30 Day Bookstagram Positivity Challenge

I practically grew up on #bookstagram. Believe me, I know what it is and I could define it if asked. However I am not here to make it a dictionary term. What bookstagram is and what it is meant to be are two different things at the present time.

My mother, @heathermaccreates, started her Instagram account back in 2012. Since then she has gained a following in the thousands and has loyal customers. She has shared her bookstagram journey with me and included me in all her favorite books, posts, quotes, art, and so on.

I have only joined the bookstagtam community recently but I have grown up around it. My mom used to wear a “#bookstagram made my buy it” shirt almost every other day, believe me I grew up with it.

However, the bookstagram I thought I knew then is nothing like the bookstagram I have come to know now.

When I was younger I used to be able to scroll down my mother’s Instagram feed and read all the great book synopsis’s and reviews. The comments were enjoyable and full of cool discussion and respectful debate.

Now however if you look up #bookstagram, there are descriptions of negativity, condemning any opinion in a book that diverges from the readers own. Comments are practically screaming arguments. People tag other bookstagramers only to criticize them.

What happened?

Here is what happened. Micro-aggressions happened.

A micro-aggression is when someone says something they think and someone else disagrees and attacks them for it. 

An example? A bookstagramer says they enjoyed the main character’s point of view. Someone comments “The main character describes the female lead as incompetent! The book had a pro-male agenda and was sexist”. The rest of the comment thread goes back in forth on what the bookstagramers believed and what was wrong with them if they enjoyed or hated the book, whether the book was sexist, racist, or homophobic, and what the author had done that made the book not worthy of reading.

As readers, we choose what we read. We choose what we enjoy in a story and we choose what we hate as well. We choose what we take out of the book, and we choose what we leave behind.

That is what reading is all about!

If a reader chooses to share their experience with a book on bookstagram, it is not to promote their own personal supremacy. It is so that they can share their thoughts with people like them. Other readers.

No matter what colour, gender, race, creed, or religion, we all have one thing in common. We are readers! We love a good story. We all cry when our favorite character dies, we all have to put the book down at the big plot twists, we all have the same emotional trauma after we finish a book, and we all have the same ecstasy when we start a new one.

Can’t we talk about how great it is that we are all readers? That we love the written word? That we couldn’t survive without it?

Let’s make bookstagram a positive place again. 

I’ve created a 30 Day Bookstagram Positivity Challenge and I encourage you to try it out. It is simple to do and I hope you will take the first steps to making #bookstagram a better place.

Boxing Day At Baker Street

I take real pride in calling myself a true Sherlockian. And when writing this Christmas Sherlock fanfic, I studied how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote John Watson’s writing about his and Holmes’ adventures. I have done my best to replicate this and stay TRUE to the characters as Doyle wrote them. I hope you enjoy this light hearted story! 💛


In all my days of knowing Sherlock Holmes, I have perceived many things. His need for order in all things is both his strength and his weakness (though he would never willingly acknowledge the fault.) His calculating and organized mind is at all times active. 

Like a high speed mechanical device, the many cogs and gears are always turning, keeping the machine alive and working. I, who have been his companion for many a year, often have the opportunity to observe this thinking rotary. Holmes himself calls his brain “an attic” in which he keeps “the tools which may help him in doing his work” and “all in the most perfect order.” However, in my small observations, his brain, which he takes such pride in, has never been so.

As I have said to Holmes many times before, a mortal man cannot rightly decide what he is and is not to know. “It’s not our place,” I say. Yet Holmes chooses to forgo my words and might comment that he is no “mortal man.” 

And on another and more prevalent note, Holme’s mind is anything other than “perfect order.” He values order, yes, and does his best to keep it. But, as is our modern society, order cannot always be kept. And when the inevitability of disorder comes knocking on the door of 221B Baker Street, the place where Holmes and I reside, the former is nothing short of unnerved (I here add “in the best sense of the word” in respect for my friend’s pride.)

Christmas time at Baker Street was a jolly one for those of us who participated. Mrs. Hudson, the landlady of Baker Street, made a roast beef to put Her Majesty’s cooks to shame. The honorable lady (Mrs. Hudson that is, not The Queen) also accompanied me to place a tasteful bouquet on the grave of my late wife, Mary.

All the while, however, Holmes remained in the rooms we shared.

“It is unadulterated foolishness, Watson,” Holmes told me, “To celebrate nothing.”

“Nothing?” I exclaimed. “By Jove, Holmes, Christmas is far from celebrating nothing! Christmas is for the human ability of joy and co-existence. The birth of Christ for His sake!

He raised a sharp eyebrow as a bemused smile began to play on his lips. “As I sad, nothing.”

I was aware of Holmes’ frankly blasphemous thoughts on religion, particularly the one I and the whole of modern England shared. I opened my mouth to defend either the holiday, Christianity, or myself (I had not then decided which) but Holmes spoke before I could. He was rather good at that.

“You are a Christian, Watson, are you not? Then as a Christian attempting to acknowledge this manufactured holiday known as Christmas, you are indeed celebrating nothing. In those days when pagans were the majority, did they not too deck their houses with the evergreen botanicals, such as holly and ivy? I believe these were to keep away the imagined ‘evil spirits.’ And you tell me you do as they did in the name of God? Show me the logic behind this, for I am quite certain that there is none. I do not say I will join in these festivities of religion in which no physical evidence has been produced, for I am no man of faith, but if you feel the need to justify your standing of a Christian who celebrates a pagan Christmas, by all means attempt to prove me wrong.”

I did not retaliate in anger, as many other God fearing Englishmen would have if spoken to by the offensive and disagreeable man before me. I did not roll my eyes, I did not steal a breath, I did not steady my nerves. 

Rather than showing these signs of irritation, I chose to laugh.

Holmes was thoroughly taken aback by my reaction. His head turned sideways slightly and his eyes seemed to take in every feature of my face, pondering the meaning behind my jovial attitude. I recognized the signs of confusion that I often saw when I assisted him in his works of detection and deduction. 

“Why, Holmes,” I said merrily, “You forget that you have told me the exact same speech every year since I first came to Baker Street! My good man, show me the logic in that.” 

“If I have made such an error, which I doubt, it is only because I do not find the memories priority.”

“Or it is because you dislike what I have to say next.”

“And pray tell me what that should be?”

“The same speech in which I have responded, and perfected, I might take the liberty of adding, to your pessimistic diatribe every year in this season.”

