At platform 9 3/4, I left my heart

I have been a bookworm since I was kid but knowing that my family didn’t have budget to accommodate my hobby, I tried my best to save my own money to buy books. My choices of books were limited back then so mostly I just bought comics — and they were already not so cheap!

Other than comics, my grandparents (bless their hearts) supplied my weekly dose of magazines and I will always be forever thankful for that. When I am running out of things to read, I took a peek at my aunt’s woman magazines. Some of the articles were actually quite entertaining but most were not making any sense to me lol.

But there was one type of book that I had never tried — a novel. Maybe because I was growing up reading comics, I wasn’t really interested with books that are wordy. In my mind back then, novel is something boring. No visual whatsoever. How can I enjoy a story I couldn’t picture?

Until that year of 2000.


I still remember the day like it was just yesterday (or a couple of years back). I enrolled in an English course and there were some other friends from my junior high school that were also in my class. When I came to the class, they were talking about something that I didn’t understand. Apparently it’s about a book with a character named Harry Potter. I was intrigued. Until I knew that it was a novel. My mind shut them off.

But seeing my friends that were so excited, I decided that it might not be that bad. So I asked one of them (Ulfa — you know this, don’t you?) if I could borrow the first book (the series was already on its third book by then — the translated version, of course). And she said yes!

Next lesson, she came with the book.

And after few chapters in, I was hooked. And I never looked back.

I was quite obsessed with the series that I once accepted a ‘job’ from Papa to help him typing lots of documents so I could get extra money to buy the first three books. When the fourth book was out, I blew off my book budget just for it. It was a pretty big sum for a 13 year old, I tell ya.

I cursed when I read Ron got together with Lavender.
I cried when I read how Hermione got her heart broken.
I sobbed when I read how Dumbledore died.

I grew up with these characters — and I didn’t want to let them go.

When the final book was finally released, my heart broke and torn into two. I didn’t want the series to end, but I also wanted to know how the story ended. The story of my very first foray into fiction world.

I finished the final book in two days — and spent the next few days feeling empty. It’s like losing your best friend, somehow. I was longing to stand on platform 9 3/4 again, waiting for Hogwarts Express to bring me back to Hogwarts.

And I still am.

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