I'm super sorry to make you feel old, but it's been two whole decades since American readers were first introduced to the Wizarding World. But what's really cool about the Harry Potter series is that although they're children's books, the world has collectively agreed that it's perfectly fine for adults to love them, too, so you never have to say goodbye. With that in mind, let's celebrate the 20th anniversary with some inspiring quotes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the book that made every Muggle and No-Maj between ages 7 and 97 wish that they could attend Hogwarts.
If you haven't reread the series as an adult (or older adult, depending on when you got on board), now is the perfect time, and trust me when I tell you that it's a whole different experience. And if you have a school-aged kid handy, all the better; read it together so you have a traveling companion on your Wizarding journey. Yeah, yeah, I know they're technically meant to be read by kids Harry's age, but you're not 11, either. It'll be fine. Just watch out for that one time that Mrs. Weasley drops the B-word in Deathly Hallows. So let's all enchant our ceilings and brew up some Butterbeer, because it's time to go back to Hogwarts.
"'Ah, music,' he said, wiping his eyes. 'A magic beyond all we do here!'"
Even Albus Dumbledore, one of the greatest wizards of all time, recognized that there's some magic even Muggles can perform. You may never master Wingardium Leviosa or Alohomora, but art is its own kind of magic, whether it's playing guitar, painting a portrait, or cooking your signature dish.
"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them."
True, most of us will probably never bond over slaying a monster in the school bathroom the way Harry, Ron, and Hermione did, but like author J. K. Rowling wrote, that's only one example. Going through any sort of ordeal together brings people closer.
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."
When Harry saw his parents in the Mirror of Erised, Dumbledore cautioned him not to spend too much time pining over the image of the thing he wanted most, but could never have. It's a good rule to live by, whether it means not stewing over old grudges, letting go of those we've lost, or accepting that we're probably never going to get a letter from Professor McGonagall.
"It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."
We're less likely to call out a loved one than a stranger, but that's precisely why we sometimes need to; criticism means more coming from someone who cares, because it's hard-fought. Trust that even if it stings, your friend will give your thoughts the weight they deserve.
"Books! And cleverness! There are more important things."
This was Hermione's response after Harry told her he wasn't as good of a wizard as she was. She cited "friendship and bravery" as two such examples, which might explain why she got sorted into Gryffindor rather than Ravenclaw. As you kids go back to school this year, remember that making a new friend or standing up to a bully on the playground can be much more valuable than learning how to write a capital Q in cursive.
"One can never have enough socks."
This is a solid fact.
"There will be books written about Harry. Every child in the world will know his name."
When Rowling wrote this line for McGonagall, she knew that the first half would come true, of course. But she couldn't have imagined that her creation would capture the world the way it did, spawning movies and theme parks, and inspiring generations. But still, she wrote it. We'd all do well to follow her lead.