I paused and then continued, “It is true that the traditions of Christmas are rooted in less than holy places. I know the history that you have taken the time to explain to me so thoroughly. But allow me to give you a lesson now. Tradition and religion…these are man made and often times artifice. However, even you acknowledge the beauty that God has bestowed upon mankind. I recall you once said to me that “our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to rest in the flowers” and that “it is only goodness which gives extras, and that we have much to hope.” You know there is some higher power, Holmes, do not deny it. And you know that in this world of chaos and ill will there are still those who sew and reap good and praiseworthy values. Mankind is a folly kind, indeed. But on this day, we might folly in a better sort. We might extend a hand to those less fortunate than ourselves and gift that which our very flawed and human hearts lead us to give. There are aspects of beauty in that, no? Why there is even logic enough for you in these things! Now, I’ll allow you to display if you have changed at all in the past year, since the last time I gave you this same lecture. A single remark will do, Holmes. Not one? I thought not. Happy Christmas, good friend.”

And turning away to spare Holmes the slight humiliation of me seeing him at a loss at how to counter, I walked from the room. 

I shall leave him a Boxing Day present by his door tomorrow, I thought with an amused smile in my head.


That night, Mrs. Hudson, myself, and the Misses Hawkins and Hooper, two respectable ladies who shared the flat opposite 221 B, sat in the parlor playing a round of Whist. Miss Hawkins headed the conversation the majority of the time, commenting every so often on the number of Penny Posts she had received from young and eligible men. This was endurable, but only just.

Mrs. Hudson and Miss Hooper were much more versed in polite conversation and the evening had been modestly enjoyable. Though it occurred to me how much more lively the evening might have been had my friend Holmes been there with his uncivil tongue and unpopular ideals. I managed to turn my snigger at the thought into a small cough. 

My mind must have somehow summoned him, because just after the idea had crossed my mind, the devil came through the sitting-room door. 

“My cap, Watson!” He cried, dashing about this way and that. 

“Holmes!” I declared. “Come, sit and join us!”

The three other ladies nodded in agreement with me and invited him to the table in their soft, feminine voices.

Holmes did not seem to hear us. “My cap, it is here somewhere. Watson, find my cap!” 

“Why do you need your deerstalker, fellow? Are you going out?”

“Yes.”

“Man, it is freezing outside!”

“That statement would conclude as to why I need my cap! Aha!” He exclaimed with a laugh as he ducked under the table where we had been playing our card game (making the ladies present cry out in surprise.) He came out as soon as he had gone under, however, and brandished his deerstalker cap with a flourish. “Success!” 

He looked at me and at the company I kept, seeing them for the first time. “Ah, people.” 

And with that last statement, he left the room quicker than one could utter “Elementary.”

I apologized for his conduct as I often found myself doing. Mrs. Hudson, who knew Holmes almost as well as I, excused my apology with a smile. Miss Hawkins however asked, “You don’t suppose he’s going caroling?”

I quickly excuse myself from the room as to hide my laughter at the mental image of Sherlock Holmes singing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.”


I had no plans for Boxing Day. After whatever exertions I had taken on Christmas Day, I often found myself staying inside on the holiday, reading the Strand and enjoying multiple cups of tea. Holmes, whom I had seen the previous night leave the flat with such flurry, had not made an appearance to me since then. And that was most strange seeing as he did so like to torment me on the pointlessness of Boxing Day.

Last year  I had participated in the work of the church in making poor boxes. Mrs. Hudson volunteered her time annually and I thought I might do the same. Holmes immensely enjoyed quoting one of Dickens’ rude misers whenever entering my presence.

Reflecting on this, it was strange that he was not in my view. Had he rushed off on a case? This was uncharacteristic seeing as he wanted for my assistance whether or not I was inconvenienced or not. More often the former than the latter.

I tried to pay the matter little heed. Holmes was as unpredictable as the criminal classes he worked against. 

I spent the hours reading a title which turned out to be easily forgotten and in a few episodes of polite conversation. I was just about to think about luncheon when I heard the front door’s knocker alert me to the presence of a visitor. 

Curious to see if Holmes had spent the whole night away from Baker Street, I opened the door expecting to see the detective. Alas I was mistaken…though not so very much. 

A different genius child stood at the doorstep. I recognized the boy as Wiggins,  a street urchin who was occasionally employed by Holmes. 

He must be here for work, I thought when contemplating the boy’s motives. 

“Is Mister Holmes here, sir?” Wiggins asked, pulling off his wool flat cap and smiling in a way I had not been accustomed to associate with him. 

“No…leastwise, I don’t believe he is.”

“I just wanted to thank him again, sir.” The boy said, excited.

“Thank him?” I inquired. “Whatever for, lad?” 

“For the oranges and half crowns, sir! My family will feast today! Give him my thanks, please, sir?” And in his energetic state, he ran onto the street, kicking up snow as he went and whistling a Christmas tune. 

I stood for a moment, looking down at the place Wiggins had been only moment ago. Then amused realization began to slowly creep up my person. 

Sherlock Holmes…giving gifts to homeless children on Boxing Day? Had my yearly tirade finally made an impression? 

I deduced that Holmes must have been out all night finding the members of his so-called “Baker Street Irregulars” and gifting them with oranges and half crowns. And the reason I had not seen him this morning was consequence of his late evening endeavors. Might he be asleep in his rooms? Or was he still out tracking down those lesser fortunate than himself?

I recalled him saying to me in the case of the Mazarin Stone, “I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.” 

Maybe so, Holmes, old friend, I thought, shutting the door against the chilly holiday air, But a heart is in there somewhere as well.


NOTE: This story is NOT a licensed work. The author does not own any copywrite, trademarks and/or license. Absolutely all trademarks, licenses and copyrights are the sole property of the authors and/or publishers. All of this writers works and stories are “fan made”, and are NOT to be assumed as being licensed and/or official work. The production of this story is not intended to mislead or to confuse consumers. No infringement on the publisher/author’s name and trademark are intended. This product is purposed for Fan Fiction only.

Happy Christmas From Hogwarts

I’ve haven’t officially celebrated Christmas for as long as I can remember but I love the holiday season. For the majority of the Advent, people are focused on love and giving. That is something I can truly appreciate. And what represents unconditional and selfless love more than James and Lily Potter? Here is what the Marauders and Co’s last Christmas at Hogwarts looked like, right before they graduated, began their fight against evil, and gave their lives for what they believed and loved…


Snow was falling outside, drifting lazily onto the almost silent Hogwarts grounds. It was the weekend and most of the students were inside the castle, busy getting ready to go to Hogsmead before they went home for the Christmas holidays. The silence outside was almost perfect…

Almost.

Making his way hastily to the giant oak doors of Hogwarts and swinging his head wildly back and forth to dislodge the amounts of snow that rested on it, James Potter ran into the school. Rushing through the halls, still chill from the freezing temperatures, he made his way to Gryffindor tower, and shouted the password (Humbug) in a voice that was higher than per usual. 

