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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 27 – Harry Judges Snape
(HP Chapter 7)

Percy and Hermione were talking about school lessons, rather than family. They were anxious to get started with their lessons. Hermione and Percy were very similar in nature. They both used earthly knowledge as their light. Harry wasn’t interested in any of that, so he turned his attention to the High Table where Hagrid sat. Professor McGonagall was talking to Dumbledore, and Quirrell was talking to a teacher with greasy black hair, a hooked nose, and yellowish skin.

Snape’s skin color is our first clue that he is hiding something. Although he always wears black, his skin is yellowish. His black attire symbolizes mourning (for Lily) and Fermentation (level five), but his skin color symbolizes love that has not yet been perfected.

The Egyptians believed that one’s skin color turned to gold at the completion of The Great Work. Often their drawings showed this belief by painting the arms and legs of Celestial individuals yellow. In addition, yellow was often used in Egyptian drawings to represent gold itself. In external Alchemy, the colors yellow and white represent gold and silver, with gold (or yellow) being the substance that was left over after the minerals were burned.

Interpretations of Alchemical stages differ between Alchemists. For example, modern day interpretations point to three basic levels of the work: black, white, and red. Anciently, however, The Great Work was divided into four major levels: black, white, yellow, and red. In older manuscripts, the black stage consisted of Calcination (level one) and Dissolution (level two). The white stage consisted of Separation (level three) and Conjunction (level four), ending with becoming the White Stone. The yellow stage consisted of Fermentation (level five) and Distillation (level six), and the last level was Coagulation which ended with becoming the Red Stone.

When Snape looked past Quirrell and into Harry’s eyes, a sharp pain suddenly came from the scar on Harry’s forehead. Harry raised his hand to his scar, but the pain left immediately. Harry didn’t like the look Snape gave him, so he thought the teacher didn’t like him. That moment caused misjudgment to form in both of their minds. To Harry, Snape disliked him; to Snape, Harry raising his hand to his scar meant Harry was glorying in his fame. Neither judgment was accurate.

Harry asked Percy about Snape. He taught Potions, but he didn’t want to. He actually wanted Quirrell’s job (Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher) because he knew a lot about the Dark Arts. While this was technically true, how Harry interpreted Percy’s information will be colored by the misperceived visual clue he got from Snape’s look.

Dessert disappeared, and Dumbledore rose to give the students a few last minute instructions. The forest was forbidden to all students, no magic was allowed in the corridors between classes, and Quidditch trials will begin in a couple of weeks. In addition, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side was out of bounds this year to everyone who didn’t want to die a painful death.

Harry thought Dumbledore was joking, so he laughed but almost no one else did. He asked Percy if Dumbledore was serious. “Must be,” said Percy, but Percy found it odd that Dumbledore wsn’t telling the students why. That was unusual for him. At the very least, Percy felt he should be telling the Prefects what was going on.

The school song came next. The students picked their favorite tune and then sang the words Dumbledore had written in gold in the air. The song was a plea to be taught, but also requested that forgotten things be remembered. In essence, the song was a prayer from the heart for Liberation.

Everyone finished at different times, illustrating how we do not begin nor finish the Great Work together. This was also a gentle reminder to the reader not to underestimate Neville. “Ah, music,” Dumbledore said, wiping his eyes. “A magic that goes beyond what we do here.” And with that, the students were released to go to their dormitories.

Harry’s legs felt like lead again, but he followed Percy up the marble staircase, through corridors, hidden doorways, and more staircases before they came to a halt in front of a bundle of sticks floating in the air. Some of the sticks threw themselves at Percy.

Peeves, a poltergeist, was behind the prank. “Peeves – Show yourself,” Percy demanded. Peeves appeared, got excited that Percy was escorting newbies, and then swooped at them. The students ducked, and Percy threatened to tell the Baron if he didn’t leave, so Peeves left.

The difference between a Poltergeist and an Earthbound Spirit is that a Poltergeist can move inanimate objects. They make noises, throw things, and will even attack. The earth bounds stick around because they are attached to the physical world. A poltergeist hangs around because he loves disturbing and scaring others. The unseen world contains a large variety of different beings.

At the end of the corridor, a large picture of a woman in a pink dress guarded the Griffindore dormitory. She asked Percy for the password. “Caput Draconis,” said Percy, and the portrait swung forward to reveal a round hole in the wall. This door does not always swing in the same direction. This time it is swinging outward representative of the first year students’ focus on the physical plane.

Neville needed a leg up, but the rest of the students scrambled easily through the opening. We are given the hint that Neville will be a slow learner, even here at Hogwarts. Percy directed the girls through one door to their dorm and the boys through another. We see a clear segregation of male and female energies. The boys’ beds were at the top of a spiral staircase, so they are inside one of the towers. The pole-beds are hung with red velvet curtains. Griffindore colors are red and gold, the colors of perfection.

Too tired to talk, Harry and Ron crawled into bed. “Get off, Scabbers,” Harry heard Ron say through his curtains. “He’s chewing my sheets.” Harry fell asleep before he could say anything in return.

In his dreams, he was wearing Professor Quirrell’s purple turban. The turban told him that he needed to transfer to Slytherin right away. It was his destiny. Harry told the turban he didn’t want to be in Slytherin. The turban grew heavier and heavier. Harry tried to pull it off, but it tightened painfully.

The sorting was over, so this was not repressed fears trying to work themselves out. Jo has said that the pain Harry feels comes from the piece of Voldemort’s trapped soul as he tries to leave Harry’s head through the scar – so he can reunite with his Master. Undoubtedly, that was who was trying to contact Harry now. The fragmented sole recognized Voldemort within Quirrell. If Harry was in Slytherin, he would have a better chance of contacting Voldemort, and letting him know of his existence.

Draco was also in Harry’s dream, laughing at him as he struggled. Then Draco turned into Snape, whose laughter was high and cold. This portion of Harry’s dream was his subconscious mind trying to work through his belief that Slytherins always turn to the Dark Side. There was a burst of green light (a remembrance of Voldemort killing his parents), and then Harry awoke, shaking and sweating