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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 72 – Harry Decides to Go Through the Trapdoor
(HP Chapter 16)

Harry tried to console himself. Hermione was tailing Snape. But that didn’t work out either. When Snape came out of the staff room and found Hermione there, she followed Ron’s suggestion and told him she was waiting for Flitwick. Snape went back inside to get him, so Hermione simply took off. She didn’t know what else to do.

With all possibilities shut down, Harry felt there was only one move left. He had to reach the Stone before anyone else did. Forward movement is sometimes like that. Every door closes, except for one.

For Harry, that meant going through the trapdoor himself. Apparently, Harry was the one who chose to enter the Initiation process. Ron and Hermione were not so willing. Ron thought Harry was mad to do that, and Hermione totally freaked out. She had believed the threats of Professor McGonagall and Snape. “You’ll be expelled,” she warned.

Harry didn’t care about that, and completely lost control. His friends had no clue what was at stake. “SO WHAT!” he screamed. If Snape got his hands on that Stone, Voldemort was coming back! If that happened, there would be no Hogwarts to be expelled from! Voldemort would destroy it or turn it into a School for the Dark Arts! Harry was reacting impulsively out of fear, but it was a fear that had merged with courage and concern for Hogwarts itself. He was also pointing out to Hermione the errors in judgment that fear causes. He was afraid of what would happen if Voldemort got his hands on the Stone. He was afraid of what would happen to the school. His mindset was that the worst thing that could happen if he was caught was that he would be sent back to the Dursleys.

Although he loved Hogwarts, Voldemort becoming immortal would change the school forever. It would never be the same again, so the worst thing that could happen would be waiting at the Dursleys for Voldemort to find him – which Harry fully expected he would do. “It’s only dying a bit later than I would have, because I’m never going over to the Dark Side!”

Harry’s comment provided a glimpse into his reality. He was walking into the night’s adventure knowing there was a chance that he would die in the process: “It’s only dying a bit later…” Even so, he was taking his invisibility cloak and going through the trapdoor that night, and there was nothing Hermione or Ron could say or do that was going to stop him. Although Harry still functioned within his dual mindset, he had no fear of death itself. He saw darkness as evil. Besides, Voldemort had killed his parents!

Bringing up Voldemort’s role in his parent’s death was actually a Slitherin reaction, but Harry didn’t know that. Although courage defined a Gryffindore, a strong attachment and love for family defined a Slytherin. In reality, Harry did not belong to any of the four houses. He just believed that he did. To place ourselves within one of these houses actually confines us to that house’s major characteristics. The houses box their members in. It gives them something to identify with.

The truth? Harry was a composite. He had all of the traits specifically assigned to each individual house. His decision was a manifestation of faith, works, courage, and love. All four houses were present in his being.

Surprisingly, Hermione agreed with Harry’s arguments, so Ron wanted to know if the invisibility cloak was large enough to hide all three of them. Harry was shocked. “Oh, come off it,” Ron said. “You don’t think we’d let you go alone?”

Hermione agreed with Ron. “How do you think you’d get to the Stone without us?” To Hermione, she was just thinking logically, but her words carried a lot of vanity and pride. As the night progresses, we will see how only Harry had the traits and purity to reach the Stone. While Hermione was able to travel further than Ron, she still fell short of the goal. That goal, according to Dumbledore, was to be able to look into the Mirror of Erised and see yourself – be content with yourself exactly as you are – at that very moment.

Harry reminded her that if they were caught, she and Ron would be expelled along with him. Hermione seemed to have forgotten that, but she assured him that she would do everything within her power to prevent that from happening. “Flitwick told me in secret that I got a hundred and twelve percent on his exam (having a pineapple dance across the table). They’re not throwing me out after that,” she said with pride.

After dinner, Hermione, Ron and Harry sat in the common room but apart from each other. This seemed to represent the way the various parts of our awareness are initially distinct and separate. Our male side is distant from our female side due to their differences in interests and roles. Hermione was skimming her notes hoping to find one of the enchantments they were going to try and break. Harry and Ron just sat there, not speaking, but thinking about what they were going to do.

None of the other Gryffindores bothered them, as no one had anything to say to Harry any more. It was like the calm just before a storm. Once the room was almost empty, Harry got up and went to retrieve his invisibility cloak. As he grabbed the cloak, the flute that Hagrid gave him for Christmas caught his eye, so he tucked it into his pocket. Although he was quite nervous, he was open to suggestion. He thought it would be useful for putting Fluffy to sleep. He then returned to the common room.

The mood surrounding the kids was different than we have seen before. Although they had no regrets about their choice, they realized the seriousness of the situation. Ron suggested they try the cloak on in the common room before they left to make sure it completely covered them. He was afraid that if someone’s feet were sticking out, Filch might spot them.

He didn’t notice that Neville was still in the room. Fear often causes us to be less aware of our surroundings than we otherwise would be. There didn’t seem to be any excitement for Ron this time. He was quiet and solemn.

Neville heard the trio talking and came out from behind an armchair. He was tightly clutching his pet frog, Trevor, who looked like he had just made another attempt at freedom. This particular frog symbolizes our desire to escape the mortal world, as well as our physical nature, because it kept trying to get away from Neville. Only, Neville hadn’t allowed him to do that.

It also resembled just how many times freedom is offered to us before we take it. Most people need the security of what they can see and touch, so they hang on until they just can’t do it anymore. Harry shoved the cloak behind his back, but Neville was wiser than that. “You’re going out again,” Neville accused