There have been many additions to the film adaptations of the Harry Potter series — some good, some bad, and some that are controversial, to say the least. Case in point: Take the classic “Dumbledore said calmly,” which is a scene likely to be memed until the end of time. Then you’ve got Harry being hilariously adorable while high on Felix Felicis. There’s also the somber yet hopeful moment where the students raise their wands for the fallen Albus Dumbledore. The point is, the movies are filled with moments that are uniquely memorable and irreplaceable — so much so that some of these moments take up a very large part of the fandom as we know it. One such example is a line that couldn’t be more true for fans.
These four simple words have been part of a sentiment echoed by fans for ages and will continue to be for as long as the series remains alive — and for good reason. After all, haven’t we all longed for our Hogwarts acceptance letters? Haven’t we all desperately wished we could cast spells, even simple ones like Wingardium Leviosa? Haven’t we all clung to the wizarding world’s tantalizing magic and hoped and begged that we could be there, even if for a single moment? This insatiable desire — this pure, unadulterated yearning for Hogwarts — is perfectly encapsulated in these four words. But while this quote seems to embody everything that needs to be said, there is one other thing that comes to mind. It’s not just Hogwarts we ache for; it’s Harry Potter, the franchise and universe, as a whole.
Its world and characters have us spellbound, and we, like the fools in love we are, don’t even try to fight against the ensnaring bewitchment. Rather, we lean into its comforting embrace, our eyes glazing over in wonder, our hearts pounding erratically before slowing into a beautiful rhythm. We find ourselves drawn to this fantasy, enveloped in its exciting and comforting charm. This feeling of belonging is what draws us to Harry Potter. From the moment we register the first words inked on the book’s pages, we’re tugged into its magical depths, and for the life of us, we can’t seem to mind the Devil’s Snare-like grip that the wizarding world has on us.
We’re thrown into a world that’s so different from our own. Instead of basketball, there’s Quidditch; instead of bills as currency, there are precious metals in the form of Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts. Instead of medicine, there are potions of all kinds; instead of a normal school layout, there’s a bunch of staircases that exist solely to make your life more miserable. Compared to this world filled to the brim with such creative and chaotic elements, our lives pale in comparison.
The characters we meet in the series are so brilliantly fleshed out that you can’t help wishing that you could be there in person — so you could have some hilariously witty banter with them or comfort them (and vice versa) when life decides to embody the personality of a Blast-Ended Skrewt. We cling to the idea of meeting them and being with them (there is enough character x reader fan fiction for proof) because they just seem so painfully real.
Each scene that we read shows us glimpses into this wonderfully insane world that advances with time and moves forward just as our lives do. They give us moments that we can’t ever experience in the Muggle world, but they’re so profoundly great that you feel like it could happen — like these things aren’t impossible, and that one day, we could also walk through the halls of Hogwarts.
Every single time we read the books, we’re bathed in comfort, because Harry Potter takes us away from the worries of our real and sometimes annoying Muggle lives so that we can bask in the wizarding world’s glory. Each glimpse into this wonderful world makes us think of the what ifs, the maybes, and could’ves. We’re taken to this place where our worries don’t exist, as though they were cast away with a simple Evanesco, and we revel in it. We live vicariously through these characters, relishing it because it allows us to feel a myriad of things — happiness, love, friendship, triumph, fear, sadness, grief, and loss.
We go through everything that Harry does, even if we aren’t physically there, and sometimes, it hurts. Sometimes, it burns and scalds and tortures us, leaving us sobbing. Sometimes, it soothes and lightens and heals, leaving us shaking with laughter. And after all those ups and downs, all those hurdles and tight turns that can feel like a Wronski Feint, we smile. At the end of it all, at the end of the hero’s journey, we feel a dull ache in this cocoon of comfort because we’ve felt, learned, and loved everything that Harry has. We’ll do it again and again and again until we’ve inked the words into our very souls — because Harry Potter is our home, always.