It’s been 20 years. Twenty years since a skinny little boy with a thin scar and untidy black hair and broken glasses walked into our lives, and changed it forever. Twenty years since we learned about the boy who lived, the boy who defeated ‘You Know Who’ and turned our lives around forever. Twenty years since Hogwarts became the ideal definition of school and Ron and Hermione the perfect definition of best friends. Twenty years of Harry Potter. It has been 20 years since J.K Rowling brought magic into our lives and nothing was ever the same again.
Ever since, we have stayed with Harry, through thick and thin, through heartbreak, through loss, through happiness and 20 years later, we are all still here.
“Even after all this time? Always.”
I still remember being in the fifth grade and coming across ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, being curious about the plot, thinking of giving it a go, not realising I would be stepping into the world that would soon become my obsession, possibly my number one obsession. I finished the first book in two days and quickly moved to next one, then the one after that and so on until I had to actually wait for the release of the last and final book, which I also finished in four days. There was no denying it. I was in love.
Such was the magic of Harry Potter, such still is the magic of Harry Potter on millions of kids worldwide. And to think that the series were almost not published is such a horrifying thought, such a nightmare. According to J.K. Rowling herself, “The first agent I ever queried sent back a slip saying ‘My list is full. The folder you sent wouldn’t fit in the envelope.”
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was written by Rowling while sitting in Edinburgh cafes where she was living with her daughter on benefits. The book was accepted by Christopher Little who sent it to over 12 different publishers before it ended up with Bloomsbury and got published.
.@Coffee_Is_love I really minded about the folder, because I had almost no money and had to buy another one.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) March 23, 2015
On 26th June this year, Harry Potter completed 20 years of first being published and fans all over the world couldn’t get enough of the day. J.K. Rowling herself took to Twitter to mark the occasion and share the happiness.
20 years ago today a world that I had lived in alone was suddenly open to others. It's been wonderful. Thank you.#HarryPotter20
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 26, 2017
— Pottermore (@pottermore) June 26, 2017
For a series to have such a huge impact even after 2 decades was a huge thing in itself. So what is it about the ‘Boy who lived’ that made such a huge impact on people’s lives?
Deakin students Ruvidunu and Viyom tell us exactly what made them step into the wizarding world of Harry Potter and not want to come back.
With so many fans around the globe, the day was sure to be celebrated. There were Harry Potter parties, quizzes, feasts and of course marathons! With so much happening world over, the most liveable city in the world aka Melbourne was obviously not going to be left behind. With primary schools and book shops hosting Wizardfests to bars serving ‘Butterbeer’ and local cinemas organising a marathon for the Melburnians, the celebrations seemed never ending.
The Melbourne Writer’s festival too hosted its own Harry Potter day.
J.K. Rowling’s spell seems to know no bounds.
It’s been 20 years. Two decades. But just like wine that gets better with age, the Harry Potter series seem to hold a new secret to be discovered every time we read the books or watch the movies.
Hogwarts has been here ever since the 10th century, with many more of its secrets waiting to be discovered and J.K. Rowling has kept us engrossed through these years by sharing with us secrets that were never known before, telling us sides to the story that we never could have guessed and making us see every character in a different light, every time we see them.
Though most of us never got to live our lifelong dream of going to Hogwarts, it will still always feel like home, we’ll still always belong there, each of us sitting in the Grand hall proudly wearing the cloaks of our respective houses.
As J.K. Rowling says herself “Whether you come back by page or the big screen, Hogwarts will always be here to welcome you”.