An Ode to Chapter 6
Every fan can recognize the moment when they fell head over heels for Potter. It was that magical second where everything clicked, and you realized that whether you liked it or not, this series was going to be in your life forever. Today is the 16-year anniversary of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and I owe my entire love for the series to one special chapter in that novel.
At age ten, I decided to read the first four Potter novels in anticipation of Order of the Phoenix being published. I flew through the first two books with ease; they were quick page-turners that captivated me, and then Prisoner of Azkaban happened, and I became stuck in Chapter 6: “Talons and Tea Leaves.” I was trapped the same way a world traveler is when experiencing their first quicksand. For some reason, I was unable to move past Professor Trelawney’s introduction that I eventually put the book down and abandoned it for two years.
I know this makes me sound like a horrible fan, but fear not, as I continued to watch every film as it was released, and I purchased each new book, for when I tore myself out of my rut. I wanted to love this series so badly that finally one day, I started over. I marathoned through Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets and charged forward into Prisoner of Azkaban with a determined mindset. The day I finished Chapter 6 was the day I fell for Harry. It was as if everything weighing me down evaporated, and I soared into the distance. I started reading Goblet of Fire the next day and spiraled down the rabbit hole.
This one’s for Chapter 6 and all of the other chapters fans have pushed themselves through in order to embrace all of Potter. This is my ode to the two years I left my copy sitting in my room, waiting to be picked up and given a second chance. This is for everyone who remembers that feeling of love toward something as simple as a character or grouping of papers.
Even now, when I reread the series and reach Chapter 6, I feel a sense of pride when I move onto Chapter 7, once again making my way over the tall barrier I feared as a child. On this day, I fondly recall telling my mother over dinner about how proud I was that I had finally finished the third Potter novel.
Everyone remembers the instant they became Potter fans – whether it was a book, movie, character, or actor. One of the special privileges of being a part of this fandom is experiencing that moment and being able to share it with others. So this one’s for all the others who also fell in love through Book 3, and perhaps, even during Chapter 6.
This one’s to you, “Talons and Tea Leaves.” I owe you one.
How did you fall for Potter? Comment below!