“FRIENDSHIP AND BRAVERY”
“There are some things you can’t share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
You all know the scene. Harry and Ron running to save Hermione from the troll, Hermione saving their butts from Professor McGonagall, and well – just them saving each other. I’ve always loved that scene, tame it might be compared to the adventures the Golden Trio shared when they got older. But I always loved it because it set the precedent to their entire friendship. They were so wildly different from one another – each of them had their own priorities, their own insecurities, their own fears, but no matter how dark the path ahead was, no matter the odds, they chose to stay together. At the end of the day, they always chose each other. And it was that constant choice that protected, and ultimately saved the entire Wizarding World.
But for me, Harry Potter was never about the saving the world part. It wasn’t about the Boy Who Lived part either. It was always about the in-betweens. The love, the courage, the friendship, the sacrifices, and the choices – always the choices. I grew up admiring Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and wondering if I’d ever have the courage to stand up for myself and for my loved ones like they so often did. And as much as I admired how brave they were when confronting dark wizards, I admired their determination to make simple brave choices in their everyday lives more. How they stood up for each other with Malfoy, or Umbridge, or even with Snape. How they stood by each other when most people turned their backs on them. Their unconditional love for one another was the kind of love I wanted with my friends. And like everything worth having, the journey was quite tough.
I am a very opinionated person, you see. I’ve got Ginny’s temper, Hermione’s control issues, Harry’s sarcasm, and Ron’s patience (or lack thereof). But I like to think that they possess a quality that I share with all of them – their ability to love. I’ve always prided myself on that. Like them, I put a lot of value on friendship. Like them, I am a put-everything-down-if-a-loved-one-calls kind of person. That’s why I’m so picky with friends. And that’s why I have such a select few. Because these are the people I would do anything for. And I wouldn’t face a mountain troll for just anyone.
A few months ago, I had to face my metaphorical troll. I was faced with a choice – to do what my heart was telling me – to protect my friends, or to do what my mind was telling me – to protect myself. I chose my heart, and in the process I lost people who were very close to me, and I gained suspicion from people who were not. I felt like Harry when no one believed that Voldemort was back. I was angry, and sad, but also proud – because I knew it was what Harry would have done. I took comfort in that. And I took comfort in the fact that I wasn’t alone. I had my Ron and my Hermione. My two best friends. And that was more than enough for me.
But in the process, that choice led me to more beautiful things. I discovered my Neville in an old friend – who turned out to be quite the hero. And then I met new ones. Luna. Cho. Penelope. Even Pansy (who knew I could get along with a Slytherin?!) Dean and Seamus. Fred and George. The list goes on. I met incredible people who give me so much joy, and it was all because I mustered enough strength to choose “what was right, and not what was easy”. Just add that to the wonderful things J.K. Rowling has given me.
I survived a battle with a twelve-foot mountain troll because of these people. Looking at it now, it seems so small. So silly. And so insignificant. But like that chapter in Harry’s life, it will always be important as most memories are, because it led me to where I am now.
Now I’m ready to go on new adventures, fight bigger fights, dream bigger dreams, with them at my side. Because where they are, I am safe. I am home.