Anyway, I was in second grade and there was this craze going around. (No, I'm not talking about Pokémon, although it did emerge in the same period now that you mention it.) There was some stupid book that everyone was reading! Good gravy, it drove me to distraction.
And because I am a non-conformist, I hated it purely on the principle that everyone seemed to be raving about it.
In my rebellion I spitefully called it "Harry Snotter."
Then one day I was bothering my older brother Brandon who was reading the first one. He was ignoring me, so I read over his shoulder to irritate him more.
"How did you get here?"
"Flew," grunted Hagrid.
"Hey," I said, "what's going on? Who flew? Flew how? Who's this guy? His best friend?"
I don't remember what happened next, but Brandon probably told me to scramoose and my curiosity gnawed at me the rest of the day. Somehow I got my hands on a copy of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and promptly devoured it.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand thus began my eight year love affair with Harry Potter.
For said next nine years it was exceedingly easy to shop for me; if it had "Harry Potter" on the label, I was likely to scream in excitement.
This wasn't the legit WB merchandise either; this was the early stuff. Troll booger glue. Terrible day-by-day calendars with awful illustrations. Sticker books of said awful illustrations. Goofy-looking wand keychains. Puzzles of said awful illustrations. Snow globes. Bertie Botts. Weird figurines.
Then in the fourth grade, the first movie came out. This started the merchandise as we know it; robes, stuffed owls, action figures, posters of Dan, Emma, and the ginger. As the years and movies progressed, the paraphernalia got steadily cooler. Cooler robes. Cooler action figures. Cooler wands. Cooler posters.
(When I go home, I'll take pictures of my stuff and post them.)
I grew up with Harry Potter. I grew up with the characters, and I especially grew up with the actors. Emma Watson's only a year and a half older than I am (despite being three hundred times more talented, gorgeous, and amazing). I lived, slept, and breathed Harry Potter.
And then the seventh book came out, and I was furious with JK Rowling for pairing Harry and Ginny and the other ginger and Hermione. Hermione is far too good for that one ginger kid, and the same with Harry and Ginny. Good grief, where was Ginny in the seventh book? NOT THERE, that's where. Pulling silly pranks on Snape at Hogwarts. Harry and Hermione have one of the best relationships in literary history, and there is no closure.
I was mad.
So I bid the Harry Potter franchise goodbye. I took down my posters, mostly covered my Gryffindor fireplace painted on my wall, and packed everything up to put it in my closet.
How is it that then even after three years famine I can still tell you trivial facts from the books? How is it that even now none of my family members wants to challenge me to Harry Potter games? How is it that I still bought tickets to the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows Part I? How is it that I'm still dressing up?
Hi, my name is Becca, and I'm a Harry Potter nerd through and through.