20 years of Harry Potter: a story

Hoohoo,

this is a very special blog post for me. Why? It is a very special day. Exactly 20 years ago, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published. Wow, Harry Potter is not even one year older than me. Why do I realize this just now?
Anyways, it is all about Harry Potter today. And I thought I’d share with you my personal Harry Potter story, in which I talk about friendship, fanfiction and my feelings.

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When I was 8, I saw my first Harry Potter film. I went to my best friend’s house and together with his mother we watched Prisoner of Azkaban. And let me tell you, I was extremely scared because of the dementors. I swore to myself to not watch this again. But other than frightened, I was fascinated by it, its magic, its characters, its story. And I knew for a fact, that my older cousin was a HUGE Harry Potter nerd at that time. So of course I asked her if I could borrow her books.
I borrowed them again, and again and again. Once or twice each year until Deathly Hallows which was the first HP book I’ve owned. We were awaiting its release desperately. How was it going to end? Have I ever read a book with such hunger for more and such speed in my life ever again? Probably not.
And because I loved the books so much, I decided to give the films another try. And I adored them as well, and I’m not scared by the dementors anymore (yay). I laughed and cried a lot during all of the movies and all of the books.
Then I met a girl. We knew each other a bit through another friend, but had never talked that much. Until at a birthday party of that other friend, we started talking and realized we were both into Harry Potter. So we were basically sitting in a corner, just marvelling about the wonder that is Harry Potter. We grew closer and closer and very soon, she became my best friend. We made fan art, talked, watched the films, invented Harry Potter games (which all our other friends have to play with us), threw Harry Potter themed Halloween parties, did Harry Potter themed photoshoots. And even though we have many more interests, Harry Potter was the first thing connecting us and I think it is a wonderful thing to build a friendship on. And I am so, so glad for this friendship.

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Almost all of this happened before I really discovered the internet. Oh, what the internet had in store for me: new friends, merch and… fanfiction. I spent my nights reading extremely good and extremely bad fanfiction. And because I think fanfiction can be a wonderful thing, here is one of my favourites, On The Brink (which makes me cry. Every. Damn. Time). But then of course there is one, probably the worst fanfic ever written, but also the most hilarious one, My Immortal, btw I guess the most quoted fanfiction in existence. Seriously, if you feel like something in Harry Potter is not right, you will find a fanfiction for your liking. Believe me. And in the case that there is not, write one.
And all that merch. Wands, costumes, candles, food, stickers, posters, figurines. There isn’t anything you can’t have when it comes to Harry Potter. And I wouldn’t say I have too much Harry Potter merch, because there is no thing like that, but I have a lot of it. And I need more. Because it’s Harry Potter and I need all of it. Oh and of course Harry Potter in other languages. My goal actually is to have at least one book of each installment for every edition in every language I can speak. At this point, I own 48 HP books.

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Then, in the last years, there came more Potter people into my life. Meeting with the sole purpose of Harry Potter cosplay, talking about Harry Potter and taking photos. By now, we are a group who meets a few times a year (+ Leipziger Buchmesse). I don’t know some of those people’s real names, only character names but nevertheless I know so much about them, like them a lot and feel a connection to them, thanks to Harry Potter.

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And in addition to all of this, the books themselves have become a part of me and who I am. They make me happy. Even during darker phases and phases of uncertainty, they are good and there and I can always go back to them, read them. Even looking at them makes me feel better. If anyone would ask me “Kat, what is your favourite book?”, I would answer “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Not because it is the best book I’ve ever read, but because of what it means to me and what it makes me feel and what I connect with it.” And because of all that, I will forever be grateful for the books and J.K. Rowling for bringing them into my life. Thank you.

 

Now, what is your Harry Potter story? Do you have a favourite fanfiction? Good recipes?

 

to end this, here are some more Potter photos:

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Harry Potter exhibition, Cologne 2014

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Gryffindor Common room fun

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Slytherin vs. Gryffindor

6 thoughts on “20 years of Harry Potter: a story

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