Faith, Life Musings

How Harry Potter is teaching me to be brave

Hermione is being tortured. I stay and listen as long as I can before turning the key. The voices end abruptly. My car door slams and I begin my day, walking across the parking lot, wondering what will happen next.

Dobby the elf dies, and is buried in a garden close to the sea. His name is carved into a stone marking his final resting place. He is remembered for his bravery and freedom. I sit in the driver’s seat until the lights turn off, crying silently.

I weave through traffic and between worlds as I listen.

My heart flutters and my knuckles whiten as I lean in, hoping there is an easier way to defeat the fear that tells us we are not the same. That we will be erased. That our bloodlines don’t bleed the same red. That the Life Force that runs through us could ever be cut and measured and divided into unequal parts.

Mudblood. Halfblood. Blood Traitor. Muggle. Squib.

Black. White. Alt-Right. Radical. Liberal. Immigrant.

Harry Potter
I hear the echoes reverberate from Hogwarts to Charlottesville, from the White House to the Ministry of Magic. The world of Harry Potter and our own are not so separate. Torches instead of hooded cloaks. B.L.M. instead of S.P.E.W. The stories come alive in mysterious ways, parallel lines tracing tales of betrayal, danger, hatred, and courage.

I wait, not knowing what will happen next. There have been so many losses. Everything has been risked. Yet, they continue on.

To be honest, I am afraid. I think maybe they should turn back, cast another protective charm and apparate somewhere far away. I think they should take the hint and realize they are outnumbered, out resourced, fighting a force that knows no regret, shows no limit to the amount of pain and suffering it is willing to cause in the name of power.

The shadow puppets loom so large. The shapes and figures growl and snarl from our television screens and radios. Our Facebook walls and smartphones are full of Dark Marks hovering over us as we enter our homes, our schools, our places of worship. How can we resist the impulse to hide, to turn away, to declare allegiance to the ones in control? How can we confront the fear within?

I don’t have the answers.

Right now, Ron, Hermione, and Harry are stranded by a lake in the middle of nowhere, their bodies covered in burns from another very narrow escape. They are exhausted. They don’t exactly have a plan, and the Dark Lord is onto them. Time is running out.

Harry Potter
Time is running out, but the story isn’t over.

Ours isn’t either.

There must be a way through. I believe it with my whole heart. I believe it is worth dying for, worth living for.

‘Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto.’

It is not a spell, but the Latin words for, “I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.”

Or, if you prefer, ‘In Lak’ech Ala K’in.’ An ancient Mayan greeting that means “I am another you,” a way of honoring everyone who crosses our path.

You see, we have the power to choose. We have the ability to say “Never Again,” and mean it. We have the ability to learn from our own histories of violence, hatred, and fear.

We can make the decision every day to face the fear within from a place of compassion and courage. We can realize that the shadows on the wall are of our own making, are our own fingers and hands that long to be held, connected, and touched. We can choose to trust that help will always be given to those who ask.

Harry Potter
“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

May we choose each other. May we choose the Light that does not destroy, but embraces the dark within all of us with tenderness and love. The ending (beginning) depends on it.

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