Sharing a Birthday with Harry Potter (And How the Series Became My Favorite)

It’s July 31st, and that means it’s Harry Potter’s birthday. And JK Rowling’s. And my own! Birthdays all around.

I‘m having a hard time believing it, but I’m twenty years old today. It’s strange to actually type that. I’m no longer a teenager, and if I’m twenty, that makes it nine years since I read Harry Potter for the first time. It’s been so long. It was during the summer when I was ten, going on eleven, when I read them. And it has been my absolute favorite series ever since.

If I’m being honest, calling it my favorite series feels like an understatement. How do I explain how close Harry Potter is to my heart? Whenever I think about it, I get this feeling I can only describe as home. It’s childhood. It’s sheer and utter happiness. It’s the series that shaped me as a reader and as a person. It’s just simply home in those pages.

But believe it or not, I never actually wanted to read Harry Potter in the first place. I had no interest in it. It wasn’t until my dad told me in 2009 that we would be going on a family trip to the brand new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios the following summer. I was thrilled to go to Florida, but I also didn’t care for Harry Potter and didn’t want to be confused by the whole park. When I told my dad this, he said I should read the books and see if I like it.Castle cerebus19I didn’t take this lightly. If we were going to this strange new park, then I wanted to understand it. Even though I was expecting to hate it, I was still determined to read at least one of the books. So, the next time we went to the bookstore, I picked up my first copy of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone.

I read it. 

I bought Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 

I read it. 

I bought Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I read it.

And, well, you get the point. I went through that entire series faster than I had ever read anything in my life. I was in love. Completely in love. It was nothing like I’d ever experienced before, that series. And going to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter suddenly felt like a dream come true.

I waited and waited and waited until the day finally came when we packed up, got on the plane, and we were off to Florida. By the time we got to Universal Studios, I was practically running to the get to that Harry Potter park. I’d never been more ready or excited about anything.

It was finally happening.

This is what I had been anticipating for ages.

We got to the entrance to the park and…

It wasn’t open yet.

I’m not sure if we had the dates wrong for the grand opening, or if they were just running behind, but it was definitely not going to happen. I can laugh about the irony of it now. Reading an entire book series just to go to an amusement park, and it not being open yet. But, it was rather devastating for 11 year old me. I have a pretty sad picture of me standing in front of Hogwarts with a sign in the background that says something like, “Coming soon!”

It’s alright though. I mean, at the end of the day, I still had the best time at Universal Studios. I made tons of memories, and I find it pretty funny now that I think about how the park literally wasn’t open after all of that. I hope I will take another trip one day so I can finally experience the park. But, really, I’m just eternally grateful that I did end up reading Harry Potter because of all this.

I love to reflect on what these books, and the entire story, means to me every year on this day. It’s just such a special series, and it was even more special when I found out I shared a birthday with Harry Potter and JK Rowling while reading the books. It felt like I was meant to be reading them, like having that in common was magical.

And it still does feel magical, even nine years later.

31 thoughts on “Sharing a Birthday with Harry Potter (And How the Series Became My Favorite)

  1. Happy Birthday!!!! ❤ I love your Harry Potter story, and I love Harry Potter so much too!! I hope you get to go to the park someday, it really looks amazing. And isn’t it so weirddddd to be 20?? I have been for a few months now, but it still is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, thank you!! 😊 I’m so glad you love Harry Potter too. It’s really the best and I also really hope I get to visit the park someday!! And yes, it’s SO strange to be 20 and to be done with the teenage years!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Erin! That’s so cool that you share a birthday with Bonnie Wright though; I love Ginny!! And it really was pretty awful then. I was super upset for some time but I ended up having a great trip anyway 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Birthday Brianna! ❤️ This is a great post! I hope you get to go back to universal studios soon.
    It’s so cool that you get to share your birthday with two other amazing people. Anyways, I hope you have a magical day 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy birthday Brianna! I’m glad I decided to scroll when I did, otherwise I’d have been too late to say it! I hope you had/ have, a great day!

    That’s a pretty ironic story about your trip, but I’m glad you got something so special out of it!
    I have yet to read the Harry Potter series, it’s never really interested me. I just did a marathon recently of all the movies over two days with my boyfriend, watching them for the first time and I liked them….so I might try the books soon once my TBR shrinks a bit!

    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so, so much! I have been having a nice day, thanks! And I would definitely recommend reading Harry Potter when you get the chance. I didn’t think I’d like it either, but I’m glad I tried it because it’s just such a wonderful series. I hope you read it one day, but I can totally relate on the huge TBR pile so I understand!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have like 30+ physical books I need to read and my boyfriend wants me to read the LOTR series on top of that, because we both like the movies.. I had to tell him to wait a few months and felt so bad!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy (very belated) birthday! And that’s such a neat story! Although it’s sad that you didn’t get to go to Harry Potter world 😦

    I actually didn’t want to read Harry Potter either… My cousins were obsessed with it, so I was being rebellious and refused to read it. Then I was bored (and let’s face it, irritated that my brother – who never reads – was reading it, so I HAD to read it. Because I was petty.), and picked it up and fell in love.

    Also funny story, a couple years before I picked it up, I was in Universal, and literally made my family completely avoid that section of the park. Because I had a weird dislike of this series that I hadn’t read (whyyyyyyy?!). Imagine how I felt about that once I read and loved it… Not pleased with myself. At all. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Iris!! Yeah I’m pretty sad I didn’t get to go to the park, but it was a fun trip anyway! And it did get me to read Harry Potter, so I’m glad for that.

      But yeah I was totally trying to be rebellious too, and I didn’t want to read such a hyped up series. I thought I’d hate it. Looking back on it, I can only wonder what was wrong with me to think that😂

      Seriously though, your own story about the park.. noooo!! I can completely relate though. Since I did feel that same exact way about Harry Potter before I read it, I would’ve wanted to avoid the park too. Ugh that is so unfortunate that you didn’t go though!!

      Let’s hope we both end up going back one day now that we love HP😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually did get a chance to go to the California park last year, and it was a ton of fun! I’d still really love to go to the Florida one again someday though…

        Liked by 1 person

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