My very own Harry Potter journey started the next year. November 1999, when I on my 9th birthday, got the first Harry Potter book in Swedish from my parents. I still remember thinking that the book was huge and that I would never be able to read all that. But 9 year-old me devoured it and from that point on I recieved Harry Potter 2, 3 and 4 continuously every year. Either on birthdays or Christmas. I remember that every time I got a new book I had to re-read the ones before it. So when I ultimately got Goblet of Fire I had to re-read Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban before finally being able to read Goblet of Fire. This has resulted in my first four Harry Potter books in Swedish being very, very tattered.
I remember the excitement when the first movie was announced and how I and my friends finally learned how to pronounce the British names when we saw that movie. I remember the long, long wait for the fifth book and how I scoured the Internet for rumours. I remember the Harry Potter merch you could buy in ordinary supermarkets before the release of the first movie (licquorice wands, Bertie Bott's beans, chocolate frogs, cauldron cakes) and I'm disappointed that I threw those old chocolate frog cards away when I, in my late teens, had a bout of "I have to grow up now". I remember that the second movie premiered close to my 12th birthday and my parents took me and a few of my friends to see it for my birthday. I remember that I watched the second movie so many times that the video tape became jumpy. I spent all my days pretending that I was at Hogwarts. I re-made my school timetables so they had Hogwarts subjects instead, cause it made school funnier. I continued doing that 'til I was 16. I remember how much I loved the first Harry Potter computer game and how I and a friend played the Quidditch World Cup game on her computer. And the Trading Cards! And the card games!
I remember all those countless hours I used to spend at hogwarts.nu. A Swedish Harry Potter community where I had all my friends. I remember sneaking online on our old modem Internet, before broadband when the phones didn't work while online, so that I could talk with my friends. I remember that I cried when the announcement came that the site would close down in December 2006. I remember going to my first Internet meet-up in Lund in 2006. A goodbye meet-up.
I was queueing in Malmö for the midnight release of the seventh and final book. I wanted to read it slowly to savour the last book and not quite letting it end, but I couldn't and had finished it the next day. So many tears because of that book. All the deaths and the realisation that it's over. I also felt relieved because I had worried about Dumbledore not being in it, but instead the entire book was about Dumbledore and no matter what was revealed about him in Deathly Hallows, it couldn't make me love him less. About the same time I discovered Wizard Rock in Harry and the Potters.