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I think we all know the story that started with an orphaned boy who has been left to live with his cruel Dursley’s. After an unusual encounter with the giant Hagrid, we all watched him discover his wizarding past, and the future prophecy that he is meant to fulfill.
Over a series of seven books, we watched Harry and his friends, Ron and Hermione, grow into powerful young wizards as they go on many magical adventures in the hopes of defeating the most feared dark wizard them all, Lord Voldemort.
Like most other people who are my age—24 that is—the Harry Potter series followed me throughout my childhood. Although Harry was born in the 1980s, making him slightly older than I am, when I was younger I imagined him as my age, making it feel like I was on the same journey as him through school—except without the possibility of death by Dementors or the threat of an evil wizard.
There was something comforting about reading the books and recognising the issues that they faced, the normal muggle ones that is, that I also faced in my everyday life. It became more real and helped me understand why certain things were happening around me or helped me confront the things that I thought weren’t going the way they should.
Now in Adulthood
I don’t think I’ve read any other book series that has affected me in the same way that the Harry Potter books have. Even though it has been well over a decade since I read the first book for the first time, I still get excited about reading the series. Although I’m much older than the characters in the books now, I’m able to relive my childhood through the books; they help me remember moments that were happening while I was reading these books.
It also helps that there is now a full series of film versions and more stories to experience in The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts. Although the franchise has moved away from the book, where it all started, and instead moved towards the theatre or on the big screen, I’m still able to continue my love of this fantastic series in other magical adventures.
On the Big Screen
Normally there is a common distinction between fans of movie adaptations and the book that the movie came from. In this instance, there is a blurred line that pretty much intertwines the Harry Potter franchise through both literature and film. It's not easy for fans to talk about the film without comparing it to the books, like most fans would do, then you have the other side where people can’t talk about the book without commenting on what the film did differently or even better.
For me, my love of the books is pretty much equal to the movie series. I’m able to enjoy moments of the film that I didn’t enjoy in the books, yet equally find entertainment in reliving parts of the book that didn’t make it into the film.
My only gripe now is that having experienced the films so many times, and seen the posters throughout my life, it is hard to picture my own version of the story when reading the book without getting influenced by what is shown in the films.
Looking back on my time reading and watching this series, it's easy to pinpoint certain moments and memories that happened while I was invested in the franchise. One of the earliest would be when my mum bought me my first Harry Potter book. She handed me the third book; it was only a quarter of the way through it that I realised I must have missed something and found that there were two books before it.
Another would be when the last book was released. Well, who wouldn’t be? It was all over the news. It was that big a release. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to any of the midnight releases or midnight showings of the films, but I always eagerly awaited the next book. Once I finally got the final book, I did nothing but read, and it took me just less than a day to finish it.
I don’t think there is ever going to be a moment in my life where I find myself not loving this franchise, whether I end up finding more love for the films or the books. I even have thoughts that there will indeed be remakes of the main Harry Potter movies, not in any immediate future, but maybe when I’m old enough to have grandchildren—even then I may still find a fascination with seeing how these books are brought to life in a different and exciting way.
At the end of the day, with the second installment from the Fantastic Beast series coming out today, I’m getting myself excited to experience yet another chapter of this interesting and magical series. I can’t wait to see what is yet to be uncovered in this brilliant world of witches and wizards.