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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 20 – Harry Meets Ron Weasley
(HP Chapter 6)

As soon as the train pulled away from the station, Ron entered Harry’s compartment. He politely asked Harry if anyone was sitting in the seat opposite to him because all of the other compartments were full. We are introduced right away to the principle of opposites.

Harry shook his head, and Ron sat down. Ron was curious about Harry, but he was also a bit timid. He looked out of the train window. He was not as aware as his twin brothers, and still wore a black mark on his nose. It was his badge of nosiness, as Percy’s badge of pride was his Prefect status. I can’t help but wonder if Ron was lying about the other compartments being full. That would insinuate his role in Harry’s life wasn’t a conscious choice, but forced upon him.

The twins interrupted them. They were dying to tell Ron that someone had a giant tarantula on the train. “Right,” Ron mumbled, informing us that spiders made him feel uncomfortable. That also meant the twins took pleasure in flooding Ron’s body with adrenaline and other stress hormones.

Tarantulas are the largest known arachnids. However, their size often looks larger than they actually are due to the amount of hair they have. This mirrors how we often exaggerate our discomforts and fears. These hairs are a defense mechanism tarantulas can use against predators such as scorpions because the hair caused discomfort and itchiness. We use our belief systems as protective devices, but a tarantula’s bite is painful and poisons their victims. False beliefs damage rather than protect us.

Unlike other spiders, tarantulas do not spin webs. Instead, they use their silk to create doors for their burrows. These doors work as an alarm system to alert the tarantula that someone is attempting to enter their home. The doors keep intruders out. Our fear mechanism works in a similar way. We construct walls and doors to protect ourselves. When danger surfaces anyway, adrenaline floods the body to give us the energy to fight or run, but those hormones also alert us to the potential danger.

Although Ron had been born into a loving family, he was still afraid of spiders. Love doesn’t protect us from feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and our mechanical programming. Ron was the opposite of Harry, who had spiders but didn’t fear them, but Ron didn’t have Draco’s tendency to dominate.

When the twins leave, Ron asked Harry if he was really Harry Potter. He also asked about his scar. Harry pulled back his bangs to show Ron the lightning bolt. Just as Voldemort’s attack on Harry brought a drastic change into his life, Harry showing Ron his lightning scar signaled a drastic change was soon to come into Ron’s life too. Showing Ron his scar was an invitation for him (and therefore us) to enter the Path of Liberation.

Both boys are leaving their old physical worlds behind and chugging towards a new spiritual adventure.

Harry told Ron that he remembered a lot of green light that night but nothing more. Green is a color that Jo often uses in connection with darkness. It represents unredeemed man’s carnal nature, but it’s also the color of springtime and new growth. Like platform nine and three-quarters, the plant kingdom sits between the animal kingdom and man, so even though the Green Lion represents the root of the metal, green represents a plant’s life force as well as the power that results in man’s purification.

Harry found Ron interesting, so he asked about his family. Ron’s family stood in direct contrast to his own. To Harry, family was more important than gold or fame. Since most of the members of Ron’s family were Wizards, Harry assumed they were one of the old Wizarding families that Draco was speaking of. He also assumed that Ron already knew lots of magic.

Ron didn’t reply to Harry’s assumption about his magical abilities but changed the subject back to Harry. Ron didn’t want to talk about himself. He wanted to know what Muggle families were like. That mirrors his dad’s interest in Muggles.

“Horrible,” Harry said, “well, not all of them. My aunt and uncle and cousin are, though.” Although we already knew this was true, the Dursleys treated Harry horribly, it’s the first time Harry had admitted his feelings toward his foster family.

Ron had five brothers. He was the sixth son to go to Hogwarts. He had a lot to live up to with Bill having been head boy, Charlie Quidditch captain, Percy now a Prefect, and Fred and George extremely popular at school. His major flaw appears to be the same as Harry’s: self-doubt and insecurity. He told Harry that even if he succeeded like the rest of his brothers, it would be no big deal because there wasn’t anything that they hadn’t achieved already.

