EINTKILF Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone Jessica Tholmer

I could not, for the whole life of me, decide what to write this week, for you see, this week is my birthday. Yes, I was born on August 17th and I shall turn 25 in just a few days. I thought I should write about famous Leos, or about The Lion King, since they are obviously all Leos in that movie. I thought I should write about the year 1987 because it was when I was born, but I could not decide what would be funny or relevant or interesting enough for everyone to enjoy along with me. To be honest, all I want to do as I am writing this is show you pictures of me from my childhood while drinking champagne straight from the bottle, licking the frosting off of cupcakes and listening to “Juicy” on repeat.

And then I was like, writer’s block, begone! What would Jo Rowling do? And then I was like, JO ROWLING, you are a goddess, and a Leo. And you know who else is a Leo? Harry Potter, the fictional character and Daniel Radcliffe, the actor portraying Harry Potter. So then I thought, should I write about Harry Potter, Book 1? When I turned 18, I got a lightning bolt tattoo on my left foot to represent my love for Harry Potter, and everyone said I would one day regret it, but you know what, haters?! Not a day has gone by that I don’t regret my tattoo, even when my brothers started calling me Gatorade.

So, happy birthday to me, and to everyone else this week and happy un-birthday to you guys, as well!

EINTKILF Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
(I’m not British, unfortunately. We are Sorcerers here in America.)

1. Don’t make people sleep in cupboards.
Even if they are quaint and we all kind of wish we had a bedroom under a staircase, it will totally backfire when the wizarding world comes for you, Dursleys.

2. Big families =  better families.
Who wouldn’t want to be either a Weasley or a surrogate Weasley? They are clearly the greatest thing to happen in Harry’s entire life, and not just because he meets his future baby mama in the fam. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley are the greatest parents in the history of literature, and all of the Weasley boys are hot and hilarious. Who needs money when you got love like this? Also, I hate when people talk about gingers negatively ’cause I’m always like, “hello, Weasleys?” I like to use fictional characters to support my real life points.

3. Just ask for what you want.
One of my favorite lessons that carries throughout the whole book series is that if you want something bad enough, you can get it. I think it is actually what that book The Secret was about, but I am not entirely positive because I never read it, strangely enough. I love secrets–it’s why my hair is so big! Okay, Harry really, really doesn’t want to be in Slytherin because, even though he knows like two things about the wizarding world, he has gleaned enough knowledge to know that Slytherin produces the worst people ever. Did you guys ever sort yourselves and your friends? My best friend and I sorted our other BFF into Slytherin once and she got legit mad and it still makes us laugh, bunch of bully Gryffindors that we are. I am getting so far off track. Harry doesn’t want to be in Slytherin, so when the Sorting Hat is on his head, he says, “not Slytherin, not Slytherin,” so he is placed in Gryffindor. Later in the series, Dumbledore tells him that his wishing to not be in Slytherin was what kept him from being placed there BECAUSE if you can believe it, you can achieve it. Motivational classroom poster lesson, as well.

4. The people you dislike most will become your best friends.
I love stories like this, the ones that are like, “gahh, we used to hate each other and now we are inseparable!” Ron is a total boob to poor Hermione Granger even though she is sweet enough to tell him he has dirt on his nose when they first meet, but whatever because boys are just a bunch of bullies anyway. Ron does not like Hermione very much because she is a total know-it-all, but when they defeat that troll in the dungeon (thought you oughta know!), the threesome become total BFFLs, and I mean, spoiler alert, but Ron falls in love with Hermione, as well. I actually think this one guy that I used to like and I are pretty much exactly like Ron and Hermione because one time, he was even like, “Jess, you’re a girl!” Yeah, I don’t know why I liked him either.

5. Books and cleverness ain’t all that.
Hermione, the smartest witch in her class, admits that there are more important things in the world than being super book smart. Thank god, right? I have a short attention span, so I was always an average student with a big heart and a natural ability to spell. You know what I got, though? Friendship and bravery. Basically, I’m trying to tell you guys that I am Harry Potter.

6. Don’t judge a book by its greasy hair.
Severus Snape, spoiler alert, was greatly misunderstood throughout the entire book series, and it was in book one that he is introduced as a discriminatory, biased tormentor of Gryffindors and all those associated with Harry Potter. Without saying too much, even though I am one hundred percent judging you if you have not yet read Deathly Hallows, there is more to Severus Snape than his browbeatin’ behavior.

7. Love is all we need.
A lesson taught often in every book and movie and song you may have ever heard, but within Harry Potter, love literally saves lives. If Harry’s mom had been indifferent toward her mussy haired lil’ tot, avada kedavra would have knocked him down and out like it should have. “To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” A calming thought to us all, I’m sure.

8. Human beings suck at doing the right thing.
As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.
I have that knack! Color me human! I like a challenge I guess, which is why I date men-children and prefer tequila to all other liquors. I’m not really interested in living forever though, unless I live forever on the arm of Jonathan Jackson. Come on, let me love you just a little bit, Jesse Tuck.

9. Stand up to your friends.
Every single Harry Potter book makes me cry, every single time I read and re-read them. I don’t know–my emotional imbalance responds really strongly to wizards, apparently. The end of Sorcerer’s Stone, when Dumbledore awards points to Neville Longbottom for standing up to his friends (“It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends“) gets me every time, book or movie. In fact, I’m tearing up right now. You go Neville Longbottom! I knew he’d be an important stud muffin due to his courage when he was only an eleven year old forgetful soul.

