The box, which had in a former life held eggs, contained a number of things I'd largely forgotten: a comb with several strands of hair colored not like mine, a set of Buffy DVDs I must return to papilio_luna before I die, and the box set of Harry Potter I'd purchased with a tax return from back in the days when I couldn't afford to eat but could absolutely afford books.
It's not that I had forgotten I owned them. But I'd forgotten the box it came in. I'd forgotten the crease right in the middle of The Sorcerer's Stone. I'd forgotten marking pages with highlighters and scribbling notes in the corners.
To tell you the truth, I return to this world somewhat warily. I am, after all, now several years older than the last time I seriously perused the pages. I've a lot more education (which might change the way I look at things, might remove the preconceived notions I have about characters and motivations, might call into question ideas I've defended for a long time). I've got more experience as a writer. I've got experience in this fandom, which might impede or enhance my experience. I've got more experience as an educator -- I might now find myself looking at Harry through the lens of an adult -- wondering where his parents are, wondering why he had no strong advocate throughout the series.
Or I might, you know, stick with the classics. I might admire the sheer force of will it took for Harry to practically raise himself. I might wince at Hermione's growing pains, but cheer when she gets one right. I might not understand Ron's journey this time -- or I might understand it all too well, having folded when the pressure was too high myself.
I just don't know. How am I going to feel about this?
This is why I like rereading books, actually. I'm a slightly different person. I'm going to notice slightly different things. And in truth? I've missed Harry. I'm excited to see him again. To visit his world and stay for a time. To crawl around inside his eyes and look through his eyes.
I pick up the first pages of The Sorcerer's Stone. I rub a hand over the cover -- it has a jam stain, faded. No longer sticky, but the texture's not quite right. Too many days of eating-and-reading. I take a deep breath. And dive in.
The Dursleys, of Number 4, Privet Drive, were happy to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much...