20 Years of Harry Potter!
Today marks 20 years since the Harry Potter series first launched which is crazy to think about! I remember when it came out although I was not nearly as excited about it at the time as I am now. In celebration, today, I figured I will look back at my journey with the Harry Potter books and touch on the movies.
To celebrate today I am wearing my Ravenclaw shirt and my Pygmy Puffs, Luna (medium size) and Bellatrix (baby), are helping me out today. I hope to adopt a large one soon and name her Narcissa (pink or purple will do.) I am also watching all of the movies back to back.
My first Harry Potter book came from a family friend when she returned from the United Kingdom. It was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. That book at some point in my life got lost, so sadly, I only have a photo of my fourth copy of the book. The second two fell apart because I read them so much.
I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when we were traveling from the Bahamas to the United States for a quick trip. My parents had a hard time getting my nose out of the book. All of the amazing experiences that you re-experience every time you reread the book (or watch the movie.) Some of these include: receiving a Hogwarts letter, shopping in Diagon Alley, wands, Platform 9 3/4, the Hogwarts Express, Chocolate Frogs and the cards, the Sorting Hat, Houses, Quidditch, and many of our beloved characters. Every time, I reread or watch the movie I get goosebumps because it still feels new again and I hope that feeling never goes away. I often wonder if other readers and fans feel this way. I reread Philosopher's Stone probably once a month until Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came out.
With being so young at the time it was hard to imagine anyone wanting to be in any other house except Gryffindor because Harry Potter was what it was all about for young readers. Boy has that changed over the years. I also think back that Gryffindor was the only house you could find merchandise in.
When Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came out I was not a huge fan of the book. Mostly due to all the snake scenes and references. The one discovery I had was that if I ever became a witch I would want to be a Parselmouth. The real reason being that ,one, I do have a love of animals but my worst fear is a snake. I figured it would be nice to be able to talk to them so I would know what they are thinking/saying and I could tell it to please leave me alone.
With the second book coming out I also got my first Harry Potter merchandise.
To this day, I have only written Harry Potter notes in here. It is also funny to read my notes as to everyone wants to be a Gryffindor and that the other houses are all bad.
Then came Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Unlike the first two books, I did not read this book right when it came out. After Chamber of Secrets I was worried the series might be going downhill but the book had been gifted to me just like the first two. I can still remember cracking the book open and reading it. It was my second trip to the Abacos and my family was there for a week, First day there I went out to the hammock and cracked Prisoner of Azkaban open. I did not come inside the whole day because I did not want to stop reading. I had a new favourite book. I was so smitten with the book, that, I reread the entire book once a day for the remainder of our time there. There were other memorable moments on that trip but that was the first time I had really fallen for the series. Some of my favourite items, both then and now, still come from this book: The Knight Bus, the Marauder's Map, "I Solemnly Swear That I Am Up To No Good and Mischief Managed," Hogsmeade, Butter beer, Sirius Black and the introduction to a patronus.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out the summer we moved to the United States and with everything going on I did not get this book right away. To this day, I still have not finished this book. I have started it 69 times now and after about 30 something times of starting it over, I decided to just pick up where I left off. My goal was to actually finish it today, but I should finish it in the next few days. I do not know why I have such a hard time with this book. I am a reader who loves loads of detail which Goblet of Fire has and it was always one of my favourite movies until recently.
At this point in my Harry Potter life I took a long break in terms of the books and movies. I decided I would not read anymore books until I finished Goblet of Fire, and I would not watch the remainder of the movies until I finished the books.
Fast forward from 2000 until 2014. My best friend in college was obsessed with Harry Potter. I had continued over 14 years to try and finish Goblet of Fire with no luck. My friend kept telling me, "You need to finish the books." She was also frustrated that I would never finish Harry Potter marathons with her because I refused to see how the books ended through a movie because be real the book is always better. Spring 2014, my last semester of college, she told me that she was going to be hosting a bridal shower for me and it was going to be Harry Potter themed. I was not upset about this but I was a little surprised since she knew it was not a huge part of my life. She made me get sorted on Pottermore and I got Hufflepuff. I was pretty disappointed. I like Hufflepuff but I did not feel that was the best house for me. My friend also told me start reading the books over again so I would know everything at the party. I started over. I read books 1-3 in three days. Then came Goblet of Fire. I could not finish it. The day came for my shower and it was not Harry Potter themed at all it was just her way of trying to get me to read the books.
A year and a half went by. 5th of November 2015 I asked my friend if I could just skip the end of Goblet of Fire since I had seen the movie and start at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She agreed. It took me two months to finish the book. I had a hard time getting in to the book. 12 Grimmauld Place got my attention and made it easier to continue. Then my life changed when I got to Book 5, Chapter 10, Page 185. As you can see from my Hogwarts Running Club bib, below, it is a very special place in the books for me. For anyone who does not know that is when we meet Luna. I read the book non stop until I finished it in about two days. This is now one of my favourite books and movies but I cannot watch and read at the same time because of all the good details they leave out of the movie. Especially Neville's family story. I was also heart broken at losing one of my favourite characters.
Then in three days I finished the last two books. I could not put Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince down. I can only list one favourite memory as the others are spoilers and that is Pygmy Puffs.
Lastly, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The amazingness of how all the books started to get woven in this book was amazing. The start was slow but about half way through it was speed reading from there. This book brought about the scariest scene ever (remember how afraid of snakes I am) and a TON of heartbreak!
At this point I decided to go back to Pottermore and be sorted again. This was when the site had been revamped and I could not remember my old credentials. I got sorted into Ravenclaw. After finishing the series I felt that is where I would do best followed by Hufflepuff, as a close second. If I had to keep ordering it would go Slytherin then Gryffindor. Sometimes, I like to tell people I am a Ravenpuff.
Since January 2016, I have reread the series a number of times. Still having a hard time with Goblet of Fire. It was fun to think about the influence of the series over my life. Happy 20 years Potterheads!
When did you fall in love with the Harry Potter series? Leave your comments below! Feel free to also share the books and movies in order of favourite to least favourite. I always find this fun.