My Personal Harry Potter History

Originally posted July 16, 2011.

I know that the world is going Potter-crazy right now, but regardless I want to share my personal Harry Potter history.  It’s a big event because it has touched so many lives.

Halloween, age 10.

My Harry Potter fandom started when I was eight.  One day my mom came home from the bookstore with a paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  She said she’d heard about it on the news and thought I might like to read it.  I remember sitting on the steps and opening the book.  I remember slogging through the first fifty pages and thinking that maybe my mom had been wrong about this book.  But once Harry got to Hogwarts, that was it.  I was hooked.  Harry Potterwasn’t the first book I read on my own—in fact I was already a voracious reader by second grade—but when I was little, I was really shy.  We had just moved to a new city and I had no friends.  For the year my family lived in Illinois and the year I read the first three books, I like to think that Harry Potter was my best friend.

And even when I moved to Texas the next year and made real friends, I continued to hungrily follow Harry and his friends in the wizarding world.  In fourth grade I realized my love for creative writing, and promptly wrote my first short story—in my Harry Potter notebook. Harry sort of followed me in my creative writing pursuits.  When I went to creative writing camp during high school, I loved having mock duels with “wands” (pencils) with the other campers and taking “Quidditch” as my elective class.  When the seventh book came out during my second summer, it was a camp-wide rule that weekend that no one was to spoil it … or else.

“Dueling” at The Young Writers’ Workshop.

You might think that I’d have left this obsession behind when I entered college, but instead I used it as fodder for my application essay.  I explained that I would bring the perspective of Hermione Granger to Rice.  I got in.  I think that makes me Hermione Granger, hands down. I don’t care if my hair is too short or you think that your time turner looks more legitimate than mine.  I am Hermione Granger.  End. Of. Story.

“Hermione Granger” at the Rice University premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

This week I have been so excited for the last movie.  I made “Harry Potter Generation” tank tops with a group of friends, gathered my costume together, practiced curling my hair to make it Hermione-crazy, and impatiently went through the motions of my normal schedule.  And then on Thursday I waited in line for over 6 hours to get great seats at the 12:02 showing.  It was all worth it.  I sobbed during half of the movie, but left feeling contented.  As much as I love the Potterverse, I would hate for J.K. Rowling to write only to meet the demand.  My main wish is for her to write again, even if it’s entirely unrelated to Harry Potter.  But, when I woke up the morning afterwards, I felt oddly depressed.  Even though I have a billion projects to work on, I didn’t feel like doing anything.  In spite of all the hoopla I’d been working on all week, it didn’t feel like enough.  I felt like I needed something else to really signify that it’s the end.  I mean, it is the end of over a decade of my life.

“Hermione Granger” at the midnight premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.

Or maybe it is like J.K. said and Hogwarts will always be there.  Even if it fades into the background of my life, the books and DVD’s will be waiting on the shelf.  And even more importantly, I have the memories of what Harry Potter has given me.  Plus, I’ll be journeying to Harry Potter’s home very soon!  I just hope the Brits and other Oxford students don’t think I’m a crazy American fan girl.  I would leave my wand at home, but when it chose me (at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter), Ollivander told me that it would give me luck on an overseas voyage …  I hope so!

My first butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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One Response to My Personal Harry Potter History

  1. Jeyna Grace says:

    Once a potterhead, always a potterhead. I’m the same 🙂

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