It's not just any old book!

by Jessica
(Lincolnshire, UK)

Most people would look me in the face and immediatley think "Normal". They wouldn't think I'd be into astronomy, movie-making, Duran Duran and especially not Harry Potter.

They'd just think of a typical 11 year old girl with a face covered in freckles. Well, they're truly much mistaken as I'm into all them things (Duran Duran, I know!) especially Harry Potter. In fact, they probably wouldn't realise that I'm a huge, massive, ENORMOUSLY obssessed Potter fan that if got any bigger would probably explode.

But it didn't start like that. It didn't start with me walking into a bookshop and buying a Harry Potter book just for the sake of it. No, I was almost FORCED to read the books. But anyway, here goes...

When I was at Primary school in Year 5 we had this reading system where we had to read so many books on our "level" each month before we could move up. I was on quite a high level and had read every single decent book on the shelf apart from Harry Potter. I had a couple more quizzes I needed to do before the end of the month and there weren't any other books left apart from...

"No," I groaned, "I'm NOT going to read Harry Potter. I'm NEVER EVER EVER going to read it!" But I had no choice. I needed to read. So I picked up the Prisoner of Azkaban and went back into the classroom to settle down and read.

The moment my eyes touched the first letter of the first word of the first page I was HOOKED. I'd never read anything like it. I was so addicted, in fact, that I stayed up all night reading it and when morning came there was only fifty pages left.

I finished it that day and excitedly went on to read the Chamber of Secrets. Again, I finished that in a couple of days and went on to read the first book, the Philosopher's Stone. That immediatley turned out to be my favourite.

Now Harry Potter was growing on my nine-year-old self and I decided to set about buying the books for myself. A year later I had myself loaded with the whole set in Hardback as well as the Philosopher's Stone in paperback and the Chamber of Secrets in deluxe edition. Not to mention a small collection of Harry Potter merch and Posters that I kept tucked up in my snug little "Harry Potter Corner".

That Christmas I got my very own Lego Hogwarts castle. And to top it off, I discovered that me, my Mum and my Dad would be jetting off for 11 days at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

When we got back on the 23rd of June I'd taken home quite a lot of HP stuff, including a wand that "chose me" at Ollivanders wand shop, and a Purple Pygmy Puff, named Clark. I had no room in my corner any more. I needed to upgrade.

So two years later from the first time I read a Harry Potter book my room has totally transformed. Potter posters in every direction and a collection of over 70 items. I like to take my wand EVERYWHERE with me and whenever I'm really miserable a scruffy black-haired boy with green eyes, round glasses, and a lightning bolt scar on his forehead pops into my mind and I immediatley cheer up.

I also get extremely emotional over the books and when I had finally finished the Deathly Hallows at 3 in the morning, I cried my eyes out until daybreak. And also, unlike many others, I base Harry Potter on how he should be and what he REALLY looks like instead of taking it all out of the movies. My castle is completely different, my robes are completley different, and my Ron is so different he's almost unrecognisable.

Most people for some reason think that their Hogwarts letter comes out on their 11th birthday when they actually come out during the period that all the letters get sent out. So on my 11th birthday (which happened to be the royal wedding day) I told myself:

"Not today, Jess, but not long now!"

Near the end of July 2011, I got up every morning at 5 and sat and stared out of my window until 8 waiting for my owl to come. It never did. So I cried and cried for about a month before persuading myself that perhaps I wasn't QUITE magical enough or that the magic quill that detects magical births was too busy scribbling somebody else's name down to remember me.

I'm now leading a muggle's life and learning muggle stuff in a muggle secondry school... But I'll still believe in magic for ever and ever. I'm not quite muggle...

So all I have to say really is that Harry Potter has changed my life. For the Better...

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