10. It does not do to dwell and dreams and forget to live.
I often think I should tattoo this on my forehead to remind myself every morning. It is, quite possibly, the truest statement I can muster up.  Thank you, Dumbly.

For the record, I wanted to make one million Sorcerer’s Apprentice jokes, but I could never quite fit it in here. Nicolas Cage, you are my everything.

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  1. I’m born on 31st July and I just turned 18! I AM Harry Potter. Also, I nearly cried when I realised I’m too old for Hogwarts.

  2. Happy (future) Birthday! As a fellow PotterHead, I too believe that life lessons can be learned and applied from HP books. I started reading them when I was 13 and I am now almost 26…I will always be a fan and HP will always be my favorite. JK Rowling is one of my favorite authors and inspirations. Enjoyed reading :)

  3. Like everyone else that has posted, duh! I’m a hp fanatic. It all started back in 2000 when I was fifteen. Not to get all Dawson’s Creek, but I was unhappy, desperate to drop out of school/the word and nothing could get me out of my teenage funk (listening to tons of Nirvana and reading a biography on Kurt Cobain didn’t help). Then one of my teachers forced me to choose a book from the library to read and I randomly chose Sorcerer’s Stone. I should mention I was absolutely NOT a reader at this point. I thought the book looked kinda silly too. But I remember what happened next very clearly. I read the first chapter and was hooked. Basically I spent the rest of the school day secretly reading in class. And by the end of the day I had finished the entire book and was like “I can’t believe I just read an entire book in less than 24 hours!” Needless to say I went to the library the next day and rented out Chamber of Secrets. Then Azkaban, followed by Goblet of Fire, which was the most recent book at the time. I write Jo Rowling a letter a few years back telling her how reading her books literally changed the course of my life. I got out of my funk, got my shit together and did well enough to get into a good college. Now I’m in a grad school and everything is pretty great. But best of all, I am a positively avid reader.

  4. You should do an EINTKILF about every HP book! loved your post.

  5. Harry Potter is a lifestyle I have chosen for myself. As a true lover of Ron/Hermione, as Hermione is one of my role models, I must say, they are one of my favorite couples. :)

  6. YOU GUYS ARE MY PEOPLE. Seriously, I love HP so much. I read the books or watch the movies without bawling. I don’t even know. I cannot even with HP.

  7. My whole hometown would be at our two bookstores at midnight for the book releases. So many people would be there, that year after year the fire marshall would stop people at the door and the line for the latest book would snake through the shop, out the front door, and down the street for blocks. I’m convinced that Rowling must be magical herself to get kids to beg their parents to take them to get a book at midnight during summer vacation! By the way, if you’ve read the books, watched the movies, been to the theme park; I would listen to the audio books next. They are amazing!!!

  8. I have a whole Harry Potter sleeve and I dont regret it one bit! HP <3 <3 Woop Woop!

  9. I still love HP! There is so much to this story. Sad that its officially over, no more books or films! I know I can just rewatch but still :( Rowling’s new book comes out here in September though!

  10. i’m 27 and i still love HP. books and movies are always enjoyable.

  11. August 17th is my birthday too- and you’re one of my favorite writers! love it. Happy early birthday!

  12. For about three and a half years of my life, I literally- actually literally, not just saying literally- read nothing except HP, over and over. I loveloveloveloveLOVE them, books and movies.
    I just want to say, because I find this interesting, though it does nothing to my deep affection for all things HP:
    Mad eye shouldn’t have been able to see through the cloak, if it was a hallow.
    Just saying.

    • By blah I mean other books, NOT HP. HP is perfection.

    • I never thought about that!

      But here’s my reasoning:
      I think one of the premises of the cloak as a hallow was that common magical things couldn’t see through it. Clearly, Mad Eye’s magic eye wasn’t common at all maybe that’s why it could see through it? I mean…it kept going even after Moody was dead so it was powerfully magical, yes? I think that’s why he could see through it.

      Did it ever happen to you that you couldn’t read anything after HP because it was just so blah?

  13. I’ve never fully understood why some Christians don’t like the HP series. I’m Christian, and it’s obvious that there are tons of Biblical references in the books. (Rowling has said that it wasn’t her intention for the books to represent Christianity, but that she grew in her faith as she wrote them, so it was natural that her journey was reflected in the characters’ journeys.) I’ve always been so impressed, not that those references were Christian, specifically, but at the way Rowling integrated the most universal lessons into the stories, the lessons that appear time and time again in different holy books, self help books, and blog posts. The lessons that we as humans seem to need to learn over and over for ourselves. The series is a beautifully constructed reminder that we really are all in the same boat, no matter what our hair color, status, or intelligence level. My husband and I just watched the last two movies again, and the stories just never get old. I can’t wait to share them with our kids someday, if we have them. :)

  14. You said ‘not a day has gone by that I don’t regret my tattoo’….which says you do regret it! But this is wonderful and amazing and happy birthday from a fellow Leo and HP fan!

  15. I found so much of this in common with myself that at times I had to remind myself that I, in fact, did NOT write this article. Except that I’m not a Leo and I would chose Joshua over Jonathan any day. Pacey forever.

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  17. EINTKILF the whole Harry Potter series. Seriously. My next big tattoo is going to be the Mirror of Erised with the inscription “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” It’s going to be epic.

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