Five Ways Something Ruined My Life

Five Ways ‘Harry Potter' Ruined My Life

I almost wanted to take out the quotation marks and just have it be the character of Harry Potter but sometimes I want to punch him so I don’t think this would have worked out for the spirit of “life ruining.” But no, this is just an overall Harry Potter Life Ruining thing. The books, the movies – I mean, even sometimes the actors themselves. (Like how Neville is super hot now.) But my relationship to the Harry Potter universe is weird in my world of Life Ruiners. I could have gotten into it as early as 1999 (in the US) but I was too busy watching Dawson’s Creek and being in high school. My 5-years-younger brother, however, was REALLY into Harry Potter and since he wore glasses and had dark, mop-top hair, he even dressed up as Harry Potter for Halloween. I distinctly remember my parents reading the books with him and saying, “Erin, you’d like them.”

But I just kind of ignored them until the summer that (the book) Order of the Phoenix came out. I had gone with the family the previous year to see the Chamber of Secrets movie, and besides hating the excessive use of spiders, I thought the kids were cute and I was curious enough to read the books. That summer I was home from college and decided to tackle all the books so I could have fun with the release of the fifth book and get it at midnight with my brother and dad and like, what else was I doing?

Let’s just say, I don’t know when I ate during this time, because all I remember is sitting on the couch on the landing going to the second floor of my house reading. All day. Every day. This lead to many things, such as me dressing up as Hermione for Halloween at my work study job at an elementary school (because, yes, she’s a literary character), as well as attending numerous midnight book releases and movie showings, along with several Harry and the Potters concerts, and going to last year’s Quidditch World Cup. I also very recently got in a conversation about Harry Potter tattoo ideas. (My favorites are the Deathly Hallows symbol and “All was well.”)

So, here are some ways the Harry Potter series (and I mean books AND movies, people) has ruined my life:

1. I Can’t Stop Asking, “Where’s My Letter to Hogwarts?”

I mean, this is pretty standard. I don’t understand how you can read anything about witchcraft OR wizardry without immediately wanting to have magical powers. If you’re not a delusional mess waiting for your letter to Hogwarts after getting into Harry Potter you’re doing it wrong.

Who hasn’t dreamed of discovering a secret magical destiny (or Slayer strength) after having a bad day (or four)? Harry was having a difficult time growing up and then suddenly he finds out he’s VERY important in this crazy, awesome, scary world that he never he realized existed before. It’s awesome and I’m forever jealous of him.

Plus, I mean, I’d love to be able to make stuff levitate and throw things at people. Though I like that even in the magical world, being able to change your hair color is a special talent only a few people have. Clearly The Craft lied to us all.


Most of these deaths I was way more affected by while reading the books (meaning I was sobbing the first time AND the fourth time I read them, even if I was on the subway) but I don’t think a picture of words would have the same impact for this, so here we are.

In no particular order here are some heart-wrenching deaths from Harry Potter.

SIRIUS NOOOO (This actually does come across better in the books, sorry)






Well, great, now I’m crying. Thanks a lot, J.K. Rowling.

3. Makes Me Think Normal British Things Are Magical

This one is particularly embarrassing for me. Okay, well maybe not embarrassing because I sort of knew some of the stuff in Harry Potter is just normal British stuff but like, some of it isn’t, so it’s just confusing, okay?

My friend was going to grad school in England and she got so excited telling us that she had to get dress robes for school “just like Harry Potter!” This was the first indication I had that maybe everything is Harry Potter wasn’t centered on the magical. (Whoops – guess I need to do more British Things research). So then I was like, “oh, I guess prefects and stuff aren’t just a made up magical word either…” (I’m serious here, people). I mean, I’ve only been to London once and for like, a day and a half so yes, I did take a picture of a King’s Cross sign BECAUSE of Harry Potter but I also took a picture of a guy selling hats like the one Joey buys on Friends when they go to London!

I mean, like, they go to King's Cross, come on!

"Joey Top Hats"

And yes, when I bought my Cambridge Satchel bag I ALSO got this amazing item which is currently displayed on my jean jacket just like when I was 7!

I RUN Hogwarts!

I’m just saying, if prefects and dress robes are real, why isn’t magic?

4. Makes Me Feel Like None of My Extracurricular Activities Are Good Enough

Just like Cher, once she realizes her feelings for Josh, I just don’t feel like what I do in my spare time can stack up against what these kids do in their spare time.

I mean, I read and watch TV, I write, I do cross-stitch and stuff, but I do NOT fight evil on a daily basis. Voldemort ON THE PAGE terrifies me. And guess what? I’m a scaredy cat! I’m not sure I’d even be IN the story of Harry Potter because I’d be one of the Hufflepuffs who never talks or gets involved in anything.

