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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 61 – Helping Hagrid’s Dragon Escape
(HP Chapter 14)

Throughout the next week, Draco’s smile was particularly bothersome for Harry. The kids tried to ignore his smirk and spent their free time with Hagrid, trying to convince him to set the dragon free. “I can’t,” said Hagrid. “He’s too little. He’ll die.”

Many people make this same mistake. They become “saved” or join a religious organization and assume that means they are free, or nearly so. In reality, they have only just begun the Path. If they were actually set free, they wouldn’t have the spiritual strength to survive.

The kids were confused. They looked at the dragon. It had tripled in length over the past week, yet Hagrid insisted it was too small to set free. Like the dragon, our darkness can grow quickly after birth. Since Hagrid had been spending so much time feeding the dragon, Hagrid had been ignoring his Gamekeeping duties. That might be why this particular dragon was growing so quickly. Within a couple more weeks, the dragon was likely to be as long as the house.

Harry reminded Hagrid that Draco could go to Dumbledore at any moment. Apparently, Hagrid had taken it upon himself to help the dragon without Dumbledore’s permission. If Dumbledore found out, he would take the dragon away.

Hagrid knew he couldn’t keep the dragon forever, but his heart wouldn’t allow him to just dump it. A dragon needed love and care. Walking away from it could hurt it eternally. He could die. Harry’s idea was to send the dragon to Ron’s brother, Charlie. Charlie could look after the dragon, and then set him free once he had grown.

What was beginning to take shape was a clearer picture of Hagrid’s role, and where Hagrid sat in terms of his own progression. His job was to set up the conditions for the egg to hatch, but once it had hatched, someone else needed to take care of it. Like Harry sitting in front of the mirror and ignoring his studies, Hagrid had been spending too much time caring for the dragon.

This suggested that Hagrid had other candidates for the Path he was supposed to be helping, not just Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Perhaps Draco represented that unbalance. Draco had untapped potential that was being stifled by his upbringing, the same as Harry’s had been.

The dragon had captured Hagrid’s entire attention. He represented the deepest desire of Hagrid’s heart, but that undivided attention was hurting others. Hagrid seemed to be incapable of dividing his time appropriately between those he was assigned to take care of. He went overboard. He had too much love and compassion, which can hurt a candidate as much as too little.

Hagrid had a strong need for balance. At the end of the path, we learn to balance love and compassion with severity and judgment. Hagrid represented the love and compassion side of the Tree of Life, but desired a dragon because he hadn’t yet learned how to balance love and judgment in the same way that Dumbledore had.

The next week dragged by. Ron kept himself busy using Harry’s invisibility cloak to sneak off to Hagrid’s hut and help him feed Norbert. Rather than brandy and chicken blood, the dragon now ate crates full of dead rats. This reflected how we go from innocence at birth to our ugly, carnal nature quickly. Except that the rats were dead.

Rats often symbolize a traitor, or someone who snitches, but their dead status also shows their sleeping condition. When asleep, the dragon – our conditioning – has total power over us. The rats serve the dragon, but the dragon bit Ron as he attempted to feed him. Jo used biting throughout the series to show us where the person bitten was in relation to the creature doing the biting. Ron’s emotional nature, and tendency to complain and blame was hurting him.

According to Ron’s version of the story, Hagrid took the dragon’s side. He even told Ron off for frightening him. We don’t really know what happened, or why, but Ron was furious. Although his first instinct was always to blame, he didn’t like it when someone else was blaming him.

The dragon did far more damage to Ron’s hand than his pet rat ever did. When Scabbers bites Ron, it has no physical effect on him, but the dragon did. The dragon was a far greater danger than a rat, so when Charlie sent word that he was willing to take the dragon, Ron and Hermione didn’t argue about the dangerous method required to get Norbert to the rendezvous point.

By the next morning, Ron’s hand had swollen to twice its size. Scabbers had never hurt Ron to that degree. He didn’t know if Madam Pomfrey would recognize a dragon bite, so he put off going to see her. Many of us do the same thing. By afternoon, however, Ron’s hand had turned green. He had no choice. His hand was seriously infected. A dragon’s bite was poisonous. Although “Draco” means dragon, Voldemort was the poisonous one.

