Revisiting Hogwarts

By Gwen Glazer

It's time to go #BackToHogwarts!

J.K. Rowling made our day, when she tweeted this today:

Tens of thousands of people retweeted the news that Harry Potter's--spoiler alert--oldest son would be the right age to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, just as millions of children nationwide head off to their first days of school. (All of this makes us feel awfully old, too.)

Today is another landmark date, too: the 17th anniversary of the U.S. release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first book in the seven-volume series.

Since its publication in 1998, legions of children have checked out the books from The New York Public Library, and the series consistently ranks among the most popular of all time.

And for good reason.

The books cross boundaries and transcend every demographic in the book. The story of the Boy Who Lived empowers readers, allowing them to see that strength isn't always physical, success isn't always about winning, and the forces of love, friendship, collaboration and determination can come from within each of us.

As Dumbledore taught us, "It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be."

And because of Rowling's fantastical characters, many of her most avid readers have also grown to become writers themselves. Fan fiction--stories that take the Harry Potter characters and send them off into new adventures, with a liberal dose of creative license--has blossomed online in the last decade.

So, in anticipation of the Sorcerer's Stone anniversary, we researched that ultimate expression of appreciation and came up with a list of 17 things we wish had happened in the Harry Potter books.

Read on, and go #BackToHogwarts for just a little while.