My History With Harry
Sometime in 1998, not long after Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published in the United States, my mother brought home a copy of it in hardback (first edition, and yes I still have it). A friend of my mother’s at work had suggested it for my sister and I to read. I was 15 at the time, my sister was 12. I immediately rejected the notion of reading what I believed was a “kids’ book”, leaving my sister to read the book first. She has not, to this day, ever let me forget that she read it first, and that it was her captivation with it that lead to my finally reading it after her. (Thanks Sis, I owe you one!)
From that moment forward I was a self-sorted Slytherin. My sister was a self-sorted Gryffindor. I don’t know if this says something about us at that age, but now over a decade later we are still allied with the same houses we were then.
My mother bought us only ONE copy of Chamber of Secrets when it came out in 1999 and this time I let my sister have first crack at it because I was in the middle of reading something else. We wouldn’t learn until the third book which came out later the same year that we could no longer share one copy. Prisoner of Azkaban ignited a silent war between my sister and I. We were stealing and hiding the book back and forth for days until one night I nicked it from her room while she slept. That night I stayed up all night finishing it. To this day, Prisoner of Azkaban has remained my favorite of the series and I have fond memories of reading the last few chapters with sunlight creeping through my bedroom window at dawn.
The year 2000 was a big year for the fandom. Book sales were up tremendously and Goblet of Fire came out alongside cast announcements for the movies. There were no midnight release parties for the fourth book, at least not in my area. My sister and I were alone sitting outside of Walden Books at the local mall when it opened that morning to pick up our copies. That day we set out on a trip out of town and my sister and I read Goblet of Fire side by side on the road.
After the third book there was an unprecedented 3 year gap between books. The movies started to come out and J.K. Rowling gets married and has a baby. Meanwhile, fanfiction takes off within the fandom. I myself begin writing a series about an original character names Lauralie Black set in the Marauders’ time and based on the notion that Sirius Black’s sister, Lauralie, is the first in her family to ever be sorted into Slytherin instead of Gryffindor. Inventive but proven impossible in later books. (To see my long dormant FanFiction.net profile page with all my old FanFics CLICK HERE).