I Am Eternally Indebted to Harry Potter, JK Rowling and Horny Teenage Fan-Fiction Writers

JK Rowling opened a great number of doors to me. Throughout my childhood and adolescence I grew and developed with the flawed Golden Trio (Harry’s fucking angst, Ronald’s jealousy, Hermione’s… actually, Hermione is flawless so I’m not even going to touch on this subject.) As a queer youth in a straight world I found connection with Remus Lupin and enjoyed the symbolism of Harry leaving his closet for Hogwarts. I learned the art of snark from Professor McGonagall, the maternal touch from Mrs. Weasley, the thrill of dedication from Madam Pince.

The characters of the wizarding world taught morals of the highest order. Loyalty, honor, love, dedication, compassion, joy in darkness; all are lessons from the fictional characters of JK Rowling’s imagination but Ms. Rowling’s own life has given me ideals to live up to. The story of how she came to write the series has taken on near mythic status: the single mother with barely a penny to her name scratching out the story of a brave little boy on the back of cafe napkins. Her ability to rise through her depression, tragedy and hard circumstances have remained a source of inspiration.

A few summers ago I was seated next to an older man from Scotland at a community dinner. Conversation soon turned to Edinburgh, where his mother owned a small gift shop. On one quiet day in the shop, if I remember his story correctly, this man’s mother was chatting with a friend when a woman came into the shop. She picked out a teddy bear but when it came time to pay she was embarrassed to find that she’d left her wallet at home. The bear was needed for a birthday party that night and the shop owner assured the woman that she could come back to pay for the bear the next day. After the woman, red-faced and with her bear, left the shop owner’s friend turned to her and said, “You know who that was? That was JK Rowling!” (If memory serves Ms. Rowling showed up the next day with her money.) For me that story was more than just an amusing anecdote of one of the world’s wealthiest women, it cemented my idea of Ms. Rowling as a thoroughly excellent person who does her own shopping and forgets her wallet like the rest of us. I don’t believe in paragons, a lesson from Miss Marple, and I have no doubts that Ms. Rowling has her fatal flaws just like the rest of us but I take comfort in my picture of Ms  Rowling as a personal hero.

Besides those higher ideals that I’ve picked up from Harry Potter I also have to thank it for some wonderful sexual education. Fanfiction was introduced into my life a short while after my body was introduced to that delightful gift called puberty. Confusing, terrifying, unsettling, isn’t puberty wonderful? I wanted answers when I didn’t even have the questions but fanfiction was there for me. Skilled writers, most of them probably not that much older than I was when I was reading it, wrote about consent and kink and romance and it was wonderful. When I found things that made me feel uncomfortable (i.e. rape) I looked them up on Google and learned more about them. When I found things that  really, really, really interested me I also used Google. Through these Google searches I ended up pretty decent education on the more alternative sides of sexuality. It wasn’t the most comprehensive education (Thankfully I benefited from a thorough sex ed course in eighth grade that did a great job covering the more biological aspects.) but it was my introduction into a fascinating world that I’ve yet to come back from.

When I began reading The Sorcerer’s Stone I had no way of knowing what I was getting myself into. As a scrawny little first-grader picking up that square little paper-back I began an education in Being A Good And Decent Person, an education that would encompass more than just Loyalty and Bravery but also Consent and Sex-Positivity. There is no way I can repay Ms. Rowling for opening my life and so I  give my thanks by living the lessons I’ve learned from the world she gave me.

Damn straight I went as Professor McGonagall to the midnight premier of the last movie.

Damn straight I went as Professor McGonagall to the midnight premier of the last movie.

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9 responses to “I Am Eternally Indebted to Harry Potter, JK Rowling and Horny Teenage Fan-Fiction Writers

  1. I love Harry Potter as well, the books have been the entirety of my childhood.
    I loved sitting in my room, silently rooting for the characters to make it, or sobbing silently when one or more in the later books didn’t make it. It was a true experience, something that we don’t get everyday, and from just any book.
    I was so sad and elated when the last book came, elated because it was finally there for me to read, and sad because the end was so near and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.

    There are my ramblings on the subject. I really enjoyed your blog post!

  2. Lovely my dear!
    Well thought out as well! This is very interesting to me because I experiences HP very differently and it is good to get a now perspective on the same subject. 😀
    ❤ Great job.

    Sophia

  3. Horny teenage fan fic writers? Hahaha! Good description for those sort of content.

  4. Pingback: Sunday Steals: Femslash February! | Sex, Baking, Literature, Agony Aunt-ing…

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