Category Archives: Harry Potter

Dear Mr. Potter ⚡

Dear Mr. Potter,
It has been twelve years since I first read you. Uninformed as I was, I started with Chamber of Secrets thinking that hearing the story of Philosopher’s Stone readied me to explore Hogwarts and its literal pits with you. I was wrong; but I remember waiting for you to get your birthday letter from Ron and Hermione (who already was my absolute favourite charter before I read her in your pages). I hated that you didn’t get letters as a twelve year old. I knew that feeling, you see. Birthdays during long holidays, away from school and friends sucks.
I remember getting a thrill reading about the deathday party for Nearly Headless Nick (Nearly Headless? How can you be nearly headless?), the whispers in the walls, and the enemies of the heir made me stay up all night. Agreed, the eleven year old me did not understand everything, but she understood enough to beg for a copy of Philosopher’s Stone. Let’s just say I and countless others have never been the same since reading about Mr. And Mrs. Weasley of number 4, Privet Drive.
I remember conspiring that the end of the seventh book would be with Hogwarts adding a fifth house called Potter (yeah, I do have a flair for the dramatics). I remember jumping for joy when the news channels announced that you survived the second war (this legit happened), despite everyone telling me you wouldn’t. I remember being deathly afraid when Mad Eye Moody died, and bawling my eyes off for Dobby and Fred. I remember deciding that I love Padfoot with all my life (and I still do). I remember wanting to punch Umbridge, and duel Bellatrix, and slap Rufus Scrimingeour when he simply did not give the trio whatever Dumbledore had left them. What can I say, Harry? The teen angst was real. I feel you, boo.
I remember how I needed just you to get myself out of my worst days. Like the time my first year paper on the gender dynamics in the books made my professor think it was either plagiarized completely or I paid someone to write it for me. I remember wanting to laugh and cry at that, because how could I not write a paper on Hermione, McGonagall, Ginny and Molly Weasley, and Bellatrix Lestrange? Women of my childhood telling me (and countless others) that we can be smart, and brave, and be the best at whatever we wanted to be.
I am glad that I got to see so many sunrises with you, because I binge-read Prisoner of Azkaban every year. I am glad for all of the fanfictions and fanarts, and headcanons, and the lot. I am glad that my copies of the books are in unreadable states and filled with notes and underlines- I am glad they are well used, and marked in with pieces of my childhood thoughts and feelings about you. I am glad of the times I sat on my cousin’s porch reading Half Blood Prince on the easy chair. I am also glad of the times I listened to Stephen Fry narrate you- like little drops of heaven in my ears!
What I am trying to say, Harry, is that thank you for existing. You’ve made me some great friends. Thank you for Hermione, for Professor McGonagall, and for Molly Weasley. Thank you for Ginny, and Luna, and the original mother of Nobert(a) the dragon- Hagrid. Thank you for telling me that Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery. While I might think bravery is just foolishness (ugh Gryffindor is the worst house- yeah throw in a bunch of hormonal hot tempered children with a hero complex together in a tower, not a bad idea at all!), I am so glad that I could learn the meaning of friendship and love and life with you.
Thank you for teaching me to be reckless sometimes, and for the friendships, the wits, the ambition. Thank you for my childhood, and I know you’ll be a part of my adulthood. Thank you for all the magic!
(Sincerely, miss you dearly)
Ever yours,

Me.

Advertisements

Re-reading Philosopher’s Stone

If you know of me, chances are you know me as a Potterhead. I’ve obviously read (and watched) the books at least 10 times. I also make it a point to read at least one of the books twice a year. And I do all of the fandom activities- online forums, podcasts, you name it. But this post isn’t about my obsession (is it?).

The first time I read the books, I was eleven years old. It’s been eleven years since. That means half of my life, I’ve been a Potterhead. (Should I be worried that that’s my identity for many?) And obviously the way I engage with the books is different each time. The last time I read Deathly Hallows, for example, I cried when Harry thought about the relationship between his parents, Sirius, and Ron and Hermione, if his parents and Sirius were alive. It was such a small detail- probably a line, or an opening paragraph. The first time I read Deathly Hallows, I cried about how beautiful Snape and Lily’s relationship was. Now I dislike Snape, and I realise just how creepy and nasty he is.

That’s the thing right? When I first read it, I was perhaps twelve, or thirteen years old. I thought that if you did something for love, it was okay. That Snape, a thirty year old man, is fighting for the good because of his childhood friend/crush/love. But now I realise that that’s utter bullshit. If Lily weren’t dead, he’d be a Death Eater till the end of the day. Did he really need someone who he claims to love (yuck) to die to realise killing people is not a good thing? 

I’m reading Harry Potter again, and I’m realising newer and newer things. I also can’t help seeing the parallels between the politics of certain countries and the Wizarding World. I definitely know a political leader who is like Gilderoy Lockhart. I know enough pure blood fanatics like Lucius Malfoy. I somehow do not know Umbriges, but probably don’t know enough politics. But I do not Crabbe’s and Goyles.

