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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 55 – The Sorting Hat is Never Wrong
(HP Chapter 13)

Although Harry didn’t go looking for the Mirror of Erised again, he started having nightmares about his parents disappearing in a flash of green light. The dreams back up Ron’s conclusion about the dangers of the mirror, at least in his own mind. He saw Harry’s dreams as bad. Neither boy understood that Harry was remembering a real event.

This is similar to the way we attach significance to specific omens in our own lives. When good things happen, we believe we are doing the right thing. Bad occurrences, such as Harry’s dreams, are often seen as a sign that our current direction is wrong. Some people do attribute bad things to a real power of opposition fighting against them. They continue what they are currently doing, believing the opposition means they are right. Whichever attitude we take, this is still black-and-white thinking. In Harry’s case, seeing his parents triggered emotional memories.

Hermione wasn’t as quick to adopt Ron’s attitude. Ron was listening to Dumbledore’s caution and using Harry’s dreams to prove that Dumbledore was right. He saw how the mirror could drive a person mad. Hermione was more concerned with the boys breaking the rules. Filch could have caught them sneaking out of bed. She didn’t appear to be concerned about Harry.

Her fears reveal her disappointment that the boys didn’t find out anything about Nicolas Flamel. That was what she’s actually angry about. Hermione and Ron each reacted to Harry’s nightmares differently. Ron reacted emotionally out of concern for Harry, and Hermione reacted in terms of her own interests and fears.

Oliver Wood was becoming more fanatical about Quidditch, so practices had been more frequent, but his desire to beat Hufflepuff at their next game matched Harry’s. Winning would result in Gryffindore overtaking Slytherin for the house championship for the first time in seven years. In Jewish spiritual tradition, seven years represents a cycle.

In addition to wanting to win, Harry also noticed that when he was tired from the extra practices, he had fewer nightmares. The dreams were actually an attempt made by the subconscious mind to prompt Harry into remembering his true purpose for being, so as he focused on earthly things such as competition, that still small voice became more quiet.

Wood announced that Snape was going to referee the game between Gryffindore and Hufflepuff. Throughout the series, Harry leads us to believe that Gryffindores and Slytherins sit on opposing sides, but that’s only in Harry’s perspective. He doesn’t like Snape, and he doesn’t like Draco, so he allows his feelings for them to place his self in that opposing position.

The first Quidditch match appeared to support that idea. Someone wanted to harm Harry – to get rid of him. Harry believed that person was Snape. Now, Snape was going to referee the game with Hufflepuff.

Hufflepuffs believe in faith by works. They believe in following rules such as the letter-of-the-law commandments. They stand for justice and what they believe is the truth. Things are right and fair or they are not. It’s strong black-and-white thinking, but the opposing forces represented here are actually faith versus works.

In the first Quidditch game, Harry was introduced to darkness – a darkness that surpassed the Dursleys. In this next Quidditch game, Snape will stand in the middle between faith and works.

At the news, George Weasley fell off his broom. “He’s not going to be fair if we might overtake Slytherin.” It isn’t only Harry who attempts to sway our judgment. We have to guard ourselves against all of the characters. George had quickly lowered himself in vibration (he fell off his broom) and parroted what a Hufflepuff would say: not fair! Wood’s solution was to play a clean game, so Snape didn’t have any excuse to pick on them.

Unlike George, Harry wasn’t as worried about fairness as he was about Snape possibly trying to harm him again. He was expressing his fears behind his current emotional state, but Hermione and Ron felt they needed to fix his problem for him. They fell all over themselves trying to help. Hermione’s solution was: “Don’t play.” In essence, she was telling Harry to listen to his fears about death and react accordingly.

Ron’s solution was: “Tell them you’re ill.” This was similar to Hermione’s suggestion – give in to your fears – but Ron told Harry how to do that: lie. Pretend you are something you are not. Hermione jumped on Ron’s suggestion and carried it a step further, “Pretend to break your leg.” She realized that being ill might not be enough for Wood to believe it. Ron, however, became more physical: “Really break your leg.” This is how our fractured awareness behaves. Each side attempts to outdo the other.

Of the trio, Harry was the only one who remained logical. If he didn’t play, there was no reserve Seeker to take his place. If Harry backed out of the game, Gryffindore loses.

It was at that moment that Neville toppled into the common room. He was under the influence of a curse that had glued his legs together. This reflects how our divided mindset retards our spiritual growth. Neville was also a visible sign of how Harry felt: stuck in a situation he couldn’t get out of. Legs represent movement, so Neville wasn’t moving forward, but neither was Harry. Harry’s feelings for Snape were holding him back.

Physically, Neville’s legs were a result of Draco practicing on him. Hermione released Neville from the curse, but she insisted he report Draco to Professor McGonagall. Neville refused. He didn’t want more trouble. But Ron interpreted Neville’s inaction as weakness. He saw Neville only in terms of what he would do himself if he was in the same situation. “You’ve got to stand up to him, Neville!”

What Ron missed was that Neville didn’t have a problem standing up. He was standing up to Hermione by not allowing her to influence what he did about the situation. Everything is always a matter of perspective, but since our awareness isn’t working correctly, that perspective generally comes from our desires to seek after pleasure and avoid discomfort.

Ron continued to justify what Neville needed to do to be okay, but Neville rejected Ron’s suggestions too. “There’s no need to tell me I’m not brave enough to be in Gryffindore, Malfoy’s already done that.” Neville choked on the words, but he still managed to say them, so he has no problem standing up to Ron either. Ron just made him feel bad about himself. Neville’s problem was the same as Ron’s: insecurity.

Harry picked up on that really quick. His reaction to Neville was completely different from Ron’s. Harry was concerned for Neville. Rather than attempting to tell Neville what to do, Harry simply reached into his pocket for the last chocolate frog that Hermione had given him for Christmas, and gave it to Neville. “You’re worth twelve of Malfoy,” Harry assured him.

Notice this was Harry’s last chocolate frog. It’s our clue that something is about to give Neville the opportunity to stand up. Along with that, Harry reminded Neville that the Sorting Hat placed him in Gryffindore, but it placed Draco in stinking Slytherin. The Sorting Hat was never wrong.

Since the Sorting Hat wanted to put Harry in Slytherin, but Harry had rejected that idea, I found that an interesting comment for Harry to make. The Sorting Hat is never wrong…