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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 64 – The Kids Meet Hagrid for Detention
(HP Chapter 15)

Hermione advised the boys to tell Dumbledore what was going on. She feared that if they tried to do anything themselves, they would be expelled from school for sure. Although her counsel was correct in this particular case, her motives for having Harry report what was going on to Dumbledore were not pure.

Harry refused Hermione’s idea, because he didn’t think telling Dumbledore would do any good. They didn’t have proof of what they believed about Snape, so he provided Hermione with many arguments against her idea. Quirrell was too frightened to back them up. Snape would simply say he didn’t know how the troll got into the school on Halloween, and that he was nowhere near the third floor.

Harry realized his hate for Snape contributed to the problem, but he perceived the problem as being the believability of their story. He didn’t see his hate as problematic. He believed Filch was friendly toward Snape and wasn’t particularly fond of students. Plus, they weren’t supposed to know about the Stone or Fluffy anyway.

For a change, Harry’s arguments actually convinced Hermione, but Ron wanted to continue poking around. “No,” Harry said. They had done enough poking around already.

The following morning, Professor McGonagall notified Harry, Hermione, and Neville that their detention would start at 11:00 o’clock that evening. It was nearing midnight, so the kids had almost learned everything they needed to know about the physical and spiritual worlds that would enable them to make a choice about seeking the Stone.

As Filch led the kids and Draco outside of the school, we receive a peek into Filch’s severe view of things. He believed hard work, pain, and fear were life’s best teachers. He was not happy that the old ways of doing things had changed. He carried an Old Testament, eye-for-an-eye theology, which kept him securely pinned at the physical level.

In contrast to Filch’s extreme viewpoint, the moon was bright, but the clouds that moved in front of its face kept throwing the kids into darkness. Enlightenment comes sporadically. It isn’t necessarily consistent. Neither is the Alchemical process. Removing the veil is more of a peeling process than throwing off a blanket.

Even in the darkness, Harry could see the lighted windows of Hagrid’s hut. He found the light comforting. He also heard Hagrid’s voice cut through the darkness. That voice made Harry feel better about the detention, but Filch couldn’t stop himself from trying to scare the kids. “It’s into the forest you’re going…”

His comments freaked Draco out because he knew there were all sorts of creatures in the forest, such as werewolves. Filch’s view of Draco’s predicament was that he should have thought about werewolves and creatures before he got himself into trouble. While Filch might be friendly toward Snape, it was not a love-for-Slytherin thing. He treated Draco the same as the others.

Hagrid suddenly appeared out of the darkness with Fang at his side. He was carrying a large crossbow and a quiver of arrows. It was interesting to watch the path that Jo painted for us here. The kids started out in total blackness, and then moved into the moonlight. The moonlight, however, wasn’t constant but became covered up from time to time by dark clouds that obscured their way.

Out of the darkness, the kids heard Hagrid’s voice, but they also experienced Filch trying to scare them with the truth that they had to go into the forbidden forest. Before that happened, however, Hagrid appeared to them in person carrying weapons of defense.

Hagrid was in a hurry to get started. He felt anxious because he had been waiting for over 30 minutes. The inference was that the kids were running a little bit behind schedule. Filch reminded Hagrid that detention was a punishment, not a friendly adventure. His attitude upset Hagrid when he realized the kids were late (or behind) because Filch had been lecturing them.

Our inner critic and fears can really slow us down, but that wasn’t Filch’s job. Hagrid was in charge of the kids’ detention and didn’t hesitate in telling him so. It’s easy to see that Dumbledore had contrived this whole detention thing. Hagrid wasn’t about to punish the kids for helping him with his dragon. Likewise, mortal life isn’t punishment either. It’s a consequence that gives us the opportunity to learn and grow.

Filch nastily told Hagrid that he would be back to pick up what was left of the kids at dawn. That caused Draco to panic, yet again. “I’m not going into the forest.” I’m not sure what Filch represented in connection to a pre-mortal existence, but Draco’s reaction to Filch was probably how he handled things at home.

Hagrid wasn’t about to let Draco control the situation. He flat-out told him that if he didn’t go into the forest, he would no longer be at Hogwarts. “Yeh’ve done wrong an’ now yeh’ve got ter pay fer it.”

Draco thought detention was going to be copying lines or something. He started to throw his father’s weight around, but that didn’t work with Hagrid either. In Hagrid’s view, copying lines didn’t help anyone. It was busy work that didn’t do a thing for the kids’ salvation. Copying doesn’t move us forward.

Hagrid told Draco that he was going to do something useful, or he was going to get out. If Draco thought his father would rather see him expelled, then he was free to go back to the castle and start packing. Draco’s choices were to go into the forbidden forest with Hagrid in charge or leave Hogwarts. This confrontation seemed to mirror Adam and Eve’s choice to leave the world they knew behind for something else.

Draco didn’t want to go, but he couldn’t continue progressing at Hogwarts if he didn’t. The inference Hagrid raised was that before the Fall occurred, whatever we were doing wasn’t useful for us or anyone else. He clearly told Draco, and not the other kids, that he did something wrong. That’s because Draco tried to prevent the other kids from helping Hagrid’s dragon. In a sense, he had tried to prevent Harry and Hermione from moving forward.

At the same time, Hagrid insisted that Draco needed to do something useful himself. That meant he needed to go into the forest (the body) along with the others, but Draco didn’t move. He was furious with Hagrid, but he dropped his gaze. Hagrid was right and Draco knew it. Draco obviously didn’t understand why he needed to go into the forbidden forest, but he submitted to Hagrid’s authority, because he knew how angry his father would be if he were to do something that got himself expelled from school.

Once again, we see that Draco wasn’t what he pretended to be. He was an extreme example of a Slytherin who was totally lacking in courage. Courage is one of the characteristics required to begin the Alchemical process.

With Draco under control, Hagrid explained that their task was dangerous, so he didn’t want any of them to take risks. That included Draco. While he was currently not doing anything useful for himself or others, he had the potential to change. “Follow me over here a moment.” Hagrid led the kids to the very edge of the forest. The hint here was that a mortal existence was necessary in our eternal progression, and that a Hagrid-type led us to the edge of the forest, not a Filch