I’ve often been surrounded by Draco Malfoy lovers. But I really don’t get why he’s so great. In Philosopher’s Stone he literally bullies Harry for not having parents! I mean come on! His pure-blood mania is literally like any fascist “You do not belong here” ideology. And please don’t give me the “family” explanation, because a. Tonks. b. Sirius Black. 

On a lighter note, there are things that I never before noticed that I appreciate now. For example, Rowling is hilarious! I’ve startled my parents laughing out loud at certain parts. Now that I’ve seen brilliant screen adaptations (hello, The Handmaid’s Tale), I’m also realising how shitty the movies are. I’m not saying those who have only seen the movies are not real enough fans. But they definitely are missing out on the essence of the canon. It’s like plot, like a brick structure, but it’s not your story, and will never be home. If you don’t have time, just listen to the audio book! It’s equally good! 

I guess I’ll always come back to Harry Potter in the end. No matter how old I am. No matter how demystified by some characters I get. I’ll always pick up Prisoner of Azkaban every time I’m in a reading slump. I’ll always read and reread Marauders and Next Gen fanfiction, because canon isn’t enough (no The Cursed Child doesn’t count as Canon). I’ll always be ‘that Potter girl’.

More than anything else, I feel like I’m rediscovering magic, as I read Philosopher’s Stone again. The awfulness of Dursleys to the beauty of Hagrid. I want to ride the scarlet train from platform nine and three quarters home. Hogwarts has always been there to welcome me home. (I know I’m being sappy, and using intertextuality, but every bit of it is magic).

 You’d think that after more than a decade, I’d bore of it (all my relatives certainly thought so). But somehow, I love it more. I’m so glad Rowling went down the Classics corridor that fateful day. I know it didn’t go well for her in the short run, but the world is a better place thanks to that, for a million people worldwide.


The Letter on Her Doorstep

It was a normal day for the Dursleys. Their son had just woken up and was squealing, waking up the entire street. Mr. Dursley blamed it on Mrs. Dursley and Mrs. Dursley blamed it back on him. After about ten minutes of arguing, they attended to their son, by feeding him breakfast.

Mrs. Dursley, then opened their front door, forgetting the previous day’s encounters, to put out milk bottles. And she stumbled upon a bundle of blankets, not knowing how far from normal her life was going to be, for the coming years. She screamed, waking up the little boy, about one year of age, with a scar the shape of a lightning bolt. With it, came a letter, addressed to her.

Dear Petunia Dursley,

I hope you have kept well since our last correspondence. May you have a great married life and Dudley (your son; if my sources are correct) live a long, happy life.

This, I write to deliver to you a grave, grave news. I’m sure the Ministry of Magic hasn’t contacted you as of yet. The child you’re holding belongs to your sister Lily Potter. Her husband James and Lily were killed on the night of 31st October.

Dear Petunia, let me give you my condolence, as I know that, although you and your sister haven’t been on talking terms, you did love her dearly. I hope you know that she did love you too, even after all this time. But know that she loved this son of hers, who, as you know is called Harry James Potter.

Let me tell you, that your sister died a brave woman, trying to protect her son. A wizard, by the name of Lord Voldemort hunted them down and tried to kill Harry. He couldn’t touch the boy because your sister died protecting him. It is ancient magic-love as a protective charm, and due to Lily’s action, her son survived the killing curse-something no wizard can be attributed of resisting, let alone live with a meager scar. Voldemort, on the other hand, fled, as his powers were weakened when the spell rebounded. I hope you appreciate the bravery exhibited by Lily. She was a brave, loyal woman and her sacrifice will be remembered by us for the years to come.

As for her son, he is assuredly going to be a powerful wizard and make you proud one day. You will need to guardian for him in order to make the spell work, as you are the only living family he has. While under your roof, he will have every protection he would need, as you share your bloodline with Lily Potter.

You need to know, Petunia, that the reason your sister and her husband were hunted down, was because, not only were they brave, powerful young wizards, but also a prophecy which says that the one with powers enough to destroy Voldemort would be Harry. He is our only hope to kill Voldemort, when he comes back to power.

I wouldn’t assume that everything was perfectly fine between you and your sister; and I’m aware of my contribution to ruining your relationship. But I hope you understand that I couldn’t be of any help to you whatsoever and that this strained relationship has no hand in the way you take care of Harry. I also hope that you would give Harry as much protection and love as you could give him as an aunt and let him grow up to be a fine young man by the time he gets his Hogwarts acceptance letter. Your protection and-even a place in your house, enough for him to call home would help Lily’s sacrifice work. It would help us in what I think would destroy an evil wizard to take over the world and kill innocent people such as you and your sister and destroy more families.

Let Lily’s sacrifice not go waste! Let the world see in Harry Potter a fine, brave young man such as his parents! Let him make you and I proud!

In case of any help, please don’t hesitate to get back to me-you know very well how to. I will keep an eye on Harry.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

Reading this, Petunia wanted to cry. Her sister, her Lily was dead, killed by an evil wizard. What is it to me, she thought and hurried inside with the boy, and faced her husband.

Twitter: @WallflowerBlack