I believe in courage, loyalty, and most of all: love. I believe that small actions are what create real difference. I believe in the magic of Harry Potter.
As a 2nd grader I was a shy, voracious reader, but I just couldn’t get into the 1st Harry Potter book. Hagrid’s Highland accent confused me, and reading the first few chapters was insufferable. My mother, recognizing my struggle, decided to try reading the book aloud. Through her voice, I quickly fell in love with the wizarding world. Hagrid’s gruff Scottish speech began to make sense, and I found a friend in bookworm Hermione.
More than 10 years later, I’m eagerly anticipating the next movie release. My iPod is stuffed with songs by bands like Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, and The Moaning Myrtles. But these fan-based bands are also working to change the world. Alliances devoted to ending genocide, illiteracy, and prejudice are quickly forming. The magic is just beginning.
And as a fan, it’s amazing to know that I’m involved in something so much bigger than what a single mother living in Edinburgh, Scotland could have imagined in 1997. The series is not simply a set of books to me, it’s an inspiration. Each of the characters embody essential aspects of humanity, or the lack thereof. Just as in real life, there is no ultimate right or wrong. Harry makes plenty of stupid decisions, and readers are reminded that Lord Voldemort was once Tom Riddle, a lonely orphan.
It is actions and beliefs that determine who a person is. It is a parent’s love that can protect, and it is fear that can destroy. Everyone is a Severus Snape, caught between love and hatred, courage and fear. Though Severus betrayed his true love, Lily Potter, he also chose to protect her son, Harry. I am no longer the mousy girl I was, (though my hair still resembles Hermione’s) and I strive everyday to live without fear, only love. Like Severus, I fail more than I succeed, but those few successes are far greater than all of my insufficiencies. And that is when true magic occurs.
As Harry and the Potters sing, “And the one thing we’ve got is enough to save us all; the weapon we have is love.” So I choose to believe in love. I choose to believe that I can make magic happen.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.