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Harry Potter's Invitation to the World

by Vickie Ewell


Chapter 8 – The Keeper of the Keys
(HP Chapter 4)

At the knock on the door, Mr. Dursley came racing into the living room with a rifle. Despite the Dursley’s neglectful parenting of Harry, Vernon was prepared at that moment to physically defend his family. Or at least, he figured the sight of a gun might be enough to scare away the intruder because he warned the person who was knocking on the door that he was armed.

We have no way of knowing why Mr. Dursley was fighting so hard to keep Harry safe after the way he has acted toward him for the first three chapters of the book, but later on in the chapter he did say that he had made it a personal goal to stamp the wizard out of Harry.

It was also possible that Vernon didn’t realize his parenting efforts toward Harry have been neglectful. Without unconditional love for Harry, he wouldn’t find his behavior anything to feel guilty about. While he did become frightened when the letter to Harry was addressed to the boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs, it was Petunia’s reaction to that fact that ignited his fear.

Despite where we are on the Path, we don’t see ourselves very clearly. We can generally justify everything we think, say, and do as being right. Although Vernon believed the Wizarding World was nonsense, he was deeply afraid of it. While it is not surprising that Vernon would react with a protective instinct towards Dudley and Petunia, it seems that allowing the Wizarding World into his life in any form was what scared him the most at that moment.

One minute Vernon was yelling that he was armed and ready to defend himself and family, and the next moment the front door was crashing to the floor with a bang. The intruder was a giant we’ve met before in Chapter 1: The person who brought Harry to Privet Drive on a flying motorcycle. His hair and beard was still tangled and hiding his face, who he really was, but you can now see that his black beetle-like eyes were glittering with excitement.

He squeezed his body through the doorway, and stooped over so that he could fit into the small room. Although he was larger than life, he bent over, picked up the door that he broke, and kindly set it back in place. When he turned to everyone in the room, he said: “It’s not been an easy journey….”

Being a giant, Hagrid doesn’t travel the same way Wizards do. Plus, with Sirius in jail, he probably didn’t have the option of using the flying motorcycle this time. He wasn’t allowed to use magic, but the Dursleys didn’t know that. They were terrified of him. Dudley ran to hide behind mom, who was hiding behind dad. That’s the typical hierarchy of family leadership in the Muggle World. It’s what both religion and society teaches.

The giant ignored them and addressed Harry who noticed that Hagrid’s beetle eyes were smiling at him. “Las’ time I saw you, you was only a baby,” the giant said. “Yeh look a lot like your dad, but yeh’ve got yer mom’s eyes.”

This is the first time we are introduced to this description of Harry, which will be used repeatedly throughout the series. Harry looked like his physical father, but the windows to his soul are green like his mother’s. Since Harry has been raised with Dursley spiders, this statement also works to trigger potential change. If Harry accepts it and believes it, even if he just files it away and doesn’t cast out the seed, the process to make it true for him will begin.

At that point, Mr. Dursley found his voice. Uncle Vernon demanded that the giant leave, stating society’s rule of breaking and entering as justification, but the giant simply told Vernon to shut up. He grabbed the weapon out of Vernon’s hands, twisted it into knot, threw it into a corner of the room, and turned his back on the Dursleys.

The Wizarding World doesn’t recognize the man-made rules of the Muggle World as valid. In addition, this particular giant is not about to let anyone stand between him and Harry. He loves Harry, and he is reacting out of love, but Mr. Dursley was not. Mr. Dursley was reacting out of fear and a strong desire to control the situation.

The giant handed Harry a birthday cake he was carrying underneath his black overcoat. While Dumbledore’s attire was half-moon shaped glasses and a purple cloak, Hagrid’s clothing was beetle-like eyes and a black overcoat. Although blackness was stressed here, Hagrid was definitely hiding something more beneath that overcoat than just a cake.

Beetles are transformative insects with a hard protective covering and two pairs of wings. Two wings are overcoats for the two wings with which many beetle species can fly. Beetles were considered sacred by the ancient Egyptians as well as other societies.

Harry meant to thank him for the cake, but his brain wouldn’t cooperate. Instead of saying “Thank You,” the words that come out were: “Who are you?” This is typical of sensory dysfunction. There was some type of disconnection between Harry’s brain and body, but the giant simply laughed and realized he hasn’t introduced himself.

I am “Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.”

Hagrid made himself known to Harry in front of the Dursleys. That’s unheard of in many spiritual traditions. Many secret societies keep what they know and understand to themselves. They make vows of secrecy similar to the covenant between Snape and Dumbledore that no one would ever know whom Snape was actually loyal too.

While there are reasons behind being quiet – Snape’s life and mission depended on Dumbledore’s silence – many individuals misunderstand these vows and covenants. Projecting them outwardly and interpreting them on a literal level, they have no clue as to what they have actually covenanted not to do.

Physically, Hagrid has a large key ring that contained the keys to unlock (or lock) every door inside Hogwarts and around the grounds, but he had spiritually burst through the doorway into the Muggle World to rescue Harry and reveal to him his (Hagrid’s) true identity. He didn’t care whether the Dursleys were there, or not, because they wouldn’t understand what Hagrid was revealing anyway. It won’t affect their choices one way or another.

But Harry doesn’t understand either. Hagrid didn’t realize that because he was busy looking around at Harry’s condition. Hagrid was disgusted at the situation. It was cold, damp, and there was no food other than a couple of empty potato chip bags.

This is basically the same condition we find ourselves in just before we enter the Path ourselves: We are cold without spiritual heat, wet from the drenching of the storms of the physical world, and lacking in spiritual food. When we begin to yearn for something different, something more, something we don’t yet understand, physical help arrives. Traditions often speak of this in terms of: When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

That teacher can be many things: a religious or spiritual leader, a website, a book such as Harry Potter, a casual remark made by a friend, something someone shares on an egroup that answers a question we have, or someone who has more information about the Path of Liberation than we do. For Harry, his first teacher and friend was Hagrid – The Keeper of the Keys.