The good thing about books is that they’ are perpetually there, right on your shelf. Whenever you miss a character or you want to relive a particular event in a story, you can always turn the pages and find that chapter. However, I believe that the first experience is what counts the most.
I have to say that I’m a proud fan of J. K. Rowling and the amazing 7 titles who is currently in a deep grief to completely say goodbye to her lifetime favorite series.
I first ‘encountered’ Harry Potter at the 3rd grade (aged no more than 7, I was) on–believe it or not–Majalah Bobo. At that time, my childhood magazine published an article about ‘the book to the magic world’, and somehow the description made me feel ecstatic and believed that I have to experience the story myself.
So I went to Gramedia Padjajaran and found the 2nd book (Chamber of Secrets), yet I had to put it down for the book was too expensive. My mother doubted that I’d finish the book since it had quite too many pages for an elementary schooler like me. Then I went sick.
It’s almost like a tradition in the family that whenever their only daughter gets ill, there must be something wrong with her heart–or mind. Apparently, that time, Harry Potter was the cause. Mother finally decided to buy one, brought it home, let me read on the bed, and I got well really, really soon. I finished the book within a week or more (it was a long time ago), and couldn’t wait to buy the first book (Sorcerer’s Stone)–which I did.
I grew up believing that I was a stranded Ravenclaw, memorizing little facts and names that appeared in the books, and getting mad at by Eyang because I couldn’t move a bit whenever I started reading them. I was known as a fast-reader in the class but nobody knew that it was because I got used to Harry’s heart-pounding stories. I became familiar to grammatically-English-structured sentences (translated to Indonesian by Maam Listiani Srisanti) without really being aware of it, and unconsciously gave a huge space for the magic world in my heart and mind.
Silly–corny, you might say, bearing in mind that I’m currently 19, but I always feel myself like 9 whenever I get in touch with Hogwarts and wands.
I remember buying my last copy of Harry Potter (Deathly Hallows) on the first day of its release date, the English version, sacrificed my monthly saving, and ended up in tears the next 3 days since I realized that most part of my childhood had ended. It really did.
The fact affected me in two ways: a) I was desperately hoping that Rowling would come up with the 8th book (perhaps about their aftermath life?) and b) I repeatedly convinced myself that it has not utterly ended because there are 2 more movies worth waiting for.
So I waited–and watched Harry Potter 7 part I which turned out to be stupendous. Today, the finale is being screened in cinemas all over the world but somehow God does not want me to watch it. Indonesia still has not finished its tax issues with blockbuster movie distributors. Maybe He wanted to prolong my pseudo-waiting in despair. I tried to not care too much about it because the book had ended anyway–although, it really puts me in galauness to perceive that my friends are watching it abroad and I’m stuck with my works here.
Good bye, Harry Potter. Good bye Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. Good bye, our not-so-charming hero Serverus Snape. Good bye and be good, Voldemort. Let’s meet up again someday. This time, Ravenclaw will play the most part.
“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.” –Edward P. Morgan