I wasn’t going to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Spoiler: I did. The day it was released. In under two hours. (No actual spoilers here, FYI)

I genuinely believed I wasn’t going to read it. I have tickets for the play in London in October and I wanted to see it as a play before I read it.

But then we went into Waterstones on Sunday in search of adult colouring books and I saw the piles of books and I couldn’t leave it, because for the first time in nine years there is a new Harry Potter book and I wanted it with everything in me.

Which is the most obvious thing in the world, really, because I have loved Harry Potter since I was seven – more than two thirds of my life.

I haven’t written anything like this since the final film came out and I was an overexcited teen on tumblr, but I fucking love Harry Potter. These are my favourite characters in fiction, this is a world that I still go to when I am sad, or struggling.

When I was seven (maybe six, I’m not sure), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the first book I ever read alone, because I couldn’t wait for my mum to read it with me in the evenings. I remember she would get annoyed with me because she wanted to know what happened and I kept going ahead of her.

All through school, when I felt awkward and uncomfortable with being clever, because I felt like it drew attention to me, Hermione’s influence was the thing that made me go “no, fuck it, I know the answer to this”. (There are a number of people I went to school with who would say that I very clearly never felt shy about knowing the answer – this is evidence of the strength of the Hermione Granger effect. It turned me into the obnoxious shit I am today.)

And this year, the most stressful year of my life, as I’ve ramped up to the most full on exams I’ve ever sat, written the most intense essays imaginable and poured all my energy into my dissertation, when it’s felt like too much, I’ve pulled out the illustrated edition of Philosopher’s Stone, read a few pages and pulled my shit together.

Harry Potter is so important to me that I can’t properly explain it, and

This isn’t the eighth book, not really, but it’s as close as I’m ever going to get and I loved it. I genuinely loved it (which is a huge relief).

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