I think I may be a bit obsessed with my self-help books series. Not sure if I am entertaining myself or anyone else, but it is Harry Potter’s turn! What would the beloved (and hated) characters of this wonderful series have to share in their individual self-help books? Here are my ideas:
- Harry Potter: Ah, the “boy who lived”! We all know his story and the pressures he faced as he sought to save the world, avenge his parents and defeat “he who shall not be named.” Talk about huge expectations he had to live up to and it all sat on his shoulders from infancy. What an amazing book he could write about deciding your own fate and not allowing others to choose your path for you. Title: Steering your own broom.
- Hermione Granger: Such a bright child! Hermione, though muggle-born, was leaps and bounds ahead of her classmates in wizard knowledge, potions and spells. This great intellect was both gifted to her, but also the result of hard work and intense studying. At times her skills (and confidence) was off-putting to others, but she never felt she needed to hide just how capable she was. Her book would encourage other children (especially girls) to be proud of their abilities and never to pretend to be less than they are. Title: Shine your light: Protecting your patronus
- Ron Weasley: As the best friend of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, it must have been such a challenge to remain positive and self-confident. Harry is a legend and Hermione is better at “everything”, but somehow Ron remains (mostly) loyal and supportive. His value wasn’t in being the best or the brightest, but in being the truest friend. He could offer guidance in finding one’s value in oneself and not in comparison to others. Title: Being the best me I can be.
- Severus Snape: Such a multilayered man, Professor Snape. He started out as the villainous potions teacher who strove to torment/destroy our hero, Harry Potter, and then we learned his own torturous history and undying love for Harry’s mother. Even as we learned more about him, new questions began to form. It never really felt as though we were ever fully able to understand him. He would be a great source of advice on doing the right thing even when it is not popular. Title: Friends in disguise: Seeing behind the enemy’s mask.
- Draco Malfoy: Born of a pair of Voldemort’s followers, Malfoy didn’t have much of a chance of ending up on the side of good. A bully from a young age, Malfoy hid his own insecurities behind a mask of over-confidence and arrogance. Though he ultimately chose not to commit the worst of crimes (Spoiler alert: He refused to kill Dumbledore), Malfoy was often sniveling, jealous and cruel. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he could write a book detailing the importance of rejecting the negative influences of others? Title: Casting off Evil: Digging deep for the good within
- Lord Voldermort: Tom Marvolo Riddle was a half-blood wizard with a troubled childhood which lead to significant mental health issues. He had an insatiable need for power and extreme hatred for all muggle and half-blood wizards (non-pure bloods). This is especially interesting given his own lack of pure blood status. It reminds me of closeted gay men who bully out gay men. Self-hatred at its finest and he really ran with it. If you can say one positive thing about Voldemort, it is that he was persistent. If he had received numerous hours/weeks/months/years of therapy, Voldemort might have come to realize his destructive actions were really about trying to destroy himself. Title: I deserve to be named.
- Albus Dumbledore: Professor Dumbledore is the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The books focus primarily on the time when Harry Potter is a student at the school. Dumbledore aided Harry in all of his adventures, even when Harry didn’t know he was helping. Dumbledore is completely on the side of the good guys against Voldemort and all of his minions. The author revealed late in the series that Dumbledore was gay. I like that this was no more important to his character development than had he been straight. It was just part of who he was. Title: Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times.
- Sirius Black: Harry’s godfather, he was a close friend of both of his parents, Lily and James Potter. He spent a number of years in the torturous Prison of Azkiban. Once able to escape, he attempted to aid Harry in his quest to defeat Dumbledore while striving to protect Harry at every turn. Sirius was an animagi, turning into a large black dog at will. Ultimately, Sirius was killed during an epic battle. Title: Man’s Best Friend
- Rubeus Hagrid: The groundskeeper at Hogwarts, but he really is so much more than that. He is the three amigos’ (Harry, Ron and Hermione) trusted confidante and biggest supporter. He is half giant and half human. Hagrid was once a student at Hogwarts, but was unjustly forbidden to do any further magic. (He occasionally sneaks it.) His book could describe how you don’t have to be the most powerful to have the greatest impact. Title: Power is in what you give, not what you can do.
- Argus Filch: The caretaker of Hogwarts – he roams the halls looking to catch students engaged in some form of mischief. The students of Hogwarts (especially Gryffindors) dislike Filch because he is weird and creepy. He absolutely is a necessary component to the smooth functioning of Hogwarts, but it is hard to be liked when you are the one enforcing all of the rules (with the creepy cat, Mrs. Norris). Title: It’s not easy being me.
Which of these books would you be most interested in reading? Maybe it’s because I am a little twisted, I would, personally, want to know what Voldemort would have to say. Would he be able to see the errors of his ways or would it be a narcissistic rant about why he should have kicked Harry’s booty. I would be interested in finding out.