I've never sat through a Harry Potter movie — there, I said it. I've also never read a single Harry Potter book and for that I'm deeply ashamed. I've managed to live the last 19 years avoiding Harry Potter superfans (so basically the world) simply because they might discover my secret. I even worked for a teen mag at the peak of Harry Potter mania for seven of those years, blindly crafting stories about Harry Potter without actually picking up a book or watching a movie — shout out to my two younger, Harry Potter-obsessed sisters (who I could never hide my secret from) for helping me, while ridiculing me all the way along, as I bumbled my way through movie reviews, thought pieces and the like. They're the real heroes.
I've referred to Severus Snape as Severus Snipe and Slytherin Snape . . . sometimes even Severus Snake. I mean, I dunno.
And I live in a world where conversations like this actually happen:
Me: "Who is that guy who turns into a snake? It's that Snipe guy, right?"
Sister 1: "No one turns into a snake."
Me: "But what about the guy with the snake nose?"
Sister 2: "Voldemort!?"
Me: "Isn't he the snake that slithers around?"
Sisters: "Shut up now."
Me: "Who is the boy who should never be named?"
Sister 2: "HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED!!!"
Me: "Geez, alright. Who's that then?"
Sister 2: "Voldemort!"
Sister 1: "Can you please shut up about this now, you're embarrassing yourself."
One time I was invited to an IMAX screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, where I was surrounded by people in capes with knotty hair, but it still wasn't enough to keep me awake. It was so dark in the cinema I fell asleep — with 3D glasses over my own glasses and everything — only to be woken by the feeling of my sisters' disgusted faces burning holes in my head as the credits rolled. Whatever happened in that movie, I'll never know.
My sisters joke that I would be sorted into Hufflepuff (or Huffipuff as I've been scolded for saying) and I have no idea what that means.
But it's time to come clean, because with the release of the latest book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Magical Children — or whatever it's called — I'm a bit embarrassed, and deeply sorry that I've let this go on so long.
You see, there are two reasons I stayed under my rock. Firstly, I was late to the Harry Potter party and I hate that. In 1998, while everyone was reading the first book, I was staring at my Hanson posters while reading the lyrics as I listened to their music on my Discman — and just like with fashion trends, I hate being the last to adopt a craze. Take neck ties for example, I can never wear them. Even if deep in my heart I really want to, I just can't . . . but I digress. So as everyone moved on from the books to the movies there was no way I could possibly start on the very first book. So, like a loser, I didn't.
And secondly, I'm slightly jealous, jealous of J.K. Rowling because she's smarter than me. I mean, a sorting hat, spells, Quidditch (that's that broomstick game, right?), just thinking about someone being clever enough to come up with this makes my head want to explode.
For me, the Harry Potter ship has sailed, I'll never be that person who can quote the spells, or that person who knows what the hell Pottermore is (no, but really, what is that? Is it cool?). Will my future children respect me for this unfortunate gap in my pop culture knowledge? I'm not so sure. Will my sisters ever let me live this down? They're ruthless, I doubt it. I'm embarrassed, and I guess this is a shame I'll have to live with, unless someone wants to lend me a copy of the books.
On that note, I'll see myself out now. Kthanksbye.