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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 57 – Harry’s Second Quidditch Game
(HP Chapter 12)

Harry felt like his friends were not much comfort to him. When they wished him luck outside the locker room just before the next Quidditch match, Harry was sure they believed they would never see him again. Harry’s fears continued to multiply due to his lack of knowledge concerning the situation. His fears were so heavy, and he felt so alone, that he hardly heard any of Wood’s pre-game speech.

What Harry didn’t know (but Jo tells us) is that Ron and Hermione do not believe Harry is going to die, but they are worried that Snape might try something during the game. They have a plan – a plan they didn’t confide in Harry about. Now, I’m guessing they felt that Harry might interfere or mess up their plan, so they took it upon themselves to do something about Harry’s situation without telling him. At the game, they sat next to Neville, who was confused as to why they had brought their wands to the game, but he didn’t question them about it.

What Harry didn’t know was that his friends had been practicing the leg-lock curse that Draco had used on Neville earlier. They planned to use it on Snape, if needed. It’s sort of funny that the kids actually think they would stand a chance against Snape – a teacher and past occultist – but we’re also seeing a part of Hermione that didn’t come out very often. Although it often appeared that rules were more important to her than anything else, she was currently willing to break them by attacking a teacher to physically protect Harry, if necessary.

Wood wasn’t ignorant of the seriousness of the situation. He told Harry that his number one concern should be to catch the Snitch as early as possible. The idea Wood planted in Harry’s mind was to end the game quickly – before Snape could favor Hufflepuff too much. I’m assuming this was a veiled reference to the fact that Harry’s path is short: only seven years long.

When Fred looked out the doorway at the crowd, he saw that Dumbledore had come to watch the game. Harry felt relief because he knew Snape wouldn’t dare try to hurt him with Dumbledore around, but Snape did look angry as the teams marched onto the field. It was only later on in the forbidden forest that we learn the real reason why Snape was mad.

This happens quite a bit in real life I think. We interpret someone’s emotional state as being directed towards our self, or about us, when it’s really about someone or something else. False judgment is so common among fallen man.

Draco was sitting behind Ron, Hermione, and Neville, giving them a hard time. He was insulting Harry, Ron, and Neville about how they were chosen for Gryffindore. Interestingly, he didn’t insult Hermione at all. This gives us a further glimpse into Draco. His animosity toward Harry wasn’t personal. He was treating Ron and Neville the same way he treated Harry, but that raises a question about Draco’s real motives. He was attacking two pure blood Wizards, so his problem with Harry really wasn’t about bloodlines. It’s probably envy.

We know that Draco is weaker than he pretended to be. He wears a “bully” mask to protect his insecurities and fears, but he’s much more complex of a character than just a bully. When I look at him, I always see a younger version of his father who is also mentally weaker than he pretends to be, but we don’t find that out until Draco’s father comes home from Azkaban much later in the series.

Since Ron and Hermione were too afraid to take their eyes off Harry circling above them in the air, they initially ignored Draco’s remarks. Neville, however, reacted to Draco. “I’m worth twelve of you, Malfoy,” Neville said, parroting Harry’s earlier comment to him. We see Neville’s potential in his willingness to take Harry’s words to heart and repeat them, but this scene really showed us the power Harry Potter has to change lives.

Harry had a power to touch Neville that no one (so far) in Neville’s family had. That’s because Neville’s family had only tried to reach him through spoken or unspoken criticism. Many people believe that pushing, shoving, badgering, criticizing and getting someone angry – clubbing them over the head with their faults or calling them names – will make them stand up.

Sometimes it does, but most of the time it doesn’t work. All it does is hold someone back from their true potential because it punctuates their own lack of self-esteem. It confirms what they believe about themselves. Harry, on the other hand, instinctively reached out to Neville by sharing with him his worth, and Neville responded positively.

