As an older reader, there were all these little lessons that I really admired Rowling for writing in. I wasn’t constantly reminding myself that this was aimed at a younger audience *sound of ageing going so fast it actually breaks the sound barrier* but being older than the intended does make you recognise these things. Luna Lovegood was a prime example of this and someone I absolutely loved. She was such an important character in terms of these little lesson I was talking about, and Rowling did a brilliant job of using her to preach diversity without “preaching diversity”. As a child it’s important to understand that some people are different, and you might at first be confused by it, but when you welcome the person and see past it they can be a valued friend. She went way beyond in proving she was an integral part. It was quite clear that even though she wasn’t fazed by the people that didn’t accept her, the fact that she was welcomed by their little team meant a lot. I’m in the process of getting new friends so I can get a mural painted of me, applications will be greatly received.
Luna’s was a story I really would have liked to have learnt more about. The fact that she could see Thestrals for example, always kept me waiting for a little backstory to happen. More than the small snippet we got told of her Mother’s spell going bad. I love a good backstory as an offshoot from the main story! I suppose it just added to her mysterious ways which is probably part of the reason it was kept like that. In true Lovegood fashion always keep them wanting more. On the subject of fashion (smooth transition) her fashion choices were way ahead of her time, her Radish earrings and Lion head wear were just a small step away from Lady Gaga’s meat dress. Quite unfairly she didn’t get nearly as much credit for it. You better believe I’m going to be wearing a Butterbeer cork necklace when I do the movie tour.
I worked out pretty quickly that friendship was a central theme in these books and poor Ron (sorry Roonil Wazlib) always seemed to be getting a raw deal. Ron was always living in the shadow of two of the most famous and altogether smartest students in the whole school. Bless him, he still proved a good few times that he was worth 10 of them. He came back and finally destroyed the Horcrux, he followed spiders into the Forbidden Forest (which is like Indiana Jones going in to the snake pit so yeah, he’s basically Indian Jones) and he stood up for Harry against his own brother (Percy telling him to side with Umbridge). It wasn’t just school, even in the Weasley house he was lagging behind a bit. His brothers were entrepreneurs, and when he was in favour, Percy got treated like he pooped little Knut nuggets. I’ve since read articles outlining how he showed times of being a terrible person, largely because he made Hermione cry a bunch when they were supposed to be friends, but I don’t agree. He was acting like a teenager. A boy trying to make sense of his place between the smartest girl in Hogwarts and ‘the boy who lived’. I don’t think anyone can blame him for making some questionable decisions during his school years. Who didn’t? So he got a bit hangry, realised he hated camping. Big deal! I personally find him the most relatable and to be honest, I would have bailed the minute I realised I had to sleep in a tent in the middle of Winter before I even knew about the food situation, so he lasted way longer than I would have. it’s good to have a realistic character and some moments we can see ourselves in. It was a nice break from the ‘magic’ side of things. And while we’re here, he also never once complained about the fact that he was poor. He instead recognised that his family offered invaluable emotional support growing up instead of financial support. Financial support is helpful at the time, but emotional support is better treasured in the long run. That being said, I couldn’t quite understand why Harry never said to Ron, his most loyal companion, here have some of my huge ridiculous wealth to buy yourself a new robe or a nice broomstick. Ron was repeatedly getting flack for his cruddy clothes and terrible equipment and he never once said “thanks for saving my life AGAIN”. Here you go, here are some new clothes that aren’t hand-me-downs ending up two sizes too small. He instead had to watch as Harry gave his Tri-Wizard Tournament money to his Brothers. I would argue that wasn’t what they needed at the time anyway, and it’s probably the old lady in me sauntering out, but his parents vehemently disagreed with all the things they were doing. It meant they left school and the stress of becoming entrepreneurs as teenagers could have finished them off!
Harry’s attitude towards money in general gets up my nose, by the way. “I value sentimental things over material goods, so you have it, you clearly need it. Do we look small up there from your high horse, Harry? After all this bad luck it was very heart warming to see him and Hermione get together. I did know about this because of several things going round at the time so it wasn’t a shock, but in context it was far more rewarding. It cleared up all that gubbins about him acting out so much at her. He liked her and thought she could never like someone like him. It’s classic pigtail pulling. Will they kiss, won’t they kiss? It’s like Chums on SM:TV Live without cool celebrity cameos like Dane Bowers and Cilla Black (wait Cilla Black…Sirius Black. Hmm) I did love how he didn’t look down on Harry for not knowing what certain things were in the Wizarding World i.e. Quidditch teams and so on, he just took that as an excuse for bonding. There would be the usual ‘you don’t know what…is?’ but I get the feeling that’s also slightly self-deprecating. If even he’s heard of it, he can’t believe that someone else wouldn’t have. It must be pretty sucky when you realise the boy you introduced to Quidditch is the best at that too, for Merlin’s sake. He didn’t complain though, he just took the opportunity to show support. So selfless for a young boy, and that surely more than makes up for those rare whingy moments? That does remind me that he’s responsible for the greatest line in the whole book. I will use ‘why in the name of Merlin’s saggy left…’ as an exclamation for the rest of my natural born days. I’ll be finishing off that sentence with something a bit more colourful, though.
It’s one of defining features of the series that Rowling let others have their day to the point that a lot of the time it was down to others to really save it. Obviously, him relying on the Weasley brothers to help him escape the Dursley’s was a bit of a more menial one, but more importantly was the whole of the Order risking everything to use Polyjuice potion, throwing the Death Eaters off his scent. People are constantly putting their lives on the line for him, which we know later is integral to the overall ending of the series, but they don’t know any of this. They’re just expected to go and risk everything a surprising number of times just because he might be killed by Voldemort. Spoiler…he’s never actually killed by Voldemort! What a waste of time all this is, eh? No, but seriously the Weasley’s lost a lot for him and still put him up on a pedestal. I got the notion he was just slightly entitled. It would have all worked out alright in the end as they all stood to gain from someone taking Voldemort down, but the Weasley’s lost a fair bit in the process it does have to be said.