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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 34 – Harry Becomes a Seeker
(HP Chapter 9)

Harry had seen Professor McGonagall’s stern nature. He had seen her fondness for keeping the rules. He could have broken his neck, just as she said. But he had never seen the Professor interact on a higher plane than the physical world. That was about to change.

Professor McGonagall was head of Gryffindore House and was currently acting in the best interest of that House. “Potter, this is Oliver Wood,” she said. “Wood – I’ve found you a Seeker.”

Oliver’s expression changed from confusion to delight. “Are you serious Professor?” Professor McGonagall assured him that she was absolutely serious. Harry was a natural flyer. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “Was that your first time on a broomstick, Potter?”

Harry didn’t have a clue what was going on, but nodded in agreement. As far as he knew (or remembered) that was his first time on a broom. He wasn’t lying.

Harry felt relieved that he wasn’t in trouble. It didn’t sound like he was being expelled. In addition, some of the feeling was beginning to return to his legs. Perhaps the numbness was actually coming from his fear of being expelled. Professor McGonagall told us that Harry made a 55-foot dive. It’s no wonder that he was having trouble readjusting to the physical world.

It has been over ten years since he had ridden a broom, and since he was a baby at that time, he had never made that type of dive before. Professor McGonagall was amazed that he didn’t receive even a scratch. In fact, the feat was something even Charlie Weasley could not have done.

Oliver Wood was excited. He was the Captain of the Quiddith team. At the present, he was securely attached to the physical world and worldly pursuits. With Harry as Seeker, they would have a good chance of winning the championship. That was Wood’s dream, his ideal.

Wood reminded Professor McGonagall that Harry would need a broom. The first year students were not allowed to have a broom at Hogwarts, but Harry wouldn’t be able to play in the game without one. “I shall speak to Professor Dumbledore,” she said, “and see if we can’t bend the first-year rule.”

Although Professor McGonagall believes in keeping the rules, she teaches us here that there is a time and a place to bend them. She considered Harry’s appointment to the position of Seeker to be one of those exceptions because Gryffindore House needed Harry on their team in order to redeem themselves. Last year they were flattened by Slytherin in the last match. “I couldn’t look Severus Snape in the face for weeks….”

As head of Gryffindore, Professor McGonagall identified with that house. That was why she had trouble looking Snape in the eye after Gryffindore lost to Slytherin. It was as if Snape had beaten her himself. However, Harry wasn’t completely off the hook. She told him that he better train hard (and not disappoint her) or she might change her mind about punishing him. She seriously wanted Gryffindore to beat Slytherin. That was why she was bending the rules. She wanted to make that clear to Harry.

Then she suddenly smiled, an obvious contradiction to her typical, no-nonsense nature. Professor McGonagall was definitely not what she appeared to be. She was a stern taskmaster because the greater majority of her students needed her to be that way. She mostly functioned at the level of the physical plane (at least, so far) because that was where her students live.

“Your father would have been proud,” she told Harry. James was an excellent Quidditch player. Although Harry followed Professor McGonagall back to Hogwarts, what I realized was that Harry was actually following in his Father’s footsteps.

Ron was shocked at the news. First year students never make the Quidditch team. In fact, Oliver Wood told Harry he was the youngest Seeker in the last hundred years. Ron’s brothers, Fred and George, were also on the team. Fred congratulated Harry, but Draco thought Harry was leaving school and couldn’t resist one last jab at him. “Having a last meal, Potter? When are you getting the train back to the Muggles?”

Draco’s error in judgment made me wonder if some of Snape’s beliefs about Harry have come from believing Draco’s retelling of events.

Harry was no longer playing the victim, where Draco was concerned. He reminded Draco that he hadn’t been as brave in the air when it was just the two of them. Not wanting to lose the respect of his friends, Draco reacted to Harry’s insinuation that he was a coward by suggesting they go at it, one-on-one. “Tonight, if you want. Wizard’s duel. Wands only – no contact.”

