Rereading Harry Potter as an Adult

Harry Potter is one of those stories you can read over and over again. I was eleven when the first book came out so it was especially magical for me to grow up with the trio, the same age as them. I read through the entire series as it came out, once more as a fresh twenty-something in college, and now I have reread the first one as a 34 year old wife and mom. It’s funny how when your perspective changes the stories seem to change as well. I find myself relating and listening more to the teachers and adults in the stories than the kids, which is great because they have some really fantastic wisdom to impart. I wanted to share my journey of rereading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as an adult with you, sharing the things I forgot about and also the things I noticed as an adult that I didn’t notice as a kid.

Things I Forgot About

The entire first chapter is all about the Dursleys and from their point of view.

It is so simply written. There are no big fancy words or poetic descriptions. She was blonde and bony or he was fat with a great big mustache. That’s it. I love how simple it is!

The Ministry of Magic actually wanted Dumbledore to be Minister but he turned it down, of course, to stay at Hogwarts and that’s how Cornelius Fudge got the job.

Hagrid knits.

All the students at Hogwarts had to have name tags on their clothes.

First years were not allowed their own broomsticks.

Griphook was the goblin that took Harry to his vault the first time.

Harry met Malfoy at the robe shop in Diagon Alley for the first time, but they weren’t properly introduced then so Malfoy didn’t know who he was talking to, though he revealed his true nature to Harry.

Hedwig was named after someone in the book A History of Magic.

Neville met the three headed dog too with the three.

Malfoy challenged Harry to a midnight duel with the plot to tell Filch he was out of bed and get him in trouble. That’s how they accidentally found Fluffy in the first place.

Norbert but Ron on the hand and he had to go to Madam Pomfrey because it turns out his fangs were poisonous. And it was Hagrid’s idea Charlie take Norbert to release into the wilds of Romania.

Things I Noticed as an Adult that I missed as a Kid

The mention of brandy. Uncle Vernon is handed a glass when he’s flustered by Harry’s glass disappearing act. I don’t know if in the UK maybe grade school kids already knew what Brandy was but I’m pretty sure I didn’t at eleven when I first read this.

Dudley had to have his pig’s tail removed surgically at a muggle hospital in London. How do you think they explained that one?

Ron didn’t get his wand at Olivanders. It was a hand-me-down from his older brother which made me wonder, did witches and wizards upgrade wands? I had always thought the wand chooses the wizard and then it was a forever bond. Why had Charlie given up his wand to Ron? He obviously has another.

The Weasley twins were throwing snowballs at Voldemort’s face without even realizing it. Imagine what he was thinking under Quirrell’s turban while this was going on.

Hagrid drinks a lot, even Professor McGonagall gets tipsy at one of the Hogwarts dinners. And it’s so normal to the kids that adults drink. Harry comments on it offhandedly like of course Hagrid was drunk and let it slip. That’s just funny to me because it’s so different from my own American childhood.

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