Let’s Talk About Harry Potter And Other Comforting Things

If you asked me what my comfort book was, I would say, without a doubt, Harry Potter. Or, rather, to be technically correct, my comfort series. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I think the Potter books are the best in the world. In fact, I can think of many books that are better: Great Expectations, The Book Thief, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, to name a few, are prime examples of books that have better themes and content wrought in their pages than all the Potter books combined. It’s simply that the books were irrevocably such a large part of my childhood that it’s hard to think of an instance in my life that these books weren’t a part of, from the age of seven onwards. I read the books. I watched the movies. I wrote Albus Dumbledore quotes on my erasers. I was sorted into Ravenclaw at Pottermore. Long after I finished the series, I would sit and reread them, and reread them again. In fact, in fifth grade, one of my teachers gifted me a book, because I would read nothing but Harry Potter.

Well, as you can tell, I have long since moved on from reading just Ms. Rowling’s books. I sincerely do enjoy them, yes, and from time to time, whenever I am stressed, I flip through them, and reread even just one page. Even holding them is comforting to me. Even after I started reading other books, I’d do a yearly re-read of the series up until seventh grade.

These books are now far, far below my high school reading level. I cannot remember not being above grade reading level, and for the longest time, these books were holding me back. Yet they were such, such, such an important part of my childhood. Hogwarts–more than Camp Half-blood, more than 221b Baker Street, more than the TARDIS–is my home. It’s a place where help will always be given to those who need it.

As school ramps up, and we approach our hardest units yet, I am drawn more than usual to the books that made up (quite literally) all of my elementary school years. Re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix this weekend, I remembered why I loved the content contained in these pages oh-so-very-much.

+ Universal Themes of Love. Love being the greatest magic of them all is a message that has always stuck with me. When I think of the Potter books, to this day, I remember… love. I don’t want to say more for fear of spoilers (spoilers are the one thing you should always, always avoid with Harry Potter), but I really loved the message, and the books really drove it home.

+ Strong Female Characters. Yes, yes, I’ve heard about the arguments saying that Rowling has underrepresented female characters in her books, especially strong female characters, but I disagree. Hermione Granger (whose name I still, to this day, spell wrong) is a prime example. People often overlook her, but Professor McGonagall is a woman I shall always look up to. And Mrs. Weasley, well… I think we can all agree on her.

+ Our Lives Are So Well Reflected In These Books. The stress, the homework, the sibling rivalries *coughWeasleyfamilycough*… for all the world, we could have been them, struggling through our astrology essays, hating potions, stressing over our O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s.

+ The Character Growth Is Just Beautiful. Harry, Ron, and Hermione change so much over the course of these books. In Book Five, Harry is definitely not the same person he was in Book One. Ron changes from unconfident-youngest-brother-in-a-family-of-nine to being a hero in his own right. Hermione changes from adamant-rule-follower to rule-breaker-for-the-greater-good. And what makes them especially wonderful is… they’re all so flawed, and they seem so real. Nobody will be perfect, and nobody will be terrible. We all make stupid mistakes or bad decisions (like that haircut you got yesterday… don’t worry, it looks fabulous!), and the characters in this book are not without flaws. I just love how Rowling was able to accurately represent them as both strengths and weaknesses at different times.

That’s not to say that the books are without flaws entirely. I mean, there are some major, gaping plot holes that I smooth over for the sake of the story, which is a good one (couldn’t we have just one family with a normal amount of children?). But the magic of it just enthralls you so completely you find yourself swallowed, happy. And it’s especially powerful for those, like me, who have grown up on these books.

Of course, not everybody has. I am constantly shocked seeing that some people have not read them, or do not like them, before remembering that not everybody is me, and that Potter is not everybody’s type of book.

But I loved Harry Potter. I loved Hogwarts. I loved Quidditch, and flying on a broomstick. I shivered when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named made an entrance on the page. I loved Harry Potter, and I think I will for the rest of my life. Even when the writing seems soppy or bad, and I cannot stand reading the words on the page, the Potter books on my shelf will always be a comfort to me. They were a part of my childhood, and always will be.

“After all this time?”

always_deathlyhallows_alone

 

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16 responses to “Let’s Talk About Harry Potter And Other Comforting Things

    • Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed! πŸ˜€
      Yayz! although I may have cheated and used autocorrect and Google to help me
      I’m taking it that you grew up on Potter as well? (… I feel like Snape calling the series that…)

        • Same here! (If, you know, you couldn’t tell from the post. πŸ˜› )

          I don’t know if I want there to be more. Seven awesome books in the Potterverse, well, that’s a pretty tough feat to pull off for an author. I mean, most authors can barely write a satisfactory SEQUEL, let alone SEVEN BOOKS. I don’t know if I’d want J.K. Rowling to write any more Potter books. I know I wouldn’t want her to write any more today for sure. She’s changed as a person, and her writing is probably changed, and I don’t want anything to ruin my childhood favorites. ❀ I heard she's coming out with a movie or something, though! I'm excited for that! πŸ˜€

          • πŸ™‚ True but I’m not on Pottermore/verse so I haven’t read them…very true though about that last bit…she’s creating 3 movies based on Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and I’m so excited….. πŸ™‚

  1. Thanks for this post! Even though I was slightly (or more than) older than you when I read these books, I fell in love with them, as well. They helped me envision a childhood I was never really allowed to have, one full of wonder and imagination. And it enabled me to share those feelings of wonder with my own children. Great post!

    • Yes, I think the beauty of the Harry Potter series is that it has something for everybody. I lived much of my childhood through books, and the world building Rowling provides in these are among the best I have ever read. I mean, you can sort yourself into a house by determining your foremost characteristics (Ravenclaw pride for me! πŸ˜€ ), and Hogwarts will always be there! I think I began reading these books around age eight, and on my eleventh and twelfth birthdays, I waited impatiently for an owl containing a Hogwarts letter (which, sadly, never came). I’m so glad you’re able to share that magic with your own children! I think the type of magic in these books and the good-triumphing-over-evil-in-a-realistic-fashion is something that all children, in one way or another, should be able to experience, be it through these books, another series, or even a TV show. Everybody deserves to live through the type of magic I got to as a child. πŸ˜€

  2. have you ever heard of hogwartsishere.com? i used to go on there and play avidly until i was too tired. you got to write your own essays, be sorted into houses, and more. now i don’t go on so much due to school, so i don’t know how it has developed, but it was amazing!

    • THAT is amazing. I really want to join, but the awful awful thing called extracurriculars and homework have prevented me from doing so. *sobs* (Btw: I just noticed your profile pic is Nine. Yay for Nine! πŸ˜€ )

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