Harry Potter and the Fear of the Unknown

The Harry Potter World seems to have suddenly come alive again these past couple of months. With all the news about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – the play and the book – and the new movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I almost feel like a teenager again, with news of the books and movies coming out left, right and center.

Like most Potterheads currently in their 20s, I grew up with Harry. I was a teenager when he, Hermione and Ron were teenagers, so I could relate so much to what they were going through – regardless of the fact that they were living in a world with magic, fighting against the most powerful dark wizard of all time and I… well, I wasn’t. I was just fighting my way through my teens and trying to navigate high school as best as I could.

But they were my friends. They grew up with me. I cheered for them when they had a victory against Voldemort; I laughed at Fred and George’s jokes, I cried as if I had actually lost someone close to me at every single death. They were my family. And when the last book came out, it was as if I had closed a chapter on my teenage years, and was ready to move on to being an adult – just like Harry, Ron and Hermione were ready to move on with their lives after they defeated Voldemort in the Battle of Hogwarts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a fan. I’m still a hardcore fan, but that world is sacred. We know the story, we know how it ended and that was it. It was set in stone for me and I was able to make my peace with it. You can argue that there is always fanfiction, and I am all for that. My writing career started with Harry Potter fanfiction way back when I barely even spoke English at age 15. But that’s the beauty of fanfiction – it’s not official. It’s made by fans for the fans.

Opening up that world again and continuing the story makes me equal parts ecstatic and terrified. Because this universe, these characters, are so important to so many people. Ever since the last book was published in 2007, we have all daydreamed about what happened during those nineteen years and what Harry’s kids were like and what kind of life they led after that fateful day at Hogwarts.

I am so excited to see these characters again. I swear I am. These are my childhood friends and it almost feels like I’m going to attend a high school reunion of sorts. I can’t wait to see what is going on in their lives now and how well they fared after the war. Harry, Hermione, Ron and everyone else were so important to me – this entire universe was. It defined my teenage years. It defined me as a person.

And because they are so important, the fact that they are cracking this world open again completely terrifies me. I am not that worried about the movie – because it’s still the wizarding world, but with different characters for the most part, so I’m sure it’ll be fine. But the play and the book terrify me beyond belief.

Because it’s Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Draco and so many other characters that we are all so unbelievably curious about. However, J.K. Rowling isn’t the only one writing about them, which means that there might be a different voice to the story. And that’s not even the main issue that has me so scared.

What if it doesn’t live up to my expectations?

I don’t know any spoilers, because I want to enjoy the book just like I used to years ago – completely unspoiled. The hype surrounding the play is absolutely through the roof all over the world. Some people have already seen it and I have heard nothing but good things about it, but that still doesn’t make me relax. Because this can either turn out to be really, really good or really, really bad. There is no in-between when it comes to Harry Potter – especially after all these years.

I’ll be the first to admit that my expectations are through the roof. In a way, it feels like I have been waiting for this sequel all along and it has been almost ten years in the making. On the other hand, it almost feels like it sprung up on me out of nowhere, because it’s so close. In a little over a month we are going to find out what happened and I almost don’t want to know. Because this is no fanfiction. This isn’t a fan playing with their favorite characters on paper.

This is canon.

It’s official and from the moment the first people saw it a couple of weeks ago, it is now set in stone. There is no going back and this is officially what happened to Harry and everyone else. How can I possibly manage my expectations about that? Because I can’t, and that scares the hell out of me.

But it also makes me so incredibly happy.

I am standing at the Leaky Cauldron, about to tap the wall with my wand. The wizarding world is so close I can almost taste it.

Only 37 days to go. How are you holding up?

20-something Brazilian journalist. Crazy about TV. Currently in love with DC and Marvel superheroes, that tattooed lady from NBC, clone conspiracies and dystopian futures. Always in love with the Wizarding World. You can reach her at @lucianamangas on Twitter and talk about how much you love TV and Harry Potter as well. Or puppies. Puppies are cool too.