Harry Potter and the Wizarding World have always brought me comfort and it has been especially helpful during this time.
Now, bear with me as I take you through the journey of my nerdiness. If you know me personally or follow me on any form of social media, you know I love Harry Potter and everything that Wizarding World has to offer.
Last summer I started re-reading the series from the beginning and it was so relaxing to read about Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s life through their first three years of Hogwarts. The movies are equally as comforting and I relish the time I get to have with them as an escape.
But when my senior year of school started, my free time began to shrink. I had to put a hard pause on reading for pleasure as academic journals began piling up on my computer desktop. Of course, I watched the movies from time-to-time and attempted to gain traction with Goblet of Fire, but I felt I had too much on my plate to dive back into reading them.
Enter COVID-19. Suddenly I had all the time in the world. I read books 4-7 in about 30 days and couldn’t put them down. I finally finished my journey of re-reading the Harry Potter books on the 22nd Anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. Seemed fitting.
During my journey through the wizarding world, and during the time of Corona, I saw a Facebook post about linking the Golden Trio (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) and their tragic final year of school with the realities of what the Class of 2020 is experiencing. A former teacher and fellow Harry Potter enthusiast posted about this parallel and asked for any seniors to reach out to her with their thoughts.
Of course, I obliged.
Harry Potter is always on my brain. I constantly live by quotes and teachings from Rowling’s words and there’s one that kept spinning around in my brain during the beginning of my quarantine.
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledore.
I thought a lot about the things Harry, Ron, and Hermione would have been feeling as they spent time away from friends and family and weren’t able to spend that final year at Hogwarts. I felt very connected to their feelings, mostly because I felt like I would never get closure for my senior year, just as they’ll never get their last year at Hogwarts back. At least not really.
The meaning of their final year at Hogwarts will forever be changed for me. I thought I would never have to experience anything close to what they did, but apparently, I was wrong.
I’ll never get to have my true commencement just as they’ll never get to have their last Feast or play in their last Quidditch game. Of course, I didn’t fight the Dark Lord and watch my classmates die on school grounds, but the reality of COVID-19 has a lot of the same emotions attached. We don’t have any control over this out-of-control evil and people close to us are in danger. It’s scary and keeping friends close is important now as it was for them in Year 7.
I think my emotions tied to Harry Potter are very all over the place and even after re-reading the books and re-watching the movies during this odd time, I keep finding new meanings.
While I was thinking about these parallels, I thought that maybe I was alone in linking all of these plots to my own life. *insert Charlie from Always Sunny meme here* But as this pandemic and the community of Potterheads has taught me, we’re never alone.
This is something a lot of people have been talking about and happened to be the subject of a MuggleNet podcast. Reading, Writing, Rowling put out a call for help from current seniors in high school and in college that were thinking about Harry’s journey compared to their own.
Lana Whited, the former teacher I mentioned earlier, asked if I wanted to be one of the guests with her on the podcast.
It was nice to chat with some fellow Potter nerds for a couple of hours and talk through what we were feeling and how the comforts of J.K. Rowling’s words keep us together.
Thank you to Katy, Lana, and Emily for having us and to Neil and Jamie for being fellow guests and for feeling the same things I am.
As for a playlist for this post, it’s a little different. Go check out some of the other episodes of RWR if you’re also interested in the intersection of academics and Harry Potter.
And know that you’re never alone with how you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing. Someone is with you and loves you. Always.