Today, we celebrate J.K Rowling’s 50th birthday…and if your memory is good, Harry Potter himself is celebrating his 35th birthday today too. (Happee Birthday, ‘arry!” in the words of Hagrid ❤ ) Isn’t it amazing how her imagination set fire to the world and introduced us to a world that we may have imagined but never dared to write down ourselves? I have always loved to read…but it’s funny, I recall when the first books came out and there was all this hype, I thought people were absolutely bonkers, dressing up and having parties at the bookstore and all of that. It wasn’t until the fourth book (which my parents bought me to shut me up on a long car ride home) that I was hooked. I wanted to go to Hogwarts, I wanted to be a witch…I wanted in. I had to get my hands on every book and all things Harry Potter after that. Relatives indulged me and bought me the first and third book; I “borrowed” the second book from school and it just never made its way back. (Sorry!) I proudly own all of them and always show them off. They’re not collector’s editions, but they are mine.
I was still in school when the fifth book came out (cursed snow days made the school year even longer) and I fondly remember skipping school to read it. My mother was ill in the hospital at the time and we weren’t doing anything but watching movies in class, so my aunt didn’t really mind that I stayed home. I finished the book the following day. Our UPS man came to our house first, I remember him saying, because he saw Amazon on the box with my name…and he knew what was in it. So I spent the entire day reading lazily on our couch. Such is the power that J.K Rowling has. Her books are that wonderful that we can lose ourselves in them and read quickly. Yet, even though I finished it, it stayed with me. Everytime I open one of her books, I am transported back home to Hogwarts and brought into the adventures of Harry, Hermione and Ron. I laugh with them and I cry at favorite characters deaths. I root for them (even though I know the end result) and I curse their enemies.
The same thing happens with the movies and I imagine once I visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal (eventually, I haven’t been there yet.), I’ll feel the same. I brought some of that HP magic to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in 2011 when I went as a Hogwarts student. (Wand included!) Everywhere in the park that I went, people smiled at my robes or gave me a bit of lip because I dare wear my Slytherin robes proudly. A little girl even kicked me in the shin because “Slytherins are bad!” to which I told her, “Not all of us are.” (She was a Gryffindor, she said, in case you’re wondering.)
When Pottermore opened up, I was excited to jump back into the books in an entirely new manner. I was over the moon at being sorted–prouder still to be named a Slytherin, which is my favorite house. (Don’t judge me, haha.) And all of this….from this amazing woman who despite all of her many hardships, never gave up. Merlin’s beard, can you imagine if she did?!
Ms. Rowling can never be considered a muggle…she created an enchanting (no pun intended), delightful new world with her books…and she still does by printing short stories on Pottermore, giving us more information and stories. She is the gift that keeps on giving. And that, my friends, is magical.
Happy Birthday, Ms. Rowling! Thank you for being so damned amazing. ❤