I Finally Admit I’m a Muggle

Katherine Martin

I thought the first day of 6th grade was the end of the world. Walking through the doors of Tuscaloosa Middle School had never been more depressing. It had finally hit me that I was not going to Hogwarts and would live in the Muggle world for the rest of my miserable life.

Throughout the first day of school, my best friend Emily and I looked around the halls and classrooms to see which of our classmates had not moved up to middle school with us. When everyone was accounted for, aspirations to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and be placed in a house by the sorting hat had ceased. Mostly.

I was introduced to the world of Harry Potter by my 3rd grade teacher at Verner Elementary, who would read us a chapter of “The Sorcerer’s Stone” every day during reading time. It got even better in 4th grade when my teacher would read the books with a British accent and even held a costume contest.

This is about the time Emily and I started playing with “wands” made out of sticks, jumping on my trampoline with brooms and mixing together who knows what to practice potions.

When the first movie came out in November 2001, Harry Potter hype skyrocketed. There were Harry Potter Legos, computer games, glasses, wands and action figures, which I gave as Christmas gifts to fellow Harry Potter fans. My friend Caroline even sent Daniel Radcliffe a five-page love letter and included a picture of her twin sister. She never heard back.

Our age group grew up with Harry Potter. We aged as the actors aged. In most of our minds, Hogwarts was a reality. It just had to be real.

I’ve attended most of the midnight premieres of both the books and the movies, and with each release, I’ve noticed the crowd also gets a little older. With the final installation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hitting theaters Thursday at midnight, I think you’ll notice most of the people who are standing in the line that wraps around the Cobb are not middle school-aged, but college students who have followed the saga since it began.

While the last movie may offer some closure to Potter fans who are trying to move on, our generation has a new goal. We must share our love of and obsession with Harry Potter with the younger generation, because there will never be another series that captivates such a broad audience like Harry Potter did and still does.