Ode to Slytherin part 1: How I Found The Wizarding World
19 March 2019
Welcome to the 3 part series where I will be discussing J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, and how much I love Slytherin. I decided to write on this topic in honour of Slytherin Appreciation Day, March 21st, but the initial post that I wrote became so long that creating a multi-part series became the best solution. So Slytherins and non-Slytherins alike, sit back and enjoy the ride.
I’ve noticed a number of big things started for me when I was nine years old. Nine was the age that I unknowingly started to cosplay. That was the age where I began to pick up drawing and writing with some serious enthusiasm. That was the time where I terrified my mother by declaring myself a vegetarian one random day, and I never let her change my mind. That was the year where I began to understand that many of the cartoons and TV shows that I was interested in, belonged to a category called ‘anime’. That was also the age where I discovered a popular little book series called Harry Potter.
My fourth grade teacher would read to the class almost every day. That school year, we went through a number of books, most of which I can’t even remember, but one that I did remember, was Harry Potter. I was immediately drawn into the world that J.K. Rowling had created. The magic and mystery, the characters and creatures, I loved it all. So much so, that for the first, and only time that year, when my teacher began reading to us, she wasn’t going fast enough for me. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. I had to know NOW, so I began reading the books on my own. Before the school year was over, I had already caught up with the books that had been published in the US up to that point. I didn’t want to wait for the next one to come out. So I read the series again. Then again. Then again. I fell so hard for the series, that when I tried to read anything else, it paled in comparison, and I often gave up on finishing other books, in order to go back and re-read Harry Potter.
Each book release, I would reserve my copy, then have my wonderful parents drive an hour to the nearest bookstore, in order to wait until midnight, so that I could pick up the newest book, and began reading it on the drive home. When I took a woodshop class, one of the side projects I took on was creating my own wand. When the movies began releasing, I was at every opening day. For Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, at the time my favourite book of the series, I followed my first sewing pattern to create wizarding robes for me and my best friend, so that we could dress up as our original characters for the opening day. Harry Potter became one of my favourite go-to worlds to create probably the majority of my fanfictions in. And almost every Halloween, I would dress up as a Hogwarts student.
The Harry Potter series, I think, captured the imagination of that little nine year old way back when, because J. K. Rowling created a world that was so fantastical, while presenting characters that were relatable. The world and creatures were beautiful and thought provoking. It was a world that the active imagination of a child could get lost dreaming about going to, seeing all of the wondrous things. But unlike many popular fantasy stories at the time, this story was about children, who I was growing up right alongside. There troubles were not always the same as my troubles, I never had to walk the hallways of my school afraid of being petrified by a giant snake creature, but many of their personal troubles, insecurities, gaining a sense of self, finding confidence or recognizing a lack thereof, are struggles that every person goes through in their lives. This series came into my life at just the right time, a time where I was learning important life lessons about myself, right alongside the main characters of the Harry Potter series. This socially awkward little introvert, wasn’t going it alone.
I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that I was more than a fan, I was obsessed. (Or passionate. Let’s go with passionate.) And like any
obsessed passionate Harry Potter fan, I was sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses.
How did you get introduced to the wizarding world? Was it love at first page, like it was for me?
Next week I will be publishing part 2, where I will be discussing the sometimes controversial traits of Slytherin house.