Confessions of a Potterhead (No, I won’t give away the ending…)

 

Is it so wrong that the highlight of my 30th birthday last Saturday was buying Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Am I a total loser for freaking out when my local Borders was sold out and for making a mad dash to Best Buy, which I was certain would have a copy? Is it pathetic that I secretly hoped my plans that evening (ahem, my birthday party) would be canceled so I wouldn’t have to put the book down? Truth be told, the moment I opened the book, it went everywhere with me, including the bathroom, and I only stopped reading when I realized I would be late to my own celebration. L-O-S-E-R, right? Oh, and when I finished the book the next day, I began re-reading portions of it so I could fully understand everything that happened… and slowly accept the fact that this was The End.

Despite all of this, I am not what you’d call “fanatical.” I didn’t attend any of the midnight movie screenings or bookstore parties. I have never painted a lightning bolt on my forehead or donned a witch’s costume (I did, however, write on a Secret Santa wish list that I wanted an invisible cloak for Christmas). Unlike one crazed adult fan, I don’t have a Death Eater mark tattooed on my arm or a white computer monitor I call Hedwig (as in Harry’s pet owl). I didn’t even preorder the book! But just like millions around the world, I had waited impatiently to find out the fate of The-Boy-Who-Lived and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Deathly Hallows is by far the best, most satisfying book in the series and, yes, I cried while reading it.

Thanks to J.K. Rowling’s descriptive writing and the movies that bring her artistry to life, for me, Harry Potter is an escape into a richly detailed alternate reality. I love the magical, fantasy, heroic aspect of it all but I don’t hyper-analyze the deeper religious, political or racial parallels to today’s society. (Believe it or not, the University of Colorado at Boulder offers a three-unit course titled “Harry Potter and the Conflict of Being”). Perhaps I’m missing a whole other dimension of the book by ignoring that but I’m in it purely for the age-old conflict between good and evil, man. Dumbledore’s Army versus Death Eaters, dark versus light. Give me Star Wars, Lord of the Rings or any of those tales of man’s struggle against his worst enemy – himself – any day! We all can relate to facing moral dilemmas, whether it’s figuring out if you should leave a note on that car you dinged in the parking lot, stealing someone else’s client, lying to further your career, or even making fun of someone just because everyone else is. We are all composed of good and bad, and various shades of gray. And in the end, as Harry realizes throughout the course of the series, we all choose our own destinies.

So, yes, you may, in fact, call me a LOSER for going gaga over Harry Potter last weekend or even writing this blog in the first place, but you know what? That’s just your Death Eater side talking…

 

Jovie Baclayon is the head of editorial for YSN.com and an expert in the experiences faced by emerging adults. She is the writer and editor of YS Weekly, YSN.com’s e-newsletter filled with career tips, secrets and strategies that is distributed to more than 10,000 readers every Thursday morning.