with only a dim desk light that would flicker every time someone the floor above me would tromp around too heavily, at the age of 13, wearing a large sweatshirt and running pants, I wrapped myself up in a warm blanket and the beginning of an incredible adventure that I only had to turn the page to continue; This is where I first discovered the wonderful world of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter put a spell on me within the first chapter and I was captivated without a second thought of what I was getting myself into.
My process was simple: read the book, watch the movie, move on to the next book. I figured I could easily handle that process.
I was wrong.
Before I knew it, I was reading books faster than I could get the next one, and watching the movie didn’t help any because I was just reminded of the questions that the last book had left me. One night, I watched three Harry Potter movies in a row without once ever leaving my bedroom.
I still remember the exact moment I finished the 7th book.
I was in Wisconsin, vacationing with my family on our annual snowmobiling trip and it was New Year’s Eve. My dad and I had just finished watching Indiana Jones together. Although I would have rather been reading, I kept myself away from the book and out by the TV because I was in denial that the series was about to be over for me.
It was well past 2am when I finally went to bed, it was late, I was tired, I knew I could just go into my room, lay my head on the pillow, and fall right to sleep without reading a single word. Harry Potter would live if not but one more day for Bailey! For that I was sure.
I was wrong again.
Less than 5 minuets into tossing and turning in bed, I “accidentally” turned to my bedside table and grabbed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Some might have looked at my bookmark and figured I still had at least a few more days to finish it, but I knew better. I tried to tell myself “only one chapter” but who was I kidding, I knew that was NOT going to happen.
At 4:37 am on January 1st, 2013 I felt my world crumble as I closed the orange cover. It felt as though Harry Potter might be gone forever (I know, totally non-melodramatic, right?)
I was determined to prevail during my grief. I tried becoming interested in other book (didn’t work), I tried getting my friends to read the books (also didn’t work), I tried getting my sister to read the books (still, to this day, didn’t work), and then I had an epiphany:
Why don’t I just read them again?
* Poof, Mind=blown*
I read them myself, and then at night, I would read them to my brother. But let’s be honest, I wasn’t doing it to nurture my 8 year old brother, I was doing it for myself.
Although I have completed the books, Harry Potter is still very much alive for me, today only re-established that.
Seeing the Making of Harry Potter gave me a new outlet to review the series. I can now go back and watch all the movies and point out to everyone around me the special effects, the props, the behind the scenes action! (thanks Warner Bros Studio for entertaining me for at least another 19 hours and 39 minutes!)
My fascination with London started long before I ever opened the cover of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and I think that Harry Potter might even be a little more intriguing than other series simply because of its British aspects.
However, the world and I did not fall in love with Britain when we read Harry Potter, we fell in love with a story, a character, a plot, an author, a place, and a home. I think anyone reading the books, whether they have been stuck under their aunt and uncle’s staircase all their lives or not, can find a home at Hogwarts. Anyone can find their place there, anyone can come home to Hogwarts, and the best thing is, we don’t have to have out acceptance letter, we can be a part of Hogwarts by reading the books, watching the movies, touring the set, or going to an amusement park.
Having been through the tour of the making of Harry Potter, I feel even closer to Hogwarts than I ever have before. I can say that I boarded the Hogwarts Express, I walked across Hogwarts Bridge, I looked around Dumbledore’s office, and I drank Butterbeer. In the least, this has strengthened my parasocial relationship with the story to encourage me to re-read (again) the books, watch the movies, and fall even deeper into the world of Harry Potter.
I don’t have the books with me, and because of that, I again feel the ebb of grieving on yet another New Year’s Eve. But I will get over it as I again try and persuade everyone to visit the Making of Harry Potter if they really want to experience the love and comfort of Hogwarts and all the making of Harry Potter.
My trip to London has been very successful so far, including to day which brought me home to Hogwarts, brought the magical world of Harry Potter to life, brought the real world a little bit of magic, and brought Ashely to tears.
Well done London, well done.