Lord Voldemort, the Drywall Guy

As usual, I’ve come late to the whole Harry Potter party. I tend to do this a lot. There’s something everyone is raving about, but I tend to dismiss it. Most of the time, highly-hyped tv shows, books, whatever, tend not to live up to the hype. Lani would shoot me for this, but the whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer thing? Yeah, I tried to get into it… on her recommendation, of course. Just never did. Not that it wasn’t an okay show, it just didn’t grab me. Sometimes, however, things do live up to the hype. I got hooked on Gilmore Girls just in time for the entire series to end. Thank God for reruns. I love that show.

It’s the same with Harry Potter. I never disliked it, to be truthful. Just thought it was a little hyped-up, with people waiting in line for days to buy the books. Of course, I was glad to see that if something was getting all this hype, it was making kids read. That was a huge plus in my book. Me, however? Yeah. Not so interested.

About five years ago (I think – I’m terrible with time) I tried to read the first book to my oldest. He just wasn’t into it. After reading chapter one, I was rather bored by it myself. Life isn’t too exciting on Privet Drive, after all. But then the movies started coming out, and Son #1 got more interested. I was neutral. By the time I had time to sit down and watch anything with him, I’d seen a bit of this movie, a little of that one, and about 15 minutes of another. I was thoroughly confused.

This summer, though, he decided he wanted to take part in the library’s summer reading program, which means he had to read 20 minutes per day. Being developmentally disabled, his reading level is slightly lower than your typical 6th grader, but his interests can run similarly. He wanted to read Harry Potter. No problem, I said. I’ll read it to you, one chapter a night.

J.K. Rowling writes some damned long chapters! I was going hoarse some nights.

But we started reading Order of the Phoenix and I was hooked. Totally. Hooked. I started cheating on my son, reading it after he went to bed at night and then catching up with him in the morning. The husband had some minor surgery the other day and we were at the hospital for most of the day. I read the book all day long.

So why is Voldemort doing my drywall? Well, the short answer is I get very involved when I read. My brain is transported to the scene and I feel in the book. Always have. My mother used to have to call me for several minutes to get my nose out of a book. So I went home from the hospital on Tuesday a little disoriented, having been at the hospital and at Hogwarts all day long. That night I slept restlessly, keeping one eye peeled on the husband in case he needed me.

The day before, son #3 and I had manged to get some painting done in the basement. Voldemort came to my dreams that night and, instead of being a snake attacking Mr. Weasley, was a contractor. He was tearing down my walls – my freshly painted walls – and put them back up, painting them golf-course green. Every time I fixed it, he’d tear them down again. And around and around I went with a heavily made-up Ralph Fiennes.

So now that I’ve finished Order of the Phoenix, I need to go to the library to get Half Blood Prince. After all, I have to have something to read to the child. And since I’m already at Hogwarts, might as well stay there a while and see what’s up.  See if it all lives up to the hype.

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