Thoughts x

Everyone’s favorite wizard is nearing his forties, and I’m not crying. You are.

It’s been almost two decades since the spell-casting young lad this generation grew up with demolished Voldemort’s malevolent reign. After embarking on a tumultuous journey, full of youthful magical shenanigans, financially adept goblins, secret erroneously convicted Godfathers and, oh, defeating the greatest evil the wizarding world has ever encountered, Harry Potter is now on the brink of becoming middle-aged.

I think this warrants a nostalgic reaction on our part.

Potter’s tale was such an integral piece of the childhood and adolescent years for many, especially those around late millennial age, as the books and films followed us into adulthood. Many people were practically raised along with Harry, Hermione and Ron and literally beamed with excitement as new installations of the saga became available, both on paper and on screen.

And, of course, readers weren’t simply mesmerized by the concept of the Wizarding world, they wanted to be fully immersed in it. Everyone had those moments while studying for some extensive Russian history quiz or cell biology exam when they just wished a Hogwarts letter would appear at their doorstep.

Defense Against the Dark Arts and Transfiguration would be much more appealing classes to be enrolled in, and studying wouldn’t even be a pain. If I’m being honest, that slight hope still lingers with me every time I check the mailbox, but I’m constantly disappointed by magazines and bills. Sigh, the struggles of being a Muggle.

Potter is now knee-deep in the adulthood that many people are now beginning to submerge themselves into. In fact, he dropped off his two sons, Albus and James, at the famous Platform 9 and ¾ just last fall and is probably listening to them babble on and on about their spectacularly wild year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry right about now.

I can only assume that Potter’s evil-destroying expertise landed him a position as top auror at the Ministry of Magic and that his career is filling his life with just enough spice to keep it interesting (because everyone knows his teenage years were a bit too wild of a ride, to say the least). His professional Quidditch champion wife, Ginny, and his sweet youngest daughter, Lily, are definitely still embellishing his life with lots of love and light.

As for his best friends? Ron and Hermione are married and well, with two children, Rose and Hugo. I can imagine that the kids embody their mother’s brilliance and their father’s heart. Hermione has undoubtedly ascended through the ranks of the Ministry of Magic and continues advocating for the rights of magical creatures. After a brief stint at the ministry, I think Ron would’ve delved into a Weasley-family-run entrepreneurial venture.

Even though these extended narratives may be a mix of J.K. Rowling’s hints and my own speculation, it is certain that Potter and his friends would have spent the last twenty years of their lives improving the world in a meaningful way while sharing love with their families and those they hold close. Changing the lives of other people for the better, the same way changed so many lives.

Let’s allow Harry’s 38th birthday to serve as a reminder for everyone. As you forge onwards to overcome the Voldemorts of your own lives, you must always keep your loved ones close and continue to see the light in the future whether it may be imminent or distant.

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Maya Ramani

University of Virginia

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