‘and now, harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure’
toward the end of last year it occurred to me that it had been nearly 9 years since i had read the harry potter series in its entirety, so i decided to make a re-read one of my goals for 2016. back in january i wrote about rediscovering my love for the series, but even i didn’t realize how deep that love still runs.
when i first began my re-read in january, i figured it was something i would undertake over the course of the year. read a little bit here and there in between work and other books; you know, a few chapters a day while i ate my lunch and so forth. and for a little while – the first two books – that’s pretty much what it was.
but then i started prisoner of azkaban. the third book in the series has long been my favourite, and as soon as i started it i knew there was no going back. i was reading every chance i got and often skipped over my other books to continue with harry’s adventures.
it only became worse with the remaining books. i was forgoing sleep by the end of it, often staying up until 1am, 2am, and on one eventful night, 3.30am. just one more chapter, i kept telling myself, but then that chapter turned into 5 and i couldn’t stop. i finished the final book, harry potter and the deathly hallows, in under 48 hours, in spite of working 8-hour days, and it was worth every minute of sleep i gave up.
‘after all this time?’
‘always,’ said snape.
while reading, i was amazed both by what i remembered and by what i had forgotten. there were times when i could narrate an upcoming scene without having any idea where i had stored that knowledge. other times i got confused about where in the timeline certain things happened. and still others where i forgot entire plot points that astonished me when i came to them. but more than anything i had forgotten how deeply embedded i could become in the story and how much i remembered of each character.
and of course, i cried. as ellie and i were discussing last week, i think i have shed more tears over this series than i have in real life. the shock of losing characters, even when i knew it was coming. the moving words of dumbledore or mrs weasley or luna. the moments of triumph and of loss, all of which took me to the brink, just as they do each time i read them.
there is something so timeless about these books, and i am so glad i made the decision to revisit them this year. i think this will become an annual recurrence to see what new lessons i can learn from them. above all, they remind me of the importance of good friendships, laughter, kindness, loyalty, teamwork, and always fighting for what is right rather than what is easy.
it was important, dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated.
i’ll see you next year, friends.
photo via the meta picture.