The importance of a good teacher and positive role model, are super important and resonate with me. The importance of feeling like you are not alone and also understanding that part of growing up, is that no matter who you look up, they are human and have flaws. Dumbledore resonates with me because his flaws do not take away from how important he is to me as a character in the Harry Potter series. Honestly, his flaws make him better. Dumbledore taught me, that your flaws are part of who you are but that they are simply shadows of your strengths. He taught me that sometimes, being a teacher is allowing your student to struggle at some points, in order to learn lessons that are difficult to impart any other way. Harry’s trials in the seventh book were more than just about struggling to defeat Voldemort, they were about making a choice, to be better than his teachers and create his own heroes path.The Deathly Hallows were the promise of a magic bullet and were intended as a trial for Harry”s character. Dumbledore had failed that trial. Harry nearly fell but realized that the magic bullet approach wasn’t going to work. In other words, part of growing up for Harry, was distancing himself from his idols and making himself into the person he wanted to be.
Dumbledore, recognized that in Harry and believed in him. It didn’t look like it because he was so secretive and even he had his own doubts. But in the end he put his faith in others so that his plan could work. One of those people was Severus Snape. Snape is a different kind of character to inspire me. He has similarities with other characters I admire in fiction in that, his development goes from being antagonist to flawed ally. This will be apparent in other folks I talk about on here. Snape was presented, quite early on, as a cruel teacher and as someone who would always antagonize Harry. He hated Harry’s father and likewise he saw only what he wanted to see in his son. Snape was presented for a long time, as a reluctant ally of the good guys. A former Dark wizard, Dumbledore’s trust in him was the only thing that stayed consistant. Harry of course, was never quite convinced that Snape was on his side. In fact, that was the whole point. Snape’s entire heroic double agent act, was stubbornly kept from Harry because Snape despite all he did for Harry during the series, couldn’t bear to have Harry’s father’s son, know about him. That Snape loved Lily Potter and that he, despite the complicated feelings he had for both Harry and his mother, was able to put that aside in order to protect Harry. His love is selfish and unhealthy in many ways, just as much as his hatred of James. But as we see throughtout the series both of these feelings were actually organic. Harry sees the boy his father was, courtesy of the magic Pensieve, and was deeply troubled by it. Snape’s venomous reaction was likely because of his humiliation and less about how Harry might actually react. Snape was unable to separate the father from his son. He was unable to divorce all his anger, jealousy, resentment and hatred for James from his son. However, the same can be said for the fact that he quite clearly understood that Lilly Potter was also a part of Harry. Which is why, on his death bed, he asked Harry to look him in the eye, to see her eyes. Snape was complicated and had many flaws. But he was, arguably Harry’s most useful ally in the final act. By pretending to forsake the Order of the Phoenix, he chose to die alone and misunderstood both by his allied and enemies. He would die hated and distrusted by everyone. But he did consent to giving Harry his memories so that Snape’s story would be known by Lily’s son, after he didn’t care about his pride anymore. I would remind the reader that he didn’t need to include his life story and process in the memories, he could have chosen to just give Harry the information about him being a Horcrux. But I think he knew, that he needed to share everything, not just for Harry’s sake or to defeat Voldemort, but I think he deep down wanted Harry to know. This is why I respect and admire Snape. He wasn’t a man I would have liked to grow up with. But his loyalty and quite frankly his arc, are inspiring. Snape was unable to stop hating James Potter but he did care about Harry at the end. Snape overcame his own pride, remorse, guilt, and decided that his actions were important enough to change. That was a level of bravery and conviction that I admire greatly.
To be continued