Climbing through the portrait hole and dashing into the room filled with student in black robes and crimson and gold ties, he called out for all to hear,

“I NEED HELP!”

Most of his fellow Hogwarts students ignored him. Odd behavior had become something to expect from the seventeen year old Potter boy. James’ friends, however, spared him a half glance.

“Nice to hear you finally admit it,” Remus Lupin commented with a bemused smile, returning his full attention to the large castle he was making from Muggle cards.

James walked over to where his friends were sitting, “I’m not kidding! Moony, Marlene, I really need your help!”

Marlene McKinnon raised an eyebrow. Having been previously transfixed on Remus’ card castle progress, James needing her help was something she hadn’t been expecting.

“Woah there, Prongs!” Sirius Black called in an mock offended tone. He too was building a (much sloppier) card castle, but out of Exploding Snap cards to rival Remus’. “Just Moony and Marlene? How come I’m excluded in your hour of need?”

“Yeah, and me!” Peter Pettigrew piped in.

“You couldn’t help a flobberworm cross a street, Wormy,” Sirius chuckled.

“Sirius…” Remus chastised in a cautionary voice.

“Just kidding, sorry!” Though he didn’t sound sorry at all.

James acknowledged his best friend. “Mate, you’re dead useful for a lot of things…but this isn’t gonna be one of them.”

“What’s your problem, James?” Marlene asked, getting up from where she sat next to Remus and plopping onto a plush bean chair nearby.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Asked Remus. “It’s Lily.”

Sirius rolled his eyes. “Of course.”

James’ face soured. “Hey, hey, now, you can’t just…stereotype me like that. My life does not revolve around that gorgeous red-headed angel of beauty and grace!”

A moment of silence passed. Remus, Marlene, Sirius, and Peter all nodded in agreement. “It’s Lily.”

“Okay, so what? It is Lily!”

“What did you do this time?” Sirius asked.

“Nothing!”

“That is highly unlikely.”

“No, really, I did nothing!” James whined. “Don’t you see? That’s the problem!”

“No, we don’t see,” Remus said with long suffering, “But if you explain, then we will.”

James opened his mouth to tell them all of the Terrible Horrible No Good Absolutely Troll thing he had done, but before he could say a word, Sirius’ tower of cards exploded in both his, Remus, and Peter’s faces. 

Once the had smoke cleared, once James and Marleen had stifled their laughter, and once the three soot covered boys had coughed up the ash that had made its way inside their mouths and noses, Remus cast a disgruntled look at his own card tower, knocked over from the explosion.

“I still win,” he said, glaring at Sirius.


“You…did what?” 

Remus, Sirius, Peter, Marlene, joined by Mary Macdonald and Frank Longbottom, had their mouths hanging open, starring with wide eyes at James. The boy himself, was looking away from their gazes.

“Oh, come on, you know me! Does it really surprise you?”

“Yeah, actually it does!” Sirius said, his left eye twitching. “How in Merlin’s name could you do something like that?! After all these years?”

Mary nodded, “Even wouldn’t dream you’d be that thoughtless…and I’m not exactly your biggest fan.”

“Don’t beat him up,” Remus said, looking around at his classmates, “I’m sure he feels the pains of what he’s done…I mean what he hasn’t done.”

“I do! But you guys-“ He was interrupted by a loud and forced cough from Marlene, “-and girls, have gotta help me fix it!”

“Can it be fixed though?” Peter asked. “It’s a little late for it now…and if it’s for Lily…”

“Of course it can be fixed!” Frank said, but the fake optimism was obvious. “We still have…twenty four hours before the train leaves?”

“Nineteen, actually,” Remus corrected.

James buried his face in a maroon pillow. “Lily is going to kill me!”

“And why is that?” 

All seven teenagers froze; Sirius in a sort of half grimace-half smirk, Frank in a too-wide smile, Marlene in a strange startled stance, Peter looked like he was about to run from the scene of the crime, Remus had his mouth half open and his eyes wide, and James…James’ face was still half buried in the pillow but what could be seen of his eyes were filled with pure terror.

Frank was the first one to brave moving. “Heeeeeeeeyyyyyyyy, Lily………”

Lily Evans, her lips pursed together in a thin line and a hand on her hip, looked down at the guilty party. “Okay, fess up, what are you all doing?”

“NOTHING!” They all said in unison, save for James who was still in his statuesque state. 

“James? Explanation, please,” she moved her head down and to the side so as to see her boyfriend better. “Why did you say I’m going to kill you? What have you done?” 

James looked at Sirius in fear for a brief second and then turned to face Lily. “Haha, the usual, you know?”

She smiled sternly (how can you smile sternly? Only Lily Evans and Minerva McGonagall shall ever know.) “Hmm…” she eyed him suspiciously. “I would be worried but Mary and Frank are here so…” she looked at the two in question. 

Mary waved a dismissive hand, “Oh, James was just telling us a prank he was planning to do on Lockhart. Sirius here,” she thrust her thumb in Sirius’ direction, “thought that we should get you involved without your knowledge. But James shot it down…like the good boyfriend he is.” 

Everyone looked at Mary with surprise. The lie had flowed so easily from her mouth…it sounded like it might actually be true. 

Lily cast her eyes on Sirius, “You know how I feel about your mindless pranks.” 

Sirius grinned sheepishly. “It was worth a shot-hey! Our pranks are anything but mindless! Do you know the effort we put in those things! It takes a lot of brain work to still be original after seven years of mischief making! And with all the-“

The words were cut off by Remus slapping his hand across Sirius’ mouth. “He means he’s sorry.”

“Nawideeont!” Sirius’ muffled voice said from behind Remus’ hand.

That made Lily laugh. “Thanks, James,” she said as she pressed a kiss on the top of his forehead. “Hey, you want to get on Slughorn’s homework now? I know you aren’t going to do it if I’m not watching you like a hawk.”

James, jumping at the change of subject, smiled back at her. “Yeah…yeah! Totally! To the library then, milady?” He stood up and bowed to Lily, who rolled her eyes.

“After you, sir,” she giggled and waved back at the others. “See you guys!”

The Gryffindors watched Lily and James leave. Before they were out of sight, James mouthed HELP ME. Once they had left the common room, Remus removed his hand from Sirius’ mouth and asked, “To Hogsmead then?”

“To Hogsmead,” they all agreed.

“I can’t believe James didn’t get her a Christmas present,” Peter said a little too loudly.

“SHHHH!” 

“…sorry…”


“It’s freezing out here!” Mary said, rubbing her arms for warmth. “I say we let James face the consequences of his actions and go back to the castle and warm up.” 

The Marauders & Co. had arrived in Hogsmead which was a fair bit colder than Hogwarts. The snow was thinner however, having been trod on by countless of holiday shoppers. There were hundreds of Hogwarts students that could be seen through the shop windows, buying last minute Christmas presents before the trip home the next day. 

