Philippines’ OK! magazine had a Harry Potter exclusive this month, which is understandable since the 8th and last installment of the movie series is being released this month. If you didn’t know that, then you must have been living under a rock or something. (How you could you not know?)
I read the articles as meticulously as I could, scanning the pictures and trying to commit them to memory. Since my memory and I aren’t on the best of terms, I failed on that particular endeavor. Nevertheless, my fun was not diminished in any way because of this prompt:
It took the better part of my night, but I managed to email them and though I know that there’s a small chance of ever printing what I wrote them, there’s still a small part of me hoping they would. Yes, it would be cool to have my name printed, but that was not the reason why I wrote them. I wrote — well, emailed –them because I wanted to express how much Harry Potter meant to me as a fan. That, and I’ve always wanted to write to them but I’ve never gotten around to it until now.
I guess all I needed was a nudge in the right direction, and Harry Potter did that for me. ^__^
Hello, my name is Luigi and I’m sixteen years old. I became a fan of all-things Harry Potter after watching the GOBLET OF FIRE when I was younger. I was in my tween years, living in England with my family, and a friend of my mother’s saw how enthralled I was by the movie that she suggested that I should read the books. Back then, I was only budding reader. My “repertoire” only included a select few titles from the British author Roald Dahl, and the prospect of reading something as thick as the ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, the book I have decided to read first because it followed on from GOBLET, was simply daunting. But I trudged on: my mother bought me the book and I was hooked. I remember exclaiming at the dinner table one day that “I would love to be Cho Chang.” When my mother asked why, I just smiled coyly and continued eating my dinner. I didn’t want to tell her that I wanted to be Cho because she gets to kiss Harry. (Don’t tell her that now, either ;D) what can I say, I was just a young girl then.
As for the rest of the books, I rallied back and forth from the library to my house to my school and read them. I didn’t care if I read them in order or not (which I certainly didn’t — it doesn’t make me less of a fan). And I didn’t care that I stayed up late telling myself that “after this chapter, I’ll go to sleep.” I remember reading PRISONER OF AZKABAN in just one day. I remember squealing with joy when my mother presented me my own copy of CHAMBER OF SECRETS and HALF-BLOOD PRINCE years later. And I also remember my fondest memory, which is of my best friend gifting me the DEATHLY HALLOWS when it came out on 2007. We also went to the cinema together and watched ORDER OF THE PHOENIX with her mother and sister. It’s one of my dearest memories because I was preparing to leave England then.
Moving back to the Philippines was difficult. The culture shock, though not overwhelming, just changed me from the kid that I was then to the (slightly rebellious) teen I am now. The biggest shock? The fact that the Harry Potter books weren’t allowed in my new school and that my new classmates didn’t care much for the boy wizard. I guess maybe that’s why I’ve held on to the series — the books, the movies and the fan fiction — so much was because they were one of the ties I had to England.
Harry Potter is not just a story for me. It’s not just a bunch of movies either. They’ve influenced me in ways I can’t even find words to explain.
Because of the books, I’ve branched out into other genres and became an avid bookworm, and somewhere along the way I began writing. Just small fan fictions at first, but then I moved on to my own original works. (Still, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped writing fan fiction… I doubt I ever will.)
Because of the movies, I’ve been introduced to the frenetic world of the movie industry. I now follow the works of legendary British actors such as Alan Rickman, Richard Griffiths, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. And let’s not forget Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe. It was because of Radcliffe that I had jokingly announced one day that I’d “make a Filipino movie script so wonderful and cast him a part he can’t refuse” after reading an interview about it. And you know what? I plan on making that lighthearted comment a reality. I’m a very ambitious girl — that could be the Slytherin in me.
I know that there are a lot of people who adore Rowling’s fictional world, and I do understand that I am not its biggest fan.. I didn’t go out of my way to buy the books the moment they were released. In fact, I only own four out of the seven books, and THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD. I didn’t grow up with the books like some people, nor did I do the same with the movies — frankly, I still have a lot of growing up to do.
What the books are to me are not my childhood, they are my guidelines… in the loosest sense of the word, of course. I won’t be enrolling myself into a boarding school anytime soon, but I will keep in mind whenever I come across a situation in which I have to choose between what is right and what is easy, Harry did not choose the easy path. Neither did Dumbledore, nor did Snape, the Weasleys, the Order of the Phoenix and Dumbeldore’s Army. They fought for what they believed in. They fought against great evil, discrimination and corruption. They fought for their loved ones, for justice and fairness to all Wizarding folk.
The Harry Potter series are not just about its titular character, and it’s not just about his family and friends, either. Rowling tackles every facet of life: from education to romance to politics, she has depicted our lives in one way or another. I suppose that’s why she has managed to enthrall us all with her creation, for it relates to many different people in many different levels. It might just be about a fantasy world for one person and about an orphaned boy for another, but it can also be a satire of a corrupt government, racial prejudice and social discrimination.
I’m sorry for going on and on about this, but once I get started about Harry Potter, I won’t stop until I run out of steam. Or if someone forcibly shuts me up. Yes, I’m a fan of Harry Potter. I’m a fan of the books, I’m a fan of the movies and I’m a fan of the person. Harry is not just a fictional character for me; he might have been at first, but he’s not that anymore. That goes for all the other characters as well. Rowling wrote them so well they just jumped off the page and began strutting around like real people, like they really existed.. And I admire Rowling for that. I really, really do. I aspire to be as good a writer as her one day.
Yes, it is indeed saddening (and slightly depressing, too) that the entire franchise is coming to a close. We might have been able to ignore that empty feeling when the DEATHLY HALLOWS came out on 2007 since the movie franchise was still going strong, but with the eighth and last movie installment being released on the 15th (or 14th in some parts of the world), you can’t ignore it anymore. To some fans, the emptiness might just last a few days or weeks. To some it could even last for months. There’s no denying that something monumental has just finished and it hurts for it to do so. It certainly does for me. I’m tearing up as I write this now.
But you know what? To quote what a wise woman once said: “…The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” See? It’s not the end of the world. There’s still more of Harry Potter to pass around. Personally, I’m waiting for a theater or TV adaptation, though I’m not holding my breath. Meanwhile, I’m gonna read up on some fan fiction, maybe write some more if I have the time. You’ll never know: just like the many novels out there that continue Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE past Lizzy’s marriage to Mr. Darcy, you might just see books about Harry’s life between the Battle and the Epilogue.
This is Luigi, an avid Harry Potter fan. Thank you for reading and I hope this wasn’t a complete waste of your time.