Exactly one year ago I sat down in a movie theater with some of my very best friends and I cried for the better part of two hours.
Exactly one year ago was the premiere of Deathly Hallows Part II. Yes, this is about Harry Potter.
For the longest time, I needed Harry Potter in my life. I still need Harry Potter in my life. It's one of the greatest stories of friendship and bravery that I have experienced and it has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. And now, at midnight on 15 July 2012, I'm remembering exactly why.
Harry Potter is one of those things that helped me... accept myself for who I am, I guess. It didn't do that when it was being read to me for the first time when I was very young, but it did it in the summer of 2011 and it has continued to do it since.
It wasn't until I discovered the fandom last summer that I began to realize what this series was to me and to every other person involved. It wasn't until then that I began to remember what this story had done for me and continued to do for me every time I thought about it or read one of the books or watched one of the movies. It wasn't until then that I thanked JK Rowling for changing my life subtly, but for the better. One summer ago I was a very different person than I am today. No, it wasn't the first time that I read the books. But it was the first time I really understood them.
Last summer I discovered wizard rock and Harry Potter vloggers and LeakyCon and StarKid. I stayed up until four in the morning to register for Pottermore and then I was sorted into Hufflepuff when I was sure I was a Ravenclaw. I saw my first midnight premiere and I got a light up wand and I bought a tie just so I could dress up. I found a home among random strangers on the internet and fictional characters that I related to more than I wanted to admit. I'm okay here, in this imagined place, in this second home.
My Harry Potter experience is never going to be the same as someone who grew up with the trio, someone much older than myself. But it's unique and it's my own and It's gotten me to a good place in my life. I could not thank these fictional characters or this author for this. I wouldn't know how.
Exactly one year ago I sat in a theater with some of my very best friends and I watched the last installment of a franchise that changed my life. And I wouldn't have wanted to end it any other way.
Until next time