Elegy for Potter | Teen Ink

Elegy for Potter

July 11, 2011
By StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi


Fellow Hogwartians, these are dark times.

You know why, of course. Harry Potter’s story – the story of the Boy Who Lived – is over. Done. Finished. Finite Incantatem. And that’s sad.

When I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I was ten years old: a mishmash of frumpy clothes, social ineptitude, and baby fat. I did not want to read a book about a boy wizard. I also did not want to refuse the friends who insisted I read that book.
But most of all, I did not want to grow up.
One day, a frustrated friend slammed Harry Potter on my desk in a very convincing manner, and I gave in. After all, it was a book. Any book was potentially good in my eyes.
And I read. And I loved it.
I loved it. For the first time in my life, it was as though the places I read about were real and solid and all around me, and it was as though the people I met there had virtues and flaws and conflicts and love and hate all in equal measure. Harry was real. Hogwarts was real.
Magic was real.
I learned things through the books – not just spells and potions and such, but other things, vastly important things that changed the way I looked at life.
I learned three of these.
The first thing that Harry Potter taught me was not to be afraid of growing up. To be frightened of that, I realized, was to be frightened of life. And you couldn’t be frightened of life – there was so much in it: romance and drama and vanquishing evil. But to do all that, you had to grow up first. Growing up, I learned, was an adventure in itself.
The second thing was that the world is more complicated than it seems. It was not Harry who taught me this so much as it was the villains. At first, I hated those awful Slytherins – Snape and Malfoy – and I relished that hatred. They, I thought, must be pure evil. Their souls were black with shadow, and I despised them.
But then there was Lily, and the silver doe, and Snape’s promise to keep Harry safe. There was Draco’s fear, and his love for his family, and the way I saw him cry. Voldemort was pure evil in that he could not love, for he had dispensed with his human soul. But every human soul, Harry told me, has both light and dark in it, and the world is not black and white but shades of grey. Even the people we hate can love.
The third and final thing that Harry taught me was one simple, abiding truth; nothing grandiose or moral, but one thing that made me confident in myself.
I am a complete nerd.
It sounds stupid, of course, and it probably is. But reading Harry Potter showed me who I was: I was both good and evil, I was an aspiring writer, I was a slightly mad Ravenclaw who wasn’t afraid of life. And I was a nerd, and I was proud of that. Hogwarts was my home, and if you’ve read this far I bet it’s yours, too.
So now, as the story of the Boy Who Lived fades to memory, we Hogwartians must raise our cheaply made plastic wands to the stars and light them the only way we know how. We must look at the world for what it is and feel safe in the knowledge that heroes can die, but magic is real, and magic lives on.
Sure, lots of people would call Harry Potter a commercialized franchise and say that the only “magic” is utterly corny and perpetuated by delusional teenagers. And maybe they’re right.
But frankly, who cares?
Magic is real, or at least the kind Harry Potter taught me. Magic lives on.
That, if nothing else, is worth remembering.
Lumos Maxima.


The author's comments:
Well, by the time you read this, it will probably have been several months since the last Harry Potter film came out. But anyway. I'm going to miss Hogwarts.

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This article has 23 comments.


Luan4Ever said...
on Dec. 7 2013 at 9:54 pm
That's completely true. When I was in 3rd grade, I had a guy friend who was in 5th grade. He had told me to read the Harry Potter series, knowing that I was an advanced reader and I loved adventure stories. I read a paragraph from a random page in Half-Blood Prince, (now I know it was one of the memories from Tom Riddle's life) and since I didn't understand a thing, I rejected it. In 5th grade, I decided to give it another try. Maybe with maturity, I thought, I would love it. Plus, my friend liked it, and he still does! The series has changed my life. I'm now in 7th grade, and I don't regret reading it. J.K Rowling is my favorite author, and the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix my favorite book. :-)

on Jan. 4 2012 at 10:57 am
NoOneOfConsequence SILVER, Mishawaka, Indiana
8 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"ORDER TO DISORDER."

