In 1998, I fell in love.
I read my first Harry Potter book.
I grew up with the series, alongside the trio, learning about life as they did. J.K. Rowling taught me many fundamentals of life itself through the seven part saga that I hold so dear. Harry Potter has always been like a family to me. From reading the books growing up – over and over again and attending midnight releases for the films to working for MuggleNet, attending the Qudditch World Cup, attending LeakyCon, meeting several cast members (my favorite Evanna Lynch), getting a personal message from Natalia Tena when I was battling cancer, and getting to photograph and meet J.K. Rowling – it all has truly shaped me from young adolescence unto this day.
While reading the series, I felt and explored new emotions, new ways of thinking, and more. As an adult, every re-read I discover a new emotion or way to relate because of an experience in my own life. I truly was not able to appreciate the complexity of the relationships between characters until I was older, but challenging myself to understand helped my emotional intelligence grow from a young age.
Strong women are scattered throughout the wizarding world in such an amazingly representative way. There are women who are ostracized against, but never allow that to stunt their abilities. There are others who have a prejudice against them for not being a pureblood, but their tenacity to persevere despite racism is incredible. Then there is a reminder of the fierce, competitive, intelligent characters there are as well and it truly does start to make sense why I have drawn such rich emotional and psychological skills from these incredible women.
Hermione is the female protagonist that we are exposed to the most. We witness her evolutionary character development over the 7-book, 8-film story. This strong, independent, smart woman does not allow anyone to put her where they think she needs to belong. Being a “mudblood” never phases her for a moment. Viktor Krum can not claim ownership of her just because he finds her beautiful. Only sharing few demonstrations of why she is one of the strongest women ever – I could go on for days. She truly does shows what it is really like to overcome even the gravest of obstacles.
As an adult, now a mother, rereading the series I have a brand new appreciate for Lily Potter. Lily’s sacrifice tears my heart to pieces. I empathize and feel her pain and she begs for Voldemort to spare her son. I’m sure every mother would sacrifice themselves for their child and I always felt that I would automatically feels this way as a mom. But until you have a daughter or a son of your own, to raise, to love, to nurture, the full effect is not truly understood. The reason that Lily’s death was a shield is because the power of love always prevails. Sacrificial protection is so rare in the wizarding world and that is just beautiful to me that Lily was able to do that without even consciously knowing what it would ultimately do.
“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.“—Dumbledore referring to the power of love.
Harry Potter has taught me an indescribable amount about my very own life, and I believe that many fans feel the same. The melting pot of emotions, relationships, and a lifelong love that has manifested from the series is irreplaceable in my life. I believe that nothing will surpass my connection to this wondrous world. It all has helped me be a better person, a better mom, and better wife.
Is anyone else feeling just as nostalgic as I am as I write this? I love Harry Potter so much and hope to share its endless values, morals, and stories with my children someday as well. What have you gotten from the series? I want to know your story! Share in the comments. Thanks for reading!