hp: ginny gryffindor

December Meme: Best Things About Harry Potter

tamsinwillougby asked for my favorite things about Harry Potter. I pondered how to answer this question for a long time because the things that drew me into Harry Potter as a reader many years ago are very different from what makes me love the fandom as a writer and an adult. When I first read The Sorcerer's Stone, it was Professor Snape who made me want to finish the series. I thought I had the book figured out: Snape was the asshole, so he was the bad guy, because this was a charming but predictable children's story. When it turned out that Snape was an asshole but not evil, I bought The Chamber of Secrets the very next day.

What I love about the series now that I am an adult and a teacher is that it's secretly about why school is so important. Nobody wanders around touting the value of a good education, but every pivotal event in the book happens at school. All the mentors who guide Harry through life are teachers. Hogwarts gives Harry -- and Severus, and Sirius, and Remus -- a home where people care for them. The faculty of Hogwarts are leaders of the resistance against evil, and they're pretty much all bad ass in their own way. I find that incredibly validating since teachers are currently among the favorite scapegoats of the political system.

And, no lies, the soundtrack in my head on a bad day sounds a lot like Professor Snape. The reason I'm a good teacher and he's a bad one is that I would never actually SAY any of what he says out loud -- but sometimes it's nice to curl up with an HP book and a glass of wine, and think Severus, I *FEEL* you.

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LOL, what terrific observations. Aw, Snape. You shouldn't of hid your light under a bushel, dude! *hugs all the characters who have noses*
All the mentors who guide Harry through life are teachers. Hogwarts gives Harry -- and Severus, and Sirius, and Remus -- a home where people care for them. The faculty of Hogwarts are leaders of the resistance against evil, and they're pretty much all bad ass in their own way. I find that incredibly validating since teachers are currently among the favorite scapegoats of the political system.

I love that so much <33
I really enjoy this perspective!

We just finished reading Sorcerer's Stone to my son over the course of several months. It's really interesting to re-read (especially so slowly) and see how Rowling sets up expectations and then tears them down. Snape is the key example, but I'm also struck by how much growth Ron and Hermione do in the series.

Edited at 2015-12-09 01:45 pm (UTC)
Aw, rereading is fun on so many levels! It's also fun to see how many plot points from later books were actually hinted at very early in the series. JKR really knew what she was doing!
Thanks for answering my question!

That's an perspective I've never thought about before, but you're right school and teachers are incredibly important in the books.
Oh, you're so right about the importance of school to the HP universe. I hadn't thought of it previously like that but once I read your argument for it, it became immediately obvious. Now I imagine you with the Snape voice snarking away about your more badly behaved students. Hehe.
LOL, that is awesome.

I am not a teacher, so I don't think I've ever made that second step, but it makes a lot of sense.