20 years on, potter spell lives on

Tracing the journey of a tiny bullied kid in an unhappy home, who goes on to defeat the darkest wizard who ever lived

Published: 23rd June 2017 10:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th June 2017 08:48 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU:Twenty years ago, a messy-haired bespectacled boy greeted the world from under his dusty cupboard beneath the stairs – and the world was never the same again.

To say that he’s changed the world seems as redundant as saying Hermione loves books; there’s not a soul who doesn’t know his name. From wand hunting in Diagon alley to horcrux hunting in god-knows-where, we’ve all grown alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione. This June 26, marks two decades of a never-ending era and we felt it apt to re-trace the journey from Philosopher’s stone elixir to breeding fantastic beasts.

When Bloomsbury finally decided to take J K Rowling’s manuscript to print, they had no idea they will be giving rise to one of the largest, zaniest fan-following in the world. Though it all started as a reasonable children’s tale of castles and dragons, the story matures with the characters within.
The first time we see Harry, he’s but a tiny bullied kid in an unhappy home, who later goes the way to defeat the darkest wizard; by the time he’s battling for the Triwizard cup, he’s matured into the sassy, mellow boy we all know him to be.

The first four books releasing in successive years, and the last few with two-year intervals, the world stood outside stores waiting hours to get the latest books, each subsequent release garnering a million more crazies. By the time the first movie came out in 2001, we were already done soaking in the prefect’s bathroom bubble-bath with a golden egg and moaning myrtle, and old Voldy was back. Most die-hard potterheads swear by the books, for good reason – the movies were too stingy with the story, but they did get some things right; Emma Watson, the bloody brilliant British accents making the spells all the more splendid (can you hear wingardium levi-oh-sa?), and a great background score, such as Hedwig’s theme that’s now the world’s favourite ringtone.

The movies were released over a span of 10 years, the last one on 2011, and after that, the world refused to let the fandom fizz away, no Sir! A few of us imaginative ones resorted to writing fanfiction – with some writers garnering a fan base of their own.
So you can imagine the delight when it was announced the eighth book was releasing nine torturous years after the last book - well, ok, not a book, but a play script. The cursed child released in July 2016, much to the fanfare of the world, with theme parties and across the world, though the book fell flat compared to its predecessors. But the spin-off release of Fantastic beasts and where to find them, last November, with Johnny Depp all but made for it, with, wait for it, four more movies planned. (Who can cast a great patronus now?)

So, this coming June 26, we suggest you treat yourself  by calling in sick (try potter-itis or anti-muggle seizures), taking out the books, and cosying up in a corner with some butterbeer. If some clueless muggles roll their eyes at you, faze not fellow wizards/witches, remember what Dumbledore said- ‘Of course it’s happening in your head, but why on earth should that mean it is not real’ (We’re so sure JKR added this bit to fill the Hogwarts-letter-shaped hole in our hearts *sniffs*) or, you know, just Avada kedavra their face off your friend’s list. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Happy Harry Potter-ing!

City Potterheads Reunite

The second season of “Literary Lounge” at British Council will celebrate 20 years of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on June 25, Sunday, 4pm. The day includes a master quiz hosted by Romal Laisram, and a fan-fiction competition, as you lounge around feasting on trolley treats and getting your teacups read by the resident Tessomancy and Divination professor, Rohini Venkatesh Malur.  If you are between nine and 30 years old, check out this session, where you get to show off your Potter merchandise and sip on some butter beer, while celebrating Hogwarts and everything Harry Potter.

It’s not over yet!

Look forward to:
Fantastic beasts and where to find them 2, scheduled to release November 2018
“Voldemort: Origins of the Heir” - a non-commercial film made by fans. Check out their teaser!
Fanfiction. Be warned: wade through carefully, lest you be scarred for life!

Butterbeer Recipe

Ingredients:  1/4 cup condensed milk, 1/4 cup butterscotch topping, 2 tablespoons whipped butter, 1.5 cups vanilla cream soda
Directions (for two mugs):  
Combine all ingredients except soda. Heat for 1 minute. Stir until butter melts
Heat cream soda for 1 .5 minutes. Divide butterscotch mixture, fill heated cream soda.
Serve warm.

What the WORLD is doing

Bloomsbury is re-releasing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in eight different versions—four hardback and four paperback, each in the four house colours, with character fact-files
Pottermore – the official website for all things wizarding by Rowling – is set to launch the official Harry Potter Book Club, an international Harry Potter collective where you can meet fellow fans and geek out over books.


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