4 years ago today, Deathly Hallows was released. That was definitely a day of mixed emotions – excitement, sadness, foreboding, happiness, all rolled into one. For one thing, it marked the end of the Harry Potter phenomenon. It was the last time there would be queues outside bookshops stretching down the street, at midnight, with people dressed as wizards waving wands. It marked, in some ways, the end of childhood. Harry was growing up, leaving Hogwarts, defeating Voldemort and moving on into the big wide world of adulthood.
For some of us though, 4 years ago today actually became the beginning of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Certainly, it was only after Deathly Hallows that I started to get involved in the fandom outside of my little computer screen. It was when I sat down at the piano and wrote Look At Me because I couldn’t stand the thought of letting go of the characters I loved. Each one of them was, and still is, a little part of my soul. The series is so important to me, and so natural that I wonder how I could have ever not known of Harry Potter. And the Muggles all sound so much like Vernon Dursley, the way they talk about it as if it’s still just a fad, like we’ll all grow out of it if we just stay amongst “normal” society.
And 4 years on, I’m still finding it incredible that after all this time I still love it with the fervor I did when I was 14, sitting in the Library creating a Maurauder’s Map, memorizing every spell, roleplaying on MSN message boards and wondering how it would all end. No matter how much I feel like I’m growing up, no matter how much I have to look towards the future, Harry is still there beside me, anchoring me to the part of myself that loves to imagine, that knows the world is still full of hope and courage and magic.
Also in those 4 years my dreams have come true. I’ve been to America, played in front of crowds of people, seen my favourite bands, hugged them and just generally discovered a whole new world after the books, and this time it’s real. I’m often bowled over by other people’s stories though, I still feel like I’m barely a fan really. I’ve never been to a midnight show or a midnight book release, all I did was read the books and write a few songs about them. But I’ve come to realize that with Harry Potter, every fan has made a positive difference to somebody else’s life, whether it’s through organizing an event, writing a song, or even just sharing their love of the series. And that’s infectious. If shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek and Star Wars can keep going for however many years, so can Harry Potter.