I was thirteen when I first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. (Yes, Sorceror, not Philosopher. I had the American version of the first book published by Scholastic, and got the Bloomsbury version for the rest of them.) It’s a bit late by general standards, especially because I had technically had the book since I was eight, and just never read it. I’m glad in retrospect though. By the time I started reading Harry Potter, three books were already out and it was only a matter of months before Goblet of Fire was out. Thus, when I finished The Sorceror’s Stone in one night and started clamoring to know what happened next, there was something for me to read. The rest, as they say, was history.
I was and am a proud member of the Potter generation and was utterly insane about it. This series was a cornerstone of my adolescent years. I pre-ordered the novels whenever they came out and lined up in front of the bookstore in the early morning hours. I watched every movie within the first week. I cried over Sirius Black, over Remus Lupin, and I will never be over Fred Weasley. I quoted in regular conversations and made friends with everyone who got the references. I drew art in my sketchbooks, in the margins of my school textbooks and notebooks. My friends and I used to write fanfiction and had an unofficial (and short-lived) newsletter in our class, sort of like The Daily Prophet. I read nearly every meta theory out there, discussed plotlines and possibilities before and after the series was complete, speculated over ideas of war and racism and cultural divides in the way that they are portrayed in this series and how they reflect in our world.
I waited for years for my Hogwarts letter, which never came.
With the last ten days of this 100 Day Project being based off stories, I couldn’t possibly not make something for this very beloved series.
Oh, and to add before I get to the details about the illustration, according to Pottermore:
1. My Hogwarts house is Gryffindor, where dwell the brave of heart. I’m nearly always sorted into Gryffindor, though it’s often a very close call between that and Ravenclaw. Personally, I’d be happy with either, so I let the Sorting Hat decide.
2. My Patronus is a beagle, which confuses me, but it does well to keep the Dementors away. Also, I believe in Remus Lupin’s sage advice to keep chocolate on oneself as often as possible, if not always.
3. My wand is made of sycamore wood with a unicorn hair core, 14 1/2”, with surprising swishy flexibility. It’s something of a questing wand, always eager for new experiences and turning dull if it is forced to remain stuck in mundane activities. It may even spontaneously combust if it gets too bored. Sounds like me, so it’s rather ideal.
4. My Ilvermorny House is Pukwudgie, which is considered to represent the heart of a witch or wizard, and often favors healers. I don’t know what that says.
(I love doing this so much.)
Anyhoo, a few details about the illustration:
- All the characters are based of their book descriptions. Thus, Voldemort’s red eyes, Harry’s thin face, and everything about Ron. I adored Rupert Grint as Ron, really, but I decided to go with the original physical description, though I did try to stick to the costume color schemes used in the movie.
- I wanted to show the three main characters with props that defined them, set them apart. Harry has his mokeskin pouch around his neck and the golden snitch in his hand, the latter representing his Quidditch position as Seeker as well as his possession of the Resurrection Stone. (I thought of the Invisibility Cloak, but that would require a whole other illustration with a different aesthetic.) Hermione – wonderful Hermione – has her books. As for Ron, I was stumped for some time before deciding that his important thing would be his friendship with Harry, which I always felt was undermined in the movies. Weasley is our King. (Wheezy. Heh.)
- That flappy thing on the top left corner is supposed to be a Dementor. I don’t know if it looks like one. It started out looking like one and then it turned into vague flappy thing. But, FYI, it’s a Dementor. So, yeah.
- I wanted to make a reference to the Marauders (I love stories about them and the First Wizarding War more than anything). Thus, on the left side, we have the stag Patronus near the Whomping Willow for James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter the rat; the place that bound them as boys and the place where three of them met again after years of lies, betrayal, and blood spilled.
- I wanted to make a reference to Snape as well. On the right, we have the doe Patronus for Severus Snape near the boathouse out on the Great Lake, where he died. (I’m so sorry.)