Friday, August 5, 2016

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

I've been spending a lot of time trying to decide what I want this post to be. My love of Harry Potter is so great, and the number of things I could write about related to Harry Potter is so large. But with the recent release of the script of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," I knew I wanted to write something about Harry Potter this week.

I just finished reading the script; in fact, I read it in a matter of a couple of hours on Thursday. I have so many thoughts and feelings about the story. It may sound silly, but it's been so emotional to dive back into a story I thought was finished, a story that was such a big part of my childhood, a story that is a huge part of my life.

Last fall I was lucky enough to be in a class all about "Harry Potter." It was an Honors class and a gen ed, so it was a no brainer that I would take it. {Heck, I would have taken any class about "Harry Potter," even if it was offered in the Engineering department.} It was such a great experience to read the series and discuss in a room full of other "Harry Potter" nerds for an entire semester. And it helped to learn and realize so many things about my favorite series.

"Harry Potter" has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I don’t remember that moment I first picked up the books or even the first time I watched the first movie. All I know is that it’s a part of my life and perhaps even a part of me. I’ve gotten used to answering the question of who my favorite character is. “Obviously it’s Hermione,” is my typical answer. It’s a cliché answer that I’m sure thousands of others share. But as I've grown up and reread the series and taken the class with other Potterheads and immersed myself even more into J.K. Rowling's world, I've realized that my love for the "Harry Potter" series goes beyond my love for Hermione. I've learned so much from these books.

Harry taught me to be brave. Hermione taught me to be intelligent. Ron taught me to be loyal. Ginny taught me to be fierce. Luna taught me to be accepting. Neville taught me to persevere. Fred and George taught me to laugh. Lupin taught me to be kind. Sirius taught me to be head-strong. Molly taught me to be protective. Snape taught me to choose goodness. McGonagall taught me to be strict, but fair. Dumbledore taught me wisdom. I could go on {seriously, this entire post could just be sentences like this}.

And let's not forget the countless lessons on bravery, family, friendship, love. Or the numerous quotes that I will forever pin on Pinterest and like on Instagram; quotes like the one in the title of this post, for instance.

This series has given me so much. It's given me comfort in hard times. It's given me friends who live on pages. It's given me advice and lessons for my entire life. I owe a lot to this series and everything and everyone connected to it. It's a huge part of my life, and my love for it will never stop growing, no matter what happens with it. That being said...

A lot of people have been upset about "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." They don't like what happens, or they don't like the characters, or they just don't like that J.K. Rowling has opened up this world again. I can understand where they're coming from, but to me it's so much different than that. I was ecstatic when I found out about the play and when I finally got my hands on my copy {thanks to Amazon, that was three days later than it was supposed to be...}.

The way I see it, this is J.K. Rowling's world. Sure, it's ours, too. But she's the one who created it; she's the one who's spent years building and crafting it. To me, anything she says goes when it comes to "Harry Potter." It's her world, and I'm just living in it. At the official premiere of the play on July 31, the same day the script was released and the same day as Harry's birthday, J.K. said that this is the final "Harry Potter" story. "Harry's done now," were her exact words. Some fans were thankful for this; others, not so much. Me? I'm perfectly content with whatever J.K. decides because this is her world.

I love Harry and his friends and his adventures, so I'll take what I can get from J.K. when it comes to Harry's story. But I'm so okay with where things ended in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," and then I was so excited to hear about the play. And after reading it {and taking some time to digest it}, I'm so okay with where things are now. Because that's the way things are supposed to be. Everything happened how it was supposed to because J.K. made it so. So if this the end, I'm okay with that because the stories continue to live on in me, no matter how cheesy it is to say that.

There are so many lessons to be learned, people to love, things to understand in these books. To this day, years after reading them for the first time, I'm still learning new things or discovering new secrets and theories. There's something so magical {no pun intended...well, maybe} about a story that stays with you for so long. And I know this isn't even close to the end of it. Even if the stories are done, they'll continue to live on every time I think about them or reread them or re-watch them. For Harry, and for me, all is well.

Lots of love,

J.K. Rowling, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"