My relationship with the ‘Harry Potter’ books began over a decade ago, with a ticket stub from the Curzon Cinema in Eastbourne, East Sussex. This was where I watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for the first time. I was fourteen and although I had read both Chamber of Secrets and Philosopher’s Stone, they didn’t mean nearly as much then, as they would grow to mean now.
Like Harry, I too was a student at Boarding School, and I had been sorted into a house, the crest on my tie and blazer was a griffin, just as Harry was in Gryffindor and personally, I felt such closeness to Harry’s situation, where Hogwarts felt like home. I felt that for me too, boarding school was home. It was stable, reliable and a huge part of my life.
Oh, and of course, there was the magic.
The first time I saw Hagrid tap the bricks at the Leaky Cauldron, to reveal Diagon Alley in all its wizarding splendour on the big screen, something happened to me. It filled me with a sense of wonder that I would seek out in all my endeavours afterwards.
That sense of magic, of the impossible made real, of being something spectacular and the places where the imagination could take us. That was the world I suddenly wanted to inhabit. It is a place I have stayed ever since.
It struck me as marvellous, that the story of a young misfit with messy hair, a scarred face and round spectacles, could be important. It could be the most important story in the world, and loved. It could matter. That was when I started to believe that if his story could matter, all of J.K. Rowling’s imaginings did, and if they did then so did mine.
And I started writing my first book.
I would go on to write six books between the age of 14 and 18. They were about growing up, making hard decisions, and challenging ourselves. But the one book that really stuck was Sacerdos, the story of a young girl called Caelara from East London, forced to fight in a senseless war in alternate reality.
Not only did the adventures of Harry and his friends, Hermione and Ron give me the initial inspiration for my own writing. They continue to motivate me all the time. With every film and every book that came out, I felt such a surge of motivating energy.
It’s something that still happens to me now.
But that wasn’t all. Through the Harry Potter community I have met a wonderful group of friends. In 2009 I went to my first Harry Potter Fan Meet-Up at Platform 9 3/4s. It was an auspicious day; because it was the place I met some of my greatest friends.
With these friends: the beautiful Emma, the talented Emily, my main Hufflepuffs Lizzy and Kylie, the superhuman James, the dazzling Mel, the awesome Scot, Neil, and my lovely American friends Christie and Dinah, I have had the most magical times.
We have watched Wizard Rock (the music which was born from Harry Potter fans and their love of the books) performed in Ireland:
We have been to museums and galleries together:
We visited Tom Riddle’s grave in Scotland and drank coffee at J.K. Rowling’s famous Elephant Café, been to Edinburgh Castle in the middle of the night and shared hot toddies around a Gryffindor Common Room fire.
We have met the stars of the films, including Natalia Tena (who plays Tonks):
We have experienced the magic over and over again. Because ‘the magic’ isn’t some special power reserved solely for wizards or those born gifted, it is for all of us. And that magic is love. It’s the weapon, like Harry and the Potters say.
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Please read some of the other teamTEENauthor posts – they are all absolutely brilliant!
Pip Harry–I”LL TELL YOU MINE
Janci Patterson–CHASING THE SKIP
Jessica Corra–AFTER YOU
Suzanne Lazear–INNOCENT DARKNESS
E.C. Myers–FAIR COIN and QUANTUM
Kimberly Sabatini–TOUCHING THE SURFACE
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