November 19, 2010

Memories, sweet POTTER memories

WARNING: HARRY POTTER book spoilers below

Since everyone else is reminiscing about The Chosen One and his cadre, I figured I'd talk a little about my own "Harry Potter history."

I started the books in 2000 at the age of 15. My aunt, who had been given the first couple books as a birthday gift from her grandma, insisted I read them. I knew of them vaguely, but wasn't interested because they were "kid's books." My aunt, who is 9 years older than me, convinced me that if she was willing to read them, I should give them a shot, too.

I devoured the first three as quickly as I could get my hands on them.

Walking in the grocery store and seeing GOBLET OF FIRE sitting in the little book/magazine section, I nearly had a fit. I didn't even know a fourth one had come out yet!

My grandma buying it for me at full sticker price? I was a very happy girl.

Getting to work super early (I worked at JC Penney) so I could run down to Waldenbooks to buy a copy of ORDER OF THE PHOENIX the morning after its release, taking way too many and way too long of breaks to read it. Sitting in the breakroom on my lunch hour, looking around, and realizing 4 other people were reading OoTP.

Going to the midnight release of HALF-BLOOD PRINCE at Barnes and Noble. Wondering just who this half-blooded royal was. I had a #30-something wristband. We went to IHOP after leaving Barnes and Noble. To torture me, Bear made me leave the book in the car. BEFORE I COULD EVEN BEGIN TO READ IT!

Dreading, and yet manically anticipating, the release of DEATHLY HALLOWS. Just what were these "deathly hallows," and what did they have to do with horcruxes?

Bear and I buying two copies of DH so we could both read it at the same time. Going on a media strike until I finished the book so no one could accidentally ruin the ending.

Crying and laughing and marveling at JK Rowling's astounding talent. Oohing and aahing at Bill and Fleur's wedding. Shivering when Kingsley's patronus announced the Ministry had fallen. Wanting to kick Scrimgeour in the face, then feeling guilty upon learning his last act was protecting Harry. Appreciating Hermione's wit, loyalty, and resourcefulness. Feeling the heavy burden on Harry's young shoulders. Cheering when Ron defeated the locket. Crying pretty much the entire last 50 pages. Finishing the book with a teary smile on my face.

Dobby's bravery. Luna's kind-hearted lunacy. Bellatrix's evil obsession. Voldemort's inhumanity. Dumbledore's well-intentioned mistakes. Trelawney's loopy wisdom.

Tonks. Lupin. Fred. Mad Eye. Hedwig.


I don't think JK Rowling will ever truly know just how deeply her beloved characters have affected me and millions of others around the world.

Thank you, Jo!

If you saw DEATHLY HALLOWS last night, what did you think? (Please no spoilers, I'm seeing it tonight!)


Holly Dodson said...

You gave me chills. Harry Potter has been such a HUGE part of our generation, and effected us so deeply it's incredible.

I'm seeing it tonight too! We'll have to compare notes next week! ;)

KO said...

Just went to see it. Can't wait to hear what everyone thinks...

Anonymous said...

HP has been such a huge part of my life I find it hard to separate it from my own writing. I find myself constructing jokes just to reference HP. I'm so lame. And when I'm feeling particularly good about my writing, I randomly open up one of my HP books and read, just to remind myself how far away I truly am from great writing.

I can't wait to see it on Sunday!

Hannah Jenny said...

I come from a crazy homeschooling family. We sat around as a family and Mom read them to us, one chapter a day. It was awesome family time trying to figure out together what was going on and what was going to happen next. I remember getting really worked up about it, *especially* every time Harry and Ron had a fight I couldn't stand it! And I got to read aloud a chapter of the Half-Blood Prince, and it turned out to be the one when Ginny and Harry finally kissed!! Ah, memories . . .

Rachel Bateman said...

Ah! This post makes me remember all my favorite HP memories. I think the best was when Order of the Phoenix came out. I was living in Hawai'i at the time, staying with my brother (who I barely knew...long story). After my classes let out that morning I walked to Waldenbooks to pick up my copy, then headed straight back home and cracked it open. I read and read and read. The only time I stopped even for a tiny bit was when my brother took it away and put it up on the fridge so I would stop and eat dinner with him.

But as soon as those burgers were eaten, you better believe I was right back at that book, tearing through it.

I LOVE Harry Potter. I haven't gone to see the new movie yet (we are going in a few days), and the wait is killing me!

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