Frank was at the head of the group, leading them down the cobblestone path. “We can’t just ditch James…he’d be really disappointed if he wasn’t able to give Lily a present this year. I mean, now that she’s agreed to finally go out with him.” He took off his outer coat and offered it to Mary. “If your cold, you can take this. I don’t really need it.”

Mary placed a hand on her heart and said in a girlie pitch, “Aww, Frank, that is so sweet!” She cast a glance at Marlene.

Marlene shivered and look expectedly at Sirius. When he took no notice of her she bumped into him and said, “Hey, I’m cold too!”

He glanced at her in confusion, “Marlene, I can’t control the weather.”

Remus rolled his eyes, took off his own coat and gave it to Marlene. “Let’s start at Honeyduke’s. I don’t think we’ll find the ‘perfect’ gift that James specified but maybe a few filler gifts would go well?”

They all agreed enthusiastically…what kid wouldn’t take any excuse to go into candy heaven? 

Honeydukes was full of students, as always. 

“We should have waited till tonight,” Peter shouted over the loud chatter of students and constant ringing the entry bell. “The we could have gotten Lily something without all the crowds!”

“Honeydukes isn’t open at night, Wormy!” Sirius pointed out. 

“Oh…right.” 

They became inevitably separated in the large store. 

Marlene found herself in the dangerous sweets isle, and she bought several acid pops to give to her younger brother…just for fun. Frank and Mary had rather wisely gone back outside to sit and wait for the rest of the group. Sirius was trying his best to find any kind of prank-like sweet…but he decided he’d have to wait until Zonko’s. Peter got lost. And Remus…You know the expression “like a kid in a candy store”? Well try this one, “like Remus Lupin in Honeydukes.”

Remus made his way to the front counter with a great amount of difficulty. The shop boy took one look at him and called over his shoulder, “Hey! It’s Crazy Chocolate Guy!”

“I do have a name,” Remus mumbled. 

A large woman walked over to the counter and the shop boy left to help other customers. “Well, what can I do for you…again?”

“Do you have any new shipments?” Remus asked with a polite smile.

“You cleared us out of the Caramel Dark Chocolate Brownie Fudge Toffee Bars. I can put you on the waiting list though.” 

“Oh, no thank you, ma’am, I’m stocked up for the holidays. But I would like to know if there are any candies that haven’t been released into the main shop yet.” 

The woman smiled. “And why would I let you purchase what I haven’t made public to my own shop?”

“Because…I’m your best customer?” He said hopefully. 

She considered him in amusement for a second and then she told him to wait a moment. Remus decided that if she was getting what he thought she was getting, he would buy himself a victory slab of Pumpkin Spice Caramel Marbled Creme Chocolate…or maybe a victory crate…


“So, what’ve we got?” Mary asked, rubbing her gloved hands together at the sight of their shopping bags.

“Acid pops!” Shouted Marlene, waving her bag high in the air.

Mary exchanged glances with Frank. “Er…” Frank winced, “you bought acid pops…for Lily Evans?”

“Pfft, no, stupid! For my annoying little brother. Why would I get them for Lily?”

“Well, seeing as you were supposed to buy Lily some stocking stuffers…” Frank trailed off.

Marlene slapped her forehead. “Oh, Merlin, I forgot!”

Sirius looked down at his bags. “Me too.”

“I got her a candy cane…” Peter said.

“So you guys didn’t get her anything?” Mary said, shaking her head.

“No.”

Everyone turned to Remus who had spoken. He carried two large crates in his hands. “You think this is all for me?” 

“Yes,” Sirius said looking at the bulging boxes.

“Very funny. Not even I could eat this much chocolate by myself.” 

Peter scratched his head, “I’m pretty sure you could.”

Remus did a mental face palm (seeing as his physical palms were full of chocolate). “Anyways, we are covered on sweets. I got her the new Strawberry Bourbon Mousse White Chocolate bars…they aren’t supposed to be released until February. And James now owes me five galleons.” 

“Impressive!” Mary gave him a small round of applause.

“Where to now?” Peter asked.

“Zonko’s!” Sirius said. 

“The bookstore!” Remus said.

“What?” They both asked each other.

“Bookstores are so BORING!” 

“Lily hates Zonko’s, Padfoot.”

“She doesn’t hate it, she said so herself!”

“Right, I think the word she used was ‘deplore.’”

“Which isn’t the same as hate!”

“Your grasp on vocabulary is obviously lacking.”

“Girls, girls, you’re both pretty!” Marlene interceded. “We aren’t going to Zonko’s or the bookstore. I think Lily definitely doesn’t want dungbombs or books from her boyfriend.”

“But Lily loves to read,” Frank commented.

“Yeah, because she’s weird like that, but if we got her books it’d be obvious that James didn’t buy them. He would rather be caught in a Slytherin uniform than in a bookstore.”

Remus nodded, “True enough.”

Sirius kicked a pile of snow. “But I wanna go to Zonko’s.”

“You can go later, okay?” Mary offered. “What’s in those bags anyway?” She leaned over to try and peak inside Sirius’ Honeydukes bags.

Sirius snatched them away from her. “Hey! I need to shop for Christmas presents too!”


Several hours later, the Gryffindors were dropping off. After they had bought Lily a year long self-refillable Butterbeer glass from the Three Broomsticks (James now owed them eight galleons and three sickles), Mary gave Frank his coat back and said she needed to finish some homework back at the castle. A fourth of the way down an especially long detour they had taken so Remus didn’t have to pass the Shrieking Shack, Peter complained that his legs were getting tired and he headed back. Finally, after they had bought Lily an advanced potions kit (complete with unicorn hair and a golden cauldron…James now owed them sixteen galleons, seven sickles, and three knuts) Marlene said that she had to meet up with Dorcas Meadows.

“You think we got enough?” Frank asked, sitting down in the snow and resting his present laden arms.

“Duh! The only thing we didn’t buy her was the Beatles!” Sirius said.

“I don’t know…” Remus cast his eyes over the presents they had gotten for James to give to Lily. “Why do I feel we’re missing something?”

“Same,” Frank frowned.

“Missing something? You’re joshing me! We bought her more than Prince Charles gets on Christmas!” 

“I think you’re overestimating how many presents Prince Charles gets. Shush now, I need to think,” Remus put down his crates of chocolate and rested his head in his hands.

“Fine,” Sirius growled, crossing his arms the best that he could, seeing as they were covered in shopping bags.

A few seconds passed and Remus turned on Sirius, “Really? Can you stop whining? We are trying to help our best friend!”

“I didn’t say anything!”

