Sunday, 17 July 2011

Harry Potter Week: Goodbye, Harry

Harry Potter. The Boy Who Lived. The Chosen One. He has many names, but to me, Harry is more than just a character from a book – he’s a friend I’ve grown up with and learnt with and laughed with. He’s a friend I’ve cried with and mourned with and fought alongside. I’ve been reading the Harry Potter series since I was eight years old and it’s been a huge part of my childhood. I remember the Christmas I got the boxset of books 1-4, and I remember reading each one, thinking to myself “this is the best series I’ve ever read”. I still think that. I remember going out at the crack of dawn to buy the new books the day they were released, and I remember reading them, non-stop until I was finished. I remember chatting about them with my friends the next day, with an excited gleam in my eye. I remember theorising what crazy things would happen next. I remember making a Harry Potter website in year 8 for my ICT project. I remember making a HP magazine too. I remember starting a Dumbledore’s Army club at school, and I remember getting sorted and passing my OWLs and playing Quidditch with a basketball and some hula-hoops. I remember eating cakes iced with snitches, and staying up ‘til 5am, watching movies 1-6 back-to-back. I remember discovering A Very Potter Musical and thinking “this is brilliant!”. I remember writing to J. K. Rowling and being so excited when I got a letter back in the post, even if it was just a generic one that got sent to everyone.I remember going on JKR’s website and discovering all the clues and tidbits she had on there. I remember taking my WOMBATs and getting two Es and an O. I remember convincing my parents to watch the movies with me, and I remember explaining all the things they didn’t understand. I remember telling my friend that if she read the Harry Potter series, I’d actually wear a dress for a day (she did it, and I wore it). I remember her telling me that she was an idiot for not reading the books sooner. I remember hearing on the news that there was going to be a Harry Potter theme park opening, and I remember completely freaking out. I remember my lessons at school, where my friends and I used pens for wands and disarmed each other with “Expelliarmus!”. I remember beating the girl on Junior Mastermind, whose specialist subject was Harry Potter (and I’m still proud of that). I remember crying when my favourite characters died, and I remember cursing JKR and then praising her. I remember asking my Latin teacher what “Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus” meant (never tickle a sleeping dragon, FYI). I remember laughing at Harry Potter chat up lines (is that a wand in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?) and I remember trying out some Harry Potter insults on unsuspecting friends (your mum’s so fat her Patronus is a cake!). I remember getting so frustrated when the email sign up on Pottermore wouldn’t work the first day. I remember telling my dad that we needed to buy a Ford Anglia (he laughed). I remember anxiously waiting for my letter from Hogwarts. I remember not getting it. I remember reading fanfiction, and buying a quill, just so I could say I had one. I remember it all.
I remember Harry Potter in every single aspect of my life. I’ve read the books dozens of times, and I have never gotten bored. I never will.  I will always return to them, no matter how old and decrepit I get. In the words of Alan Rickman (EDIT: in the words of what internet people have pretended was Alan Rickman), “When I'm 80 years old, I'll be reading Harry Potter. My family will say, 'After all this time?' and I will say 'Always.'” It’s a series that has been with me for so long, that the thought of it being over actually makes me feel like I’m losing a best friend. But, as someone (whose name escapes me) said at the Harry Potter premiere, “I refuse to believe this is ‘the end of an era’. Rather, I see it as the beginning of a legend.” And I truly believe that.
All that’s left really is for me to thank to JKR, the genius behind everything. I can safely say that without her, and without Harry, my entire life would be so different. So I raise my glass to JKR, and to the boy who lived, and I smile, because whatever happens, I know that Hogwarts will always be there to welcome me home.


  1. *wipes tear* Beautifully written post, Liz. You're making me remember so many small Potter-related moments of my own. It's crazy and amazing the impact that a set of books have had on our lives. I can't (and really don't want to) imagine what my childhood would have been like without it.

    *raises glass with you* To The Boy Who Lived. And the God, Rowling, who gave him life! :)

  2. Wonderful post. I still remember JKR's website and how we visited it everyday going to that locked door waiting for some clue to appear and doing the rest of the stuff in the other sections. I truly miss it. <3

    (P.S. Alan Rickman didn't really say that. The quote's been going around the internet ever since 2007) :)

  3. Thanks for letting me know about the quote! I've edited the post. I feel so cheated now - the internet lied to me! :P

  4. *sniffs* This is such an amazing goodbye post! I remember every moment related to Pottermania too. LOL, this guy (a friend, not some random stranger) has recently started using HP pick-up lines on me. HE HAS SO MANY IT'S AWESOME. It's kind of hard to resist flattery when it involves wands and potions... Awesome post!


    Thanks Liz, for summing up what I couldn't. It's amazing to see how Harry Potter has touched all of our lives in such different, yet similar ways.

    These books will always be in our hearts and I think we should all have an HP reunion when we're 50. Deal? :)

  6. HI YOu were mentioning about the internet some pretending to be ALan Rickman. I understand he doesn't do interenet. I got fooled by a Facebook profile and the person said it was him. I had sent him a pm saying are you really ALan Rickman, and he said "I am"... later I found out it wasn't true. Got all excited for nothing and then I got angry! I am 67 and will read Harry Potter until I die!


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