Childhood memories have the tendency to disorder themselves, and so whilst I’m certain these things happened they are arranged by the order in which they appear in my mind rather than by any real sense of time. The beginning is clear, I’d not quite been alive a decade and it was christmas, I was with extended family in rented chocolate box cottages in an unknown location. It was here I first met Harry. Either I was ill or just pretending to be as I took myself away from the festivities and started and finished The Philosopher’s Stone.
Returning to school with a heavy book bag I proudly shared my literary gold. Harry Potter was not the star he was soon to become but thanks to my Granddads prowess of Heffers book store I got to know him first, I got to introduce him to 6F. Mr. Melrose soon clocked on to the hype and borrowing my book would read out chapters to cross legged children as rewards.
I would wait a long year in between each book, only to read it in a few days and review it with friends. That is until the Goblet of Fire when teenage Kat and I would punctuate mocha frappuccinos with chapters from the book draped over armchairs in Guildford Starbucks. Experiencing the ups and downs of the triwizard tournament, page by page, simultaneously-with Gryffindor scarves, a reward for preordering.
The film releases were a source of excitement and wherever we found ourselves at the time we were sure to sharply locate a cinema and get our fix. Even when the cinema was in Valencia and the film was a linguistic challenge. No matter, we knew the story by heart. In some instances quite literally- on a separate stay in Valencia a friend Erica would recite the story word for word, with accents and narration she had perfected through hours spent with the audio books, she would story tell through the canvas of our tents. And by the poolside as a teenage boy approached us we rolled our eyes only to hear him coyly ask and point , “el libro nuevo?” yes our friends had met us part way through our travels bringing on request the newly released final book. It would seem the Spanish had to wait a good few months more before they got to read how it all panned out.
Starting university my trusty Harry potter mug was certain to accompany me, a conversation piece at freshers as I offered poorly measured cocktails from it. You can imagine my distress when one summer having returned myself and my possessions to the family home my mum took my mug to the charity shop. On realizing the effects of her actions she hastily returned and bought the mug back, I’m not sure what they charged her for it.
I never attended my graduation. It somehow didn’t feel significant but as I leave the house on Wednesday night I am aware that tonight I truly say goodbye to my childhood. A story of growing up that has punctuated my own has finally finished and tonight with friends, ice cream and popcorn I put it behind me. As the lights go down and the 3d glasses go on once again I feel like that 9 year old girl on Christmas day but as I leave the cinema I tell Lydia about the house viewings I’ve got lined up, and my chat with the mortgage broker.