Harry Potter in a Trump society.
I host a Harry Potter Book Club. It’s from 4:00pm-7:00pm on the second Sunday of every month. I started it because I hadn’t re-read the series in a while and I thought it would be a fun thing to do together with a few of my other friends who love the book, plus it had been a hard year and as a birthday gift to myself I promised to do more things for ME, things that brought ME joy. It’s funny because as with anything, the friends I thought would come didn’t and people whom I didn’t know very well (besides a mutal love of a book) became some of my closest confidants. The Pottheads, as we have affectionately come to call ourselves, made it through all 7 books and have decided to go again because those conversations around themed snacks and butter beer have been some of the most joyous moments of all.
This month we will be discussing the Goblet of Fire. However I came across an interesting prompt in my search for Book 3 that said the following:
“There are many themes present within J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, many of which address and critique real human and social issues. One of the most prominent themes is that of the failings of legal systems across the world to effectively and justly deal with those who have been accused of a crime. One of the tenants of the modern justice system is that an individual is innocent until proven guilty; however, within the book, we see both people and creatures suffer time and time again for crimes they did not commit. Buckbeak is sentenced to death after attacking Malfoy, despite the fact that the animal was provoked by Malfoy’s malicious spirit. Sirius Black is locked away in Azkaban and tormented by Dementors, despite being innocent of the crime he has allegedly committed, mainly for the sake of the Ministry appearing tough on crime...Meanwhile, those who actually guilty of horrible acts continue to walk free throughout the wizarding world: Peter Pettigrew, Lucius Malfoy, etc. Clearly, these are all huge miscarriages of justice.The book also examines the duality of our world, where not everything is always as it seems (demonstrated by Hermione’s use of the Time-Turner) and the role that betrayal and loyalty plays in human relationships.”
One of the things I love about the HP series is the way that JK seamlessly teaches us lessons about love, empathy, and justice all while we are busy being entertained. I am SO excited for the Goblet of Fire because I feel this is the first book where get to see the civil rights activist in Hermoine (S.P.E.W. is basically #elveslivesmatter ) and a Black actress portraying her character on the stage for Cursed Child currently just further presses the assimilation.
It’s about to get a lot darker for my bookclub after next month, we still have the fall of the Minstry to Voldermort and Umbridge, who… ugh… honestly she felt even worse than the Dark Lord at some points.
“Fawkes is a phoenix, Harry. Phoenixes burst into flame when it is time for them to die and are reborn from the ashes.”
Despite the gross miscarriage of Justice we see with our friends throughout the series, it’s important to “turn on the light”. It errily feels as though the time-turner has been brought back from destruction once again at the moment, but it’s not over. This is not the end of the story, this is the part where houses lay down their difference and come together to defeat a greater evil. We are being called to Dumbledore’s Army. (I honestly don’t think J.K. has ever put her battle wand down…) Like Fawkes, we might be feeling the heat of the fire today, but fire is what refines you into Gold and WE WILL RISE.
Let us rise with compassion and class. As Michelle Obama would say, “When they go low, we go high”. Harry could have killed Wormtail at the end of book three,but he choose instead to spare his life…and once again it is our choi… I think you know where I’m going here. Wands UP! Fellow Pottheads, I’m with YOU.