I was eleven years old when I first read, and became a part of, the world of Harry Potter. After that, I had wanted to wake up one morning to see a snowy owl with a letter in its beak and tapping my window with its talons, asking to be let in. I had wanted to open that envelope which had the school seal on it, the one with the four houses and the motto that said, “Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon”, tear it open and read, “Dear Mr. Leo, we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” From Hedwig to Hufflepuff, Harry Potter to Hippogriffs, the options that the letter H had for me to write on the world of Harry Potter were many. In the end, I suppose, there was only one that I wanted to write on the most.
Ever since I read about Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I’ve wanted to study there. I have wanted to get the letter of acceptance, with the books needed. I have wanted to head off to Diagon Alley to buy the books and supplies, and go through the wall between platforms 9 and 10 to board the Hogwarts Express that’ll take me past hills, valleys and over rivers. On the train, I’d wait for the trolley to come with treats, and the woman to ask, “Anything from the trolley, dear?”. I’ve pictured myself alighting at Hogwarts station in robes, joining my schoolmates and looking for Hagrid who’d be waiting to lead us to the school. I’ve imagined myself in the boats that cross the black lake to the Hogwarts Castle, or in carriages pulled by creatures invisible to any who haven’t witnessed death. I’d wait to gather with those schoolmates in the room adjacent to the hall, maybe talk to others or just stand to the side.
I imagine walking into the Great Hall for the Sorting Ceremony, between the tables where the students are seated in their respective houses (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin). The ceiling is bewitched to look like the sky outside, so it is like walking under the stars. When my name is called, I put the sorting hat and it calls out ‘Gryffindor’ (I checked at Pottermore). After all are sorted, the food appears magically on the plates. Once the banquet is done, the prefects lead me to Gryffindor Tower, to the dormitories. And I am part of the world of Hogwarts.
In this world, there are no still photographs. The witches and wizards who are part of those photographs move between frames and visit each other. Sometimes they go out of the castle to a photograph of theirs somewhere else. The castle has staircases that change, making it more difficult to reach a classroom I’m supposed to reach. It has ghosts who are helpful, like the Fat Friar, and who are not helpful at all, like The Blood Baron. It has a poltergeist named Peeves that plays pranks, and is very difficult to manage. I have to try and stay away from him, lest he grab my nose.
I have many interesting subjects to learn. The one I’m looking forward to the most is Transfiguration. To change one thing into another, that sounds fun. As does Charms, where I learn the spells that can help me cheer someone up, or make objects float. The one I have not looked forward to is Care of Magical Creatures, though that comes only in the third year.
I cannot wait to discover hidden passages, and open locked doors. I’ve wanted to climb up to the Astronomy Tower or try to sneak into one of the other House’s Common Room. I’ve wanted to see the Forbidden Forest and find the centaurs Bane, Ronan and Firenze, and go to Hagrid’s House to meet the hound, Fang. It’s no fun to only study and get great grades. This world has so many things to keep me happy, enjoying every moment.
What I look forward to the most is visiting the Hogsmeade village on some weekends. Hogsmeade is the only village where it’s only witches or wizards. I can’t wait to visit The Shrieking Shack, though if someone were to wail inside it now, I might run away front it. The foodie that I am, I want to go visit The Three Broomsticks Inn and have some butterbeer, and go buy Chocolate Frogs, Every Flavor Beans and Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum. I’ll visit Zonko’s where the Weasleys bought their tricks and jokes at one time. I might buy some dungbombs to throw at some people who irk me. I’ll definitely send letters to my friends and family from the Hogsmeade Post Office which has over two hundred owls.
The world that these seven books create leaves a mark on me that might last a lifetime. When it comes to Hogwarts, it’s not really possible for me to not go personal. It’s ageless, timeless magic, I feel… so easy to read, so beautiful to share and so difficult to forget.
(© 9th April 2016)