A letter to Harry Potter and J.K Rowling.

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I cannot tell you how many times I have sat facing my laptop, fingers poised tentatively above the keys knowing that I am about to attempt to put into words exactly what the both you mean to me. Each time I have ended up typing a few sentences and being frankly disappointed with myself for not being able to translate these feelings onto the screen in front of me.

But then I pause. Both of you have been in my life since the tender age of 8. An age where I was just discovering that I could read books that I wanted too instead of what my school dictated me to read. An age where my imagination was growing with rapid speed. I would spend hours after school and at weekends playing pretend games by myself or with my younger sister, they never felt pretend to me. I could always picture the worlds I created in my head so vividly.

I think it was fate then that my eight year old self, a girl who so desperately wanted to inhabit the imaginary worlds she created, would be introduced to a world that would captivate her so entirely that even now, 2 months away from turning 22, she would still give anything for that world to be real.
I have my Year 5 teacher to thank for igniting my ever-burning love for the world you created Mrs Rowling. She chose to read Prisoner of Azkaban to use as an end of week treat and I remember being so enthralled by the adventures of this boy wizard and his misfit friends that I had to get my hands on it myself.

Imagine my excitement when I realised it was a series!

What followed has been a tale of love, passion and commitment that I can’t say I’ve given to much else in my life. Harry, you have been in my life longer than most people I know other than my family. As you grew, so did I. I would wait so eagerly for each new installment of your adventures and the devour them within a few hours, lavishing in the feeling that I have found no other story except yours can give me.
Every time I visit your world Harry, it feels like I am coming home.
I have always felt a distinct connection to you, Ron and Hermione. Even though you are fictional, it’s almost as if you aren't any more. I have joined you on your adventures so many times now that I believe you reside with me, all of you, in my imagination. Your not just fictional character’s any more, you are among the people who have shaped me.

You see Harry, you were there throughout my formative years. From the ages of 8 - 15 my time was mapped out by how long I had to wait until I could spend time with you at Hogwarts again, be it on paper or on-screen. The lessons that your story taught me during those years still resonate with me to this day. Lessons of love, friendship, morality, loyalty and so many more. I can honestly say that I think I would be a different person if you had not been there.

I never felt like I could be myself. I hid my intelligence, my love of reading because it was looked down on. But gradually, with yours, Hermione’s and Luna’s help I realised that I didn't need to hide who I was. And that is what I owe you the most for Mr Harry James Potter, for teaching me to love myself. A teenage girls self-esteem is a hard nut to crack and you did it. I’m proud of who I am because of you.
As for you Mrs Rowling. You are a wonderful role model. You are the one, without whom, I would not be where I am today. I know that sounds like an exaggeration. It is not. I have always looked up to you. You stand by what you believe in and you do so much good that anyone would be hard pressed not to see what a national treasure you are.

I remember watching your speech at the Deathly Hallows part 2 premier. Tears were streaming down my cheeks as with you and millions of other people around the world prepared to say a fond farewell to a black-haired, green-eyed boy wizard who has changed all of our lives so incredibly.

And then you said something.

‘Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home’
And in that moment I realised that we didn’t need to say goodbye to Harry Potter. We will never need to say goodbye because he will always be there. Because of you I will always have the chance to go ‘home’ whenever I want. I will be able to relive those magical moments you created as many times as I want. Because Mrs Rowling, as I said earlier on, that is exactly what Harry Potter is to me. Home. The place I go when I’m happy, sad, angry and most of all nostalgic.

So thank you.

Thank to Harry James Potter for being a friend when those in real life came and went.

Thank you to you Mrs Rowling.

Thank you for allowing us all into the Wizarding World, for giving us the chance to attend Hogwarts, for creating friends that will stay with us for a lifetime.

But most of all, thank you so much for the most magical childhood anyone could ever have wished for.

Callie Limb. Ravenclaw. UK.