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Harry Potter and Me: Part 7

~Thank You, Harry Potter~??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

What started as a stream of thought on a broken-down train has escalated into a phenomenon with a series of books, movies, theme parks, museums, merchandise, and more. Thirteen years of books and movies have fulfilled every child’s fantasy of a world beyond their own that is filled with magic, adventure, and friendship. And although the final book was released in 2007, and the final movie released in 2011, the impact of this series continues, and will continue for the rest of time. Many people (and English teachers) may consider it pop culture with no literary merit, but I completely disagree. The books have universal themes throughout the series, the same themes that are in novels by Charles Dickens, or plays by Shakespeare. In fact, J.K. Rowling drew inspiration from those writers. The story may be fantasy, but the themes within the fantasy are completely realistic. Good vs. Evil, love, abandonment by family, the hero, coming of age, tragedy, etc. All the great novels in history have those themes. But I will not make this post into a defense against what non-HP fans think of the series. This post is solely about the Harry Potter fans. Because they are the only ones that matter.

Harry Potter has changed our lives in many different ways. I don’t know anyone’s stories, but I know that there are plenty of heartfelt ones out there. If you are reading this post and would like to share how Harry Potter has changed your life, please write it below in a comment.

603040_4245929351114_1162356973_nAs for me, I have said how it has changed my life. Harry Potter is what inspired me to begin writing my own stories, and is the inspiration behind me wanting to be an author. At age seven I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I still haven’t changed my mind. Yes, I am going to school to get a teaching certificate, BUT I will never give up on the one thing I want to be. Harry Potter has changed my life even further just by being part of my childhood. I never had an imaginary friend, because the Harry Potter books were there for me throughout my adolescent years. I grew up with the books, the movies… I’ve witnessed how Harry Potter has changed the entertainment industry, both film and literature. I have this emotional connection, just like many others, with the series, due to the fact of me growing up while the characters grew up alongside me. Harry Potter is extremely important to me. I don’t care how many people tell me (including my own sisters) that it’s stupid how I’m still so “obsessed” with Harry Potter and that it makes me “weird” to be so. I don’t care that they tell me to let go and move on, because it was “just a book.” It was “just a movie.” “No one’s going to care about it in a few years.”

My response? YOU DON’T KNOW. You don’t know what it’s like to be part of a community, home to millions of people. You don’t know what it’s like for people from all over the world, who speak different languages, who come from different parts of society, to feel like ONE; to bond over something like Harry Potter. You don’t know what it’s like to be part of the Harry Potter Generation. You simply just do not know, and I pity you for that.

Harry Potter will live on, and I hope to one day pass on my extreme love for Harry Potter to my own children. I hope to teach them what Harry Potter taught me. Before I start crying, I better wrap this up. Thank you Harry Potter, for teaching me the value of friendship. Thank you, Harry Potter, for teaching me that being smart is cool. Thank you, Harry Potter, for making me cry, laugh, and feel so many other emotions. Thank you, Harry Potter, for creating a world that every day, I wish I could be in. Thank you, Harry Potter, for bringing people of all sorts together as one family. Thank you, Harry Potter, for giving people a sense of purpose. Thank you, Harry Potter, for giving people comfort and support. Thank you, Harry Potter, for helping us through rough times. But most of all, thank you, JK Rowling. You are our God, and we all couldn’t be more proud to be your family.J+K+Rowling+Harry+Potter+Deathly+Hallows+Part+SXOyjX9kmwOl

“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and relevetory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.”

J.K. Rowling, Harvard Commencement Address, 2008

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Harry Potter and Me: Part 3

WQZPAdvBefore I start writing this post, I want to take a moment to remember the great Richard Griffiths, who unfortunately passed away earlier this weekend due to complications after a heart surgery. Many of us know him as the malicious Uncle Vernon, who taunted Harry since the day he arrived on the Dursley’s doorstep. However, there are many more movies under his belt that should not go unnoticed. Ballet Shoes (also starring Emma Watson), Hugo (also starring Chloe Grace-Moretz), Bedtime Stories (also starring Adam Sandler), Sleepy Hollow (also starring Johnny Depp), Ghandi, and much, much more, both on TV and on stage. His talent is remarkable, and his work will be remembered forever. We’ll all miss you..

RIP ❤

~The Series that Lived~

It was July 20, 2007. The sun was shining, the sky was a perfect blue with no cloud in sight. Birds were flying in the air, chirping their songs to one another. People were spending time at the beach, taking advantage of a wonderful day. But these beach-goers did not know what was to come. In less than a day, the Earth was going to shake, rain was going to pour down, and thunder rumble and growl. Change was coming, and many did not realize how big of a change it was going to be.

There was one community of people, however, that knew of this change. They knew everything that was going to happen, to the very last detail. This wasn’t a small community. The meaning of community for these people was vast. They were all connected, people young and old, male or female. There was, and still is, millions of people in this community from all over the world. This community is infamous. They are……the Potterphiles.

One particular Potterphile, Isabel, was enjoying the summer day in weather tempermental Rhode Island. She was especially enjoying it because soon, she would be going to the local Borders Bookstore for the midnight book release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She had convinced her mother to bring her because it was the last Harry Potter book, and she didn’t want to miss this amazing experience. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was being released July 21, 2007 at 12:00am. And as soon as the clocks around the world struck that time, the change discussed previously would occur. The Earth was going to shake, rain was going to pour down, and thunder rumble and growl.

Isabel and her mother arrived at the shopping complex where Border’s was when the sun was still high in the sky. Sunset wouldn’t occur for for another two hours. Isabel walked into the store, donning spectacles and a Gryffindor crest on the front of her shirt. She walked up to the check-in table where she received a  blue sticker. There were different colored stickers in which the hosts of the book release would call to get in line to get their pre-ordered book. Isabel’s color wasn’t the first or the last. It was right in the middle. For most of the night, she sat in the cafe with her mom. She even read an entire book while waiting that she had grabbed from one of the many bookshelves. Her mother, on the other hand, was nearly falling asleep on the cafe wall.

Then the clock struck 12, and the Earth shook, the rain poured down, and thunder rumbled and growled. The mass of people in the bookstore, one by one, received their copy of the final Harry Potter book, beginning to read it as soon as it was put in their hands. Isabel did, when she received hers at 2:00am in the morning. She was halfway through the first chapter when she paid for it. In the car, she read some more. At home, she read. Her mom then made her go to sleep. Although Isabel didn’t sleep much. She woke up four hours later, around 7:30am, and immediately picked up the book, which she had placed beside her bed, and read. She was laying on her stomach, cozy under her sheets, and without a single yawn or distraction, read. She ignored her mother’s calls for breakfast. She read, and read, and read, and read. She shook, rain poured down on her face, and thunder rumbled and growled within her. And then, five hours later, she was done. She closed the book, looked at the front cover, where Harry defiantly stood, with his wand in the air, displaying courage, bravery, and love….

…and just smiled.

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