There’s something about Harry Potter that completely enchants me—and it’s not solely the magic. I first started reading J.K. Rowling’s opus as an incoming college freshman. While some people spend that traditionally stress free summer sunning themselves on the beach, gabbing with friends, or nursing a burgeoning summer romance, I spent my summer reading. So, I guess you could say I was nursing a burgeoning romance of sorts?
You could also probably call me crazy, and that would be equally as true, for I was absolutely crazed. I suddenly realized why all my friends had stayed up until midnight, waiting in line at the bookstore for their first available copies of the new installment. Dressing up in a hat with a witch’s broom? No problem. It makes perfect sense! Concocting my own take on a Butterbeer? I did it! And it was good.
It was a lot of fun. But it was also surprisingly lonely when I chose to take a break from my obsession and reenter the Muggle world. Nobody really knew why I was so captivated, as an 18-year-old, by this story. Even I wasn’t so sure. What about this story connected with me so much? Why now, and why not as a child?
Hindsight, typically, has provided the best answer to this quandary: I was going through a transition, growing up. When I picked up a book I knew to be so many of my friends’ childhood favorites, I became mesmerized by the series’ coming of age themes. Written so vividly, with sparks of magic, quotable lines and a comforting voice, there was a safety in Harry Potter that reminded me distinctly of home. Especially when you’re about to leave home, there’s nothing better than the awareness that little pockets of that comfort exist everywhere.