It's 20 years today since the first book released and I vividly remember every minute of every day I spent reading these 7 books. Harry Potter was my introduction to the world of fantasy fiction and my first few departures from reality could be attributed to those times, right after school, when I rushed home and snuggled up in a corner with a copy. I should credit my love for reading to Rowling and the world she built. It all started here. There were times, when for years I claimed that there couldn't be literature better than this. I was naive and unaware. But I never out grew the books. And I never will. Sure, I know now that these are books for young adults and over the years I've consumed literature the likes of which wouldn't even consider Harry Potter as a literary piece of work. And maybe it isn't. But it will always be the first thing on my mind. It will always hold a place so special, no other novel could ever come close. And I will never escape that world.
And this lies true for everyone who read the book at a time when the world was a different place. No social media existed to make us aware of the launch. My sister waited in line and I waited for her to get done with reading. It was a magical time. It was a time when Rowling was still writing. Every year was a new book. Something to look forward to. We cried when Dumbledore died, we built our definitions of friendship and love with them and they grew up with us. We were there when Hermione got petrified, when Harry missed his parents, when Hagrid first visited the Dursleys and when Luna Lovegood saw unicorns. We were right there to see Fred and George's royal departure from Hogwarts in front of Peeves and we were there with them when Fred died. We lived in that world. And we probably always will.
So for everyone who fell in love with the hundreds of characters she created and misses reading the lines that remind you of your childhood, always remember "whether you come back by page, or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there, to welcome you home."