Books

Harry Potter Special (13th July–15th July)

Hey Guys!
So if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I have a large love for the wonderful Harry Potter. This time last year, we were a day away from watching the very last film; an end of an era. So, this year I have decided to keep the magic alive by spending this weekend posting all about the brilliant story.
(I will also be having a marathon weekend of the films – yay!)

Now that you know more about what theme my blog will be taking in the next few days, here’s a little run down of what will be happening;

  • Friday 13th July; What Harry Potter has taught me and how it has changed my life
  • Saturday 14th July; Diving into the past – a look at some Harry Potter moments – including some of my own writing.
  • Sunday 15th July; Questionnaire results summarized + Giveaway of awesome prizes!!

Nice and simple, yes?

The reason for the spectacular giveaway is due to my ten month blogoversary happening on Sunday and my birthday on Saturday. (Oh yes, it is all happening this weekend.) More details of the giveaway will be released on Sunday, but for now just remember to sit on the edge of your seats and look forward to an awesome treat!

With all the ‘official’ things out of the way, it’s time to focus more specifically on Friday’s topic; What HP has taught me and how it changed my life.


Harry Potter; Influential Storytelling.

For as long as I can remember I have always loved to read. When I was extremely young my favourite book was the one that kept we repeating “we can’t go under it, we can’t go over it, we can’t go around it, we have to go through it.” (Because I was beyond spectacular, no?)

As I grew up, I started reading Roald Dahl and simply couldn’t get enough of his fabulous tales – to this day Matilda is still my favourite of his books. Then there was Jaqueline Wilson and Phillip Pullman and Kevin Brooks and even eventually Anne Rice. But while all of these authors made my life better, and brought me to life, none of them affected me quite the way that J. K. Rowling did.

At eleven years of age I saw the trilogy in the monthly book catalogue that we recieved at school and while I can’t remember why I wanted them, I told my mum that she had to buy them for me and so she did. And I devoured all three books in no time at all. I loved them so much, in fact, that I refused to let my mum off the hook and made sure that she read them too. She did and she loved them all too. My sisters, unfortunately, are a different matter altogether.

J. K. Rowling inspired me with her writing. I had dreams about the trio, I imagined adventures I would have with the trio and within the castle on my own and I simply wanted to be a witch. At the age of thirteen when I finally had my hands on Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (which I got on the release date in hardback because it was a MUST have), I thought that maybe there was a way to open up this world to me but I just continued to read the stories instead. I waited with baited breath for the next book. Often re-reading the stories again just to re-fresh my memory. Of course, by this point we also had the first two films which I had loved.

Then at fourteen, with another year to wait before Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released, I was wasting time on Neopets when I saw a forum board called ‘Roleplaying’. Naturally I was supicious but when I found out what it actually was, I started watching some of the HP ones. Finding it to be quite fascinating until eventually I struck up the courage to join in. J. K. Rowling’s story could suddenly become my own while I interacted with fellow fans of the story. Eventually I was invited to a proboards forum. It was small, there was maybe ten of us who RPed on there but we loved it. It was great. Then I found a forum that will forever hold a special place in my heart; New Hogwarts.

It was one of my favourite RP forums. I created a gazillion characters, came up with a gazillion more plots and ideas and I made friends with so many great people. One of whom is our resident blogger friend, Brodie. In fact, I got on with her so well that the two of us tried starting our own RP forum. Unfortunately while it was active and good for a while, it never really kicked off and then we both got busy and it ended up becoming surrounded in dust. Nonetheless, New Hogwarts was still a regular haunt for me during this time. But why is this such a great deal for me? How has this affected so much of my life?

New Hogwarts was the first place that I truly felt I belonged. Everyone was so friendly, we all had similar interests and we were all writers. It was also the very place that I honed my writing skills and because I was a member from the age of fourteen until the age of seventeen, it had a large impact on my life. Those were the years I had friendship troubles at school, the years I was bullied and the years that I left my high school and moved on to college and throughout it all, I had a consistency in a forum where people cared about me. I would not be the person I am today if it wasn’t for that site and the people who I met there (many of whom I still talk to today) and there is really only one person I have to thank for that; J. K. Rowling.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all fun and games. There was drama as well, until eventually it all ended – words were said, ties were broken and my safety bubble was shattered. It took me a good year before I found another site that managed to rival New Hogwarts for my affections. PI is a RP forum that I still roleplay on. I found it when I was seventeen but I wasn’t fully active on it for a long while, I was from eighteen until now. Bumpy ride here and there with uni but it’s always been there, ready to welcome me back with open arms. And lets face it, the people there are just amazing. (Oh hello, Kathe)

Harry Potter has, as you can see, very much influenced me. It made me want  to write. As I was writing daily characters and plots on a roleplaying site, I soon found my imagination opening up and I quickly started writing my own stories and I have now written two completed novels (that just need some major edits) and I am not so sure my love of writing would have flourished quite as much without the wonderful world of Harry Potter.


Harry Potter; Teaching a Nation.

In all honesty, this is the hardest part of this post for me because when I think of Harry Potter, I find it hard to think of the things it has taught me because for me, the story has simply been my life. It has taught me how to be myself, it has shown me that in the face of our fears, we must stand tall and fight. It has shown me that there are great friendships out there, but that they aren’t always easy. It taught me that love is powerful and overwhelming and can fight even the evilest of evils. But mostly it has taught me that when the going gets tough, when things don’t exactly go the way they’re planned that things will get better eventually.