Yes. Just yes. This is amazing and embodies everything I feel. But I never could have said it so eloquently. Wonderful job.

on Sep. 11 2011 at 2:10 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Thank you. ^-^

on Sep. 11 2011 at 1:13 pm
thesilentgirl BRONZE, Suwanee, Georgia
1 article 4 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

This is so well written, and I completely agree! It made me smile :)

on Aug. 28 2011 at 8:07 pm
forgottenpenname GOLD, Troy, Michigan
12 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Carpe diem."

Haha, I agree. But Twilight deserved rejection. ;)

on Aug. 28 2011 at 4:24 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Haha, very true. :) (Conversely, I rejected Twilight early on as well, and then read it and hated it and now reject it again. P:)

on Aug. 28 2011 at 12:10 pm
forgottenpenname GOLD, Troy, Michigan
12 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Carpe diem."

This is gorgeous. :) I find it funny that it's often those of us who rejected Potter early on who are the biggest HP nerds now.

on Aug. 27 2011 at 9:01 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Quite agreed! :) Sure, it may not be the next Odyssey or anything, but give it a hundred years and it'll be right up there with The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. I'm really glad you liked this. ^-^

on Aug. 27 2011 at 8:03 pm
RainyWriter GOLD, Redmond, Washington
14 articles 0 photos 42 comments

Favorite Quote:
Only the smart, talented, amazing, and insane are remembered in history.

Ooooh! Just when I was getting over the loss of HP...

This was great. It made me smile out of nostalgia. Admittedly, HP is not some grand masterpiece that historians will ramble about centuries from now, but there is a sort of magic about that will turn it into a classic, I believe. A magic that makes the characters feel real and the places seem like you were standing there with Harry.


on Aug. 24 2011 at 6:06 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Yay! It was meant to. ^-^

on Aug. 24 2011 at 9:46 am
ErisRose DIAMOND, Ashburn, Virginia
50 articles 1 photo 81 comments

Favorite Quote:
Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori- Love conquers all let us yield to love
Sweat Dries, Blood Clots, Bones Heal, Suck it up and dance!
If they give you ruled paper, write the other way

I loved this. Thank you for writing this. It made me smile.

on Aug. 15 2011 at 6:18 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

You're welcome! :D

on Aug. 15 2011 at 2:55 pm
MissFaber SILVER, Wayne, New Jersey
5 articles 0 photos 156 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nothing Less.

Thank you for writing this.

That is all.


on Aug. 14 2011 at 11:20 am
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Thank you! :)

on Aug. 14 2011 at 3:50 am
BrokeBookworm BRONZE, Sutton, Surrey, Other
4 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
''Everything turns out alright in the end; if it isn't alright, it isn't the end"

Haha love it! Exactly how I feel - and I think it's commercialisation is a good thing...it means that more people can enjoy Harry Potter :)) I like the tone of this article too :))

on Aug. 11 2011 at 6:20 pm
lolz :) great work again!

on Aug. 11 2011 at 11:16 am
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

haha :) Well, Momo, I suppose I was babishly cool. Not really, though. :P Nice imaginary pen! :D

on Aug. 10 2011 at 8:39 pm

I should say so much more, about how much I agree, and about how much I love and miss this place, Hogwarts, and its inhabitants, and about how you stole the exact emotions STRAIGHT FROM MY BRAIN. But, instead I must correct you...

I think you mean "baby PHAT." 

*Whips out excessively cool pen with Harry Potter on it*


on Aug. 9 2011 at 8:03 pm
StrangeJade PLATINUM, Relative Obscurity, California
36 articles 17 photos 391 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it." - Life of Pi

Ah yes, that would be your cameo role. ;) Congrats! You're famous!

Emiloo said...
on Aug. 9 2011 at 6:45 pm
but still amazing as usual


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