“You kept making that noise-“

“Both of you, shh!” Frank raised his hands. “I don’t think that was Sirius you heard, Remus.”

All three boys became quiet. 

“I don’t hear anything,” Sirius whispered.

“I do,” Remus muttered leaning his head to the left, straining to hear…whatever he heard. 

Another moment passed and then Frank and Sirius heard it too, a soft mewing from a distance. 

Remus, forgetting the chocolate on the ground, jogged down the path. Frank too left behind his bags and closely followed him.

Sirius stood alone and yelled after them, “Oh, come on, your gonna make me…oh, fine!” After that he promptly dropped his bags and ran. 

Once he caught up with them, he saw Frank crouching on the ground near a tree, Remus standing over him and leaning over to see…

…a kitten.

“Merlin,” Sirius muttered. “It’s a cat!”

“Yeah, we can see that, Padfoot,” Remus chuckled, still looking at the small animal. “So stay over there and don’t scare it away.”

“I’m not going to scare it.”

“Yeah, you would, Padfoot.” He put emphasis on the last word.

Oh, right, I’m a dog. Sirius remembered. He almost reminded Remus that he was a werewolf and could scare the kitten too, but he thought it best to let it slide.

“It doesn’t have a collar,” Frank said. “And it’s really skinny,” he looked up at them, “Guys, I think it’s abandoned.” 

“Aww,” Remus and Sirius fawned in unison.

Frank picked up the kitten and brushed some snow off of it. He smirked knowingly at Remus who nodded back in agreement.

“Well, great we got a free kitten.” Sirius said. “But we still got to find Lily another present, according to you two overachievers!” 

Frank and Remus blinked at Sirius. 

“What?”


“Merry Christmas, idiots!” 

“Sirius Orion Black, if you drop that dungbomb-“

And that is how they ended up spending Christmas in the Transfiguration classroom.


The majority of the seventh year students had stayed at Hogwarts for the holidays. For the most part, sentiment had gotten the better of them…it would be their last Christmas at Hogwarts.

Lily had planned to invite James over to her family’s house for Christmas, which is why he had panicked last minute, but received a letter from her mother saying that Lily’s sister, Petunia, was having her boyfriend over as well.

Needless to say, Lily changed her mind. 

Since James was staying, Sirius was staying too. Remus had to stay (the full moon was the day after Christmas) but would have chosen to celebrate with his friends anyway. And Peter was staying because everyone else was.

Minerva McGonagall had decorated her classroom spectacularly for the occasion. Taking into consideration that this particular body of students could get into all kinds of trouble, she thought it best to supervise them. And since Sirius had dropped a nasty dungbomb in the common room, she had moved the festivities to her classroom. 

Under the magnificent Christmas tree, cut and hauled by Rubeus Hagrid and decorated by McGonagall and Phineas Flitwick, was a multitude of brightly colored Christmas presents. Usually the Christmas presents were delivered to the student’s dorm room but this year McGonagall had made special arrangements. Even she had to (very silently) admit that she would miss this band of misfits after they graduated.

“She’d never admit she’d miss us,” Dorcas told Lily and Mary, “But she will.”

“Ah, good ol’ Minnie!” Sirius said, startling the girls by hanging upside down in midair, “I got her something real special for Christmas.”

“You got Professor McGonagall a present?” Lily asked. “Really? You?”

“That’s really nice of you, Sirius.” Mary encouraged. “What’d you get her?”

“A basket full of dungbombs-ow!” He rubbed his head. Lily had smacked it with the new pair of shoes Mary had bought her. 

“Mr. Black, get down!” McGonagall called from across the room.

“Can’t, Minnie! It’s James that’s charmed me!” 

“Here you go!” James flicked his wand and Sirius fell head first in the ground which made the Mary and Dorcas burst into laughter. Lily bit back a smile and yelled “James!” in disapproval. “Come on, over here, Padfoot!”

Sirius got up quickly, shook his mane of hair, put on his best “charming smile”, winked, and headed to where James stood.

“Hey, where’s the cat?” He asked his friends.

“Under there of course,” James pointed to the floor under the tree.

Peter panicked. “You didn’t put it in a box, did you! It needs air!”

“Don’t worry, Wormy,” Remus reassured him. “I cast a Bubble Head Charm on it and put holes in the box just in case.”

“You didn’t think we’d torture the poor thing, did you? Really, who do think we are?” James laughed. “By the way, if you just got the cat, what took you all so long when you were shopping?”

“Oh…that…well…” Sirius looked at Remus. 

“We did buy Lily a few things before we got the cat but…” Remus trailed off.

“But,” Sirius finished, “But you owe us eleven galleons and seven sickles for the stuff that got stolen.”

“Stolen?!”

“We dropped our stuff to find the cat and when we came back it was gone, okay?”

“Eleven gallons…” James shook his head. He looked at each of the Marauders in turn. “You guys had better gotten me something good for Christmas!”

“We all know Wormy got us socks,” Sirius said.

“That was supposed to be a secret!” Peter said. “How’d you find out?”

“Wormtail, you’ve give us socks every year. But that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate them.” Remus smiled.

“What about you two, then?” James inquired. “It better be something good.”

“I think Sirius beat me this year, actually. Mine’s over there.”

James followed where Remus directed him and picked up a gift with snitches flying around the wrapping paper. “A book? Really? Haven’t you given up trying to get me to read yet?”

“Just open it, okay?”

James ripped open the paper. “Okay, this is actually cool.” It was a a collector’s copy of Quidditch Through the Ages.

Remus shrugged. “You’ve practically destroyed the copy in the library, you’ve checked it out so many times. I thought you should have your own.” 

“Thanks, man!” 

Sirius glanced over at Lily. “Looks like your girlfriend’s opening her friend’s present first. We got time. Open mine, James!” 

James obeyed, readily. “The heck is this, mate?” He held up a box containing a quill set and ink bottle. 

“Now wait a sec, that isn’t just a quill set.” Sirius said, smirking. “I nicked those from Dumbledore’s office.”

James’ mouth dropped open. “THESE ARE DUMBLEDORE’S QUILLS?!?!” He hugged the box to his chest. “I feel closer to greatness already!” 

The gift giving continued. Remus had given Sirius a collection of David Bowie albums and a book on motorcycles. Sirius had been right, Peter gave them all socks but had also thrown in a few chocolate frogs. 

“Remus, open ours now!” James said with excitement. 

“Ours?” Remus asked looking between James and Sirius. 

“We both chipped in,” Sirius said.

“Let me guess, is is chocolate?”

“Just open it.”

Remus reached under the tree to where his friends had pointed and literally had to heave the package out. “If this is chocolate, it’s a world breaking record.” He carefully opened the wrappings and was speechless.

