What was this book? It had a really stupid cover - some boy with a sqiggle on his head standing in front of an engine looking at it as if he's never seen a train. On the backcover was this predictable image of a wizard - purple robes, check; long beard, check;
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, I read on the backcover. Now that's one place I'd like to go, rather than study this stupid botany, I thought.
I decided it was time for a break, I'd read the first few pages.
I put down the book after 3 hours. I had raced through it, I couldn't put it down! It was addictive. It had cast some spell on me. I *had* to read the next book now.
I made a compromise. For every chapter I would study in Botany I would allow myself to read one chapter from the Chamber of Secrets.
As you can guess, it didn't work out. Impulsive as I am when it comes to makeup, I am a fiend about books. No one can pull me away from a good read. And this here was a read of a lifetime. I raced through the second book as well, finishing it some time during the night.
I went for the exam next morning, having studied 2 out of the total 18 chapters we had. My best friend Sangeeta panicked when I told her about it. (I was cool as a cucumber for some reason - maybe someone had slipped me some Felix Felicis) She grabbed me & started to revise all the other chapters with me as fast as she could. (Thanks Sango!!)
The rest of my exams were a blur. I finished the Azakaban one before my Microbiology paper & I remember sneaking the Goblet of Fire and reading it a day before my Chemistry exam.
Once the exams were over I allowed myself a more leisurely re-reading. I was recommending this book to all & sundry by then. Some took the suggestion & I spent hours discussing each & every character with them.
|Snape & Lily, Petunia lurks behind|
I got to know my hubby, then classmate over the series. That is how our friendship started. The sixth book had just released, I had read it & was convinced that Harry was an Horcrux. I had a long discussion with him about my theory. He didn't agree, but we became friends from being just classmates. (On a side note, I told a lot of people about my theory - that Harry was a Horcrux. I gave evidence like the prophecy - neither can die, while the other survives, to the parselmouth thingie, & lots more. No one believed. Guess who's having the last laugh. Hahahaha!)
The movies had begun by then. I remember I had tears in my eyes when the first movie started, I could not believe that it was playing out in front of my eyes. This was followed by the long discussion on:
"Hey! That's not how it happened in the book!!"
"They left that scene out :-("
The movies were never as good as the books, but they weren't bad either. They were like visual summaries, for us fans. Whenever we wanted to revisit the series but didn't have the time.
When I finished the HBP I was devastated, I felt like Snape had personally betrayed me. How many times had I taken his side during a discussion repeating "If Dumbly believes in him, I do too!". I was in a daze for a week.
|The Kings's Cross 9 & 3/4|
After a month I came around. The movies were there, right. We would watch them, We would wait for them. And now those are done too.
There is a terrible ache inside of me. There are so many memories of good times that I have spent over the last decade with Harry. What do I fill that gap with now? I have in the interim tried a couple of books (Inheritance Trilogy, LOTR, a couple more that are even worse) from the same genre, in the hope that one of them will provide at least some solace. None have been able to. I am feeling very sad right now, I need some time to get some closure & come to terms with it.
|"Always" said Snape|
Of course Harry still is the boy who lived. He still lives on whenever I pick up a book to read again. I have turned to these books during all times, stressful times, happy times, bored times & even depressed times. The book has been a source of comfort & solace in a lot of ways.
J K Rowling - Thank you for everything. I owe my teenage memories to you. Thank you, may god bless you for all the magic you have bought in our lives, they are richer thanks to you. As an incentive I'll give you my entire collection of makeup if you promise to write again.
You don't read Harry Potter to escape, you read Harry Potter to find your way.
P.S.: in case you were wondering, I did pretty well on my Botany exam - I scored some 90%, Chemistry - 85% & I topped the class in Microbiology & also won a scholarship that year. I still don't know how I did it. I'm guessing it was the Felix or else I must have regurgitated HP on those answer sheets. Even the professors must have been spell-bound.