Draco and his friends laughed at Neville’s attempt to stand up to him and repeated both the insults. By now, Ron was feeling stretched. He had a need to make Draco shut up. Ron hadn’t learned yet that Draco’s taunts don’t define who he or his family is. It doesn’t matter what Draco thinks or says.

Hermione suddenly hollered about Harry, which momentarily distracted Ron from Draco. Harry was streaking toward the ground like a bullet, so Draco turned his insults from Neville to Harry. Ron was still identifying with Harry, so at that point, Ron snapped and reacted by wrestling Draco to the ground. Hermione was more focused on Harry and his safety at this point. Ron was only thinking about his own feelings, so he reacted, but that reaction was conditional – not intentional.

Neville hesitated when he saw the scuffle, but then climbed over the seat to help Ron and ended up punching it out with Crabbe and Goyle. This was another inference that Neville will hesitate, somewhat, but eventually stand up. It shows us how Neville (like us) has to choose to act.

Meanwhile, Hermione continued to watch Harry who was speeding downward directly toward Snape. Snape turned out of the way just in time as Harry missed him by inches. This made me think about Harry’s and Snape’s path. The Sorting Hat’s opinion was that Harry belonged in Slytherin, and Harry told Neville that the Sorting Hat was never wrong. Harry was obviously thinking about Neville’s placement at that point, not his own, but it did raise a question in my mind:

Was the Sorting Hat’s choice to place Harry in Slytherin because Slytherin was actually the path Harry was traveling on – even though he identifies himself with Gryffindore? Yes, Harry has a small piece of Voldemort’s soul attached to his scar, but…I’ve always felt that the Sorting Hat looks into your heart and places you in accordance with your heart’s desires. We know that when Harry looked into the Mirror of Erised, he saw what a Slytherin would see.

So…is it true that the Sorting Hat is never wrong?

Is Harry a Slytherin at heart, but a Griffindore in action? He sees Slytherin as something bad, but they aren’t. Without Draco and Snape in Harry’s life, he never would have accomplished what he did in so short a time.

Snape’s role as Voldemort’s counselor had to end in order for the ultimate deception of the wands to take place. Although it wasn’t his conscious choice, Snape will be taken out of Harry’s way at the end, just before Harry catches the real Snitch – similar to Harry’s movement here. Harry sped toward Snape (toward being like him?) and then Snape stepped out of the way just before the two of them collided.

Snape died, but he died unharmed because all of his secrets go with him. He died protecting both Draco and Harry despite how both boys felt about him by then. I do think that when Snape looked into Harry’s eyes at his very end, he saw enough within Harry to die in peace. But there’s also the matter of the invisibility cloak. It was passed down to Harry, which means that at one time, he and Voldemort came through the same family tree.

Harry pulled out of his dive and raised his arm in triumph. The Snitch was in his hand. Harry had set a record. The game had only lasted five minutes. I keep thinking there is something significant about 5 minutes. No one had ever caught the Snitch that quickly before. The Snitch isn’t the Stone. It releases the Stone at the very close.

Snape might be frustrated with Harry because he wasn’t what Snape believed “The One” should be like, but as far as Harry’s path was concerned, catching the Snitch in 5 minutes made me think that Harry was on the short and rocky path. If that’s true, then that raises the question of whether we, at the end of our many lifetimes, also enter the short and rocky path. Perhaps, the paths in The Alchemical Wedding are not as clearly defined as they appear to be at first glance. Could it be possible that we travel all of them at the same time?

As the Griffindores spilled onto the field, Snape landed. He looked white-faced and tight-lipped. The description of Snape almost sounded like a corpse. He was only a shell of whom he really was. But Harry spooked him, I think. At the speed that Harry was traveling, Snape might not have realized the person racing toward him was Harry.

Dumbledore placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Well done,” Dumbledore said. This brought to mind the image of Harry passing through the veil in the last book. It was after the Snitch had opened, and Dumbledore greeted Harry with an attitude of well done