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We all have either read the Harry Potter book series when we were young or watched the movies growing up. If not, I think I can safely presume that everyone has at least heard about the magical world of Harry Potter. This series has had a phenomenal global impact and we are here for it. To some, it is a passage to escape into a magical land and to others, it is a way to learn about the unknown creatures of mythology. This series caters to everyone’s needs.

I have (like many others) grown up watching the movies along with my family and friends but what I am guilty of not having done is reading the series first. I know! Please the hardcore fans of HP I ask for forgiveness and mercy. I’ve had many of my friends call me out for the lack of complete knowledge. But fear not my friends because I have finally read the entire series. At the start of the lockdown, my best friend ‘bribed’ me into reading the entire book series (s/o to Aditi, you’re the real one) and I’m forever grateful that I finally did the holy deed. Stuck at home during the lockdown, I think everyone was looking for a way to escape into some other perfect world. For me, this happened to be the magnificent Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I found myself drawn to those secret passages behind doors and under statues, found myself sitting on those benches watching Professor Flitwick or Professor Snape teaching charms and potions or I found myself dreaming about how tasty the food must be during the Halloween feast under the starry grand hall.

I always loved the characters from the movies but reading the books just gave me a refreshed version of every character there is in this series. From these books, I learned how extremely selfless and loving Harry really is, how even after being pushed to the darkest of times he never was intrigued to use dark art, instead his most powerful weapon was his ability to love even when the people he loved were always taken away from him. I realized that Ron Weasley, the one from the movies who portrayed the ‘funny dumb friend’ trope is actually a brave and amazing friend to Harry and Hermione. How fiercely he loves his family, and the way he worries for them just moves your heart while reading the text. I knew Hermione was smart but reading the books I found a beautifully strong-minded woman in those pages. She always stood for what was right and was stubborn against things she saw were extremely messed up in the wizarding world, for instance how she started a club of her own called S.P.E.W which was to support and free house-elves (even though no one joined, we love to see the thought and passion put into this).

While the Golden Trio was shining in front, the text helped me appreciate characters like Ginny, Neville, Luna, and many more. I never thought I would fall in love with Luna Lovegood’s character like this but my god the more I read, the more I loved how she was always herself. She never let the hate or snide remarks of her peers stop her from being who she wanted to be; she represented the free spirit that every one of us should hold onto. To be ourselves is more important than being someone else in this world of monotony. Anyone who watched the movies was a fan of Albus Dumbledore right away, who wouldn’t love the wise and powerful but quirky and funny authority figure. Reading the books helped me appreciate him more, to understand what he did and why he did it. The mysterious aura he always held makes him such an amazing character till the very end. Spoiler alert but can I just say how much harder does Dumbledore’s death hit you while you’re reading the text. It was as if throughout Harry’s years with Dumbledore, we the readers form a bond with every character just like Harry, and then reading someone’s death (even though you already know what will happen) brings with it unbearable pain.

I could go on and on about what I think of the books or the movies, I don’t even mind writing a detailed essay on how Sirius and Snape are one of the best characters ever written. What I do want to say, however, as I end this article is that even though J. K.  Rowling has become slightly (very) problematic recently, no one on this planet would contradict me when I say that the Harry Potter series is a brilliant masterpiece. The way your mind works as you read about this world allows you to visualize it. There is such a detailed explanation about the people, places, and creatures that just pushes you into this magical world. You follow the journey of a boy who thought he was just another ordinary orphaned kid, not knowing the greatness written for him since he was an infant. We follow this kid and we follow the ones around him, we learn and succeed and we make mistakes as well just like the characters do. The deaths hurt us and the victories soar in our hearts as well.

A strong community has formed from this magical universe, a fandom so fierce and protective it’s just fun to watch the people connect so deeply over something we all love. I am grateful for having read this series, to wish for friendship like James, Sirius, and Lupin, or to hope that someone will love me always like those who love Lily Potter. To find families in people who don’t have the same blood as mine as the Weasleys basically adopted Harry. To have a wise guiding hand of someone like Dumbledore in my life or to have someone who secretly watches my back like Snape. If you are someone who is doubting if you should commit to a series with 7 books in-store, trust me you do not want to miss the opportunity to enter this world.

Samantha Roy

Delhi South '21

Samantha is currently doing her final year of B.A English honours from Jesus and Mary college. Most of her time is spent watching underrated shows on Netflix and rereading books to relish the sense of nostalgia and comfort.
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