Millennium Post

A magic beyond words

Heroes are not born, but made. A hero is often not willing to be one, as is seen in Harry Potter’s case, but must overcome adversities and forge ahead for the sake of humanity and peace.

Some twenty years ago, when J K Rowling sat down to write the first few chapters of Harry Potter, she hadn’t the slightest idea that she was about to pen down a book series that would later on, take the world by storm. 

Years after the first book and movie came out, people are still, madly in love with the series. As the highly anticipated Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is about to hit the theatres, one cannot help but marvel at how far Harry Potter has come since the  eleven - year - old orphan boy first, made his appearance in Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997. 

The series which captured the attention of millions across the globe, received major awards and broke multiple sales records, was originally intended for children. The fictional world of Harry Potter, however, ended up appealing to individuals of all ages.

Although it is common knowledge that the idea of a boy wizard flitted into Rowling’s mind during a train ride from Manchester to London, Rowling has no recollection of what triggered the idea. 

Few people however, know of this that the King’s Cross station holds a strong personal significance for the author as her parents met each other at King’s Cross while travelling to Scotland.

As a tribute to Harry Potter, a luggage trolley has been stuck halfway into the wall just below the sign that reads platform nine and three quarters.

Rowling suffered harsh rejection at the hands of several publishers and literary agents before Harry Potter landed itself a publishing deal with Bloomsbury. 

When Nigel Newton, chairman of Bloomsbury Publishing handed a sample chapter of Rowling’s completed manuscript to his daughter for reading, she demanded to see the rest of it. His daughter’s eagerness to discover what happened next in the story is what finally convinced him to take the plunge, admitted Newton.

Warner Bros in 1999, purchased movie rights for the first Harry Potter book. The fandom that followed saw Potter conventions sprouting up all over the world as thousands of Potter-lovers thronged to celebrate their beloved boy wizard.

Suffice it to say,  Harry Potter has had a profound impact on friendships in the lives of all Potter-lovers. For all those who grew up with Harry, Ron and Hermione, Harry Potter shaped a generation that will always hold the values of loyalty, friendship and bravery close to their hearts.

For all the hue and cry raised over our generations becoming increasingly technology- dependent, we are also part of the generations that believe in the prevalence of love over hatred, as is synonymous with the theme of Harry Potter. 

While Harry might be labeled as an archetypal hero, Snape’s character, fraught with mysterious, darker undertones spurred the fascination of one and all.

Rowling, with sheer cleverness and ingenuity, imbues the reader with a sense of magic as the phantasmagorical characters weild their wands casting magical spells and time turners reverse time. The best-selling author has subtly revealed that racism and prejudices can exist in many forms and in people who are least subject to suspicion. 

Ron’s initial treatment of house-eleves in the story is a reflection of the fact that one may embrace various wrong practices while growing up in our society that pits one against the other.

It is however, possible to unlearn them, as Ron does when he finally accepts Hagrid’s parentage and is also seen worrying about the house elves towards the end of the series.
Rowling, who had amassed enough wealth from the success of the Harry Potter franchise, had earned herself a spot in the Forbes list of richest people in the world. She however, lost her status of a billionaire as she donated a substantial amount of her wealth to various charities. 

Propelled by the success of Harry Potter, Rowling found Lumos, which works towards eradicating systematised institutionalisation of children across Europe and has also set up her own charitable trust to combat the issue of  social deprivation, especially for women and children.

Modeled after basketball, the popularity gained by Quidditch - the spirited sport of the wizarding world is perhaps, rivaled by none. Enthusiastic fans have greeted this sport with much gusto, and with the inclusion of this virtual sport into real life, Quidditch world cups are known to have been organised by muggles (non-magic folk) at many places.

In the real-life version of Quidditch, players run around the field with broomsticks in theier hands and in place of chasing the snitch, seekers chase a fellow player dressed in gold who is allowed to run off the field and hide.

The future generations too, will undoubtedly bask in the magic of this ground-breaking book but they will never get to experience that delicious tingle of anticipation that gripped one just before a Harry Potter book or movie was about to be released.

I find myself tracing my steps back to platform nine and three quarters, to the day when Harry, Ron and Hermione   met for the first time while boarding the Hogwarts express:Thick white smoke billowed from the scarlet steam engine as the Hogwarts express prepared to leave  the platform . 

A frazzled looking Molly Weasley waved furiously at her two red haired kids who looking out of the windows. Fred and George had disappeared with their friends into another carriage.

For the first time in many days, Harry felt excited.

''Originally intended for children, the fictional world of Harry Potter ended up appealing to individuals of all ages'' 

''Rowling, with sheer cleverness and ingenuity, imbues the reader with a sense of magic as the phantasmagorical characters weild their wands casting magical spells and time turners reverse time.''

''Enthusiastic fans have greeted Quidditch with much gusto, and with the inclusion of this virtual sport into real life, Quidditch world cups are known to have been organised at many places''

The tabby cat perched on a brick wall, peered anxiously at number four Privet Drive. It was nearly midnight when all the street lights were suddenly extinguished and the bespectacled figure of Albus Dumbledore materialized out of thin air. 
‘I’ve come to bring Harry to his uncle and aunt,’ he said to the cat, who had now transformed into the stern ­­– looking woman, Professor McGonagall. ‘Hagrid’s bringing him.’ 

‘This boy will be famous, a legend,’ said Professor McGonagall. ‘There will be books written about Harry, every child in our world will know his name!’ 

Dumbledore gently laid Harry at the doorstep of the Dursleys. Hidden under his hair, was a scar shaped like a lightning bolt.

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