The Harry Potter series is what launched my passion for reading. I had always enjoyed a good book but it wasn't until I read Harry Potter and the philosopher's stone that a fire was lit inside me. That flame still burns in me, pushing me to read, to explore and to love books. And it all started with an eleven year old boy named Harry. When I entered J.K Rowlings world I found my happy place. As a child reading these books was mind-blowing. The magic, the fantasy and the multi faceted characters took me on a journey that I never wanted to end. My obsession with these books, with this world, had me waiting out the front of my local book shop for each new instalment. My joy was palpable as I collected my new book and rushed home to delve into the wizarding world. I read the Harry Potter books over and over again. It was like I thought if I read them enough I would become apart of them. I couldn't get enough. As the movies started hitting the cinema I made sure to read the book the night before I saw the movie. After each movie I came home and read the book once more. Making notes of all the changes and comparing the book to the movie. After the final movie I put Harry on the shelf and moved on.

Over the Easter long weekend in Australia, Foxtel tv launched a pop up Harry Potter channel. Showing all eight movies back to back. After binge watching the films I decided to take the books out for another spin. As I sat down and cracked open the philosopher's stone I was filled with questions. Would my life experiences change the way I see these books? Would reading them now with older eyes make a difference? Would I still be captivated by the magic? Would the innocence of friendship still make me long to be a student at Hogwarts? Would I still hate certain characters? Would I still cry over the deaths of beloved characters? With all these questions spinning around in my head I couldn't stop my hands from shaking as I turned to the first page. With the same wonderment and nervous excitement I had felt as I child, I jumped in wand first to the happy place of my youth.

After binge reading ten Harry Potter Universe books the first word that comes to mind is wow. Reading these books as an adult is a different experience. I was more tolerant towards Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape. My heart still broke when certain character died. I wasn't as sad over the death of Dumbledore this time around, knowing that he was already dying made his death hurt a little less. Looking at Dumbledore's death as an adult was completely different, I appreciated the plans he took to orchestrate his death on his own terms instead of allowing himself to deteriorate and die a sick old man. I also found myself wanting to take care of Harry instead of wanting to be his friend. The magic and characters still captivated me from start to finish. The wizarding world is still a place that draws you in and touches your heart. The Harry Potter books are still my happy place.

A major difference in reading these books as an adult is I truly appreciate J.K Rowing's creativity. The three-dimensional characters, the in-depth backgrounds and the detailed descriptions of the Harry Potter universe is over whelming. How J.K Rowling could create these books, these characters and these places is something I will always find mind-boggling. I will never underestimate the impact the Harry Potter series has had on my life. I truly feel that J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series is a gift to the world and I will always appreciate her work, her characters and her creativity. And i will forever be grateful for my happy place.

Long Live Harry Potter...

Published by Geramie Kate Barker