Not a year has passed since I was six in which I haven’t read or watched or participated in the fandom of one of the greatest series of all time: Harry Potter.
I’m a Harry Potter nerd and very proud of it.
In 2001, when “Sorcerer’s Stone” was released in the U.S., I went to the movies with my two sisters and two of our older cousins. I was only six and my cousins deemed that my younger sister Hana and I were “too young” to watch such a terrifying movie.
But instead, we happily watched Monsters, Inc. and were pretty content when my old sister Amanda regaled us with tales of magic and trolls.
A few months later, though, after much begging on Amanda’s part, my mom bought the movie on VHS tape. The three of us snuggled together on the couch like we always did, with our juice and snacks, and watched as Harry made friends for the first time and started off a wild adventure.
After that, we were hooked.
Amanda, at 11 years old, was in her prime time to be a young Harry Potter fan. She instantly picked up the first four books that had been published and read them feverishly.
Being the oldest sister, she wouldn’t share with me. “You’re still a baby, Emily. You can’t read them.”
But I was not a baby, and I protested. I could read perfectly. But it wasn’t until a few years later that I actually got the chance to read them.
By the end of second grade, I was tired of missing out. So, I read them, absorbing them faster than any book I’ve read before. I couldn’t stop reading. I read all of ones released at the time and then I read them all again.
Two years later, there was only one book left to be released.
In the meantime, I read all the books at least three times each. I used the points from our reading program to win a challenge in my school and set a record with the highest amount of points for a single person.
Harry Potter gave me the tools I needed — and it helped that I loved what I was reading.
In 2007, the last Harry Potter book was released. We drove an hour to the nearest store that had a midnight release party. We didn’t even end up staying, because once I had that book in my hands, I was reading it. I stopped to sleep, but by lunchtime the next day, I had finished.
I cried. I cried when Dobby died in Harry’s arms and when the Weasleys all gathered around Fred. But most of all, I was sad because it was over.
The books were amazing and I wanted them to keep going forever. I never wanted the magic to stop.
We continued to watch the movies each year when they were released, often at the midnight release time. We’d stand in line for up to an hour, anxiously waiting.
One year, we even made t-shirts with neon paint — I still have mine.
The last time I would stand in that line was the best time. I had won tickets to see the premiere two days early with three others.
My sisters, a younger cousin and I all dressed up in costume and were there an hour early to stand in line. We were first, and we were on television.
I was interviewed by the news about the end of Harry Potter. I’m sure they weren’t expecting much, but I told them that Harry Potter wasn’t over. The magic would live on in me and in everyone else.
Now that I’m older and much busier, I still try to take the time and have one movie marathon per year. I reread the books almost every summer.
The magic is still there. I’m there with the trio as they make their way through perilous adventures. My heart breaks when Cedric dies. But it soars again when Harry keeps on going.
I still remember all these random facts and when I see a Buzzfeed quiz to test my knowledge, I just have to take it.
I joined Pottermore when it first came out. The sorting hat deemed me a Ravenclaw, which I was ecstatic about. I bought books other people wrote about the world of Harry Potter.
The magic never stops. People continue to write fanfiction set in the world of Harry Potter because there is so much to explore. They bring out new ideas that fit into canon. There’s also some very badly written fanfiction that no one should ever read — I’m looking at you, gin n’ tonic fans.
When the series ended, it really didn’t end. Here we are, 19 years later, when Albus Severus Potter will be going off to Hogwarts for the first time. We have so much to explore in the magical world and I don’t think the magic will ever truly leave. It will be there, always.
Emily Schnipke is a third-year communication student with a minor in English. She is also the IC’s editor-in-chief.