I was hoping to make it a little further into blog life before sharing my love (some may call it an obsession) of Harry Potter. I attribute this intense affection to the fact that I literally grew up with Harry Potter. When new movies and books were released, I always seemed to be the same age as Harry, so it made it that much easier to relate and get sucked into the story. Through J.K. Rowling’s beautifully crafted world and character development, I still find myself transported to the wizarding world each time I open the pages.
While most twenty-somethings have read the books and seen the movies, I’ve taken it a bit further. Of course I own all seven books and all eight movies, not to mention the Harry Potter school books and the all-important Tales of Beadle the Bard. Thanks to a few good friends I even have a Spanish version of my favorite book in the series (Prisoner of Azkaban), a Harry Potter themed t-shirt (Keep Calm and Carry a Wand), and an official Sirius Black wand. Every time a new book or movie was released, I would reread the. entire. series. And when a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel came into my life two years ago, he was christened “Weasley” because of his red hair and freckles, just like the rest of the Weasley family.
Like I said, I’d hoped to keep this a secret love for awhile. Alas, I woke up yesterday to find that the world was celebrating International Harry Potter Day, and there was no way I was going to let them celebrate alone! It turns out International Harry Potter Day commemorates the Battle of Hogwarts and the defeat of Voldemort. So what better way to join in the festivities than cuddling on the couch with my own Weasley and watching that historic battle in movie form (while possibly wearing the aforementioned t-shirt)?
I know this may all seem a little juvenile for someone who’s reached the quarter-of-a-century mark, but it’s just that childlike lightheartedness that keeps me coming back. Even though things turn dark (I mean, an epic battle between good and evil to decide the entire future of the wizarding world is pretty dark), it’s magic and children’s fables that lead the way. Not to mention the overwhelming theme of love and how it (and even the lack of it) makes all the difference in the world. Life lessons litter the pages of this series, but there’s one from the end of The Goblet of Fire that has really stuck with me. As the world faces the fact that Voldemort has returned, Dumbledore tells the students that they will have a decision to make: either accept that Voldemort has returned and immediately start resisting the evil he brings, or simply ignore what is happening in the world around you and go on living blindly. He says that there will come a time when we need to make the choice between what is right and what is easy.
I make these kinds of decisions numerous times each day. I consider myself to be a good person, but too often I make the easy choice – avoiding eye contact with the beggar on the street when I could look him in the eye and offer a friendly smile; constantly judging others when they don’t meet my expectations, even if it’s something as simple as the way they’re dressed; taking part in office gossip when I could keep my mouth shut or, heaven forbid, stop it all together. These aren’t life or death decisions, but they can make a difference. The more I make the right choice, the better I feel about myself and the happier I am in general. And that happiness is contagious. If we’re all making the conscious decision to do what’s right, we really can make the world a more pleasant place for everyone.
Whatever lessons you’ve learned from your own love affair with Harry Potter, I hope you put them into practice. Happy [Belated] International Harry Potter Day!