Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

By , Shelbyville, KY

I was a first grader enamored with books when I first read the Harry Potter series. I say “read” but in reality, the book was a little too complicated for me at the time so my father read it to me. It sort of became a tradition for a few years until we finished the series. I remember going to sleep every night just listening to the adventures Harry, Ron, and Hermione got into trying to fight Voldemort or other evils. It was so fun. I had finished reading the series around 5th grade.
A few years and many books later I decided I should reread the series. It was 8th grade and I didn’t have anything else to read at the time. This time I picked up on smaller details I hadn’t noticed the before and I had a deeper understanding of the messages J.K. Rowling wanted to convey on love, strength, being true to your beliefs, etc. I was older and knew a little more of what is going on in the world at the time so it was a good time to return to the series. I was sucked into the world and became just a tad bit obsessed, with the help of the internet of course.
It’s been a couple years now since I’ve read the series and I chose to read this book again thinking about how tense the 2016 election was. After this event, the Harry Potter books seem to fit because it does touch on the corruption of the media and the government, but that is touched on in later books. I read the first in series for the third time. It was almost like reading with a new set of eyes. New experiences to connect back to the events in the book. In this third round of reading, I have noticed a theme that runs through the entire series, it may be a little obvious because there is so much talk about love in the series. However, I am talking about a certain kind of love. That love is friendship. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, friends can help give you strength with facing almost anything, even when times are tough and all odds are against you.
Harry Potter’s parents died when Harry was only a year old, he was forced to live with his only living relatives, the Dursley’s. For almost all of Harry’s life, he has been bullied by his aunt, uncle, and cousin. Friends were a luxury Harry didn’t have access to for 10 years. Then he got a letter from Hogwarts. This was his opportunity to make friends, have a home, and feel normal, well as normal as a teenage wizard could be that is. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Harry is a wizard.
    On the train ride to Hogwarts, Harry meets his soon-to-be best friend, Ron Weasley. They hit it off quite nicely. When the trolley comes around offering the boys candy. Harry buys everything off of it just because he could with his new wealth. Harry could have easily been selfish and eat everything he bought while letting Ron go on eating his dry corned beef sandwich. Instead, he offers to share with Ron, a boy from a poor family, all of his treats. Harry even offered to take the sandwich that Ron hadn’t wanted.
Later a bully, by the name of Draco Malfoy, enters into Harry and Rob’s train car with some cronies. Together they stand up to Draco when he is insulting Harry and Ron’s families. This is an important moment because even though they had just met the two boys were willing to stand up for each other and themselves and face a bully. It was Ron’s pet rat that made the bully run which made the scene funny.
This part of the story has stuck with me through the years because I understand what Harry is going through in a way. Life isn’t all sunshine and daisies at my house, I can feel a little threatened and scared at times. Friends have also been an issue due to the fact that until recently all my friends would leave me every year without fail. I’ve been able to put myself in Harry’s place when I finally found a true friend (funnily enough it all started with the love of Harry Potter that brought us together). Even though the two of us didn’t know each other super well she always helped me defend myself from those who bullied me, whether at school or at home.
This whole friendship, protection, courage theme continues a few chapters later. Harry gets into another fight with the bully, Draco Malfoy, and gets challenged to a duel. Harry is quite nervous having to do this, at midnight no less, but Ron volunteers to be Harry’s second and reassures him that nothing too bad will happen. And is found yet again when Harry, Ron, and Hermione fight a mountain troll in the girl’s bathroom. Ron was able to perform a spell he was unable to do in class, Harry was able to bring the troll down, and Hermione found some new friends. None of this wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t worked together. Hermione helped Ron with the spell and because the spell worked Harry was able to distract the troll so that Ron could take it out.
The friendship between Harry, Ron, and Hermione gave the three of them the strength that helped them get through everything Hogwarts and Voldemort threw at them over the course of seven years. Reading about all the struggles that the trio could persevere it really helps you appreciate the fact that you don’t have to go through the same stuff they did, but they make it near impossible to put the book down until you find yourself crying over the epilogue of the seventh and final book.






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