Carla Bass on her lifelong love of wizardry: Harry Potter changed my life
'The ability to escape everyday life as an adult the same way I could at seven years old means a lot to me'
One rainy afternoon in 2001, my life changed forever.
I was seven years old and traipsed along to the cinema to see a movie about a boy wizard living under a staircase.
As I settled down into my seat, I had no idea the impact the next 160 minutes would have on me and my family. Because it wasn't just me that became obsessed with the world of Harry Potter but all my family - my sister Grace (19), my brother Robert (17) and my youngest sister Lauren (16), and even my parents Larry and Catherine.
We all became obsessed with sorting hats, Quidditch rules and muggles.
Potter is a multi-million-dollar franchise but we didn't go in for all that. We never waited outside for midnight releases.
What appealed were the lessons Harry and his friends taught us. Harry Potter allowed us to believe in magic, no matter what our age.
As we grew up, our appreciation of the films deepened. We connected with the characters, we immersed ourselves in the make-believe world J.K Rowling created for us - we wanted to know how they ended up.
My little brother Robert, a budding film-maker, knows the ins and outs of every book and movie.
Last year, we travelled to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London for a day trip that allowed us to experience for ourselves the Great Hall, butterbeer and other ingenious creations Rowling thought up.
Despite the global success and millions of fans, Harry Potter connected with us all on a personal level.
There is something mesmerising about a story that was created for a child's innocent imagination but which can captivate almost every reader on the deepest levels.
It isn't just my age group or those of my siblings - our parents and grandparents have been charmed by every form of this timeless fantasy series.
I don't remember a world without Harry Potter, and frankly, I don't want to.
The ability to escape everyday life as an adult the same way I could at seven years old really means a lot to me.
Carla Bass is 21 and is from Cabinteely, Dublin 18