(Actually, I’d like to think I’d be Ravenclaw but whatever).

The point is, everything they do is so much more important than anything I do!

5. I Want A Pet Owl

I know, I know, “owls are so hip.” This is going to sound weird but I’ve always associated myself with owls. I mean, some of the best characters are owls:


1...2...3. CRUNCH. 3!

X the Owl!

But then also my maiden name is Huth (like truth) and sometimes when I was young people liked to make hooting sounds at me because they are very hilarious and clever. But in Harry Potter they get to OWN owls. Like, have owls as pets and have them help them and stuff. So awesome. Now, to be fair, some people have frogs or rats or cats but I could have that in normal life. I can’t have an owl in my normal day-to-day life. That would be crazy.

Realistically, I do understand that actually owning a pet owl would be a terrible idea (for me and it) and it’s really very sad that people actually bought owls because of Harry Potter and then abandoned them but I totally get the impulse. Those people just didn’t realize Harry Potter ruined their lives!

I last re-read all the books over the winter of 2010-2011 so I’m probably due for a re-re-re-re-read (just estimating here) pretty soon.

(Main image from the DVD with me added, all character death pics from here, Owl from here, Tootsie Pop Owl from here, X the Owl from here)


  • Rachel Kaplus

    I love your bio (and this article) :)

    • Erin Long

      Haha, thanks!

  • Leigh Clouse

    If you haven’t already, you should get a Pottermore account. Then you get a wand and get sorted. Geekery at its finest.

    • Erin Long

      I do! I haven’t used it much though. But I did enjoy buying supplies in Diagon Alley.

  • Emma Robertson

    hahah awesome article! i feel exactly the same way. especially about the british thing.

    • Erin Long

      I can’t tell you how much better I feel knowing I’m not the only person. I actually forgot to include that my friend told me he had been a prefect and I was like, “THAT’S REAL?!?”

  • Elle Caddie

    I’ll admit, I’m a little jealous of your photoshopped insertion into Harry Potter, it’s like you’re one step closer to living the dream (the dream mostly revolves around the ability to apparate… Because seriously, most useful skill – ever. Think about all the money you’d save on petrol).
    Apart from re-reading the books every couple of years, my housemate & I had this tradition for a few months where we’d watch one of the movies every week, I’m feeling like we should take that back up again after reading this (although the deaths are slightly disheartening. I mean, Hedwig? C’mon. That’s just cruel). I think Hermione ruined me most, I desperately want her academic ability… My term paper would already be written & I’d be sleeping if that were the case (a girl can dream).

    • Erin Long

      Being able to apparate IS the dream. You’re totally right.

  • Chelsea Oscarson

    I love this article because I am also obsessed with everything HP! I felt like my life was over the moment the last book came out, then again when the last movie came out, then when I traveled to Universal in FL and had to come home. Ugh! So I totally relate to this article!

    • Erin Long

      YOU’VE BEEN TO THE PARK!!! AHHH! I have not!

  • Katherine Wheeler

    HP is my childhood. I went to Harry Potter summer camp. When I got too old, I became a Ravenclaw prefect. And today I’m going to a HP movie marathon birthday party. Also, getting chosen for my wand at Ollivander’s in the theme park was pretty much the best moment of my life- especially because what Mr. Ollivander’s assistant said about me was scarily accurate!

  • Candice MacNeale Lazecky

    I’m totally with you! I wasted so much of my teens watching/talking about/ obsessing about Pacey that I didn’t actually read the HP books until 2 years ago! I had been watching the movies, but it’s never the same, so when I was pregnant with my son I read all of the books! (I would def divorce my husband for Sirius Black. Just sayin’!) I can’t wait until they are old enough to read them!

    • Erin Long

      Sirius Black is one of many Ideal Men.

  • Mariah Brown

    Uhm, so, I think we need to be friends. I, too, resisted reading the books until I was about 23 years old and saw Prisoner of Azkaban in the theaters with my neice. I made my own Bellatrix Lestrange costume to wear for Halloween several years ago, including a temporary Dark Mark tattoo and a wand that I cut from the apple tree in the back yard. I have a Deathly Hallows sticker on my car as well as a matching tattoo on my right foot. I spent lots and lots of money to go to Florida last summer JUST to go to Harry Potter World. It was such a dream come true that I may or may not have shed a tear of joy and squeeled like a small child when I saw the castle peeking up over Dr. Seuss-land and Jurassic Park. After I finished reading the last book, I walked out of my bedroom, looked at my (now-ex) husband and broke down in tears. He had the good sense at the time to say nothing and just hold me while I sobbed like a nerdy child. OH – and if you’re on Pottermore, friend me – GlowLumos648.

    • Erin Long

      Bellatrix is great costume to tackle! I’m jealous!

