At Last Appreciating Potter Perfection

Has anyone out there ever heard of this Harry Potter novel series thing before? Ha! I know. It’s about damn time I got into this super popular fandom. Young me had read some of the Sorcerer’s Stone (aka the Philosopher’s Stone) way back in the day. I think one of my estranged relatives had gifted it to me, or something… one of my mom’s sisters, maybe? I dunno. I vaguely remember watching the first movie in middle school as well. That had been the extent of my Potter-ing. The story premise just didn’t click with my developing brain. A boy wizard goes to a magical school to learn magic stuff. Meh.

Or so young me thought, anyway… hold your anger please, Potter fans!

I’ve matured a lot since then. In my adulthood I’ve heard many heartwarming stories about how the Harry Potter novel series has helped people escape their harsh realities, for various reasons. A good friend of mine recently convinced me to give the series a serious shot. That resulted in a binge read-a-thon of all 7 main series books in less than a month (unheard of for me, a self-proclaimed not-really-a-reader).

My adult perspective was hooked from the get-go. It wasn’t long into the first book before I wanted to punch the entire Dursley family, pondered what Hogwarts house the Sorting Hat would stick me in (The official Pottermore sorting quiz stuck me in Gryffindor. Woot!), started imagining what it would be like to fly on a Nimbus 2000, felt the excitement of a chaotic Quidditch match, and was on the edge of my seat as Harry and his crew discovered the secret Fluffy was guarding. The story just kept getting better as each book flew by. I couldn’t believe how depressingly real the wizarding world became.

No, no, no! This is definitely not the dull whimsical wizard story young me dismissed it as. J.K. Rowling’s story is surprisingly dark, always intriguing, full of lovely little details, and loaded with sarcastic humour. Harry Potter’s world is not full of the standard airy abracadabra type of magic, but rather the much more dangerous and apocalyptic Avada Kedavra type of magic. Intense.

Consider this article a PSA to any lost souls out there who might still be thinking Harry Potter is a fluffy world where wizards pull rabbits out of a hat, or something lame like that. This is a beautifully crafted story about overcoming soul-shattering losses, controlling our emotions, and learning to embrace our true selves. These are great positive messages that are badly needed during any stage of life.

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