Wednesday, 3 September 2014

'Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.'



My little sister has just started reading the Harry Potter books. She's ten years old, and having sat through the rest of the family watching the movies she's ready to embark on the journey right on her own.

About two years ago I gifted her my copy of The Philosophers Stone for Christmas. Her, however, being the the smart little terror that she is, knew it was second-hand and wasn't all that impressed with my present.
Fair enough.

My little sis
It's taken all of that time for her to finally accept that gift and start reading it.
Now, she's on Book 4; The Goblet of Fire. And as I tell her quite often; her journey is really only beginning. Because from here on out the books take a darker route along with their additional 300 pages.

The best thing about my little sister reading Harry Potter though?



I'm rediscovering the magic.
It's not that I lost it entirely, (I still play Pottermore) but reading the books is an adventure like no other.

I read the Harry Potter books in a very strange order. I read The Chamber of Secrets first, and then went back to The Philosophers Stone. My school library (and by that I mean the travelling bus of books) never had The Prisoner of Azkaban, so I had to skip it and move on to the next book. But alas, don't fret; instead I looked up what happened so I didn't miss out and read about the plot online. The fact that I skipped The Prisoner of Azkaban might explain why Sirius Black very quickly became my favourite character; I never experienced him as an escaped and deranged Azkaban convict in Book 3.
From then on out I read the books in the correct order, and decided to buy them too with my birthday or christmas money.

None of my other family members ever read the books, none of my childhood friends did either, but now I get to share this bond with my baby sister.
During August she sat in the room with me reading, occasionally laughing out loud when Harry was particularly sassy. After every chapter she describes it to me, and I ask her how she felt about a particular bit or a certain character. And the memories of how I felt at the exact same moments came rushing back.
Despite the fact she did see the films over the years, she doesn't remember them well enough to know what's going to happen next. So I have a no spoilers rule. No one gets to mention anything about the last 4 books; no battles and no death.

And once she finishes a book, she pops the DVD of the film version on the television.

The best part is that she has me to share all of these moments with. Until my family got into the films I had no one.
We both love Neville and Fred & George. But she loved the Quidditch World Cup chapters in The Goblet of Fire, whereas I read through them as quickly as I could so I could get back to Hogwarts.
But I love how passionate she is about it.
One night she dreamt that when she returned to school Remus Lupin was her teacher. She couldn't sleep for three hours after she went to bed after reading the first chapter in The Goblet of Fire (you know, that really creepy on with Nagini) in fear of Voldemort, and in the excitement of what will happen next. She got really upset as the back story of Neville's parents was revealed.
But don't get me wrong, the books also make her ridiculously happy; she is refusing to read Charlotte's Web for school as it lacks excitement in comparison to Harry Potter.

Watching the joy the series beings my sister reminds me of how happy and safe I felt in Hogwarts. And in particular, of this Dumbledore quote:

'Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.' 
- Albus Dumbledore


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