A History of a Harry Potter Obsession

I wrote the following post the night Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One came out in theaters. Since I am re-reading the series for what I believe is the four millionth time, I dug this up in the event that my fellow Harry Potter fans out there might like to read it. Enjoy!

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I will never forget the first time I saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters.

I hadn’t read the books that were out in 2001 and I did not want to go. My mother almost literally dragged me to the movie, telling me that I would like it. I thought it looked weird. I was convinced it would be terrible, even at the age of ten years old.

But as my mother usually is, she was right – although I always tell myself that she was wrong because in the end, I didn’t like the movie. I absolutely loved it. I fell head over heels in love with Harry and Ron and Hermione and their world, where good really did triumph over evil and where the true magic that held everyone’s lives together was friendship and loyalty and love.

When we got back from the movie I stole my big sister’s copy of Harry Potter and the Socerer’s Stone and sat on our futon in the living room with a blanket, literally reading the first book for the first time in a day. Then I devoured the second. And the third. And the fourth. I sat on that futon for days, not moving, hardly eating, only going to bed when my mom hid whatever book I was on and made me sleep. I read and continued to fall more and more for Harry and his friends and their incredible story.

After finishing the first four books in less than a week, I had to wait for the fifth book to come out, and when that day finally came around I remember my then step-dad coming home with copies for me and my sister after I had anxiously waited for hours. We both sat and read the whole day, and again and again I thought of just how obsessed I was with this series and how crazy I had gotten. But I was too in love with the books to care.

The second movie came out before I got my hands on the fifth book, and the third movie came out soon after. I remember that the third movie was definitely my favorite back then, but my obsession was fueled by all of them. And then the fourth movie was released, and I remember screaming in agony along with every other Harry Potter fan about how much they had cut.

Then the sixth book hit stores. And I was devastated at the end of it. I cried for days afterwards; my mom was seriously alarmed when I came down the stairs after I had finished the book, sobbing hysterically, wailing about Dumbledore. I gave up Harry Potter for a while then since I was so furious at J.K. Rowling. I refused to touch the books. I became slightly more normal and went back to the series only to see the fifth movie when it came out in 2007 and the sixth in 2009.

And then, in 2007, we got the final book. And I have to confess something that I am still ashamed about: I (mainly because I used to be a huge Harry/Hermione shipper) was upset by it. I didn’t like it at all at first. But just this year I picked it up and read it again. And again. And it grew on me until it is now possibly my favorite book in the series. Then I saw the trailer all those months ago for its movie that is being released tonight. Now I am ecstatic. I cannot wait for this movie. I am back as a true Harry Potter fan after mourning Dumbledore. I am back as the same crazy fan who fell in love with Harry Potter when I saw the first movie for the first time.

Today, though, I realized something.

This is the end.

As much as I had strayed from series in the last few years, there will be no more waiting after tonight and the night in July when the second part of the movie comes out in theaters. No more anticipating another part of Harry Potter’s life, whether it was in live action or book form.

And then I realized something else: I never truly moved away from the series – I just grew up a little. I no longer relied on Harry and Ron and Hermione and everybody else who was a fictional character because I had my own friends. I had a battle to fight here in the real world so I no longer needed to lose myself in theirs.

I will forever love the books, I will forever be grateful for what they did for me during my childhood. And tonight, when I watch the first part of the last movie, I’ll remember what they mean to me. What they still mean to me. Even if I’m not a little kid anymore who can curl up under the covers and read all day long without a care in the world, I will always love this series with all my heart and soul.

Over the years I have lost myself in the books, laughed, cried, rejoiced, celebrated because of them. Call me crazy, but tonight, one of two last nights, I will be a child, and do the same thing all over again.

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