It is our choices that show us what we truly are far more than our abilities ~ Albus Dumbledore
She’s read the entire book series plus the play co-written by author J.K. Rowling; she’s now on a second reading of the 7 books and has watched four of the movies, so who better than my 11-year-old daughter to answer my questions on all things Harry Potter?
She agreed to fit me into her busy schedule to do an interview! To safeguard this “witch’s” identity, I will use the first letter of her first name “B” in reference to her:
G: Having read the entire series 1.5 times, and having watched 4 of the movies so far, what is it about Harry Potter that has enchanted you in its spell?
“The intriguing and inspirational ways J.K. Rowling wrote her books. The creativity that she used and brought into her books makes a wonderland of fun.”
G: When Harry arrives at Hogwarts, he meets Professor Dumbledore, who is not your average principal. Would you want him at your school? What classes at Hogwarts would you want to take if you had the opportunity?
“Yes I would. Dumbledore is very brave. He is always calm in harsh situations. He always seems to find the good in anyone and everyone. (Re classes): Transfiguration: Although I can’t fully explain this phenomenon, I value it for the knowledge and energy that it gives me. Defense Against the Dark Arts: It allows you to experience the artistry of magic and how to defend yourself against another wizard. Care of Magical Creatures: It allows any witch or wizard to explore all that dwells within magical creatures, and how to care for them.”
G: Which character from the books do you most identity with and why?
“Hermione is very similar to me. She is a very kind-hearted and joyful person. Hermione and I both share a love for learning. She takes every class available and she always seems to have her nose in a book. Another thing we have in common, is that we both have two best friends that we love and care for. Hermione is definitely just like me.”
G: Harry is sorted into Gryffindor, along with Ron and Hermione. How do you think the story would have changed if they hadn’t been placed in the same house? Do you think Harry would have still succeeded against the obstacles without Ron and Hermione?
“If Hermione hadn’t been in Gryffindor, she would have been in Ravenclaw minding her own business with her nose stuck in a book! If Ron hadn’t become friends with Harry and her, he would’ve been a prankster who makes very bad grades. Harry would’ve been in Slytherin playing on the Quidditch team and playing with the wrong friends.
(Re Harry succeeding): No, probably not. Ron and Hermione stick up for Harry in so many different ways. If Harry hadn’t befriended them, his life would’ve been a lot less exciting and enriching. He would never have become the person he is today.”
G: Harry and his classmates spend a lot of time in the library and they use quill pens and scrolls to write their papers. Why do you think they don’t have computers? Do you think you’d be able to give it all up for a chance to attend Hogwarts?
“I think they don’t have any technology because magic allows them to do much more than computers could ever do. (Re giving it all up): Yes, I would!! Hogwarts and magic allows you to do so much more than you could ever do in ordinary life. Since I started the series, I’ve secretly wished that it was actually real. I have been waiting this whole time to receive my letter of acceptance to Hogwarts. And I’m still waiting..”
G: Quirrel tells Harry that “There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.” (page 291) Do you agree with this? Is this the reality of the world? Or if good and evil do exist, what makes them so?
“No I do not agree. I believe that there is much more than power in this world. Even the weakest among us have an inner strength. (Re good and evil existing): Yes, I do believe that good and evil exist. However, it’s the people who choose sides”
As a sometimes bumbling, and always learning-as-I-go dad, I often miss the rich wisdom and life lessons my kids are gleaning (all by themselves) from our modern-day kids classics like Harry Potter.
B is well aware that J.K. Rowling buried many deeper philosophical and mythical references in her books. She has decided to wait until she is a little older before researching their significance. I’ll be sure to schedule a follow-up interview at that time!
Gerard Murphy is the author of Do It Anyway: Deep Spirituality Meets Real Life (Patheos Press). It is available on Amazon.
Cover photo: Pixabay
Insert 1: harrypotter.wikia.com
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