Harry didn’t know what Wizard’s duel was, nor did he know how to use a wand efficiently, but Ron covered for his friend the best he could. “I’m his Second,” Ron said, “who’s yours?” Draco chose Crabbe and set the meeting for midnight in the trophy room. Once Draco left, Harry wanted to know what he had just agreed to.

In a wizard’s duel, the fight was to the death. This symbolized the duel between Harry and Voldemort. It also reflected the duel between Draco and Dumbledore in the tower. A Second takes over if the original dueler died, just as Snape took over for Dumbledore when he died. Although Ron volunteered to be Harry’s double in the current conflict, he wasn’t chosen.

This type of duel required the participants to kill two opponents to win, not just one. Nagini and Neville both function as a Second as well as Snape. Snape, however, played a double role. He also backed up Draco who represented Voldemort against Dumbledore. Although Voldemort overcame Dumbledore by killing Snape and thereby sealing his eternal doom, for Harry, Neville’s action – taking the Second out first – signaled a reversal of the Original (mortal) Plan.

Both Draco and Harry were inexperienced. Neither boy knew enough magic to do much damage. Harry didn’t understand how the Power of Love operated, let alone how to use it. Ron felt the most they would be able to do was shoot a few sparks at each other. “And what if I wave my wand and nothing happens?” Harry asked. He was entertaining the idea that he might not even be a spark.

Ron had a solution for that too: Throw your wand away, and punch him in the nose. Ron was reminding Harry of his need to be adaptable and to use his strengths to best advantage. But this also explains why Ron was so impressed with Hermione in Book 3 when she does exactly that: punches Draco in the nose!

At this point, Hermione interrupted them. Ron and Harry were not happy to see her. They resented her trying to mother them. She insisted that Harry rethink his plan. “You mustn’t go wandering around the school at night.” She reminded Harry about the points he would lose for Gryffindore if he were caught. Apparently, that was extremely important to her because it was the second time she had used that same argument.

Her intent, as usual, was to convince Harry to do what she believed he should do. However, circumstance was going to use her, yet again, to move Harry forward. Calling upon Harry’s earlier experience with Professor McGonagall, Hermione sought to cast doubt on Harry’s abilities. “You’re bound to be.” But then stooped to projection. “It’s really very selfish of you.”

Harry verbally rejected her suggestion and attempt to make him feel guilty. “It’s really none of your business.” Ron quickly backed Harry up, and then spent the rest of the evening filling him in on the particulars. However, Harry’s mind floated back and forth between Hermione’s suggestion that he might be caught and Draco’s sneering face.

When you are in an emotional state, it’s very easy for someone to manipulate you through the power of suggestion. But this was Harry’s chance to beat Draco face-to-face. That was far more valuable to him, than getting caught, so the boys headed for the Gryffindore’s Common Room just before midnight.

The room was dark. There were only a few embers glowing in the fireplace. The furniture resembled large black shadows. A voice spoke from a nearby chair. It was like Harry’s shadow, his inner critic, was speaking. “I can’t believe you’re going to do this, Harry.”

A lamp suddenly flicked on. Hermione was standing there in a pink bathrobe wearing a frown. Although she was presently trapped within her mortal conditioning, her pink bathrobe signals that she was working on refining her masculine energies to find greater balance in her life, the same as Ron and Harry.

Ron was furious. “Go back to bed!” he ordered, but Hermione proudly told Ron how she almost told his Prefect brother, Percy, on him, so he could put a stop to it. Hermione had almost placed her personal power into Percy’s hands. She considered Percy an authority because of his worldly status.

Harry was shocked. He had never met anyone who was as interfering as Hermione. Not even the Dursleys. Out of the many reactions we use to alleviate discomfort, demanding others be different is the most damaging for both them and us. Although the Dursleys consistently reminded Harry he was different, Hermione was much more forceful about it. To Harry’s credit, he chose to act, rather than react. “Come on,” he said to Ron, turning his back on Hermione