Interesting, the things you remember while queuing up to pay for your lunch.
Hana Hasanuddin was the one who introduced me to Harry Potter. I was in form 2 when I first heard about Potter, through a review of The Philosopher’s Stone in The Star. The write-up praised the imagination and inventiveness of the story, and talked about how it was responsible for a resurgence of a reading culture among British children. I thought “oh, that’s nice” and it eventually became a relic of the past.
A few days later, I saw the book for myself when Hana brought it to class. She borrowed it from the British Council Library (BCL) in KL (that was also the first time I realized that The British Council was actually a THING that physically existed in Malaysia). I borrowed it from her for a class period (or maybe it was during recess? I don’t remember) and read a chapter or so.
That’s when Potter-itis hit me. And it hit me hard.
I hounded Hana to let me borrow the book for the day. She had to return it the next day, so she was understandably hesitant. But she relented in the end, so I went back home excited, with the book in my backpack.
I finished it the same night.
The next day I gave it back to her. She was surprised, because it took her a few days to get through it. She said that she’d be borrowing the second book from BCL, and she would pass it to me once she’s done reading it.
The Chamber of Secrets also took me a night to get through, as did The Prisoner of Azkaban. I couldn’t stop reading the stories once I started them. I think Hana might have been a tad annoyed at how quickly I was going through these books, so… I’m sorry for that.
But anyway, that’s how I ended up becoming an honorary student of Hogwarts. Thank you, Hana, for introducing me to The Boy Who Lived.