‚A letter?‘, repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. Really, Dumbledore, you think, you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He’ll be famous – a legend – I wouldn’t be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter Day in future – there will be books written about Harry – every child in our world will know his name!“
– Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J. K. Rowling –
Bücher waren schon immer das Wichtigste für mich. Erst waren es Bilderbücher, dann Erstlesebücher und irgendwann, es muss das Weihnachten gewesen sein, an dem ich noch für ein paar Tage 7 war, da habe ich den ersten Harry Potter bekommen. Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen. Ich weiß noch, dass ich die ersten Kapitel ein wenig langweilig fand, zu wenig Handlung, wie ich fand. Aber dann, als Harry Ron kennen lernte, da war es um mich geschehen. Da war ich völlig drin. Ich habe alle Bände gelesen, geliebt, gehütet wie Schätze. Sie stehen aufgereiht in meinem Bücherregal und symbolisieren meine Kindheit und Jugend. Was bei den Serien die Gilmore Girls für mich sind, ist Harry Potter bei den Büchern. Ich wollte von Anfang an, dass Ron und Hermine zusammenkommen, habe mich irgendwie mit Ginny identifizieren können (auch wenn ich nie Harry haben wollte, sondern immer Draco), habe Snape vergöttert (ich wusste, dass er einfach nicht böse sein konnte) und mich in der von Rowling geschaffenen Welt an manchem grauen Tag wohler gefühlt als in meiner eigenen. Was hätte ich dafür gegeben, die Weaslys Besuchen zu können und einen Brief aus Hogwarts zu bekommen. Noch heute warte ich darauf, dass dieser Brief durch den Briefkastenschlitz geschoben wird, dass ich mit sieben Jahren Verspätung noch in Hogwarts anfangen darf, dass der singende Hut entscheidet, dass ich nach Slytherin gehen werde. Oder nach Hufflepuff, wenn es ganz übel läuft. Ich bin kein Twilight-Mädchen, ich bin ein Potter-Mädchen und dazu stehe ich. Das ist der Grund, warum ich in diesem Sommer beginne, alle Teile nochmal auf Englisch zu lesen. (Ich fand übrigens den dritten am Besten. Und immer, immer Snapes Geschichte.)
Diesen schönen Fanbrief fand ich bei Dear Mr. Potter, wo Fans darüber berichten, wie sehr die Bücher ihr Leben beeinflusst haben, wie viel ihnen das, was J. K. Rowling geschaffen hat, bedeutet. Weil ich ihn so schön fand, dachte ich mir, den kann ich euch nicht vorenthalten:
That Saturday in July was typical for most people, but for me, and several thousand others, it was the ending of something we hoped never would. I stood in line at Barnes and Noble for five hours at the midnight release. There were over five hundred people in that book store with me, all dressed similarly: in white collared shirts, black pants, ties, and of course black hooded cloaks. I wouldn’t start the book until the sun rose, but I needed to have in my hands as soon as possible.
That night as I slept I kept one hand on the cover. I don’t think I slept more that three hours in anxious excitement. In my hands lay the apex of the last ten years of my life. Inside those 759 pages was the end of my childhood, the end of the journey of Harry Potter.
By four o’clock Monday afternoon on my way to work, about 630 pages into the book. I sat alone in the back corner of the K-Mark parking lot in Portsmouth New Hampshire, locked inside my Lancer, Deathly Hallows propped open against my steering wheel.
Alone in my car, deep within the walls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I thought that nothing bad could possibly happen in the last seven pages of the chapter entitled “The Second Battle for Hogwarts.” What could possibly be worst than Snape killing Hedwig, less than a quarter in the book? I found my answer on page 637.
As I read the words my mind couldn’t wrap around what J.K. Rowling had just done to my life. I re-read the page, hoping my mind had tricked me. It hadn’t. Percy Weasley had killed his brother. Percy Weasley, the most hated of the Weasley brood was the reason Fred lay dead before the entry to the Great Hall. Fred Weasley was dead. And I had to punch into work in less than five minutes.
To fully understand my emotions at this moment in time, I should take you back to age eleven: the first time I read The Sorcerer’s Stone. At this point in my life, I was the awkward girl that no one understood. I had taken to eating lunch alone in the girls’ bathroom to keep other people from looking at me. I immersed myself in literature, Laura Ingles Wilder mostly, until I was walking through Barnes and Noble and found the first Harry Potter book.
I never really had a true friend until I met Harry Potter. It does sound a little bit weird, and kind of stupid, but Harry Potter was the reason I went to school everyday. I became convinced that my Hogwarts letter was going to come soon, and all my problems would be gone. Just like Harry’s were. He’d escaped the wrath of bullies by discovering he was a wizard, and someday soon, so would I. I would dream every night that an owl had come to my window. Even know I like to believe that the headmaster sent my letter by regular post, and its stuck in the mail some where, but that goes with being a Potter fan I guess.
Many Potter fans find themselves emotional invested in the lives of one of the characters, whether it be Harry himself, Ron, his awkward and nervous best friend, Hermione, the overly smart goody two shoes who solved every problem with a book, or even the evil Draco Malfoy, whose sole role in the book was to annoy Harry. I, however, found my favorite character was actually two: Fred and George Weasley, the twin older brothers of Ron.
In high school I met the first person who had also invested their life in the Harry Potter series, and the Weasley twins, Brittany. Brittany was my first human best friend. We would compare theories and posters, past notes in the hallways and spend nights on the phone talking Potter. Before long, we realized we each had a favorite twin, conveniently it was the opposite twin, I can only imagine the fights that would have gone on if we had both loved the same brother. In time we became to each other the Weasley twins, her George, and I, of course, Fred.
I sat in my car that Monday, tears running down my face. I had to bring myself back together to work my cash register, but the boy I’d loved since I was eleven was dead. My fictional boyfriend, as sad and ridiculous as it was, lay dead. Fred wasn’t just my fictional boyfriend, but a part of me. I was lying dead on the floor outside the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. My imagination in pieces.
Slowly, I walked across the mostly empty parking lot, the orange book clinched to my chest. I entered the through the automatic doors. I turned to the service desk. Barbara and Jo stood by the time clock.
“Are you alright?” Jo asked.
I replied with something the sounded like: “Harry Potter. My boyfriend. Percy. Killed. Wall. Fred. Dead.” And the tears poured down my face.
Jo, who was also a Potter fan, seemed to understand. Although she hadn’t read the sixth book yet, there was a look on her face of understanding. “Are you going to be alright?”
“No,” I cried, pulling the book closer to my face, smelling the pages. “Fred. Stupid. Percy. Unneeded. Deaths.” I gasped.
“I’ll call in Lisa,” Barbara said, picking up the phone. “I don’t think she reads Harry Potter.”
Jo took me by the arm and led me into the back room. We sat there together until I could breathe again. Then, she sent me home.
Back in my bed room, I locked myself in my room and cried. I cried of two straight days. I did not look at the book again until Thursday, when I became curious of who else’s life J.K. Rowling would destroy for no reason. She’d already done irreparable damage to my psyche, how much worse could it get.
When I reached the last page of the epilogue, “And all was well,” I cried again. I cried for Fred, for Cedric, for Dumbledore, for Hedwig, and for all the other unneeded deaths. But I mostly cried because it was over. Harry Potter the first book that changed my life for the better, was over. There would never be another release party, no waiting around book stores at all hours of the night, it was done.
My world was upside down. My childhood was over. It died on page 637, along with Fred Weasley, with a smirk on his face.
Deanna C. 23 Gryffindor