It’s been quite a slow week reading-wise, so today’s book post is going to be on a subject that came up on an acquaintance’s blog this week, my favourite Harry Potter character.
I’m of the generation that grew up on Harry Potter. I first read Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets when I was about thirteen, shortly before Prisoner of Azkaban came out and for a while, they were released at the end of the school year Harry & I had both just completed, so we were the same age, give or take what I still maintain was a typo in the second book where a badly scribbled 97 was misread as a 92 and therefore the timeline got messed up. That’s the only concrete date in the entire series and if not for that, Harry & I would be the same age to the very day. I am angry and stubborn about this.
But that’s neither here nor there. Who is my favourite character?
I have such a huge soft spot for Professor Lupin. Lupin sees the son of his dead best friend but unlike Sirius Black, he sees Harry as his own person, not as James all over again. He knows his subject, he’s a good teacher, a kind and caring teacher who takes a personal interest in his pupils – hard not to, when your first lesson consists of finding out what each child’s deepest darkest fear is – and makes the lessons interesting, useful and practical. Harry may be delighted to discover he’s a wizard and part of this magical world but other than Defence Against the Dark Arts, he takes pitifully little interest in his education, and even DADA depends on the teacher and their methods.
Up to a certain point, I love Lupin even more once he’s out of Hogwarts, working as a spy for the Order, dropping in and out of Headquarters for meals and still managing to help Harry out as much as possible. I’m going to try to forget the entire storyline with him and Tonks because the only good thing to come out of that relationship was Teddy Lupin. I hated how Tonks turned from the life and soul of the party to a listless grey nothing, how her magical powers faded, all because she was pining over Lupin. I hated how they finally got together because, basically, she out-logicked him. He never showed any sign of being interested in her, all he did was run out of arguments against it. I don’t say that I necessarily liked him running away from Tonks and the unborn baby in the last book but I think Lupin would have been a great addition to the Horcrux quest. I understand that Harry, Ron & Hermione were a long-established trio built to complement each other and I know that the idea was to really put that friendship to the test but… I really like Lupin, he was smart and resourceful and experienced.
We seem to be getting a new variety of stories set in this world – the Cursed Child play coming soonish apparently revolves around Harry’s youngest son, Fantastic Beasts is set in 1920s New York featuring the magical version of David Attenborough and Pottermore is expanding on what we read in the books. Now I add my voice to the chorus pleading for a story about the era of James Potter and his friends at Hogwarts*. From Harry’s point of view, Peter Pettigrew doesn’t fit that group at all and I’d like to see him as James, Remus and Sirius’s best friend. I want to see why they liked him, why they let him in their elite little group, why he was in Gryffindor. I want to see him as the counterpart to Neville Longbottom. I want to see them interacting with Lily and Snape. I want to see their other friends, their teachers, the difference twenty or so years made at a big school. It’s been nearly twenty years since I started at my secondary school and it’s hardly recognisable now, what with two major fires, a lot of building work, a new Head, three new uniforms and a new House. Hogwarts is more along the lines of Eton than my local comprehensive and Eton is inclined to cling to traditions. Hogwarts has certainly never added any new houses and its uniform – in the books – seems to be black robes over ordinary clothes, so that probably won’t/can’t really change and you might not notice building alterations in a castle that magically changes its own layout just for fun. But there must be differences between James and Harry’s eras and I’d like to see that.
* I will not call them The Marauders. The map was “the Marauder’s Map”, meaning the map for the marauder around Hogwarts. Not “the Marauders’ Map”, the map belonging or pertaining to the Marauders. It could just as easily have been “the Trouble-maker’s Map” and no one would have interpreted that as calling them “The Trouble-makers”.