Category Archives: Harry Potter
If you know of me, chances are you know me as a Potterhead. I’ve obviously read (and watched) the books at least 10 times. I also make it a point to read at least one of the books twice a year. And I do all of the fandom activities- online forums, podcasts, you name it. But this post isn’t about my obsession (is it?).
The first time I read the books, I was eleven years old. It’s been eleven years since. That means half of my life, I’ve been a Potterhead. (Should I be worried that that’s my identity for many?) And obviously the way I engage with the books is different each time. The last time I read Deathly Hallows, for example, I cried when Harry thought about the relationship between his parents, Sirius, and Ron and Hermione, if his parents and Sirius were alive. It was such a small detail- probably a line, or an opening paragraph. The first time I read Deathly Hallows, I cried about how beautiful Snape and Lily’s relationship was. Now I dislike Snape, and I realise just how creepy and nasty he is.
That’s the thing right? When I first read it, I was perhaps twelve, or thirteen years old. I thought that if you did something for love, it was okay. That Snape, a thirty year old man, is fighting for the good because of his childhood friend/crush/love. But now I realise that that’s utter bullshit. If Lily weren’t dead, he’d be a Death Eater till the end of the day. Did he really need someone who he claims to love (yuck) to die to realise killing people is not a good thing?
I’m reading Harry Potter again, and I’m realising newer and newer things. I also can’t help seeing the parallels between the politics of certain countries and the Wizarding World. I definitely know a political leader who is like Gilderoy Lockhart. I know enough pure blood fanatics like Lucius Malfoy. I somehow do not know Umbriges, but probably don’t know enough politics. But I do not Crabbe’s and Goyles.
I’ve often been surrounded by Draco Malfoy lovers. But I really don’t get why he’s so great. In Philosopher’s Stone he literally bullies Harry for not having parents! I mean come on! His pure-blood mania is literally like any fascist “You do not belong here” ideology. And please don’t give me the “family” explanation, because a. Tonks. b. Sirius Black.
On a lighter note, there are things that I never before noticed that I appreciate now. For example, Rowling is hilarious! I’ve startled my parents laughing out loud at certain parts. Now that I’ve seen brilliant screen adaptations (hello, The Handmaid’s Tale), I’m also realising how shitty the movies are. I’m not saying those who have only seen the movies are not real enough fans. But they definitely are missing out on the essence of the canon. It’s like plot, like a brick structure, but it’s not your story, and will never be home. If you don’t have time, just listen to the audio book! It’s equally good!
I guess I’ll always come back to Harry Potter in the end. No matter how old I am. No matter how demystified by some characters I get. I’ll always pick up Prisoner of Azkaban every time I’m in a reading slump. I’ll always read and reread Marauders and Next Gen fanfiction, because canon isn’t enough (no The Cursed Child doesn’t count as Canon). I’ll always be ‘that Potter girl’.
More than anything else, I feel like I’m rediscovering magic, as I read Philosopher’s Stone again. The awfulness of Dursleys to the beauty of Hagrid. I want to ride the scarlet train from platform nine and three quarters home. Hogwarts has always been there to welcome me home. (I know I’m being sappy, and using intertextuality, but every bit of it is magic).
You’d think that after more than a decade, I’d bore of it (all my relatives certainly thought so). But somehow, I love it more. I’m so glad Rowling went down the Classics corridor that fateful day. I know it didn’t go well for her in the short run, but the world is a better place thanks to that, for a million people worldwide.
It was a normal day for the Dursleys. Their son had just woken up and was squealing, waking up the entire street. Mr. Dursley blamed it on Mrs. Dursley and Mrs. Dursley blamed it back on him. After about ten minutes of arguing, they attended to their son, by feeding him breakfast.
Mrs. Dursley, then opened their front door, forgetting the previous day’s encounters, to put out milk bottles. And she stumbled upon a bundle of blankets, not knowing how far from normal her life was going to be, for the coming years. She screamed, waking up the little boy, about one year of age, with a scar the shape of a lightning bolt. With it, came a letter, addressed to her.
Dear Petunia Dursley,
I hope you have kept well since our last correspondence. May you have a great married life and Dudley (your son; if my sources are correct) live a long, happy life.
This, I write to deliver to you a grave, grave news. I’m sure the Ministry of Magic hasn’t contacted you as of yet. The child you’re holding belongs to your sister Lily Potter. Her husband James and Lily were killed on the night of 31st October.
Dear Petunia, let me give you my condolence, as I know that, although you and your sister haven’t been on talking terms, you did love her dearly. I hope you know that she did love you too, even after all this time. But know that she loved this son of hers, who, as you know is called Harry James Potter.
Let me tell you, that your sister died a brave woman, trying to protect her son. A wizard, by the name of Lord Voldemort hunted them down and tried to kill Harry. He couldn’t touch the boy because your sister died protecting him. It is ancient magic-love as a protective charm, and due to Lily’s action, her son survived the killing curse-something no wizard can be attributed of resisting, let alone live with a meager scar. Voldemort, on the other hand, fled, as his powers were weakened when the spell rebounded. I hope you appreciate the bravery exhibited by Lily. She was a brave, loyal woman and her sacrifice will be remembered by us for the years to come.
As for her son, he is assuredly going to be a powerful wizard and make you proud one day. You will need to guardian for him in order to make the spell work, as you are the only living family he has. While under your roof, he will have every protection he would need, as you share your bloodline with Lily Potter.
You need to know, Petunia, that the reason your sister and her husband were hunted down, was because, not only were they brave, powerful young wizards, but also a prophecy which says that the one with powers enough to destroy Voldemort would be Harry. He is our only hope to kill Voldemort, when he comes back to power.
I wouldn’t assume that everything was perfectly fine between you and your sister; and I’m aware of my contribution to ruining your relationship. But I hope you understand that I couldn’t be of any help to you whatsoever and that this strained relationship has no hand in the way you take care of Harry. I also hope that you would give Harry as much protection and love as you could give him as an aunt and let him grow up to be a fine young man by the time he gets his Hogwarts acceptance letter. Your protection and-even a place in your house, enough for him to call home would help Lily’s sacrifice work. It would help us in what I think would destroy an evil wizard to take over the world and kill innocent people such as you and your sister and destroy more families.
Let Lily’s sacrifice not go waste! Let the world see in Harry Potter a fine, brave young man such as his parents! Let him make you and I proud!
In case of any help, please don’t hesitate to get back to me-you know very well how to. I will keep an eye on Harry.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.
Reading this, Petunia wanted to cry. Her sister, her Lily was dead, killed by an evil wizard. What is it to me, she thought and hurried inside with the boy, and faced her husband.