As I should have guessed, there is a lot of "Harry Potter" tourism in London. Even as a person who loves the series, I sometimes find it a bit overwhelming to run into J.K. Rowling's works at every turn. Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross has a mile-long line; many large bookstores have entire sections dedicated to house memorabilia. In the divinity school hall of Exeter college in Oxford, of all places, there are posters commemorating the time when the Yule Ball dance practice scene was filmed there.
Now, generally, this is all very cool to me. Admittedly, I made two purposeful visits to the Elephant Cafe in Edinburgh where it is rumored that the first book was written. My only real complaint about the ubiquity of the "Harry Potter" franchise (and I am sure my current boyfriend will be unhappy about this) is that it has reminded me of and rekindled my admiration for my first love, Fred Weasley.
Fred became my imaginary boyfriend when I was about 11 years old; we met during our time as students at imaginary Hogwarts. Of course, I played on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team, and we met through our mutual friends. My real best friend (conveniently) also happened to be dating Fred's twin brother, George, and the four of us would often go on adventures in the Forbidden Forest during recess. Those were the golden years.
Anyone who has read the series can probably guess that Fred and I broke up due to his untimely death. For a while, I was in denial; I wrote J.K. Rowling a letter begging her to continue the series and reveal that Fred had lived after all.
When I got no response, I simply crossed out "Fred" in my copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and replaced him with "George" in the tragic scene (and replaced "George" with "Fred" thereafter--sorry George). Unfortunately, this did little to assuage my grief, and it took several years before I could love another as much as I loved Fred (see: Rudy Steiner, "The Book Thief").
The abundance of "Harry Potter" stuff in London has simply reopened the scars on my heart that Fred left behind, so I thought I would take this time to remember him fondly. He was clever, funny, mischievous, and he had both of his ears. What a guy.