Fast forward to the sixth grade, the year I devoured the second and third book and still wanted more. My English teacher happened to be a Harry Potter devotee. The standard school curriculum got thrown out and it's place sat Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban, when read out loud by my teacher, kept my entire sixth grade class in a trance. Even the kids who hated reading were entertained. When the bell rang for our second class we'd groan and beg Ms. C to at least finish the page. I did always look forward to my homeroom class.
I kept up on my own, borrowing the fourth book from my cousin, and begging my mother to buy me the last two. The movies quenched my thirst between reads. But when it was over. It was over. Years later, on some August day, I decided to reread the entire series. I still have my first paperback copy of the Sorcerer's Stone, though the spine is being held together with tape and pages are falling loose left and right. It is quite different reading it now. While my ten-year-old self read it like someone looking over a thick encyclopedia, I'm breezing through it. Though the writing isn't challenging for me anymore, it isn't hard to see why I loved it so much.
It's whimsical and witty. There are spots in the book my ten-year-old self marked with a blue pen, so I wouldn't forget where I'd left off. And my name is written in red ink on the first pages. Being able to grow up alongside Harry Potter - Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger - made up for all of those horribly mundane moments of my childhood and I bet it will now too.
Look what I found the other day.
J.K. Rowling's drawing of Neville, Ron, Harry, Hermione, and "Gary" ... Apparently Dean's original name.