Ron’s swollen hand was the least of his problems. Draco lied his way past Madam Pomfrey by saying he wanted to borrow one of Ron’s books. Ron believed Draco only wanted to laugh at him. Since Ron had lied about his bite, Draco threatened to tell Madam Pomfrey what had really bitten Ron, but he didn’t. It seemed that Draco’s purpose was to get Ron riled up. I don’t think Draco actually knew what was going on. If he did, he would have snitched by now.

Harry and Hermione tried to calm Ron down. Harry reminded Ron that it would all be over by midnight on Saturday. In most spiritual traditions, Saturday night at midnight was the end of the path. It was the moment just before Resurrection. That upset Ron even more. Charlie’s letter about the drop off was inside the book that Draco took. Draco would know they were trying to save the dragon.

It was too late to change plans. What they had on their side was that Draco didn’t know about the invisibility cloak.

When Harry tried to inform Hagrid about Charlie’s letter, Fang was sitting outside the hut with a bandaged tail. Hagrid refused to let the kids come inside. He talked to them through an open window instead. When Harry told Hagrid about the letter, he cried, but Harry couldn’t be sure if that was from Charlie’s willingness to help, or because the dragon had just bit Hagrid’s leg.

Perhaps, Hagrid’s dragon represented the birth of the severity he must go through and face in his life before he could resolve that pillar. Hagrid insisted he was fine. The dragon was just playing with him. “He’s only a baby, after all.” Hagrid’s compassion wouldn’t allow him to take a judgmental stance against the dragon.

On Saturday night, Harry and Hermione were late arriving at Hagrid’s hut due to Peeves. Norbert was ready to go. Hagrid had packed rats and brandy for the journey, as well as Norbert’s teddy bear. The ripping noises that came from inside the crate sounded like the dragon was ripping the bear’s head off. That made me think of a beheading, but this also seemed to be a warning for Hagrid. Darkness can injure us if we are introduced to it sooner than we are strong enough to handle it.

Hagrid sobbed, and said good-bye as Harry and Hermione covered the crate with the invisibility cloak and stepped beneath it. Somehow, they managed to get it back to the castle and up to the corridor that was just beneath the highest tower.

A sudden movement in the darkness caused them to almost drop the crate. They forgot they were invisible and instinctively slid back into the shadows. Professor McGonagall had Draco by the ear. She was angry that he was wandering around at night. “Detention!” she shouted. “And twenty points from Slytherin!”

Draco tried to tell her that Harry Potter was coming with a dragon, so obviously, he hadn’t told anyone about what Harry was up to. That seemed to mirror what he did in the last book when he wouldn’t reveal who Harry was. That makes Draco rather unpredictable. Tonight, he was also without his two sidekicks. At the end of the series, he will have to face reality by himself, as well. Professor McGonagall didn’t believe him, and threatened to go to Snape over the incident.

After that, getting up the spiral staircase to the top of the tower was easy. Harry and Hermione stepped into the night air, removed the invisibility cloak, and waited for Norbert’s rescuers. Hermione was so excited that Draco had detention she wanted to sing. Harry warned her into silence. Although Hermione’s greatest fear was being expelled from school, she didn’t have any control when it came to keeping her mouth shut.

The pair had made it with 10 minutes to spare. It was 10 minutes before midnight on Saturday night. We have seven pairs of opposites to resolve, plus three pillars. That equals 10. There are also 10 Sephiroth on the Tree of Life.

Four broomsticks swooped down out of the darkness. The number four symbolizes Harrying having to take upon himself the characteristics of each Hogwart’s house to beat Voldemort. Harry and Hermione helped Charlie’s friends buckle Norbert into a harness, then stood, and watched until they all flew out of sight. As Harry and Hermione made their way back down the staircase, they were so happy about their success they forgot to put the invisibility cloak back on. In fact, they’d left the cloak in the tower!

One of the interpretations for the Alchemical Wedding talks about a re-descent on the Tree of Life that occurs at the very end of the process. Once all of the opposites are resolved, the last movement takes us from Keter back to Tiferet. This mimicked Harry’s return to life in the last book without his covering of invisibility. It also suggested that Masters of Compassion can make that same descent by reincarnating to help others.

Filch was waiting for the kids at the foot of the stairs. Harry and Hermione were in just as much trouble as Draco was