“We bought it ages ago,” James grinned. “Got it at Dervish and Banges.” 

It was a briefcase with PROFESSOR R.J. LUPIN embossed on the side.

Sirius and James watched their friend’s reaction. “You know,” James said, “because you want to be a teacher here, right?”

“You know I’ll never be able to.” Remus said quietly.

“Never say never, Remus.” The boys turned to see Lily standing behind them. “I’m assuming the briefcase is filled with chocolate?” 

“But of course,” James leaned over Remus and opened it to reveal extensive Honeydukes sweets. When he sat up he said “Lily, it’s your turn.”

“You got me something?” She sounded surprised. “Dorcas said you would forget…in fact, everyone said you would forget.”

“Me? Forget getting you a gift for Christmas? Never!” James looked sheepishly at her and shifted his glance from his friends to Lily and back again. 

She raised an eyebrow at him. “…you did forget didn’t you?”

James’ smile faltered. “Why would you think that?”

“Mary is rubbish at keeping secrets.” 

“Busted…” Sirius muttered.

“But I remembered that I forgot!” James looked around, waiting to be complimented on his thoughtfulness. “Doesn’t that count for something? Here!”

He reached under the tree and pulled out a large box wrapped in Gryffindor colors. She eyed the box. “It isn’t from Zonko’s, is it?” 

“No!” James affirmed.

She inspected the box closer. “Are those…air holes?” She gasped and then opened the wrapping and box. “Oh, James!” 

She pulled out the kitten that Remus, Frank, and Sirius had found in Hogsmead. It mewed softly at Lily, licking at her fingers. All the girls nearby huddled around Lily and squealed with pleasure at the small creature. 

“Ooh! Lily! What are you going to name it!” Mary asked, scratching the kitten’s ears. 

“I don’t know. Is it a boy or girl, James?” She looked up at him.

“Er…no idea,” he looked at Remus. “Moony?”

He smiled, “It’s a girl, Lily.”

“Hm…what do you guys think? What should her name be?”

Names began pouring in from all directions. 

“Fluffy!”

“Minnie…after McGonagall!”

“David Bowie!”

“That’s a boy’s name, Sirius.”

“It’s an epic name.”

“Gryffindor.”

“Holly!”

“How about Agape?” Lily asked James.

He shrugged. “It’s your cat, name her whatever you want.” 

“What is agape?” Sirius asked, his brow knitting together.

“It’s Greek, if I’m not mistaken.” Remus informed them. “It means love. More specifically unconditional, selfless love. Usually used in terms of God’s love or the love between a parent and child.”

“That’s deep,” Marlene said.

Lily cuddled with the kitten. James watched and nodded with approval.“Agape. I think it’s a good name. I mean, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Unconditional love?”

Lily looked up at him and smiled lovingly. “Unconditional love isn’t just a Christmas thing. It should be a life long thing.”

And she was right. Agape would be life long for all of them.


NOTE: This story is NOT a licensed work. The author does not own any copywrite, trademarks and/or license. Absolutely all trademarks, licenses and copyrights are the sole property of the authors and/or publishers. All of this writers works and stories are “fan made”, and are NOT to be assumed as being licensed and/or official work. The production of this story is not intended to mislead or to confuse consumers. No infringement on the publisher/author’s name and trademark are intended. This product is purposed for Fan Fiction only.

The Gift of Family In Harry Potter

“I-don’t-want-“ said Percy thickly, as the twins forced the jumper over his head, knocking his glasses askew.

“And you’re not sitting with the prefects today, either,” said George, “Christmas is a time for family.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I love the holiday season. Not only are the aesthetics and tastes of the season wonderful, but the spirit I feel during this time of the year is so uplifting. 

Family and gathering are a big icon of the holiday. And seeing as it’s the most wonderful time of the year, I might share a bit of how important family is through one of my favorite mediums…Harry Potter.

From the Weasley’s to the Dursley’s to the Potter’s, families of all shapes and sizes appear in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Family is an important aspect of the Wizarding World and I would like to take the time to delve into why. 

Harry Potter’s own family are gone. His mother and father died protecting him from Lord Voldemort. Just from this one example, so much context becomes available.

I feel like every reader will look at the Potter’s example of family and see the obvious – parents giving their life so that their son may live. But let me take the liberty of pointing out the maybe not-so-obvious; Voldemort’s lack of understanding of that love.

Think for a moment. Dumbledore knew exactly what Lily Potter’s sacrifice meant. He explains it all to Harry in the Philosopher’s Stone

“Your mother died to save you. If there’s one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mothers for you leaves it’s own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who left us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Dumbledore knows this because he understands the magic of love and family.

Common wizards don’t know of this kind of magic. And that makes sense. But Dumbledore isn’t ordinary. He’s a great wizard. But Voldemort is a great wizard too. Dumbledore and Voldemort are two sides of the same coin, I often think. They are alike yet so very different.

Voldemort, who does not respect nor care for these values, dared to kill Lily and James. If he had any brains at all, he would have known that if he wanted to kill Harry, he couldn’t kill his parents. It’s that simple. If he had any knowledge of the magic of love, he would not risk such strong protection being transferred to his target.

But Voldemort is unable to recognize this. He does not know or understand what a family is and the love it can hold. He killed his own father and grandparents and tore apart countless families.

He corrupted himself into blindness. 

Is this a metaphor for what so many people are doing every day? So many of us humans disregard family, friends, love, and ethics, slowly at first and then steadily on, until we know longer recognize what these aspects of life truly mean. 

A large portion of this holiday spirit and season is meant to be shared with family. It’s one of the joys of Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas. However, I know a lot of people don’t feel this way. Many begrudgingly go to family Christmases and sit far away from their annoying relations as possible and stare at their phone in a shadowy corner. 

A simple act like, say, not wanting to wear your Mum’s Christmas sweater could mean so much more. 

Percy Weasley knew all the comforts of home. He had many brother’s and sisters, and a Mum and Dad who cared for him. But he became accustomed to these things. He lost sight of why they were important. 

Before I get into this, there are two examples from the Goblet of Fire I’d like to quote. Remember, at this time, Bill and Charlie are home for the Quidditch World Cup and don’t come home often. Percy no longer sees Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny every day at Hogwarts either. It is a rare thing for the whole family to be home together at once.

Just then a door on the second landing opened, and a face poked out wearing hourn-rimmed glasses and a very annoyed expression.

“Hi, Percy,” said Harry. 

“Oh hello, Harry,” said Percy. “ I was wondering who wad making all that noise. I’m trying to work in here, you know-I’ve got a report to finish for the office-and it’s rather difficult to concentrate when people keep thundering up and down the stairs.”

“We’re not thundering, said Ron irritably. “We’re walking. Sorry if we disturbed the top-secret workings of the Ministry of Magic.”

