Tonight I'm going to see the first part of the last Harry Potter movie! I have been looking forward to this for months. Years even. Harry Potter and I go waaaay back. Let me explain:
It all started when I was about to go into 3rd grade. (Sounds so corny when I say it like that). But throughout second grade and before I HATED learning and reading. I despised ANYthing to do with school. I begged my teacher not to make me go to the library once a week as we did in my school. I argued that I would just forget about the books I checked out and that I'd get these huge fines. I did alright in school but I didn't care about it. Around this time Harry Potter was gaining popularity in the US and I was beginning to hearing a bit about it. There was NO way I was ever going to read that stupid book. It sounded like the biggest waste of my time, I mean come on I could be out making mud pies with my neighbors!
My sister's friend introduced her to the books and let her borrow the first one. For as long as I can remember, my sister read out loud to herself. I would hear the hum of her voice through her door when I'd walk by her room some days. I loved it. Anyway, I was with her when she started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and from the moment the first sentence was out I was hooked. I remember sitting on the floor staring at her as she read, dreading the moment she would get tired and stop. The adventures that Harry, Ron and Hermione went on were just so exciting to my little 7 year old brain. When she finished the first one I couldn't wait to start the next one.
I checked it out of my school library as fast as I could and devoured it. Finishing in record time for someone as young as I. The 3rd and 4th books soon followed and were finished quickly as well. My teacher began to notice my vocabulary shooting through the roof. I still have the note from her to my parents. I began to love school and learning. I wanted to be smart and a kind of know-it-all. I wanted to be...well..amazing I guess.
Although I love Harry and Ron, Hermione was always my favorite. She always knew the right answer and always knew what to do. But she was also awkward and didn't really know how to act around other people her age. I totally identified with that. I still do. She has two things that I will probably never have and that is two BEST friends that are almost as close as siblings. See, I'm not the type of person to be super close to any one person. I may be close with them and know some about them but I don't know them as well as Harry knows Hermione or Ron knows Harry. For the longest time, I felt so alone; I wanted that kind of friendship. People often ask me how many times I think I've read the Harry Potter books and I honestly can't say because it's uncountable by now. They follow up by asking why I've read it so many times and normally I answer saying it's because they're so good, which is true but there is another reason. It' may seem silly to you but the books were my friend for a long time.
People may look at me and think that I have a bunch of friends, and I do but I don't have that level of friendship. I don't know how to explain it. I feel almost like an outsider looking in when I walk up to a group of my friends. Like I'm not wanted. Mostly that's cause I see how people will be talking about something but will immediately clam up or start to whisper to whoever they were talking to. I feel like they don't want to speak aloud in front of me because they may think that I'll judge them. Which is something I try very hard not to do! I want people to feel like they can tell me things. I want people to know I won't spread around what they tell me.
When I'm reading Harry Potter, I can see myself in their world, I feel what the characters feel. I relate to them. I can empathize with them. When I finish a Potter book, I always feel like there is something missing. Or when one of my favorite characters die, same thing. I don't know how to explain it but it's weird. I'm normally always reading a Harry Potter book on the side just so it's there. So I'm basically an expert on the series :)
I can't wait for this movie. I can't believe it's all really coming to a close. It's been 10 years. The movies have spaned from 3rd grade to after 12th grade for me once Part 2 comes out this summer. How weird is that? Like the books, I don't know how many times I've seen the movies. I love them too, though not as much as the books. They always have to leave some things out that I really enjoyed in the books. But I understand. Tonight is going to be a night to remember for sure and I'm happy to be able to share it with some of my friends. They are truely amazing people.
J.K. Rowling had no idea that simple words that she wrote would ever mean so much to so many people. She's wonderful. Thank you so much Jo.