Some quotes that really mean something;

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on a light.”
It’s not about the journey to happiness, it’s about finding happiness in your life even when things aren’t the way they should be.

“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Because someone who stands up in a fight even though they know they can’t win will earn more respect then the bully who will knock him down.

“According to Madam Pomfrey, thoughts could leave deeper scarring than almost anything else…”
Everyone forgets about the emotional scarring that appears from words. Sometimes we need to be reminded that we all more fragile than we appear.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
Why indeed? A quote that every writer and reader will love.

Harry Potter may only be a story. It may only be entertainment. But for me, and so many others before me, it is so much more than that. It is our life. The thing that we grew up with. The inspiration we always needed. It has taught and shown us things that we will forever keep in our hearts.

“After all this time?”
“Always.”

8 thoughts on “Harry Potter Special (13th July–15th July)

  1. FAYE. This post. It’s everything I feel. Can I keep your brain?

    New Hogwarts <3 I love your paragraph on that. I’ve been on a number of other boards over the years, but NH played the biggest role, the one that will always be closest to my heart. It made me a better writer (seriously, do you remember my one-liners and painful abbreviated/lacking-punctuation writing? HORROR) and it always brings a smile to my face to remember the chats, the in-jokes, the plotting, the craziness. I probably grew closer to some of my NH friends than real life ones at the time; we shared something special and even though we’ve all moved on, I’ll never forget it. I don’t know what happened after I left, but I deeply regret the drama too. I hold onto the good memories, though, because NH made up some of my greatest years <3

    And it’s all thanks to the Boy Who Lived. GOD, I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. How it’s brought people together from all over the world. How it’s inspired and taught us a lifetime of lessons. How it’s helped so many through the roughest times of their life. And while I’m honoured beyond comprehension to have been apart of the generation that first got to live through this journey, what’s beautiful is that the legacy will ALWAYS continue. Harry Potter will never die, he’ll be bringing people together like us for years to come <3

    I find it hard to think of the things it has taught me because for me, the story has simply been my life. Excuse me, I need a tissue. I love, love, love, LOVE this post. You’re making me so happy and sad and nostalgic and inspired and I just want to run up and hug you, then run and hug my books, then come back and squish you again.

    THIS IS WHY I LOVE YOU. ALSO: HAPPY FREAKING BIRTHDAY, YOU BEAUTIFUL THING, YOU!

  2. Awesome! Harry Potter is SO good, they can’t even be called just “books”, they’re everything great mixed together! Loved reading your post, and the quotes! “It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” is my favoritest! :D JK Rowling’s been someone I would worship! :P For so many people, the Harry Potter books actually sparked their interest in reading. How can anything else be awesome-er? :)

    A very HAPPY Birthday to you Faye! Hope you have a great life ahead! :D

  3. Firstly,

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I hope that you are having fantastic day full of fun, family, and friends, and that this next year is a wonderful one full of great things for you.

    Secondly, HP LOVE!! I love this post and everything you mentioned. Especially the quotes, there are so many good ones!

  4. Faye! Happy birthday!

    Also, most perfect quotes EVER. Especially that Madam Pomfrey one. I recognised the others, but not that one, but my gosh, it is so unbelievably right and true.
    And this whole post? Beautiful.
    xo

  5. Oh, Faye, I HAVE NO WORDS… I mean… other than I LOVE.
    But I really, really, REALLY *DO* love. What Harry’s meant to all of us and meant in all our lives… how many friends you’ve made because of him and… NEOPETS? OMFG. Evilly addictive -__-

  6. Faye, I love you. So. Much. ♥ Reading about how Harry Potter has changed your life never fails to make me smile because it has made such an impression on you. I love the Harry Potter series, of course, and I love roleplaying (PI is my favorite place for the same reasons—even when I think I want to leave, I remember that it’s the one constant in my university life and I can’t leave that behind!), but your love for it is so deep and genuine that my heart becomes all warm and fuzzy!

    I’m so glad that before PI, NH was a place you could call home… and that you met Brodie there. She’s awesome! Also, while drama and real life sometimes overwhelm games, the fact is that you learn a lot while they’re going on. And you’re a writer. You’ve always been one. I’m so glad JKR and Harry Potter helped you there!

    Thank you for this post and the quotes and basically everything, m’dear. Happy Birthday and Happy Graduation! I love you so! ♥

  7. This is such a beautiful post! I loved learning just how deeply the world of Harry Potter and J.K Rowling’s words have touched you. I also loved the lessons it taught the world – so true. I’m missing not having a book or movie this year :(

  8. Um, yes. To this whole post. ESPECIALLY THE PART ABOUT NEOPETS OMG<3! I used to play that site all the time (and still do like once a month when I have absolutely nothing else to do, don’t judge!). Pretty sure I was on a few of those HP roleplay boards you mention.

    But back to HP, because that’s what this post is about in the first place. Totally agree with everything you said here. I remember getting my first HP book from my Gram while I was at her farm. I was sitting at the big table in the dining room. She walked in behind me, put a book in front of me, said “I think you’ll enjoy this” and walked out. And from that point on, I became obsessed. HP has been the one series that ALL of my siblings and I could agree on.

    Love this post, it’s fantastic.

    And HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And congrats on graduating, woo-hoo!!!!

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