You Went to Hogwarts. We Were All There Together.
Earlier today, we saw the following exchange between J.K. Rowling and a fan:
This sort of response shouldn’t come as a surprise to Harry Potter fans. Even the fact that we ask each other questions like this shows how firmly grounded we are in Harry’s world. Nobody has to explain to each other what a “Muggle” or a “Squib” is. And when we meet another Harry Potter fan, do we not immediately know which House they belong in? It’s one of the first questions we ask each other, and if you think about it, we don’t ever qualify that question with an “if.” We don’t ask one another “If you were at Hogwarts, which House would you be in?” We ask simply, “Which House are you?”
And sometimes (a lot of times), we don’t even have to ask each other. As Harry Potter fans, we don our Houses proudly; we wear Ravenclaw scarfs, Gryffindor neckties, Hufflepuff sweaters – we even have the Dark Mark tattooed on us to show off our Slytherin pride. There is no denying it; we are and have always been Hogwarts students. We’ve attended classes, suffered through boring History of Magic lessons, explored the castle at night, discovered its secret tunnels, and attended its impossibly divine feasts. More than that, Hogwarts has taught us what it means to suffer, what it means to love, what it means to feel and be magical.
The stories that we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” – J.K. Rowling
Of course, we don’t need an acceptance letter to actually attend Hogwarts. If the Harry Potter novels – and Hogwarts itself – are about anything, they are about acceptance and love. J.K. Rowling extended the invitation to Hogwarts the moment the first novel was published, and she has accepted each and every one us without question. Since then, she has been teaching us that the things and people we love best are alive and real within us.
Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” (DH, ch. 35)
Hogwarts has infiltrated our hearts and minds and become a bigger part of us than a lot of things in this world. And really, the wizarding world has only become more “real” to us as time passes. We’ve created Diagon Alley, eaten Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, played quidditch, and attended Hogwarts both in and out of our imaginations. No matter what, it’s real for us. J.K. Rowling’s tweet today is a short but sweet reminder to us that our invitation to Hogwarts doesn’t come in a sealed envelope – it comes with one simple, extraordinary sentence:
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much…