I think it’s fair to say that I was a fairly lonely child… I still am in some respects, although I’m much more content in that fact now, than I was back then. As a child, it’s all about how many friends you’ve got, it’s very much about quality rather than quantity but I was more of a peculiar child in a way that I sought my friends within books rather than the real world.
I remember the first time I ever picked up a Harry Potter book. I was 7 years old, and my grandma took myself and my cousin to Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire in the cinema. Of course, I absolutely loved it, and when my grandma informed me that it was in fact based on a book series, my immediate thought was ‘I have to read these books.’, so, the next time my mum took me to our local library, I took out the first book of the series, and was instantly hooked. I read every single one, up to date, and as soon as my local library got The Deathly Hallows on their bookshelves, in late 2007, I was the first to take it out.
I’m often made fun of by my peers for my love of the series, however I personally, have no interest in their negative comments, as I can safely say that during my childhood, Harry Potter gave me a sense of comfort when I needed it.
When I had that book, I was whisked away from the loneliness of the school playground as I sat on my own. I was swept away on adventures with those who would very quickly become some of my closet friends. No longer was I surrounded by the laughter, or taunts. Instead I was spending days upon days with Harry, Hermione and Ron, in the hustle of Hogsmeade, or flying beside Harry as he glided left and right, slicing through the air on the Quidditch pitch. His performance being met by yells and applause from the entire student body. School may have been a nightmare for me in real life, but it felt like there was always a place for me at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Each character taught me something. Every single one, right down to even the smallest characters. Harry taught me what it meant to be courageous. To not let your identity be changed or decided by the tragic events of your past. Hermione taught me that being intelligent isn’t a weakness and that it is, in fact, a strength. Being intelligent may make you an outcast to your peers, but in the future, it will be valued. Ron taught me the true meaning of friendship, and that you can overcome your lack of confidence, if you simply believe in yourself and Luna taught me that we should all celebrate our individuality and it’s perfectly okay to be different.
There was a time, not that long ago it seems, that I felt like I couldn’t carry on with life at all. That it wasn’t for me. Until I once again, turned to Harry Potter. He showed me that even with a bit of the most malicious soul, to ever exist, living inside of you, you still have the courage to be able to make the correct choice, and so, that is exactly what I did. I made my choice. This seven book series that stemmed from a simple idea on a delayed train saved me in a number of ways.
Harry James Potter may be known in the wizarding world as The Boy Who Lived, but in my world, he will forever be known as The Boy Who Helped Me Keep Living.