When I was in Honduras one of the first things I did was get myself a Spanish copy of Harry Potter. I literally know the first book by heart and I felt that my language skills would improve if I read something as simple as this. One of my friends even ended up reading it to me during lunch break and I ended up discovering so much more about this brilliant magical world.
I know a lot of people who don‘t like Harry Potter because to them it‘s just another fantasy story that children get obsessed about (oh, the pain, the pain!). But it‘s just such a good series!
While reading it in Spanish my friend and I had to laugh really hard at things that I didn‘t even consider funny when I was a child. At the same time we also talked a lot about the social aspects of the books that are really sad. Like the chapter when Harry gets to go to the zoo for the first time with the Dursleys, his foster family. They are giving him a horrible time; he‘s only allowed the smallest of ice creams, he‘s not allowed to talk and he has to keep a safe distance from his cousin, Dudley, so he won‘t get beaten up. And yet, in Harry‘s eyes, this is the greatest day of his entire life so far! It‘s both funny and sad, but it just made me realise how little someone might need to be happy.
J.K. Rowling is so good at writing characters, you love them or you loath them or a bit of both, you sympathize with them you cry your heart out for them… she can make them seem so real. When I was little –and this hasn‘t ever changed– my all time favourite character was Hermione Granger. She was my role model all through primary school, and only now am I starting to realise just what an amazing character she is. J. K. Rowling created the ultimate nerd with bushy hair and big front teeth, a know-it-all, a small person so annoying that even Harry can‘t stand her (and he seems pretty noble when it comes to people). And then she just so happens to be the coolest girl to hang out with. She‘s always the smartest, she‘s brave and she doesn‘t care about people‘s opinions – every girl should have her as a role model!
I‘m turning 22 in December and I know my Hogwarts letter was due eleven years ago and I know I‘m a muggle and I know I‘m never going to date Harry Potter and I know the Warner Bros. Studio tour is the closest I‘ll ever get to the magical world, but I still find myself wishing I had an owl and potion‘s classes and that I was Hermione. And then I always realise that even though a lot of things happen in Harry Potter‘s world that normally don‘t happen to us, the story and the people are still real. I have met Germans who are still terrified of saying Hitler‘s name after all these years. I have had frighteningly strict teachers who were dedicated to their work with all their heart, just like Professor McGonagall. There‘s boys like Harry who have been bullied all throughout their childhood and still grew up to be decent adults. And Hermione is after all just a smart girl with a passion for books. You don‘t need a wand to become like her, because the greatest things she does she does without magic. Like fighting for the rights of the ensclaved house elves or punching Draco Malfoy in the face or loving an ugly cat named Crookshanks. That‘s what makes her awesome. And that‘s something we can all be.
“Harry – you’re a great wizard, you know.”
“I’m not as good as you,” said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
“Me!” said Hermione. “Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery and – oh Harry – be careful!”