Unlike Draco, Ron didn’t want to follow in his brothers’ footsteps. He longed for independence, for purpose, which he doesn’t feel he has. He doesn’t believe it’s possible because even his earthly possessions were inherited: Bill’s old robes, Charlie’s old wand, and Percy’s old rat. Pride didn’t drive Ron. It was a desire to do something different – to be someone who mattered, someone unique.

Ron’s personality was a combination of the characteristics of his brothers. So far, he’s passive and feels inadequate – the same as Harry. They will make excellent traveling companions.

Bill was a curse breaker. He neutralized the curses placed on gold. When Ron inherited Bill’s old robes he inherited this power within himself. Ron played a major role in neutralizing the curses and powers associated with the horcruxes. He retrieved the Sword of Griffindore from the bottom of the icy lake where Snape had placed it, and saved Harry’s life. He destroyed the true locket horcrux and assisted Hermione in entering the Chamber of Secrets (by speaking Parseltongue), which she was unable to do herself.

Ron also inherited Charlie’s old wand. Charlie was an outdoor type of person. He was a Seeker at Hogwarts who enjoyed taking care of magical creatures. He eventually went to Eqypt to work with dragons. When learning apparitions, he had to take the test twice, so his magical ability didn’t come automatically for him. We were told by Ollivander that the wand chooses the wizard, but at this point, we don’t know if Charlie’s wand changed its allegiance from Charlie to Ron.

The wand’s consciousness does protect Ron and Harry against Gilderoy’s attempt to erase their memories later on in the book. That gave Harry the opportunity to physically save Ron’s sister, Ginny, from Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets. The lesson for us is that what appears to be unimportant in our lives may turn out to be essential for our Salvation or the Salvation of others.

Ron reached into his jacket and pulled out the fat, gray rat he had inherited from Percy. Notice it’s gray, not black, and it’s asleep. Ron told Harry that the rat’s name was Scabbers (scab hers) and that he’s useless because he hardly ever wakes up. A scab covers up a wound to protect it, which gives the wound time to heal. This infers that our sleeping condition is some sort of protection to us.

Rats are associated with the water element, and Pettigrew was described later on as having watery eyes. The year of the rat in Chinese astrology is about completion of a cycle, with a cycle occurring every 12 years. Pettigrew had been hiding with the Weasleys for 11 years now, so his cycle was just about up.

According to Jo, Pettigrew was a coward. He stood in the shadow of the strongest individual around. He’s an opportunist. He defects to whichever side is strongest, or winning, at the moment. The motivation for his actions was always fear, especially fear of death.

Percy has similar issues. Initially he sided with, and served, the Ministry of Magic even to the point of opposing his own family. He later defected to Harry’s side when it looked like Harry was going to win. Percy passed this cowardice tendency and fear onto Ron who will have to rise above that weakness. But Ron’s rat was almost always sleeping, so the issue isn’t creating problems in Ron’s life yet.

Ron’s family has financial problems. Percy received an owl as a reward for becoming a Prefect, but Ron had to live with Percy’s rat as his familiar instead. Harry didn’t see anything wrong with not being able to afford an owl. Until a month ago, he didn’t have any money either. He told Ron about his own destitute upbringing, having to wear hand-me-downs, never receiving birthday presents, and being extremely unknowledgeable about magic.

By Harry sharing his past, it drew Ron and him closer together. It also illustrated how each of these boys didn’t have to fight against the hurdle to ascension that earthly riches can bring. Harry was indifferent to earthly riches. He saw them only as a way to purchase what he needed, but Ron used the lack of riches to feed his self-doubts and insecurities.

Ron gasped when Harry used Voldemort’s name. Like Hagrid and the others, Ron feared Voldemort’s name, but he was impressed that Harry was courageous enough to use the name. Harry assured Ron it wasn’t bravery, but ignorance. In fact, Harry was expecting to be the worst student in class.

Harry wasn’t interested in fame, nor did he believe that he was anyone special. He did worry about his lack of magical knowledge and ability. However, Ron informed him that many individuals at Hogwarts came from Muggle families and learned things quick enough. Harry had finally found the friend he so desperately needed.