Author: Sharmini Pillay
This is what I love about the Harry Potter fandom… it’s been 18 years and our love for this story is still growing. I was one of the heartbroken fans who dreaded reaching the last page of Deathly Hallows because I was not ready for a world where my favourite story was complete. I was happy that “all was well” but I was devastated that I wouldn’t hear anything new about this awe-inspiring world anymore. I don’t think that sadness ever really left me but it was certainly soothed with the advent of Pottermore and the surprise insights and canon information from JK Rowling. It was Pottermore and headcanon tumblr posts and amazing fansites like Mugglenet and Leaky Cauldron that gave me a sense of community. I wasn’t alone in loving the Harry Potter series to the point of obsession and there are millions of people in the world who feel the way I do. Because of the potter community, the story lives forever.
I love it.
My proudest moment as a potterhead was when I introduced my 4-year-old cousin to the Harry Potter movies and he was instantly thrilled. He LOVES Dobby and his favourite scene is watching Harry defeat the basilisk. He is also a quidditch fan who supports “the red team” (Gryffindor is hard to pronounce ok) and he was so impressed that Viktor Krum is the best quidditch player IN THE WHOLE WORLD!
…And then it hit me:
One day, this little guy is going to find out that Sirius Black is Harry’s godfather. He’s going to find out that the mean teacher, Snape (which he pronounces as Sneep), is one of the good guys. He’s going to experience this wonderful story for the very first time and right now, EVERYTHING is a surprise. (And I have to try my hardest to hold off on the spoilers! AAaaarrrgghh!) As a potter fan, reading Harry Potter for the first time is something I wish I could do again… but since that is just a dream, the least I can do is inspire and support new potential potterheads.
That is why I think the #PotterItForward initiative, started by Mugglenet, is genius! You leave a discrete note in a bookstore or library copy of a Harry Potter book and someone who is reading it for the first time will see your message on what Harry Potter meant to you and the life-changing lessons we can all learn from this book. #PotterItForward is a wonderful way to encourage new readers and make them feel like part of our awesome potter community.
To the best fandom in the world:
You guys are amazing! Anyone who reads Harry Potter can never feel alone and it’s all because of you. I love this fandom.
Here is my first contribution of many to the #PotterItForward cause and I look forward to seeing more inspiring messages from everyone on social media.
P.S. The place I go to really feel connected to the potter community is the Dear Mr. Potter Tumblr which is run by The HP Alliance. Here you can read letters about how Harry Potter changed so many people’s lives. Each person has a unique story about how they started reading Harry Potter and what it means to them. (Warning: Always have tissues nearby when reading these letters. The feels are incredibly strong.)
I am keen to hear what you guys think of #PotterItForward so drop some comments and let’s get nostalgic together.
Author: Sharmini Pillay