How Harry Potter Made Magic Real (For Me)
(United States of America, Oregon)
I didn't have imaginary friends when I was a kid. I didn't believe in fairies and I didn't have dreams about flying with dragons. I was imaginative, sure, but so very realistic that I think it may have stunted my childhood just a bit.
That was until I read Harry Potter. The first book I got was shiny and new and just...beautiful. It was the artwork on the cover that drew my attention and had me tugging at my mom's sleeve in eagerness. It was so quirky and odd, unlike any of the cartoon-y art I had been used to seeing on the front of the books I read. She, of course, bought it for me.
When I read the first page, I was hooked. The first chapter got me truly thinking about examining myself in case I had suddenly developed a rare form OCD where the obsessive compulsion was to read Harry Potter over and over. But what it truly instilled in me was the belief that maybe, somewhere out there, was magic. Fairies, dragons, mermaids... It all became real to me. I begged my mom for a ticket to London, to King's Cross Station so I could attempt to walk into Platform 9 3/4, to see the Hogwarts Express.
And when, on my 11th birthday, I didn't receive my Hogwarts letter of acceptance, I cried for days. But I kept my belief. "Errol lost my letter", I used to say, and I believed it, I truly did.
The second book was, no questions asked, an instant buy. I had it pre-ordered and in my hands the day it came out. The magic only continued. I read each chapter with an eager eye, taking it all in, happily. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth were all the same. But the seventh... The last book. I stood in line for hours at the midnight selling of it. I waited and waited.
I had grown up with Harry and this was the final piece, where all our questions would be answered. When I got it, I started reading. I cried at every death, as if I had lost my own friends. Hedwig, Dobby and Snape were especially difficult for me. But I made through to the end, to the happy ending, and the possibility of continuation. (I remain steadfast in my sincere hope that JK Rowling will write a series on the children).
The best part is that I still believe in magic. I like to think I always will. It's changed, of course. I believe in smaller bits of magic. The magic of love, which is something, truly, that I also learned from the Harry Potter Series. I believe in the magic of forgiveness. And the small part in my heart will always, always believe that Errol just lost my letter.