Somehow, between going back and forth to college in a different city for four years, after graduating and moving all my stuff out of the dorms for good, I noticed something. Something horrible. My copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was missing.
This was a copy that I had gotten when I was around 7 years old. It was a frayed and worn paperback that had gotten me through so much. The pages were dog-eared and yellowing and the raised golden lettering of the words “Harry Potter” was starting to wear off. It was a very well-loved book.
After tearing apart my room, my attic, and any box full of dorm room kitchenware and shower shoes within reach, I finally had to admit the worst: I had lost my copy of Harry Potter.
Even now, I don’t want to believe it’s true. In elementary school, I once decided that I wanted to have a mini-library, so I could “check out” books to my friends. To ensure that I’d always get them back, I carefully wrote “from the library of Julia” on the first page of all my favorites. So if anyone finds a copy of Harry Potter floating around with those words, hit me up. Until then, I’ll be going through the following emotional stages, which I’m sure you have too, if you’ve also lost a much loved copy of HP.
The Initial Freak Out
This can't be happening, right? You immediately freak out and start throwing everything within reach. MY FATHER WILL HEAR ABOUT THIS.
Maybe it's not true. You just saw it on your shelf, didn't you? Not there? Well... maybe it's on your second bookshelf (yes, you have multiple bookshelves). Not there? Well. Um. Maybe it's in a purse. You should rifle through all your purses.
Blaming Everyone But Yourself
Your brother must have taken it. He loves Harry Potter, too, and you just know he swiped your copy. So what if he already has a copy? Maybe he spilled butterbeer on his and he wanted a fresh one.
Ok. So, maybe your copy of HP is actually gone. Hypothetically speaking, you could just replace it. You go to a used bookstore and check out the shelf of Harry Potter books. But they're all hardcover and yours was paperback, or vice versa, and something about them just seems foreign and not the same as yours.
You remember all the amazing times you had while reading your Harry Potter book. Remember that one time, when your brother had a Little League baseball game, and those always lasted a million years, so you brought your copy of HP to read while you were there? And then you got in trouble and your mom grounded you from reading it, because that was the only form of punishment that was actually effective for you? Good times.
It's gone. You cry so much you mistake yourself for Moaning Myrtle.
If you were responsible this wouldn't have happened! If only you kept your stuff organized! If only you didn't keep packing at the last minute!
Someone could have stolen it out of your room. Is this a cruel prank? Are you being punk'd? You google to see if that show is still running.
Ignoring The Problem
You start watching Punk-d reruns and try not to think about the problem. Ignoring it will make it go away, right?
Trying To Be Happy With What You've Got
You look over and see all your Harry Potter audiobooks on one of your two bookshelves. You see your Gryffindor scarf, and your Wizarding World of Harry Potter butterbeer mug, and pictures of you and your friends dressed up for all the premieres. So, those things are all good, right?
Your book is gone, but Hogwarts is always there to welcome you home — even if it's on the pages of a new copy. And somewhere out there, maybe your copy found its way into the hands of a little kid who's discovering the magic for the first time, just like you did.
Images: Warner Bros.; Giphy (11)