To be completely honest, there were only two reasons why I started reading Harry Potter: to end an argument and to get revenge. *shakes fist dramatically*
I alluded to this story during the previous post in my “stories from a childhood book nerd” series, My Funniest Bookish Moments, but I refused to elaborate on the subject back then. So let me explain all of that right now!
When I was 9 years old, my school teacher was obsessed with Harry Potter. He had movie posters, collectible figurines, and the entire set of books in our classroom. It all looked and sounded awesome, but there was only one problem… I didn’t know what Harry Potter was.
I was the only one in my class who didn’t have any HP experience. I had never seen the movies, and I had never read the books. In fact, a few years earlier, I had sworn to never read Harry Potter because the books were so large! But despite these differences between me and literally everyone else, the only thing I ever missed out on was the occasional joke. (For time reference, the movie franchise still had three or four movies left.)
However, the day finally arrived when I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt so left out whenever someone would mention Harry Potter, that I decided to watch the movies once and for all.
Of course, I enjoyed them. I saw the first three movies, for no particular reason, and by then, I felt generally in the loop. Finally, I was one of the cool kids. I had plans to watch the rest of them, eventually, but something happened which kind of changed my mind.
My best friend was also in my class, and she was a major HP fan. She had read all of the books, and it practically ran in her blood. One day, out of nowhere, I was having a discussion with her about the movies, and I mentioned Voldemort.
She was a little confused by my pronunciation of his name. “You know you’re not supposed to pronounce the ‘t’, right?”
“What do you mean? It’s Voldemort. That’s how they say it in the movies!”
“No, it’s actually supposed to be pronounced ‘Voldemore’. The ‘t’ is silent. Like in ballet?”
And I, being an extremely stubborn child, proceeded to argue against her for the next 15 minutes (even though she clearly had more experience than I did).
Several months later, in a completely different scenario, a contest was about to begin.
Okay, it wasn’t really a contest, per say. My school had this reading system called the “Advanced Reader Point System”, or AR points for short, which basically required each student to acquire a minimum amount of points by reading books. Each book had a set amount of points, but if one book was bigger than the other, the bigger one would probably have more points.
Being the Reader Girl in our class, I had set my personal expectations very high and expected to beat everyone else’s AR points. Like, of course I would beat everyone by a landslide, right?
Well, wrong. At the end of our first semester, I found out that my personal enemy (let’s call her Lydia, okay?) beat my record of 20 points with her own 21 points. She beat me by one point. One whole point! And was I furious? YES, of course I was!
If we’ve learned anything from this series, it’s that I never missed an opportunity to be dramatic, haha 😂
Man, was I upsetii. I decided that I would beat her personal record by reading the whole Harry Potter series, which was something a lot of my classmates had not done. I would shock them all, I promised.
Thus, my revenge plan was set into place.
(Did I win??)
Over the next several months, I slowly and secretly began to accumulate AR points behind my classmates’ backs. (Just for reference, most regular Middle Grade chapter books are worth about 6-10 AR points, but the Harry Potter books are anywhere between 12-44 points!)
Halfway through the semester, everything was going well. I was minding my own business, as usual when… something was not right in the classroom. The atmosphere was… different somehow, and I turned around to see what exactly was giving me this strange feeling.
And there, at the front of the classroom, I saw my classmates huddled around something posted on the wall. Being the small bean that I was and always have been, I had to shove my way through the crowd in order to see was was up. And low and behold, our teacher had posted the half-semester AR points for the entire world to see!
Lydia had about 9 points, while I… I had 50.
Everyone stared at me in shock. “How’d you do it?” they asked desperately. “I’ve never seen that many points!”
But I never answered them. I just smiled and kept on reading.
I fell in love with the books along the way. I wasn’t just reading them to get my revenge. But by the end of the year, while everyone had 15 points or so, I had 120 points in total. I finished Deathly Hallows just in time, and I was feeling like the most accomplished reader in the world.
Did I win the original bet? No – Voldemort is actually with a silent t, but the books never talked about that at all. But did I get my revenge? Heck yes.
And by the end of it all, it wasn’t about winning anymore. It was about leaving a 120 point legacy.
So, what’s your story? Why did you read Harry Potter?
Do you have any strange childhood stories?
Chat with me about it!
Happy reading, everyone! 😀