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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 41 – Hermione, Ron, and Harry Become Friends
(HP Chapter 10)

At that moment, Professor McGonagall burst into the room. She was closely followed by Snape with Quirrell bringing up the rear. Quirrell saw the troll, whimpered, and then slumped onto a toilet, clutching his heart. His fear was obvious, but his reaction raised doubts about how qualified he was to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts classes.

Snape bent over the troll, showing us his courage, but Professor McGonagall was angry with the boys. They could have been killed. Upon hearing McGonagall’s words, Snape gave Harry a piercing look, so Harry stared at the floor without answering Professor McGonagall.

Then a small voice came out of the shadows. It was Hermione. “Please, Professor McGonagall – they were looking for me.”

Until that moment, the professor had not realized Hermione was even there. Hermione explained that that she had gone looking for the troll by herself. She thought she could deal with it on her own. “You know, because I’ve read all about them.” Hermione used Professor McGonagall’s knowledge of her to their advantage.

Ron was so shocked at Hermione’s words, however, he dropped his wand. Hermione was lying to a teacher!

Harry and Ron had been in just as much danger as Hermione, but Ron was not affected by the experience in the same way Hermione was. But then, he didn’t feel the same degree of fear that Hermione did either. That will come later when he faces Aragog. “If they hadn’t found me,” Hermione continued, “I’d be dead now.” She also explained how the boys handled the troll. “It was about to finish me off when they arrived.”

Although Hermione was unable to function physically throughout what happened, she was seeing the experience clearly. In fact, the experience was so traumatic for her that she was risking being expelled by taking the blame for the boys’ actions. Being expelled was one of Hermione’s largest fears, but the fear of death was actually greater.

The boys try to look as if the story wasn’t made up. Whether Professor McGonagall understood that Hermione was lying, or not, she didn’t question the story. She did ask Hermione how she could have done such a reckless thing, but Hermione didn’t answer her. She just hung her head.

Harry was as speechless as Ron was. Hermione was the last person he ever expected to do anything against the rules. This pointed to how we are often unable to judge who is ready for liberation, and who is not. To Harry, Hermione appeared to be the least likely candidate, yet now that she had faced her fear of death, she proved to be ready to enter The Path. Rules guide our unconscious behavior. Once we understand that, the rules we have made for ourselves can be changed.

Professor McGonagall took five points from Griffindore for Hermione’s actions and expressed her disappointment in her, and then Hermione left.

The professor next turned to the boys. “Not many first years could have taken on a full-grown mountain troll.” Professor McGonagall had used the word “mountain” twice now in relation to the troll. This tells us that the path we are shortly going to be introduced to is the mountain, the middle portion of our journey. She awarded each boy five points and assured them that she intended on telling Dumbledore about the incident.

The boys left and made their way to their dormitory, but Ron grumbled about only receiving a total of 10 points between them. Ron felt their heroic action wasn’t properly recognized. There are 10 Sefirot on the Tree of Life, so awarding the boys 10 points (like the points in Quidditch for any Chaser who scores) is equal to giving them everything there is.

Harry reminded Ron that after subtracting for Hermione’s losses they had only netted five points. That’s 2-1/2 points each. They entered a higher plane of existence, and Ron managed to cast a charm out of the sea of his subconscious mind while they were there, but there will be additional tests, trials, and challenges to overcome.

Ron did have to admit that it was good of Hermione to get them out of trouble, since they saved her. Ron thought in terms of black and white, and admitted Hermione had at least one saving grace. But Harry reminded him they were equally at fault for locking the troll up in the bathroom with Hermione in the first place. Harry took full responsibility for his part in what happened. Harry saw the experience more clearly than Ron did.

After giving the fat lady the password, they climbed into the common room. It was packed and noisy. Hermione stood by the door, waiting for them. The experience had changed her life. It had changed all of their lives. There was a pause of embarrassment between them. None of them looked at each other. Hermione obviously didn’t know what to say, but after thanking each other, they all hurried off to eat.

From that moment on, Hermione became the boys’ friend. Jo tells us there are some things you cannot share without ending up liking each other. Knocking out a 12-foot troll was one of them.

But I’m not so sure that internal changes of the heart come so quickly. Ron was still harboring grudges, and Hermione will continue to make him feel inadequate until she’s ready to face herself. The heart cracked like the skull of the troll, making acceptance possible, but there was a lot of softening that must take place before love, or even like, can sprout and begin to grow