Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lives

by Brittney C. 

“It’s just a book.” You know the phrase. It comes at the worst possible times. When you’re completely hyped for the release of the long awaited fifth book that night. You’ve had waaaay too much sugar, and you just can’t stand it anymore. You’ve gotta scream at the top of your lungs! Or run around in circles! And suddenly your friend–the one who hasn’t read the books–goes, “It’s just a book…” complete with the eye roll, and, if you’re lucky, maybe even the heavy sigh. Or maybe it’s that crucial moment. Everything is riding on how Harry escapes Voldemort’s clutches one more time. You’re not aware of anything around you, when suddenly someone’s voice breaks your barrier: “It’s just a book.” Oh, but here’s the best one. You’re crying more than you ever have before. You’ve lost your godfather….one of your best friends…and someone walks in, “It’s just a book.”

But it’s not. It’s not just a book. It’s a world. A world where everything you dream about comes true. Where you fight and fight and fight for the good side, and watch as evil takes someone you love. Where you can fly, cast spells, and even talk to snakes if you’re lucky. You don’t just read it. You live it. You’re consumed by it. No matter where in the world you call home you dwell at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

One might argue that any good book could do that. But Harry Potter has something special. No matter how many other books you read, a true Harry Potter fan will always come back to Rowling’s masterpiece…begging to be transformed into that boy wizard we’ve fallen in love with. Once you open the book, you are Harry. Being Harry has a special appeal beyond all the other characters I have become since first picking upSorcerer’s Stone. There are no rules. Anything can happen. And does happen. Something you never imagined could happen happens. Someone you never imagined could be a villain becomes the worst villain of all. Someone you never imagined could die dies…You can’t predict what happens next because, just as you think you have it figured out, the rules change. You start questioning the ones who you’ve trusted no matter what.

Harry isn’t just some character, another book collecting dust in your closet. Harry is real. No matter how many other books you read, Harry Potter is still closest to your heart. It’s the one you’ve read three times but can’t wait to consume again. You are Harry. Fighting against evil, but never quite defeating it completely. Looking to your best friends who would never let you down. You feel his anger, his happiness, and his grief. Ron and Hermione and Hagrid and Dumbledore. They live within you.

So, next time you read the entire series again and someone walks in on you crying hysterically, or on the edge of your seat, or rambling on about it, and says, “It’s just a book,” don’t let it get you down. Just remember: it’s not. Harry is alive in our hearts. Go back to Hogwarts. Live in a world full of magic. And never, ever let anyone tell you “it’s just a book.” To Harry Potter: the boy who lives.