Harry Potter and the Adventures of a Young Fangirl

by Hannah
(Tucson)

I've known about Harry Potter since the time I was three or four, and I remember specifically one evening my dad brought home a stack of tapes and one of them was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was very young, obviously, so I didn't really understand the movie very well but found it entertaining. As I grew into kindergarten and first grade, and early elementary years in general, my little brother became really obsessed with Harry Potter.

He watched the movies (I think there were only the first two out at the time) over and over, and I really got tired of it. I avoided reading the books at all costs since his obsession sort of pushed me away. It wasn't until I was in seventh grade on Christmas vacation when I was visiting my father, and he had just started reading the series. He lent me his copy of the first book, and though I was reluctant at first, by the time I finished the first chapter I was totally hooked. I can't really explain why; to be honest, the word choice and grammar usage weren't excellent, but something about it was very captivating anyway.

I'm one of those fans who saw most of the movies before reading the books, but I think of myself as just a big of a fan as anyone else. This time it was my family who grew tired of me and my new obsession, and I flew through the books in little time. I was having a really hard time that year, because of school and stuff like that. It really messed me up, but it was like a God-given gift that I read my now favorite book during that specific period. In ninth grade my Bible teacher asked me to write him a letter of how the series had affected my faith in Christ, and I told him flat out I felt there was a stronger relationship between the new testament and Harry Potter than there is between NT and the CS Lewis series. He is (or was, I haven't spoken to him in a while) one of those people who steer clear of magic and wizards altogether.

My favorite movie is definitely the first one, since I have a lot of nostalgia, I guess. I loved the actors when they were kids, too~ And the music is wonderful. When I was four or five I remember sitting in a hotel with my gran and little brother, playing with pebbles, and watching the movie when the trio discovered Fluffy for the first time. My gran was complaining that it was a stupid movie (which was very ironic, since she would be the very one to later buy my brother a replica of the Nimbus 2000 and take him to a TV interview on the "Knight Bus")and I got really defensive. My favorite book is Order of the Phoenix. Actually, I hate reading it, because it was really emotional and I have too much empathy. But it's because of the way the author was able to create such emotions that can leak out into the reader that makes that book in particular so amazing.

Over the summer my mother and I traveled to Florida a few days before my brother and father, and we spent the whole day together at Universal, mostly in the Harry Potter part. It was amazing. She has never read the books and has only seen the very last movie, but even she had fun and put up with me when we rode the Forbidden Journey...thirteen times. It brought us closer, and I wonder how many mothers would do something like that for their kids. Sometimes when I go back and read the books I can't imagine what it would be like to be in Harry's place, to not have a mother or a father, and it taught me to be more grateful to be blessed with such wonderful (and slightly insane) parents.

A lot of people cried a lot when reading the books or watching the last movie. I cried a few days before going to see the eighth movie, just because it felt as if a friend was moving out of state or something like that, if it makes sense. When I read the books there were several times when I wanted to chuck them across the room or scream or laugh, but I never cried while reading them.

One day, towards the end of seventh grade (two years before the last movie came out, I think, but honestly I'm too lazy to do the math) it was three or four months since I finished reading the Deathly Hallows. I remember sitting on the side of my bed doing mathematics or something and suddenly I thought of Dobby, and next thing I knew I was doing this weird hiccup-y, choke-y sobbing thing, because after Dobby it was Lupin and Tonks, and Sirius, and Creevy and Fred and the fact that I had finished the series and I got really emotional about it. Four months late, but it happened.

I think this is getting kind of long, so I'll try to wrap it up but the words are sort of pouring out. Last year, well, last school year I mean, Pottermore was created. It was totally by chance and luck (or God, but I don't want to sound arrogant) that I stumbled upon the Pottermore website the week of the Beta contests. I checked every day and finally I answered the right question on the sixth day. I was so excited I couldn't even believe it, and when I was on my ninth grade retreat it was then I believe I got an email saying I got to be one of the Beta users.

When signing up, I didn't get a choice in my username, like others did, which was strange; however, the username that was assigned to me was very fitting, I thought, and I wouldn't change it now. I took the Sorting hat test months later (it was really painful to wait). Now, I promise I'm not cliche or anything, but I loved Gryffindor. In Harry Potter land I made it a point to get a Gryffindor sweatshirt, and a key chain with the Gryffindor crest (plus everything I could afford but that's irrelevant). However, when I answered the last question of the test and finished praying, I opened my eyes and the computer screen was bright green with a big "SLYTHERIN" written across it. I think I cried but I can't remember now.

Slytherin was never my least favorite, but I wanted to be in Gryffindor so badly. I actually felt bad, because the Slytherin students in the book series were all bullies and not very bright. I didn't want to be considered the same personality type or whatever as someone arrogant and foolish like Draco or Flint, etc. I guess I'm foolish anyway for caring so much about a book series and what fictional house I belong in, but whatever~ I read the description, or the welcome letter, and over the next few days I thought Slytherin might be acceptable anyway.

I am the sort of person who tends to be sort of prideful, self conscious, and ambitious, and I meditated over it a long time and realized I liked Slytherin. I still don't want to be compared to arrogant bullies, but that very part of me would probably contribute to getting me into that very house if I were to put on the sorting hat right now.

Ok I'm pretty sure this is way longer than it should be at this point. Or way back. But even though I wasn't really into it my whole life, Harry Potter has had huge affects on my life. I don't know if I would be the same person spiritually if I had never read the series. Ironic how a book that a lot of "Christians" hate because they think it's "Satanic" could help me come closer to Christ, and to learn about myself, too.

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Wow!
by: Trevor M.

Wow Hannah! What a great story. It's incredible how everyone who comes to Potter has a different experience but "touch stones" we all share too. I hope you keep getting pleasure from Harry Potter even though the series has finished because the story never will!

Kind regards,
Trevor M.

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