JK Rowling responded in the best way when one of her biggest fans asked a favour of her on Twitter.
Kate, who tweets at the handle @Always JLover, sent a screen-grab of a note on her phone to ask the Harry Potter author whether or not she would help her design a tattoo. She wanted to get the words ‘Expecto Patronum’ written on her body, and there was a powerful reason why.
If you’re not clued up on the Harry Potter spells, then the Patronus Charm (brought to life by uttering the words Expecto Patronum) is one of the toughest spells that Harry and friends have to master through their adventures at Hogwarts. It produces a surge of positive energy, manifested as a spirit guardian (Harry’s is a shimmering stag) that helps ward off evil forces.
In her note Kate explained why these words resonate so deeply with her, revealing that as a victim of abuse and bullying throughout her life she had turned to self-harm.
She explained, ‘I’ve been though (and I’m still going through) so many things in life, from sexual assault to bullying to attempted suicide 8 times. I’m not proud of these things, but it’s who I am. I’m also trying my best to stop self-harming.’
The Harry Potter fan then detailed her plans to have ‘Expecto Patronum’ tattooed over the point on her wrist where she self-harms the most. She explained that the meaning behind the words she knew would help her stop, ‘even if it takes a while’.
She rounds off her note by asking JK Rowling for her help by sending her a hand written version of the words, and of course the author responds in the best way possible.
JK Rowling replies saying, @AlwaysJLover I love that you’re working to heal and protect yourself. You deserve this. I hope it helps. Along with her text she attaches a picture of the words Expecto Patronum in her own handwriting. This isn’t the first time the author has reached out to a fan battling depression, and she’s often praised for her ability to help her fans that need her the most.
Speaking to the Huffington Post Kate said: ‘”Expecto Patronum” has different meanings for different people. For me, personally, it’s about finding your inner strength and holding on to a happy memory and making the bad guys (mostly depression and the voices in my head, in my case) go away.
‘Just like in the books where Harry had to fight hard to defeat the dementors, I also have to fight hard to defeat my own. I have to hold on to a strong happy memory and cast the spell every time I get attacked.
‘And having the words written in JK Rowling’s handwriting adds more to that meaning, making it the best and, maybe, the most beautiful tattoo I will ever get. I am so thankful to her and so blessed to have her in my life.’