are you ready to be strong?

This is the copy of Deathly Hallows that I bought at midnight in July, 2007, just under six years ago. I would have been ten years old then. 

Ten years old and I got this book. 

Eleven years old and this was the book I hid in when the world was too dangerous, and the kids at school too hurtful, and the panic attacks started. 

Twelve years old and this was the book I hid in when my mind was what was dangerous, and I had a bottle of pills in one hand and a razor in the other, and I tried to find the mix of blood and blade and medicine that would keep me from ever waking up again. 

Thirteen years old and this was the book that helped me to find the courage to ask for help, and the friends to ask it from, and the words to know what I was feeling. 

Fourteen years old and this book was battered and worn, filled with notes and signatures, and I held it tight in my arms as I went to LeakyCon for the first time, and realized that there were things in the world worth falling in love with. 

Fifteen years old and this book started to become less of Harry Potter and more of me; more cramped cursive handwriting than printed text.

Sixteen years old, now, and the story of the photos stuck between the pages became more valuable to me than the story of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and the tearstains and the signatures and the little drawings, the birthday cards and postcards and stickers more valuable to me than I would ever have thought as a little lonely girl. 

Harry Potter is a story of a boy who was scared, and alone, and different. A boy who was facing a terrible danger that he didn’t understand and didn’t know how to fight. A boy who somehow managed to find courage, and strength, and friendship, love, and hope, even in the darkest of times and the most unlikely places. And as Harry fought his dementors, I fought mine. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is his story. This book… this book is mine. 

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