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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 19 – Getting Onto the Train for Hogwarts
(HP Chapter 6)

After Harry’s introduction to the Wizarding World, he returned home to spend the last month before school started with the Dursleys. To me, this reflects how we continue to live in the physical world after our introduction to spiritual things. The physical world continues to have purpose and value in our lives, but we need to find a balance between physical and spiritual things.

We don’t know how the Durlseys managed to get home from the shack, but their fear of Harry and the situation caused them to remain distant and pretend Harry wasn’t there. That was the only way they knew of to protect themselves from what they didn’t want to believe.

We get a taste of the fear and distance that people often display towards others who are a part of something they don’t believe in or agree with. This is the basis or justification behind religious segregation. Many times, we just pretend that other belief systems don’t exist.

Harry stayed to himself in his room, reading his schoolbooks late into the night. His bedroom window was always open. He was no longer closed to new possibilities. His heart was completely open. Hedwig came and went as she pleased, through the window, bringing Harry gifts of wisdom and dead mice. The month gave Harry the space to become acquainted with some of the things he will learn at Hogwarts, and the opportunity to begin letting go of the erroneous beliefs about himself that populate his current world.

In ancient times, mice were pests. They would get into the grain after harvest. The inference here is that Hedwig plays a protective role in keeping Harry safe from mice that might eat the seeds of wheat he had recently planted in his heart. However, we also know that the house itself has a protective shield surrounding it. As long as Harry called the Dursleys home, the shield protected him from mice and other vermin who might seek to harm him as his wheat grew.

On the last day of August, Harry finally approached his aunt and uncle about how he was going to get to King’s Cross Station. At the sight of Harry, Dudley screamed and ran from the room. His reaction was understandable since he still had a pig’s tail. Although Dudley’s introduction to the power of magic had ignited fear, it never results in lasting, inner change. Mr. and Mrs. Dursley clearly represent that principle.

However, since Hagrid’s curse only resulted in Dudley taking upon himself a rat’s tail – not a rat’s head or body like Pettigrew – the inference is that Dudley has redeeming potential we haven’t been introduced to yet.

Uncle Vernon attempted to place doubts in Harry’s mind. He made a snide remark about a train being a funny way for Wizards to travel. Going by train to a school for Wizards didn’t fit with his imaginative viewpoint of flying carpets, but when he found out the train left from platform nine and three-quarters, it gave him the release from his tension he was looking for.

To his Muggle world’s view there was no platform nine and three-quarters. “Howling mad, the lot of them. You’ll see.”

The Dursleys had to take Dudley to the hospital in London to get his tail removed, so Uncle Vernon agreed to drop Harry off at the train station. He even dumped Harry’s trunk onto a cart and wheeled it into the station for him. At first, Harry didn’t understand Vernon’s kind behavior, but he soon learned it was his uncle’s way of getting in one last jab. Vernon pointed out platforms nine and ten. “Your platform should be somewhere in the middle, but they don’t seem to have built it yet, do they?” All three of the Dursleys laughed at Harry as they drove away, and left him there, stranded.

What started out to be an exciting day had suddenly turned south. There was no platform nine and three-quarters, no eleven o’clock train, and the security guard had never heard of Hogwarts. Harry had ten minutes to get on board, but he felt stupid just standing there with a trunk he couldn’t lift, a pocket full of Wizard money, and a large owl.

Being introduced to spiritual things often feels that way because information tends to come in small pieces, rather than a complete picture. In Harry’s case, Hagrid had trouble remembering how little Harry knew, so he didn’t give Harry enough information to take the next step himself. He needed help.

Harry was like an uninformed convert. While that can feel disabling at times, Harry did receive the help he needed. This time, it came from a group of strangers. Although Harry didn’t know who they were, he heard the word “Muggles” and spun around. Chasing after them, he also heard them talk about platform nine and three-quarters.

Although Harry watched the family carefully, he was still confused. Clear vision doesn’t always bring understanding. A pair of twin brothers walked or ran towards the divider that stood between platform nine and ten, and then disappeared. By watching, Harry learned that platform nine and three-quarters sat between the physical and Wizarding Worlds. A portal, but Harry didn’t understand how to use that portal himself.

Mrs. Weasley provided the help Harry needed to get to the Wizarding World from the physical world. She explained that he had to walk directly toward the pillar without fear. Fear will close off the portal. It’s the same way with us. If we fear the spiritual world, we won’t be able to get up onto the platform and move forward toward our own schooling needs. A lack of fear is essential.

Harry began walking toward the beam. Since he was still in the physical world, the pillar looked solid. He decided to run at it. He didn’t think about the consequences of what would happen if it didn’t work, but trusted what Mrs. Weasley had told him. He gathered up all of the faith and courage he could, closed his eyes, and shut out all sensory input. He didn’t want to see himself hit the beam if he failed. He then charged the solid divider that marked the division between the two worlds.

Harry prepared himself physically and mentally for the potential crash – that didn’t come. Opening his eyes, he found himself in the Wizarding World. It worked! This closing and opening of his eyes indicates that he had moved into a state of wakefulness.

A red steam engine (a combo of fire and water) waited for students to board. Behind Harry stood an iron archway where the beam had been. It said platform nine and three-quarters. Iron represents the beginning of the Alchemical work. Harry had just walked through the first archway on his journey toward complete liberation.

Smoke from the engine drifted over the heads of the students, and there were owls and cats all over the place. The kids at Hogwarts represent a variety of different spiritual levels. The steam over their heads was in sharp contrast to the end of the series when the alchemical steam surrounded the adults and children on the platform instead.

Harry pushed his cart forward, passing a boy who had lost his toad again. Apparently, he was struggling to move past being a toad, but kept searching for it each time he lost it. He didn’t remember that losing his toad permanently was the goal.

Harry’s trunk was too heavy for him to lift up the steps. He was still carrying a lot of internal baggage, so the twins he had watched earlier helped him get his things all onboard.

The twins are surprised to discover that the small boy they had just helped was Harry Potter. They figured it out when they saw his scar. They are watchful, attentive, and intuitive. Hagrid wasn’t exaggerating when he told Harry that all of the Wizarding kids knew his name. Apparently, they also know his scar.

The twins stood staring at Harry for several minutes, until their mom called them. This infers that we are to hold Harry Potter in our awareness until our work is complete. While Harry was waiting for the train to move, he watched the Weasley family out of the train window. After giving Percy a hard time about his Prefect badge and pride, the twins proudly informed their mother that the boy they saw on the other side of the divider was none other than Harry Potter.

Ginny became excited. “Oh, Mom, can I go on the train and see him, Mom, oh please….” But Mrs. Weasley told her she had already seen him. The poor boy wasn’t something you stare at, like an animal at the zoo. It was Mrs. Weasley’s interpretation of Ginny’s feelings for Harry that we hear. She made it sound like Ginny was only interested in Harry because he was famous.

Mrs. Weasley had wondered why the boy was alone, and commented on how polite he was when he asked her how to get onto the platform. Since her interpretation of Harry is correct, we believe her interpretation of Ginny must be correct too. After they said their good-byes and the kids boarded the train, the train began to move.

Harry watched Mrs. Weasley wave to the boys. He watched Ginny – half laughing, half crying – run along side of the train until it pulled away from her, and she was forced to fall back. Both mom and daughter disappeared as the train rounded the corner. Harry grew excited. He didn’t know what Hogwarts held for him, but it had to be better than what he was leaving behind.