Books Fix Movies Reviews

Magical Memories Of Harry Potter

By Caroline Nelissen
Senior Reporter
Youth Journalism International
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – The final Harry Potter movie
has been said to signify “the end of an era” more than once and, considering
the vast amount of people who have been following the books and movies over the
years, it probably does.
Harry and his friends are not usually on my mind
these days, but seeing television interviews with people who were on the verge
of tears because they would miss the characters they grew up with did bring
back some memories for me.
In many ways, I grew up with these characters, too,
but somehow my Harry Potter era ended long before the final film adaptation.
If I am to believe what I have read about it, the
books, as well as the films, become much darker towards the end.
The Harry Potter I will always remember was still
rather innocent, and his adventures were an endless source of enjoyment.
For my ninth birthday, my parents gave me the first
two books of the series. I read a Dutch translation, as I didn’t speak any
English at the time.
Because of this, it still feels a little odd to hear
Harry’s school referred to as “Hogwarts” rather than “Zweinstein,” as it was
called in the Dutch versions.
I recall having the ungrounded feeling that I would
not like Harry Potter, but nothing could have been further from the truth.
Once I had entered this magical world I never wanted
to leave again. I received the third and fourth book for Christmas and eagerly
finished them as well.
Then, I re-read all of them more times than I
remember. I would read my favorite parts until I practically knew them by heart
and although the exact words have faded, some of the images I created in my
head while reading are still etched in my memory.
To me, the stories about Harry Potter were so much
more than just stories; I wanted to live them.
Together with an equally obsessed friend, I wrote
pages full of recipes for magic potions and everywhere in my room, small
bottles with gross-smelling liquids could be found.
I loved wearing the long black cloak my mother made
me and I spent hour after hour examining and testing different twigs to find
the magical wand that would be the perfect match for me.
To my utter disappointment, I did not appear to
possess any significant magical powers. Not that that stopped me from firmly
believing I would receive an invitation to study at Hogwarts on my 11thbirthday.
During recess at school, my friends and I would
pretend we were Harry, Ron or Hermione and for some time, pretty much every
birthday party I went to had a Harry Potter theme, including my own.
In 2001, I went to see the first Harry Potter film
to celebrate my 10th birthday. II was incredibly excited to finally see my favorite
book come to life.
I didn’t dislike the film, but somehow it never quite
had the same magic the books had for me. Perhaps I just loved the books too
much to ever completely embrace any visual adaptation but my own.
Some time after the first film, my Harry Potter
obsession started to dwindle.
After seeing the second film, and not liking it too
much, I still read the fifth book, but just once and not with the same passion
I had had for its predecessors.
I did watch some of the other films because I
happened upon them, but never was I completely captured by Harry’s magical
world again. Therefore, the fact that the final Harry Potter movie has come out
is not a milestone of any real significance for me.
I probably wouldn’t even have known if it hadn’t
been all over the media.
But while I still have no intention of going to the
cinema to see it, I will always value the Harry Potter series for what it meant
to me.
It allowed me to use my fantasy and to secretly
believe an adventurous life full of magic was waiting me.
It was the source of tons of fun schoolyard games
and amazing birthday parties.
Overall, it was something that made me really happy.
And I think that in itself is kind of magical.