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.
2. SO MANY DEATHS, SO MANY TEARS
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.
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!
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:
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.