J.K. Rowling has given the Gryffindor-seal of approval to one avid Harry Potter fan after learning of how the fictional books got him through years of bullying.
Teenager Johnnie Blue met Rowling at an event for her new book The Silkworm in July 2014 (pictured below) and he subsequently gifted her a notebook that was personally designed by Jason Cockcroft (who did the cover art for UK Bloomsbury Harry Potter books). Inside the notebook he left a handwritten letter detailing how the author changed his life.
The 17-year-old from Ayrshire, Scotland, told Rowling, “Thank you so much, you’ve really changed my life,” at the time of meeting, to which she replied, ‘Wow, that’s an amazing thing to say,’” the youngster told BuzzFeed.
A month later, Blue came home from school to find a purple tissue-lined envelope with a 'Chamber of Secrets' stamp on it. When he opened it, he found J.K. Rowling's signature letterhead.
“What you say about Harry helping you at what was clearly a dreadful time in your life means more to me than I can easily express,” wrote the author.
“I freely confess that I loathe bullying and the way it is still so often “handled” in schools. Your experience is shocking and disturbing and that you have turned out to be a compassionate, moral, highly motivated person is high testimony to your courage. Gryffindor for you, my lad…,” she added, referring to the Hogwarts school house that protagonist Harry Potter resides in.
“By the time I was finished reading the letter, there were tears rolling down my face,” the teenager recalled.
“J.K. Rowling to me, is a hero,” he added. “She’s saved so many peoples lives, along with mine, something I will be eternally grateful for.”
At the end of the letter Rowling vouched to stay in touch with the young fan on Twitter, where the two had in fact already had a previous exchange.
A month prior to their meeting, Blue tweeted the star “Anyone else feel like an orphaned boy wizard when @jk_rowling tweets other fans but not you?” and “C'mon Jo please, we're only looking for a few clicks *sad Dobby eyes*”.
To his surprise, the author responded, “OK, but only because of the Dobby eyes”.
Blue reminded Rowling of the exchange when he met her, saying “I was the Dobby eyes boy you replied to on Twitter, do you remember me?” to which she replied “Ahh, it’s you! Of course I remember you!’”
J.K. Rowling is known to respond to her passionate Harry Potter fans in Twitter and last year she send another handwritten note to a teenager who survived a shooting massacre that killed her family.
At the memorial, days after the attack, she bravely made a speech in which she quoted Hogwarts' headmaster Albus Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light."
Rowling was so moved by the courageous 15-year-old, she sent her a letter of comfort, handwritten in purple ink, from "Dumbledore,” accompanied by an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, a list of school supplies and a signed book.
Read J.K. Rowling's full letter to Johnnie Blue below.
You have fantastic handwriting. That’s not the most important thing I’ve got to say to you, but I thought I’d mention it — I’m a connoisseur.
On to more important things:
What you say about Harry helping you at what was clearly a dreadful time in your life means more to me than I can easily express. I freely confess that I loathe bullying and the way it is still so often “handled” in schools. Your experience is shocking and disturbing and that you have turned out to be a compassionate, moral, highly motivated person is high testimony to your courage. Gryffindor for you, my lad…
Thank you so much for the stunningly beautiful notebook. I love it.
This letter seems to be a series of non-sequiturs, but why break the pattern: I have family roots in Ayrshire — Arran, to be precise. And I’ve never been there. Embarrassing, isn’t it? Don’t tell the Nationalists.
I’m sure we’ll see each other again. In the meantime, I’ll watch out for you on Twitter.
Love from Jo"