“I Did My Waiting! 9 Years of It! In Bookstores!”

It’s happening! It’s happening!

We’re getting a new Harry Potter book–erm, actually, play.

It feels like it’s been forever since we parted ways with The Boy Who Lived but, as all Harry Potter fans know, those we love never truly leave us.

When I heard the announcement yesterday, I experienced excitement I haven’t felt since the release of Deathly Hallows in 2007 (the movie fervor was a different experience entirely). I didn’t share my feelings about it publicly because it doesn’t feel real yet. I’m not sure it will feel real until I’m actually reading it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts 1 and 2), which has been dubbed by the media as book 8, is actually a play. It will be released on July 31st at midnight following the premiere of the play on London’s West End. The play picks up where the seventh book left off and the plot synopsis is as follows:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Each Harry Potter fan has their own relationship with the books, JK Rowling, and the characters. Personally, I’ve always felt a kinship with Harry because we shared a birthday month; with Hermione’s love of reading; Ron’s unparalleled loyalty; Luna’s unapologetic sense of self; Nelville’s growth and courage; Fred and George’s love of laughter; and the unrelenting, unending mother love from Mrs. Weasley and Lily Potter. There are countless other plots and characters that touched my heart, but it would take far more than a blog post to outline them.

The Harry Potter series changed my life in a lot of ways. My 3rd grade (unrequited) crush even called me Mrs. Harry Potter – a nickname I abhorred even though it was true. I was devoted to those books in a way that I haven’t felt with any books since.

I had always loved to read but these books made me fall in love with writing. They showed me how words created worlds and destroyed them. They showed me how to string together a sentence strong enough to break hearts. They showed me the power of creating characters who become best friends. They showed me that the books you read in childhood can shape your personhood.

So here I am as a 24-year-old woman, who will be 25 when The Cursed Child is released, with the giddy excitement of returning home and catching up with my best friend. Of checking in and making sure everything is just like it was when I left. Of ensuring that all was still well.

*         *        *

On a scale of one to ten, how excited are you for the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Have you already pre-ordered your copy? Are you already counting down the days until July 31st?

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