It’s the birthday of J.K. Rowling today but more importantly, it’s Harry’s birthday today too! Let me get my ultimate Potterhead out for this occasion, please. It’s important to me.
Hogwarts is a fictional place that has the largest place in my heart, to the point where I’m considering getting two tattoos for the book series. The Harry Potter books are what I read if I’m in a very very bad place or if I’m just sad or weirdly homesick because, as J.K. said at the Deathly Hallows premiere, it’s home to me. I can read the first chapter of Philosopher’s Stone (which I do every 31st of July) and instantly remember who I am, where I’m from and what I had for dinner on January 15th 2006. I may be using hyperbole here but you catch my drift. Harry Potter helped me when I was entering high school. I was terrified to enter adolescence and I was incredibly nervous about making/losing friends. In fact, it was the other way around. I connected with one of the kindest, funniest, most wonderful people who I would soon call my best friend. Harry Potter is partly the reason why Louise and I are friends. How wonderful is that!
I love basically everything about the books. The way they were written, the characters, the Christmases, and the font. I will not buy the new covers of the series because they do not have the HP typeface. I’m very passionate about this. My favourite book is probably Philosopher’s Stone. I love being introduced into this incredible universe with Harry and I never not feel that heart-warming sensation. Meeting everyone for the first time before everything got too complicated is a little more special. I haven’t read all the books in succession in a very long time, I usually read Philosopher’s Stone and then get distracted by another book.
We have a copy of Philosopher’s Stone which is absolutely wrecked but my mum bought it for my sister in 2001. It is cracked weirdly not a lot on the spine but the cover is a whole other story which we’re not sure about, the cover is ripped, Lauren spilled tea on it and dropped it in the bath, there is a Powderpuff Girls sticker on it, and both my mum and sister have written Lauren’s name in it. This book is my favourite book in all of my house. It has so much family history and it makes me smile whenever I look at it. I don’t read this copy often, I usually read a copy which was published in 2010.
I remember when I was first getting into Harry Potter when I was around 8 or 9, I first read all of them from my library. They were in the plastic dust-jackets and were yellow-paged, and I can even remember when I first took out Quidditch Through the Ages. I had to wait for ages for it to come back into the library because someone was always out. It was the green cover and I read it in a single sitting on a sunny afternoon on my Granny and Grandad’s decking. For a long time, it was the only sport I enjoyed and of course it was a goddamn fictional one. The Quidditch matches are my favourite bits of the books. Always have been, always will be so it’s pretty cool to read the ’history’ of those parts. The one book I’m missing in the little bolt-on series is Hogwarts: A History. I’d literally beg J.K. on my hands and knees for that book. I’ll corner her at a Scotland game, that’ll be chill.
The films on the other hand… I have issues with, like every other Harry Potter fan. The pacing of them, while exactly like the books, is more prominently stupid in the films than the books. Why would ol’ Voldy wait until the end of the school year?! Does he just value Harry’s education too much or does he enjoy fucking up the experience for his classmates because Harry likes to do that?
I don’t care what anyone says, the best Harry Potter film is Prisoner of Azkaban. We will ignore the Lumos Maxima scene but other than that, it’s the best film in the series both in terms of narrative and cinematography. Things were starting to get darker, we met Lupin and Sirius, and we got to know about possibly my favourite items in Harry Potter – the Marauders Map. When I was a kid, I saw my cousins watching PoA and I saw the Dementors, and I instantly was like NOPE NAH NOT FOR ME. I thought it was a horror film, those fuckers are terrifying.
Okay so I’m going to read the first chapter of Philosopher’s Stone. Mischief Managed.