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Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard

Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard PDF

Author: Tom Felton

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing


Publish Date: October 18, 2022

ISBN-10: 1538741369

Pages: 304

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

You know that person in your life who makes you feel seen? That person who is somehow a witness to all that unfolds? That person who knows—really knows—what is happening to you and what you’re going through, without anything having to be said?

For me, that person is Tom Felton.

As you’ll read in this book, our relationship didn’t start well. When we first met, I was a moony and probably rather annoying nine-year-old girl who followed him round like a puppy, desperate for his attention. But, as he has written so eloquently, beautifully and generously in this book, our friendship didn’t end there. Thank goodness it blossomed and endured.

If you could boil the Harry Potter stories down to a single idea (and there are so many I am really stretching here), it would surely be about the value of friendship and how nothing of true meaning can be achieved without it. Friendships are the lynchpin of human existence, and I am so thankful that at crucial turning points in my life, Tom has been there to reassure and understand me. The friendship we share has allowed me to move through some of the most challenging and soul-searching moments in my life.

But enough about me. This book is about Tom. He has a heart the size of a planet. I’ve never really witnessed anything like it, except perhaps in his mum, Sharon. The Felton factor is real. You’ll read a lot in this book about Tom’s brother Chris, who was a regular face on the Harry Potter set, and who is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. The whole family is special and Tom, the youngest of four brothers, has inherited their kindness and down-to-earth nature.

Which means that if you meet Tom, you meet the real Tom. That’s not the case with all actors. The vast majority put on a persona when they meet the public. It’s like flicking a switch: they’re very professional, they do it extremely well and the person they’re greeting will never know the difference. But it’s not the real them. It’s a routine. Tom doesn’t do that. Tom is always Tom. He doesn’t flick a switch. There is no switch. What you see is what you get. He is incredibly generous with his fans and with the wider Harry Potter community. That special ability he has to make me feel seen extends to everybody. He might have played a bully. He might even have sometimes felt like a bully. But take it from me: he couldn’t be further from one. He is creative, sensitive and whole-hearted. He is a person who wants to love everything and everyone.

Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. When I look at how honestly Tom has reflected on his life and experiences in this book, I’m reminded that he has an astonishing amount of self-awareness. He has been able to laugh at himself as well as relive moments in his life that have been difficult and painful for him. He is on a journey of self-work, and I’m with Socrates when I say that the people who are on that journey are the only people for me. But Tom has gone one step further than most: he has unpacked that journey for us, his readers. It is such a generous act, especially in this world of social media and instant news, where the polarity of opinions makes it such an intense time to lay yourself bare in the way that he has. You want to live a real, a truthful, an examined life, and Tom clearly does.

Like Tom, I always struggle to explain to people the nature of our connection and relationship. For more than twenty years now we’ve loved each other in a special way, and I’ve lost count of the times that people have said to me, “You must have drunkenly made out, just once!” “You must have kissed!” “There must be something!” But what we have is far deeper than that. It’s one of the purest loves I can think of. We’re soulmates, and we’ve always had each other’s backs. I know we always will. It makes me emotional to think about it. Sometimes it feels hard to live in a world where people are so quick to judge, to doubt, to question intentions. Tom doesn’t do that. I know that, even if I’ve made a mistake, he’ll understand that my intention was good. I know that he’ll always believe me. Even when he doesn’t have the whole picture, he’ll never doubt that I’m coming from a good place and will have done my very best. That’s true friendship, and to be seen and loved like that is one of the great gifts of my life.

We have always shared a love of words, of how they can be used better to express oneself. Tom, you’re a poet. The way your mind works and the way you express things is beautiful, charming, funny and warm. I’m so glad that you have written this book and shared it with us. It’s a delight and a gift. The world is lucky to have you, but I’m even luckier to have you as my friend.

Chapeau, little piece of my soul. And congratulations.

Emma Watson

London, 2022

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