“What are you working on?” said Harry.

“A report for the Department of International Magical Cooperation,” said Percy smugly. “We’re trying to standardize cauldron thickness. Some of these foreign imports are just a shade too thin-leakages have been increasing at a rate of almost three percent a year-“

The second example comes a few pages later;

Bill and Charlie both had their wands out, and were making two battered old tables fly high above the lawn, smashing into each other, each attempting to knock the others out of air. Fred and George cheering, Ginny was laughing, and Hermione was hovering near the hedge apparently torn between amusement and anxiety.

Bills table caught Charlie’s with a huge bang and knocked one of its legs off. There was a clatter from overhead, and they all looked up to see Percy‘s head poking out of window on the second floor.

“Will you keep it down?!” he bellowed.

“Sorry, Percy,” said Bill, grinning. “How’re the cauldron bottoms coming on?”

“Very badly,” said Percy peevishly, and he slammed the window shut.

Percy had a disregard for family right from the start. It wasn’t so obvious in the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets but it is there. And it gets steadily worse as time advances. 

The biggest red flag that a lot of people don’t recognize is in the Goblet of Fire. When Percy comes of age, he gets a job at the Ministry of Magic. Then he slowly starts disobeying his father and mother, spends time locked in his room, and comes home late. Ron puts it this way;

“I don’t think he’d come home if Dad didn’t make him.”

I’ve seen first hand how estrangement works and J.K. Rowling’s representation of it is uncanny. It makes me wonder if she hasn’t experienced it too. 

Percy has turned of age and things appear to be alright to his parents. To Molly and Arthur, he is just ambitious and has big plans for his future. That may even be what Percy thinks too. But in reality he is just a child wanting to do what he wants, when he wants to, and doesn’t want any parental guidance, control, or authority. He uses the Ministry of Magic, Mr. Crouch, and his job as an excuse to exercise his new of-age privileges. 

And then, in the next book, he is estranged. He breaks his parents trust, wanting to go his own way, and wastes years. Years that he will regret.

Percy eventually reconciled with his family, hours before his brother is murdered. Percy threw away time pursuing things that were unimportant and self indulgent, when he could have spent a little more time with his brother, Fred.

I wonder how many times after the Battle of Hogwarts that Percy cried over the time he lost with his brother? I can imagine his thoughts;

If only I came home from work a little earlier to eat dinner with him and the family.

If only I hadn’t shamed him and his practical jokes.

If only I had played Exploding Snap with him when he asked me that one time.

If only I hadn’t left him behind and come back too late.

Percy made a choice and he payed the price.

I know it seems like a bit of a jump from murderous Lord Voldemort to nerdy Percy Weasley but then again…it wasn’t that big a jump after all. If a thing like disrespecting family and misunderstanding love can take one person from being a Percy to being a Voldemort…why risk it?

Thus, we ask again, why is family so important? Because family in Harry Potter is often used synonymously with love. Love is the main theme in Harry Potter and Rowling repetitively uses family as a motif to demonstrate this theme.

And I understand it can be hard to love your family sometimes. We’re only human. Or maybe you’re not a Percy. Maybe you’re a Fred. Maybe you’re on the receiving end of of hate and disappointment. I cannot give any comfort or answer to such dilemmas than this;

Life is a story. Love is an adventure. Family is a home. To have all three at once is a gift. The greatest gift. A truly precious and fragile gift. Don’t waste what you have, what you’ve been given. See the value in the simple things. They may seem small but they’re not. Nothing simple is ever small. Life isn’t small, love isn’t small, and family isn’t small.

Care for these gifts and they will care for you in return.

The Surprising Truth About Harry Potter Part Three

Every true Wizarding World fan knows that when J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter she was writing about love. Dumbledore is always talking about love this and love that. Harry gets to the point of being annoyed by it just as much as Voldemort scorns the concept.


Before reading what I have to say about this, might I suggest reading the first two posts in “The Surprising Truth About Harry Potter” series if you have not already done so.


Readers get bored with the whole love thing as well. I know that when I read the books, I was slightly disconcerted by the shallowness that I thought lingered behind the repetition.


It took me years to realize that when Rowling wrote the word “love” she meant so much more.


I just now turned to a random page in my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I ended up on page 244, where Dean Thomas, Griphook, Gornuk, and Ted Tonks are hiding out in the same woods as Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Goblins and wizards working together?


I did this again and landed on when the Golden Trio went to Xenophilius Lovegood’s home to ask about the Deathly Hallows. A man doing anything to save his daughter?


What do these two events have in common? What does almost every single scene in each Harry Potter book have in common?


Love.


Open up to a random page of the Harry Potter book nearest to you (The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts don’t count!) and I bet my Marauders Map the root of that scene is love.


Now that you have found a random Harry Potter passage, open up Google News, turn on your TV, or glance at the newspaper’s front page. How much love did you find there?


The readers that read Harry Potter, me included, have grown up in a generation of hate, turmoil, and human immortality. Love is a concept many people do not completely understand.


J.K. never defines the magic of love. She operates on the first rule every writer knows off the top of their heads. Show, don’t tell.


The first time love is noticeably brought up as a concept of importance is in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

“Your mother died to save you. If there’s one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realize that love as powerful as your mothers for you leaves it’s own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign… to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who left us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrel, full of hatred, greed and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone


It hurts how prevalent Dumbledore’s words are in the modern age. Good people are attacked on a daily basis and lost and confused people get stung because of it. So they try again and again to prove their own rightness and fail just as much.


To worldly eyes it may appear that love can be overcome by lesser things. But in the end, once the story has taken its course and arrived at the end, what prevails? Harry or Voldemort?


Quirrel tries to take the Stone and kill Harry, but Lily Potter’s love stops him. Tom Riddle attempts to regain strength and kill Ginny Weasley, but Harry’s friendship and Dumbledore’s protection stops him. Sirius and Remus almost kill Peter Pettigrew and Sirius’ soul is almost taken, but Harry’s sense of justice and protection stops these. Again and again, love overcomes without the characters even realizing it.


Even Harry, who has saved and been saved by multiple forms of love doesn’t understand the importance of it until the very end. I know I have referenced the Battle of Hogwarts multiple times in this blog series but as a dedicated Potterhead, I cannot emphasize the importance of this scene enough.

“I know things you don’t, Tom Riddle. I know lots of important things you don’t. Want to hear some before you make another big mistake?”

