First things first, I am one of those darn “Millennials” you hear so much about that have destroyed every industry, from retail to napkins. Often labeled as one of the singular, collective Millennial unit, one of the few “products” we agree upon is the magical world of Harry Potter. The literature-based Harry Potter turns 38 on Tuesday, July 31, 2018. He has a wife, children, and a job. And Harry’s all grown up now, just like the children that grew up with him.
The Harry Potter book series themselves took off in the late nineties, just in time for all of us in elementary school to learn what “being a friend” actually meant. Reading about the painfulness of making new friends at a new school resonated with 10-year old me since I was simultaneously experiencing this. The friendship that developed between Harry, Ron, and Hermione gave me hope that I would have that too. While I did eventually make some elementary school friends, I didn’t experience that lifelong friendship until later in middle and high school. I still think about the trials and tribulations of those characters and how their friendship survived everything while I strived to keep my own close friendships that strong.
Spoiler alert: if you are reading this, you are probably familiar with the Harry Potter series, but if not, quit reading now! One of the best parts of growing up with these books was getting to experience the “awkward years” with the characters I loved so much. Figuring out how relationships work is trying for any teen (and their parents), but luckily I had several different ones in the wizarding world I could laugh at and relate to. Watching Ginny Weasly pine over Harry during her first year at school, but eventually ending up with him gave me hope that maybe one day I would have a similar destiny with my crush at the time. That turned out not to be the case for me, but my “happy ending” came in a different way. The cringe-worthy moments between Harry and Cho was the story of my daily life. As an adult, I can see now that Ron and Hermione most accurately reflect what an authentic relationship looks like, with bickering and misunderstanding mixed into all the good days.
The world of Harry Potter was a large part of my childhood and teen years. Saying I simply “liked” the books is an understatement. I cried every time a good character died and silently cheered when the villains were killed. When a new book came out, my world stopped until I was able to finish it. To this day, I have yet to find a series that resonated as much with me as this one did. The characters were what made the books; and their relatability made me feel like I knew them and still do as an adult.