The year was 2001. I was a junior in college, and my brother happened to be one of my best friends. We hung out a lot that year, both just trying to finish up with our degrees. This was long before Micah married Beth, before they had 2 kids. Micah and I had a friend named Julia, and one day they went to see a movie together. They came back and told me that I just had to see this new movie–Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone.
I was hesitant, reluctant to spend my less-than-moderate college income on a movie that I wasn’t sure I’d like. At the time, I was mostly only into chick flicks. (I’m happy to report that my tastes have expanded over the years: historicals, classics, comedies, action, etc.) But after a week, they had worn me down, and so I went with Micah and Julia to see the movie.
That began my … hmmm … what’s the word? It’s more than just an appreciation but less than an obsession. Anyway, I loved the fairy tale quality, the hope, the themes of good vs. evil. All of it! And that 11-year-old Daniel Radcliffe was just too cute as Harry. 🙂
Then Julia told me that I had to read the books. Well, I figured if the books were half as good as the movie, it’d be worth my time. I was wrong! The books were three times better than the movie! JK Rowling packed so much heart and hope into what is essentially a children’s book, but there’s a reason that adults and kids alike love these books.
I sprinted through the first four books, then joined the rest of the world in waiting for the 5th book to come out. By then, I was out of college and living back at home with my parents. I didn’t know anyone else reading Harry Potter books at the time, but there was no way I was waiting a moment longer than I had to to get to read it. So there I was at Barnes and Noble at midnight on the release date. I waited in line, then I raced home and spent the entire night and the whole morning reading. My parents didn’t know what to do with a recent college grad, who really didn’t need sleep and just wanted to read. I was a bit of zombie for an entire weekend, but it was so worth it!
I think since then I’ve seen every movie and gotten every book at the midnight release. 🙂 Don’t worry. I was never one to dress up and go overboard for the parties. I just wanted to get the book. I just wanted to see the movie.
Until July 2007 that is. For the first time, I was with friends who loved Harry as much as I did. And for the first time, the book and a movie released within days of each other. So I went to the midnight showing of The Order of the Phoenix with Jess L. and Laura B. (Kelly B.’s sister-in-law). It was amazing! So fun! We got there like 3 hours early and sat and played card games in the theater waiting for the movie to start. The entire theater was practically sizzling with anticipation. And when the movie finally started there was much cheering and joy all around. It was a great movie too! By far my favorite so far. (But book 6 is my favorite book, so I fully expect to love that movie too!)
So a little over a week later, came the release of book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We were on summer hours at work, which meant that that Friday, Jess and Jess and I were done for the day at 1:30, which meant an entire afternoon of “what do we do to pass the time until midnight?” Turns out we had plenty to do. 🙂 There were t-shirts to be made (mine said, Jealous of Ginny), movies to see (again), and a midnight release party to attend. We met Kelly and Laura at the Barnes and Noble and there, I finally put my hands on the last tome in the series.
I read straight through the night and was done by … hmm … I think I was too tired to remember. 🙂 I do remember throwing my book across the room when one of my favorite characters died.
That Saturday night was my birthday party. Funny thing was, the five of us who’d read the book all through the night sequestered ourselves in the basement for the first 20 minutes just to talk Harry. 🙂 We did finally emerge to be social.
I have a lot of good memories from times with friends that involved Harry Potter. And I have an entire shelf dedicated to my Harry memoribilia–gifts from friends. Here’s a peak at my Harry corner.
I will say that I love the friendship between HP, Ron, and Hermione. Their loyalty and love for each other is nothing short of inspiring. Plus, Ron is a hoot and quite the funny character!
I thought you might like a peak at the preview for the new Harry Potter movie coming out July 17 this summer. That’s bound to be a great week! The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn comes out on the 14th, and my birthday is the next week! it’s going to be a good summer! 🙂 Counting down the days (oh, man, I won’t even tell you about the paper chain that Jess L. and I made with our favorite HP quotes to count down to the movie release) to the new movie until next time. -LJ