Voldemort did not speak but prowled in a circle and Harry knew that he kept him temporarily mesmerized and at bay, held back by the faintest possibility that Harry might indeed know a final secret…“

Is it’s love again?” said Voldemort , his snake face jeering, “Dumbledore‘s favorite solution, love, which he claimed conquered death, though love did not stop him falling from the Tower and breaking like an old wax work? Love, which did not prevent me stamping out your Mudblood mother like a cockroach, Potter- and nobody seems to love you enough to run forward this time, and take my curse. So what will stop you dying now when I strike?”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


But it was love that saved Harry. His own love. The love he had learned that triumphed over everything. Community, friendship, mercy, and redemption.


As I have said, Harry simply using the Disarming charm was a deep act of love. That act saved him and killed Voldemort.


This is easy to miss nowadays. Readers are constantly attacked in every day life and they believe less and less in the power of goodness. These readers completely loose sight of how love saved Harry and his friends again and again. All they read is an epic tale.


But for those who see past this, for those who learn from the seven books, who read what J.K. Rowling meant them to read…they take much more with them when they close the book.
I geek out as much as the next fan and I enjoy it too. But what is that compared to the knowledge that some do not see what I see when they read Harry Potter?


Love. Just hearing that word makes me want to do better, to reach out to the list, to defend my beliefs, to cry at how much love I have been given, how much mercy has been bestowed upon me.


Is that how Harry feels? Knowing that his parents died to save him and that he would die (and did die) to save the ones he loved. How sad is it that Voldemort had so many opportunities to discover this deep and simple truth yet never had the strength to take it inside his heart (even if it was two sizes too small.)
It is love that gives us the confidence of a brighter day, even when we cannot see it. It is always there. A good ending, a better ending than we could ever hope for.


Harry, Ron, Hermione and every other great character’s ambitions were nothing compared for what was in store for them.


The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded a corner. Harry’s hand was still raised in farewell.

“He’ll be all right,” murmured Ginny.

As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absent-mindedly and touched the lightning scar on his forehead.

“I know he will.“

The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

The Surprising Truth About Harry Potter Part One

We all know and love J.K. Rowling’s most famous book series. From “Yer a wizard, Harry” to the final “Expelliarmus”, Harry Potter’s characters and plot captivate readers. Harry, Hermione, and Ron never cease to win the love of bibliophiles, no matter what age.

But what is the real story of Harry Potter? Why did J.K. write Harry Potter the way she did? What makes this series so unique and special? 

I have a simple answer to that. 

My blogging series “The Surprising Truth About Harry Potter” will give you that simple answer, though it will take three posts to completely communicate efficiently and effectively so that comprehension will be at peak when I reveal the deep and simple truth. 


One of the first steps to reaching this point is understanding this;

Community. 

One of the things we sorely lack in this day and age. There is the illusion of community, yes. Sometimes we believe we have found our place when we really haven’t. It takes deep patience and dedication to find real community.

Harry leaves his place of isolation in The Sorcerer’s Stone (darn Dursley’s), and goes to Hogwarts. Harry is eleven and Hogwarts seems to be the answer to everything. Every problem he has ever had goes away at Hogwarts and by being sorted into Gryffindor he gets instant friends. 

Hogwarts and the Houses may appear to be the answer we are looking for when defining community in the Wizarding World, but it is not so. Hogwarts is simply a place to find community. If the school were a place of pure community, Draco and Harry wouldn’t always be at each other’s throat. That would just be boring.

Apart from being boring, no one would grow. If Draco and Harry were not opposing forces, they would never have dueled in their second year. If they hadn’t dueled, Harry might not have learned Expelliarmus. If Harry didn’t use the disarming spell so often, might he have killed Stan Shunpike in the Deathly Hallows? Would he have overcome Voldemort’s final killing curse?

Hogwarts is a place for growth, not Kumbaya.


So when does Harry find his place in a community? We must first understand what community is before we find out.

Noah Webster defined the word “Community” in 1828 as this;

Community, n.

Properly, common possession or enjoyment; as a community of goods.

   It is confirmation of the original community of all things.

Breaking this down, Webster is saying community is not a group of people. It is a feeling. It is comprised of good things; enjoyment, positivity, fellowship. My favorite part is the “confirmation of the original community of all things.” 

All things used to be connected? Really? I wonder what made people, animals, plants, and objects disconnect? Could it be that we are human and fall short of our own ideals? That Sirius Black was right when he said;

“The world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

J.K.Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix

As we have discovered, community is a feeling, not a place or a group of people. 

We find it inside of Harry, when he founds Dumbledore’s Army with the help of Ron and Hermione. 

The DA brings together kids of all houses to unite under one common goal. Even Zacharias Smith is included in the group, a boy who Harry and Ron loath. The DA community is broken when one of their number, Marietta Edgecombe, betrays the contract of trust (we know how Hermione made her regret that one).

The Order of the Phoenix also creates community not only inside the Order, but outside as well. Fred, George, Ginny, Ron, and Harry are all denied entry into the Order. However, that denial makes them work all the harder to prove themselves and to connect with the adults inside the Order. 

Harry even trusts Snape enough to take Occlumency lessons for a time, all because he is an Order member. Molly, too, would never have dreamed of serving stew to “the notorious mass murderer”, Sirius, had it not been for the common goal of fighting evil.


The pinnacle of community in Harry Potter, however, is in the last moment of the Battle of Hogwarts. 

For starters, Harry’s final encounter with Voldemort takes place in the Great Hall. 

How perfect. 

The same Great Hall where the Sorting Hat shouted “Gryffindor!” and Harry found his home for the next seven years. Where he received his Nimbus 2000 by owl from McGonogall. Where his name was shot out of the Goblet of Fire. Where he had shared hundreds of meals talking and laughing with his many friends.

On top of this, Harry is surrounded by the people who have stuck by him through his magical journey. The ones who survived six books of trials and still stayed with Harry. 

Why? Why do this when it was so clear that trouble and danger followed him wherever he went. 

Because they loved him. Harry was not just “The Chosen One”. He was Ron and Hermione’s best friend, Ginny’s future partner in life, Neville’s mentor, Molly’s “as good as” son, and one of Luna’s few friends.

All of these people who had touched Harry’s life and who had been touched in return were there when he needed them the most. Even James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus lingered to see him face Voldemort, though they had passed from the living world. 

Community is connection. Community is the first step to love. Individuality is encouraged in community but only as long as each individual is working not in self interest, but in the interest of others. 

There will always be something opposing the unity of the human race. Whether it be prejudice, hate, Lord Voldemort, or our own blindness. But if we can learn to overcome those obstacles…what could stop us from simply loving?

After the Triwizard Tournament, Albus Dumbledore gives a speech to the students of Hogwarts, acknowledging Cedric Diggory’s death and the return of Voldemort. He gives the best example of community when he says this;

“Every guest in this hall,” said Dumbledore and his eyes lingered upon the Durmstrang students, “will be welcomed back here any time, should they wish to come. I say to you all, once again, in the light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire