The Power of Potter

It has never been a better time to return to the books from your youth that made your heart race.


Marsalis, Reese

Reese Marsalis, Staff Writer

My eyes were transfixed on the television in front of me. Packages of Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans lay across the couch and I clutched my homemade Hogwarts acceptance letter against my Gryffindor sweatshirt. In fourth grade, I sat next to my best friend and watched approximately 19 hours and 40 minutes of Harry Potter. This movie marathon, naturally, preceded our conclusion of the books. Books that ignited a passion for reading and story-telling among two ten year old girls. 

Eight years later, I ask myself why? How did these books evoke this passion among not only fourth grade me, but millions of people worldwide?

So, during this isolation period of free time, I decided to discover the world of Harry Potter once again. 

For those who are unaware, author J.K Rowling released the first book of the Harry Potter series in 1997. Since then, the seven-part series has gained immense popularity, selling millions of copies worldwide. 

Rowling tells the story of a boy, Harry Potter, who grows up with his neglectful, narcissistic aunt and uncle, and their spoiled son. However, Harry notices that he is different from his family; he has a giant lightning-shaped scar on his forehead, and has mysterious powers, like making his aunt levitate and speaking to snakes. One day a giant man comes to Harry and reveals that the young boy is actually a wizard. Not only that, but Harry is the only person who has survived the killing curse–the curse that the most powerful dark wizard, Voldemort, used to murder Harry’s parents when he was a baby. This curse backfired on Voldemort, deeming Harry the most famous wizard in the world. 

Harry finally escapes the captivity of his family when he agrees to attend school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There, Harry meets his best friends, Ron and Hermione, learns about his past, and trains to end Voldemort once and for all. Over the course of the seven books, Harry navigates his way through school, friends, relationships and of course, being the only person who can rid the wizarding community of the most dangerous wizard of all time. 

While the story itself is endlessly entertaining, I found myself appreciating the underlying life lessons more than the initial time reading. The biggest lesson of all being that love conquers all evil. Baby Harry survived the killing curse because his mother sacrificed herself out of love. Harry sacrifices himself to protect his friends in his final battle with Voldemort, which proves to be the key to the Dark Lord’s demise.

In a story erupting with fantastical people, magical schools, wands, flying broomsticks, invisibility cloaks, and spells, the real magic is love — lesson that does not only apply to Potter’s world, but to real life as well. Nothing is stronger than love. 

So, during this crazy, unsettling time occurring in the modern world, I decided to unlock the world of Harry Potter once again. My heart rate quickened during Harry’s Quidditch matches, my eyes blurred with tears during the deaths of characters, and my heart swelled with pride for these fictional characters as they overcame obstacles. My mind focused on something other than the vexing, current state of the world. 

Let yourself unlock passions from the past, believe in love, and trust in a little bit of magic. In fact, I think that it is time for my Gryffindor sweatshirt to make a reappearance. 

And for those who have not yet read Harry Potter, I apologize if I spoiled anything — but really, read the books!