This morning on the walk to work, I listened to the last chapter of the last book about “the boy who lived.” I had started the marathon of audio books, as read by the remarkable Stephen Fry, as a way to get myself safely through the festival season. Each year I choose a story to act as a buffer between me and the stresses of everyday life. Last year it was Tom Robbins’ Villa Incognito. This year, it was Potter.
It was a strange thing to absorb this story while in the city where it was written, walking each day on Prince’s Street, looking up at Edinburgh Castle where the Tattoo stands could easily be mistaken for those surrounding a Quidditch pitch.
I know I am years behind the tsunami of adoration for these books, but I will add my little cheer to those of the masses and say what a fine, fine storyteller J.K. Rowling is. True, at times I thought I would scream if I had to endure the same description of someone “turning scarlet,” or Harry’s “stomach lurching,” but overall these bursts of blinding repetition were worth being tugged along into such a glorious adventure.
Now it is over. And…I don’t know. I feel…confunded. I don’t understand why The Leaky Cauldron isn’t a real place, or why I can’t do magic. I’m just wandering around, waiting for the real world to seep back into my heart, but not really wanting it to.
Of course it is ridiculous, a grown woman aching after the idea of riding a broom or drinking pumpkin juice from a goblet. If I can feel this way, as a reader, I can’t imagine the deep connection Rowling must feel towards these characters, who she has raised from children into adulthood while we all watched.
I want to know who you love, the characters who are more real to you than the people you pass in the street. I want to know the invisible souls you have yearned to meet, have defended to others, have missed like old friends. The creature I love most from these books, at least right now, is the dreamy, wise and innocent Luna.
Would it be worth writing something to which you formed such a deep attachment, if you knew the mess it would make in your creative mind, blurring your internal worlds with the day-to-day? Have you ever been so far inside your own head, that stepping into the sun or buying milk is a shock that leaves you gazing around, confused about how to function in even the most benign social situations?
After such a lengthy, immersive journey, JP recommends that I launch myself into reading something utterly un-Potterish. But what? What?
Twilight Scrawls by Kirstin Maguire
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