13 Ways That Harry Potter Is Still Relevant To My Life

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Harry Potter GIF Ron Weasely Hermione GrangerHappy birthday to Daniel Radcliffe, who turns twenty-four today and is undoubtedly very tired of being associated almost solely with Harry Potter stuff. But that's the hazard of doing a good job at something, you know? You played an amazing Harry Potter alongside Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger, and you defined my childhood so expertly that I refuse to ever let you be extricated from it! That's how nostalgia works, so just deal with it!

I hear what you're thinking, though…isn't Harry Potter more of a kid's thing? Well, that's an excellent point but YOU'RE WRONG SHUT UP GET OUT OF HERE. Harry Potter is for everyone. I grew up alongside Harry, checking the first book out of the library, waiting in line with my friends at midnight for the fourth, myself and my castmates getting the fifth confiscated because wouldn't stop reading it backstage and missing cues, and hiding in my bedroom to read the seventh during a college party. It meant the most to me when I was a kid, but just because I'm an adult now doesn't mean it's just gonna disappear like so much leprechaun gold, y'know?!? (Topical reference to prove my fandom.) I'm in the long haul, and if you are too, you shouldn't be ashamed of it.

So here you are, my lovelies — 13 Ways That Harry Potter Is Still Relevant To My Life. Written by an adult Squib. Enjoy.

Snape My Body Is Ready(via)

1. It makes writing sexy. Guys, I'm a writer now! Look at me go, this lesson is relevant because I'm writing right now! And not because I want to be penniless and destitute — nay nay nay. Turns out J.K. Rowling is the first writer ever to become a billionaire from writing books, so: respect.

Emma Watson as Hermione GIF (via)

2. It brought me Emma Watson. No explanation necessary.

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3. It lets me be a nerd. Details from sci-fi stuff never really stick in my head, and I'm not much of a comic book fan, so thank god for these books for giving me something I could really sink my bad-at-sports-gangly-awkward-preteen teeth into.

Harry Potter I Don't Really Care(via)

4. It gives me faith in humans. Did you know that the least successful Harry Potter movie (Prisoner Of Azkaban) made $90 million more than the most successful Twilight movie? Damn it feels good to be a gangster.

Hermione GIF 2(Via)

5. It's okay to be smart. Viva la Hermione Granger, because before her, I was just a bossy teacher's pet. After her, I'm a contributing factor to the SURVIVAL OF THE WIZARDING WORLD AND THE BRIGHTEST WITCH OF MY AGE.

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6. Houses. It really does help me get a read on a person's personality if they tell me what Hogwarts House they'd be sorted into…particularly if I disagree with them. There's a big difference between a Hufflepuff who thinks they're a Slytherin and a Slytherin who thinks they're a Hufflepuff, y'know? And that's coming from a Ravenclaw who knows she's a Ravenclaw.

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7. Books person vs. movie person. There's a difference, and Harry Potter taught it to me. Book people are inherently good people: patient and committed to the story, while movie people are inherently bad: just here for the cheap thrills and the CGI wizard battles. Not at all prepared to wait out The Forest Of Kent. Some people do books and movies, and that's fine, and it's not even that I have a preference between the two. But that said, if you're a movie person you can GTFO. I see you, I know you, I've had enough.

Ron Weasley You're Gonna Suffer(via)

8. Etymology. If you pay close attention to the wording of those spells and what they do, it can help you break down English words you don't understand. For example, Wingardium Leviosa comes from the English ‘to wing' as in ‘to fly', the Latin ‘arduus', which means ‘high', and then the Latin ending -ium. Then ‘leviosa' comes from the Latin ‘levo', meaning ‘to lift or raise'; so the entire magical phrase means ‘to lift up high'. And knowing other languages can give you a deeper understanding of the story, as well. For example, Voldemort translates to ‘flight of death' in French. So that's good to know.

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9. Dumbledore is quietly gay. These books taught me the valuable lesson that, as a writer, you can be informed by your characters instead of piling on layers to make a point. A lot of people have complained that there wasn't any signal in the books that he was anything but straight, but isn't that the way it would've been if he'd been your headmaster? Why would that subject come up? There's a lot of stuff he kept to himself, and that's just one element of it.

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10. It addresses depression. The Dementors were written by J.K. Rowling to be a physical embodiment of the depression she's struggled against. The book is full of lessons about how to overcome the disease in your own life that are still useful to me today.

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11. It taught me love is real. Read this part in the books and don't weep. I dare you.

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12. It prepared me for the deaths of major characters. I don't think I'd be able to read Game Of Thrones without having a complete panic attack if I hadn't read page 556 of Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.

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13. Friendship. More than anything else, these books taught me the beauty of friendship. Feel like testing yours? Yell Expelliarmus at anyone in your friend circle. My best friends drop what they're doing because FRIENDSHIP IS REAL MAGIC.

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