I almost remember it like it was yesterday. July 2000, and my parents had decided we would take a small weekend trip down to County Kerry. We were leaving the next morning, and before heading on our way my mum wanted to drop by the local supermarket and pick up some provisions for our stay. She had also promised me something on our way there in the car; something that I was extremely excited for. It won’t be too difficult to guess that what she had promised me was a new book. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, whichever title it was that I would eventually choose.
The decision was made for me pretty quickly.
It was everywhere. A mass of orange and red spanning massive tables as soon as you walked through the door, a fearsome dragon and bespectacled boy on a broomstick blazed upon the cover. It was all I could focus on, and my eight-year-old fingers itched to hold it. I didn’t even know what it was; I just knew I wanted to find out. Millions of other children, however, did know what it was.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
It was the first time I had heard of J.K Rowling’s massively famous Harry Potter series, and book four had just been released. I guess I would have been too young beforehand for it, but now I was the perfect age, and the new release was right there in front of me. At the time I didn’t even know that it was part of a series, something I didn’t realise until I was sitting in the hotel room in County Kerry, four chapters in and wondering why Harry, Ron and Hermione seemed so familiar with one another. I simply liked the sound of this particular book, and it was long enough that I knew it would keep me preoccupied for the entire weekend away. I picked it up without hesitation, and while I was a bookworm before this point, the Goblet of Fire was the novel that sealed the deal, and made me into a fully-fledged book lover.
There’s no denying it: the Harry Potter series is, and continues to be, very special to me. I couldn’t even tell you what it is about it that makes it so wonderful – it just is. It has that something special that sticks with you, long after you’ve closed the last page. Since getting the Goblet of Fire all those years ago I have read and re-read the series more times than I can remember, and they will always hold pride of place on my bookshelf. J.K Rowling made me want to read more, to read anything and everything. But she also inspired me to write. Writing has always been one of the greatest joys in my life, and every time I look the collection of Harry Potter books in my room I’m reminded why. It makes me feel invincible, like I can do anything. Rowling created something magical all those years ago when she imagined The Boy Who Lived. To me she didn’t simply create a wonderful story that touched the hearts and imaginations of millions, she inspired me to never forget that what I really want to do is write.
J.K Rowling and Harry Potter were an enormous part of my childhood. And they will always be an enormous part of my life.