There are some things we never truly outgrow. For me, and I suspect, many people of my generation, Harry Potter is one of those things. As I grew up, it was one of the few things that remained a constant part of my life: I started reading the books at age 10 and went to see Deathly Hallows Part II the summer before my senior year of high school. You could say that Harry Potter shaped my childhood in a way that no other book or movie series did, and that’s coming from someone who read just about every kids’ fantasy novel I could get my hands on.
So why am I saying this now? Why create this blog now, years later, when the Harry Potter series is supposedly over and done with? Can’t I just grow up, move on with my life, and let childhood memories be just that: memories? Well, no, apparently I can’t. Maybe it’s the upcoming release of the Cursed Child script and the movie of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Maybe it’s the children’s literature course I took last semester, or the fact that I’ve been reading the original book series in French as a way to maintain my language skills over the summer. It could be any combination of things, but lately, my inner Harry Potter nerd has come out of hibernation and is demanding an outlet.
And, I think, a big part of it is that I’m not a kid anymore. Things always look different in hindsight. It’s one thing to think, as a ten-year-old, that a lot of unfair things happen the Harry Potter series, and another to write a paper for a college class examining the injustice and corruption in the Ministry of Magic (which I got an A on, by the way). I have thoughts now about everything from the Hogwarts house system, to the symbolism and overarching themes of the series, to the Latin-based spells and the question of translating made-up words into other languages.
I chose this blog’s name carefully. In the Harry Potter series, pensieves are used to replay memories and sift through the past – not just to relive it, but to understand it better, and that’s what I’m trying to do. So look into the pensieve with me and let’s delve back into the world of Hogwarts together.