With the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this Friday I’ve been thinking about my own relationship with Harry Potter. I love Harry Potter, I am a proud Ravenclaw and am still waiting for that Hogwarts letter even though I’m 20 years old.
I don’t remember the first time I read a Harry Potter book. I know I’d read the first three, I don’t remember doing it but I remember having those books in my book box (yes, there weren’t even on a shelf). I know that I spent a book voucher I’d had for my birdie to buy the Deathly Hallows hardback from Waterstones probably the week it came out. I remember taking a detour from going to Barry with my sister and my Nana and Grampy to do that, and I can even remember the big stack of them on the table. I didn’t read it, but I bought it. In fact my earliest memories of reading Harry Potter was reading Goblet in time to go to the cinema with my friend to see Order of the Phoenix. I remember enjoying them but there weren’t my favourite books, I even got rid of them rid of them because… who knows why. I was a foolish child. Then a few years later when my friend wanted to go to see Deathly Hallows part 1 in the cinema I borrowed Half-Blood Prince off her and managed to read it in a weekend. That is still one of my fondest memories of this series. She gave it to me on Friday, I read ten chapters a day for three days and I was ready for the cinema on Monday. I think it was then that I realise, these books might be special. So yes, I went to that cinema having no idea what was going to happen because I was one of those people who hadn’t read the book. After that, next time I went to the bookshop I re-bought the exact same copy of Deathly Hallows, finished it and knew that I was in love. So no, this wasn’t love at first sight, and there are a million other books I consider to be childhood favourites, but I do consider this to be an all time favourite. Now, I do re-read this series every ear, now, I do have all of the books, and the audiobooks, now I do cry when SPOILER Cedric dies and now I do consider myself to be a Harry Potter fan.
This isn’t an altogether dismal story to the one above, but I do have a very vivid memory of watching the video for Philopsoher’s Stone in my house with my sister and her friend. My Mum must have borrowed it from somewhere, and I remember watching up to the death of Harry’s parents and I found it too scary. I am a bit of a wuss now, so I can only imagine how bad I was as a child. The next film I saw was Order and that was because someone was picking me up and taking me to the cinema and probably paying for my ticket too. As I said before after that I went to see both parts of Deathly Hallows in the cinema and I think that was how I fell in love with both the book and the films, through seeing Deathly Hallows. Obviously, now I have seen all of the film, multiple times and I love them, though Order still remains my least favourite, and I never pass up an opportunity to watch them.
The Cursed Child
So, it’s 2016, the word year in history and I am officially all aboard the Harry Potter I can quote, I can answer trivia, I have jewellery and clothing that is Potter related. Was I excited for cursed child? For some reason I wasn’t. I don’t know why but it wasn’t something that interested me. Until, that release day. On that day I decided I had to have that hardcopy in my hands right away, so I ordered it form Amazon and it even came a few days earlier than it said it would. Instantly, holding ti in my hands I was so ready to be back in that world. Unlike some people, I was fully aware that it was a script so I knew what I was getting myself into. I dragged it out over four days, by reading one act a day, or something like that. Now, excuse me while I gush because I absolutely loved it! I know it’s gotten a lot of mediocre review but not from me, it got five stars and a desire for me to read it again. Personally, it was as though Potter had been dragged into the future. I felt connected to Scorpius and Albus and loved the time-turner storyline. I should probably say though, since this is not, in my eyes, a continuation of Harry’s story (that was put to bed with Deathly hallows) and it was obviously a play, I do not compare it to the other books. I see it as a stand alone play and I love it that way. This was the first book release that I truly felt a part of and for that it will always hold a place in my heart.
What does the future hold for Potter? Well, I suppose we all know the most obvious answer to that question. I’m actually going to a midnight screening of Fantastic Beasts (and with a 9am seminar the next morning this will probably be a mistake) with my uni housemates and I am really looking forward to it. I’m going into it just as I did with The Cursed Child and I’m not expecting anything like what we’ve had before because I don’t want it to be ruined by just comparing it to the previous body of work. For me that is the right mindset to be in. Whether it is good or mediocre or even kind of lacking, I can see myself at every one of the future films and will continue to read anything and everything that J.K Rowling put her name to.
Everyone has their Harry Potter story and this is mine. Thank you for reading!