This is the second part of my story with Harry, having covered earlier how I came to know him.
After I read the last book twice during that summer and watching the last movie (in horrifyingly low quality), I returned the books to my friend. We were now Potter Pals! Yaaay. She said if I really liked Harry Potter she has another series involving magical characters that she’d lend me, and I said okay.
It was Artemis Fowl. To be completely honest, I don’t remember anything from it. The first book was okayish, the second one, I don’t even remember reading , the third one was actually good but by the time I got to the fourth one, I was done. The story was not nearly as interesting as Harry’s. So I gave her the book back, and she said ‘do you want to reread Harry Potter’ and again I was like ‘okay’, but time I was more excited to revisit the world I loved so much.
I don’t really remember anything in particular that happened when I reread them in French. I did enjoy it though. Anyway, after finishing, I was starting eighth grade, and my friend and I were no longer in the same class so I took a break from reading books in general. That’s where I turned to online communities.
I remember reading whole wikipedia articles about the Harry Potter Universe. I still have them saved on my computer. Let me check…
Yep. 251 Word pages of Harry Potter facts that I read everytime I had the chance.
I also became the admin of two Harry Potter related pages (Potterheadophobia – The Fear Of Being Told The Magic’s Over ; and The Common Room at Hogwarts ; if you want you can give them a like) and discovered Hogwarts-RPG sites, such as hogwartslive.com (from which I was dramatically banned because I was under 13) and my personal favorite, maisons.poudlard.org , a french site that had (and still has) everything from forums to news to chat rooms to various classes where you could do your homework and write essays for points and gallions, advancing through the years, collecting chocolate frog cards, unlocking hogwarts secrets, sending dungbombs to friends, writing and reading categorized fanfiction, wandering through the Forbidden Forest and trying to solve all its riddles, reading the monthly edition of the Daily Prophet put together by the site members… It was magical, and the community there was fantastic. I still visit from time to time (If you’re interested my username is Anthony98. I don’t even know why I put the 98. I was born in 1999.)
Anyway, in 8th grade I became horribly lonely and had literally no friends, which meant Harry was my only friend back then. I don’t know how I would have went on without him. And for that I’m forever thankful.
In 9th grade, I was reunited with my former Potterhead friend, and I also made some new nerdy, bookwormy friends. We quickly made them read the books, and they were fans. The next year, which was sophomore year, we became very close friends and had our own Potterhead group on Whatsapp. It was really fun; until we all faced some serious personal problems and there were huge, disastrous conflicts that resulted in the demise of said group and a strained relationship between some members. It still hurts, and I wish we could go back to how we were, but I’ve moved on. Now’s not the time to go into detail with this.
So anyway, in the summer before that sophomore year, when all was well, my friends read Harry Potter and I decided to rereread them too, this time in English. I couldn’t afford the books, so I had to borrow them again, and it was really a great experience. I waited for everyone to be asleep to take out my book and start reading until I slept. It felt nice rediscovering Harry’s adventure in their original language.
However, when I got to the seventh book, I stopped because I wanted to ‘wait until my friends get to that book and we’ll read them together’. That was a dumb decision because by the time my friends got to it, I had somewhat lost interest and couldn’t get past the first few chapters.
I still rewatched all the movies (not even rewatched, half of them I had never seen/didn’t remember at all) and the last one made me cry a lot as I already have stated countless times before.
Retrospectively, I wish I hadn’t rushed into the books and read them so early and so quickly. I was 11 when I started them, and 11 when I finished them. Everyone else had also started at 11, but had to wait whole years to read the following books, so in a way they grew up with Harry. And by the time they reached the seventh book, they were old enough to understand the full impact of it. I wasn’t. I read the whole thing within 6 months. The movies left me unfazed. It wasn’t until I rewatched the last movie last year that I made an emotional connection with Snape, for example. Before, I couldn’t understand at all why he was considered brave. Now, however, he’s one of my favorite characters.
Fast forward one year later (a.k.a pretty much today).
I FINALLY HAVE THE BOOKS!!!!
This is how I acquired them all:
Book 1+3+4: Gifts from my friends on my birthday. They’re the Septembre 2014 Bloomsbury editions and they look splendid; they even have a Hogwarts map in them! But the covers are too revealing for new readers – they show the basilisk scene in book 2, the patronus scene in book 3, and the forest scene between Harry and Voldy in book 7 (wtf?)
Book 2: Gift from a friend on Teacher’s Day because I had been tutoring him. That was really nice of him, and it was my very first Harry Potter book and I couldn’t believe my eyes and it considerably cheered me up because it was during the time the ‘conflict’ I talked about earlier was taking place. It’s the first Scholastic edition, from September 2000.
Book 5: I had bought a discounted adult version at a book fair for 10$, but the same friend (the one who got me Book 2) brought me the American version (same version as Book 2) on my birthday; and I don’t know why because he apparently already knew I had that book. Anyway, I decided to keep the one he gave me because it’s the same edition as the second book and its cover is more harrypotterish. The other one did not look like a Harry Potter book at all.
Book 6+7: I can’t believe how lucky I was to get these hardcover Bloomsbury first editions! They were being sold at a bookyard for 3$ EACH! Can you believe this?! They look absolutely perfect and they have this sacred quality to them. If I happen to find hardcovers of the other books at such prices I’m definitely buying them. I especially want the fourth and the fifth, even though I now have two of it.
My little babies :’)
So now I am rereading them all. I’m almost done with the second book, it feels so great to read actual physical copies that belong to me only. I suspect that I will rererereread them in the future, and that time I think I’ll be carrying a pen and a ruler, highlighting my favorite quotes and moments, adding notes; that is if I have the heart to do it.
And so my tale with the Boy Who Lived is told, I hope you enjoyed it and that you could partly relate with it. Let’s hope this special relationship will live on! 😀