I had a bit of a hard time convincing myself to reread Harry Potter after the things that J.K. Rowling has shared via her Twitter. This and what happened with my book project with a person I won’t name again have kind of dimmed my fun and interest in Harry Potter. I got rid of most of my Harry Potter collection that used to be pretty big and I didn’t watch the films for 2 or even 3 years.
I really noticed that I missed it… a lot. Harry Potter was always a place of comfort for me, the books more than the films or the merch or whatever. It’s cheesy but true when I say “Hogwarts is my Home”. I’m sure many people feel the same way, though.
Last night I finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and once again noticed how very gripping I find the story. As a child and teen I used to read so much and always experienced this phenomenon of being gripped and pulled right into the story so I wouldn’t hear the door bell ring or the telephone or that day had changed to night. I’ve always been sad about the fact that this happened to me less and less.
But how amazed and happy I felt when I noticed that the Harry Potter books are still capable of pulling me into this reading trance…
I reread the Harry Potter books at least once every year but last year and the year before were a bit difficult for me. I had put a little bit of distance between myself and Harry Potter, I listened to the audio books twice in that time but kind of rushed through them and they didn’t give me the feels that I had hoped.
Probably because of J.K. Rowling’s Tweets that shook me and I didn’t know what to think anymore.
But Harry Potter is something I need in my life. Again, cheesy… but true. Others like to keep photo albums and elaborately fill, decorate and describe them and then look through them regularly. Others travel to places they’ve spent time at with special people or at a special time in their lives.
I don’t know… Harry Potter is all of that to me. I just need it and I need to have a good relationship with it.
Enough of that cheese now because this current reread has been so valuable in more ways!! I’ve only just finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire last night and normally when I read I imagine the scenes in my head. Usually, I go with what everything looks like in the films… until a description in the book differs a little bit from the film. I then adjust my mental image to fit the description better. Sometimes I actually prefer the film version but usually I go with my version so I’m left with my own version of the story.
This time, though, I really went into the depths of the details. I took the time and though for half an hour even before I’d finished the first chapter. I wanted to know what Vernon Dursley looked like when he saw the wizards out and about and how he felt when he heard the name “Potter”. I imagined the exact scene that happened in the Potter’s house, the killing and the destruction and how Snape arrived there. Then, how Hagrid arrived there and met heartbroken Sirius, how he scrambled into the destroyed house and saw James dead. And Lily, dead, with crying baby Harry beside her. How he must have pressed the baby to his breast and, we know Hagrid… he probably couldn’t see anything for all the tears he must have been crying.
It’s really been an experience to go into such detail within my own head. And of course there are so many details, especially for us who have read and watched Harry Potter so often.
The exact scene of how Quirrell met Voldemort in Albania and how he was broken by the evil. The exact scene of the Hogwarts founders disputing and Salazar Slytherin building his hidden chamber. The exact scene of Myrtle’s death. The exact scene of how Peter betrayed his friends and blasted a street of muggles into smithereens while Sirius was mad with hurt and hate. The exact scene of Lupin seeing his old friend and realizing he hadn’t been the bad guy all along. The feelings they must have had. The terrible knowledge of how evil the dementors are and that his friend was among them for over a decade while being innocent and having suffered such a terrible loss.
It’s not like I didn’t imagine things like these before but I usually went with the plot and from one image to the next in my head. Some passages have always shocked me and I paused to really understand them. But doing this with every single passage that’s slightly deeper has been such a crazy and amazing experience so far. I feel differently about Harry Potter now, I love it even more now.
I just had to get this out. This is more of a diary entry that I don’t expect anyone to read but if somebody wishes to we could exchange a bit on the topic.