I waited to write this blog because so much in my life had taken over in getting ready to move and getting ready for school to start. I’m happy I did too. The themes I pulled out of these two chapters include Patience and Understanding, and Forgiveness v. Revenge. Looking at the state of the world today, with the whole Charlottesville hate march this weekend its hard to have any feelings except either anger or despair. For me, I just don’t understand how there can be people who truly believe that the white race is and should be the only ones to hold power. What kind of world do we live in that people still actually believe one race, one type of people is better than a diverse mixture of backgrounds, traditions, and cultures. I truly wanted to believe that our world was different, or at least our country was different, but this past year, this past year has shown us, we haven’t come as far aw we hoped.
These two chapters of Harry Potter have a lot of dialogue. We and out Lupin, Sirius, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter were the creators of the Marauders Map and best friends at Hogwarts. We find out Peter is indeed alive and has been Ron’s rat this whole time. We find out that Sirius wasn’t the exact reason for Lily and James’ death, but that it was Peter. We see Snape’s grudge fully turn into a desire for revenge and we see everyone arguing over the events of the past 11-12 years. There is fighting, there is reconciliation and forgiveness, there is trust and hope, there is tinge of justice and understanding.
They say there are always two sides to a story. Sometimes either side of the story is the actual truth to the person telling it. Whether it’s exactly what happened doesn’t always matter because to that person it’s the internalized truth of them, it’s their story. Sometimes either side of the story is a complete fabrication, a lie to make the person look or seem better than they are. It’s a story that distorts the truth to change the perception of those listening.
Peter Pettigrew, his friends most dire secret keeper, wanted power, craved attention and gave away his friends hiding spot resulting in their murder and the orphaning of Harry Potter. It also took all of his master’s power away and in turn made him the enemy of many Voldemort followers. Instead of meeting the wrath of Sirius Black who wanted revenge for his friends’ deaths, Peter took the lives of innocent muggles and framed Sirius to be the culprit. Peter faked his death and went into hiding to cover his tracks only to be found many years later by the man he framed.
Revenge consumed Sirius Black in Azkaban. The thought of finding Pettigrew, of actually killing him this time took over Sirius Black’s mind. Sirius didn’t care about justice, about taking back his freedom for a death he was wrongfully accused of, he on;y cared about actually killing Peter this time. His narrative would always be controlled by the desire to avenge the death of his friends no matter the consequences.
For both of these characters saving their own skin, having some sort of power, doing what they thought was right, ending the story the way they saw fit, those were the only things that mattered. Then steps in Harry, the boy who lived to never know his actual parents, the people betrayed, the people to be avenged. Harry steps in and reasons with the two sides. He doesn’t care for Peter, but he also doesn’t want Peter dead, he thinks Peter should have to face the consequences of his actions and deal with the Wizarding Justice system. Harry also doesn’t want Sirius to become a murderer, he wants Sirius to be free like Sirius deserves. Harry wants to right wrongs, he sees that violence, murder and revenge don’t add up to a happy ending for all, but just keeps the cycle going. Harry wants to change the narrative, he wants the story to no longer be a dark one, but one with a light at the end of it.
Our world is a dark one, or at least it seems to be heading back towards being that way and has been for the last year. Our country has always had a racial issue, it’s always been an underlying issue that no one wants to deal with or discuss, but nows the time to talk about it. Now is the time to try and change it, to work on making it a different ending. We don’t need more hate thrown on the fire, we need justice, we need to hear the stories of both sides and work, truly work together to bring both stories together and make them better. But we can’t do that with revenge, with power struggles, with anger and hate. We can only do that with patience. We can only do it with understanding, forgiveness and a desire to move forward together. We’ve got to stop the violence against each other. Plowing people down on the streets is not okay, it is not what we are about.
My fear is this won’t happen. Things will only continue to get worse. Trump will only continue to be silent and not condemn either side. A leader who does nothing only stirs the pot and allows violent, hate-filled acts to continue.
WE need to stand together. We need to stop pointing fingers and seeking revenge. We need to stop looking at the color of our skin as a way to power. We need to move towards justice for all… not power for few.
Until Next Time,