Harry Potter, Part 1

I need words for Camp NaNoWriMo and so I guess I’ll free-associate for a while about Harry Potter.

I loved that series. I mean, loved it. Until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. That’s about when I started to come out from under Rowling’s spell. Actually, that’s not really true.

I found Half-Blood Prince to be underwhelming but I still loved the series. A group of us got together to “spork” it. I’m not sure where the term “spork” in this context came from. The original “spork” is actually pretty much a runcible spoon, which is a spoon with pointy bits on the end of the bowl of the spoon. The biggest difference, apparently, is that a runcible spoon is fork, spoon, and knife. The original runcible spoons had a sharp edge for cutting.

Anyway, somehow the term “spork” came to mean. Never mind, I found a possible explanation on Fanlore.com: The term comes from the expression “It was so bad it made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork.”

I really thought that HBP would be the low point in the series, but then Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out and, ope. Somehow, the last two books threw the weaknesses of the series as a whole into sharper relief.

I’m going to hopefully dig up a couple of thousand words on what made me love the series in the first place and probably eventually go into why HBP and DH were such a letdown for me.

Wow. Why *did* I love Harry Potter so much?

I found Harry to be a very sympathetic character in the first few books. An orphan living with abusive relatives certainly had a British kids’ book feel to it, and I felt very sorry for Harry.

He also made an excellent point-of-view character for the audience. We also knew nothing about the wizarding world and seeing it all through the eyes of an abused child was emotionally gratifying.

I could see why Harry took an instant dislike to Draco. I am an adult, though, and I have missed out on what would have been good friendships because they rubbed me the wrong way the first time I met them.

I used to write Harry Potter fanfiction and I’ve used this meeting a couple of times. Full disclosure: I also used to write Harry/Draco relationship fic. Nothing sexy though — just hand-holding and first kisses and things. They’re kids and I’m ace. I had one story where our Harry switched timelines with a Harry who accepted Draco’s offer of friendship and things were very different.

But I digress.

Well, not really a digression, come to think of it. I had a lot of friends in the Harry Potter fandom and that probably made me more devoted to it. My Harry Potter friends were also my real friends. I knew that they had my backs and I hope they knew that I had theirs.

We’d talk about our Harry Potter Houses like it was a real thing. I’m a Hufflepuff, thank you very much. And even though I don’t love the series as much as I did 20 years ago, I still have a lot of fondness for it, and wear a Hufflepuff necklace that Alex got me in 2019 to work nearly every day.

The first few books were full of wonder and magic and had just enough disappointing things or confusing things or plot holes to hang fanfiction on. When I’m happy with canon, I have a harder time coming up with what we referred to as “plot bunnies.”

There were engaging characters starting with Ron and Hermione and going on to include Luna, Neville, Fred and George, and so on.

One of the other things that made Harry Potter appealing to me is the translations. Harry Potter is such a phenomenon that there are something like 100 translations of it, official and unofficial. As a wannabe polyglot, that is very appealing. I’ve read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Mandarin, and understood quite a bit of it. I also have it in Italian in hard copy and in German as an audiobook. My original plan was to get all of the books in all of the languages. This plan ended, being replaced by all of Rick Riordan’s mythology books in all of the languages.

This is not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it is quite a few words, so I’m going to set this up to post later and will come back and start a new Harry Potter post later. Maybe tomorrow, maybe after I’ve reread a couple of books so I can try to pinpoint exactly what the magic was.