Skip navigation.

Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 70 – Hagrid Reveals His Secret
(HP Chapter 16)

Harry continued to question Hagrid. Had Hagrid and the stranger talked about Hogwarts? He had to think about that for a minute, and then realized they had. The stranger had asked what Hagrid did, and the conversation had led to Hagrid sharing his desire for a dragon. Although his mind wasn’t clear about what had happened that night, the stranger kept buying him drinks. He also wanted to play cards for the dragon, provided Hagrid could prove he would give the dragon a good home.

His behavior didn’t strike Hagrid as odd because it reached out and touched his heart’s desire. As we listen to the way Hagrid shares the story, we can learn a lot about how Voldemort manipulates us. He first disguised himself as just your everyday stranger, then started up a conversation using small talk. This small talk wasn’t typical. It zeroed in on Hagrid: what do you do? What sort of creatures do you look after? These types of questions worked to make Hagrid feel important.

During the process, Voldemort kept buying Hagrid drinks, and instead of refusing those drinks, Hagrid ended up drunk. Biblical symbolism for drunkenness often represents pride, but it also produces a confused state of mind when the liver is unable to filter out poisons. The drunken condition causes us to say and do things we otherwise wouldn’t. We no longer have control over ourselves. In fact, some people completely lose their memory of what they said or did while in that condition.

Drunkenness doesn’t always result in negative actions. Sometimes, it gives those who harbor a lot of fear a reckless abandonment they otherwise wouldn’t have. They display courage or assertiveness they don’t usually display when they haven’t had too much to drink. That’s because alcohol tends to bring out the true nature of our heart. It literally flips our heart to the outside.

That’s how Voldemort got to Hagrid to reveal his secret desire. He knocked down Hagrid’s defenses by poisoning him with liquor and vanity. He couldn’t just look into Hagrid’s mind as he had with so many others, and take what he had found. Hagrid had to give it to him. Hagrid had to trust Voldemort and share with him the information he needed.

Once Voldemort knew Hagrid’s deepest desire, he had something to work with – something to manipulate Hagrid with. He knew what Hagrid wanted above all other things, so he provided that for him and used it as bait. What struck me as odd was the way Voldemort wanted to play cards for the dragon egg. That wouldn’t be what someone who had a dragon would do, even if he wanted to unload it. It would be what someone who wanted a dragon from someone who didn’t want to give it up would do. So maybe Hagrid’s side of the story was a bit jumbled.

To keep Hagrid drunk with pride, Voldemort wanted Hagrid to prove he could handle a dragon. Hagrid fell right into Voldemort’s trap, just as Harry suspected. “I told him, after Fluffy, a dragon would be easy…”

I think this whole incident between Hagrid and Voldemort shows us how easy others can punch our mechanical buttons. Voldemort knows us better than anyone, even ourselves. We see that in the way he interacts with Harry throughout the series. What leads to Voldemort’s downfall wasn’t his inability to know us, but his inability to understand the length to which a mother would go to protect her son. There is no greater love, and Voldemort never comes to understand that. He also never comes to accept that there are many things far worse than death.

Harry tried to stay calm as he asked Hagrid if the stranger seemed interested in Fluffy. Hagrid assured him that a three-headed dog was rare even around Hogwarts. The dog wasn’t something everyone had. It also was not one of Voldemort’s creations or he would have known how to manipulate it. It reminds me of the flaming sword that was placed at the entrance to the Tree of Life to guard the Tree until Adam and Eve had been given enough time and preparation to repent.

After Hagrid was drunk, there was nothing Voldemort had to do but just let Hagrid talk. He knew Hagrid couldn’t keep a secret, and that his desire for a dragon would override any discernment Hagrid had left. He also knew how important it was to Hagrid that he look like a responsible person, so Hagrid told the stranger that handling Fluffy was a piece of cake if you knew how to calm him down.

Just play a little bit of music, and he’ll go right to sleep.

At that moment, Hagrid realized he had accidentally told the kids how to get past Fluffy. Interestingly, he didn’t realize he had also told the stranger the same thing. At least, he didn’t share that realization, if he did. He ordered the kids to forget what he had just said, but the kids had already taken off back to the castle at a fast run.

The three kids didn’t speak to each other until they came to a stop inside the castle’s entrance hall. It was obvious to the trio that they needed to go to Dumbledore with what they had just discovered. Hagrid had told the hooded figure exactly how to get past Fluffy, and Harry was sure it was either Snape or Voldemort that was under that cape.

In Harry’s view, the Philosopher’s Stone wasn’t safe. Although Fluffy was not the only thing guarding the Stone, he figured if you could get past Fluffy, then you might be able to get past the other enchantments as well. Harry hoped that Dumbledore would believe them, but if not, there was always Firenze to back up their strange story.

The three kids hesitated because they didn’t know where Dumbledore’s office was.

As they stood there wondering what to do, they heard Professor McGonagall’s voice coming toward them. She was carrying a pile of books. The books were important because Hermione had a tendency to follow Professor McGonagall’s beliefs, and carrying books represented one of Hermione’s largest hang-ups: mortal knowledge. Books can also symbolize our tendency to look outward for Salvation rather than within.

The professor wanted to know why the kids were inside the castle when it was such a nice day outside. Books and learning prompt us to look outward. Hermione informed her that they wanted to see Dumbledore. Hermione’s forwardness surprised Harry, but I don’t think he understood the relationship between Hermione and Professor McGonagall yet. Even so, Hermione’s reply didn’t make any sense to the professor. Not wanting to reveal why they needed Dumbledore, Harry sidestepped her questions by saying it was sort of a secret.

The professor didn’t like that answer, but she did reveal that Dumbledore had left about 10 minutes earlier. He had received an urgent message from the Ministry of Magic and had immediately flown to London.

There are seven groups of opposites we need to resolve and three major pillars on the Tree of Life. That makes 10, which seems to agree with the idea that Dumbledore had already completed his journey. Leaving Harry unprotected seemed to mirror the scriptural event where The Holy Spirit withdrew from Jesus Christ while he was hanging on the cross. That resulted in him going through his final trial alone