There was no room to spare in our new house. Just like Harry himself, he was under the stairs, and I had a sofa.

It was an odd situation but after parents separating, it was the norm for a while. Me, my mum, and sister moving to different houses. I put up with it while I needed to.

During that time of having no room or privacy, I remember a specific Christmas, with a rectangular shaped gift wrapped in white and silver just sitting under a golden elm tree. I instantly suspected it was a video as I had not stopped talking about seeing the film. Opening it to discover the film, I was very happy to say the least.

Within the first few scenes I remember instantly relating to this kid. Hey, it’s not a cupboard under the stairs but I shared a weird situation with this odd, speccy, bowl haircut kid in a weird sleeping situation. It felt similar, yet totally less magical in our world.

Reaching my 20s, having seen the Harry Potter franchise become such a huge deal in the world, growing up with each movie, especially with us geeks. Things have changed. For one I now have a room, a place to call my own.

Being a huge fan with those nostalgic Christmas memories of each film on VHS until finally getting to see the latest ones in cinema was special. Something I shared with my sister, a bigger fan than me, slightly obsessed if I’m honest.

Now approaching my 28th birthday and with my sister’s wedding looming, I decided to buy her a nostalgic present in the form of a trip. ”Let’s go to Harry Potter Studios,” I said, it was a gesture of sibling love, bit soppy for me but I could secretly enjoy it as a gift to as a Harry Potter fan myself. Don’t tell her that.

Travelling to Watford, it was an exceedingly long bus trip that was surprisingly cleaner, roomier, and less aggressively coloured than those old school coach days out I experienced.

As we approached the studios it dawned on us that we were going to enter the wizarding world we watched growing up and our excitement grew. The main entrance to the tour having three tall chess pieces from the first movie, looming over people taking pictures with their families and even kids in Hogwarts robes. All creating new memories, like ours.

It was like travelling back in time to that Christmas, so many years ago. I was a kid again at heart, jaw dropping at every turn.

Seeing those huge sets, props, pieces of art that just swam nostalgia and magical wonder of the films swim over your eyes. Me and my sister stopped in our tracks and visibly gasped as we entered the great hall, a huge monument in the film’s history. It was so gigantic in scale when standing inside its structure, it made you feel as small as the goblins in Gringotts bank.

Towards the tail end of the tour there was a beautiful and respectful art piece containing wand boxes labelled with every single person involved with the franchise. From JK Rowling herself to canteen workings making Dumbledore’s sandwiches.

My sister was grateful for the present, it was a special moment and a new memory for us. It reminded me of years ago when I was in a similar situation to the star of these movies and how much has changed with me, the films, and the world since 2001.

20 years fly’s by, in an instant you’re grown up at university writing about memories like they were pages in a book. Here’s to the future, whatever 2022 and the next 20 years can bring us all.

Let’s hope we see more of our boy under the stairs, too!