â€œWords are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.â€ â€” Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
The magic is real. Wielding a pen as her wand, JK Rowling cast a spell over millions of people of all ages, transporting us to a world of wonder where good triumphs over evil via chams, incantations, and potions. Harry Potter is destined to become a classic of childrenâ€™s literature â€“ categorized alongside the magic of Winnie-the-Pooh and the Chronicles of Narnia.
I was a freshman in college when I discovered I was a mere muggle. Beeeca and I had the flu; Iâ€™d spent the morning blocking the door so she couldnâ€™t force her way off to class with a 103-degree fever. I was sitting in bed, whimpering to myself about my maladies, and Beeeca was finally passed out on her bed. I saw a couple library books.
Iâ€™d heard about Harry Potter, apparently he was quite popular. I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone; it was book one. Within the hour, I was hooked. With the cold or flu still making me miserable, I commiserated with Harryâ€™s outcast status on Privet Drive. By the time we arrived at Hogwartâ€™s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry nothing was bringing me back. It was though I was there alongside the fellow first-years, getting sorted into Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin. It was magic.
That fateful day I devoured the first two books in the series, Sorcerers Stone and Chamber of Secrets. I dreamed about his world that night. The next morning I dragged my foggy head to the library in search of book three. It was checked out. I was not surprised â€“ those books are that good. This was no concern. I needed to own those books.
Book four: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out three days before I crossed the pond for a summer in England. Sans car, I walked myself to the mall to pick up a pre-reserved copy. What I would have given for a Nimbus 2000. Those next days were torture. I stared at the green covering that blocked my way to the 600+ pages of adventure. I boarded my Virgin Atlantic flight book in hand, curled up in my seat and read. By the time my plane taxied to the gate at Heathrow, I was eagerly awaiting book five and ready to spend the next three months searching for any trace of magical blood within me (and Diagon Alley â€“ I really want a wand.)
At 11:30 p.m. on July 20, 2007, I was in line at Barnes and Noble. It was amazing to take part in the historical hubbub surrounding the release of a book. (I admit, Jon and I arrived shortly after taking in Transformers â€“ nerds are cool.) By the time the clock struck midnight on July 21, Harry had finished his journey.
Over the next years, Iâ€™ve re-read all seven books. Iâ€™ve listened to all seven sagas on tape as I commented to and from work, and Iâ€™ve watched each movie multiple times. (I own them all â€“ books and movies.)
Last night, Jon and I had a rare evening out away from the muppets. (Where we could be alone â€“ and talk about the muppets.) I stuffed my purse full of napkins to prepare for the emotional conclusion and we settled down to watch the final film.
This is a world many children have grown up in. Harry Potter made it cool to read again. It turns out Iâ€™m just a muggle after all. But should I have been sorted, I fancy to think I may have found myself in blue and silver as a Ravenclaw.
“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind.”
– Sorting Hat
To Ms. Rowling, thank you for such an incredible journey. Perhaps we all have a bit more magic within us. As someone who fancies myself a writer, I take Professor Dumbledoreâ€™s words to heart, â€œWords are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.â€
As Mr. Ollivander, the proprietor of Ollivanders Wand Shop in Diagon Alley, says, â€œThe wand chooses the wizard.â€ Coincidence that I never leave home without a silver pen of blue ink?
Pick up a book. You never know where you may find yourselfâ€¦