Harry Potter has a special place in my heart, as it does for many people. As it comes to be 20 years since the first release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I can’t help but reminisce about all the good memories this series gave me.
I remember when I picked up my first chapter book and refused to read anything but the Philosopher’s Stone for the next three months. I remember when the Chamber of Secrets came out and I would read it out loud to my friends. I remember getting yelled at by my mom for staying up too late finishing the Prisoner of Azkaban and creating my own Triwizard tournament with my siblings after I read the Goblet of Fire. I remember crying when Sirius died in the Order of the Phoenix and again when Dumbledore died in the Half-Blood Prince. I remember being annoyed with my cousin for having his wedding the same day that the Deathly Hollows came out because that meant I would have to wait a day.
I remember reading the first few books and dying to be a Gryffindor. And I remember getting older and realizing that it’s okay to be a Slytherin. I remember lining up for midnight releases and movie screenings. To be quite honest, there isn’t a major moment of my childhood in which some sort of Harry Potter reference was not present.
Harry Potter always gave me a sense of comfort and made feel better when I was down. I read and reread the series over and over again. I watched every movie as soon as it came out. In elementary school and high school, Harry Potter connected me to my peers and our mutual love of the books blossomed into friendships that have stuck over 10 years later. In university, whenever I was having a bad day or missing home, I would throw on a Harry Potter movie and everything was suddenly better.
Harry Potter made me believe in magic. It showed me that anything is possible. It taught me lessons of love, kindness, and most of all friendship. Harry Potter was there for me when sometimes I couldn’t even be there for myself.
As Albus Dumbledore says,
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”