There are random moments when I find a certain book, most probably a part of book series, that I just pause and feel the need to curl into the comfort of just having a book by my side. I just feel this contentment, a sense of belonging in a world that does not even exist, an empathy to a character in a book. It’s as if they feed an untold hunger within me, console me like a mother to her child and understand me in ways no other person nor I do. They move me to tears, make me laugh at clever banters, inspire me to do greater things. They make me more human than everyone else in the real world.
Harry Potter. Ronald Weasley. Hermione Granger. Severus Snape. McGonagall. Dumbledore. William Herondale. James Carstairs. Blackthorn. Lightwood. Percy. Jason. June Iparis. Alina Starkov. Nikolai Lantsov. Stark. Targaryen. Lannister. Baggins.
Names. So many names. Names already part of history and names about to. So many of them that I cannot even begin to fathom and list here but they are there, not in my brain where age will eventually erase them but there, embedded in my soul and tattooed in my heart where everything they’ve ever taught me is not forgotten. Stories of a boy who lived, of a bond forged with the angel, of orphans who became saints, of a dragon seizing an iron throne, of heroic acts and wars won and lost — tales a 20-year old girl would have discarded as part of a childhood fairy-tale as she moved on to books of more mature and romantic content as her friends eventually did.
But she stayed.
She chose to linger in halls with skies as ceilings, with handsome princes disguised as privateers. with magic and glamour staining her very being making her more alive than ever, practicing swordsmanship or studying runes as a way to relieve the tension of needing more stories. She wanted this world, not the real one. And so it pains her to reach the end of a book, every single time. In those ending moments, there was a simple happiness etched in the planes of her face brought about by the fact that somehow, the characters which had become family to her can finally be at peace. But there, subtle and demanding to be felt, are longing and sadness in her eyes for the adventure she just had.
Let me stay here.
Let me feel like I belong.
Let me not return home where I am mundane. Let me do levitation spells and correct their pronunciations too or relax at the green Shire or put thousands of feet between me and everyone else at the Eyrie. I would even settle to go beyond the Wall.
But in the end, I guess I’ll just continue to be a muggle. Plain and nothing extraordinary. A mere observer to the infinite times the world could’ve ended but is saved instead in the chapters of so many books.
Well, if that’s the case, I guess I’ll be one lucky muggle after all.