Our Harry Potter Pensieve
By Kristen on July 14th, 2011
We’re drawing very close to the opening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 at midnight tonight! It has certainly been an emotional week for the cast and crew of the films as they close out over 10 years of production, but also for the innumerable Potter fans around the globe who have followed Harry’s journey from the beginning. But, as J.K. Rowling said at the London premiere of the film, “The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
Here at Scholastic, we have a particular fondness for all things Potter, and nearly everyone here has a Harry “moment” that made them laugh, cry, or reminded them exactly why they love to read. The OOM team took a trip to the Pensieve that lives at Scholastic Headquarters (see photo above!) to share some of our best memories of the Harry Potter books and films.
Jessica: My favorite Harry Potter memory happened during the night that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. I had just come back to the United States from London. My husband was still there and we had pre-ordered a copy in each country. His midnight came hours before my midnight. I sat in the parking lot of the bookstore listening to my husband read me the first four chapters as he rode back to his flat on the 29 bus. It was our way to share Harry just as we had ever since Goblet of Fire’s release even with an ocean between us. To this day, I have never read the first four chapters.
Amanda: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out on the same day that my family and I were leaving for vacation. So we got up extra early to go to the store and bought three copies (so we wouldn’t have to share) before heading to the airport. We then spent the next few days reading on the beach, pausing only to eat and occasionally watch the sunset.
Morgan: I was not on the Harry bandwagon at first, thinking it just wasn’t my cup of butterbeer. Then one day in between college semesters, working at my summer job on Long Beach Island, I noticed someone had left a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone under the register. The store was empty (everyone was, rightly, at the beach), so I picked it up and began reading it. The rest is, of course, history. So now, whenever I go back home to LBI, I think of Harry, and send some gratitude to whoever left that random copy behind.
Yanique: My favorite Harry memory is watching Scholastic’s CEO, Dick Robinson, opening boxes of books and handing out copies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the day it was released. It was really special to see the connection between all of the fans there that day of every age.
Tyler: I still remember where I was when I finished reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (Do you?) It was one of “those moments” for me. I flew through the last couple hundred pages while sprawled out on the Long Meadow in Prospect Park on a sunny day in Brooklyn in late July, 2007. I almost wanted to slow down during the last couple of chapters so I could stay in that story for just a little longer — to stay in Harry Potter’s world.
Michael: It’s a little less of a moment (though I have a few!), but something that somehow developed while reading Goblet of Fire. I read the graveyard chapter aloud. It’s something I started the first time through and then have continued since. If I get to it when I’m out, I stop reading and wait until I get home. This also helps me avoid crying in public as I inevitably tear up!
Dante: Having never read the books (I know, I know), my experience with the Harry Potter world lies completely in the movies. And say what you want about the quality of each entry in the cinematic series, but the first time I heard that John Williams theme music, the soundtrack cue that is at once playful and heroic, spry and mythological, I knew that I was entering a unique world. It perfectly captured the sense of magic, wonder, fear, and hope of the world of Harry Potter, and it’s as much a part of its legacy as Daniel Radcliffe or any of the other actors involved in the series.
Ivy: Getting my hands on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the day it came out and seeing that it was longer than all of the previous books in the series! (When I love a series, I pray for the word count to go up with each book.) I even bought extra copies that day for my friends who were still asleep because I didn’t want to share MY book with them. Of course, I also wanted them to read it quickly so we could all talk about the story.
Kristen: My family took a long road trip to attend a 50th wedding anniversary party the day that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released. I tried to read during the car ride, but it made me carsick. When we got to the party, my mom realized I was missing and found me curled up in the back seat of our car with the book, determined to make up for lost time.
It’s also worth mentioning that one of my new favorite Harry memories is arriving at Lincoln Center for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 with our Scholastic News Kid Reporter, Grace. We were just floored by the number of dedicated fans who showed up days ahead of time just to catch a glimpse of the people who had turned their favorite books into a film reality! You can read Grace’s story about that day here.
So, tell us — what would we find if we took a look into your Harry Potter memories in the Pensieve?