Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

Thank you, J.K. Rowling

By Steph Tahtinen

By STEPH TAHTINEN

Mt. Pleasant News

Shortly after midnight on Friday, July 15, I will be sitting in the movie theater in Mt. Pleasant as the lights dim and the end of my childhood begins.

Okay, that may have been a little dramatic, but the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 signifies a significant moment in my life. As I’ve been counting down over the past few months, I’ve been reminiscing on my years spent with Harry Potter — much like Dumbledore sorting through the memories stored in his pensieve.

I was introduced to the world of Harry Potter in the very beginning. My mom is a librarian, and she gave me the first book to read shortly after it came out. I remember sitting with my classmates during a routine visit to the library and seeing her hold up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and saying, “This is going to be big.”

If only there had been stock options available.

I am so grateful that I had the experience of growing up with Harry Potter. When the first book came out, I was around the same age as Harry when he first went off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. Regrettably, no owl ever brought me an acceptance letter and I never got the chance to put on the sorting hat (I think I would have been a Ravenclaw).

I never had the chance to eat a feast in the great hall, take a transfiguration class with Professor McGonagall or go on a trip to Hogsmeade on the weekend. However, I consoled myself with the knowledge that at least I didn’t have to face the threat of death eaters, Voldemort or taking the Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests. Then again, Harry never had to take his NEWTs either, as he was off trying to save the world.

Yet, while I may not have experienced these things first hand, I felt as though I experienced them thanks to the words of J.K. Rowling. She made this wonderful, magical world she imagined become real.

I got to experience all of the challenges, pain and moments of triumph along with Harry. I cheered at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry finally seemed to have hope for happiness after meeting his godfather. I cried at the end of Order of the Phoenix when the Avada Kedavra curse destroyed that hope. And finally on July 21, 2007, I was rocking back and forth on the bed, holding Deathly Hallows and bawling my eyes out as Harry made that long walk into the forest again.

On a humorous note, mom was sitting next to me reading her own copy and warned me, “Don’t tell me — I’m not there yet!”

When I finished the final book at about 8 a.m. on the day of release — I started at midnight and read it straight through — I was left feeling numb. It was over.

I have a feeling I’ll experience that same sensation next Friday. The movies have not played as big a role in my life as the books have, but they have still been a part of the Harry Potter experience — an experience that my life would have been completely different without.

I would be a different person if it was not for the lessons I’ve learned from Harry Potter. I’ve learned that sometimes we have to choose between what is right and what is easy. I’ve learned that love can be the most powerful form of magic. And most importantly, I’ve learned that you should never tickle a sleeping dragon.