This is a bit of a more personal post than I’m prone to bothering with, but it’s something that has affected me for years and years, and has only grown stronger as I’ve grown older … and that is the sense of belonging and pride that an imaginary world and its very real community has given me. To say I’ve never received this as strongly from anything else in my life would be an understatement, as I was always more of a watcher when it came to anything regarding my schooling years. Due to anxiety, I never really tried to be included, even when I really, really wanted to be.
Something about being in the Harry Potter fandom has always made me feel more inclusive to things than anything else has, and I feel like it’s because we all, as a community, share the feeling Harry Potter brings us or has brought to us over the years.
Harry Potter, as a thing rather than a person, feels like family to me. I get excited when a student walks into my class with merch on, I encourage every kid I meet that hasn’t read it yet to one day delve into the books to see if they might like them (“because they’re my favorite!”), and I struggle not to try and initiate what I call “Potterhead Chatter” with anyone I see donning a related tattoo.
(Which, I want. Badly. I just haven’t settled on a design.)
Simply having the chance to state my house (GRYFFINDOR!) actually gives me a feeling of pride. Not because I think Gryffindors are the best (but, you know, we totally are), but because it’s a symbol that I belong to the same community that the prospect of being sorted into houses of great witches and wizards belongs to.
Throughout the years, Harry Potter has given me a role model I desperately wanted to be like (Hermione), a place where I sometimes feel a physical ache over not being able to visit (Hogwarts, and don’t you dare say it’s not home), and a community of people who have gone through this same journey as me, be it in parts and pieces or altogether, and understand what I mean when I say I am proud to be a Gryffindor.
(And a Thunderbird. With a Tonkinese cat patronus. And an ebony wand, phoenix core, 10″, slightly springy.)
And, to end this off, what are your Potter-world attributes? Houses, patronus, wand? I’d love to know!
Thanks for reading!