Sacred Territory

“So do you know what Ron said, when he saw Hermione?” she giggles.

I wait, with bated breath, knowing the answer.

“She is a nightmare!” She hoots with laughter.

This is an eight year old Harry Potter initiate, stepping across the sacred precincts of the first book. She has already finished one fourth in the first couple of hours. I had to threaten a total book black out, because school started early and she would be groggy. But the addiction had set in, with intermittent giggles emanating from the bed.

“Ma, do you know why Harry could not be killed by Voldemort?”

Aha! I grin in the darkness. She wants me to tell her the last book ending, right now.

I clear my throat.

“Did you ask chechy? What did she say?”

Chechy had missed a Harry Potter quiz award by an inch (of a Phoenix’s feather tip) in her time.

“Sit and read all of the books! Lazy goose!”

A sniff comes.My little girl is very honest and pretty observant about the finer details of that conversation.

I take pity on her.

“Ok, it has something to do with the power of love and…well, a little of Voldemort’s life left within Harry..” I peter off lamely.


Correct. Absolutely perfect response.


One critical moment passes- like a woman waiting for the lover’s response that will break or make the relationship- forever.

The little loved one passes the test. She cannot care less about Voldemort. And the Sorting Hat is far more interesting at one fourth the first  book journey.

“Ma, I  think you should be in Ravenclaw and I want to be in Gryffindor.”

I humbly register my gratitude for the compliment.

“Did you know what Ollivander muttered?”

Blimey! Not at midnight with the alarm set for six o’clock.

“Brother wand…the Phoenix who gave a feather for Harry’s wand, you know had given another know..”
I cut her short, without remorse.

“Sweetheart- I know, I know…can we discuss that strange phoneix phenomenon tomorrow?”

Five minutes of silence.

“Ma, what is phenomenon?”

Reading Harry Potter is a phenomenon. Watching a child reading with pleasure is a phenomenon. Recollecting how another one stepped across, many years before, with the same joy is a phenomenon. … I start muttering like old Ollivander himself.

“I totally understand the secret now . Or I think I do,” she speaks. The clock ticks past midnight, slowly, and steadily.

For a moment I am stunned.

“Only a brother wand can defeat another brother wand,eh?”

I am silent.Children are a phenomenon. Daughters are a phenomenon.Precocious daughters are a challenging phenomenon.

And how blessed am I,  like the mothers of all Potter fans, to watch them grow.


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