Monday, July 8, 2013

"To Harry Potter--the Boy Who Lived!"

Well, it's that time of year again! Potter time, that is. For the past four summers I have made a habit of rereading Harry Potter, my all-time favorite series. I mostly did this with the beginning of college because I wouldn't dare risk reading them during the school year. If I had, I would have been forced to choose between my schoolwork and Harry, and I think we all know who would win:
"Avada Kedavra, homework, focus, and academic success!!!"

Since then, Harry Potter has become a sort of summer tradition for me. More reason to love summer, right?  Anyway, I finished The Sorcerer's Stone last night and got a good start on The Chamber of Secrets this morning during jury duty. (Yes, I'm on jury duty. What joy is mine.) No matter how many times I read this series, I still find myself laughing out loud (mostly at Harry and Ron), getting chills at my favorite lines (usually provided by Dumbledore), and just freaking out at its overall awesomeness.

In rereading the 1st book, specifically, I am always amazed at just how nice of a boy Harry is: he appeals to Ron's financial woes by pointing out Dudley's hand-me-downs; instead of freaking out over Neville's sudden appearance before his midnight duel (like Ron and Hermione), he asks how his broken wrist is; and who could forget the moment he gives Neville a chocolate frog and tells him, "You're worth twelve of Malfoy"? The amazing part is that Harry has no reason to be nice. He lost his parents before he could remember them, then he's forced to live with Dursley's who give a bad name to Muggles everywhere. This time around it really got me when Harry goes to the zoo for Dudley's birthday--his first time at the zoo, mind you--and he spends the day avoiding Piers and Dudley's bullying, eating cheap lemon pops and Dudley's rejected ice cream, and being ignored by his aunt and uncle--when they aren't demeaning him. And this is "the best morning he'd had in a while" . . . Excuse me while I find a dark corner to cry in.

So, to honor Harry Potter even more, I thought I'd try that whole 30 day challenge thing . . but the Potter edition. Today I begin with my favorite character. And he is . . . 

Yes, I know. A little generic, but Harry is number one--or should I say "the chosen one?" Ha ha. He's brave,yes, but I think Harry's greatest quality is his goodness. This is best seen in the final showdown between him and Voldemort: 

"Think, and try for some remorse, Riddle…."
"What is this?"
Of all the things that Harry had said to him, beyond any revelation or taunt, nothing had shocked Voldemort like this.  Harry saw his pupils contract to thin slits, saw the skin around his eyes whiten.
"It’s your one last chance," said Harry. “it’s all you’ve got left….I’ve seen what you’ll be otherwise….Be a man….try….Try for some remorse…."
Woa. Just . . . woa. I mean, he gave Voldemort--the loser who killed his parents, his friends, and made him a horcrux--a second chance. Who does that? 

Harry Potter. That's who.

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