September 1 2017 was the day the epilogue in the last Harry Potter book took place, where everyone is grown and has children.
I used to be a huge, huge Harry Potter fan. More so since, initially, when Harry, Ron and Hermione were 11, I was, when they were 12, so was I, and so on, until the fifth book got delayed by a year. Harry Potter was so much of my identity. I could (and did, often,) discuss the books for hours. Now though, you’d find me hard-pressed to remember anything beyond The Goblet of Fire, the last great Harry Potter book, according to me. And I remember every line from Goblet, only because I was stuck for a week at my uncle’s, without TV or any other entertainment, and this book was all I had with me.
Until not that long ago, I wanted to write this novel called The Harry Potter Fan Club of New Bangalore High School, or something. It would be a saga chronicling a group of friends, with each chapter being about the friends meeting to buy, read and discuss each book. They would be introduced to the book in the 6th standard, and we would watch them grow up as they met for the book releases. It would be a tale of friendship, love, and loss. Of growing up, coming of age, and discovering yourself.
Now I think I could write a novella with this theme, but the passionate fire I felt in me for the theme is long gone. None of what I’d expected to happen with my friends after high school happened, and most of our group didn’t keep in touch after school, so my Order of the Phoenix discussion was with two friends, one of whom was a new friend I’d made, and nearly as much of a fangirl as I was.
Also, I dislike Harry as a character now, stupid poor little rich boy punk with exactly one spell he’s good at, and inordinately trusted by his teachers. So rereading the books makes me rather annoyed.
But if you’d asked me when Goblet came out, I would tell you I would be a fan of Harry Potter for the rest of my life and that I would listen to everything JK Rowling said ever. That didn’t quite pan out. Here’s some other things I would totally not believe if you told me when Goblet came out when I was fourteen:
- JK Rowling will one day block you because you would reply to her announcement of Fantastic Beasts with Fantastic Revenue Streams And How To Mine Them. And you won’t hate yourself for it.
- You will have a crush on a writer called Shashi Tharoor. He will break your heart by joining the Congress, and then make you question your taste in men when it comes to light that he may have killed his third wife.
- The boy you currently have a crush on will seem gross three years later.
- The first time you’re published in a real book, it won’t be fiction. Or personal essays. It’ll be a grad-level textbook. In Computer Science.
- Your political activities will resemble your grandfather’s more than you think.
- All the people whose opinions you take seriously, you’ll be dissing them because they ‘don’t have enough depth of knowledge or perspective on anything’.
- You’ll be married to someone who hasn’t read any of the Harry Potter books, or watched any of the movies.
- There will come a period in your life when you read three books a week and a good movie every day. You’ll also be able to listen to all the best music from everywhere without having to wait for it to play on the radio and then record it on a cassette tape. It will be thanks to piracy.
- You won’t have your entire book collection with you for nearly ten years. And you won’t attempt to recreate it, either.
- There will be a few years when you don’t read any new novels.
- You’ll live in cities which don’t even have one bookstore you like for ten years.
- Oh, and you’ll despise Derek O’Brien one day. And it won’t have anything to do with how lame his quiz questions are.
- You will one day end up despising chitranna and puliyogre after eating them at least once a week for two whole years.
- Remember the disturbing movie you watched, called Mahanadi? One day, you’ll hear the real story behind it. It will upset you even more than the movie.
- You’ll grow to despise Harry Potter.
- But it’s okay, because you’ll discover Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowl.
- Everything will turn out okay.
- Except one of your pet squirrels. But you kind of expect that, don’t you?