  • Kimberly Nagaran

    Another serious problem: not having the ability to Apparate or use Floo Powder. How can life go on if I can’t get to one place the IMMEDIATE time I think of it?!

  • Ashley Maffioli

    I am actually re-reading the entire series for the umpteenth time right now. I started reading them when i was in 9th grade (aka the year 2000). My grandma passed the book on to me and I have been hooked ever since. I check daily which helps with withdrawals now that the books/movies have all come out. It also works out pretty nicely that the Wizarding World of HP is in my hometown which i currently live in. Have you gone? You must! It’s the greatest experience ever. And P.S. I enjoyed Dawson’s Creek too – in between Harry Potter reading. Team Pacey.

    • Erin Long

      I think I want to start having “Team Pacey” in my email signature. That’s how strongly I feel about it.

  • Shawnee Willis

    Another fantastic article, and excellent photoshopping :) I first read The Philosopher’s Stone when I was 10, and was upset that I was too young to attend Hogwarts. As an adult I still adore everything Harry Potter, and am still secretly (and delusionally) hoping to receive my long lost Hogwarts letter. I agree, the Sirius death scene was more heart wrenching in the book.

    • Erin Long

      Thanks! :) Also, I really want to do a full read again now.

  • Amanda Alguire Vredenburgh

    First loved this post.
    Second, this wedding had an owl ring bearer. My husband did not agree to a harry potter wedding. However, we did go to Harry Potter park (and Disney for our anniversary).
    Third, go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter….immediatley!
    Fourth, JOEY’s HAT! I’d so buy one.

    • Erin Long

      That owl ring bearer is nuts! Thanks!

  • Liz Craig

    When you finally get to see London properly you must stop by the Leavesdon Studio Tour! It’s Potter Nerd Heaven!

    • Erin Long

      Oh my goodness, that looks amazing!

  • Brandy Cheyenne Davis

    Everytime I want to get out of work I always wish I had some puking pastilles. If only…

  • Kaela Gagliardi

    Hey future bff, I’ve been waiting for this one. Harry Potter has actually ruined my life more than anything ever. I’ve been a golden snitch for Halloween three different years now, and I’m seriously considering getting a snitch tattoo. Also, sometimes I think things like, “at least when I die I’ll get to meet Harry, Ron, and Hermione in heaven” before I remember they’re fictional. Also, I made a rule for myself to only re-read the books every five years, to help preserve the magic. 2 more to go.

    Would you like to come to my annual Yule Ball party this Christmas? :)

    • Erin Long

      Haha amazing. I’m SERIOUSLY considering “All was well.” as a tattoo at some point. I just love that so much. Obviously want to go to a Yule Ball. Duh.

  • Lauren Montemurri

    I feel like I could add so much more to this list. <3 HP

    • Erin Long

      Tell me! I want to know!! :)

  • Stephanie Howell

    Just reading #2 I started tearing up…

  • Brittany Onesti

    I am judging you by not including Snape’s death. What is wrong with you?!

    • Erin Long

      See, I knew I’d forget one! I asked my husband, “these are all the deaths I cried over right?!” UUUUGGGH. Of course Snape!

    • Chynna White

      I think it was the 6th book? But there was the time that Molly Weasley stumbled upon Ron DEAD and I absolutely sobbed for 20 minutes before turning the page, where it was explained that dead Ron was simply a boggart… ugh.

  • Maria A. Hernandez-Venegas

    This is my life. I read the books a few months before I turned 11 and, I am not joking, all I wanted for my birthday was a letter from Hogwarts. I thought, “What if?!” To this day, not getting a letter has been one of my biggest disappointments. Have you seen my HG bio? I call my degree in chemistry a “degree in potions.” I want to be a witch so bad, and be friends with Hermione. Speaking of, I related to Hermione so much as a child (and still do). This past January I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I could not even. I lost my ability to even. The only reason I didn’t cry during the Ollivanders show was because I didn’t want my sister laughing at me for eternity. J.K. Rowling is a British national treasure. Oh my God, can you feel my love for Harry Potter? I feel like I’m about to burst, so I’m going to stop now.

    • Erin Long


  • Molly Newcomb

    Um, can we please be best friends? Okay, this is my first comment ever on a HelloGiggles post, but I just had to, because of how much I love Harry Potter.
    This article perfectly captures some of my feelings towards Harry Potter, although there are definitely a few more things I would add to the list, especially the fact that everyone I meet is judged based on whether or not they like Harry Potter. I just spent the majority of my year in English writing a paper that connected Harry Potter to the Odyssey. In short, I’m obsessed.
    Like the comment above (below?) me, I feel as though I’m about to burst from writing about this, and I’m going to stop and go read some HP.

    • Erin Long

      :) That’s awesome! Sounds like a good paper.

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