This post will be done a day later than it ought to be posted, but May 2nd is Wizarding Independence Day (or I prefer V-V Day). This reminder of the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter’s defeat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in the Battle of Hogwarts (the 5th celebrated in the Muggle world) prompted a friend to ask “How would we be different if it weren’t for Harry Potter, if Harry Potter never existed?” This question in turn prompted a tearful listing of all the joys we would have missed out on if it were not for our introduction to the Boy Who Lived: midnight releases, Starkid Potter, “The Mysterious Ticking Noise,” being “married” to our favorite characters, Muggle Quidditch, our introduction to fanfiction, her introduction to Tumblr….
We concluded that we would not be ourselves; we would be different people.
I would have some fewer friends. That I know. Some of them I’ve met only through the Potter fandom. Many of them I’ve become closer to through the Potter fandom. Would I still be friends with those with whom Harry Potter has been either the first laid brick of our friendships or our mortar?
The main characters of my WIP, who can probably call Harry and Draco their grandfathers or godfathers or some other respectful title implying a nurturing role, might have taken longer to materialize, might be different people, might never have existed. I might not write.
And this friend and I are not the only ones to have been affected by Harry Potter’s story. Thousands were.
Would Cassandra Clare have ever penned Jace, Alec, Magnus, Will, or Jem? Maybe. But would she have been provoked to put fingers to keys and discover her talent? I hate to think of that talent being locked away from the world.
What other writers would never have been published, would never have written?
Would Darren Criss still be on Glee? Probably not. Would Joey Richter be playing the occasional part in a Disney Channel sitcom or in YouTube web series? Would the Starkids have even met?
Would Emma Watson even be acting, let alone have won the awards that she has?
Harry Potter for me has been so much more than a book series and it has opened so many doors.
Harry is directly responsible for my first published article and literary conference.
If I had not discovered my love of writing and literature, would I have ever heard of Hollins University? Would I have majored in the same subject? Would I now hope to make at least part of my living by introducing others to a fantasy world of my own? Would I hope to help others introduce readers to their fantasy worlds by editing their manuscripts?
Harry is again directly responsible for my first editorial position. Without him, there would have been no Wizarding Life.
That position paired with my love of the series and literature in general led at least partially to the door being opened to my current position as a bookseller.
So yes I’m thankful, as my friend said, “that Harry Potter saved magic” “And,” as I replied, “introduced us to wonders of which we had not yet conceived.”
Happy V-V Day, Potterheads!