Before our Orlando travels, I tried explaining to several people who have never read, or even watched the Harry Potter series, the magic that truly exists throughout these stories. To those who haven’t yet experienced it: you are missing out. For me, it’s not at all about the wizards, witches, or silly-sounding spells one can cast. For me, the magic quite literally lies in the words. I have proclaimed it once, and I’ll say it again and again: J.K. Rowling is a mere goddess among us mortals. Her words are powerful enough to transport a simple reader into an entirely new universe, where magic really does exist. Isn’t that the point of reading after all? Her genius is so deeply strewn throughout the series that time and time again, there are still secrets left to be discovered.
Now while we were in Orlando, we ventured outside the Disney parks (read my post about those experiences here), and went to Universal Studios. Universal Studios, now two parks, are connected only by the Hogwarts Express, the train that transports Harry and his friends from the Muggle (human) world to the land where all magic is allowed. Being a self-declared nerd, I was all about visiting Hogsmede and Diagon Alley on both sides of the Universal Studio parks.
I don’t mean to drop too many HP references for all of you Muggles, so let me get to the part where I witnessed the true magic:
While in Diagon Alley, we were able to explore the world just as Harry, Ron, and Hermione once did. We traveled into Ollivander’s Wand Shop. We went in as a small group, about 8 of us, and we listened to a woman in full character share with us how the wand picks a wizard. She selected a small boy in our group to be a volunteer. He tried one wand and killed the plants with his "magic" and her special effects. Attempt #2 resulted in him creating a thunderstorm inside our small wand-closet. And then the little boy was given a third wand to try. As soon as she laid the wand in his hand and cued up some "extra special" special effects, the lights dimmed except for the spotlight on him, and the magical music grew louder. The little boy beamed with excitement, feeling as if the wand truly did pick him. To all of us adults in the room, we were just as happy as he was, but because we got to witness the absolute joy this experience brought him. He was a stranger to me when we entered the room, but we exited, we were bonded by the magic we had all just experienced.
This is what I love about Harry Potter. In that precise moment, that little boy felt special, as if he was chosen to do something important in the world. And isn’t that true in the world we actually live in? I’d like to think so. The magic exists far beyond the wizarding world and Harry Potter only helps us see it.